02/27/2016: Seeking the Lost

Seeking the Lost

Honduras

 

Going Afar in Honduras

by Christopher DeMary

Our family went to Honduras for our first mission trip. Thank God, I now understand fully the significance of the lyrics of the beautiful hymn, “Seeking the Lost.” As I stood outside the small home of a family in the village of Cerro de Toro singing these words, I sensed God’s guidance, knowing that the mission He gave me was to bring those in the mountains surrounding the town of Santa Barbara back into His fold of salvation.

A Bible study class taking their gratitude and wants to Jesus.

During my three week stay at Maranatha Medical Ministries in La Zona, I had the opportunity to serve in several capacities. Throughout my stay, I was blessed to work on the organic farm, help with the prophecy seminars, the cooking demonstrations, and play guitar and sing for church members and villagers. All of the activities in which I was involved taught me impactful lessons about the gospel and Christ’s mission for me to serve others.

“Christ preached that the gospel is to be preached to the poor. Never does God’s truth put on an aspect of greater loveliness than when brought to the needy and destitute…lighting up the hut of the peasant and the rude cottage of the laborer.” In Heavenly Places, 234.

Elsa Willis preaching Christ to a family in Honduras.

I believe that the work that Maranatha Medical Ministries is doing in Honduras is the work of the Three Angels’ Messages. Every day while I was there, the ministry was actively involved in calling the people out of the darkness of Babylon into the light of the truth. Everyone, especially the youth, were involved in spreading the gospel, calling the people to worship the Creator and keep His commandments. Sabbath afternoons, in particular, were dedicated towards outreach, and the two Sabbaths that I was in Honduras stand out among my most pleasant memories. The youth from the church in La Zona would hike up to the village of Los Cerritos to give Bible studies. These Bible studies, during which we sang, prayed, and shared God’s Word, were the first time that I had ever witnessed a church so passionate about sharing the truth.

In the mountains of Honduras, away from the distractions of the first-world, God showed me that the message of His salvation is relevant to all, regardless of their language or status in society. The excitement of the villagers who were beginning to accept Christ took me almost by surprise. It was the first time I tangibly understood the liberating nature of the gospel. The clear truths that the Seventh-day Adventists in La Zona are sharing are not merely a call to obey God, they were messages of deliverance and hope.

Hiking a long distance in the mountains to reach villages.

In Matthew 10:8, Jesus told His disciples: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give.” This is what I saw take place while in Honduras.

“Christ has given us a sacred charge, the fulfilling of which calls for self-denial at every step. When those who believe in Him are seen lifting the cross and bearing it after Him in the path of self-denial, willingly doing all in their power to bring blessing to those for whom Christ died, witness will be borne to the power of Christianity; and in the hearts of many, now unbelievers, will spring up faith in Him who gave His life to save a guilty world from eternal ruin.”A Call to Medical Evangelism and Health Education, 24.

As I traveled up the mountains on those Sabbath afternoons, and as I witnessed church members who were driven to share the gospel with others, I realized that sharing the gospel is not merely a command or an obligation, but a privilege—a natural outpouring of Christ’s love shining out of me to others, giving them the hope that Christ gave me!

 

God Cares For His People

By Josh DeMary

Josh far right and the restaurant staff.

Going to Honduras was probably the most awesome thing I’ve ever done. I worked in the restaurant a lot, cutting up veggies and washing dishes, and putting together plates of wonderful food. The staff are great people—fun to be around and hard-working. They liked me and talked to me even though I couldn’t speak much Spanish, and they spoiled me and fed me great food! The restaurant is a huge asset for the ministry and they do a lot of outreach there. For the entire second week I was in Honduras they held prophecy seminars in the restaurant every night.

A seminar at the restaurant.

Every Sabbath afternoon, the youth from the Seventh-day Adventist church in La Zona go into the surrounding villages and do Bible studies with some of the people there. It was my pleasure to be able to go with them. After lunch, we would all get into the back of the truck and go down the hill and pick up the youth from the village who wanted to go with us. Then we were dropped off at the roads that led to each of the villages where the Bible study contacts were located. We would then hike to the villages and sing and pray and read the Bible with them. At church the next week I would see our Bible study students worshiping the Lord with us. It was a very satisfying feeling.

This young man had been shot in the stomach. Maranatha Medical Missionaries is providing him with colostomy supplies.

While in Honduras, I learned that God cares for His people. Of course, I already knew this, but while I was there I got to actually experience it and see it firsthand. Three things about God’s care stood out to me most:

 

1. God will help.

He personally helped me several times while I was there. For example, I am very bad about cutting myself with knives. But every day in the restaurant I had to cut up food with very sharp, big knives. So every morning I would pray, “Lord, please help me not to cut myself so I can be a blessing and not get in everyone’s way and slow down the work.” And even though I had a few close calls, I never cut myself once, until the last day I worked there. That day, I had forgotten that God was the reason I had been doing so well, and I cut myself three times! Never forget where your talents actually come from.

 

2. God will interpret.

Like I’ve already said, I know very little Spanish. But while I was working in the restaurant, the gardens, and other places where no one spoke English, God helped me understand and learn enough Spanish that I could communicate with the other people enough to enable me to be a blessing.

 

3. God will provide.

Maranatha Medical Ministries is supported by God. The organic gardens and the restaurant are meant to help support the ministry, but they sell the produce and food inexpensively so that the common people can purchase it. As a result, those industries aren’t making enough money to support the ministry. Mrs. Willis, the director, said she doesn’t know how it happens, but every time they have a need, the money is there.

When you’re working for God, God works for you. So take your time, your money, and your hands, and let God use them for His work. You will be blessed.

 

To support Maranatha Medical Ministries, write them at: PO Box 390, Keysville, VA, 23947, or visit www.maranathamedical.org.


02/09/2013: New Maranatha Medical Ministries Outpost

New Maranatha Medical Ministries Outpost

In Venezuela

“The light given me was that a sanitarium should be established, and that in it drug medication should be discarded, and simple, rational methods of treatment employed for the healing of disease. In this institution people were to be taught how to dress, breathe, and eat properly—how to prevent sickness by proper habits of living.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 303.

“It is the expressed will of God that our sanitariums shall be established as far from the cities as is consistent. So far as possible, these institutions should be located in quiet, secluded places, where opportunity will be afforded for giving the patients instruction concerning the love of God and the Eden home of our first parents, which, through the sacrifice of Christ, is to be restored to man.” Counsels on Health, 167.

