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Team experiences God’s grace during mission trip

Team experiences God’s grace during mission trip

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Team experiences God’s grace during mission trip

Nov. 17, 2006    News media contact:  Tita Parham*    
800-282-8011     Orlando {0577}

An e-Review Commentary
By Martha Gay Duncan**

Martha Gay Duncan (center) visits with families in Quisgualagua, praying with them and inviting them to attend the celebration, or fiesta, that will be held at the end of the mission week at the structure (background) built by the mission team. The shelter is the first phase of a three-structure construction for the Quisgualagua mission that will eventually be enclosed and is already being  used as a meeting place and for Sunday school. Photo courtesy of Martha Gay Duncan, Photo #06-469.

On Sept. 4, 10 members of various United Methodist churches in Florida boarded a plane in Miami. Their destination: Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

This was to be a first mission joining United Methodist Volunteers in Mission and Celebrate Jesus in their efforts to build the kingdom in Honduras, both physically and spiritually.

This mission led them to a small rural community of about 60 homes called Quisgualagua, approximately 15 miles down a dirt road outside Danlí, a town of about 65,000 people.

The team’s mission for the week was to help the Quisgualagua mission church construct a facility on its newly acquired piece of land. This would be the congregation’s place of worship until the church could afford to build a sanctuary. The team spent five days on that holy ground, consecrating it to the glory of God and working with the people there to bring about form to accommodate function.

Each morning the team helped with the construction. Team members worked together the first day cutting eight steel poles by hand with a small saw and installing them in the holes they had dug in the ground. The second day electricity arrived at the work site, and cutting by electric saw and welding began on the rafters. Beams were installed to support the rafters. The third day the rafters were welded and put in place and footers dug for a storage unit that would hold tables and chairs when they were not in use. On day four half the roof was secured on the rafters, with preparations well underway for the party, the fiesta, that was held the following day. Day five brought the completion of the roof and three electric light bulbs installed to provide light in the darkness, with two hours to spare before the fiesta began.

Children wait to get their faces painted during the fiesta. Photo courtesy of Martha Gay Duncan, Photo #06-470.
During each afternoon of the trip, team members and members of the Quisgualagua church visited the homes of each family in the community and invited them to the fiesta planned for Saturday afternoon. In each case, those visiting were invited into the homes and asked to pray for the needs of the family living there. In many cases, healing was experienced as a result of the prayers offered.

Three hundred people attended the fiesta that Saturday. There were games, face painting and bubble blowing for the children. There were prizes for everyone and a drawing for door prizes. Afterward the Rev. Samuel Gonzalez, pastor of Nueva Vida United Methodist Church in Pembroke Pines, Fla., and a member of the team gave an evangelistic message and called for commitment to Christ. There were many commitments made and many more asking questions of faith. The Sunday following the fiesta attendance at worship doubled. They continue to experience people asking questions of faith and searching for answers.

The team left having experienced God’s grace in innumerable ways. They also left with prayers of thanks to God for allowing them to be a part of His work in a place that welcomed them as sisters and brothers in Christ.


This article relates to Missions.

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Duncan, a member of the mission team to Honduras, is a member of First United Methodist Church, Lakeland, and assistant director of Celebrate Jesus Inc.