I have not been in Puerto Lempira since the end of 2019 due to COVID, and it was good to reconnect in person with the people.
As usual, it was a solemn reminder of how much we have to be thankful for living in a country like Canada. Spending almost a month with limited electricity, limited internet, virtually no fresh fruit or vegetables, and experiencing sweltering heat without air conditioning (average daily temperature was around 36-38 degrees, plus very high humidity) is challenging. Further, driving on rough roads, sustained by a steady diet of beans, rice, cassava, deep-fried plantains, and no chocolate, taught me patience.
However, there were many wonderful aspects of this journey. I greatly appreciated your faithful prayers throughout the trip. I frequently shared with all of those we engaged with. I told them that many Canadian people remember them daily in their prayers.
Some communities are a day's travel away on a dirt bike over rugged trails. It was a massive encouragement to these pastors. These church leaders work in small, isolated communities, and this experience reminds them that they are not alone. The global church prays for them and their ministry.
I am happy to report that all the tools and other supplies that Andrew and I transported to Puerto Lempira arrived safely and without incident. This is remarkable because things have a way of "disappearing" when going through the baggage handling and customs process here in Latin America. Thank you for your prayers.
We had an average of 23 pastors/lay leaders participating over the two-week theological/vocational sessions. On the final day, we presented 20 diplomas confirming their attendance and graduation from the theological portion of the course.
Graduation day included three women involved with women's ministry in their communities. I will long remember the happy smiles of these women and the 17 men who pastor churches in outlying communities. They returned to their congregations better able to equip the saints.
By John R. Steinmann