The feature photo on the fall newsletter is Pastor Jose Maria, his wife Martha, and their youngest daughter. Pastor Jose Maria and Martha have 6 children, the youngest daughter (in this photo), and her younger brother (not home at the time), still live at home with them in Santa Teresa; the 4 older children live in and around San Pedro Sula with their families.They are a very kind, gentle, and sweet-spirited family. We visit with them every time we go to La Campa but we never tell them in advance that we are coming.
Like many of the Lenca people, they are a very hard working family and lead very simple lives. It has been a struggle for them to make ends meet. They are also extremely loving, friendly and hospitable. The phrase “give you the shirt off their back” is not just a phrase to them; hence the reason we never let them know when we are coming to see them. If we did, they would prepare the last of their food they had to eat for us. If you’ve never experienced that kind of hospitality before you have no idea just how humbling of an experience it really is.
Through the generosity of Frontline Missions supporters things are changing for this sweet family. In the smaller photo in the newsletter you see Pastor Jose Maria with a cow. This cow has been providing milk for this family that they could not previously afford to buy. They have also been selling the extra milk they can’t drink to other families in the area. About a year or so after they received this cow Frontline Missions was able to help them obtain a pregnant cow so now they are raising three cows. At the bottom of this post you will see a picture of some turkeys. It turns out that Martha is very skilled at raising turkeys. And again it was through the generosity of others that Frontline was able to purchase the first couple of turkeys to get her started. The turkeys are multiplying so they now have more protein in their diets than they’ve ever had before and they are starting to have extra turkeys to sell.
We met this pastor and his family about three years ago and have been blessed to assist them with starting two new churches so far. We also think Pastor Jose Maria and his small body of believers is our biggest discipleship opportunity once we get to Honduras. We have been encouraging Pastor Jose Maria to identify and train young men in his church so that they become prepared to pastor new churches. He is starting to really understand that this is the biblical model for church planting and missions. Churches should start churches and Lenca men along with their families should be leading these churches. Our role as American missionaries is simply to help them catch this vision, then encourage, guide, and support them as much as possible, or more importantly, as much as they want us to. Thank you for taking to time to read about this family. Please pray for them, for their animals, and for the ministry God has given both to them and us.