SAN MIGUEL, HONDURAS —
“Let’s roll,” said pastor Oscar to the group of students and youth leaders
gathered in front of Emmanuel Baptist Church with their hygiene kits. Oscar
doesn’t waste any time when it comes to getting out in the community and
ministering. Oscar is pastor of Emmanuel in San Miguel. San Miguel is a
municipality in Francisco Marazan, one of 18 departments that divide the
country of Honduras.
The municipality is
extremely poor. Oscar said not until this year did the government start pouring
cement onto some of the streets that were nothing but mud and dirt. Although
the community is poor the people try to help raise funds for the work, and
Emmanuel also pitches in with street repairs, street cleaning and trash pick
Recently San Miguel has seen
many cases of dengue fever, and Emmanuel members seek to reach out to those who
are sick and to help with disease prevention.
As Oscar led the team from
home to home passing out the hygiene kits the poverty of his community is
undeniable. He pointed out a dirt patch where a house once stood before the
river washed it away. One home sits just a few feet from the edge of a cliff,
overlooking a river, with tarps spread out in front of the door in attempt to
keep the heavy rains from coming inside. With much more rain, the little house
itself has a good chance of being gone.
Most homes the team entered
consisted of one room and no electricity. Still, the houses felt like homes, as
the families put pictures on the walls and had everything neat and tidy. The
Hondurans are very hospitable people.
Even if the home is so small there’s no
way the entire team can fit, they still invite the team inside to sit down and
Two teams of Deep Impact
participants spent their weeklong mission trip in Honduras serving in San
One team led basketball clinics in the morning and passed out hygiene
kits in the afternoon. A second team led Vacation Bible School at Emmanuel.
Other teams worked in El Tablon and at Camp Betel.
The first afternoon of
hygiene kit distribution the sun seemed to beat down unmercifully. Pastor Oscar
The team started by winding
down a mountain of steps to the bottom of a hill and from house to house, not
skipping over a single one, they worked their way back to the top. An elderly
woman greeted the team at the first home they visited.
Her home sat at the bottom
of the hill, out of sight until the team squeezed around a mound of rocks. She
asked the team to pray for her health because she often faints.
When Oscar first came to
Emmanuel the church was a mission of another local church and met in a small
wood building with few people attending. Over time the church grew and its
influence in the community increased.
Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem
helped build a new building for Emmanuel and in 2001 celebrated with Oscar at
the building’s inauguration.
The impact made when
believers are willing to sacrifice to help others is not easily forgotten.
Oscar still has a framed photo in his office of Max Furr and his family, from
Calvary Baptist, who helped with the new building.
He also has a Bible signed
by Mark Corts in 2001, on the day of the inauguration. Corts, who died in 2006,
pastored Calvary Baptist from the age of 25 until he retired in 2002.
Oscar, 50, grew up in south
Honduras in Choluteca. In the 1980s, Oscar was heavily involved in drugs and
alcohol. His family members were not Christians, but he had friends who were.
Although he showed no interest, friends persistently stayed after Oscar to join
them at church. When Oscar finally relented, a friend picked him up and they
went to church together.
Oscar showed up to church
that day with long hair, baggy pants and sat in the last row. “Young people
still came up to me after the service,” Oscar said. “And I liked that.” Oscar
came to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at that church. He also met
his wife at church and they have been married 24 years. The kindness shown to a
stranger that day meant more than those young people could ever have imagined.