 

It was not until we began our work of ministry in Honduras that we realized fully the need for modest medical missionary outposts to be established throughout the world. Maranatha Medical Ministries (MMM), with its limited source of income, has again answered God’s call to establish a sanitarium in the country of Venezuela, South America. Over the years, we have prayed that God would give us clear direction in how to accomplish this seemingly impossible task; but God is ever faithful in providing for His workers.

Elsa and Joe Willis with Ariel and Jhojana.

We are happy to inform you that MMM has assisted in establishing a modest sanitarium, in a remote area in Venezuela. The directors of this sanitarium are Ariel and Jhojana Mantilla. This young couple worked and trained with us years ago in Honduras. Ariel first began our agriculture program and taught many of our volunteers the skills needed to have a productive garden. Jhojana worked in our clinic area, helping to treat the sick using God’s natural remedies. We have followed the progress of this couple and have seen their dedication to medical missionary work.

About a year ago, Ariel and Jhojana contacted us, telling us that they had located a beautiful piece of property in a quiet, remote area of Venezuela. They really wanted to establish a sanitarium, but they lacked the finances to secure the property. We, too, had been visiting different countries in hopes that God would show us exactly where He would have His next MMM outpost. It was as if God brought us in contact with each other in order for His perfect will to be done.

Although Elsa and I had no reservations about joining with Ariel and Jhojana, we prayed earnestly to make certain that this was the direction in which God was leading us.

With full assurance of this being God’s will, we moved forward, and MMM made the initial deposit for the purchase of the property. On this property there are several well-structured buildings which are used for housing, health lectures and medical treatments.

Jhojana lovingly ministers to patients.

Immediately, this young couple began doing the work; Ariel, with the help of some of his family members, began tilling the soil and establishing their agriculture program. He also began making granola, packaging it and taking it into the town, which is about two hours’ walk away. For months, he and his brother were packaging up the granola and walking the long distance into town, carrying the granola in large bundles on their backs. Because of their steadfast faithfulness, God provided them with the opportunity to make a down payment on a used vehicle. Now they are able to sell ten times the amount of granola they had been selling.

Ariel and Jhojana are hard workers. They do not sit back asking or waiting for donations before they do the Lord’s work. No sooner was the property secured, than they began doing medical missionary work and providing industry in order to care for themselves, the workers and the sanitarium. The Lord tells us, “They [we] would not be left to fight alone. He assured them that He would be with them; and that if they would go forth in faith, they should move under the shield of Omnipotence. He bade them be brave and strong; for One mightier than angels would be in their ranks—the General of the armies of heaven. He made full provision for the prosecution of their work and took upon Himself the responsibility of its success. So long as they obeyed His word, and worked in connection with Him, they could not fail.” Acts of the Apostles, 29. What a precious promise!

A recently purchased used vehicle makes it possible to sell a larger quantity of granola.

I have had the privilege of working with Jhojana and have seen the sincere love and compassion shown to all of her patients—the gift of caring that only comes from God. Recently, she sent us an email telling us about several cancer patients they have there at the MMM-V outpost. Using only God’s natural remedies, there was great success. Many were cured completely of their disease, while others found renewed health and are continuing to heal.

I am excited about the work being done in Venezuela, because it is being done according to God’s counsel. Patients are not only being given the best possible care and treatment, but, while undergoing treatments for their maladies, they are being educated in how to properly care for themselves and to help others to do the same. As part of their treatment program, patients take part in meal preparations, learning how to prepare delicious, healthy foods. It is important for the patients to learn every aspect of maintaining optimum health and to continue living a healthy lifestyle even after they leave the sanitarium.

Patients enjoy eating the tasty and attractive food they helped to prepare.

Most of the patients are women; but men in the nearby communities are seeing the miraculous results and rewards of healthy living, and they, too, now want to take part in our lifestyle programs. Many men would be too ashamed to allow some stranger to smear black mud (charcoal) all over their bodies, but once they understand the significance and benefit of using this mud pack, they are anxious for the treatment, knowing that it will aid in drawing impurities out of the body. True, it is a humbling experience, but these brave souls left the sanitarium in much better health. Now they will return to their homes and share these health benefits with family and friends.

From morning until night, this couple works tirelessly for the Lord. While Ariel is busy with agriculture and selling the granola, Jhojana is in the sanitarium caring for patients, and God is blessing their efforts. They have reported to us that they have a waiting list of many people who want to come to the sanitarium for treatments, and many businesses in the nearby towns want to buy their delicious granola.

This is just another example of what two people who are dedicated to the service of God can do. Ariel and Jhojana are not highly educated in the schools of the world. They are ordinary young people who sincerely want to do God’s work and lead others to know of His complete healing methods. Maybe we cannot all go to a foreign land and establish a sanitarium, but we can all do something within our own sphere to work for the Lord. God has called each and every one of His people to be medical missionaries. You do not need to fear that you are not qualified; God will qualify you. You do not need to fear that you will not be successful; God will bring success. You do not need to fear that your needs will not be taken care of; God will provide for all of your needs. We only need to be trusting, faithful and obedient to His will.

Jhojana ministers to the need of every guest.

Ariel and Jhojana do not receive a salary, and their only compensation is from donations given them by those patients who can afford to pay something. Trying to maintain supplies for the sanitarium, as well as provide simply for the patients and workers, is not easy; so I ask that you keep MMM-V in your prayers. It is still in the growing stage, and there are many needs. The sanitarium property needs to be paid off completely, as does the car that was recently purchased. They need and deserve our support, so please consider adding MMM-V to your missionary sponsor list.

“The sick are to be reached, not by massive buildings, but by the establishment of many small sanitariums, which are to be as lights shining in a dark place. Those who are engaged in this work are to reflect the sunlight of Christ’s face. They are to be as salt that has not lost its savor. By sanitarium work, properly conducted, the influence of true, pure religion will be extended to many souls.” Counsels on Health, 211.

 

By Joe Willis. Website: www.maranathamedical.org. Email: mmm.mtc@yahoo.com. MMM’s new work in Venezuela is this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath project. See the back page for details on how to help.

 


07/14/2012: A Season of Blessing and Thanksgiving

A Season of Blessing and Thanksgiving

Honduras

 

“Every gospel minister should be a friend to the poor, the afflicted, and the oppressed among God’s believing people. Christ was always the poor man’s friend, and the interests of the poor need to be sacredly guarded…. Love, sacred, refined love, is to be exercised in behalf of the poor and unfortunate.” Medical Ministry, 310.

Maranatha Medical Ministries (MMM) is God’s ministry; He has allowed us, Joe and Elsa, to manage the operations of this ministry, but make no mistake, God is in charge! It is He Who has sent us here to Honduras and Who has called us to be His ambassadors of love and compassion to the poor; and for more than twelve years, we have been right here where God has placed us.

