Friday, March 24, 2017

Full Time Pastor, Part Time Missionary

Pastor Tim teaching at the training school,
in 2016
Whenever I’m talking to a member of the Sowers family, a few names are often sprinkled throughout the conversations. One of those names is, “Pastor Tim”. Like Judge Judy, Pastor Tim doesn’t need a last name, but it’s Webster, in case you’re interested. Lately, Pastor Tim’s name has been popping up even more often than normal, and with good reason. Pastor Tim, of Fredericktowne Baptist Church in Walkersville, MD, is preparing to make four trips to Western Honduras in coming months. Yes, I said, “four trips”.

Russell was the first Sowers to mention Pastor Tim’s plans to become a frequent flyer for the primary purpose of helping out at Pastors’ Training School. Trip number one is fast approaching. Pastor Tim and three team members will be leaving for Honduras on April 3.

Okay, We’ll Compromise

In a recent phone call, I wanted to discuss the kind of commitment it takes to plan four trips to Central America in a relatively short time span. Pastor Tim wanted to discuss Sowers4Pastors and how impressed he is by their ministry. We did a bit of both.

“It’s amazing what they (the Sowerses) have going on,” Pastor Tim said. “The sky's the limit of what they can do if people will just give. People can give money. People can give time. It’s a privilege to be a part of that.”

Relationship Building, 101

Talking about the Sowers’ involvement with Pastors’ Training School, Pastor Tim said, “They pour into these pastors. So, there are three different schools happening. You can see their heart is to give some initial training, build on that, and have ongoing training by Honduran pastors training other Honduran Pastors.”

He’s excited to spend as much time as he can building relationships with the pastors. He’s realistic by acknowledging, “Four trips may sound like a lot, but it’s only a month.” He realizes relationships can take much longer to establish. Still, he wants to show the pastors he cares about them and wants to get to know them.

Pastor Tim saying "good-bye" to pastors,
after teaching at the school in 2016

No Special Treatment

For the first trip, Pastor Tim’s team members will consist of two college students and an FBC staff member--none of whom have ever been on a mission trip before. They will be staying at the Pastors’ Training School. Pastor Tim told the team, “We’re going to sleep where they sleep, eat where they eat, bunk in the bunkroom, use the outdoor toilet, shower where they shower, and eat the same food.” None of them are expecting luxury!

The team will also be visiting FBC’s sister church in Camelote Campuca, take the gifts and letters church members have already sent (which arrived in the recent container shipment from Maryland) to children at the feeding center there, and spend time with some of the young people their church members are sponsoring.

Lesson Plans and God’s Plans

I asked Pastor Tim how much time he has spent preparing lessons to share with the pastors at the training center and he laughed long and hard. Something tells me it’s more than a couple of hours! He was quick to point out he is not the only one working on the lessons. And he was excited to point out that some members of FBC are helping him translate the materials into Spanish. People from Mexico, Bolivia, Puerto Rico, and El Salvador have been able to contribute in a meaningful way, which Pastor Tim pointed out “added a little twist to what God is doing”.  

Subsequent trips are planned for the first weeks of June, July, and September, but it’s all in God’s hands. Pastor Tim has told his congregation and his family, “This is what the plan is, but let’s not hold ourselves to it.”

Pastor Tim, and friends, on one of our bridge-in-a-week projects

 - posted by Christi