San Pedro Sula, Honduras
"Most of the girls seemed very interested in us and wanted to be touched and loved and hugged.  Others sat on the sidelines and watched.  Some looking disinterested others looking skeptical."  

Our Missionary Team to San Pedro Sula, Honduras consisted of Marilyn Orton, Founder and President of  Women of Worth; Alison Roach, Vice-President of Women of Worth, her two sons, Jacob and Joshua; Becky Oswald; Isaac Egewbole, President of Caribbean Life Missions; and David Geovanny Rivera Valle, our Ground Host.  We arrived July 27, 2001.  We stayed at the Green Frog Inn, a lovely Bed/Breakfast with an excellent host and two wonderful maids who made our stay so comfortable.  

Our first assignment was LaCasita, a shelter for about 80 girls ranging 11-15 in age.  David told us when this government shelter was first built, it was air-conditioned and beautiful but when the government was taken over by corrupt leaders, all their funding was taken away, which left the facility in a deplorable state.  The girls were rescued off of the streets where most of them were “Mules.”  They transported drugs around the country for the Drug Lords, who were also their pimps. Many of the girls had been gang-raped. A high fence surrounded the grounds topped with barbed wire and sometimes the Drug Lords break over the barb wire fencing and steal “their girls” away at night.  We toured the facility and observed 26 bunk beds in each room with hardly room to walk between.   Some had no mattresses at all and the girls (and their babies) slept on the boards. The room and mattresses and beds were filthy.  A small box underneath the bed held each girls meager belongings.

Out back were three different stations, consisting of 8 homemade concrete wash stations, made up of a piece of rough concrete where they could hand scrub their clothes and then a concrete tub to rinse.  They had designated days when they could do their laundry.  The clothes were flung over the lines (no pins) and many were laying in the dirt/grass.  The kitchen area seemed to be devoid of anything that would give you a clue of what room it was except for a few big pots and pans.  Lunch and dinner  consists mostly of rice, bread and a cola drink.

Some of these girls had babies on their hips (7 in all) and some in carriers and they were nothing but children themselves. They are Children having children.   One little girl had a good time twisting Marilyn’s hair in tight curls on top of her head.  Most of the girls seemed very interested in us and wanted to be touched and loved and hugged.  Others sat on the sidelines and watched.  Some looking disinterested others looking skeptical.  We mingled with all of them and gave lots of hugs.   Becky spoke to them that day on the subject of “Forgiveness.”  This was so appropriate because the girls had seen far too much of life at a young age.  We can only imagine all of the things that happened to them for which they needed to forgive others.  Beginning with their parents who abandoned them and ending with the way they were used by men.  We were told that they were all pretty much in the different stages of anger,
grief or depression.  

Another unexpected crisis was when our Hosts maid drank something to try to abort her 5 month pregnancy.  She nearly died.  Continue to pray for her.  She has two young twins that are being cared for by her mother in the mountain region of Honduras.

SanPedro Sula is devoid of speed limit signs, there are none.   Three lanes of traffic become four at all times and it’s not unusual to meet someone in a wheelchair, not going with the flow, but against those four lanes of traffic!  David was an ingenious driver that left us all admiring his skills but we scared him a few times too when we screamed!

We were back at LaCasita the next morning.  Alison, Joshua and Jacob spent the night before filling  gift bags for every girl and Allison even hand-decorated each bag differently so they could recognize their own but they all contained the same things.  She also did seven special pink bags for the seven babies.  They brought really cool gifts of mirrors, combs, barrettes, hair items, bubble gum and lots of other things.  Jacob and Joshua helped the girls to make Gospel Bracelets and Alison distributed the goodie bags.  The girls loved the brightly colored beads.  Jacob told them the meaning of  the colors.  We are sure they would be a treasure in the days ahead as well as a reminder of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ who died for them.  On the way to La Casita we stopped along the way and bought 10 dozen cookies, as the kids had asked us for cookies the day before.  

After Becky spoke on forgiveness the girls were given an opportunity to forgive those who were so evil and had wronged them. Marilyn gave out  copies of the Prayer of Jabez 31 day Prayer Guide in Spanish and encouraged them to read the Bible passage and pray the short prayer each day. We felt we had accomplished God’s goal for the day by not only leaving them with a salvation message, but also a lasting reminders of God’s love for them and an opportunity to grow in their prayer life and Bible Study.  Every girl received a new Spanish Bible that day, too.  One little girl was so thrilled she walked around hugging the Bible with a big smile on her face.

We were scheduled to do a 2- hr. radio broadcast from 9-11 pm.  This was a secular radio station, hosted by a pastor of the local church, and is broadcast throughout Honduras and surrounding countries.  It was a wonderful opportunity for WOW to be presented and Marilyn did a great job of doing it as well as presenting the word. People called in during the two hours and asked for prayer or to make comments and we had an opportunity to pray with them.  A man took the name and address of everyone who called in, and they received a Bible. The last woman who called, thanked us and said that she had gotten her identity back that night because of what had been said.  Marilyn was amazing; it was a very good interview and wonderful exposure for Women of Worth.  Before leaving, we learned our Host was a professional soccer player and coached a team of underprivileged children made up of mostly kids with single Moms and so we made a an appointment to meet with him on Monday on the soccer field.  

