GORDON & ANNA MACKENZIE ARE GOING TO HONDURAS!
This part is especially for those of you who were not able to attend our LifeBridge Connection service on June 16. The news is that, God is clearly calling Anna and I (Gordon) to go to Honduras on a long-term mission.
Anna and I would also like to clarify and share with you more about God’s call on our lives to go to Honduras. There are many details, as you would imagine, to such an endeavour, some of which we know and others of which continue to be developed.
From the beginning, LifeBridge began with a vision to connect people to God, disciple them and send them out to our family, our neighbours, our community and our world. That vision includes planting churches, and sending people to areas that are experiencing high levels of poverty and eventually to groups of people (unreached people groups) who have never heard about Jesus. We believe in this vision and from the beginning have committed ourselves to helping to fulfill it during our time here. As it turns out, God apparently wants us to continue to enlarge the LifeBridge vision and extend it all the way into Honduras.
What has captured our hearts?
From the first time we heard about Honduras and began sponsoring our child (Abby) with Compassion International, God began placing a burden on our hearts. He really began to expand that during the time that Alvin and Nelly Anderson from Manos Extendidas (Extended Hands) in Honduras came and spent a weekend with us here at LifeBridge. We believe that He began to clarify His call for us to go to Honduras from the moment we stepped on the ground in Honduras during our recent mission trip this March.
What captured our hearts were the people of Honduras. Specifically, the many people, leaders and pastors that we met who have a love for God and are serving Him in some of the most extreme, challenging and difficult of places. We were also greatly impacted by what we saw and learned of the children on the streets, in the orphanages and prisons and the poverty-stricken neighbourhoods of Honduras. God really began to fill our hearts with love for them from the moment we met them. For us, absence has only strengthened and grown our love for them.
When do we expect to go?
At this point our hope and expectation is to be on the ground in Honduras sometime between March and July of 2014.
What do we expect to do there?
These plans are still developing; however, at this point we believe that our ministry with Manos Extendidas and in Honduras will focus on the following:
- Encouraging, discipling and equipping church/ministry leaders & pastors
- Helping to identify, equip and train-up new leaders
- Providing ministry and organizational support
- Identifying humanitarian & ministry needs
- Facilitating short-term mission trips and teams
- Hands-on ministry in the Youth Prisons and Orphanages and on the Streets
- Supporting, encouraging and discipling ministry leaders
- Reaching out to the wives of pastors & ministry leaders
- Ministry Administration
- Support the ongoing work of Manos by spending time: With the Churches At the Feeding Stations with Leaders & Children At the Orphanages On the Streets With the Child Sponsorship program
How long are we planning to stay in Honduras?
In our discussions and planning, especially in light of the magnitude of the move and the challenges involved (i.e. cultural & learning Spanish) we have in our own minds and hearts committed to be in Honduras for at least 5 to 6 years.
What are the financial implications for us?
Since Anna and I will be leaving our current ministry and employment situations we will need to raise both, our salary and the ministry financial needs. At this point we understand that figure to be around $80,000 per year.
We will also have a number of one-time start-up costs associated with things such as:
- Flights – $2,000 (Air Miles?)
- Visas – $3,000
- Moving Expenses – ?
- Vehicle (i.e. newer model Toyota 4-wheel drive) – ?
- Language Training (2 months) – $4,800
- Household furniture & supplies – ?
What are the financial implications for the church?
One thing that has clearly marked all of our discussions here at LifeBridge and with Manos Extendidas, is that we are clearly looking to strengthen and develop our partnership. That it will be an ongoing ministry and financial partnership with us in Honduras and the rest of the LifeBridge family, is the hope and plan. How we will do that is still in the discussion phase. It is our prayer (Gordon, Anna & LifeBridge leadership) that we will all ask God the same basic questions: What do you want me to do? What do you want us to do? After all it’s His mission in our hands.
You can stay updated here on our website as more information becomes available in the weeks ahead:
Love from Your Partners in Mission,
Gordon & Anna MacKenzie