IGRC's Honduras Initiative: An invitation to serve...and learn
By Greg Gelzennis
The United Methodist Church has had a significant presence in Honduras following the devastation of Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Just imagine what would happen in your city, let alone a majority world country such as Honduras, if a hurricane came right over your community and stayed for a week. That is what happened to Honduras and there are still signs of Mitch to this day.
But the Honduran people are very hardworking and resilient and today, after 16 years of “relief” as we traditionally know it, the Honduran Mission is in place and overseeing the growth of 18 United Methodist church plants throughout the country...many in the true spirit of Wesley's Movement. At the 2012 Annual Conference, the IGRC selected Honduras as the Conference's second initiative and we now have the opportunity to serve with and learn from our brothers and sisters in Honduras.
2013 was a busy year for IGRC churches and VIM Teams from the Conference, but there is plenty of room for many more of you to get to experience this exciting Movement first hand:
- Fairview Heights Christ UMC has been working with one of the Mission's first “urban plants” in San Pedro Sula (the second largest city in Honduras);
- Alton Main Street UMC split time with the Mission Headquarters Project in Tegucigalpa and their In Mission Together Partnership Church in El Paraiso (a rural church near the Nicaragua Border) doing construction and Vacation Bible School;
- Sullivan First UMC has continued their work in the northern community of La Ceibita in the areas of medical missions, VBS, women's outreach, sewing and construction;
- Bloomington Wesley UMC actually had two teams – one spending time in Tegucigalpa (the capital city) providing medical services and the other providing construction on the Mission HQ site;
- Our second Conference Team worked this past year providing construction assistance on the Mission HQ site in Tegucigalpa and providing VBS for the children in the surrounding community. I also know that there were individual members from other IGRC churches that joined the aforementioned teams and provided wonderful assistance and support (increasing our IGRC reach in Honduras) and for that I am very grateful.
But, as I look out on the delegation floor at Annual Conference there are many more churches, individuals, and perspective teams who could share with us in the exciting work going on in Honduras...and in following the lessons learned in “When Helping Hurts” come away with skills and insights that we can use in our local churches back home and in our work with the poor or less advantaged people in our own communities...a WIN/WIN!!!!
If this sounds like something you have always wanted to do, or if the Holy Spirit is gently nudging you to answer a call to missions, then I hope you will prayerfully consider joining our 2015 IGRC Conference Team which will be going to Honduras June 21-28, 2015. We will be doing construction at the Mission HQ site in Tegucigalpa and providing vbs for the kids for sure, and based on the team's make-up, may answer God's call to do other types of ministry as well.
I am also pleased to announce that “at press time” our Third IGRC Honduras Mission Team is preparing to depart on Saturday, June 21. The Team is made up of Pastor Adrian Garcia, Victoria Garcia, Jose Garcia, Greg Gelzinnis, Juan Lara, Jr., Lisa Nordstrum, Mary Sievers, and Mark Waldron. This will be the first time that we have had so many members of the Hispanic Community join us and it will be delightful to see Honduras through their eyes. Several members of the team will be participating in their very first International Mission experience, so please keep us in your prayers.
For those of you who are Facebook users, please follow our upcoming trip on the IGRC Missions Journal Facebook Page
or the IMT Honduras Facebook Page
. I would also mention that if you are interested in finding out more about our IGRC Mission Initiative opportunities in Honduras, would like someone to visit your church to discuss Honduras Mission Opportunities, or if you are interested in joining us in 2015 please contact Greg Gelzinnis by e-mail
at I can promise you it will be a life-changing experience.
(Greg Gelzennis is the chair of the Honduras Partnership Committee for the IGRC)