Thursday, August 13, 2015

Encouragement in the Storm by Patty Smith Hall

Patty Smith Hall here, and I've got to tell you--this summer has not been the greatest for me. Health issues with my husband and youngest daughter along with several other setbacks have taken the wind out of my sails. The writing ministry which I’d had started with such high hopes seemed stagent.

I felt out of touch with God. I mean, I was doing everything He’d called me to do so why was I ready to give up? Why was I investing so much of my time and effort into writing and not seeing any fruits of my labor? I was lower than low.

Then God showed up and showed out. Last Friday night, after a particularly bad week, I was rolling through my Facebook page when one of the messages in my inbox caught my eye.

“Are you the Patty Hall  who was in Honduras in 1999?”

Years ago, I’d had the privilege of visiting San Marcos with a group called Opportunity of  a Lifetime whose mission was to cloth, feed, educate and share the Gospel to the families and children of Honduras. I say it was a privilege because I was going through an equally rough time then. While I might have gone there on a mission trip, it was the people of Honduras, through their faith and totally devotion to God, who ministered to me.

I clicked on the message. It was Noel, a boy I’d found living under a tree in a small village outside of Tegucigala. Only twelve or thirteen at the time, Noel had lost both of his parents, and had no immediate family. One look at this sweet boy, and I knew Danny and I had to help. For the next four years, we supported him as he went to school in San Marcos. After his graduation, we lost touch.

Until now.

I friended him immediately and went to his Facebook page. Noel is happily married now with three little girls of his own, and pastor of a church in Naples, Florida. He still has that sweet smile that captured my heart all those years ago. In our conversation, he told me he’d been looking for me for eight years just so he could thank me for giving him a chance, for introducing him to God.

For planting a seed.
 

The books I write, this writing ministry I have, it’s all about planting seeds. Some, I’ll see grow to fruition while others may only ripen after I’m gone. That thought—focusing on the eternal rather than the present—is what inspires me to write today. 
   

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, Patty, and such an encouragement to all of us when we feel our work is for naught. The Lord moves mightily whether we see the results or not. Thank you for sharing this incredible story that brought tears to my eyes.

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  2. I am so glad you shared that Patty, all those years in between you both were living so seperately but also touched by a chance meeting, we never know when something we say or do will bear fruit and it is wonderful that you got the chance to learn how you had helped and the fruit that is there today because you did.
    I love to read your books and the words will be there again and you will help others with your writing also.
    Thanks again
    Paula O

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  3. A wonderful and encouraging story, Patty.

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  4. Powerful message. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I want to thank everyone who came by today--Have a wonderful Friday!

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  6. Patty, I'm stopping by a day late...

    So touched by your re-connecting with that wonderful young man. God bless you and your husband for providing for his needs. To think that he's been looking for you, and FB brought you together. Love how God works...and he does work through the Internet. I see it so many times, but never as dramatically as this.

    Thanks for sharing. You've made my day brighter!

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