Let us introduce a family that is part of our ministry team. Antonio and Merlen Amaya Zeron and their two sons live in a room next to a church in Armenta (a poor mountain community). They have been helping our ministry and we have been blessed by their friendship and strong Christian values. Although they have almost nothing, their desire is to serve the Lord and to reach out to others with the Gospel.
This family has a strong testimony of how God can change lives.
They had lived together without marriage for 6 years and neither of them comes from a Christian family. Their families live hours away and they came to San Pedro Sula not that long ago (probably seeking work as many families do). They said they lived a different life before Christ and are so glad that God could change them.
When the Tony and Merlen accepted Christ as Savior things changed for them immediately. Tony is now the music director at their church – but before he became a Christian he didn’t know anything about music. Nothing! He said within 6 months he had learned to play the piano and guitar and he knows God gave him the gift of music. We knew Merlen was special the first time we met her. Talking to her you can immediately see the light that shines in her. She brightens a room and is a great encourager to us and to others she meets. They are a very close family and their sons are usually with them where ever they go.
They are hard workers but there is not a lot of work here for people right now. Tony goes out and works any day he can and does all he can to provide for his family. They have helped not only in our ministry but also at our home. Tony brought a team to install security at our new rental home here. We got prices that were much higher from others but he said Christians help each other… so him and some friends from church earned money and saved us on the work – plus they did a great job!
God had placed it on our hearts to help these boys return to school. Because of many factors here in Honduras, most public schools are closed and have been for a few months. Without school these boys have little opportunity for their future. Most of the school years are from February through November and we wanted them to be able to return and complete this year.
Cristian Esau Amaya Zeron – birthday March 12, 1997 is in his last year of elementary school and wants to be able to complete this year and go on to high school. His younger brother Cristofer Leondro Amaya Zeron – birthday April 14, 1998 is very excited about returning to school, especially a Christian school that is bi-lingual.
After finding out the cost of school, supplies and uniforms we sent out a request for help and immediately got a response. We received enough to pay for the first two months of tuition plus the supplies and uniforms. Now all we need is for others to help by donating enough to cover two more months for this school year and then commit to helping in future years. The cost per child is $ 32 per month (10 months of the year). If several families help the cost will be minimal per family. Since they will need new supplies again when next February’s semester begins plus the registration fee (they did not charge it this time) we’d like to get some commitments now. We think a total of $ 800 for the year will cover their costs. If you divide that by 12 months it is only $ 67 per month. We need a few families to help – reducing the amount per family. We personally will help with part of the cost out of our personal funds.
We know this will help create strong Christian men.. something that is needed here in Honduras as well as everywhere else. Can you help this family? Please contact us if you need any more information.
Ok, so we haven’t written a blog in 2 months again. We always mean to but our schedule is very busy and when we have time there seems to be too much to write. Sorry, because we really do want to keep all of you informed about the growth, changes and news of our mission.
In February we had three visitors with us. Jerry & Jeremy who have both been with us many times and Alycia who found out about our mission from a group that sends individuals and/or groups down to assist, encourage and be a part of foreign missions.
As always, Jerry and Jeremy helped do many repairs in the building and blessed us in so many ways. They were here with us for a week and we can hardly wait for their return. Those two men are both an important part of our mission team.
Alycia was with us for two weeks and she was able to see most of what we do. We did a lot while she was here. We went to Casita, Casa Hogar Luz & Amor y Vida orphanages. We also visited the prison church service twice and worshiped in a several churches here. Unfortunately we were not able to visit any of the bordos (squatter villages) that make up about half the population of this city, nor were we able to go outside the city so that she could have a better idea what Honduras is really like. She did get to go on a youth outing up into the mountains above our house for a worship service and she also helped during each of our ministry days at Santuario while she was here. Thanks to all our visitors for their help and encouragement.
Our ministry continues to grow! We knew about 6 weeks ago that we would soon be seeing one hundred at Santuario… well, on Thursday March 26th we had our first over 100 day. We think there were 102 there and although we really needed to have a bit more food, everyone received a plate of food and we had many there to help with our worship service and a strong message was preached. We are seeing many new faces each ministry day and more and more women are coming. Each day many people come forward for prayer and we have taken some to Ministria Vida (a rehabilitation center).
