Honduras Partnership Begins Second Year of Ministry
PEORIA – The focus on the first year of the Honduras Partnership has been marked with working with them rather than doing mission for them and the results have been significant.
“It is our belief that this strategy will take us a long way toward development and sustainability, rather than relief and unhealthy dependency,” reported Honduras Partnership chair Greg Gelzennis.
Three churches – Fairview Heights Christ UMC , Sullivan First UMC and Alton Main Street UMC have pioneered the mission partnership, resultingin three new churches in the Central American country.
Fairview Heights Christ planted the partnership’s first “urban” church in San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in Honduras.The congregation has experienced explosive growth and are already deploying mission teams to other churches within the country.
Sullivan First UMC are In Mission Together partners with the church in La Ceibita and have assisted with the construction, medical and continue to support a community feeding center.
Alton Main Street UMC are IMT partners with the church in El Paraiso and have been in a relationship with the church since 2005. A team of 16 from Main Street will be departing June 15 to continue their work. Main Street is also a half-partner with Kechi UMC in Kechi, Kan., with in El Paraiso.
During the past year, a team of seven members from the IGRC went on a fact-finding trip to Honduras in August. The team worked on the new mission headquarter project and decided this three-to-five-year project, which will include a church sanctuary, parsonage, mission offices and training space, will be the main focus in the foreseeable future.
A second group of 11 from the Wesley Foundation at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; two college students from Godfrey; a graduating high school senior and a pastor and wife will be departing June 30 on the second trip, where they will work on the mission headquarters and will provide Vacation Bible School went on the second mission trip to Tegucigalpa, the capital city.
The partnership has two Facebook pages: IMT Honduras and IGRC Missions Journal. Teams will be forming as interest is generate. The third mission team will travel to Honduras June 21-29, 2014.