Greetings to everyone! Mindi here. We hope you are having an incredibly fulfilling and productive Lenten season! We are just now taking a little time to update everyone about Teach Them To Fish’s outrageously busy but very exciting start to 2023!
In January, John and I travelled from Roatan back to Mississippi to attend the 196th Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi in Natchez. After MUCH writing, revising, and condensing (how does one distill 20 years of mission work into 10 minutes?) we gave a short presentation to the entire Council on Saturday morning, introducing our ministry to the Diocese and sharing a few opportunities for service. We then hosted over 20 people in a breakaway workshop that afternoon to discuss in more detail how people in Mississippi can become involved on Roatan and in all of Honduras. We are very excited to become a part of the entire Diocese of Mississippi, and look forward to continuing to get to know people from each parish and find ways to provide opportunities for mission-minded folks to serve Christ in Honduras.
After we returned to the island, Bishop Allen of Honduras graciously extended us an invitation to present our ministry to the entire Diocese of Honduras at their Council meeting in late February. We spent 2 days meeting with the deans of the Diocese, meeting with Bishop Allen, and having wonderful fellowship and worship with the entire group! I also loved practicing my “really-bad-but-I-won’t-stop-trying” Spanish speaking, and am grateful I was shown a tremendous amount of grace in this area.
As a result of these two meetings, the deans of the Diocese of Honduras are helping us compile a “database of needs” across all their churches. With this, we will be able to identify specific needs of Honduran churches and communities with estimated manpower requirements, financial needs, and timelines. This will become our “mission menu” for potential mission groups from Mississippi (or anywhere else, for that matter!) to review and select a church, community, or specific project that appeals to them. We will then work to coordinate fund-raising and eventual travel arrangements with mission groups to help meet these needs.
Additionally, we are beginning to offer our store on the island as an outlet for church-based microindustries from the mainland. In the last 2 weeks, we have already gotten information on four new microindustries that will begin selling their goods through Microindustry Missions Market here on Roatan. This arrangement benefits the artist/creator of the products that are sold, as well as their home church, thus working toward the goal of self-sufficiency for individuals, families, and churches in Honduras. We are expecting a really big response from churches on the mainland, as there are countless talented and creative artists who produce beautiful products, but lack a reliable sales outlet needed to make a living selling their products.
Needless to say, we are only slightly overwhelmed, but always grateful for these new and additional opportunities to share the love of Christ with the beautiful people of Honduras. We covet your prayers in a few specific areas.
Please pray for clarity and direction as we transition some administrative and accounting parts of TTTF over to the Diocese. We are praying that God puts exactly the right people in our path to help us grow and expand in the ways He wants us to.
Please pray specifically for the priests and pastors of the Honduran Episcopal Churches. Almost all the parishes in Honduras rely on some type of external funding to pay their priests, pensions, and education. If this funding dries up (as it is predicted to do very soon), it will mean dozens of churches shuttering their doors and no longer serving the spiritual needs of their communities. Efforts toward self-sufficiency are desperately needed, and we want God to direct our efforts to be efficient, focused, and successful.
Please pray for discernment and guidance in your own congregations. If you feel lead to help the people of Honduras, reach out to us! It only takes one impassioned individual to create excitement and interest for many. The needs are many, and the workers are few! If you don’t see coming to Honduras in your future, but still want to help, consider a tax-deductible donation. John and I are both always loathe to ask for money, but there are so many needs here that even just a small donation would help. Because of this, we are setting aside our discomfort and encouraging you to pray about sending a one-time or a monthly donation (directly to the diocese or at our website tttfmicro.com). We are forever grateful to the several people who do regularly give to help us continue sharing the love of Christ here.
Finally, we send you our deepest gratitude and love for following along on this journey with us. Thank you for your prayers and your support, for sharing our information with others, and for continuing to love as Jesus loves us!