The next morning we were back at Family Life Church for Marilyn and Alison to do a presentation of  Women of Worth and Spiritual Gifts.  Nicole Bravo and her best friend came to go with us for the day.  Marilyn  met Nicole on Facebook and found that she lived in San Pedro and that she also worked
with the children in LaCasita.  Nicole joined us to translate for us.  Jacob was invited to play the guitar for the hour of worship/praise which pleased us all.   He did a wonderful job of going along with the music that was being played.   Later that night David drove us to Rio Lindo Church which was a 2-hr. drive up in the mountains and the last part of it was very rocky roads.  The people had been in church since 5pm and it was now after 10pm. Marilyn had only about 30 minutes to do her presentation but she did it!

Sunday morning, David drove us about 1-1/2 hrs. to Puerto Cortes which he told us is the center of the earth, right on the ocean.  We had lunch at a beautiful spot overlooking the water.  What a treat!  We were able to look over the ocean at Guatemala and Belize which were about 35 miles away.   The people at the church were very poor but full of the spirit and the love of God.  We enjoyed worshipping the same Lord with them!   There was lots of freedom to speak and share God’s Word and the people were very receptive.  Puerto Cortes is surrounded by mountains. and Becky spoke on “Speak to your
Mountain!” It was an amazingly relevant message and the people listened very intently to Becky’s message.  We believe it was used by the Spirit of God to help people who were facing very difficult situations in their lives.  Marilyn and Alison again spoke about WOW and spiritual gifts.

To the children’s delight, we presented a large amount of gifts to them.  They were so poor and thrilled to get all of the fun things given to them.  Joshua and Jacob played games with the kids and Joshua played catch with them (very hot).  Alison’s friend Allison Williams had involved her whole church (Warrenton Christian Church in Missouri) in making pillow case dresses for the poor girls.  The youth cut out the patterned the women sewed them.  The dresses were in all sizes and colors for the girls.  Even the little kids made tons of Gospel Bracelets to hand out.  Thank you Warrenton Christian Church!  We took lots of pictures of the little girls.  They, like ladies of any age, were so thrilled to have “a new dress!”   The church was very basic but very clean.  Before we left, they had stacked all the chairs against the walls and were already mopping and cleaning up the building.

Church was in an inner city poor black congregation that night and Marilyn requested that Isaac speak, for she had never heard him.  Isaac did an excellent job!  No wonder he is speaks all over the world!  He was captivating, entertaining and energetic!  He called Becky and Joshua and Jacob to come stand beside him, and he included him in the message as “object lessons” of Biblical characters.  The people were very receptive and warm.  They greatly responded to Isaac’s message and many came forward to be prayed for; we had no idea what their request was, but we knew God knew what they needed and all of us were happy to pray with them.   

The living accommodations in this area are heart-wrenching.  They have rusted tin fronts instead of the  high concrete walls and iron fencing surrounding most homes and their dwelling is nothing but an open lean-to pieces of rusted tin.  You saw cart-drawn donkeys carrying all kinds of wares they are hopeful of pedaling.  Some of the donkeys and carts were parked in front of the sheds and on the street as well.

We passed out gifts to the kids at the close of the service.  Alison, Joshua and Jacob purchased at their own expenses three hugh suitcases full of things for the kids.  Becky and Marilyn brought additional items.  Becky had beautiful handmade book marks for women.

The next morning we visited a shelter for boys at Behtany and what a contrast to the one for the girls.   Some of these boys are kids the parents just took to the orphanage and left them there.  Others had lived in the inner city and had no parents.  This story is repeated thousands of times all over Honduras.   The facility is run very efficiently and clean; the leaders are attentive to them; the boys disciplined, well dressed and behaved and so helpful to one another; they were about ages 8-18 years old.   Some were mopping their rooms as we walked through their rooms and and their rooms not so
crowded.  One boy, Denny, was blind and played the piano for us.  Two or three of the boys hurried to set up his Yamaha outside and to get him a chair.  One of the songs he played was “Oh Suzanna!”  And one was a very old church hymn.  It wasn’t a full sized keyboard but he did really well, we were properly impressed. It was even more impressive that Denny was taught by a blind teacher!