Every year, during the holiday season, while most of the world is engaged in self-pleasing activities, MMM strives to draw attention to

“Love Baskets” are prepared for the needy.

God—to His love, His mercy and His many blessings. This year, we decided to do something a little extra special—in addition to preparing our usual “Love Baskets” for the poor in the mountains, we decided to have special services at our House of Prayer. It so happened that God arranged for Pastor Aaron Baker and a few of his members from Light Bearer’s Mission to volunteer with us during this festive time of year. They may have thought that they were coming to enjoy the warm weather, relax and enjoy the mission experience for two weeks, but God had other plans. When volunteers come to us, we take advantage of all of their skill and talent. With all of these volunteers here, our outpost was full of talent.

We began with a re-consecration and communion service on Sabbath, December 24. What a blessed time this was!

The following day, we made up lots of very beautiful “Love Baskets” for the poor. Our volunteers were so excited, they spent all day buying the needed items to put into the baskets, and they especially enjoyed adding a little something extra for the little children.

“As we see the necessities of the poor, the ignorant, the afflicted, how often our hearts sink. We question, ‘What avail our feeble strength and slender resources to supply this terrible necessity? Shall we not wait for someone of greater ability to direct the work, or for some organization to undertake it?’ Christ says, ‘Give ye them to eat.’” Ministry of Healing, 49.

When it was time for our outreach—you guessed it—we loaded up the truck, and headed up the mountain. Our first stop was the village of Mountainita. The drive up to Mountainita is always quite an experience in itself. Our American volunteers loved bouncing around on the back of our pickup truck, though. That is something they are not permitted to do in most parts of the United States.

Little children were overjoyed to receive stuffed animals as gifts.

Upon reaching the little village, we noticed that nearly all the homes, (wooden adobe shacks), were locked up and vacant. We had forgotten that this time of year is coffee picking time. Everybody was out picking coffee beans. Our hearts sank. We felt we would not be able to give anything to these people who are so much in need. Just then, a little girl came running out of one of the shacks. She greeted us with the most beautiful smile you could ever see. We then met her grandmother, who is loosing her eyesight and stays home to care for her grandchildren. We sang songs and encouraged them in the Lord. We gave the grandmother a beautiful “Love Basket,” and gave Luci and her younger sister stuffed animals. Luci was so excited—it was like giving her a million dollars, only better! The grandmother was so happy and thankful for our visit. Just knowing that someone had taken the time to come to their home and show kindness and love meant the world to them. After spending nearly an hour with them, we sadly had to go. We had more stops to make and many more “Love Baskets” to hand out.

Throughout the week, Pastor Baker conducted a week of prayer, which focused on the parables of Matthew 13. What a blessing this was! The messages brought not only a deeper understanding of God’s Word, but renewed conviction to all of us.

The following Sabbath was filled with many joyful activities, all centered on giving praise and thanksgiving to God.

Morning service began with the church choir singing a beautiful musical piece arranged by John Dysinger and his family, who have recently returned to Honduras to minister in La Zona for three months.

We are very thankful to have the Dysinger family with us. The Lord has truly blessed MMM with so many Christian volunteers dedicated to soul winning. The Dysingers are a true missionary family. It is not easy to bring a family of six into a third world country for the purpose of ministering to others, and what a blessing they have all been to the La Zona community and to the church.

“In choosing men and women for His service, God does not ask whether they possess worldly wealth, learning, or eloquence. He asks, ‘Do they walk in such humility that I can teach them My way? Can I put My words into their lips? Will they represent Me?’ God can use every person just in proportion as He can put His Spirit into the soul temple.” Ministry of Healing, 37.

One very special treat for the Sabbath service that week was children’s time. For some time, every Sabbath afternoon, Elsa and our volunteers have been going up to Cerro del Torro, giving Bible studies, singing
songs and helping the little children
with scripture memorization. These many trips and Elsa’s hard work have not been in vain. Four of the children have done so remarkably at memorizing the Bible that Elsa brought them to church this week for a
recital. This was their first time coming to church, and they were a bit nervous, but they recited more than a dozen memory verses, with very little coaching
from Elsa. We are so proud of these little ones and pray that one day soon they, too, will be part of our church family.

“In the children who were brought in contact with Him, Jesus saw the men and women who should be heirs of His
grace and subjects of His kingdom, and some of whom would become martyrs for His sake. He knew that these children would listen to Him and accept Him as their Redeemer…. The Saviour regards with infinite tenderness the souls whom He has purchased with His blood. They are the claim of His love. He looks upon them with unutterable longing. His heart is drawn out, not only to the best-trained and most attractive children, but to those who by inheritance and through neglect have objectionable traits of character.” Ministry of Healing, 43, 44.

The Sabbath ended with a beautiful wedding ceremony and a baby dedication. One of the men we have been studying with, Emilio, since giving his heart to the Lord, had decided to make things right with God by marrying the woman he loves, the mother of his baby boy. Once again, Pastor Baker came to the charge and conducted one of the most meaningful wedding ceremonies I had ever witnessed. Times of refreshing such as these you wish would never end; but we know that God has many more blessings in store for MMM and for all who seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

May God use you, dear friends, to be a blessing to someone today. Remember, you are the only Jesus some may ever see. You are the only words of life some may ever read. May others see Jesus in you. Maranatha!

 

By Joe Willis, Maranatha Medical Ministries, Honduras. Donations can be sent to Maranatha Medical Ministries via Paypal from their website: www.maranathamedical.org.

 


12/10/2011: Remember the Sabbath Day, to Keep It Holy

Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep It Holy

In the days ahead, God’s people will be tested more and more. The primary deciding issue will be God’s seventh-day Sabbath. It is the seal of the living God, the crowning seal of His creation. The faith of all true Christians will be tested. How will you stand? Let me share with you something that happened just recently to a young man who now lives in our mountain village of La Zona.

Ben and family with Elsa.

His name is Benito, but we simply call him Ben. Just a few months ago Ben lived in San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in Honduras. He had a good job working as a chauffeur for the owners of a large business. The work was easy and the money was great, but Ben had a persistent feeling that he and his family needed to leave the city. Unable to shake this feeling, Ben made preparation to move into the mountains of La Zona where he has friends and family. Little did he know that God was the One calling him out of Babylon. Ben had saved up enough money to move and rent a small house right next door to Salvador, one of our baptized church members. Although La Zona is a relatively small village, it has its unpleasant elements. Not wanting to be a part of such things, nor wanting his family to be enticed or misguided, Ben began bringing his family to church. At first he was only coming on the Sabbath, but soon he, his wife and baby son were attending every meeting. Douglas, our Bible worker at the time, presented some powerful and clear messages, and recently Ben witnessed his first baptism of a young woman who committed her life to the Lord. Ben inquired more and more about the truths he was hearing; He enjoyed the worship services, and as he learned about God’s holy day, Ben wanted to keep the seventh-day Sabbath holy. Learning these new and exciting truths about the seventh-day Sabbath brought with it a strong conviction, one that required firm obedience to God.

