In 1994, the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church launched The Honduras Initiative. Today, the United Methodist Church in Honduras has 12 vital congregations and many others under development. Knowing that God continues to ask each of us to move beyond our comfort zones and to walk our faith journey alongside Christian brothers and sisters in other cultures, the Illinois Great Rivers Conference launched a mission partnership with the United Methodist Church in Honduras in August 2012.
Bloomington Wesley UMC is one of many churches in the conference who are supporting this partnership. Wesley has sent a construction team every year since 2013 and has also sent medical teams to aid in this effort. While in Tegucigalpa last summer, team members spoke with Thomas Brooks, the director of the Conference Headquarters, and learned that fewer teams have been involved in recent years and they were concerned about raising the funds needed to complete the construction of the church and headquarters. That discussion led the team to consider new ways of raising money to ensure the project stayed on course. One of the team members came up with an idea to reach out to his vocal quartet and present a fundraising concert to support the effort with the hope of raising $6,000 to $7,000.
The concert was set for Sunday, Nov. 18, and Wesley’s own “Missions Call” quartet began rehearsals in preparation for the big event. This energetic concert had toes tapping and the sanctuary was filled with the soulful sounds of Southern Gospel. After sharing about the construction project and showing pictures of the various Wesley teams in action, as well as a video prepared by the team in Honduras, the results far exceeded the goal. Because of the support of their members, friends, and sponsors, over $17,000 was raised that evening to continue the construction effort in Honduras! Wesley would like to send a big THANK YOU to everyone who gave financially, donated their time and talents, or attended this exciting event.
While the concert was hugely successful, the story doesn’t end there. After sharing their good news with a few posts and videos on social media, one of the members of the quartet was contacted by a member of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas, who also regularly sends construction teams to Tegucigalpa. Sheree Reece, the Caribbean and Latin American Program Director at Adam Hamilton’s church, was inspired by the results of the concert and requested a portion of their Christmas Eve offering be allocated toward a matching contribution for the project. She wrote, “Every year, the entire UM Church of the Resurrection Christmas Eve offering goes toward initiatives outside the walls of our church, both in Kansas City and around the world. This year, part of the offering will go toward matching donations for the Honduras Mission Headquarters building in Tegucigalpa. We are excited to match the incredible amount of money raised through the concert held at Wesley United Methodist Church.”
So, in the end, what started as a casual, late night discussion in Honduras brainstorming ideas to raise more money, ended up adding over $34,000 to the construction fund. Our God is an amazing provider!
The next construction trip for Wesley UMC to Honduras is set for June 15-23, 2019, and its construction team could not be more excited to return. If you would like to learn more about this mission, make a donation or volunteer to help, please contact Keith Smith at 309-242-4318 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wesley UMC would like to encourage all congregations in our district to continue to support their own mission efforts, whether big or small, local or abroad… and see the amazing ways in which God works through us to help others.
By Kendra Bull
Bloomington Wesley UMC