by Tim Martin
Randy “Pooh” Duke and I had a productive trip to Honduras last week. Thanks to Phil Waggoner, Pooh and I participated in a lectureship for the preachers from Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Phil organized this session to help these preachers develop a vision for the future. We were blessed to meet Ken Throneberry and Phil Randolph from Highland Heights who also helped with the lectureship. Ken and Phil’s wives conducted classes with the Latino ladies during parts of each day. We had 5 one-hour lecture sessions and one panel discussion period each of the three days of the conference. Phil Waggoner, Phil Randolph, Pooh, and I each led one session apiece each day, while one of the Latino brothers led the fifth. We also handled various topics/questions from the attendees in a daily panel discussion with additional help from Ken.
It was such a blessing to be able to participate in this program. Phil W. did a great job leading and coordinating things. He has matured so much and embraced the work there wholeheartedly. It is not an easy task to schedule and coordinate things in Latin America, and only those who have been there can appreciate that statement. I told Phil there is the right way, the wrong way, the Army way, and the Latin American way! Please be praying for his work there, it is producing fruit.
We dealt mainly with helping them develop a vision for the future and gave them tools to make those visions a reality. The goals included appointing elders, developing Bible classes for all ages, getting more members involved in work, introducing new methods of evangelism, molding the future leaders of the church, developing more men as preachers, putting more focus on their youth, and developing planning/action skills. Our panel discussion involved questions about women’s roles, fasting, elder & deacon qualifications, marriage/divorce/remarriage, and dealing with denominational teachings.
It was a great maturing experience for me as a minister. Sometimes, it is beneficial to leave the U.S. and a well-developed church congregation and be among brothers and sisters whose congregations are in a fledgling state of development. Their questions were from honest hearts that simply wanted to learn from the Bible and experienced Christians. They wanted direction to help grow the Lord’s kingdom and mature their fellow members. As is sometimes the case when questions are asked in America, there were no jaded statements, hidden agendas, or desire for argument. It was refreshing to see people hungry for the milk and meat of God’s Word. They gave me more than I gave them. I thank our elders for the opportunity to go and I hope to go again next year.