Ben now had a job working on a dairy farm making a pittance compared to what he had made in the city, but keeping his job to support his family was necessary. The work was not hard, but the hours were long, and he had to work on the Sabbath. Have you ever been in a situation where you had to decide between your livelihood and your obedience to God? Believe me, it is not a pleasant experience. The only thing that can keep us focused and faithful is the Word of God. He has promised to care for His children if we are obedient to Him and keep all of His statutes, His commandments and His laws.

Ben now had the trying task of telling his employers that he could no longer work on God’s holy Sabbath day. Would they understand and allow him to take the Sabbath off? All Ben could do was pray that God would somehow intervene so that he could keep his job. We must ever keep in mind that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12.

With firmness and trust in God, Ben let his boss know that he could no longer work on the Sabbath, because the seventh-day Sabbath is God’s holy day. Without understanding or compassion, Ben’s boss told him that if he could not work Friday nights and Saturday, that he would just find someone else to work for him.

Ben working with Joe.

That next Sabbath, Ben came to church joyfully, and Saturday night he asked if he could come up to the outpost the next day to talk with us. We were curious to know what he wanted. Early Sunday morning Ben was at the outpost. He excitedly shared with us his testimony, of how he felt God had brought him to La Zona to teach him His truth. He wanted to be obedient to God’s word, and his desire now was not to make money like he had done in San Pedro Sula, but to serve the Lord and be able to attend His house of prayer here in La Zona. He asked us if there was any way he could work for us, either at the outpost or the restaurant. We were so moved by Ben’s testimony and his determination to serve the Lord no matter what that we decided to hire Ben as our handyman. I believe this was God’s way of blessing Ben; not only did God bless Ben with a job as our handyman, but he earns more money than he was making at the dairy farm. No one is looking over his shoulder, and he is in charge of his responsibilities.

When you are faithful to God, you just cannot out-give God’s blessings, no matter how hard you try. Whatever the trial or circumstance, when days are dark and we can see no light at the end of the tunnel, we must learn to trust wholly upon the promises of our Savior. Praise His Holy Name!

 

By Joe Willis, Maranatha Medical Ministries, Honduras. E-mail: mmm.mmtc@yahoo.com Website: www.maranathamedical.org. Donations can be sent to Maranatha Medical Ministries, PO Box 390, Keysville, VA 23947.


05/07/2011: Many are Called, but Few are Chosen

Many are Called, but Few are Chosen
Honduras

And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” Matthew 19:29, 30. “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” Matthew 20:16.
These two texts and their meaning have puzzled me for a long time, but not anymore. I have learned that if we look at life’s circumstances and difficulties with spiritual eyes, God will show us answers to many puzzling truths. From the day we began our ministry work here in Honduras, we took on Missionary Volunteer Trainees. Although we did not fully understand what the end result would be, we knew that it was part of God’s plan for us to train young people in all areas of gospel medical missionary evangelism; so, by faith, we went forward.
Over the years, we have seen so many who have shown such promise—young men with multiple talents and skills. I often imagined what God must have in store for them. Unfortunately, too many of the young men did not persevere. They took their eyes off of Christ, and failed to see what He had in store for them. This was discouraging to me.
As the first phase of the training at our school ended, I felt a complete failure. It seemed that none of the young men were actually preparing to go forward. I was very hesitant to start up another training class. If we did not have continued education and training, what would happen to the youth, especially the young men? After much prayer, a small group of us put our heads together and established Maranatha Missionary Training Center—such a big name for a school with only three students. Teresa, who had been with us teaching the MICE (students of the Maranatha Institute of Christian Education,) agreed to outline the training schedule and begin teaching our MTs, (Missionary Trainees.)
Elsa and Teresa spent the first year teaching our students about and laying a foundation for character development. They did a wonderful job, but after awhile, it became apparent that the three young men needed a man that they could confide in, emulate and look to as an example. The Lord provided. It was also apparent that they needed to develop the strength of character that young men would need in the missionary field. They needed more physical work, persevering study and fervent personal devotions. This would not be an easy final round for the young men.
Just weeks before the end of the course, we received news that Jorge, one of the three students, had decided to drop out. He had decided to go home and work with his father. It was not easy losing Jorge from the team. He had always been the first to volunteer and assist me in medical procedures. He also seemed to be the most talented. The two young men, who remained, Rene and Roger, may not be the most talented, but they are diligent, faithful and spiritually determined. I can see that God has blessed them with the talents needed to accomplish His work. Both of these young men have had to withstand personal hardships—hardships that would have caused you and me to give up—yet, they held fast, not knowing whether there would be any work available for them at the end of their training. To be quite honest, I did not know if there was anything waiting for them at the end of their training, except a nice certificate of training, and a few recommendations to other ministries and churches.
This past summer, two things weighed heavily upon my shoulders: 1) What would happen to the ministry if something were to happen to both Elsa and myself, and 2) if we chose to establish a second Maranatha Outpost in another country, what would happen to this Outpost here in La Zona, as well as the church and the restaurant? God has done too much over the years, for us to be negligent in the affairs of His organization. We could not just abandon what God has started and blessed.
One day, we were thinking about how our MTs had advanced. They were not young boys anymore. They had become young men, nearly ready to take the mantel and carry forward the work of the Lord. All of the sudden, the thought crossed our minds: could this be what God had planned for us all along? Could it be that God was preparing these young men to carry on the work here in Honduras, in our absence?

Roger as a boy and as a grown young man doing medical missionary work.

When we look back, we are amazed at how quickly time has passed. It seems it was just yesterday that Roger was only interested in catching land crabs, and being a typical mischievous young boy. Today, we see in Roger a Medical Missionary in his own right, who has surrendered his all to Christ Jesus.
Then there is Rene. Rene from his very earliest years determined to be baptized and serve the Lord. Even as a child, he was always willing to stand up and speak for God. Now Rene is a young man. He has not waivered from the path God has placed before him.

Rene, as a boy and as a young man, has always been willing to stand up and speak for God.

