By Desiree Segura-April & Osías Segura Guzman
As we write this, Honduras has just been hit hard by Hurricane Eta. Heavy rainfall for several days now has caused flooding in certain regions of the country and also caused roads and bridges to wash out. Earlier this morning the government ordered evacuations in the Valle del Sula area and indicated that the Ulúa river was expected to reach levels higher than those reached during Hurricane Mitch, which devastated much of Honduras 22 years ago.
Several of our pastors have been cut off from communications due to the electricity, internet, and cell services going out. One of the Methodist Mission’s pastors’ homes was flooded, but thankfully he and his family were able to evacuate in time and are safe in a refuge center. One Methodist church is currently giving refuge to several families, and others are in the process of setting up relief efforts. The church buildings have remained closed due to the Coronavirus since March, but this emergency has necessitated emergency openings to provide help.
The local missionary and Honduran staff of the United Methodist Mission of Honduras are working together to determine how to coordinate efforts. It has been encouraging to see how the pastors are keeping in touch with one another and seeking to work together at a time of crisis and emergency that is coming in the midst of an already very difficult time of this global pandemic. Thank you for joining us in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Honduras during this emergency and for the rebuilding that will need to happen in its aftermath.
If you would like to know a bit more about the Honduras Mission, check out this interview that Desiree did with General Secretary Thomas Kemper at the beginning of the pandemic.
We continue to be in mission, adapting their trainings and workshops to a fully virtual/remote context. Desiree has been working with teams from the Colombian Methodist Church and the United Methodist Mission of Honduras in developing Child Protection Policies and plans for training all of their pastors and volunteers in holistic children’s ministries. She has also facilitated the development of child protection policies for the Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana in Costa Rica and helped to coordinate a workshop for 35 Bolivian Methodist pastors focused on understanding and preventing COVID-19.
Osías has published a book (El Ministerio de Grupos Pequeños dentro del Discipulado Metodista: Una Introducción a las Reglas Generales y las Reuniones de Clase) in Spanish focused on helping pastors and lay-leaders develop small-group ministries, specifically in the Wesleyan class-meetings tradition. He has also been working very hard on the theological studies program for the Mission in Honduras with the goal of having the first four pastors ready for ordination by mid-2021. Despite challenges with technology and the internet, we have been pleased to see how this temporary mode of being all-virtual has been embraced by our partners in mission in the region.
Thank you for your continued prayers for us and for the people with whom we serve. Despite a challenging year in the midst of a global pandemic, we are blessed to be able to continue to partner with God’s mission in the region.
Desiree Segura-April, Advance #3022171, https://umcmission.org/missionary-bio/3022171/
Osías Segura Guzman, Advance #3021887, https://umcmission.org/missionary-bio/3021887/
Osias and Desiree are Global Ministries missionaries serving in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. They are also members of Covenant United Methodist Church in Spokane, Washington. You can contact them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to support Osias or Desiree, you can contribute online through the links above or you can send your financial gift to The PNW Conference Treasurer’s Office: 816 S. 216th St. #2, Des Moines, WA 98198. On your check, indicate: Advance #3021887 (Osias), Advance #3022171 (Desiree).