On Sunday our mission team and our five national pastors hosted a one-day marriage conference outside of La Ceiba, Honduras.
The focus of the conference was John Piper’s book This Momentary Marriage (Pacto Matrimonial in Spanish). Our five pastors and two missionaries (Adam and Mike T.) each taught from a chapter of the book. Each person attending the conference received a free copy of the book to take home and share with their family, friends and church. The books were provided to our ministry by the International Outreach program of The Gospel Coalition (TGC). This amazing TGC ministry translates quality reformed theology and provides books free to ministries all over the world.
The event was hosted at our indoor soccer field in our ministry center in Armenia Bonito. Participants of the conference came from throughout La Ceiba and included congregants from all four of our Presbyterian church plants.
This type of rich, deep theological instruction is so very rare in Honduras. The literacy and education levels are low and few Spanish language theology books are available to the congregants of our Honduran Presbyterian churches. We in the US take for granted we have books easily deliverable to our home and conferences and seminars in our home towns. Many of the participants of this conference had never attended a theological conference like this.
Marriages, even in the Honduran churches, suffer and there is a high rate of separation and poor understanding of Biblical mandates for marriage. This conference was a wonderful blessing and an incredible resource that will bare fruit throughout this theologically starving culture.
Saturday was a very busy day for our family and mission team. We concluded our three-day theological conference on marriage and we picked up our first short-term mission team of the summer.
The final day of our Marriage conference was a great success. The participants received several quality lectures from our speaker Roger Dye. At the end of the day Roger challenged them to self-evaluation and reflection and encouraged the participants to work on their own marriage and to guide others in their churches to do the same. We concluded with a wonderful ceremony to present the participants with completion certificates. This, our third theological conference in La Ceiba, was a wonderful opportunity to provide theological training for people who seldom receive any.
Late in the evening we received our first short-term mission team of the summer. This will be our first of 10 mission teams in 12 weeks. This team from Faith Presbyterian Church in Ballentine, SC comes complete with 12 eager participants. Sunday, their first full day, will be a full one. They will go through child abuse training, take a tour of La Ceiba, receive orientation and attend two church services. Welcome to Honduras!
On Thursday we successfully began our three-day theological conference for the Pastors and church leaders of La Ceiba. Our speaker, Roger Dye, began a wonderful series on the topic of Marriage. This is a popular topic in Honduran churches as many marriages are common law and even more end in divorce. Many Pastors have a sixth grade education. This type of theological training is rare and valued. On Friday the conference will continue with great lectures, worship music, small groups, free theology books and prayer.
Also on Thursday, we picked up Amy from the airport. Amy is our third and final summer intern. Josh, Jamie and Amy will serve with us for the next two months. Friday morning we will have an intern orientation and organizational meeting. These three will be a great blessing as Saturday begins our summer short-term mission season…10 teams in 12 weeks.
We are putting on a three-day conference on “Marriage and the Christian Life”. The event starts Thursday and concludes on Saturday. Through this conference we are trying to provide theological training for the Pastors and leaders of all the churches in La Ceiba. This is the third theological conference we have hosted in Honduras.
We have discovered that most of the churches in La Ceiba are lead by people who frequently have less then a sixth grade education. They do the best with what they have, but often lack a deep understanding of theology.
This three-day conference will cost each person $2.50 for quality Spanish instruction, handouts and food. As our speaker we have brought in Roger Dye, a missionary in Chile. Roger is fluent in Spanish and holds an MA and M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary. In Chile Roger preaches, teaches seminary, encourages and trains local pastors.
On Tuesday Mike picked up Roger at the airport. We are privileged to have him staying in our home until Monday.
On Wednesday and Thursday Mike spent most of each day driving around La Ceiba with several boys from Armenia Bonito. They were handing out hundreds of flyers for three events we have coming up.
First, Mike and the boys handed out nearly a thousand flyers in the communities of Sambo Creek and Armenia Bonito. They were advertising the two clinics we are hosting in those two communities on Friday and Saturday. The 20+ medical professionals currently attending our medical conference will be working at these clinics and will hopefully be able to treat hundreds of people at these clinics. These doctors and nurses will be implementing techniques they have learned at the conference.
Next, Mike and the boys personally delivered invitations to nearly 70 churches. The invitations were for the theological conference we are hosting May 27-29. We are inviting local church Pastors and leaders to attend our theological conference on the topic of marriage.
There is no widespread access to internet, a phone list or mailing addresses to get this information out. To get the word out for these events it must be done by hand.