Only time will tell the impact these two young men will have upon the cause of God. As we considered these two godly young men, we decided to ask both of them to consider taking over management of the Maranatha Medical Ministries Outpost, Honduras, after their graduation. We advised them to pray for God’s direction for their lives, and to ask Him, if this was in keeping with His will for them. After one week of earnest praying, Roger and Rene accepted the call. They have agreed not only to take over the Outpost, but the clinic and the restaurant, as well, and to be active leaders in the local church.
Yes, this is a tremendous responsibility for these men, but a glorious one for the advancement of the Lord’s work. Elsa and I will continue to be here, to mentor them a bit longer. But they know that the day will come, when they will independently have to make all the decisions. They do not know it yet, but soon, we are going to give them a temporary trial run at making all of the decisions. This is a wonderful day for the ministry. God has allowed us to see the fruit of our labors.
Few will ever experience what it is like to work as a missionary in a third world country. Thousands go on mission trips every year to countries like Honduras, but always knowing that they will return home in a few short weeks. This is not to say that we have done something extraordinary. To be quite honest with you, we had no idea that we would still be working, harder than ever, eleven years later. Yes, there are many disappointments, and countless hardships, but God always gives us the strength to move forward in Him. Some foreign missionaries may never see the fruits of their labors; yet, God has been gracious to us, in allowing us to see some of the rewards. He loves to encourage His children, and show us that our work, His work, has not been in vain.
Just recently we had a graduation for the two young missionaries—Roger and Rene. They have suffered in order to attend our school. They have had to learn subjects that are not taught at any other school in this country. They have had to endure ridicule from peers and older folk alike. They had to be trained in so many things that seemed foreign to them, but they trusted in God to direct and strengthen them. Whenever we place our complete faith and trust in God, we cannot fail. This has proved true in the case of our two young missionaries.

I wish each and every one of you, who have prayed, supported, and encouraged us, could have been here to witness this special event. What a day of rejoicing it was—at the Outpost and in Heaven.
Why are we afraid to educate our children in the School of Christ? Can we not trust God with giving our youth all that they need to “make it” in this world, as well as prepare them for Christian service? “The Lord Jesus has paid your tuition fees. All that you have to do is to learn of Him…. All who learn in Christ’s school are under the training of heavenly agencies; and they are never to forget that they are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men…. Upon every heart there is to be inscribed the words, as with the point of a diamond, ‘There is nothing that I fear, save that I shall not know my duty, or shall fail to do it.’” Our High Calling, 102.
Days after the completion of their training, our missionary graduates received a call to preach at a church on the Honduras Island of Roatan. This was the first time the young men had been off of the mainland, and it was a great opportunity for them to exercise their public speaking skills, and also, to share with the islanders God’s present truth message. Needless to say, Roger and Rene were both nervous and excited, but they knew this was a call from God and were eager to do their best. Roger presented the eleven o’clock message. It was a very convicting message on the importance of medical missionary work. I wish you could have heard him. God used this young man in such a powerful way. Elsa and I were speechless, to see how confidant, poised and spiritually gifted he was. We both realized that what we were witnessing was not a result of anything we had done, but rather the transforming power of God in Roger’s life.
After the services, the people were amazed at the wealth of information this young man gave them. They wanted more and more. What we are teaching our young men to do now is to always be humble and give God alone the honor and glory. God is opening up more doors for these young men.
We just thank the Lord that He has graciously allowed us to see some of the fruit of our labors. We request that you will remember Roger and Rene in your prayers as they enter their field of missionary labor.

By Joe Willis, Maranatha Medical Ministries, Honduras. E-mail: mmm.mmtc@yahoo.com Website: www.maranathamedical.org. Donations can be sent to Maranatha Medical Ministries, PO Box 390, Keysville, VA 23947.


11/06/10: Not Willing That Any Should Perish

Not Willing That Any Should Perish

Honduras Missionary Ministers in U.S.A.


Earlier this year, I received a call to come to the United States and help my brother Steve because his healthcare provider could no longer care for him. His condition had worsened, and he now needed full-time care.

At the hospital, I walked into Steve’s room, and he appeared to be in shock seeing me there. He said, “Joe, is that you? What are you doing here? Are you really here?” I assured him that I was, in fact, really there and that I had come to make sure he was all right. I could see a sign of relief come across his face, as if now he had nothing to worry about.

Doctors said that they wanted to keep Steve in the hospital longer in order to run some tests. A week and a half had passed, and it was now time for discharge. Nursing staff and placement personnel agreed that putting Steve into a nursing home was the best option at this point. Unfortunately, over the next few weeks, Steve grew increasingly worse. His mental state grew worse and worse by the day. Doctors took a CT scan of the brain, which showed that portions of his brain had atrophied. He was entering a vegetative state. Soon, he stopped eating and drinking, and I knew this was the beginning of the last phase of his very long illness.

Within just a few hours, Steve had gone into a coma. Doctors said he was suffering from acute renal failure and pneumonia and that he only had a day or two, at the most, to live. I felt an urgency to do something, although I did not know where to begin. I called a lay-pastor of a nearby Seventh-day Adventist church and asked if he would come immediately to the hospital and anoint Steve and offer intercessory prayer for him. You see, friends, Steve had chosen to live out on the streets in Maryland for the past two years, and street life had taken its toll on him, mentally, physically and spiritually. He had picked up habits that most homeless street-dwellers acquire. Although he had been in quiet Christian surroundings for the past two months, still I wanted to make sure that he was given every opportunity to make things right with God.

While waiting for the lay-pastor, Brother Grizzell, to arrive at the hospital, I began praying earnestly for Steve myself. At first, I did not know exactly what to pray for. Then, the thought came to my mind: If I only had a short time to live, what would I ask for? It was then that I began to pray for three things—three impossible things.

1. I prayed that God would allow Steve to regain consciousness. (This was medically impossible, because his system was toxic, he was full of infection due to the pneumonia, and his brain was shutting down).

2. I asked God to please restore Steve’s mind to clear thinking, so that he could talk to Him and also hear God’s voice speaking to him. (This was also impossible, because doctors said Steve’s dementia had progressed too far and his brain had shrunk too much for his body to receive correct signals, let alone process thoughts.)

3. Finally, I asked God to please not allow my brother to suffer the typical death that most HIV patients suffer. I had seen it many times, and such suffering is unbearable.

Years ago, Steve had placed me as his power of attorney, and he expressed his desires of what he wanted medically, as well as after death. The time had come for me to make those awesome and terrible decisions. As the nurses came into the room and placed the instruction tag on his wrist, with the letters D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate), I could only say, “Lord help me!” Most do not realize what happens when these words are spoken. Angels, who excel in strength, rush immediately to your side. God insures that you have more help than you could possibly need. Most importantly, you have Jesus, not merely by your side, but carrying you through your time of trouble.

