Honduras Partnership 'on the rise'
By Greg Gelzennis
Alton Main Street UMC
The IGRC's Team Honduras 2015 is busy making final preparations for their June 21-28 trip to Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
The Conference has been sponsoring Mission Trips to Honduras annually since 2012 and has been working specifically in the capital city of Tegucigalpa on the new Mission HQ site.
“This is a massive project and is still going to take at least two to three more years to complete,” said team leader Greg Gelzennis. “The project will be a total of five floors counting the basement when it is finished."
At press time, the team has been notified that they will be working on the third floor during their upcoming trip. The new Mission HQ project, when completed, will allow the Mission to move out of the rented building that they are presently occupying. It is also going to provide a new worship space for the Tegucigalpa Central Congregation (now meeting on the completed lower level), provide needed housing for Mission Teams, training facility for the pastors and laity from the 18 church plants throughout the country, and badly needed storage for Mission vehicles and materials. Returning Team Member, Bridget Lewis (Wesley Foundation - SIUC & New Graduate) said, "I am so excited to see the progress at the site." Lewis added, "It was just a ditch and we had to move LOTS of heavy boulders when I was there in 2013."
The 2015 Team is made up of: Susan Burns, IGRC Staff; two SIUC Students - Kaitlyn Conrad and Bridget Lewis; three members from Peoria First UMC in Peoria - Pastor Adrian Garcia, Mark Waldon and John Mayfield; five members from Morton UMC - Pastor Lori Harvey, David Johnston, Alex Smith, Jennifer Dalton and Kassidy Hutchinson; Lisa Nordstrum from Bishop Hill, and Greg Gelzinnis from Alton Main Street UMC. Gelzinnis, Garcia, Lewis, Waldon, and Nordstrum are Honduras veterans, and the balance of the team will be going to Honduras for the first time.
In addition to their construction work on the new HQ, the team will also be providing VBS for the children of the Tegucigalpa Central Church and those from the surrounding community. Alex Smith from Morton UMC is coordinating the Team's VBS activities.
"This trip will include lots of firsts for me -- my first time out of the United States, my first time on a plane, and my first time to do VBS with children from another country," Smith said. "I am excited to see the ways kids are the same...and different."
Individual IGRC Churches also continue to be involved in the work of the Mission in Honduras. At this time, Alton Main Street UMC will be making their sixth trip to Honduras this June; Sullivan First UMC has an on-going partnership with the church in La Ceibita; Bloomington Wesley UMC has been working on the HQ project and doing Medical Missions in Tegucigalpa the last three years, and Fairview Heights Christ UMC continues to be involved with a church plant in the second largest city of Honduras, San Pedro Sula.
If you would like to be a part of the Honduras Mission, our next trip is scheduled for June 18-26, 2016. Scholarship opportunities do exist for those going to Honduras for the first time. Please contact Bunny Wolfe in the Conference Office or Greg Gelzinnis by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or cell phone at 618-550-9291. Greg would also be happy to discuss how your church could participate in the In Mission Together program with one of our 18 Mission Initiative Churches in Honduras...He will even come to YOU if that is helpful!
Thank you to the Conference for your continued support of the Honduras Mission and please continue to keep our Brothers and Sisters in Honduras in your prayers.