Community Health Evangelism Progress in Honduras
Our goal as missionaries is to serve God as ambassadors in helping restore broken relationships, which are often manifested in various forms of spiritual, physical, social, and emotional needs.
When we arrived in the city of Choluteca, Honduras, in 2000, we encountered a sense of depression in the region. Hurricane Mitch had devastated the area two years earlier. Many young people were still not attending school. Adults were still underemployed. People suffered from increased illnesses such as asthma. Houses were still in ruins. Substance addictions were widespread.
We praise God that a vibrant church is beginning to take hold. Much of our ministry investment has been based on the Community Health Evangelism model. CHE “seamlessly integrates evangelism and discipleship with disease prevention and community-based development. The work is wholistic, seeking to meet the whole need of individuals and communities through complete obedience to everything that Jesus commanded” (Global CHE Network).
Progress is not always as fast as we would like. In July 2012, five years after starting the CHE ministry, the Shalom Church finally held its first evangelistic service in the local soccer field. The service was a great success with 12 new converts. It was also the last sermon that Reinaldo, one of our Shalom pastors, preached before dying and going to be with the Lord. Reinaldo’s legacy in “7 de Mayo” was the beginning of a new discipleship group that developed with those who were converted. One of the most recent converts is Elvira, a midwife whom Angie had been teaching. We anticipate having a WGM work team help rebuild her house later this year.
Recently one of the women from the newly formed discipleship group had been in the hospital and was sent home with no prospects of recovery. Her family was called to her bedside to say goodbye. Some of our CHE team members were called in to pray for her. Since then, she has not only recovered, but she now plans to get married to her long-term partner and wants to be baptized so that she can better serve in the church.
We now have six CHE leaders from the Shalom Church working in the village throughout the week.
We are looking for ways to get involved with the men in the village. One of the greatest opportunities to reach the men is through agricultural projects. The Ohio State University is sending a team of engineering students to install a pilot aquaponics project in the community. Aquaponics combines the cultivation of plants (hydroponics) with the growing of fish (aquaculture). We hope that this will be the beginning of additional projects that will develop into small businesses as well as help develop social capital in the community. At the same time, we are excited to have the opportunity to share transforming community development ideas with university students from a secular university in the United States. We are grateful to be a part of the planting and watering process while God gives the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:7)
An aquaponics kit enables a family to raise fish and vegetables in a small backyard plot. That means substantially improved nutrition, extra income, and meaningful family time as parents and children work together. Christ performed miracles with fish on more than one occasion—and you can work a miracle with fish right now! Time to form your own CHE team! Gather your friends, neighbors, and family and share this article with them. Set a goal to raise $180, the cost of an aquaponics kit. Check donation should be made payable to World Gospel Mission with account #25492-CALL written in the memo line. Send your donation to: World Gospel Mission, P.O. Box 948 Marion, Indiana 46952-0948. All donors will receive a receipt from WGM with thank you for their support.