We also were blessed to find out some good news about one of the women. We had been a bit discouraged because we never see any lasting changes in the women we minister to – although we know we are planting seeds and don’t have to see the fruit of our labor, it would be nice to know that we are helping some of them.
One woman we often pray for is Nancy. (see archives) After using drugs for 23 of her 30 years she had left the street and was at Ministria Vida for 5 months but returned to the street about 14 months ago. We knew she was living outside San Pedro Sula and had seen her twice but thought she had returned to her old life. Well, praise God, she is doing good. Guess God knew that we needed to know about her and the progress she has made. She is living clean, witnessing to other women and living a real life. She was almost as thrilled to see us as we were to see her. What a blessing to know one of our “girls” can now reach out to others for Christ. We have plans to get together with her another day and we’ll get a new photo of her when we do.
We have a few teams scheduled to come this year. We are hoping to schedule more and encourage you to contact us if you are interested in coming for a week or longer. We know it will bless your life as you bless the lives of others. We’ll also be visiting Georgia the first 2 weeks of June. Hope to see all of you in the GA area then. Please let us know if you’d like to get together. We are trying to set up all our speaking times months in advance, so don’t wait till the last minute.
We’re off to a good start for the year. After returning from our 4 day cruise – ah, a much needed vacation did refresh us and get us ready for another year of ministry and we are ready to do all that God will allow us to do this year. With the Sanctuary open 3 days a week we are staying very busy. We have had some changes in our team but that seems to be a constant thing and the numbers of those coming are also constantly changing as well.
Maybe the biggest news is that we are planning a concert at the building and will have a band there to perform and will print flyers and pass them out at many churches and around the neighborhood so that more people will know about our mission.
The concert will be a way to recruit some new team members and will give many from the street an opportunity to hear God’s word while enjoying some great Christian music. It is possible to do this because we now have speakers, amplifier and microphones on the altar and a friend has offered to come in to do the concert and will be bringing others from his church – guitar, key board, bass guitar and maybe even some drums.
The date of the concert is February 7th. Please pray that we will be able to reach many for Christ with this concert and that we will be able to provide a meal to all those that come. We will be asking for a small donation and we know God will provide what is needed – the big thing is trying to figure out how many may come as it could be only 50 or it could be 200… and we’ll need to borrow enough chairs to use for the day.
We are seeing many new faces and we love that they are really enjoying worshipping with us during our time of praise. Of course, our team is also enjoying being able to do a real worship service each day. Most days we have Martin with us from Ministria Vida – and he comes with his guitar and Terry picked up an electric guitar adaptor so that we can hook Martin’s guitar to the amplifier. We have printed a song book for our team to use and although most of the songs are in Spanish we have printed many that our team knows and have found in English. We lead the English songs and our “street guys” seem to love that we are up there singing with our whole hearts. They may not understand the words of some of our songs but they do understand our hearts.
We’ll try to do a few videos of the concert and see if we can post them on the webpage. Pray that this is a changing day for many people. Dios le bendiga from us to each of you.
Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to all. Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo. We are having a great time at our home, which is filled with 7 girls from Casa Hogar Luz. We know this will be a fun week for us as we celebrate with Abi, Patti, Estafani, Brenda, Clementina, Yolanie & Kattie. Tonight we’ll attend our Christmas Eve service at International Christian Fellowship. This is only part of our Christmas this year. We have already celebrated with many other people the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We had our annual decorating day at Casa Hogar Luz (CHL) on Tuesday last week. We brought plenty of cookies for everyone and we spent a few hours decorating small paper bags to use for giving our gifts out this Christmas… some for Casita and some for the soup kitchen.
Then on Wednesday we went to Casita Adolescente to perform the Christmas story while Jenny read it from the bible. We were all in costumes and everyone enjoyed hearing the story of Christ’s birth so many years ago. We than passed out the bags filled with cookies, candies, toothbrushes, toothpaste, stuffed animal and other goodies to the 63 girls and 4 babies there. We gave the orphanage a huge box of filled with needed items including underpants and scented soap for each girl, shampoo, needed paper products (well this is a home for teen girls), 2 DVD movies, vitamins, aspirin, Band-Aids and gauze. We also provided a full bible for each of the girls that did not have one. We served hot chocolate and sang some songs and enjoyed our time with these special girls.
