November, 2017: Construction and VBS
It might only take a few minutes of riding on a dirt road, mountains to the left, an abyss to the right, and rainy sky on top, for the questions to come. What were you thinking? Is this really serving Jesus? Questions continue to come, but the higher you go, the closer the sky looks, and the more meaningless your questions and concerns become.
After traveling only 5.22 miles over 32 minutes, you seem to have gone back in time as you arrive at the small village of San Antonio. San Antonio, a town of 180 people who live in 42 houses, just got electricity two years ago. Faces stare at you, looking for a sign as to your intentions. It seems like nothing can be said to bridge the cultural divide between you and these people. In a world of prejudice and differences, you are reminded of God’s gift of diversity. He created us all in His image, yet we are all so different from each other.
After the initial shock passed, the team took to their duties. It’s amazing to watch two different cultures come together and do great work toward a common goal. While the two interpreters could bridge the language gap, the heart and eyes are what connect us more than words. This connection is not reliant on age or experience, as the smile of a child can move us as much as a nod of recognition from a wizened resident of this place.
Several tasks lay ahead for the week. While the ladies started working with the children, the men began removing the roof of the old school. Americans and Hondurans, working side by side, took off the metal sheeting and then the wooden beams. In the afternoons, the women taught a small VBS on God’s creation of the world. It was a joy to see the children enjoy this time, singing and dancing about His creation. Despite the cold, rain, and muddy ground, the eager faces of the children absorbing the word of God made it all worth it. Although we didn’t always accomplish as much as we hoped, we knew God was working through us in ways we couldn’t see.
Over the next few days we not only helped rebuild the school roof, we re-purposed the wood beams to build a fence around the school. The school is the only one in the village, where one teacher is tasked with teaching kindergarten to 6th grade. Our team divided into teams, with one group cutting the beams for the fence, another moving the metal sheets, and a third group mixing and pouring the cement for the fence footings. After lunch, the men would continue this work, while the women would teach VBS.
There was constant activity for the group, whether working on the school in San Antonio or painting the church at Ministries of Faith. Between all this, the team got to know each other, not just as friends but as a family through supporting and encouraging each other during their time in Honduras. By the end of the week, nobody could see the differences anymore, but were focused on their common goal of serving one another. Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself was carried out this week – in this case, our neighbors live thousands of miles from home and speak another language, but understood and saw God’s love for them through our work.
Thanks to the team for their servants’ heart and for showing their love toward those in need. We could see the message of Colossians 3:23-24 through your work – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Thank you to all who supported the team, whether financially or through prayer – this work was made possible through you.
Let us keep serving our Lord…
May, 2017: Fun Day at School
May 30th was a special day at Vida Nueva Christian school. Teachers, students and parents enjoyed some time planting trees. This year we planted 30 fruit trees and 15 ornamental plants. After we were done planting we enjoyed a picnic that was provided by the parents, everything was delicious. This year the eight grade students from Macuelizo brought a trampoline to be used at Vida Nueva. All the students enjoyed taking a turn jumping in the trampoline. We thank God for all his abundant blessings!
March 2017: National Water Day.
This year was our first time celebrating the National Water Day. Vida Nueva christian school participated on a walk
of water awareness in Azacualpa. During the walk, the students carried banners with messages about the importance of water and the conservation of the environment and the well-being of people.
We were also able to present the gospel, in John 4:14 Jesus says, whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
We had a blessed day. After the walk, we had some games in which the children learned the importance of caring for and conserving water. Our community needs to remember to protect our natural resources. We must remember that we cannot live without water and most importantly, we cannot live without Christ.
March 2017: Feeding Program.
We are three weeks into the feeding program. Our feeding program provides lunch to children from a very poor area of Azacualpa. Alex goes and picks the children up in the school bus, brings them back for lunch and takes them back to their neighborhood after lunch. While they are at Ministries of Faith, we sing christian songs, tell them a bible story and pray with them. They wash their own plates in the ‘pila’ and play for a little bit on the playground equipment.
We are so thankful for your support towards the feeding program.
February 2017: New School Year.
