I was privileged to join a Bible Basics International STAR Team to minister in San Pedro Sula, Honduras July 6–13, 2008. Honduras lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and is bordered by Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. It is the poorest country in Central America.
The growing STAR (Sowing, Teaching And Reaping) outreach is one of the ministries of BBI, which also includes resource literature, ministry in India, and a radio station in Honduras. Twenty Baptist churches had invited STAR Teams to evangelize their neighborhoods in San Pedro Sula, which is actually the largest city in Honduras. Other churches in the city will be served by STAR teams next summer.
I was part of a STAR Team outreach in 2005 in Le Ceiba, Honduras’ third largest city, on the northern coast, and it was a privilege to serve again this year. (Click here for a report on my 2005 trip.)
Here is a brief review of the outreach in San Pedro Sula along with some photos. If you would like a copy of my full report, please contact us.
My ministry began even before landing in Honduras. On the flight from Newark, NJ to Houston, I struck up a conversation with an airline pilot who was seated next to me. I was able to share Christ and the Gospel with him. Pray that Vince would recognize his need for Christ.
The week in Honduras started with a tremendous answer to prayer. At a meeting with the sponsoring pastors to finalize plans for the week, we learned that, due to a planning snafu, there were no translators for our eight teams! The team joined hands for prayer that God would provide the translators, which were needed by the next morning. After supper, the team met again for a prayer meeting. Two translators had been found, but we still needed six more. The prayers of God’s people were amazingly answered. The next morning, as we stood waiting for the local pastors and our assignments, we received word that we had eight translators!
My translator was a 17-year old boy named David who spoke flawless English. It was the only week all summer he was available to serve as a translator. He did an outstanding job, and we had a wonderful week of ministry together.
Each day, the teams were driven to the participating churches where we met the pastor and several church members who would accompany us on home visits that had been set up by the churches based on interest expressed by the individuals. We walked to the homes we visited. Most streets were dirt with open drain sewers. Everyone is poor by our standards. Most homes are simple and cramped beyond belief. No home I was in had air conditioning though nearly every one had a TV.
The visiting team included a STAR team member, a translator, the pastor and usually a member or two of the church. The STAR team member would share his or her testimony and go over a series of vital questions leading to salvation such as “Do you believe in God?” “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?, …that you are a sinner?, …that Jesus Christ died for your sins?” The last question asked if they wished to accept Christ as Savior. Whenever a decision was made, the pastor was on hand to fill out a card and then had responsibility for follow-up.
In these home visits, I was privileged to lead people to Christ. They were Sandra, a Catholic grandmother; Alejandra, a young woman who desperately needed Christ; Daniel, a young father who is a building contractor; Luis, a teenage boy; and Jorge, a confirmed atheist who had never been in church or previously allowed any Christian to speak with him. I also counseled several people who needed assurance of salvation or encouragement: two men in Sandra’s family rededicated their lives to Christ, Ingrid, a young mother with marital problems, rededicated her life to Christ and came forward to publicly profess that in the meeting that night; Hector, an elderly man dying of throat cancer, was gloriously restored to fellowship and came to church for the first time in years that night and attended the closing rally; and Jorge, who resolved a misunderstanding and vowed to return to church. I also encouraged and prayed with a dear Christian couple who are the parents of a severely disabled 24-year old daughter.
In one home visit, we did encounter some resistance to the Gospel. Inez lived in such poverty that she met with us outside. After the most passionate and extensive appeals I could give, she declared that she was not ready to receive Christ. Pray that the Lord would soften her heart.
In the evenings, I preached in four local churches. In each church, the people gave me a warm welcome. David also served as my translator for these services. He said he was far too nervous to ever speak by himself in public, but he did an outstanding job with me all week. His accuracy and our obvious coordination made a difference as he expertly translated in the homes and churches.
During our week, some team members went into secular, and some Catholic, high schools where they were able to freely share the Gospel. The response from students was very positive.
The closing rally was held a good distance from San Pedro Sula at a church that had seating for several hundred. All the churches that had participated in the week’s outreach joined in for this. After a time of music and other formalities, I gave a word of thanks on behalf of the entire team to the huge crowd and the various pastors and shared my personal testimony. Rev. Sam Montoya, BBI Spanish Ministries Director, was my translator for this meeting. A local Honduran pastor preached the main message, and 25 people came forward for salvation.
This second visit to Honduras proved to be one of the most challenging weeks of my life, but God overcame enormous problems, and the team reported over 250 first-time decisions for Christ in homes and church meetings. In total, over 300 decisions were registered for Christ including those made in the school presentations.
Many thanks go to the individuals and churches who gave and prayed. We faced humanly insurmountable challenges, and God met them all.
Members of the STAR team before a preliminary planning meeting
The STAR team meets with translators and prepares for the day’s home visitation assignments
Typical San Pedro Sula neighborhood streets