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It Comes Down to This (Why We Love the Church)
Posted By Yuri Fortin On February 1, 2011 @ 1:03 am In Country Staff | 3 Comments
Protestant churches, especially evangelical churches, have undergone a tremendous growth in Honduras since the 1980s. Denominations such as the Methodists, Church of God, Seventh Day Adventists and Assemblies of God are among the most popular and can be found in all parts of the country.
The evangelical church has played an important role in Honduran society. Now government authorities seek counseling and look for an objective opinion from the church regarding different issues that affect the country.
The evangelical church sponsors social service programs in many communities, making them attractive to the lower classes; its leadership generally exerts a conservative influence in politics. Currently, the evangelical church is growing rapidly across the country.
The power of God through His church is essential in helping families out of poverty – simply because when put into practice, the gospel of Jesus transmits hope, peace and faith to the people.
A local congregation can give a sense of belonging, spiritual safety, friendship, fellowship and encouragement. The church also helps families to train their children and help the community to work together, and gives the opportunity to serve others in need.
The most important reason given by believers as they participate in a local congregation is knowing that members help each other. In other words, God has given different abilities and skills to different believers, and He wants us to work together for the common good.
No project, activity or plan can fail if the church of God is in it; the Compassion ministry knows this.
Currently, 175 churches are now fighting the good fight in different areas of Honduras, facing issues such as gangs, insecurity, crime, poverty and violence. The church has gained the respect of those who are not followers of Jesus, including the heads of gangs, because of the work that is being done in every community in Honduras.
Pastor Carballo knows that there is a spiritual war going on and it requires a strong church. A genuine and courageous man, Pastor Carballo has been directing the Filadelfia Church for nearly 15 years.
The Filadelfia Church is a congregation of 300 people who strongly believe in the power of God to bring transformation to their community. It is located in the industrial city of San Pedro Sula, right in the neighborhood of Chamelecon – well known because of the presence of gangs. It is a very poor area but home to hard-working people.
In spite of the dangerous situation in the community, the church has decided to fight back.
“We are fighting and not giving up because we will win this location for Christ. We are taking prayer time very seriously, and we are seeing the change in the people. We know that it will take time, but at the end we will see the fruits of our efforts. The Lord is and will be with us always, so that means that we cannot fail.”
Against all odds, the church has gained the respect of these rebellious groups, ironically some of whom have their kids registered in our Child Sponsorship Program. Deep in their hearts, these people know that the church and its child development center are doing good things for their kids.
The Filadelfia Church is doing the job that not everybody will assume – a complicated and risky mission, a challenge that can only be achieved through the sustained work of the Bride of Christ.
As part of our ministry to the world, the Church is to preach the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. No other organization will do this work; it is the mission of the church. Every worker is needed – some on the front lines, and some in support. Just like the Scripture says, some will plant, some will nurture and some will harvest, and. as we work together, Christ will cause the Church to grow.
The local church has become a way out of problems, an oasis of love and attention, and a place of hope. Families come to church to find the right path to conduct their lives and eventually many of them become members and servants in different ministries.
The Pena de Horeb Church is located in the conflictive community of Suazo Cordoba. This congregation is working hard to rescue the children from bad influences. It has developed three programs: Royal Rangers, Castillo del Rey and Girl Scouts in order to keep young people busy and out of trouble. Currently 150 young people are participating in these three ministries.
It all comes down to this: The church is not just essential, it is necessary, imperative to change lives and bring social, spiritual, and physical development in this troubled society. Communities see their congregations as a shelter of love, a ray of hope in the midst of the difficult living conditions, a place where their children receive spiritual values that will make them better citizens in the future.
Right in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, the Corazon por Honduras Church is already seeing the fruits of its hard work and discipleship groups. This is an active congregation whose mission is to gain Honduras for Christ.
This ministry has 30 churches in the country, and this evangelistic movement has spread out to Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic. The church has 50 discipleship groups and several ministries like Sunday school, leadership school and youth meetings.
For Pastor Reconco, the congregation leader, an imperative need is giving the best attention to the children.
“I have seen a positive change in the children and a change of attitude from how they express themselves now. Many children used to say bad words and were disobedient to their parents. Now that they come to the church they have been able to improve in this area and this has been possible because they feel now part of this program. They feel loved and also they enjoy coming here as they have time to play with other kids, learn about Jesus, and have a nutritional meal.
“I’m telling you that many parents encourage their children to come to church and the child development center because they have witnessed a wonderful change in their children.”
This congregation is committed to spread the gospel of salvation as it is only in Christ that every man and woman can live happy and complete.
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:10, NIV).
Our first duty is to our family, then to the church, and then to the world around us. The second-greatest commandment is to love our neighbors.
The evangelical church across the country is defying the adversity and chaos of the current society, still standing and winning the battle each day as many people are coming to the Lord and changing their habits and way of living. Today the church and Compassion Honduras join efforts to bring transformation through Jesus.
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