Hi everyone! This is Ryan McCabe and I currently live in a city in Honduras called Comayagua and am a missionary with a covenant community called the Missioners of Christ. Our focus is evangelization, discipleship and loving the poor around us. With the grace of God, I have been serving here since February 2021.
In my last year of college in 2019-2020 God put a desire on my heart to serve Him in a deeper way after graduation. He was pushing me to get out of my comfort zone, encounter Him in the poor and deepen my faith. Through His grace I found an incredible community in Honduras where He has taught me to gaze upon His face in our daily hour of adoration and in our service with the poor around us.
One of the ways we live out our call to mission is receiving mission trip teams from the US, training them, breaking them up into groups and sending them out to mountain villages with leaders. Many of these groups are college students although people of all ages come. Our mission is always a dual mission; firstly, we accompany these young people on our mission team as they encounter the Lord through the faith of the Honduran people. Also, through the young people we encourage the Honduran village in their faith. We spend nearly a week in the mountain villages.
We visit people’s houses where we listen to their stories, their wounds, their triumphs. We pray with them and get to tell them the raw Gospel, that they are beloved sons and daughters of the Father and that they have a Savior, who is not “unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Heb 4:15) The Honduran people in turn give us a place to stay, feed us our meals, give us coffee, sweet bread, coca-cola, crackers, chips and anything else they have. Their hospitality and generosity is Gospel-like and we have a lot to learn from them. They teach us what true poverty is and what true trust in God is, for they cannot trust in themselves whereas we are often tempted to do so. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 5:3)
I also lead a youth group called Hombres de Cristo (Men of Christ). It is a group of boys from the neighborhood in Comayagua where I live. Many of them come from difficult family situations. One of the main goals of the group is to give them something consistent in their lives. We try to give them a different example to follow than the one that they see on the streets or in their families. We expose them to Catholic manhood and the abundant life that God has called us to. We recently had a retreat with the group where we went up the mountains near Comayagua and learned more about discipleship and orienting our plans to the Lord. They opened themselves up to the Lord and in a Holy Hour encountered Him in a powerful way. We were able to pray over each one of them and invited them to follow the Lord in a concrete way. Please pray for these young men as they go against a culture of machismo, sexual infidelity, alcoholism and try to stay on the narrow road full of life, sacrificial love, humility and faithfulness.
A quick glory story to end with. We visit people’s homes in our neighborhood every week to encourage families in their faith. A couple weeks ago we visited the house of a girl involved in one of our school programs. I had visited there a few times before. The girl wasn’t there but her mother and brother were home as well as her grandfather. Now I remember the grandfather from some past visits and he had always been a little indifferent and cold to what we would say. For context, He was not Catholic but Protestant and had previously talked about how he did not believe in going to church. I got the opportunity to talk with him while the other missionaries chatted with the mother and the brother. We started to talk about his life, where he lived when he was younger, the kind of hard farming work he did, the things he used to be able to do. He talked about his father, his family, what things were like before and he just went on reminiscing. We talked for about an hour; I listened mostly and prayed that God would open his heart. Towards the end of the visit, he was super animated and singing God’s praises. He was overjoyed for the opportunity to pray at the end of the visit and wanted us to come back soon. It was a beautiful encounter for me to be able to be an instrument of the Lord through listening and letting the Lord soften this man’s heart so that he could receive the Love of God. This man hardly leaves the house but sits around the house all day. There are many more like him all around us. There are many isolated people who do not know the love of God. God calls us to be his hands and his feet in bringing the Good News. How many hardened hearts can be softened by someone else merely listening? We all have opportunities to listen every day. Mission work is nothing extraordinary but merely letting God into the ordinary.
- Ryan McCabe
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free” (Lk 4:18)