This past week our four pastors from the Presbyterian Church in Honduras went to Nicaragua for the first ever meeting of Presbyterian pastors from Central America. Israel (pastoral trainer), Jesús (Armenia Bonito), Donaldo (Eden) and Vincente (Danto) joined our Team Honduras missionaries (Mike T., Adam and Seth) and Presbyterian pastors, church leaders and missionaries from Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize.
For three full days these pastors and missionaries gathered at Piñas de Paz (Pineapples of Peace) a ministry center outside of Managua run by MTW missionaries Robbie and Murray Lathrop. Rich Ramsay, MTW missionary and author, lectured in Spanish during the periods of teaching.
In addition to the teaching their was plenty of time for organized prayer, fellowship and food. Each of the pastors were able to learn about the other churches and ministries and gained a more fraternal and regional perspective on pastoring a Presbyterian church in Central America.
Our four pastors and three missionaries from Team Honduras drove 17-hours by bus to get to Managua, Nicaragua from La Ceiba, Honduras. For two of our pastors (Vincente and Jesús) this was their first ever trip outside of Honduras.
The relationship building and quality teaching were amazing opportunities for our Honduran pastors. But, one of the best things that came from this experience was a greater understand and global perspective of what they are doing as pastors and leaders for the gospel of Christ.
In February Pastor Donaldo Morales became our fourth Presbyterian pastor in La Ceiba, Honduras. He began holding Bible studies, then church services out of the small front room in his already cramped home. The church quickly outgrew the tiny space.
With the help of short-term mission teams we have constructed a simple open-air church on the front of Donaldo’s home. With a raised floor and a slanted tin roof this structure will protect the congregation from the oppressive sun and flooding rain. Immediately the church will have enough space to more than triple in size. This simple structure provides an amazing blessing for the church and the community of Eden.
Our long-term and shot-term missionaries joined together with nationals to build this simple church structure. Pastor Donaldo smiled throughout the construction as he witnessed brothers and sisters uniting for God’s glory, regardless of skin color, language or nationality. Pastor Donaldo was given the honor of driving the final nail and the missionaries and nationals joined together to cover the new church in prayer and offer a blessing for the congregation.
Please be in prayer that pastor Donaldo and his congregation can glorify the Lord in their new church.
The Lord has given us a great burden and a wonderful opportunity to plant Honduran run churches. To date we have planted four Presbyterian churches in the city of La Ceiba. Our team is thrilled with the progress and are eager to plant more.
The first church we planted was in Armenia Bonito. Pastor Jesús runs this congregation. The church currently worships on the indoor soccer field located on our property. We are actively constructing a church building on the same property. This congregation has actively ministered to youth and especially with gang members.
Our church plant in the super-poor community of La Fe has been amazing. Pastor Ovidio has done a wonderful job. The church building is simply six thick tree branches sunk into the ground for support, a tin roof and a dirt floor. The little structure with borrowed power has been attracting large crowds.
Pastor Vincente has been leading our third church plant in the community of Danto. The church has been renting an old storefront, but will soon be moving to a simple rent-free wooden structure. The congregation is reaching out to younger kids in the community. They are offering a rare children’s Bible study.
Pastor Donaldo has been leading a small church out of his home in the community of Eden. Donaldo’s family is Garifuna (Carribean black) and they have been ministering heavily to that culture. The church has a very strong mercy and prayer ministry to the patients of the nearby public hospital.
Please be in prayer for these four churches and their pastors and for future church plants.
In Honduras theological famine is rampant. The average Honduran has 6.1 years of education, and that applies to the men preaching in the pulpits of churches. The theological education of many pastors stops in their youth. To combat this shortage of biblical training we are currently constructing a seminary in La Ceiba, Honduras. The floor is poured and many of the books are already purchased.
Over the years we have handed out thousands of theological books and tens of thousands of Bibles in Honduras. Pastors, church leaders and lay Christians snatch them up and consume them as fast as they can get their hands on them. Our team has hosted a dozen theological conferences and seen 80 people cram into a small room to hear quality teaching.
Many pastors teach bad theology from the pulpit only because that is all they know. We have seen, time and again, when we give a pastor a quality theology book he preaches from that book for weeks.
When our seminary is finished we will provide reformed theological training, not only to the church planting pastors associated with our Presbyterian Church in Honduras, but to pastors of all denominations. Our seminary library will be full of Piper, Sproul, Spurgeon and Warfield. Our classes will teach literal biblical grace-filled truth, not manmade, performance based theology.
We have been given a matching grant to finish construction on our seminary. If we raise $15,400 we will be given an additional $7,700 in matching funds. For every $2 you give we receive $3. That is a wonderful way to make your resources more impactful and to help us open this seminary. If you’d like to make a onetime, tax-deductible, online donation with your debit or credit card go HERE.
Please pray for this seminary and share this great blessing with your friends and family.
Monday Mike hosted the third meeting of all five of the pastors planting churches with our Presbyterian Church in Honduras. Our existing pastors, Israel (pastoral trainer), Jesús (Armenia Bonito), Olvidio (La Fe), Donaldo (Eden) and Vincente (Danto) all attended.
Israel started the two and a half hour meeting with prayer and a brief sharing of the Word. He talked about being citizens of Heaven and not residents of this world.
Mike talked about the importance of praying for each other and for their congregations. On the fly, Mike translated the article “9 Things You Should Know About Prayer in the Bible.” The pastors loved it and took notes to use for future sermons. Mike also talked about the role of the upcoming short-term mission teams and about our departure for furlough on June 28th.
Pastor Israel then brought up our very first controversial issue. He discussed creating an emergency pastors fund. Each of the five pastors would contribute $2.50 every six months and any of the pastors could use the money for a family medical emergency. The topic received heated debate and passed on a 4-1 vote (Mike participates in debate, but doesn’t vote). The exciting thing is, all five pastors then paid into the fund. The dissenting pastor didn’t refuse to pay or threaten to leave the denomination. It looks like the Presbyterian Church in Honduras passed its first test…dissension, respectful debate and then unity.
Please continue to pray for our pastors, their congregations and for Mike’s leadership of the group.