This Monday we had our big celebration at Santuario de Esperanza. What a great day we had at our first ever Christmas fiesta at our soup kitchen. We didn’t know how many to expect but we did know the message we would deliver to each of them. Thanks to so many who came to help, donated money and items for us to use. We also want to thank many that prayed and encouraged us as we got ready for this day. We again performed the story of Christ’s birth using costumes and many from the street were part of our cast. We were able to video the drama and we hope we can figure out how to post it on our web page or blog.
We had approximately 80 come that day – and some had to use the stairs as seats but all sat, listened and received the news that Christ is born and that HE came to save us from our sins. We served a nice meal, gave out t-shirts, underwear for everyone, the pretty gift bags with cookies, razors, soap, toothbrushes and paste plus combs, candies and an apple.
The reason for this season was made known to all… Christ is the Savior of us that choose to accept the gift HE offers. We want each of you to enjoy this Christmas and to rejoice that we have the freedom to celebrate all that this season means. It’s not Seasons Greeting from us… It is MERRY CHRISTMAS.
We don’t want to make excuses – but we really would like to publish a blog entry at least once every other week. Just doesn’t seem to happen with our busy schedule. So, we won’t make any promises (we may not be able to keep) but will try to post more often – because there is so much to tell you about.
We hope you have seen our new webpage. It is beautiful. Our good friend Hemda did all the work for us, and we would have still been lost without her. Our other page never got completely loaded and we didn’t have the time to try to figure it out. Now we have several pages to describe what we do here in Honduras, a contact page, Honduras info and how to come here with a team. There are some photos and we’ll continue to add more so you can take a good look at our ministry. http://www.manosunidasencristo.com
We had a great Thanksgiving with our friends from our English church here (see photos) and we are almost ready for Christmas. We were the directors of our play at our English church last Sunday and the youth did a great job. We also had our annual Christmas play and party at Casita – the all girls state orphanage we help. They enjoyed the homemade cookies, hot chocolate and stuffed animals we gave each of them. We also were able to provide many other items including underwear, vitamins, 2 DVD movies, bibles for all that didn’t have one already, paper, pens, pencils, crayons, shampoo, scented soap and many other needed things for these girls who have become very special to us.
This year we’ll again have children from Casa Hogar Luz with us – in fact 7 girls will celebrate the week of Christmas with us. On Monday we’ll have our first annual Christmas party at Santuario de Esperanza; our soup kitchen. We are able to plan this because of the help of many people. We have received donations of money, apples, toothbrushes, cookies and many other items. We want them to see God’s love in all that we do to help them and especially at this time of year. We will act out the Christmas story (in costume) while one of us reads from the bible – bringing the story to life for all that are there. We have a very special meal planned and gifts for everyone with toothbrushes, combs, razors, soap, underwear, shirts plus the gift bags with homemade cookies and candy.
We also have purchased some equipment for the building. First we got a TV and DVD player for everyone to enjoy with a cup of coffee while awaiting their turn in the shower. We also received a donation of a microphone and purchased speakers so that we can really be heard during our worship service.
The big news is that we really needed the equipment because we have become more than just a soup kitchen. We are really having a church service. We have always sung songs of praise and someone preaches a message each time, but now people are coming from the neighborhood to attend church. What a huge blessing this has been. We have seen many hearts touched during our worship time. We know God is working in many of the hearts of our street people.
What will 2009 bring? We can hardly wait to find out. If our ministry continues to be blessed and to grow as it did this year, we’re sure it will be another awesome year.
We want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. Please continue to pray for our mission and for us to touch many lives next year in Christ’s name.
Ok, we did it again… thought we’d find the time to post a blog last weekend but we think we may need more hours in a day. But here it is – Team work – Our October mission group.
We always like to plan a few extra activities when we have a group here. Now understand we don’t sit around all that often and let grass grow under our feet (or behind) but we want teams to experience as much as possible, see, taste, meet people and get to know why we love Honduras and it’s people so much, so we do even more while a group is here with us.
The group blessed our street ministry in many ways but especially by reaching out to them with a loving touch and a word of kindness. We had one nurse with us (Edna) who patched so many feet that we were afraid she’d dream about cut feet all night. Then Lorie jumped in and also helped do some bandaging after cleaning some foot wounds. Everyone got a lesson in making flour tortillas but like Shari, they came out square or odd shaped, but Savannah really made the effort and had fun trying. April filled in where ever she was needed and also was busy taking many photos. Von and Jerry were busy with Terry doing some much needed repairs to the building while the ladies helped get the meal together and served.