Vida Nueva Christian School has been running for four years and just last week we started our FIFTH year. Praise God! The first week of school went extremely well, the children and staff were all excited to get the year going. We currently have 63 students enrolled and we have added 6th grade this year. Friday we had our first Recrovia which is a time where the parents have an opportunity to spend time with their children at the school. It was a great success! We are all looking forward to a year of learning and growth. Thank you for all your support!
September 2016: Baby Chicks!
We are so excited to once again have baby chicks at Ministries of Faith. This morning 50 beautiful chicks arrived. The children will take turns feeding them and cleaning up the chicken coop. We can’t wait to have fresh eggs available once again!
August 2016: God is Good.
working with groups that have visited us from all over the United States. Every group has greatly blessed us during their stay and we know that God worked in their lives while they were here.
Some groups were involved in construction, painting, distributing food to needy families. Other groups did skits in public schools and helped out with the feeding program. All the groups shared the gospel in one way or another!
One other highlight this summer was the visit of my daughter Keren and my two grandkids, Ethan and Johana. My “batteries” were recharged while they were here. We had a such a great time together.
We want to thank everyone that spent a week or more with us. We would also like to thank everyone that prayed, donated and sponsored an individual and made it possible for them to come to Ministries of Faith this year.
Please continue to pray for this Ministry.
Too soon, we had to pack up and leave for home (Minnesota and Illinois.) We’ll be back next year!
May 2014: Reyna’s new house
We are excited to report that the next home project is nearing completion! Back in February, we told you about Reyna and her son Oscar who tried to build a home for themselves but were unable to finish it. Due to complications from polio, Reyna has a tough time making a living, much less building a home.
In March, construction began and their modest home will be complete within the next month. This home building project and others planned for later this year would not be possible without your generous donations! Please contact us if you wish to help cover our expenses for this wonderful new home!
April 2014: Computer Class!
The children at our Christian school have been having an awesome time learning how to use a computer. Not many families in Azacualpa have a home computer. Not surprisingly, computer class is one of our most loved classes. We thank God for another school year where we get to see the excitement on our students faces as they learn new things!
APRIL 2014: LEARNING ENGLISH
We are so happy to have Grant with us this school year. Grant is visiting us from Georgia and will be giving English classes to the school children, school teachers and the Children’s Home staff members this school year! We would love to see and hear the children and staff speaking English with the mission teams that come and help us out every year.
March 2014: A new school year!
As many of you know, in 2013, Ministries of Faith opened the doors to a new Christian school located at the Children’s Home. The school year runs February – November in Honduras and we have started our 2014 school year. We are very excited to report that our enrollment is nearly double what it was last year! In 2013 we had 24 students enrolled and so far this year we have 45 students.
The first week of February we had a welcome night for the students and parents. We have six teachers who will be teaching first through third grade and we offer computer classes and English classes as well. Our school building is serving us very well and we look forward to expanding our programs in the future.
Several mission teams donated crayons, color pencils, markers, erasers, and other school supplies last year and we were able to give bags of school supplies to 60 children from the feeding program! Most of the feeding program children are unable to afford school supplies so it was very exciting for the children and their parents to receive these essential supplies. We encourage teams that plan to visit us in 2014 to consider donating school supplies so we could help more children next school year.
God continues to bless our every step with the school and the feeding program. To Him be the glory.
February 2014: THE NEXT HOME-BUILDING PROJECT
We pray and hope that these tidings find you well.
Many of you know about “My House Project,” a project that help poor families to acquire an honest home. We just finished the third house we have been able to build in the Azacualpa area. Three poor families have received homes in the past year; Victoria was first, then Chely, and the recent one was Nancy and her family.
The total cost for Nancy’s family home was $ 7,465.00 and four mission groups were involved: these groups came from Clarks Grove, MN, Fillmore, MN, Locust Grove, GA and Marshalltown, IA. More than 50 people, men, women, youth and children gave their talents, skills, knowledge, and all their love and support to make this happen. Nancy and her family are so thankful for this great blessing they have received.
