“I avoided the pull on my heart for as long as I could, but eventually, I simply said—okay. I went on a missions trip to Honduras, Spring 2013. And that was it. I remember the pit in my stomach on the plane. I remember feeling that God was pleased and this was it, and that made me feel sick, because again, I DIDN’T WANT “MY PERFECT” TO BE MODIFIED, yet I knew that in that moment, it was.
We landed in Tegucigalpa, and I felt a peace that I have never felt, it was as if I had been unconsciously carrying around a bowling ball since forever, and it was released the second I was in God’s will, it was amazing, and oh how it scared me.” —Victoria Fortuna
I met Victoria my freshman year of college in a hall bible study. But, little did we know how Jesus would intertwine our hearts in ways neither of us could imagine.
The following year we became roommates.
As spring break approached, I asked Victoria to consider traveling with us to Honduras as she squirmed uncomfortably in her seat. Not long after, we began writing her support letters as we worked through the challenges of every first-timer’s international mission trip.
I knew this was a tiny seed that would soon blossom. And it was absolutely humbling to watch.
“Those tan faces forever changed my tomorrow. Simply being in their presence was enough…because I knew that God was doing more in me then just using me to hand out rice to the hungry. He used the people in Honduras to show me life beyond myself and my selfish desires. It wasn’t the action of packing meals for the homeless that changed me forever—it was the joy in the smiles of the people who received it. Not one person was bitter. They were thankful. I longed to have their heart and their untarnished thankfulness. I saw in them what Jesus meant when He prayed for His kingdom to come. It was my friends and I simply smiling, and loving the people that Jesus calls His own.” —Victoria
When we returned to the states, Victoria and I spent hours upon hours sitting on the kitchen counters talking about the why’s and how’s of the beautiful brokenness Victoria had just experienced.
We laughed together, cried together, and waited expectantly as Jesus began showing us what it meant to love the unlovable—recklessly and abundantly.
And soon she knew.
I remember that day so clearly—I had just come back to the dorm where I found Victoria staring blankly ahead with the most fearfully excited smile on her face.
Jesus is calling me to Jamaica.
“I arrived on an island that I know God has called me to go to. But it seams unreal, because why me? I begged God actually to choose someone else. I pleaded and said, I’ll be a good person if you just let me stay in my comfort zone…Isn’t there so many other better options You could choose. I’m sure there are smarter people with more qualifications, more money, more energy, just someone better than me. These were all thoughts I had as I flew over the Atlantic Ocean. I thought, why does God want ME here? What could possibly be the reason He’d want me….
And when I finally got to the top of this mountain, I knew why.
Stepping out of your comfort zone and into God’s devine control is a very scary move. But faith is knowing it’s going to end in this unexplainable peace that surpasses all understanding. If God is asking you, feel blessed because you are in for a world of adventure and fulfillment.”—Victoria
What began as a seed soon blossomed. One step of faith to travel to Honduras led to a summer spent rocking babies in Jamaica. From there came another week of teaching, playing, and loving those familiar brown faces. And then the Lord asked one more thing…
“So I have submitted, I have said my yes with absolute assurance. I am moving to Montego Bay, Jamaica. I will live with, love, and teach these beautiful children. I will spend the next year of my life in the mountains of a place that already feels like home. Many days will drag on, and most nights I will miss home, but I have faith in knowing I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
My heart is content on that soil.
So I move boldly, knowing that the Man who can move mountains and raise the dead has asked me to simply love his beloved.”—Victoria
As the summer approaches and mission teams make their way through the airport lines and onto the rocky roads of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, our desire is that heart-change will take place. Mission trips aren’t meant to end when you return “home.”
Let them change you. Let Him lead you.
Victoria’s story of faith can surely testify to that.
Who is blogging?
Hannah Hamilton is the daughter of David and Ruth Hamilton, founders of Point of Impact. She first traveled to Honduras at 6 years old and has been passionate about advocating for the impoverished ever since. To read more from Hannah, click here.