Preparation for the 2018 Pastors' Conference in Danli, Honduras began at the close of the 2017 conference. The vision of supplying every pastor with an E-reader tablet was cast and prayer and planning began in earnest.
During the 2017 Faith Promise Missions Conference, just over $25,000 was pledged toward the conference and purchase of the tablets. An attendance of over 200 pastors was estimated, therefore at least 200 tablets were required to meet the need.
Our goal was to find tablets that would allow pastors access to large amounts of reference materials for Bible study as well as the ability to prepare sermons and lessons.
In addition to E-reader tablets, once again, whole Bibles, New Testaments and full-color tracts were to be provided to the pastors for their ministries and outreach programs.
22 participants signed up for the trip to Honduras. We praise the Lord for the Spanish ministry of Faith Baptist Church and the willingness of Spanish speakers to join the team. Their participation allows for greater outreach opportunities in the schools and communities in and around Danli.
The team was also excited for the opportunity to join in the celebrating of the first-year anniversary of the church they helped to start in Paradise, Honduras during the 2017 Pastors' Conference.
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:”
Strikes did continue, but in spite of protests and blockades, 194 pastors have arrived; of those, 43 were from Nicaragua and 40 were from El Salvador. Some traveled all night to be there, and many are still traveling and will hopefully arrive early Tuesday morning (these include Mrs. Lane and the group from La Esperanza). The prayer all along has been that the right number of pastors would attend.
The team arrived at the church by 8:30 Monday morning and began setting up. They brought with them the luggage containing gift Bibles Pastor Smith plans to give to officials, the workbooks, and children’s materials. The biggest and heaviest of the luggage were the three tech cases.
There are two auditoriums- the main church auditorium and a second in the educational building. Most of the set-up had to wait until the rental tables and chairs arrived. This allowed the outreach team to use the second auditorium to practice their songs and skits in Spanish, while in the main auditorium the technology set-up began, including preparation for lessons using the projector and cameras.
Also due to the strikes, the outreach team was not able to get into the schools. But, this proved to be a blessing because the outreach team was available to help with setting up the tablets.
There was an issue with the projector, an essential tool for training the pastors. Thankfully, the team was able to troubleshoot the problem with the assistance of Bro. Jordan, who is familiar with the system there and was a real help.
The wireless network, engineered by Bro. Jeff, was set up and working well. This will allow the pastors access to the internet while they learn to use their tablets.
When the tables and chairs arrived, some of the local men pitched in with the team to set up the auditoriums, then the outreach team helped set up the tablets. Only 5 of the 210 tablets arrived damaged in shipping, which was less than expected considering the distance they have traveled!
The challenge for the teaching team is introducing the new technology to pastors who are not familiar with any of this, and then convincing them to use it in their ministries; no one has ever tried this before! Most of what is being done has been developed by our own tech team at Faith. If it works as hoped, the tablets will provide these men with tools they have never had access to before, and will allow them to reach even more souls for Christ. The team’s earnest prayers are for clarity in their presentation and understanding on the pastors’ part.
The team was made aware of a family of children living on their own since their mother had taken her life. Their home is in disrepair; they don’t have a kitchen or even a front door. When it rains, water leaks in and floods the house. They have no one to help them. Pastor Smith and the team were moved with compassion to do something for this family. A construction team consisting of Bro. Mike, Bro. Adrian, and Bro. Schuyler, along with an electrician from the church there, volunteered to start the project. They will begin work Tuesday morning. The estimated cost is $3000 for materials plus labor. Families from Faith have already begun giving to pay for the project. This is an opportunity to impact the entire community by showing the genuine concern and love of Christ for even the least of these.
After the evening meal, the opening service began. Pastor Smith showed pictures from Faith Baptist and previous missions trips and projects. Bro. Jackson then shared what Is happening there at Bethlehem Baptist, and their vision for the future. Bro. Tate preached a great opening message; it was a challenge to the pastors, and they were very convicted. God’s working from the start of this conference is evident.
It was a busy day, and everyone returned to the hotel tired, but their team meeting was inspiring. Several team members gave moving testimonies of the day’s events, then Pastor Smith shared with the team the construction project to begin on Tuesday.
The strike is still in effect and pastors are still making their way to the conference, hoping to arrive on Tuesday.
The team appreciates all of the prayers of those at home and are truly aware of them.
Friday - The team will get up early and load the bus and head for the airport in Tegucigalpa. They will travel all day and be home in Seattle that night.
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