Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. 1 Chronicles 16:8
New Year – New opportunities – New blessings
Happy New Year. We thank everyone who has supported us during 2023, both financially and with prayer. We are excited about the opportunities that this new year will bring.
We see in God’s word that He is faithful and His mercies are new with each new beginning. This year can be a new beginning for all of us. The old has passed away and all things are new.
Dr. Delron and Peggy Shirley came to La Esperanza the last week of November to hold two pastor conferences in our area. We planned and held conferences in Marcala (about 30 minutes from La Esperanza) and another one in Yarmaranguila (about 30 minutes from La Esperanza in the opposite direction). The subject was the filling and gifts of the Holy Spirit. This teaching is so needed in this area. Our plan was to reach as many local pastors as possible. But wait just a minute, before we talk about the conferences, Dr. Delron and Peggy had several days of ministry here before the conferences were to start. So, what did they do?
After their arrival, we picked them up at the new airport in Palmerola, Comayagua and started the two-hour drive into the mountains of Honduras. La Esperanza is located in the southern department of Intibucá near the Honduras boarder with El Salvador. After a good meal and rest in the hotel, Sunday morning brought the first official opportunity to minister. Dr. Delron spoke at the morning service of one of the local churches.
In the afternoon, they would be found at a missionary gathering. We had planned a time together with many of the local missionaries at our house so they could meet (or meet again) Dr. Delron and Peggy. It is always fun to get together with fellow missionaries. We all need each other and it is a blessing to have time to sit and share our experiences. There were snacks to munch on while we listened to Dr. Delron share some of his adventures on the mission field. He and Peggy answered questions and encouraged us all.
The next morning our team meet at our house for a time of fellowship and prayer. The translators Ruth Rosada and Sharon Sanders, Dr. Delron and Peggy along with ourselves prepared for the coming week. The next few days saw ministry in a small church in Azacualpa, the large Church of God in La Esperanza, Centro Cristiano Internacional church in La Esperanza, the prison in La Esperanza, the prison in Marcal, serving baleadas, juice and praying with patients and their families at the local hospital in La Esperanza and visiting a physical rehab center in Marcala. So many people were touched with kindness, tears flowed, hugs were exchanged and hope given, praise God!
Then it was time for the conferences. We had 49 pastors and leaders attending the conference in Marcala. It was a great time of absorbing the word of God and learning about the filling of the Spirit.
The next day, we had 61 pastors and leaders attending the conference in Yarmaranguila. Again, the pastors soaked in the teaching. Everyone left from both conferences praising God for the knowledge they had gained and the presence of the Hoy Spirit they had felt. We are expecting Gods word to not come back void and the people in this area of Honduras to grow in their knowledge and relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The week was closed off with one more service at Iglesia Brazos para Amar y Restaurar on Sunday morning. The Pastor and his church were so thankful & encouraged by the message. Monday morning, we took Dr. Delron and Peggy to Tegucigalpa to meet with the Every Home for Christ representative for the Americas.
As John said about Jesus in John 21:25, we say about Dr. Delron and Peggy. They also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written. Not just from this trip but all of their world-wide ministry. Join us in praying for this couple as they travel and share God’s word.
We love our church! Pastors Jon & Alicia truly care for each member. We have a great time celebrating birthdays and holidays together but also in hearing the Word of God. Pastor Jon encourages us to be like Jesus by helping others and sharing the Word of God with those around us. The ladies of the church are great cooks! When we have special events, they are always ready to help. A visiting team from the states came down and held an event in the park, the ladies prepared and served rice to each family who came to the park. Smiles beamed across the mothers faces as they received the rice.
Vanessa, A lady known to our church family, has cancer. She has to travel 3 hours for treatments leaving her husband and 3 children at home. Needless to say, the financial needs are tremendous. The ladies of Amor Que Redime prepared soup and sold it to help them out. The soup sold out. It was a blessing to Vanesa and was a rewarding time for all involved. We continue to believe for Vanessa’s healing. God shines brightly through the folks at Iglesia Amor Que Redime as we strive to honor Him!
In early October we visited and worked with White Fields Missions, Allen & Vicky Skelton. They had a team from Georgia come down for a week. Since we have spent many weeks working with White Fields over the years, it is amazing to watch the local children grow, see the changes in the villages they work with, visit the wonderful folks at the nursing home and have fun with kids from a local orphanage, “Leonard’s Kids”. Several of the neighborhood kids that have grown up with this ministry bring their children each week to hear Bible stories, play with other children and have a fun day.
Preparing rooms for team members, washing and folding sheets and towels, helping Vicky and Bethany buy 4 carts completely full of groceries; to some, these things may not sound like the job of a missionary. But, after working together to accomplish these tasks, the campus was ready for the team to arrive. They would be ministering to the people of Honduras this week and we would be ministering to the team. It takes the whole body of Christ to spread the word of God. We received a great blessing working with the team and seeing the joy in the people’s faces as they heard the Bible stories, worked on crafts, sang songs and receive Jesus in their hearts!
We are thankful God is always with us especially when we are tired and ready to get back home to the cool mountains. On this trip back to La Esperanza, just before we were to turn off of the main road, our tire blew out. We pulled to the side of the road and got the jack out. A couple of men walking down the road stopped and helped to change the tire. Soon we were on our way home. God is so good to send help just when we need it.
We were blessed to have friends come spend time with us.
