Posted May 8, 2015 in Around the Synod

However, Presbyterian World Mission’s future cloudy in Central American country

The Presbytery of Carlisle mission team, working with the Presbyterian Church in Honduras, returned recently from another fulfilling week. For them, this was Executive Presbyter Mark Englund-Krieger’s 17th trip, Mission Advocacy Committee Chair Kim Wadlington’s sixth, Kathy Wells’ 15th and Tony Lorenz’s seventh. There are many others who have traveled there multiple times as well.

Honduras 1Over these years the presbytery has nurtured a deep spiritual and practical relationship with its Honduran brothers and sisters. Working specifically with the Pena de Horeb Presbyterian Church in Tegucigalpa, they have built eight new homes. This home construction ministry has changed lives. Carlisle’s abiding friendships with these families, including Juan and Maria, Rene, Maria Ellena and Exsel, Doris, Sandra and many children, have blessed them.

Carlisle reports that its long relationship with its Presbyterian friends in Honduras will continue. Its partnership in this home building ministry has blossomed. Indeed, leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Honduras specifically requested that Carlisle continue to join them in supporting this ministry. If your congregation seeks a vital, international mission opportunity, support this ministry. (Click here to visit Carlisle’s website for photographs of the new homes that have been built.)

Unfortunately, Carlisle also reports news from Presbyterian World Mission concerning the denomination’s continuing mission work in Honduras. The mission co-worker positions held by Mark and Ashley Wright will not be renewed at the end of their term of service this summer. This decision is being driven by World Mission’s substantial financial short-falls. (For more, click here.) Compounding this sad news is the announced retirement of Tim and Gloria Wheeler at the end of 2015. The Wheelers will not be replaced. In 2016 there may not be any mission co-workers in Honduras. Although the mission work in Honduras is a priority for World Mission, these positions cannot be filled until significant financial commitment emerges.

Honduras_3Thus, in summary: Carlisle’s mission partnership with the Presbyterian Church in Honduras is strong and vital. Moving forward Carlisle will focus this partnership on the construction of new homes for Presbyterian families in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Tegucigalpa and perhaps even expand the mission to churches in the country. Carlisle will also continue to support the Honduran Presbytery’s Retreat Center and will continue to sponsor mission trips to Honduras regularly.

We are uncertain at this point about the continuing relationship of Presbyterian World Mission in Honduras after the Wrights and Wheelers are off-site. Carlisle is hoping that there will be another mission co-worker based in Honduras in the future. The presbytery expects to be included in these strategic conversations with World Mission.