Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Time for a Major Make-Over!

Yes indeed . . . it's time. This month, my Land Cruiser, affectionately known as "Scottie," will be spending a few weeks in the shop. The 16 year old vehicle has been the least reliable of our 3 vehicle "fleet," and since I rarely drive far from home, it has been the one I use regularly. (Much safer to be stranded close to home and available help.) With Ben in school now, I'm putting a surprisingly large number of miles on Scottie each week!


Ben and Scottie back in 2013, just a day or so after the kidnapping


Although we have been raising funds toward the purchase of newer vehicles, and have been able to replace one of the Land Cruisers with a newer (4 yr old) Toyota pickup truck, we haven't raised enough to purchase the second needed truck. Until that happens, we have to ensure that the older vehicles remain functional.

Scottie will have work done on brakes, suspension, the 4-wheel drive mechanisms, as well as other mechanical repairs that the menfolk probably didn't think it would be useful to try to explain to me. It will also receive new windows (the old ones couldn't be locked, and several were badly cracked) and will have a radio installed! Oh, and the driver's seat will be repaired or replaced - I'm not currently sure which. Much of the upholstery is gone from that seat, and a large chunk of the foam needed to cushion the driver's tush from the bumpy ride is also missing.

(I sometimes amuse myself by imagining what the kidnapper might have thought, when he climbed into my significantly run-down Land Cruiser, and saw that uncomfortable seat, and when he started driving and the vehicle kept spontaneously jumping out of first gear unless the gearshift was held in place. Did he consider the possibility that people who would drive a vehicle in need of so many repairs might not be wealthy enough to bother kidnapping?  Probably not, but one does wonder about these things, LOL.)

In a few weeks I will be driving a much spiffier (and more reliable) 16 year old Land Cruiser, and feeling quite spoiled. Try not to feel too jealous.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Imagine This!

Imagine two churches: 
one is in a rural mountain village in western Honduras,

the other looks, more or less, like your church.


Now imagine:
that a family from your church . . .

sponsors a child - or several - though a program which
the Honduran church runs as a ministry to their community;
helping with the nutritional, educational
and spiritual needs of at-risk children.


And NOW imagine what would happen:

if families and individuals from your church were to sponsor all of the children in that particular Honduran church's sponsorship program!


 What if:

we found a way to combine our efforts?

Can you imagine it?



The bond that would be created between your church, and a dynamic, young church in Honduras, which is committed to reaching their community for Christ? The things you could accomplish for Christ, in partnership?



  • Praying for one another. 
  • Assisting one another. 
  • Encouraging one another.






The Sister Church Sponsorship Program: reaching the uttermost parts of the earth, together!


More information, on how your church can become a part of this exciting new program, click here!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Exciting New Thing #4: Sister Church Sponsorship Program

Earlier this year, I wrote about some exciting new things that were happening in our ministry. I even made a logo for the three posts, as that clearly shows that I am taking these things seriously, right? See? --->

But, out of the blue, we find ourselves developing an additional new ministry project! If you missed the earlier posts, you can find those at these links:

#1 Manna 4 Lempira
#2 Sustainability 4 Pastors
#3 Restarting Pastor Training School


Today I am announcing the new Sister Church Sponsorship Program, which is another opportunity for people who aren't called to come and live in Honduras to participate in ministry with us here! This is actually a spin-off of the Manna 4 Lempira Sponsorship program. It came into being when a friend of the ministry thought it would be great to get his whole church involved in sponsoring children . . . leading to the thought that his church could potentially sponsor all of the children in one specific location where we have a feeding program . . . which led to choosing a church . . . and that particular church is in a location which desperately needs a bridge to be built . . . so perhaps the church in Florida could send down a team to do a bridge-in-a-week construction project . . .

Well, I think you get the idea. This is more of a general idea than a set-in-stone "here's how we do it" ministry program. In a sister-church relationship, the opportunities to serve would be varied, based on the needs of the church (and its community) and the ability of the other church to help. I believe all of the Honduran churches in the program will be set up with child sponsorship opportunities. Other ways of potentially helping a sister church might include

- helping the pastor attend pastor training school
- financing (or coming down as a team to help with) construction projects for the church
- helping the church acquire instruments and/or a sound system
- helping the church develop ministries to reach out to their community
- helping church members develop children's programs

It is our goal that this be a project which will build up the young churches in the mountains of western Honduras, helping them to grow, expand, and minister to the people around them.

