In May of 1999 I went to Honduras to build a medical clinic. I volunteered for an 18 month tenure. I had no idea I would be in Honduras as a missionary today. After all, I am just an engineer not a pastor. I am not an evangelist. How is this possible?
Previously, in 1997 & 98 I had traveled to Honduras with my church on a short term mission trip. Our mission was to build homes for the homeless. We did and in the process I became acquainted with some missionaries. They learned that I was an engineer and asked if I would help develop plans for a medical clinic. I agreed. I had no idea what God was up to nor did I understand how this adventure would change my life.
Hurricane Mitch struck Honduras in October 1998. People lost their lives, their homes, and their self-esteem. We postponed the schedule for the clinic and joined in helping reestablish a broken, devastated people rebuild their homes and their hope. We built replacement homes, distributed food and water, and hosted medical brigades. We hosted over 40 groups from the US.
While our intentions were good our model was not helping the Honduran people to be self sustaining but rather creating a dependence on us.
We thought about establishing a rescue mission and seriously studied the idea by visiting various rescue missions in Kansas, Missouri, and Kentucky. As we visited rescue missions one possible program came to light, why not develop an in-house assistance program? We established a routine food distribution program coupled with a bible study and prayer on a monthly basis for people in various communities. The food baskets are simple; beans and rice with other staple foods in quantities that help sustain a family of four for a month. We include medical assistance, dental and eye care. Today we distribute food to 78 individual families monthly, have established a junior high school, and implemented a children’s sponsorship program: all efforts aimed at building a better life and following Jesus Christ.
In 2000 I married an awesome Christian woman from Honduras. I adopted her 4 year old daughter as my own. I had completed my 18 month commitment and had plans to return to the states. I landed a great job but four months later was fired. I was embarrassed. I had never been humiliated like that. I denied being a missionary. I was much like Jonah. God had showed me that my ideas were not his plan. It wasn’t until I began to seek God’s plan that I learned that I had a different calling; not as an engineer but to become a fisherman. I returned to Honduras in 2001 and have not looked back. My career has changed. I truly have become a fisher of men.