Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Tale of Two Communities

It is a little known fact that AFE is not an island in Honduras, an organization floating by itself, trying to rescue children from the garbage dump (with financial and prayer support in the United States). Although AFE came first, it is actually the social action project of a Honduran church, Amor y Vida.

When Jeony Ordonez received the vision for AFE, he was the mission leader at another Amor y Vida (“love and live”) church in a different part of Tegucigalpa. This Amor y Vida church was the mother church of four satellite churches planted throughout Honduras. One of Jeony’s mentors (and boss at the time), Michael Miller of the Micah Project, encouraged Jeony to plant a church to support AFE. This was Michael Miller’s advice because the ideal situation is for social action to launch out of a local church, and to be supported by a church.

Thus, five years ago with his senior pastor’s blessing and a seminary education under his belt, Jeony Ordonez moved from his middle-class neighborhood to the poor community of “Linda Miller” and began visiting families to start a church. Today, seven of AFE’s teachers come from “Amor y Vida” in the Miller. They found Christ in that church, underwent discipleship, and now are reaching out to children from the garbage dump. Pastor Jeony is smart. By himself, he can only reach so many children from the garbage dump. But if Jeony can reproduce his missionary-heart, he can reach so many more.

The Amor y Vida church in the Linda Miller community supplies AFE with teachers. It provides an avenue for AFE’s children to worship weekly, participate in Sunday School and youth group. It has planted one Bible-study group among garbage working families, and hopes to grow more.

Despite this excellent involvement in the garbage dump community, Pastor Jeony’s began to wonder, “Could this church do more?” Many of AFE’s children have been abandoned by their parents, face the danger of abuse by family members, and are in desperate need of substitute godly families. Legal adoption is hard in Honduras. What if the families of the Amor y Vida church in the Miller could fall in love with the children of AFE? What if they became substitute grandparents, uncles and aunts, maybe even fathers and mothers to the children who have no one?

For this reason, Pastor Jeony recently launched the campaign in the Amor y Vida church, “A Tale of Two Communities.” This campaign teaches about some of the needs in the world, and God’s call for the church to be an active agent of change. We are excited to see what comes out of it and how God moves in the Miller community. Will you pray for us?

Addendum: Last Sunday, in the continuing theme of Churches in Action, Pastor Jeony led a panel discussion to highlight what other communities are doing to reach their context. Volunteer Paul Sloan shared about his home church's efforts to reach the homeless in Waco: "Church Under the Bridge," and Rey Diaz shared about his home church's dream to "build the greatest caring network the world has ever seen." Follow the links to be inspire!

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