Brother Grizzell arrived at Steve’s bedside and immediately began praying. I bowed quietly, listening to how earnestly and sincerely this Brother’s prayed. We both prayed for Steve’s soul; and with intercessory prayer, we asked that God would forgive him of any and all known and unknown sins. I asked Brother Grizzell if he would also pray for the “three impossible things”: Regaining consciousness, clearness of mind and a pain-free, peaceful death. We prayed again, asking God to hear our petitions for these things, in the name of Jesus. We ended our prayer with thanksgiving, asking finally that God answer our prayers in Steve’s behalf, allowing His will to be done and His name to be glorified.

It was now 11 pm, and as Brother Grizzell left the room, I settled into the lounge chair beside Steve’s bed. Although we had just finished praying, I could not stop praying in my mind. Over and over, I prayed for the same three impossible things. I knew that I was asking God to perform miracles, not for my sake, but for Steve’s. I knew that doctors could do nothing to bring about an answer to my prayers; only God could. I realize that God answers prayer in many different ways, according to His glory and what is best for our salvation; but still, I claimed the promise found in Matthew 21:22, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

Still praying, I heard Steve’s bed sheets rustling. I looked over, and Steve was moving. I got up out of the chair and stood at the bottom of his bed and just stared at him, wondering if these were just last moments of involuntary muscle movement. Then Steve lifted his head up, turned towards me and said with a strong voice, “I’m alright.” Then he lay his head back down on his pillow, but kept his eyes open. I asked, “Steve, can you see me?” He said, “I see you, Joe. I can see everything!” I about fell over! Thank the Lord, He answered prayer request #1 and #2, both at the same time. Steve had come out of the coma, and he was speaking clearly and intelligently. I could not stop thanking God for His sweet love and mercies. I continued to play Bible CDs and encouraged Steve to keep his mind stayed on Jesus and nothing else. I refused to allow the nursing staff or visitors to turn on the television or secular radio stations. This was a crucial time. God had allowed Steve to come out of a coma less than three hours after earnest prayer and anointing. Now, we must honor God by showing the sincerity of the words we prayed.

Doctors said that Steve would not, could not, survive more than two days. God kept Steve alive for exactly two weeks after coming out of the coma. Doctors said that if they did not administer high doses of morphine, Steve would suffer terribly. This scared me, of course; but I had to trust God, and honor Him by not allowing anything to cloud or alter Steve’s mind. By doing so, God honored our last, “impossible” prayer request. Steve died on a Sabbath afternoon. He was resting peacefully, breathing normally one minute, and the next minute, he simply stopped breathing—no suffering, no pain; nothing for the enemy to glory over. Glory and honor be to God and God alone. Who can understand the love of God? Although doctors remained baffled at what took place, we know that it was God Who not only answered our prayers, but Who loved Steve with such an everlasting love that He would not allow the enemy to take his soul. God can and will save to the uttermost all that will surrender their will to Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

We all have loved ones that we sorely miss; but thank the Lord, it will not be long before we will see them again in their glorified state, praising God for His love and mercy, and thanking Jesus for His great sacrifice. Oh, what a day of rejoicing that will be. I am so tired of this world. I want only to finish the course and go home. Come Lord Jesus, come.

Remember dear friends—you are priceless in the eyes of God. He cherishes you as His most valued possession. Do not think for a moment that you have gone too far out of His reach. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive all of our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Pray, Pray, Pray!


By Joe Willis. Email: mmm.mti1@yahoo.com. Website: 
www.maranathamedical.org. Donations for the Willises’ work in Honduras can be sent to Maranatha Medical Ministry, PO Box 390, Keysville, VA 23947.


05/22/2010: The Old and the Young

The Old and the Young

Heed the Call to Service



Marantha Medical Ministries Outpost

“In choosing men and women for His service, God does not ask whether they possess worldly wealth, learning, or eloquence. He asks, ‘Do they walk in such humility that I can teach them My way? Can I put My words into their lips? Will they represent Me?’” Ministry of Healing, 37.



Starting Out at Age 81!


Sister Mildred packed her bags to join the Lord’s work

In mid-September of last year, Elsa and I were conducting church presentations in Virginia when we saw a dear friend who has followed the work of Maranatha Medical Ministries from its very beginning. Her name is Mildred Thomas; we call her “Sister Mildred.” She was exceptionally excited to hear the testimonies and see the slide presentation of the great work God is doing here in the mountains of Honduras. After a few moments of greetings and re-acquaintance, Sister Mildred quietly looked at Elsa and said, “I wish I could go with you to Honduras. I may be old, and I don’t speak Spanish; but I want to work for the Lord.” Elsa and I looked at each other, and knew that this was no ordinary request. There were no “alternate” motives for her wanting to go into the mission field. She truly wanted to do God’s will and His work. We first reminded Sister Mildred of the primitive conditions of Honduras; living conditions, though pleasant at the Outpost, would be much different in this “third world country.”


We then told Sister Mildred that, if God was leading her to join us in the mission field, she was welcome to come with us. I cannot adequately describe the smile on her face. Then, as if she could not believe her own ears, she asked, “You’re not just pulling my leg are you?” Elsa replied, “No, Sister Mildred. If God is directing you to be with us in Honduras, then He has a work for you to do there, and you are welcome to join us.”

Sister Mildred did not waste any time preparing for her trip. She immediately began giving away her furniture and packing up her clothes. She had never flown before, so this was extra exciting for her.

I often think of so many others who feel that God is calling them into the foreign mission field, but they make the fatal mistake of doubting whether God will keep His word to provide, protect and care for them. What I mean by fatal is that all precious opportunities and blessings that God wants to bestow upon us vanish once we begin to doubt Him. How wonderful it is to see someone who hears God’s voice directing and without hesitation or doubt chooses to follow Him. Sister Mildred is 81 years young, and has chosen to give all of her remaining years and energies in service to God. I have always told people that there is no such thing as “retirement” from God’s work. Every new day is filled with new opportunities, given to us by God, to be coworkers with Him in the saving of souls; what a tremendous privilege God has bestowed upon all of His children to work hand-in-hand with Him.

Sister Mildred is now at our Outpost and loves every minute being in the foreign mission field. Throughout the day, she busies herself quietly doing whatever she finds needing to be done. She is living proof that you are never too young or too old to obey God’s voice and heed His call.

