Lauren and Jed Burroughs depart this week on a mission trip to Honduras. In this post, Lauren shares an incredible testimony of the way she's seen God at work in previous trips. We invite you to read her testimony and join us in praying for Jed and Lauren as they serve others in Jesus' name.
"The Doctor and the Great Physician"
My father is a pastor and often mentions from the pulpit that “when the gospel came to us it was on its way to someone else.” This is an urging to his congregation that the gospel is not meant to be set upon a shelf or kept to yourself. The Good News is meant to be continually spilling from your lips and your life. In the case of Eduardo, however, I saw a new meaning to my father’s often used phrase. The gospel was literally on its way to others through the very mouth of the one for whom it was intended.
I have heard stories of the mission field for as long as I can remember. I recall sitting in meetings with my parents and listening to reports from the International and North American Mission Boards and being in awe of these heroes of the faith. I remember thinking these were no ordinary men and women. Surely, God had given them super powers. Surely, I could never do the things they were doing, even though my little-girl heart lit up at the thought. Fast forward a couple of decades, and I am preparing for my eighth trip to Honduras in just under five years. As it turns out, God does indeed use the most ordinary of his children to do extraordinary work. The fact that He allows me to serve the people of Honduras and carry his gospel still astounds me.
One of the many reasons I continue to return to Honduras is the opportunity to work with people like Dr. Eduardo Dubon. Eduardo had been a late addition to our May 2017 team and had been an absolute joy to work with and get to know. Not only was he a great doctor, Eduardo also went with us to the orphanage each evening to spend time in Bible study with the children. On a night that I taught, Eduardo acted as my translator. That’s just one of the great things about traveling with our group, getting to see so many sides of people in such a short amount of time. Our team learned quickly that Eduardo was wonderful professionally but also had a heart for these children we go to serve.
When we returned to Limón in October of 2017, Eduardo told me that since being with us in May he had begun attending a small church near his home. He told me that he had not missed a Sunday and that he really enjoyed it. I was thrilled to hear this news and could see from Eduardo’s countenance that the Lord was working in his heart. You see, once again, Eduardo was acting as my translator for our Bible studies at the orphanage. And once again, Eduardo had spoken truth over a group of children. Truth that he desperately needed himself.
On the first night, we – Eduardo and I – told our group about John chapter 1 and explained that Jesus has always been and always will be. We reviewed the story of creation and explained that Jesus was the only way our sins could ever be forgiven. We also talked about John, the beloved disciple and why his stories of Jesus could be trusted. On the second night, we talked about Lazarus. We explained that Jesus allowed His friend to be placed in the tomb so that God could show His glory. We talked about Jesus’ great power over the grave. We explained that Jesus did not just come so that our “bad” could be made “good.” Jesus came so that those who are dead in sin could be made alive. On night three, we talked about baptism and the truth found in 2 Corinthians 5:17: that anyone in Christ is made new. All the old is gone.
But there is much to tell about night three. After getting back to the clinic that houses our team, I noticed Chuck, one of our team members who had also worked with us in May, and Eduardo talking at the table. I decided to leave them to their conversation, having a pretty good idea the direction it was going, and just pray. So, I went to bed early that night, praying for Chuck to have wisdom and for Eduardo’s heart to be receptive. Not too long after drifting off, my roommate shook me awake, “Lauren, Chuck wants you to come to the kitchen. He said you wouldn’t be mad if I woke you up.” I knew immediately a miracle had taken place. I think I flew into the kitchen, and Chuck and I did our version of a happy dance. We went downstairs to where an emotional Eduardo was seated, and we all embraced before leading Eduardo in prayer. But perhaps the most beautiful part came after Chuck gave Eduardo the framework for a prayer of forgiveness. After repeating a prayer in English, Eduardo offered the Lord his heart in Spanish. And there was great rejoicing – in heaven and in the waiting area of the Carolina Clinic. Our hearts were near bursting as we explained to Eduardo the new life he now possessed. I also could not wait to tell him what we would be talking about with the children on our last night of Bible study: Miracles.
Night four at the orphanage was our study of the last verse of John’s gospel. It is one of my very favorite verses in all of Scripture:
“Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. “– John 21:25
I told the children of my salvation experience at age nine. I told them my story of finding my way to Honduras and of all the miracles God had worked in my life to bring me to this very place. I explained that I am one of those unwritten miracles. So is Suyapa, saved the summer before by God’s great grace. So is Keilor, led to Christ by a faithful servant just over a year ago. And then I looked to my left, and there sat Eduardo, one of the newest of God’s unwritten miracles. And Eduardo proclaimed to our little assembly that yes, just last night, he had trusted Jesus and was himself a new creation. On this week, the Great Physician sought and saved our doctor.
As if this story needed any more exclamation marks, the Lord continued to bless. The following December, Eduardo came to visit our hometown. We showed him the sights, celebrating Christmas and my birthday in grand fashion. And then we celebrated New Year’s Eve in the most beautiful way I’ve ever seen: a baptism service. My father baptized Eduardo in the waters of the church that had prayed so fervently for the Lord to do a mighty work among our team members and the people of Honduras. On that New Year’s Eve, we saw a glimpse of God’s glory. We saw a beautiful picture of man made new: the gospel came to Eduardo on its way to someone else. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Sadly, after working tirelessly on the front lines to help people plagued by COVID-19, Eduardo succumbed to the disease he was fighting against. In October of 2020 - nearly 3 years to the day after coming to faith - Eduardo’s faith became sight.
This year’s trip to Honduras will be different for so many reasons. There are dear friends - like Eduardo - who will not be there to great us. But we have this hope and this great burden to continue to meet needs and preach the gospel because we know God uses us to perform miracles. We’ve experienced it firsthand and now cannot help but tell what we’ve seen and heard.