Valarie Englert, Senior Pastor
Back in May, I went with a small group from the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church to Brownsville, Texas on a “Courts and Ports” immersion trip, and shared with you about some of my experiences.
One of the most stunning things I noticed while at the migrant respite centers was the huge number of young families among them, most from Central America. “What are they running from?” I thought to myself. “It must be truly horrific in their country for them to pull themselves away from home and everything that’s familiar.”
A couple of months ago, Bishop Mike McKee extended an invitation to members of our annual conference to join him on an exploratory trip to Honduras. Bishop McKee has been appointed the episcopal leader for the Honduran Missional Conference. There are 23 Methodist churches there, 10 of which have partner churches in the United States; 13 do not yet have partner churches.
After conversation with some of our lay leaders and church members, I made the decision to accept the invitation. A big factor in my decision flows out of what I witnessed at the Texas border, and my lingering questions about the young Central American families I encountered.
A group of about 20 folks from our conference is joining Bishop McKee on a flight this morning to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We will spend the week meeting with pastors and members of Honduran Methodist congregations. We will learn about their ministries and challenges, their dreams and hopes for the Honduran Methodist Church.
We will also have conversation around the issue of migration. What are the factors on the ground in Honduras that bring so many to leave and undertake such a dangerous journey to our southern border?
I am looking forward to meeting and spending time with fellow Methodists in Honduras, as well as learning more about their ministry context. I am also bold enough to think that the Methodist movement can make a difference wherever it manifests itself in the faith and actions of people who join together to make a difference for good in God’s Kingdom.
This week, I’ll be sharing with you some of my experiences and impressions. As always, I ask for and am grateful for your prayers.