May the Lord bless her decision to trust and obey His calling.


Young People Trained for Service


Missionary Trainees gain practical experience in agriculture

As we are about to reach the end of our first year with the Maranatha Missionary Training Center we can only give thanks and praise to God for what He is doing. What a privilege it is to actually see what the servant of God saw when she said that in these last days our youth would be trained, not by literary institutions, but by the unction of the Holy Spirit. In Counsels on Education, 24, it says, “When I was shown by the angel of God that an institution should be established for the education of our youth, I saw that it would be one of the greatest means ordained of God for the salvation of souls.” This is our goal; this is our prayer for our trainees. These young men have dedicated their lives for the service of God; and, by God’s grace, we will continue to move forward in doing our part to fulfill God’s desire: “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come—the end of suffering, and sorrow, and sin.” Education, 271.


The education our M.T.’s (Missionary Trainees) receive is well-rounded. Their day begins with worship; then they are off to the gardens, where they learn how to nourish and cultivate the soil. Our goal is to soon harvest 80% of all we consume here at theOutpost. We are told that, “Study in agricultural lines should be the A, B, and C of the education given in our schools.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 179. No, it is not an easy life for our Trainees; they are all young men in their early teens. They live at the

Missionary Trainees selling whole wheat bread

Outpost, away from their family members. They experience the peer pressure from the youth they used to associate with; but, thank God, these young men have dedicated their lives to Him completely, and their minds are focused on one thing: obedience, faithfulness and honor to God. Every day is filled with new opportunities to surrender self to Christ.

“The Lord calls upon our young people to enter our schools and quickly fit themselves for service. In various places outside the cities,schools are to be established where our youth can receive an education that will prepare them to go forth to do evangelical work and medical missionary work.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 170. “The students are in our schools for a special  training, to become acquainted with all lines of work, that, should they go out as missionaries, they could be self-reliant and able, through their educated ability, to furnish themselves with necessary conveniences and facilities.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 208.

During the week, when not giving Bible studies, our M.T.’s go out into the nearby towns, selling whole wheat bread and sharing the Word of God with all they meet. They now have more than a dozen active Bible Studies. When you look at our Missionary Trainees, you know that you are looking at Christian young men. There is a pleasantly distinctive difference in them from other young men; and they are all too eager to tell you what that difference is.

One day two of our M.T.’s went high into the mountains to give Bible Studies. Now, those of us who give studies know just how exciting things can get, and how time flies when the Holy Spirit is moving. Well, towards the late afternoon, our M.T.’s realized they had not bought sufficient water and did not have any food to eat. They had a decision to make: either skip the Bible Study and return to the Outpost where there is plenty of food and water, or continue on and ask God for the strength to make it through the mountains for the last remaining Bible Study. No food, no water—yet these two young men decided together to trust God for their strength, and they continued climbing the mountain to their last Bible Study. Nothing short of a love for God and a love for souls could bring one to decide to do without food and water in order to continue doing missionary work. God honors those who honor Him. After praying for God’s blessing upon them, they started out up the mountain; and what do you suppose they found not far from where they had prayed? You guessed right!!! They not only found a beautiful fresh-water stream, but also a tree loaded with delicious oranges. Jorge and Roger ate and drank their fill, and continued on to give their Bible Study. Our young men are learning the wonderful lessons of how God will and does take care of His disciples of today—the same as He did two-thousand years ago; all we need to do is trust Him and make His work our first priority.

Probably the most gratifying part of training these young men is seeing and knowing that their actions are not a result of something they learned in a classroom; rather it is the transformation of Christ’s character in them. True love and compassion cannot be taught or learned; it is something which comes only from ones connection with the Author of true love, Jesus Christ.

Joe and Elsa Willis

Maranatha Medical Ministries

PO Box 390

Keysville, VA 23947

www.maranathamedical.org






03/27/2010: I Wanted to be a Priest

I Wanted 
to be a Priest

A story of God’s saving providence in Honduras

March 27, 2010


Many years ago, I felt the need in my heart to seek God. I have very good parents, but there was no one that could give me the correct religious instruction. I wanted to serve and help people, so I thought the way to accomplish this was by becoming a priest.

A short while after I began my studies for the priesthood, I developed some serious problems with my eyes which made it impossible for me to continue my studies. I continued to be active in the church, along with the rest of my very devout family, until a difficulty took place at our local Catholic church and I decided to stop attending.

For the next few years, I threw myself into my work; that’s how I kept occupied. Over the next several years, I met three different young ladies whom I considered for marriage; but somehow, at the last minute, some problem would arise and the marriages would be called off.

During these years, God had sent His servants from Maranatha Medical Ministries to Honduras, and an Adventist church was established here in the village of La Zona. They would kindly invite me to their meetings, and once in a while I would attend. Gradually as time moved on, the visits became more frequent.

I always found the messages to be simple and sincere, and the testimony of most of their members to be that of true Christians. I felt satisfied and blessed whenever I attended their church.

On one occasion, Brother Hernando Cuesta, a missionary from Colombia, and I were talking and he asked if I liked the teachings of the Adventist church. With sincerity I responded that I liked it, and that I agreed with about 75 percent of its teachings, but there were some things that, to me, were too extreme. He then proceeded to ask me if I wanted to study with him and perhaps we could clear up the other 25 percent.

We began to study together, and God even had Brother Hernando spend a couple of weeks at my place, due to the outpost being filled with guests. During those two weeks, I learned more about the Bible than I had learned in my entire life. By his example, I also learned the importance of personal devotions with God in the morning.

I began a new life. Now I understood why I had that sickness with my eyes that pulled me out of the priesthood; why the marriages had never taken place—it was in reality the hand of God guiding my life.

Now, with great joy, I can serve God and help others. I decided to offer my help and skills with the young men up at the outpost at the Missionary Training Center. The Lord has surrounded me with people that I too can learn from; people that are kind, humble, and most of all, filled with the Spirit of God.

The time that I used to dedicate to calculating my work, vain thoughts, etc., I now dedicate to the study of God’s Word, the Spirit of Prophecy books and prayer. I can only give the thanks and praise to God for all that He has done. I know that it is His grace that works in me, because He is the One that gives us faith, leads us to repentance, and leads us all to do that which is good.

There was a time that I thought I could never keep the Sabbath—I always had so much work to do—but now I look forward to Sabbath. It is the happiest day for me. Sabbath school is my favorite time, because the Divine Teacher comes to teach us His wisdom and all that He has left us in His Word. It is a wonderful blessing for me. Every Wednesday afternoon, the Missionary Trainees and I go into the mountains and give Bible studies and medical consultations. What a blessing this is!

