Hi to everyone! John here, reaching out to update you all a bit on how things are going here at your mission on Roatan.
Missionary life is not at all what I expected. One day you’re doing the professional 50 hour a week, 50 weeks a year in corporate America and the next you’re living on a small island in the Caribbean with very random hours, unexpected barriers and difficulties, cultural challenges, and faced with prioritizing goals in the face of overwhelming need. . Resources are few and far between but when a good one comes along you say a prayer of gratitude and celebrate it. Honduran Fellowship of missionaries and Ministries (HFMM) is just such a resource.
Next month, it will be four years since I first came to the island. Other than the priests I came to help, two of the first people I met here were Bob Canter and Father Robert Browning. Father Robert has been with us from the beginning but It was Bob that told me about HFMM.
HFMM is an organization founded in 2008 by John and Adriana Mattica. It provides spiritual, emotional, and legal support to its members but is non-governing in nature. They say they are there to ‘serve the servers’ and they do that in a number of phenomenal ways. Not only do they help their members secure residency but they also provide a means to get medical and life insurance, provide counseling unique to mission work, will lend assistance in forming an NGO here, and basically provide an ear and assistance when its missionaries run into obstacles with the government. They have several collective meetings during the year that provide networking and spiritual support for members and their families, and even help organize a missionary “respite” weekend periodically.
HFMM (and the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi) were instrumental in getting my legal residency approved here. It is an expensive and tedious process that the Diocese of Mississippi made affordable and HFMM made effortless. We are currently pursuing permanent residency for Mindi and Ella through HFMM, and are so grateful for their guidance. They also provide a community of like-minded people doing God’s work and make us feel like we have a community, even when we feel isolated out here on the island.
I cannot say how comforting it is to have a local organization that does as much as they do. I am sure I am not the only one that includes this wonderful organization in prayers of gratitude. It is genuinely a blessing to be a part of this group dedicated to the advancement of God’s kingdom.
We continue to push through slow season here, but the girls are doing an amazing job engaging the customers we do get into Microindustry Missions Market. Tropical Wood Works is continuing to do well, and David and Christian continue to learn their craft and become more efficient and proficient. We are also excited to announce we have our first participant in Billie’s Gift jewelry microindustry. Dayana can’t wait to get started, and we are working diligently to prepare the space and prototype jewelry designs for her to learn.