Category Archives: Honduras

2016 Year In Review

2016 has to be one of our most difficult and emotionally trying years for the Pettengill family. There were so many changes and difficult times and moving from our home in Honduras to Africa thinned out our support group and made communication difficult.

Here are some of the highlights from 2016:

We concluded our Honduras farewell tour with friends and teammates. Erin spent the month in Belgium training new MTW missionaries.

After 7 1/2 years of living in La Ceiba, Honduras we said goodbye. We attended Orality training and Leadership training with MTW. We visited churches in AL and PA.

Erin’s Dad unexpectedly passed away. We visited churches in PA and GA. We attended Coaching training and helped train new missionaries. We departed for Equatorial Guinea.

We started setting up our new home and began meeting with fellow missionaries. We began addressing our water needs and started exploring our new home town.

Erin and Mike began taking Fang language lessons. Our daughter, Maddy came to spend the summer with us. We helped to host a visiting professor at our seminary.

Our only missionary teammates left to the US for furlough. We helped organize the seminary graduation. Our family took a four-day ministry visit to Nsork. Mike’s first book was published.

Our family took a four-day ministry visit to Cogo. Mike started supervising construction projects around the seminary.

Our family took a three-day ministry visit to Malabo. Erin went back to the US for some medical issues and visited a church in SC.

Mike began preaching at chapel three times a week and started teaching two biblical English classes at our seminary. We hosted a visiting professor at our seminary.

Following four-months of visiting a different church each week we selected an African church home. Erin began hosting medical clinics at local churches.

Erin treated 200 kids at an elementary school clinic. Erin taught on AIDS at a local Christian conference. Mike taught Church History II at our seminary. Mike taught on missions at a local Christian conference.

Erin taught “AIDS and the Response of the Church” at our seminary in Malabo. Mike taught a class on the Book of Acts at our seminary in Malabo. Erin continued hosting regular medical clinics at local churches.

Honest Update On Our Little Family

img-20161004-wa0001In the past year God has placed a few thorns in our family’s side. Unlike, Paul, we shouted, “Ouch. Stop it God. No, take it away.” God, in his perfect wisdom, has pushed and pushed and always has been there waiting to receive us when we are ready to trust him. Some of the thorns were obviously hard, and other bits surprised us with their sting.

In the past year Maddy has had the rollercoaster ride of learning how to deal with some speedbumps. Her struggles have been hard on all of us, mostly on her. But, while our beautiful blue college junior has not left her problems behind, she has developed the skills to subdue them and learned how to trust herself and Christ. Her GPA has earned her academic scholarships, she is owning her Christian faith and politics and honestly becoming a pretty amazing adult. Her art is reaching new levels, she has great friends and she even communicates daily with her parents. It has been a hard 18 months, but we couldn’t ask for more in a daughter.

wp_20160912_023Erin and Mike followed God’s leading away from Central America to Central Africa. We underestimated how hard it was going to be on us to say goodbye to the home and friends and ministry we had created in the previous 8 1/2 year. When we arrived in Honduras in 2008 it was just the three of us. With the help of dozens of amazing teammates, dozens of nationals and thousands of stateside partners God used us to create something amazing that was truly part of our souls. It was hard to say goodbye, it was just as hard to say hello to a new culture and a new ministry in Africa. The language, culture, food, government, etc. are very different here and that has been hard to adjust to.

wp_20161012_003In March Erin’s father unexpectedly died less than a month before we left for Africa. Her mom died three years earlier and the loss of her second parent hit her hard. The death made everything around us harder to adjust to.

Erin experienced two unforeseen health issues in the past eight months that caused some stress and required her to return to the U.S. for a few medical procedures. It is almost all over, but it added to the anxiety.

While we have been very busy and active during our nearly seven months in Africa, it almost feels like we are just now hitting our stride. Our only missionary teammates left for the U.S. two months after our arrival, so much of our learning has been on our own. We spent much of the first few months setting up our home, doing language learning, taking exploratory trips and studying and translating for our seminary classes. The seminary started the fall semester six weeks ago and we are busy teaching classes, preaching, hosting medical clinics, doing admin work for the seminary and more.