We met Sandy & Paul several years ago while we were in language school. They completed school and moved on to minister in another city before we did but we were able to stay in touch and visit with them in Camasca Honduras (about an hour and a half from where we live now). After ministering here for several years, they moved back to the states. This year they came down on a mission trip and stayed over a few days to visit with us.
Another friend we have worked with on many mission trips, Diane, also came for a visit. She came down to La Ceiba on a mission trip and stayed a few extra days to visit with us in the mountains. It was great to have company and to take them with us as we went out and worked with others.
Last year when Dr. Delron & Peggy were here, they encouraged us to visit the prisons. So, we got an appointment at the local prison and Peggy spoke at the first meeting in Nov. 2022. This lit a spark in Gene’s and Sharon’s heart to continue this ministry so they have. Each month Gene, Sharon (minister & translator), Narea (a friend) & Edmundo (musician) visit the prison. We have been praying for changes in the prison system here in Honduras and are beginning to see some improvements since the military police have taken over. Last month the head of the local prison introduced himself and talked with us. He explained that his mother is a Christian and he is so thankful for her prayers. He himself is a Christian and knows the importance of giving everyone, even prisoners, a chance to know Christ. He insists that all of the prisoners, 350+, come together when ministries come to the prison so they can all hear the Word of God. His desire is to see The La Esperanza Prison become an example of how prisons should be run; giving prisoners a chance to improve their lives by knowing the Lord.
Again this year, Dr. Delron and Peggy went with us to the prison to bring the word. As Peggy spoke everyone listened intently, afterwards several of the prisoners made a decision to give their hearts to God. Gene has talked with some of the prisoners and they would love to have Bible classes. We are praying that the doors open for more teaching time. Please believe with us for this.
Earlier this year the social worker for the prison had asked for some musical instruments for the prisoners. Thanks to you, Heart of the King Ministries, a piano, a guiro (a musical instrument with a serrated surface that gives a rasping sound when scraped with a stick) and a tambourine were purchased and delivered in October. It was a joy to see them playing the instruments, using their talents for the Lord, as we sang . Praise God, the bound can be set free if only in their hearts.
Each Wednesday we participate with Teach Me 2 Love Academy with some of the best and most loving kids in Honduras. Jon and Alicia, the directors, have built this school to teach kids with special needs and their families that they have a purpose and can make a difference in this world. Every day they are taught Bible lessons, practice writing and drawing, play together and learn many new skills. They are a joy to be around with smiles and hugs that light up the day.
In October, you, Heart of the King Ministries, provided more vitamins for the children. The parents appreciate these and the children seem to be healthier since giving out vitamins last year. Also, you provided for the annual Christmas Blessing Baskets by giving families needed hygiene products. It is so exciting to know we can help make their lives just a little easier.
In October a team came down to visit the school and one of them is a professional juggler. The kids loved watching him juggle balls and spin plates, soon they were trying out their skills. It was so much fun and Josue became very good at spinning plates. Mr. Christoph is a professional juggler who loves God so an evening at the park was planned where he could share the gospel story as he entertained. The kids of Teach Me 2 Love started the program off by singing and dancing on stage. Many people came out to watch and hear. It was a great evening and an opportunity to pray with many people. While the team was here, a mother’s dinner was planned for all the mothers of the Teach Me 2 Love kids. What a great night of food and fellowship then a brief encouraging message and prayers for all. God was near and blessed these women.
The school days of November and December were used to learn about Jesus’ birth and prepare for the Christmas program. The kids did many Christmas crafts and learned new Christmas songs for the annual Christmas program. Dressed in their best, they performed beautifully with hearts & bells, smiles and laughter, the program was wonderful. Afterwards a delicious plate of vegetable rice and cake was served. Another year was complete with joy and love. The Lord is doing great things in these children’s lives. Some spoke for the first time, some waved good-bye for the first time, some learned to feed themselves while others learned to sit at the table and color. We and especially the parents are so thankful for every small step taken. Join us as we pray for each of the children and the workers of TeachMe2Love.
We are so glad to continue helping Kelly & Steve Solheim with Club Aslan. The club continues to grow each week with 25-30 middle school kids gathering on Saturday afternoons to play games, hear stories about God and learn that they can have a bright future if they desire it and work toward it.
The 5th anniversary of Club Aslan was celebrated in October. Steve & Kelly had a big party with special games, cake and soda. Several of the parents came and presented a beautiful gift basket in appreciation to Kelly & Steve. This was a heart-warming moment just to know that the parents appreciate the club and have seen good results in their children. School in Honduras ended in November and 3 of the top graduating students are members of Club Aslan! We do pray for these children to excel in school and in life. May God continue to bless Club Aslan.
We just returned from our Christmas visit in Georgia and Alabama with our families. It is always good to spend time with them all and catch up, in person, with what is going on. Also, a home cooked Christmas meal is a special time with family.
Gene and I are so thankful that you are a part of this ministry. We thank you for your prayers for us and the people of Honduras because we know the importance of prayer. As the new year begins, our hearts are open to what God has in store for us and for the ministries we work with. It is truly a privilege to live here in La Esperanza, Honduras and serve the Lord!
If the Lord leads you to support our ministry financially, all gifts are tax deductible and should be mailed to:
Heart of the King Ministries
115 Creden Pl
Alabaster, AL. 35007
Checks should be made payable to Heart of the King Ministries.
Click this LINK to view all of our Honduras photo galleries (newer photos appear toward the bottom of the individual galleries).