Pastor Brian and I “clinging to the cross”.
I have shared with you before the work that God is doing in the poverty stricken village of La Colonia on the Island or Roatan Honduras. The village of Colonia sprung up on the steep rugged hillsides on the West end of the island as a result of the total devastation created by hurricane Mitch in 1998. Hundreds of people lost their homes along the coast and fearful of future storms they fled to highest ground on the island to an area called Sandy Bay. The area quickly became known as La Colonia (the colony).
The hills of Colonia are so steep and rugged that tourism fueled real estate developers had never been able to build on it. In the aftermath of hurricane Mitch hundreds of families fled to this area and in desperation began building shacks, lean twos, tents and any other kind of structure imaginable to try and create a shelter for their families. In addition to being extremely steep and rugged terrain, there was no electricity, no water, no sanitation and the torrential rains of the rainy season still creates mudslides that still cause several homes a year to crash down the hillside. In the years since the hurricane, an influx of mainlanders (people from mainland Honduras) came to Roatan seeking work in the tourism industry and caused the population of Colonia to grow to almost 10,000. Today, Colonia is a place of extreme poverty and despair for those who have no place else to go. As is often the case, this type of atmosphere becomes a stronghold of darkness in which the forces of evil prevail.
Around 2003 the government began running electricity into the area but there is still no sanitation systems in place. In 2005 a Christian organization called Living Water 4 Roatan began drilling wells and installing water lines to provide the people of this area with clean water. LW4R built a 65,000 gallon water tank at the highest point of the Island overlooking all of Colonia. At present only about 1/2 of the people of Colonia have regular access to clean water. In addition to providing clean water, LW4R has built a church at the bottom of the hill in Colonia which has begun sharing the Living Water of Jesus Christ with all who have ears to hear God’s good news. Another Christian organization called Alternative Missions began building 1 or 2 homes a year in Colonia for the poorest of the poor. Another Christian organization called Clinica Esperanza provides affordable medical care to the people of Colonia and has saved countless lives in the short time it has been in operation. All of these groups have begun to reflect God’s love and light pierce the darkness that has an uncontested hold on the people of Colonia.
In June of this year, Pat and I had the pleasure of working with Brian and Katie Steele (Christ The King youth pastor) to lead a group of high school kids to Roatan. The focus of this trip was to walk as Jesus walked and to minister to the people of Colonia whom God dearly loves….the poor, the sick, the orphans, the widows and the outcasts. As Pastor Brian and I were praying over this opportunity several months prior to the trip, God revealed to us that to walk as Jesus walked means we must all pick up our cross and follow HIM.
In obedience to God’s word, this group built a life sized, historically accurate cross as used by the Romans of the 1st century. On Sunday, June 29th, this group of kids Walked as Jesus Walked and carry this cross through the village of Colonia and up the steep rugged road to the top. Along the way, they invited all they met to share in the burden of carrying the cross up the hill. At the top, next to the 65,000 water tank, this group raised this 14 foot tall cross, complete with iron bands and rings and set it in the ground. All who joined this trek up the hill also joined with us in Communion at the foot of this cross in remembrance of HIM who gave HIS all on the Cross at Cavalry. God’s people, in unity, gathered around the foot of that cross and claimed that hilltop as Holy Ground. We prayed for God’s power, love, light and protection over all who fall under the shadow of that cross. God’s light and love will flow down the hillsides of Colonia, into every darkened home and every broken heart and the forces of darkness will have to retreat into the sea before the presence and power of God’s Holy Spirit. Just as the herd of demonically filled swine in the 5th chapter of the book of Mark, the forces of evil will be pushed into the sea.
From this time forward until Jesus returns, this cross perched on the highest point of Colonia will be visible from every valley below. Tourists flying into the Roatan airport will be able to see this cross and those who make the trek up the steep path to the top will read the plan of salvation painted on the side of the huge water tank in both Spanish and English proclaiming the message of the Cross.
Now for the meat of the matter! Proclaiming God’s love and light on that mountain top will not come without resistance. Pray that God will prepare the hearts of all those who will come after and behold the cross on the mountain top. Pray that the message inscribed on the wall of the water tank will take root in the hearts of all who read it and pray that this cross will be a beacon of hope for all the people of Colonia who live under its shadow.
Come Quickly Lord Jesus!
“Tom, the bible Solar Radios you sent me (4pcs) are soo effective here. Our unreached friends are taking them at night house to house in turns listening to the audio bible the local pastor reported to me several times asking if i have more of them. They ask for it pretending that it’s just as another radio but actually they want to hear the word of God secretly. If it is possible to get more even if they are hundreds i will find a way to penentrate them in every corner of this area after this leave. Just have it in your heart that it is a unique ministry which gets directly in the rooms of the targeted people where no one even us local people can get a permission to reach.”
In addition to providing the poor with clean water, health and educational assistance, and economic development opportunities, we feel it is even more important that we share God’s word. Illiteracy is a common problem in the extremely poor regions of the world served by The King’s Storehouse so God has put a burden on our heart to begin providing audio versions of the bible in the indigenous languages of the people we serve. This effort is just now taking shape and we are looking forward to seeing God’s plan unfold.
Our goal is to begin providing solar powered MP3 type players with audio versions of the bible. This effort is under the direction of board members Justin and Niki Johnson who oversee The King’s Storehouse activities in Ethiopia.
These players can be made available in various dialects of the African nations we are currently serving for about $60 each. Each player comes with a solar charger and a built in amplified speaker that can be clearly heard by a goup of up to 100 people.
If this is a ministry you feel God is leading you to get involved with, you can contact us for more information.
The bathroom, now complete, contains two toilets and a shower.
A modern flushing toilet and sink help with sanitation.
A water tank provides storage for the sink, toilets, and shower.
Thanks to your donations, the renovation of the church and bathroom facilities is complete! It focused on re-roofing the main church building with new metal roofing, plastering walls, extending a wall two feet higher, adding concrete beam, changing doors, repairing the pulpit area, and digging and building a church toilet.
Just by making this building look nice and strong will be a living testimony to the whole community that the God of Christians is alive. It will be a 24 hour testimony to whomever that passes by that “Jesus saves”. Mosques are built very nicely they get support from many Muslim agencies. Why not make the house of our King of Kings look good? I believe that through this building some souls will come to Christ.