We want to continue blessing other families in this area as God provides the resources to do so. Next month, we’ll help Reyna Victoria to finish her small house. Reyna is a single mother to 16-year-old Oscar Rene. Reyna has polio and has extreme difficulties getting around but that does not stop her from trying to earn a living for her and her son. She works as a housekeeper while Oscar learns welding and bodyshop while attending 9th grade in the evenings from 5-9 pm.
Please keep serving the Lord in your local congregation and let us know if you want to get involved in another experience of faith in Honduras.
God bless you. Dago and Dilia
January 2014 – HONDURAN HOME MAKEOVER – TAKE 3!
Nancy is a 16-year-old girl who volunteers with the feeding program at the Children’s Home. She, along with her parents, Rafael and Tina, and her brothers, Kevin and Josue, collected rocks and bought cinder blocks one at a time for a number of years in hopes that, one day, they could build themselves a decent home. Their need was very real and through various circumstances, it came to the attention of Dago. As they owned the small lot of land they live on, teams were able to help them realize their dream.
Two mission teams worked on the home in November, helping with demolition of their one-room, mud and stick home. These teams helped lay the foundation and the family, local volunteers, and workers continued construction efforts until two more teams arrived from Minnesota. Those teams spent two weeks finishing the home and building furniture for the family (including beds, a table and dressers for personal belongings) and a dedication celebration was held on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014.
The most joyous outcome from the entire process was that Rafael, Nancy’s father, came to know the saving power of God’s grace as he rubbed elbows with volunteers and witnessed, first hand, the love of Jesus poured out for him. At the dedication celebration, he told the gathered crowd how he came to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior during the building of his new home and expressed that he is now beginning a whole, new life. Amen!!
January 25, 2014 – CHILDREN SING AT THE AZACUALPA CITY MAYOR’S INAUGURATION
December 25, 2012 – MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Hello Friends and Partners in Missions:
It is that time again, when we celebrate the birth
of our Lord and Savior, a time to rejoice and be glad that the
Heavenly Father sent his only begotten son into this world to save us.
We, at the Children’s Home in Azacualpa, Honduras, will be celebrating
with a special Living Christmas Tree Cantata, 30 kids will be participating singing to Jesus.
We’ll be at the neighborhood, where most of the kids come for our feeding program, at the plaza and the city hall.
We want to say thanks for your support, love and prayers. FELIZ NAVIDAD from the bottom of our hearts.
Sept. 10, 2012 – A BOOK CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Every day is full of activities at Ministries of Faith New Life. The children and teenagers of both the Home and the feeding program are full of energy. Daily we ask ourselves, what does God want us to do for these children and teenagers? With this question in mind, I started thinking about a reading program.
Most of the children that live in rural Honduras do not have access to childrens books or fiction books. Story time is not something readily available to them and even at home story time is non-existent. There is no local library where imagination is encouraged. I took a small number of books from our small library and introduced them to the children. I asked how many of them would like to start reading some books, the reply was an overwhelming YES by every single child. We formed groups based on their reading level. Their eyes were shining with excitement. They were thrilled to read a book that was not a text book or a homework assignment.
They read books like, “I Love my Shadow, Daniel’s Pet, Too Many Tamales, The True Story of the Three Little Piggies, My Grandma is Awesome, Jesus and His Friends, Pedro the Courageous, The Chest Vendor and a few other books. I can honestly say that I have never seen them so captured by an activity. Their hunger for reading was astonishing. To read a book is such a small thing but it has the power to make these children happy. I thought about when Jesus would sit and children would flock to sit by Him. What kind of stories did He have to tell?
Working with young minds reminds us that we can have an impact on the future of this country, even if it is something as small as getting them to read. We want to encourage you, whenever you travel, to take an extra book or two with you and leave it behind to someone who has none. Even better, read a child a book and experience the happiness and excitement they feel.
May 4, 2012 – VIDEO
April 8, 2012 – EASTER UPDATE
We are getting close to that time of the year when we celebrate with great joy and happiness about our Lord and Savior’s ultimate victory over death, sin and Satan. And that is the reason for us to rejoice in HIM, the reason to proclaim and shout to the world, that JESUS is what this world needs in order to be save. We hope and pray that you will be celebrating with all your heart the Risen Christ.
