Monday, December 3, 2007

Mission opportunities in Honduras

I have been working to build a partnership with the Presbytery of Honduras where several of our congregations already have intentional mission commitments. I have gathered here a list of opportunities which may be pursued by our congregations as mission opportunities in Honduras. For more information about the Presbytery of Honduras or any of these opportunities please contact me at the Presbytery office:

Habitat for Humanity:
Habitat for Humanity is well established throughout Honduras using the same model for new home construction which is familiar to us in the United States. Kathy Wells and I have met with the staff of Habitat in Honduras several times. Their staff is very eager to work with us and also make connections directly with the Presbytery of Honduras.
We are in the initial stages of planning a mission trip in support of Habitat for Humanity in June 2008.

Relations with the Presbytery of Honduras:
This is my primary purpose with our work in Honduras. I would like to create close personal and spiritual relationships between our Presbytery and the pastors and church leaders of the Presbytery of Honduras. My overarching goal in working with the Presbytery to Honduras is to create a partnership between our church leaders and their church leaders.

Tim and Gloria Wheeler:
The Wheelers are the only Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) full time mission coworkers in Honduras. The Wheelers are funded by our international mission program and work in cooperation with Heifer Project International. Beyond the traditional Heifer Project ministry, the Wheelers are expanding their ministry in other areas including housing, nutrition, and community development. The Wheelers hosted our October 2007 mission team for dinner in their Tegucigalpa home. Our Second Presbyterian Church in Carlisle has close relations with the Wheelers. (Please see the 2007 Mission Year book (page 59) for the essay by the Wheelers.)

Sunday School in Honduras:
During our October 2007 mission trip, the Presbytery of Honduras asked me to make a presentation to them concerning Sunday School and Christian education. I used this opportunity to discuss with them the nature and function of their Sunday Schools. Kathy Wells has written a report concerning what we learned about their Sunday Schools. (Ask me for a written copy of Kathy’s report). It is not uncommon for the Honduras Presbyterian Churches to have more children in Sunday school than adults in worship. We would like to develop ways to support these Sunday schools.

Presbyterian Medical Clinics:
The Presbytery of Honduras offers free medical clinics in all of their churches. The principle clinic is in the Pena de Horeb church and operates every week. The Presbytery of Honduras has hired a Honduran medical doctor, Dr. Moreno to lead these clinics. Our Christ Church in Camp Hill has now led two medical mission trips in cooperation with the Presbytery of Honduras. (Our Christ Church would be glad to provide orientation for any churches interested in leading medical clinics in Honduras.) These medical clinics in the Presbytery of Honduras are also supported by the Presbytery of Tampa Bay.
Our Gettysburg Church also has a very effective medical mission trip in Honduras for two weeks every June. Although not associated with the Presbytery of Honduras this is very effective medical mission work in cooperation with Cure International.

The Merienda program:
At the request of the Presbytery of Honduras, the Presbytery of Tampa Bay started a program to offer a nutritious breakfast program for all the children attending Sunday school each week. Donations of whole oats and evaporated milk are necessary to keep this program going.

High School scholarships:
High school in Honduras requires tuition, thus many youth cannot attend. The Presbytery of Honduras in cooperation with the Presbytery of Tampa Bay has created a scholarship program for Presbyterian high school students. The Presbytery of Honduras administers this program including the applications, disbursement of the funds, and the evaluation of the students. The Presbytery of Tampa Bay is seeking individuals and churches to help provide the funds to make education available to Presbyterian high school students in Honduras. One high school scholarship is $300.

A new church building for the Nacaome Presbyterian Church
The Rev. Gloria Huete is the pastor of the Nacaome Church. The congregation is meeting in a home which they must rent. A $5,000 gift from a Presbyterian in Tampa Bay has purchased the land in Nacaome for a new church. The Presbytery of Honduras has requested our Presbytery of Carlisle make a commitment to build a new church for this congregation. The cost of this building is $10,000. This is a vital project for the Presbytery of Honduras but will require significant preparation and planning for us to implement.
Our Market Square Presbyterian Church has had a connection with the mission organization Waterlines which provides access to drinking water in rural village around the world. We are working to connect a Waterlines project and the Presbytery of Honduras.

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) missionary
Given the generosity and strength of the mission work of the congregations within the Presbytery of Carlisle, is it time for us to ponder a bold goal? Should our Presbytery fund a new, international missionary position through our international mission program? If this new missionary was available and funded it may be possible for their position to be in partnership with the Presbytery of Honduras.

We are called to be a mission-shaped people in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.