Donald Westra, a member of Federated Church UCC, Fergus Falls, Minnesota, serves with the Evangelical and Reformed Church of Honduras (IER). His appointment is made possible by your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing, Disciple's Mission Fund, Our Church's Wider Mission, and your special gifts.Read more
Greetings from Don and Maryjane Westra, Global Ministries Mission Personnel in Honduras.
Our tenure with Global Ministries began in 2009 in Mt. Selinda Mission Station, Zimbabwe. In 2013 we moved to Honduras where we now serve with Global Ministries’ partner, the Evangelical and Reformed Church. We work in the social service branch of the church Synod, the Association of Evangelical Institutions of Honduras (AIEH), which oversees schools and clinics. Specifically, we are assigned to a vocational school, the Center for Vocational Education and Evangelical Reformed (CEVER), in Yoro, Honduras. I work alongside the administration and Don is working on sustainable projects to provide financial security into the future.Read more
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”Read more
“Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.” Psalms 80:7Read more
Roberto, a newspaper salesman that we were acquainted with was gunned down at 8:00 a.m. in a Tegucigalpa neighborhood, where he sold papers. It is said that his employer didn’t pay the required war tax, money paid to gang members to do business in their controlled neighborhoods. It is said the gangs wanted to make an example of Roberto. His bleeding, lifeless corpse was displayed in the local paper. This man was well-known and well liked in our small, safe community north of the city. All the businesses were closed on the day of his funeral so people could attend.Read more
Before I became a missionary I always wondered what it would be like. Do missionaries live in grass huts? Do they carry river water long distances? Do they pray more than the average pew warmer? Do they put a notch in their belt for every soul saved?Read more
We arrived in Zimbabwe in 2009. Learning the culture was the most difficult. They say you can learn a new culture, but you will never truly be a part of it. By 2013 we were comfortable and felt like we were a part of the community. 2013 was a year of transition for Maryjane and me After several months of waiting, we were reassigned to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We moved from a bush community in Africa to a city of 2 million people in Central America. We arrived in June and set up housekeeping.Read more
The year 2013 was a time of transition for Maryjane and me. After several months of waiting, we were reassigned to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We moved from a rural community in Africa to a city of 2 million people in Central America. We arrived in June and set up housekeeping. Our assignment is to work with a Non-Governmental Organization called Christian Commission for Development (CCD).Read more
Lectionary Selection: John 4:5-42
Prayers for Honduras:
Dear God, Creator of humankind, we come to you with humility and appreciation of your creation. We know we have not always been good curators of this earth, but we ask your guidance in knowing the way forward. Help us love and protect our gifts, so our children will know the wonderment. Lead us to the well and quench our thirst with the living water. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Honduras:
Allow me to introduce Rosalina Matute. She lives in Honduras in the village of San Ignacio, two hours north of the capitol city of Tegucigalpa. Rosalina Matute is chair of a cooperative of women entrepreneurs known as Programa de Asignación Familiar, PRAM, the allocation to family program. The woman have organized to make brisas. We know them as Freeze-pops. They call their product Brisas de Cielo, Heavenly Freeze-pops. Their church, Iglesia Elim, donates space for the women to set up their equipment and work. Ten women work full time at PRAM. They purchase juice concentrate in various flavors and mix it with water. They fill plastic tubes from a hose connected to a five bucket then seal the tubes with a heat sealer. They produce 1,250 freeze pops a week which they sell to local grocery stores and street vendors at one Lempira each, about a nickel. No matter how you do the math, there is not a large profit margin in this business and the women are looking for ways to increase their productivity and profit. A major challenge is the water supply in San Ignacius is not clean. This village continues to experience water contamination from the effects of U.S and Canadian mining in the early 20th Century. At this time the cooperative purchases 50 gallons of bottled water per week for the freeze pops, but are looking to buy a water filter to avoid the high cost of purchased water. In addition, the women would like to purchase a large, industrial sealing machine, enabling them to work faster and increase the size of their business. CCD with help from Global Ministries help to develop strong leaders such as Rosalina. Leadership development is key to continuation and growth of a program and leadership is only able to develop with freedom and accountability. Rosalina is a leader. She knows her business and she is able to guide the women through an action plan.
I’m not sure if Jesus was thinking about freeze pops when he was talking to the woman at the well, but I think he knew about Rosalina Matute’s wish to drink the water of eternal life and never have to go to the well again.
Mission Partners in Honduras:
- Asociacion de Instituciones Evangelicas de Honduras (AIEH)
- Comision Cristiana de Desarrollo (CCD)
- Comisión Social Menonita - CASM
- Seminario Teologico de la Iglesia Evangelica y Reforma (SETIER)
- Sinodo de la Iglesia Evangelica y Reformada de Honduras (IERH)
More information on Honduras:
Global Ministries Missionary in Honduras:
Donald Westra and Maryjane Westra, are members of Federated Church UCC, Fergus Falls, Minnesota and serve the Christian Commission for Development (CCD) in Honduras. CCD provides ecumenical theological education and support to Honduran pastors. In addition, CCD provides vocational programs for city Youth-at-Risk.