That’s what God said to the apostle John as he showed him a vision of a new heaven and a new earth – renewed to last for eternity. John saw a broken world replaced with something amazing and new, but the roots of this newness existed before even time began.
I’ve been a witness to the story of Honduras since 2001, and have seen what God is doing to make this beautiful land and its even more beautiful people new - and I have been witness to how God is using Mission Lazarus in that story. Brokenness is being replaced by wholeness. Illiteracy is being replaced by education and opportunity. Illness is being replaced by health. Hunger is being replaced by sufficiency. Darkness is being replaced by light.
One of my early introductions to southern Honduras was through a relief effort that distributed vital seeds to farmers around the mountain village of Las Pitas de Namasigue. Following a horrible drought that left subsistence farmers without new seeds to plant, seeds were given and new lower-water farming techniques were introduced. This simple effort spurred the hard work of these farmers and God allowed a fruitful harvest in the next growing season. As we celebrated that harvest, a different kind of see was planted – the seed of the Word and Kingdom of God. The seed distribution had been called “Seeds of Hope”, but little did we know back then what God had in store.
This little village today is a very different place – it has been and continues to be made new. Yes there is a beautiful medical clinic now, a new church building and life-saving sanitary measures preserving the health of that community, but that’s just the outward stuff. More importantly there is newness in the hearts of people on that mountain because today they can see their own worth and their own dignity. They see hope and opportunity because they know they are made in the image of the Almighty God and are eternally loved by him.
It is God’s love for his creation that drives Him to create the new heaven and the new earth of John’s vision so that we can have that perfect home with him. And because at Mission Lazarus we know how very much we have been loved, we plant the seeds that God is using to make Honduras, and Haiti, new again.