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:
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!