Anchoring at an Altar


Jessica Hogan, Volunteer, Honduras

Anchoring to an Altar

The alarm sounds early, waking Ivan from his slumber. He slips out of bed, rubs his eyes, and makes his way to the chapel in the early morning darkness. A rooster crows to announce the new day, and the crickets continue their steady chirping cadence.

He opens the chapel doors and turns on the lights, already joined by a few others who chose to give up some sleep. This small group calls themselves the Remnant of Intercession. 

Ivan walks to the front and faces the altar. The students at Escuela El Sembrador (School of the Sower) in Honduras will be waking up in an hour, and the chaos of the day will begin. But for now, he embraces the stillness. For now, it is only him and God, sharing a quiet moment.

On his knees, he bows his face to the floor.

He breathes.

He begins to pray.

Ivan is the residential life counselor with a missionary’s heart at El Sembrador. Caring for over 80 residential boys is a daunting task, which is why Ivan decided last year to dedicate the first hour of the day to prayer.

“I wanted to give God the first moments of the day,” he said. “In that time I could give all my burdens to God, and it helped me begin my work with new strength.” Over time a small group of students joined him, and together they prayed for their classmates, for El Sembrador employees, and for the leadership of the school. 

The boys at El Sembrador have a routine of school in the morning, work in the afternoon, and studying and playing in the evening. From the time the bell in the dining hall is first rung in the morning, Ivan’s work is nonstop until the boys share a devotional and then go to bed at night. It is very important for Ivan to set aside some time every day to enjoy the calm that comes with resting in God’s presence. These moments are an anchor for Ivan so that he is ready to face whatever life brings him.