The special project that was chosen to do that week was decorate the new playground at Casa Hogar Luz orphanage. We had white washed the walls last July to prepare for what was to be done in October. We put a second coat of white on and then proceeded to paint free hand – butterflies, flowers, trees and many more colorful objects. Not all of us are artists but we saw some wonderful paintings that the kids will enjoy for years to come. Money had been raised to have a playscape built and it is strong and sturdy with enough area and activities for all the kids to enjoy it at the same time. The kids loved what we did for them and fell in love with everyone from the group… but we also know the kids stole some hearts too.
We spent some wonderful time together as a group, getting to know each other and enjoying all that God allowed us to do during the week they were here. We thank each of them for their hearts, their help and for touching lives for Christ here in San Pedro Sula. We pray each of them will come back again and do it all over again.
We’ve been busy as usual – here and a trip to the states. On September 20 we went to Michigan for 16 days. I’d like to say all our plans worked out as we planned them, but that is not true. Seems the plans we made fell apart one by one. But, in the end, we knew God had handled everything for us in a way only HE can. We decided we couldn’t rent a car because the cost was too high for insurance on a rental – it’s much higher if you don’t own a car in the USA. Then Kacie and Brooke’s father gave us his truck to use the whole time we were there… and we thank him and his family for their kindness, the wonderful meal they prepared for us and just for being such sweet people. Gracias to all the Blayers.
Then the house we planned to stay at had a family emergency at the last minute. We sent out an email looking for a place we might stay for several days. We got an offer almost immediately to stay with people we didn’t (yet) know. So, off to stay at the home of Doug and Marlene where we enjoyed getting to know them and their 2 children. Waking up to hear their daughter singing every morning would have been enough to make us smile, but the warmth of this family’s welcome touched our hearts. Another huge Gracias
Then as our week with them was ending our good friends Max and Angie invited us to come and stay in their motor home; giving us our own little apartment for the remaining 5 days. It had everything we needed and again all our needs were met and they made us feel so welcome while there. Another Gracias to them.
We did a presentation at Heritage (we were married there many years ago) for the ladies during their mission Baby Shower. It’s always great to see our good friends there. We think they enjoyed hearing about our ministry almost as much as we enjoyed our time with them. We thank them for allowing us to come and share our Mission with them. Gracias
We were able to speak at our buddy Sam’s church (Sam is the pastor who baptized Shari several years ago). Then a wonderful lunch was given for us and another missionary who spoke that day. We enjoyed a delicious Filipino meal. Everyone from this church welcomed us and we were thrilled to have a bit of time with all of Sam’s girls. We haven’t seen their older daughters for many years but there they were smiling up at us as we made our presentation. Gracias for the welcome at Eastside.
We had hoped to have an opportunity to speak at the church Terry attended throughout his youth. Then Saturday, just two days before our departure, they called and asked if it was possible for us to come on Sunday and do a presentation for the congregation. So, with our computer in hand we set off to First Baptist of Ferndale and received one of the warmest welcomes any couple could receive. Many members knew the family and were happy to hear that Terry is now a Missionary. Then they brought us up on the altar to speak for a few minutes and presented us with a very generous donation to help our ministry here in Honduras. Everyone stayed to hear our presentation during coffee and fellowship time and asked questions and expressed interest in coming down for a short term mission trip. Of course, this blessed us both very much but especially Terry. We send a huge Gracias to everyone at First of Ferndale.
On Sunday night we spent some time with our granddaughter Liz’s youth group. Thank you to them for allowing us to come and for the questions and interest in our Mission. We encourage them to make a trip down here sometime and see it for themselves and come touch some lives alongside of us.
While in Michigan we spent some valuable time with our family. It always seems like we never have enough time to do all we want but time with our family is especially precious to us. Thanks for making the time for us, we enjoyed every minute we had together. Next time we’ll have to make the trip to the zoo (let’s try to schedule it ahead of time). We love all of you and say Gracias to you also. That goes for our friends as well. It was good to see those we could… and if we didn’t see you during our trip, please know it is because of time not desire.
We’ll try to write another blog next week with details of the team we had with us in October and all the work we got done… we will post some of the photos now for those waiting to see them.