Death, drama, trauma, sickness, culture shock, saying goodbye, saying hello, and distance are all hard things. But, being all rolled into one 12-month period is a lot to handle. We are starting to breath and are getting closer to “normal” and hitting our stride. We aren’t quite 100% emotionally and spiritually and we could use your love, prayer and support.

Nine Years Of Being Missionaries

Utah1August 27th is the official nine-year anniversary of our family arriving on the mission field. August 27, 2007 we left Sacramento, CA (our home for 20 years) and moved to San Jose, Costa Rica.

After a year of studying Spanish in Costa Rica we moved to La Ceiba, Honduras and started a new ministry site for MTW. Following 7 1/2 years in Honduras we moved to Equatorial Guinea, to again start a new work for MTW.

WP_20160722_003It has been nine years of fulltime ministry service. We lived in three countries, on two continents. We are thrilled God is allowing us to be part of his great design to reach the lost.

Thank you to all those who have answered God’s call to partner with us through prayer and financial support. Thanks to all our missionary teammates for laboring alongside us. Thanks to our family and friends for tolerating our absence at weddings and birthdays. Thanks to our daughter for growing up in such a different way.

We look forward to laboring alongside all of you here in Central Africa.

7 1/2 Years In Honduras Comes To A Close

On Monday Erin and Mike left Hondruas for likely the final time. We flew from San Pedro Sula to Atlanta. We will spend the next seven-weeks on the East Coast (of the US), before we depart for Equatorial Guinea on March 30th.

treeOur family launched a new ministry for MTW in La Ceiba, Honduras over 7 1/2 years ago. When the three of us arrived in Honduras on June 25, 2008 there was nobody to greet us at the airport, and there was no fanfare. We didn’t know where we were going to live, nor where we were going to minister.

Seven and a half years later we left behind a thriving ministry of 14 adult missionaries ministering alongside dozens of Hondurans in two cities. While Mike was the Team Leader of Team Honduras our ministry launched four churches, a high school, a seminary, a medical clinic, a home for single teenage moms and a ministry to homeless children. In our 7 1/2 years in Honduras Mike interviewed, hired and trained over 35 missionaries. During the same period, Erin (an R.N.) treated over 10,000 patients. In our time in Honduras our team hosted 85 short-term mission teams consisting of 860 short-term missionaries from over 40 different churches. We left the ministry in the capable hands of John Clow and Aaron Halbert and the rest of Team Honduras.

Edited_ImageEasyImageEditor_20151225_65On February 8th, 2016 we departed Honduras 2,785 days after we arrived. We left the same way we arrived, with no fanfare, exactly like we wanted. It is our prayer that in the past 7 1/2 years God was glorified in Honduras and that we showed the grace and mercy of Christ to many. Praise God for the opportunity he gave us to serve in Honduras.

Final Construction Update From Honduras

Edited_ImageEasyImageEditor_20160128_83Construction on the theological seminary in La Ceiba is moving along quite rapidly. It has been amazing to watch. The seminary will occupy the second floor of the downtown ministry center above the clinic, kitchen, dinning hall and the Peter Project (streetkids ministry).

In 2012 we started collecting Spanish language theology books to create a seminary library. Back in April of 2014 we poured the floor of our seminary building in downtown La Ceiba. In August of 2014 Seth (our seminary coordinator) and his family arrived in Honduras. In Edited_ImageEasyImageEditor_20160128_82March of 2015 our seminary opened for business and began teaching classes in a temporary location. This progress is great to see, but we are sad we will be leaving before everything is finished.

When the seminary is done it will have a computer lab, library, classrooms, an office and more. Currently the seminary is meeting downstairs in the dinning hall. Upper and lower level classes are being taught each week.

Edited_ImageEasyImageEditor_20160128_81This will be the only fulltime seminary in the city of La Ceiba. MTW’s church planters and church leaders will attend, but the seminary will be open to all. Imagine, pastors from all denominations learning sound, biblical, Christ-based, grace-centered theology and taking back to their congregations.

Please continue to be in prayer for additional funding and for the health and safety of our workers.