Our activities in Azacualpa, Honduras continue day by day, the kids are growing and some of them are talking about their future and things they would like to do in life.
Leonardo is in his second year at the Agricultural School, we get good reports from his teachers saying that he is an outstanding student with a great potential to continue his studies at one of the Agricultural Universities in Honduras; we pray daily for him asking the Lord to keep his feet straight.
Ricci started her 10th grade at the Bilingual School, she is doing very good, she is dedicated to her studies and hopefully in year 2014 she will attend the University in San Pedro Sula.
Dania is in her 9th grade and her plans are to attend the Agricultural School, we hope that she will fit there, as for now those are her plans.
Yeini, Milton, Keidy and Brayan are attending 8th grade and doing good as for now; Milton is learning mechanics during the day and attending school in the evening, his plans are to attend the same school as Leonardo.
This year we got to new kids; Maiky Ariel, he is brother of Yeini and is 9 years old, he is in 4th grade; and Carlos Estiven, brother of Ricci, Brayan and Breidy, he is in 3rd grade.
Our plans to finish the new building for the school will be accomplish next month, tomorrow the constructor will start laying the ceramic tile; the building is being used for sunday school program and hopefully for February 2013 we’ll start the Bilingual School.
Dilia and I are coming to the US in May 18th to June 8th, to attend the World Mission Conference that will be taking place in Green Lake, WI. The conference will be on May 18th to 25th and of course we’ll take the rest of the time to visit some churches, pastors, groups and friends. We might see some of you, that will be a blessing to shake your hand and give you a hug from our hearts.
Please keep praying for me and Dilia and all the kids, also for Alex and Mariana and their two girls.
Thanks for supporting this ministry, we couldn’t do this without you, please keep doing so.
Dago and Dilia Zelaya
THE YEAR OF BLESSINGS – December 24, 2011
The year 2011 has been a time of harvesting blessings. First off, we would like to thank the creator of the universe, the provider, the great I am. We would also like to thank everyone who in one way or another has contributed to Ministries of Faith here in Honduras. Daily we put out trust in His promise, “my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19.
Time is an incredible thing. It has been three years since we came to Honduras as full-time missionaries. When we arrived, we had many dreams and goals for Ministries of Faith. One of our dreams was to have our own water well. This year, thanks to the help and collaboration of the Rotary club in Champaign, Illinois and San Pedro Sula, Honduras, we have an abundance of clean quality water. Praise the Lord!
After moving back, we quickly recognized the need for Sunday school rooms. We wanted a place where we could teach the children the word of God. In January, we began building the classrooms in faith. God has been sending construction teams and providing monetary help. We hope to have the Sunday school classrooms finished by spring 2012. To God be the glory. Our desire for this building is for it to function not only as Sunday school classrooms but to be a bilingual Christian school. We want to enroll children who would otherwise have no financial means of attending a bilingual school. We pray that once the school opens we will have the ability to give scholarships to these children.
The feeding program has been a tremendous blessing to our ministry. Around 80 children ages 5 to 14 are given a daily nutritious lunch during the year. This part of the ministry has been a success because of the church members and churches who have supported us financially and prayerfully. The children are taught the Word because they need spiritual nourishment as well as physical. It is heartwarming to see how the children love Ministries of Faith. They enjoy and look forward to an afternoon here. Right now they are thrilled to be practicing for a Christmas program.
The children and teenagers that live at Ministries of Faith are on break from school. Here in Honduras the typical American “summer vacation” is during November, December and January. The young ladies have been busy learning how to cook and the young men have been working in the fields. They have also been working on the sidewalks that connect to the classrooms. It has been a great experience to see them grow and mature both physically and spiritually. All the children are having English classes taught by two interns who are currently at the Children’s home.
We give the glory to God because every day we can serve Him through the many little things that happen here.
We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has prayed, visited and supported us financially. God Bless you.
Dago and Dilia Zelaya