March 18, 2021
My recent trip to Guaimaca, Honduras was, in part, to visit the WBM Ministry service area and determine if it is feasible for GBS instructors and volunteer teams to return to Honduras to serve after Covid-19. The answer to that question is definitely “yes”. It is safe and practical to return to Honduras for short term mission activities. Travel should be using United or American as Delta has not resumed offering service into Tegucigalpa and has no current plan to do so.
With this information, we will begin communicating with prospective teams to encourage them to resume previous ministry service as our guests in Honduras.
All entry to Honduras requires a current, within 72 hours, negative Covid test and completion of an online form, which is mandatory, but which can also be done by completing a paper form while in flight. Return to the States requires the same negative Covid-19 test and signing a simple declaration form in flight. The Covid test can be easily obtained at several labs in Guaimaca.
The Covid response in Honduras includes the use of masks at most locations. Otherwise, there are no other special requirements. Most restaurants are open with some remaining closed as ordered by local governing authorities. Grocery stores, hardware stores, dry goods stores, etc. are open for business.
Travel by car, bus, taxi, etc. is normal and active. There were no highway stops for compliance checks or other regulatory measures observed.
Grace Biblical Seminary
Rev. Tom Eckman traveled with me to Honduras on February 18 for the purpose of conducting several classes in Oropoli and Guaimaca and to determine the feasibility of conducting on-site classes in Guaimaca and Oropoli. He spoke at three locations, with more than 100 in attendance. Meetings with GBS leaders were held in both locations and the last two weeks in May were chosen to return to Honduras to teach classes in person at both locations.
Tom also delivered a new computer to Robbie Alexis, his translator, and provided instruction on its use. The computer will be used for translating documents, preparing reports, communication with GBS directors, pastors, and others, and for participation in virtual classes during which Robbie will provide translation services to instructors in the States.
It was a very active and informative trip for Tom, who returned to the States on February 25 to resume his duties at Zebulon First Baptist Church. WBM coordinated Tom’s travel, I did the driving, and WBM provided the vehicle. It was an excellent trip with many accomplishments and plans made for upcoming events.
Senior Citizen Ministry
After taking Tom to the airport for his departure, I began working on other WBM projects. The Senior Citizen Ministry now includes six individuals and one family of eight. All are being visited twice monthly and provided with food, medicine, transportation, and other items as needed. Throughout the pandemic, these visits and food supplies continued without interruption. All six individuals are doing well and cared for regularly, including doctor visits as needed.
Ariel Morales and his family are also being cared for under the Senior Citizen Ministry. Ariel, his wife, and their six children were provided a special gift of clothing, food, medicine, and even some gifts for Christmas through WBM by a caring SS class. Ariel is completely paralyzed from the neck down and has little hope for improvement, so it will be up to WBM and others to care for him and his family indefinitely.
Ariel was loading logs onto a truck when the chain broke and the load of logs rolled off of the truck onto him, crushing his spine and causing permanent damage that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He is unable to move his arms, fingers, legs, or feet.
The family depends on Ariel’s wife, Lorena, who makes and sells tortillas to make an income for the family. Her tortilla sales only produce a small amount of income to feed and care for the family of eight.
WBM has committed to providing some of the necessities for the family through the Senior Citizen Ministry and, to date, travel to Tegucigalpa has been provided by a local individual.
This is an ongoing need, and prayer and financial support are desperately needed to help with food, clothes, school supplies, and other family expenses. Please consider sending at least a small amount to help with this great humanitarian need.
Senior Care Facility
While in Honduras, I visited the proposed site of the Senior Citizen Care Facility and found it even more beautiful than before. The local land owner has built a small pond down the hill to the southeast of the proposed site. The entire area is now occupied by cattle, and the grass is trimmed neatly. The mountains to the north are especially beautiful. The property also includes a view of the highway to the south and surrounding pastureland with cattle grazing.
We are working on a final review and a survey of need and other statistical information on the project. This report will be prepared and presented to the WBM Directors soon.
Two possible sources of funding for the project have been informed of the project and given floor plan drawings. Upon completion of the survey report, we anticipate funding talks with donors to resume and funds secured for construction to begin.
