When people talk about successful missionaries they talk about huge buildings or dozens of church plants or thousands of people impacted. Very seldom do we hear about ministries like our Puerta de Esperanza (PDE), or Door of Hope as it is called in English. Our PDE ministry does not touch thousands of people, but it is substantive and goes deep with a handful of people.
PDE invests in the lives of eight people at a time and alters their hearts. It is a messy relational ministry. It is hard and draining. But, we see great fruit from the work at PDE.
PDE is a home for single teenage moms. Four young girls and their babies live in the home. These girls are avoiding abuse, prostitution and the streets. They receive mentoring and discipleship. The girls get plugged into the local church and they participate in regular Bible studies. They receive help with job training or furthering their education. They learn about Christ and parenting and gain the skills they need to raise their babies.
Each day our missionaries Shannon and Jennifer work in conjunction with the two house moms to show the residents of PDE the true love and mercy of Jesus Christ. This is no surface level work. It involves tears and fights and attorneys and Social Services.
The work at PDE with the girls and their babies is hard, messy, painful and truly life altering. It is not a big sexy ministry that gets talked about at conferences. It touches a small number of people more deeply than any other work we have seen.
To watch a short video and to get to know the residents of PDE go HERE.
Last week we moved a new girl and her baby into Puerta de Esperanza (Door of Hope), our home for teenage moms and their babies here in La Cieba. Puerta de Esperanza (PDE) is run by our teammates Shannon and Jennifer and two Honduran ladies. PDE is now full with four girls and their four babies. These are teenagers who would otherwise be involved in abuse, prostitution or living on the streets.
Our new 16-year-old mom and her six-month-old baby previously lived in Armenia Bonito, where our family serves. She has been a frequent participant in our ministry activities over the years. The mother of the teenage mom has six children and makes only $25 a week and simply can’t afford to take care of these two.
Our new girl is very inexperienced and only has a first grade education. The other girls in the home are helping her in childrearing and the leaders of PDE are tutoring her to prepare her for the second grade.
Praise God for the blessings these two will receive.
For nearly five years our ministry in La Ceiba, Honduras has been serving the people and glorifying the Lord. This is a team that the Lord has handpicked and put together for his glory. Here is a quick introduction of God’s servants…if you don’t know them already…from right to left along the bottom:
Kate DeFuniak runs our StreetChild ministry. Lyssa Melonakos is an intern who works in the community of La Fe. Erin Pettengill is our resident nurse and runs a medical clinic in Armenia Bonito. Mike Pettengill is our Team Leader. James Bryars is an intern working in Armenia Bonito. Jennifer Derrick is an intern working in Puerta de Esperanza. Mike Troxell and Ashley Troxell are church planters working in the community of La Fe. Lesther Ordoñez recently joined Team Honduras when he married Shannon Innes de Ordoñez who runs Puerta de Esperanza. Mandy Marcone is an intern who works with the StreetKids. Kathy Clow runs our scholarship program and coordinates our short-term teams and John Clow manages all of our construction needs. And, of course, all the kids across the top.
Our team loves and fights and appreciates and supports each other like a biological family. God has been good to all of us by brining together our team.
Erin and our teammate Jennifer hosted our weekly Kids Club on Tuesday. The Kids Club has been having massive attendance for several attendance. So we had to make a change. For the second week in a row Erin has divided the kids into two age appropriate groups.
From 1:00pm to 2:30pm they host the 10 year old and under Kids Club. And, from 3:00pm to 4:30pm they host the 11 year old and over Kids Club. This new age division has turned out to be a very positive change for the ministry. The 90+ kids that had been previously attending had become too large and unruly of a group. In addition, the two new age appropriate classes now allow Erin and Jennifer to teach each class in a way more suited for each age.
The younger kids are now getting taught at a level they can better comprehend and the older kids are receiving a more youth group-like environment. The pastor of our new church plant, Jesús Caseres, has been helping at both Kids Clubs and has been praying and preaching with the kids. These kids are getting a healthy dose of Scripture and lots of quality biblical instruction.
Please be in regular prayer for the kids of Armenia Bonito and for our new Kids Club format.
Our StreetChild drop-in center opened for business…sort of. Kate and Hector are our two teammates who work with the homeless kids of La Ceiba. Daily they interact with the kids in the middle of the streets, usually from the back of Kate’s truck. On the property of our downtown ministry center we are constructing a permanent drop-in center where these kids will get a shower, new clothes, learn about the bible, get a good nights sleep and be safe. That building is not yet complete, but this past week we opened up our completed dorm facility (on the same property) to the homeless kids and Kate, Hector and our intern Jennifer hosted the kids there.
Three day last week the kids got hot meals, played games, learned structure and heard the gospel. Hector, our Honduran teammate working with StreetKids, used to live on the streets himself. He was pulled off the streets and came to Christ within The Micah Project, a ministry to street boys in the city of Tegucigalpa. Many of the kids and the leaders of The Micah Project made the long bus trip to La Ceiba and were here for the opening of our drop-in center. They came to visit and share with our La Ceiba boys. It was a wonderful time of testimonies, singing, soccer and games. The La Ceiba boys were able to see that there is hope in Christ, and that they can hope for a better future.
Our dorm building will work as a great temporary location. We can’t wait until our drop-in center is complete and we have a permanent facility to serve these kids. But, until then these homeless kids are receiving the love and mercy of Christ.