Pastor and congregation outside their church in San Miguelito

I will say this here, to avoid misunderstandings . . . there are going to be some limits on what kind of help, and in what quantity, we will encourage churches to give. We have seen, over the years, that a relationship between a wealthy church or organization and a significantly less wealthy pastor or church can create problems. We don't ever want to set up a dependency situation, and we always desire to point people toward God, as their source of help . . . not rich(er) churches! This can be awkward, tricky, and complicated. It will be an important aspect of this program, that the churches involved be willing to trust our knowledge and experience here, to guide them in making wise choices in this process.




Will we make some mistakes along the way? Oh, yes, I imagine so. Does this have the potential to be something really great? I think it does!

If you'd be interested in hearing more about this new ministry opportunity, to develop a sister-church relationship with a congregation in western Honduras, we'd love to chat with you about it. Contact us at trish @ sowers4pastors.com and we'll talk!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

We run a bookstore! Who knew?

Our little Bible bookstore has been a part of our ministry for almost ten years now - but it is rarely mentioned on the blog or website. It's not especially glamorous or exciting, but it has been quietly serving the community here all this time.

The store consists of about four large bookshelves, sitting in the front room of Russell and Iris' house. Casual businesses being run out of homes are very common here, so we fit right in with all the small household shops. The store is open when someone is home, and closed when they are not. Most often, Iris is the one manning the store.

The stock includes multiple versions and style of Bibles, study Bibles, commentaries, and a small collection of other Bible study materials. We price the books to cover the cost of purchasing them, so basically wholesale. Since there are no salaries or overhead involved, the money which comes in from the book sales is simply used to purchase more books . . . so this has become a more-or-less self sustaining aspect of our ministry.

Books are a rare, expensive luxury item in our part of Honduras. Many of the books we sell for around $20 are priced at $80 - $100 in the bookstores in the cities. Even at $20, one book could easily cost a pastor from a mountain village an entire week's wages, so we're delighted to have the ability to make these books available to them!

In the past, we have offered discounts on purchases at the store to pastors who attended the pastor training school or the occasional pastor training conferences which we have held. This year, the pastors who complete the school will receive, for free, several of the hefty "pastor's library" volumes which will be used as part of their school materials.

This little-known, not-especially-exciting part of our ministry is actually a valuable piece of the whole!

If you didn't know about it before . . . well, now you know.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

You can sponsor a child for $15 per month!




*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Information coming soon!

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Friday, March 25, 2016

An update on our recent situation

We had such an amazing response to the most recent blog post, about the need for funding for additional feeding centers. It was a bit overwhelming - but in a good way! While I didn't suggest creating sponsorships for particular pastors and their centers, a number of people gave money specifically in this way . . . which is great!

Here is the list of pastors, copied from the previous post. The ones printed in red have already been sponsored: 


 - Pastor Edgar Lopez, in El Cedro, feeding 22 children - $44 per year
 - Pastor Jose Chavez, in El Paraiso Copan, feeding 31 children - $62
 - Pastor Rene Arita, in El Paraiso Copan, feeding 131 children - $262
 - Pastor Gonzalo Contreras, in El Jardin, feeding 56 children - $112
 - Pastor Genero Contreras, in Monte Cristo, feeding 56 children - $112

 - Pastor Luis Leiva, in Pimienta, feeding 31 children - $62 per year
 - Pastor Mario Herrera, in El Naranjito, feeding 89 children - $178
 - Pastor Jesus Garcia, in El Manacal, feeding 51 children - $102 per year
 - Pastor Oscar Menocal, in Alto Colon, feeding 31 children - $62

 - Pastor Manuel Contreras, in El Limon, feeding 62 children - $124
 - Pastor Saul Palma, in La Laguna, feeding 37 children - $74 per year
 - Pastor Herminio Diaz, in Santa Cruz, feeding 36 children - $72 per year
 - Pastor Lorenzo Ramirez, in El Paraiso, feeding 24 children - $48
 - Pastor Adin Hernandez, in El Manguito, feeding 41 children - $82
 - Pastor Santos Gutierres, in El Rosario, feeding 47 children - $94

Additionally, several people sent funds to use for this purpose, without specifying a particular pastor. $230 was donated by people gave in this way, and let us know how much they were sending. Several people also told us that they were donating, but we don't yet know the amounts. 

