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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Social Concerns
Tink Tinker (wazhazhe, Osage Nation) helps lead an "Act of Repentance toward Healing Relationships with Indigenous Peoples" at the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla. Tinker is professor emeritus at The Iliff School of Theology. File photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Facing up to a grotesque book at Iliff

A book with a cover made from the skin of a slain Native American has haunted United Methodist Iliff School of Theology for decades, but its president wants it used as a teachable moment instead of buried in a library vault.
Social Concerns
In this file photo, the Rev. Homer Noley, a United Methodist from Wilburton, Okla., joins other members of his denomination in protesting outside a May 11, 2000, Cleveland Indians baseball game held during The United Methodist General Conference. Rev. Noley died in 2018. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UM News.

NFL team name change victory for Native people

Washington NFL team dropping the name Redskins marks beginning of era of understanding the negative impact the names have for Native people, United Methodists said.
Social Concerns
A view of the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the federal judiciary. Native Americans pronounced themselves stunned and happy at a July 9 ruling by the court affirming their jurisdiction over criminal prosecutions of tribe members on reservations in Oklahoma. Photo courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol.

Native Americans joyful about SCOTUS decision

United Methodist Native Americans expressed elation over a U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming their jurisdiction over criminal prosecutions of tribe members on reservations in Oklahoma.