In 1998 Hurricane Mitch brought devastation to Honduras, and some of the Pilgrim Mennonite Confrence brethren came to Honduras with CAM to help rebuild. They fell in love with HN and seeing the many needs here, the Conference decided to start a Mission and Orphanage here. We were asked to come serve as house-parents at the Orphanage they built, and in June of 2000 we left MS, driving a school bus to HN. We lived at the orphanage for some time and then moved into a rental house while continuing to work with the orphanage and mission.
In 2003 IHNFA, (the HN child protection office) asked us if we would consider taking care of children in our home. We felt the Lord leading us to reach out in this way and they brought us three sisters then two boys, and later another girl. The boys are still with us, but the girls later went back to their mothers. Slowly more children came into our growing family, several at the request of their mothers, one from a judge’s office and one from the hospital. One severely handicapped child came from the local Authorities and was with us year until he died. At the present, we have 7 Honduran children with us, 3 boys and 4 girls.
We worked with the Mission and Orphanage till 2004 and then decided to separate from the Mission but we continued to work with the church. When we separated from the Mission our financial support also ended, but we felt the Lord’s leading to leave and trust God for our future. For the past 14 years God has been faithful in supplying all our needs, for which we want to praise Him. We continued to live close to the Mission and help in the Church but were no longer employed by the Mission.
In November of 2002 we bought a 75 acre farm in the mountains about 1/2 hr. from the mission, with money received from selling out in MS. The house that was on it was in poor condition, so in 2007 we started building a house on the farm with funds provided by God and in 2012 we moved to the farm. We continued to attend the Pilgrim Church, but began having school for the children here on the farm with our daughters teaching. We also started having monthly services on our farm and in 2014 we decided to leave the PMC with the goal of establishing a church in La Tigra, the village where we live.
In Aug of 2015 Lighthouse Christian Church was established with the help of bro. Bill Yoder from the Sunnyside Church in Sarasota, FL. The Church was established with 4 from our family and another sister with her two daughters. Soon another family with whom we had been friends, started attending and in 2016 they joined the church. Later several more came to the Lord and joined the church, bringing the present membership to 11 members.
Some of the families’ children attended a private bilingual school, and some attended public school, but seeing the influence that this was having on the member’s children and families we as a church, felt the need to start our own school. Last year a house was built with funds God provided on a property that was earlier bought for church purposes. This house is being used as church and school temporarily with plans to be used as a teacher’s house once we can build the church and school building.
Starting our own school has been very rewarding, but has also had many challenges. Because of the former life of these dear brethren, very few of the 16 children live with both parents, and very few siblings even have the same father. We Praise God for bringing these dear souls to the Light, and we trust that the next generation will be prepared to live a life of service for God. At present we have 3 teachers, teaching them in Spanish and English. Several of the families live 1/2 hr. from La Tigra, so we have two trips a day to get the children to school and take them home. I enjoy the opportunity to be with the children on these trips, but it does take a good bit of time and adds to the expense of having our own school. Soon after buying our farm in 2002 we had started visiting the schools in this area to distribute the “Antorcha de la Verdad” to the school children. This is a bi-monthly booklet published in Costa Rica. The teachers have been very glad for these and even use them in their teaching. We have slowly added more Schools to the list of the ones we visit until at present we are visiting in 20 villages, with a total of around 3000 students in these schools. This has opened up many other opportunities for visiting in these villages, and we have had many requests for services to be held in the homes of several of these villages. These visits have also been a real blessing to the whole church , as we reach out to others we are also encouraged, and challenged to do more to bring others from darkness to the Light. Please pray for us and for those lives who are being touched with the love of God.