Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sampedrana, meet pastor Henry!

Today was a big day.  We left early for Sampedrana, picking Henry and his family up along the way, after getting Andy (the Sampedrana pastor Land Cruiser) its filters changed, fluids checked, and as prepped for the roads there as we could make it.

There were quite a few in the service already when we got there and things were getting started.  I did a brief head count, since we have not had a pastor there to complete monthly reports for over a year, and counted over 25 women, around 25 men, and over 25 children. 

Putting a new pastor in Sampedrana has been...hard.  As Oscar mentioned during our time to make the announcement, it has been accompanied by much prayer by us, by the Church, and surely by many others.  There have been possibilities, but none that came to fruition...until now.

We pray God would make this transition time (as they begin to move from Siquatepeque over the next month) as easy as possible, and that God would use Henry to encourage and strengthen the Church, as well over the next three years help him to develop the next pastor from that community that we would hope would lead the Church into the future. 

Before Church was even over, just after the announcement, Henry was called into pastoral service, by a husband requesting prayer for his wife who has been ill.  Watching him and Oscar move immediately to pray for her was great.

Also great was seeing many greet Henry and his family...the hugs, the talks...just seeing them already feel at home and getting to know people. 

I took this picture when up on stage making the announcement for Henry becoming the new pastor.  What might be hard to see (as they bring the children back in from Sunday School) is all the people across the street outside the front door watching and listening.

We were obvious by our presence, and that probably increased the curious crowd somewhat, and having a big party to celebrate also was probably intriguing to them (we had fried rice from a Chinese restaurant down in Comayagua, and cake from PriceSmart we brought with us.)

As the years pass...there are always people on the outside looking in...but slowly and surely some of those on the outside come together with those on the inside.   

There is no Sunday School room or building in Sampedrana.  But...we do have the "mission house" for hosting groups up there.  It was great to see them using that for now, that the building is getting more than just group use.  It is not ideal of course with all the other bunkbeds and things in there, but better than being outside on the street! 

I was also quite pleased when walking up to take this quick picture to find Cecilia helping the teacher by leading everyone in a game.  Not surprised, but pleased. 

Oscar is planning to return in November to see how things are going in person for Henry, as well as to make some further improvements to the mission house, to house those teams that visit even better, and to replace the stairwell to get to the second floor.  That will be exciting to see completed.

While in Sampedrana, we also met with Gender, the former pastor there, about taking the position in Las Botijas to direct the farm work there (mostly coffee, we have a temporary caretaker there now) while at the same time developing a Church there. 

With Henry starting in Sampedrana, and Gender's anticipated move in was a great day, and these continue to be great times for us to pray for God's continual protection, guidance and blessing on all those He is using to advance His Kingdom here in Honduras! 

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