Next Saturday, March 25th, 15 team members will leave for Honduras to minister alongside World Gospel Outreach (wgoreach.org). The team will return one week later, arriving in Columbia after midnight March 31st.
Dan Carmichael, a returning team member, is serving as Team Leader for the first time this year. He will be supported in leadership by several returning team members including Sarah Kohnle who served as Team Leader on several previous trips. Two team members are going to Honduras ahead of schedule to extend their time in-country.
Although Honduras is a dangerous and corrupt place, there has never been a violent incident with any of the teams. Our hosts make sure the North American teams stick together and armed guards watch over us while we serve. Most times, the peace of God flows over the people standing in line and everyone is patient.
Please pray for:
- continued peace
- healthy bodies
- safe surroundings
- the ability to reach and minister for Christ.
- 15 person team
- 11 from The Crossing
- 4 from Montgomery City
- 8 women going and 7 men.
- Oldest man: 65 years old
- Oldest woman: 58 years old
- Youngest man: 20 years old
- Youngest woman: 19 years old
- 3 married couples
- One couple is in their 40s
- One couple is in their 30s
- One couple is in their 20s.
The 2017 team will be participating in all the same ministry activities as previous teams. Below is a description excerpted from last year’s ESI post:
The Honduras Team will be serving in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, a city of about a million people. We will join World Gospel Outreach and it’s partners, made up of local churches. We will provide services in neighborhoods across the city. Local people will walk for hours to stand in line for help from our team. We will serve with two churches during our week to provide medical, dental, optical, children’s ministry and evangelism. We will also put in concrete floors for church members. WGO (wgoreach.org) has been headquartered in Tegucigalpa for more than 30 years and has a great network with local pastors to provide on-going care and discipleship. We will stay overnight up in the mountains in a secure compound. Each morning, we will board WGO’s bus to drive down to the city to our sites of service.
Details of Ministry Activities:
Honduras is (or was) the murder capital of the world and is a very poor country. Many of the people live with the constant threat of violence and death. As Christians, we carry the message of hope in something (someone) bigger. We realize we can’t meet all their needs, but we want to assure them of someone who can, and who will, even if it’s not during their time on earth.
Many of our most-special moments have been when we sit down to pray with the patients and hear their stories of faith and hope.
When we serve on brigades, we work with Honduran dentists and doctors to provide care. For many patients, it is the chance to get safe and free medical attention. We will be distributing medications and supplies, many of them donated by our friends at the Crossing.
Optical is a true delight because we bring recycled eye glasses with us and can provide the gift of sight. It is incredible to see someone, young and old, put on a pair of glasses for the first time. For children, it may mean the difference between succeeding in school or surviving on the streets. For older people, such as a woman who supported her family and grandchildren as a seamstress, glasses meant that she could work without headaches and continue providing for her family. In addition, thanks to another ministry link, we are able to refer and pay for patients to have cataract surgery where they are able to have a safe procedure.
During children’s ministry we share God’s word and a bunch of love. The children get inspected and treated for head lice and our team and Honduran colleagues wash and style their hair, and tell the gospel story through stories and song. So much of what we will be doing is acting as the hands & feet of Christ.
Special Challenges and Opportunities:
We’ve learned about the impact of gangs and the drug cartels. Each year, our team has ministered to gang members. There is a great respect for the church in the gang culture, and the only way people can leave a gang is either through death or by becoming a Christian. However, the gangs watch closely to make sure someone who says he is a Christian, really is. A slight misstep can mean death. Perhaps we have been able to plant the seeds to help someone flee the gang lifestyle.
Planting seeds is really what the mission is about. We are sharing the gospel, maybe for the first time to some people. Others might have heard something before. Our job is not to convert people – that is up to God. But we can plant the seeds so they are ready to accept Christ when it’s time.
More about WGO:
WGO has a saying, “come for a week and be changed for a lifetime.” Part of the mission of teams is the impact serving has on the North American believer. What are we going to do to alleviate poverty and suffering when we return to the States? How can we make a bigger impact in our world? Can we be more open in sharing about Christ with our friends and family? We closely follow such books as, “When Helping Hurts,” to make sure our time in Honduras is helpful, and not a hindrance. WGO has a fine model for short-term missions because it ties them into the greater mission of the organization and their local partner churches.
Another component of WGO is its family-style ranch for abandoned and unwanted children.
The goal is:
- to take children off the street
- nurture them in a loving Christian environment
- provide bilingual education
- help them enter life as young adults.
The goal is to change Honduras from within by creating upstanding young citizens. The change for the country needs to come from within. At the coffee ranch, abused children learn how to be a part of a functional family and society. WGO is always looking for people and teachers to serve at the ranch. They have also started a sponsorship program, much like Compassion International, where people can help support these children.
- Amy Grus, former team member and current Supply Drive Coordinator and stateside prayer warrior for the team.
- Dan Carmichael, 2017 Team Leader
- Sarah Kohnle, 2016 Team Leader
Photos: courtesy of Amy Grus and Sarah Kohnle