by Hanna Schrock

The Mosquito Coast of Honduras is along the coast of the Caribbean Sea


Doña Mariana kept track of each new baby born in her town so that she could guide the priest to their homes when he came to baptize. She thought this would secure them entrance into heaven. Once, when she sent for the priest, he sent a message back that he could not come because the last time he came they did not pay him enough. He did his job only for physical reward.

John Ruddock was a man willing to sacrifice himself for the cause of Christ. Born in Growell, Ireland, on December 17, 1897, and born again in September 1918, John Ruddock spent much time passing out tracts and joining in open-air meetings. Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, California, he saw the need for the Gospel among the Mexicans of that city. He began working with Mexican children in his spare time and hoped that one day he could serve the Lord in Mexico. Through his faithfulness to share the gospel with the Spanish-speaking people, he met his wife, who was also interested in Spanish-speaking people. John and Nettie Ruddock left Los Angeles for Guatemala in 1926. While there, they heard of a great need for the Gospel in Honduras.

Serving God in Los Angeles, Guatemala, and eventually Honduras was not without sacrifice. During their fifty-two years of trailblazing through Central America, sleeping conditions, bugs, housing, travel, and other encounters were not always ideal; but John and Nettie did not complain. They knew that reaching people for Christ would require sacrifice, and they did not go out expecting or seeking their own comfort. Though they encountered many difficulties, God always provided, and they chose to trust God to take care of their family. John chose to live like the people and to suffer what they suffer in order to reach them for Christ. He spent many days in Honduras traveling (by train, canoe, or on foot) to spread the good news of the Gospel. He spent hours with people sharing the Gospel of Christ, and his effort was not in vain. He did not suffer for his own profit, but to reach lost souls with the Gospel.

John speaks of one young man whose mission agency required him to baptize babies. When he could not agree and the mission could no longer provide his support, he decided to look for a job elsewhere rather than to stay in Honduras. He could not take the step of depending on the Lord for guidance and support.

What do you need to serve God? Do you need guarantees of how things will work out or that your needs will be provided? Do you need something to fall back on in case things don’t work, or do you trust God to provide and to lead? Are you willing to sacrifice for the cause of Christ to spread the gospel so souls can be saved? What if it’s not comfortable? What if there are uncertainties? Are you willing to follow God anywhere He leads you? To do anything He tells you? Oh, that more Christians were available and ready to suffer for the cause of Christ and to share the gospel with lost sinners!

Read the entire story in Lighting the Mosquito Coast by Barry Colman.