WBM Churches in Honduras
WBM has begun eight churches in Honduras of which seven continue to be active and serving. Iglesia Bautista San Jose de Guayape continues to struggle and is now closed while we search for a willing pastor to move there to serve. San Jose is in an extremely remote mountain area only accessible by a swinging bridge walkway during the six month rainy season and by fording the river Guayape during the dry season. The population of San Jose is estimated to be 500. There is no electricity, potable water, or other utility service in San Jose nor is there a store from which to purchase food or other supplies. We have always been welcomed there and have a great desire to maintain an active ministry/church in San Jose de Guayape.
Initially, a pastor and his family from San Marcos committed to living in San Jose for two years. After the two years, they were replaced by a pastor who was unable to complete his commitment due to family concerns. For the past several years we have been unable to find anyone willing to serve as pastor in San Jose. We continue to visit San Jose, check on the church building and property, and search for a pastor. Please include this great need in your daily prayers.
The other WBM churches are led by pastors, most of whom are studying as students of the GBS Seminary. They are all excited about attending the upcoming Seminary classes in May. Visits to several churches during my time in Honduras revealed that two of the churches are in need of more benches. They will be built and provided to the churches by WBM.
The WBM Container Ministry has been basically dormant for several years because of the lack of need to transport large quantities of ministry items, including construction material, to Honduras. Faced with the need to either sell the container or revive the ministry in another way, the WBM Directors decided to make the necessary repairs to the container chassis and return it to active service. The WBM Container has now been fully repaired/restored and is ready for active service.
The most difficult obstacle to overcome in order to make use of the container is finding a tractor to pull it. God has truly opened the door for two sources of tractors. Both owners have committed to providing tractors to pull the container as needed.
Following are uses for the container that are under consideration. Note that multiple uses are definitely possible and likely opportunities for Christian service.
The first three relief uses include specific identified items donated by multiple churches, mission organizations, individuals, companies, etc. delivered for distribution by a receiving organization in the target area.
- Covid relief
- Tornado relief
- Hurricane relief
- Container delivery service for use by other Christian organizations
- Overseas delivery of project material/supplies
- Stateside relief material transfer between ministries and providers
- Subordinate use of chassis/container by other Christian organizations
Current plans include soliciting a group of churches, companies, individuals, and others who wish to participate in an emergency relief ministry to provide specific needs to victims of disasters coordinated by a receiving organization and items distributed by same.
Dr. Mabel Matute
It was great to see Mabel Matute again. She has now completed her studies and is officially a Doctor of Pharmacy. Mable has worked for a local pharmacy since graduation and is ready to move on to her next goal of owning her own pharmacy.
To date, she has secured a location in Guaimaca across from the Mexican School and near Dr. Dunia’s office and adjacent to a medical laboratory, where numerous lab tests are performed for doctors throughout the area. She has completed construction and preparation of the building inside and outside with an attractive sign that reads “Mabel’s Pharmacy” hanging outside. The interior is complete with shelving for medicine as well as a glass display/sales counter. It also has a bathroom and ample storage area.
While in Honduras, I introduced Mabel to the owners of a large laboratory in Tegucigalpa, which manufactures medicine and from which she will be able to purchase medicine. The laboratory, Francelia, opened an account for Mabel to purchase wholesale medicine while we were there.
The owner of Francelia Laboratories also contacted a very large medical supply company, which provides very low cost wholesale medicine of all types, and recommended Mabel as a prospective customer. Later, we drove to San Pedro Sula for Mabel to meet the company owner and set up an account to purchase medicine for her pharmacy.
With all of these ingredients in place, Mabel will be able to open her pharmacy right away. She is very excited about the prospects of having her own business. We are extremely proud of Mabel and her accomplishments and wish her well in her future endeavors.
Please note that WBM is a 501-c-3 Non Profit Corporation. 100% of all designated funds received are used as directed by the donor. There are no deductions for administrative expenses. All gifts may be used as legal deductions when preparing income tax returns as allowed by law.
Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support of WBM for the past thirty two years. Without your constant prayers and support, the accomplishments described above, as well as the hospital and other projects, would not be possible. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
In Christ Siempre,
JoAnn & Sandy Cheves