I just love being called a missioner. It is, of course, interchangeable with missionary but according to Google dictionary ‘missioner’ is the one in charge of a mission. Considering my wife, Mindi, and I are both missionaries on the same mission, the question becomes which of us is the missioner and which is the missionary. The debate continues…
We are indeed looking for missioners and missionaries. We need both those that can lead and those that can assist. Since we were brought into the diocese this past January, we have been creating a database that matches the offerings of the churches in Mississippi to the needs and offerings of the churches and congregations in Honduras.
After attending Council in January in Mississippi, we attended the conference of the Episcopal Diocese of Honduras in Muchileana in February. Bishop Allen and staff treated us like honored family. We met with the deans, put on a microindustry workshop, and began the process of assessing needs. The result was that the bishop wanted a microindustry in all of his churches to help support them. Historic external funding has slowly been withdrawn and without a way to support them, church doors will have to be closed.
For those that were not at Council, we are Teach Them To Fish Microindustries. Prior to January, we’d spent the last 20 years coming to Honduras to start microindustries for individuals to support themselves. Our new directive is to not only create microindusties for individuals but to create them for the churches here as well. Additionally, we are building teams to come to Honduras to provide for other needs of the churches and their communities. These needs include construction, medical, dental, education, and clean water. We connect churches willing to start a microindustry or mission to the churches here that need them.
Happily, Trinity Episcopal in Natchez has taken up the charge. It has raised money to send a team down this fall to see how they can help. We will be hosting them for a week on the island of Roatan to introduce them to the people and culture. It is our hope that it will be the prototype for other churches in the diocese to copy and fit to their needs and resources.
We want to thank everyone in both dioceses for helping us get this new diocesan cooperation going. Both bishops and their staffs have been so generous with their support and time. We are very excited for the Natchez group and the rest that follow to see God’s hand in this country.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and website our website is tttfmicro.com. We have a facebook page called Teach Them To Fish. Our contact numbers are (251) 404-3312 in the US and (504) 9511-0346 in Honduras. We would love to come see and speak with your congregations at Sunday School or Wednesday night worship.
God’s blessings on you all.
John and Mindi DeLancey