Thank you all so very much for helping us with this need! With your donations, going through our hands (to acquire the food and distribute it to the pastors), these pastors have the resources they need to serve the needy in their communities, in the name of Christ. It's an exciting example of how the body of Christ can work together to meet needs! 

If anyone would like to be a part of this outpouring, the donation information can be found here. We've been hoping and praying that we would have the funds to expand this program for several years. We're excited to see God moving in the hearts of His people NOW! 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

A point of crisis, in our feeding center program

This morning, we faced a dilemma.

We can purchase meals for starving or malnourished children, for 2 cents per meal. It seems like we should have so many people jumping on board to help us with this, but in fact, that's not been the case. We struggle to pay for the food needed to feed the children currently enrolled in the program, and we have not been able to expand the program for almost 5 years, despite the fact that we have had to turn away pastors who come to us requesting food to help the children in yet another struggling village.

Currently, Honduras is experiencing a serious drought. Every day, more children are suffering from malnutrition and starvation. Pastors of churches are coming to us regularly, asking for the resources to begin feeding programs through their churches, to help their communities during this time of hardship.

This morning Allen and I were in the middle of writing an email, attempting to line up a partnership with a new food supply organization, when Russell called to tell us that, at that moment, another new pastor was at his house, requesting food assistance.

This situation was somewhat unusual. A group of fifteen pastors had pooled their resources to arrange for one of them to make the ten hour round trip to Gracias, driving a pickup truck, in the hope that we would be able to send back food for their 15 churches to feed the starving children in their needy communities. We just didn't have the heart to send that truck back empty . . . so, in faith, we have now enrolled these 15 new churches in the program.

We always attempt to make the best use of the money and other resources we receive, and we also try to be careful not to bankrupt the ministry by promising more than we are certain we can deliver. Occasionally, the question comes up: "Are we trusting God enough, in our endeavors, or are we carefully using business principles to protect ourselves and the ministry?"

Today, our actions clearly fell on the side of trusting God, even though we don't have the resources in hand to continue to feed the children we've now committed to helping. We are, of course, praying that God will supply the food which is so desperately needed! 

If you would like to pray for these pastors personally, here is a list of their names, their locations, how many children each pastor has registered to feed, and how much it will cost to purchase the food for that particular feeding center, for an entire year.  If you'd like to be a part of how God supplies this need, donation information can be found here.

 - Pastor Edgar Lopez, in El Cedro, feeding 22 children - $44 per year
 - Pastor Jose Chavez, in El Paraiso Copan, feeding 31 children - $62
 - Pastor Rene Arita, in El Paraiso Copan, feeding 131 children - $262
 - Pastor Gonzalo Contreras, in El Jardin, feeding 56 children - $112
 - Pastor Genero Contreras, in Monte Cristo, feeding 56 children - $112
 - Pastor Luis Leiva, in Pimienta, feeding 31 children - $62 per year
 - Pastor Mario Herrera, in El Naranjito, feeding 89 children - $178
 - Pastor Jesus Garcia, in El Manacal, feeding 51 children - $102 per year
 - Pastor Oscar Menocal, in Alto Colon, feeding 31 children - $62
 - Pastor Manuel Contreras, in El Limon, feeding 62 children - $124
 - Pastor Saul Palma, in La Laguna, feeding 37 children - $74 per year
 - Pastor Herminio Diaz, in Santa Cruz, feeding 36 children - $72 per year
 - Pastor Lorenzo Ramirez, in El Paraiso, feeding 24 children - $48
 - Pastor Adin Hernandez, in El Manguito, feeding 41 children - $82
 - Pastor Santos Gutierres, in El Rosario, feeding 47 children - $94

Follow this link for complete information on how to donate to the Sowers4pastors Feeding Program, and how the program works.