// Blog Archive

This past month, Jennifer and I took on some additional ministry responsibilities as Melvin and Carol had the unique chance to head to the US of A. Through the generosity of family, Kishwaukee Bible Church, and New Covenant Bible Church, Melvin and Carol were able to take a bit of a mini-sabbatical. Thanks to my friend Justin Taylor, Melvin was able to attend the Gospel Coalition conference in Orlando. This time was full of rich teaching and preaching, focused primarily of the Gospel according to Luke. Pastor Melvin heard preaching from godly men like John Piper, D.A. Carson, Tim Keller, and many others. I am excited as Melvin and I will be focusing this months’ pastoral training conference on the book of Luke as well.

Melvin and Carol’s whirlwhind trip allowed them to spend time in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Florida, packing in a roadtrip of well over 1,000 miles. Thanks to my father-in-law for lending out the wheels.

 

Let me share some interesting observations from the Zelayas on life in our culture.

  • Life is faster paced in the U.S. While we knew this already, Melvin was surprised how aggressive Chicago-land drivers will just push you off the road.
  • Life is more expensive in the U.S. Sure there are less potholes on I-90 than in Honduras (although I think Illinois is catching up with us quickly), but the amount of money required for tolls was a big surprise.
  • However small and seemingly distant from the U.S the ministry here is, Melvin and Carol were touched by how many brothers and sisters in Christ wanted to greet them and showed so much interest in what God is doing here. It was such an encouragement for them to meet godly men and women – even those who have never been to Honduras – pray regularly for our family, for Melvin, and for the Church here. While at times one might feel alone in the call to preach the Gospel, knowing that Christ’s Church is global, that the Call is being answered by obedient Christ-followers, and that many are supporting the Work of the Gospel around the world is motivation to press on.
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Author: Matthew
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I have quite a bit to catch up on, but first I want to share about our Easter week. Holy Week, or Semana Santa, here in Honduras is full of traditions and often a time of rest or vacation for people. With tradition always comes certain types of foods, of which includes pescado seco, or dried fish, which they eat in blog, make “meatballs” out of, or cook up a few other ways. Our family is not big on seafood, so we refrained from participating in this particular tradition. However, we did want to witness a Catholic tradition that had started originally in Guatemala – the alfombras.

Basically, the entire country shuts down Thursday and Friday of Semana Santa. On Good Friday, many within the Catholic church get up in the wee hours of the morning to begin creating these beautiful rugs. Oftentimes, up to 40 people work together on one rug. Even the government gets involved and has people out there working. These rugs, or alfombras, are made completely of brightly colored sawdust mixed with some glue. People have to stand over them all day long to keep them slightly damp so they don’t blow away. Then, at 5 in the evening of Good Friday, 60-70 men carry a large “float” through the several kilometers full of alfombras. We had been invited by an acquaintance who was part of carrying this float – and wow, was it a sight to see. Although we did not stay for the processional, we were invited into the church where it was being held. The float had taken 40 men more than 6 months to complete and displayed Christ on the cross, a statue of each of the 4 Gospel writers, and many, many intricate details.

It was great for our family to experience and learn about the alfombras, which are diplayed all throughout Latin America every year on Good Friday. Although the people of our church do not participate, it gives us a little insight into what many Hondurans focus on and how they view Christ.

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The Catholic church downtown was displaying signs of Jesus’ last words on the cross.