The majority of my family does not support me in my new life, and especially in my decision to get baptized. I pray much and I’m very anxious for that glorious day when I can publicly demonstrate my desire to be a part of God’s eternal family. I know that God gives special blessings and promises to those who get baptized. I know that in God’s strength I will be able to meet all the trials and temptations that come my way.

I could go on telling all that God has done for me, but I’d rather ask that you pray that God will keep me faithful and firm, that on that glorious day we can all meet together by that river of life. May God help us all, is my prayer.

Note: This testimony was written by Jorge Muñoz, and translated into English. By the time you read this story, Jorge will be a baptized Seventh-day Adventist. His desire is to work full-time with Maranatha Medical Ministries, helping in our Missionary Training Center. In addition to his missionary outreach with the young men, he will also be teaching them carpentry skills and small-scale construction. We thank God that He has provided us with a mentor for our young men. Please keep Jorge in your prayers; that God will keep him strong in His truth. We know that he will be a great asset to the ministry, and to God’s work here in La Zona.

By Jorge Muñoz. Maranatha Medical Ministries, Honduras. Donations can be sent to Maranatha Medical Ministries, 
PO Box 501, Sherman, NY 14781.



07/04/2009: A Family of Missionaries

Through the years, we have had dozens of volunteers serving at our Outpost, and we are ever thankful to God for sending us just the right people at just the right time. From time to time, we’ve had sisters, brothers, mother and son, father and son pairs volunteer with us, but recently, we had quite an unusual, yet pleasant surprise.

090704-mmm1Elsa and I received an e-mail from a Pastor Kevin Powell, from Virginia, asking if he and a few members of his family could come and work with us for a couple of weeks. As always, we never give an immediate answer. We must first pray and seek God’s guidance, direction and will for us in all matters. Finally, we did agree that it would be of benefit to have a few volunteers come and help out with church meetings and health seminars at the restaurant. After communicating further with the pastor, we learned that there would actually be sixteen family members coming. This included mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, sons, daughters, even a granddad. Wait a minute; didn’t I say a few volunteers? Elsa and I knew this would be somewhat of a challenge, because we were short staffed and very busy. We would not be able to devote much personal time to this group; so, they would have to be very self-motivated.

The plan was soon in motion for the group to come, and the closer their arrival date came, the more nervous I became. I did not want them to have an unpleasant experience.

090704-mmm6A few days before their arrival, I received an e-mail, which included their work and project schedule. I had never seen such an organized, detailed outline for such a large group. I was relieved to see their schedule, but now I was more nervous than ever. You see, we have learned that it’s almost impossible to keep a solid schedule at our ministry here in the mountains. Something always comes up unexpectedly to change all the plans. We prayed, “Lord, please let this be a positive experience for these families coming. Let them see and know that the work being done here, though not always scheduled and organized, is Your work.”

The day finally arrived, and we met them all at the airport: sixteen people, thirty-two large pieces of luggage, and lots of happy smiling faces. Well, it didn’t take long for me to realize that all of my fears were unnecessary. Usually, volunteers need a couple of days to get accustomed and adjusted to being in a third world country. These missionary families hit the country running.

They wasted no time in going out into the mountain villages sharing their many talents with everyone they met. It was so wonderful to see young and old excited about ministering to others. This wonderful group didn’t come here empty-handed either. They brought with them lots of medical supplies, clothes for our village children, and a few laptop computers for our students of the Missionary Training Center.

I wish I could tell you all of the special things that took place during their visit, but I’ll only be able to share with you a little of what took place.

Passing out gifts to village children
Passing out gifts to village children

One very special event was when we all went up to a nearby mountain village to visit one of our regular outreach families. The young people had brought with them musical bells, and they played several songs for the family. What a wonderful time we had. I thought I could even hear angels accompanying these youth as they played.

I honestly believe that heaven draws near when people, young people especially, open their hearts and give of their time and talents to help others. All of these young people displayed such selfless, beautiful characters. We are told in the book Steps To Christ, page 80, that, The spirit of unselfish labor for others gives depth, stability, and Christlike loveliness to the character, and brings peace and happiness to its possessor. The aspirations are elevated… Those who thus exercise the Christian graces will grow and will become strong to work for God. They will have clear spiritual perceptions, a steady, growing faith, and an increased power in prayer… Those who thus devote themselves to unselfish effort for the good of others are most surely working out their own salvation.”

Dear youth, do you feel that you are too young, or too untalented to share God’s love and compassion with others? Never feel this way! God has given you all special gifts and talents to be used in His service. Though this family of missionaries was only with us for a short time, their Christian influence was felt, and will be missed, throughout La Zona and our mountain villages.

 


My name is Bethany Powell. I am eight years old, and I live in Virginia, where my dad is a pastor. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a missionary. I was so excited when Jesus opened the door for our family to go and help at M.M.M. in Honduras for two weeks.

 

Testimony From a Child

 

 

Abigail and her friend Bethany
Abigail and her friend Bethany

“We brought with us a lot of gifts for the children, (food, literature, and a few stuffed animals, too).
“As we flew into San Pedro Sula, I saw many banana plantations, rivers and mountains. It was very pretty. And it was fun to go on the airplane for my first time. It’s very pretty at the Maranatha Outpost. We had a great time going to a cave and a waterfall. It was also fun doing our laundry by hand in the Pila.

“I want to share a few experiences I had there that were especially meaningful to me. We held VBS (Vacation Bible School) in Cera del Torro, a mountain village, just up from the Outpost, and the children were cheerful and happy, even though they were poor and needy. I enjoyed helping with the songs, Bible stories, crafts and games.

“Another time, we went to a very poor area near Santa Barbara and gave the children balloons, bubbles, tooth brushes, balls and hair thingies. Again we went into the mountains to visit with a poor family. Their house had cracks in the walls. We brought them all stuffed animals. One girl was so delighted when she saw a pink flamingo. I’m glad we brought the flamingo!

“I made a friend in Honduras! Her name is Abigail. Even though she didn’t know me, she walked right up and hugged me the first night of prayer meeting. It made me feel good. She sat by me almost all the rest of the meetings. It reminded me of Jesus and how He continually befriends us.

“We are so blessed to have nice houses and lots of good food to eat. I’m so glad we got to go to Honduras. I look forward to going back someday. I want to be a missionary at home, in Honduras or wherever Jesus calls me to be.”

 

By Joe Willis, Maranatha Medical Ministries, Honduras. Donations can be sent to Maranatha Medical Ministries, PO Box 501, Sherman, NY. Website: www.maranathamedical.org