Out of His solitude, Jesus reached out His caring Hand to the people in need. In the lonely place His care grew strong and mature. And from there He entered into a healing closeness with His fellow human beings.”

Out of Solitude, Henri Nouwen

Central to the Pillar of Service:

• We hope to meet the daily challenge to act out of compassion, and to share our faith, abilities, gifts, and time with those whom we encounter

• We hope to recognize the face of Christ in those whom we serve, especially the poor and those whom it is most difficult to love

• We seek the wisdom to know when solutions to existing problems are beyond us, to learn to rely increasingly on compassionate presence and personal prayer to carry us through

• We open ourselves up to serving others, knowing that it is through giving of ourselves that we experience the generosity, wisdom, and love of God and neighbor

Jesus came to this world to serve others in order that we might receive fullness of life. His service grew out of his immense compassion for His people, for us. He fed the hungry, made the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and the dead live. Jesus serves by offering His compassion and divine gifts and He has called us to do the same, “I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least important of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me!” (Matthew 25:40) We are called to share our own compassion and our own gifts with those in need, to share our lives, our experiences, our faith, our happiness, and our sadness with our brothers and sisters.

The Farm offers invaluable opportunities to serve others. In addition to one’s primary ministry responsibilities, circumstances arise daily that challenge missionaries to act out of compassion, to share their gifts, lives and time with those in need. Neighbors arrive early in the morning with an emergency ailment; a drunken man asks for food; an abandoned child needs a home; a young orphan acts out in his desire for attention. These cases exemplify daily situations where missionaries must view the face of Christ in another and ask how Jesus would respond to these needs. How must we respond to this situation? The many questions and situations call missionaries to step out of their comfort zones and to stretch themselves. Sometimes tangible solutions can be offered. Often, however, no solution to the problem exists except for the presence of a loving, compassionate and listening ear and the strength of prayer.

One of the local Hondurans, who has worked closely with the Farm, once said to tell prospective missioanries that they have to be ready to love. It is crucial that missionaries are prepared to love all those with whom they come into contact. Without that mentality, the experience will be very frustrating. There is no doubt that it will be challenging to love some of the people, but this ministry demands love 100% of the time. Often times, true love is tough love. What people are lacking physically or emotionally cannot always be fixed with a handout although that would be the easy solution. What they need is to experience God’s love through you.

Though missionaries offer much to the children and the people in the surrounding area, we inevitably receive more than we actually give. By opening ourselves up to others, allowing ourselves to love, to care, and to share our gifts, we serve others. In turn, we are served by others, receiving their generosity, time, wisdom and love.