Aug. 3—A recent Christian mission trip to Guadalajara, Honduras, by a Jacksonville church group brought about repairs to a Baptist church in that city and addressed what the group saw as spiritual needs of residents there.
The mission team members, most of whom represent West Point Baptist Church in Jacksonville, hope to return to Honduras in spring next year and then, if they can raise the money to do so, send another team next summer that includes young people. Eleven people were on the team that returned recently; Leatherwood Baptist Church and Bynum Baptist Church were also represented in the group.
"These trips are transformational," said the Rev. Ronny Moore, pastor of West Point, a church that was completely rebuilt in 2020 after the 2018 tornado that hit Jacksonville destroyed the church building.
"We fly for thousands of miles to help others and advance the gospel," Moore said, "and we are the ones who have more of a change."
Another member of the team who traveled to Honduras was Summer Quinn, 37, of Pleasant Valley, accompanied by her husband, Jeremy.
"While there, we went out into the community in Guadalajara and shared the message of Jesus," she said.
That message was delivered by teaching a vacation Bible school, praying with people who were sick, going door-to-door and conducting worship services through translators.
Members also delivered baskets of food to those in need and assisted the Cross Point Ministries, a group that presents families with filters that clean the water.
Another member of the church, Alison Moore, 34, of Wellborn community, had been to Nicaragua in 2017 and said their group had carried out similar activities in that country.
Both Quinn and Alison Moore said that as much as anything, they enjoyed the worship services that took place each evening with those they felt connected to by the shared love for God.
"During the services, we often had no idea what they were saying or singing, but we could feel the presence of the Lord," said Moore. "We, as visitors, would give our testimonies, three of us — my husband Chance, a team member named Rick Nabors and I — sang in English while the Hondurans sang in Spanish. Neither set of Christians had any idea what the other was saying or singing, but we feel the presence of the Lord. They have so much love for God, and we all know that He is the same God who is everywhere."
Moore and Quinn said they hope to return with the next team.
"It means we get to be a part of something so powerful," Quinn said. "You see God at work in so many ways. There were people dropping to their knees and praising God. I could feel God's presence in all we were doing."
Moore said the emotions she felt awakened something in her. The people there are happy, and she wondered if someone told American Christians that they must worship with no glass on the windows or doors on a building, no air conditioner and no lights, would they?
"Even to tell Christians here that they would sit in the plastic chairs they use there," she said, "how many would show up for worship? The Hondurans show up, though, and stay at services all day long."
Anyone interested in contributing to the mission effort may visitwww.wpbcjville.com to contribute, or they may call the church building and leave a message 256-435-6835.