Special Report: Honduras and Guatemala 2017


The United Methodist Mission in Honduras was started by the Board of Global Ministries in 1997 and is the only United Methodist church in Latin America. The National Evangelical Primitive Methodist Church of Guatemala has been part of the church’s mission since 1976 when the church provided humanitarian aid and relief teams after a devastating earthquake.

A small group of United Methodist bishops from the United States, along with staff from the Board of Global Ministries and United Methodist Communications, visited United Methodist churches in Honduras and Evangelical National Primitive Methodist churches in Guatemala, July 19-26. The mission education journey immersed participants in the work of the church in the two Central America countries. 

(From left) Bishop Jonathan Holston, the Rev. Carlos Cornejo, Claudete Mora, the Rev. Luis Soto and Bishop Mike McKee use body movement to pray the Lord’s Prayer as part of a devotion given by Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, at Cristo Resucitado, Ciudad España, Honduras. Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert. 

Honduras, Guatemala pastors rely on power of prayer

Violence and poverty threatens to drown the communities and consume families. Pastors fight back with faith. 
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The Rev. Héctor Mauricio Rodríguez Lainez, pastor at Aposento Alto United Methodist in Fuerzas Unidas, Honduras, often goes walking around his dangerous neighborhood. 

Video: Pastor serves church in Honduras gang neighborhood

"If someone refuses to join the maras, they are given 48 hours to get out of the country or they will be killed. But really, they usually don't get 48 hours."
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United Methodist bishops and members of the Evangelica Nacional Metodista Primitiva de Guatemala church listen to an overview of Guatemala and Methodism at Santo Tomas Hotel in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert, UMNS. 

Guatemala church works in shadow of gangs

Pastors joyful and committed to bringing Gospel to all parts of Guatemala, despite day-to day struggles.
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Most of the employees at the Tabacos de Oriente cigar factory in Danlí, Honduras, are women. After the tobacco leaves are cured, they are sorted by color and size.  

Chaplain brings word of God to cigar factory

The Rev. José Roberto Peña, a United Methodist pastor, has been preaching every Friday through an intercom for the past three years.
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Every Friday, the Rev.  José Roberto Peña, a United Methodist pastor in Honduras,  preaches to workers at a cigar factory. 

Video: Honduras pastor serves as chaplain to factory workers

"When I don't come, (workers) ask me, 'Why? We need you to bring the Christian message.'"
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Children sang and read scripture behind large letters spelling out Jesus as part of the celebration of placing the cornerstone for Casa de Paz United Methodist Church. Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert, UMNS. 

Pastor: 'God wanted me to go through tribulations.'

The Rev.  Félix Medina, his family and community, celebrate beginning of new  church.
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Video image by Jan Snider, United Methodist Communications. 

Video: Methodism in Central America: Challenges, Faith and Hope

Video takes you into Honduras and Guatemala where the Methodist church  provides much-needed support amidst violence and poverty.
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Mission and Ministry
Vinicius Guimarães dos Santos, an educator with Shade and Fresh Water, an after-school ministry of the Methodist Church of Brazil, plays a game with some of the students at the Liberdade site in Brazil. The ministry is among many over the years receiving small grants through the Encounter with Christ in Latin America and the Caribbean Fund. Photo by Mark Greathouse, courtesy of Global Ministries.

Sustaining faith partnerships with Latin America

Through small grants, the Encounter with Christ fund has nurtured Methodist mission and relationships in 26 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Human Rights
El Obispo Antonio Huanca, líder episcopal de la Iglesia Evangélica Metodista en Bolivia, ha publicado un mensaje abierto al pueblo boliviano en medio de crecientes tensiones sociales, después de las últimas elecciones presidenciales del 20 de octubre de 2019. Foto cortesía de la Vicepresidencia de Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia.

Mensaje del obispo metodista de Bolivia an crecientes tensiones sociales

Frente al creciente ambiente conflictivo la Iglesia Evangélica en Bolivia, en voz e su obispo el Rev. Carlos Huanca, han hecho público un mensaje al pueblo boliviano.
Racism
Native American youth from the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference participated in a panel discussion at Youth 2019 in Kansas City, Mo., about issues facing Native communities. From left are: Alyssa Underwood, Elonna LaFromboise and Jariah Eyachabbe. Photo by Ginny Underwood.

Native young people speak up at national gathering

Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference youth raise their voices about Native-themed mascots and other issues important to their communities.