When we went inside, their eating area was very clean with long picnic tables and a serving center at the end of the room.  All kinds of pictures and posters about Jesus they had made were on the walls.   The Director came in and was so interesting to talk to.  She has been given 6 mos. to live and her main concern was for the children.  Marilyn prayed for her and assured her that WOW in many countries would be doing so.  Her main concern was for the children and their care if she were not there.  Again, Alison had gift bags for each of the boys and they loved what was inside, especially the hugh balloons.  Jacob explained to them the meaning of the salvation bracelets as we helped them put them on their arms.  Everyone got a new Bible.  Marilyn gave them copies of the Prayer of Jabez Prayer Guide in Spanish and told them the story of the little boy name Jabez whose life was forever changed because he came to know and pray to the true God.   Joshua and Jacob were wonderful with the boys, they played Frisbee, did sack races and played baseball and soccor with them in the yard.  We loved being there; sorry when it was time to go!

Monday, we purchased soccer balls for the soccer team that our radio host coached.  The kids were  about 9-13 yrs of age for one team; about 6-8 yrs of age for the younger team.  They were kids of poor inner city single moms.  Women of Worth bought 24 new soccer balls (a year’s supply for the team) and the kids went wild when they saw them.  Marilyn told them the story of Jabez, and gave them copies of the Prayer Guide.  Joshua and Jacob gave every boy got a new Bible.

Marilyn’s other daughter, Kim, is in charge of the WOW Kemi Project.  Kim was given the African name “Kemi” when she went to Africa with Marilyn in 2003. The name “Kemi” means “God favors you!”  Kim raised and donated funds for the hundreds of Bibles we gave out in Honduras and the thousands that were distributed at the WOW National Conference in Nigeria in August.   The women at the Nigeria conference were also given a copy of the new Women of Worth Bible Study, written by Becky, and Made for Ministry, a book on discovering your spiritual gifts, written by Marilyn.

We were extremely busy all week from early in the morning until late at night.  In fact the “dinner hour” in Honduras is at nine o’clock at night, so we didn’t get back to the Green Frog Inn until very late.    David did such an excellent job taking us to places that really needed ministry and he seemed to know the woodwork… as everyone seemed to come out of it and responded to him …we were so grateful for David and days filled with multiple opportunities for ministry.   The days were long, and busy, but we returned each night thanking God for the chance to touch so many lives, and see their response to Him.

Our last day was a day to shop and relax and David took us to the flea market.  A couple of us had to use the bathroom and they charged us $1 to use the facility and then handed us a “few sheets” of T.P!   That was a first!  Our last night was spent at Nicole’s house for dinner, her mother had invited us the first day we came.  Nicole’s whole family was just as sweet as she is.  I think Joshua and Jacob were so glad to spend some time with Nicole’s brothers who were about their age, although they willingly pitched in to do whatever needed to be done all week long.  They cheerfully did everything that was asked of them, even if they were asked to speak on short notice.  Alison took a suitcase full of gifts that we had left to Nicole to use at another orphanage that Nicole said made  LaCasita look like the Ritz.    Nicole was so appreciative of all of the gifts.   Their Pastor and his wife came to dinner also and Marilyn was able to spend a lot of time talking to this pastor’s wife about Women of Worth ministries.

It was a trip full of ministry.  God gave the exact messages that were needed for each time of ministry.  The Gospel was shared and thousand of seeds were sown.  Hundreds received Bibles and Jabez Prayer Guides.  About 500 sheets in Spanish outlining the WOW program were distributed.  Children’s lives were brightened with simple things like bubble gum, bubbles, frizbees and personal items.  Small things became hugh things
when they were given in the Name of Jesus who loves them so.  Our goal was to show them the love of Jesus and place in their hearts and hands the Gospel, the Word of God, and a simple prayer guide to teach them to pray.  Mission accomplished!

It’s a beautiful country, full of hurting people. Especially the children who are brought into this world and then abandoned and put in orphanages that are understaffed, dirty, and depressing.  Everyone in the world should have some exposure to the needs of others in other countries.  It would give a better
sense of appreciation for the life that has been provided for us since the day we were born.  Some of these scenes will be etched in our memories and hopefully make us more receptive to those all around us who need our help and encouragement.   We brightened the day for a lot of kids, shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ, spread the purpose of Women of Worth everywhere we went, and tried with all our hearts to leave the love of Christ along our way.

WOW's involvement  in Honduras Continues......

Pray for the spread of the WOW program which will empower women in using their spiritual gifts within the church and give Pastors the help they need  in ministry.

Pray for the children who not only received the Gospel but were left with daily reminders of God’s love for them through tangible items like Gospel Bracelets, Bibles, and Prayer Guides, and yes even a couple of teen age boys who simply loved them and played with them.

Pray for the adults who were challenged by Becky to “Forgive” and to trust God “To remove their mountains.

Pray for WOW as we have taken on the project of buying new mattresses for the young girls and their babies at La Casita.

Each mattress is $15.00  Any funds above the cost of mattresses will go for pillows, blankets, sheets, pillow cases.

Pray for Nicole who is looking for mission groups on the ground in Honduras who will paint the bedrooms at La Casita.

(This report was written by Becky Oswald.  Thank you Becky!)

To God be the glory.  Great things He has done!

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