From Our Honduras Missionary
A longtime parishioner, Bob Canter, has moved to serve the Diocese of Honduras. Here is the latest news from him.
To the St. John’s Family,
I would like to take a moment to say thank you to all of you for your support and for the many prayers offered on my behalf during the last 9 years that I have been seeking to follow my calling to work in Honduras. St. John’s was no small part of that call coming about. St. John’s played a huge role in helping me to remain faithful to that calling through some incredibly difficult years. I am so thankful to the clergy, EFM members, my beloved Sunday School Class, mission team participants and all who have enriched my life with faith and love.
I started working at the Diocesan Office in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on June 1st. My job will be that of “area coordinator for short term mission teams.” I will be working with Rick Harlow of Virginia who is the short term mission team coordinator for Honduras and my area will encompass everything north, south and west of Siguatepeque. “Siguat.” is about an hour and forty five minutes south, south east of San Pedro. Siguat. is where I worked on my first mission trip in 1989. The church there is St. John’s. Bishop Allen hopes to build a school there behind the church and when funds become available to start construction, I will serve as the project director for the school. Rick and the Bishop are presently applying for a UTO grant for the school and seeking other sources of financial support. I will be working with short term mission teams until construction begins on the school. I’ll be assisting in scheduling teams, helping them plan their trips, and project management. I will serve as the “feet on the ground” acquiring materials and making arrangements with the locals in the area so that when the teams arrive, everything is in place and they can go to work. This work will include new roofs and sidewalks and paint jobs on many little rural churches. Some teams take on families and build latrines, eco-friendly stoves, and pilas. Some, like St. John’s, supply greatly needed medical care where none is available. I will meet the teams at the airport, accompany them to the areas where they will work, work on the project with them, and then return them to the airport at the end of their week. I am very excited about spending time with other groups like St. John’s who have made multiple trips to Honduras to learn from them what they enjoy, what works well for them and how we can improve the program. We have some 50% fewer teams coming down now than in years past and I really want to work towards building that program up again. The need is great and it changes lives.
My position with the Diocese is completely volunteer in nature. There is no pay and no reimbursement. The cost of supporting myself and my mission is entirely on me. I have been seeking support from the national church since December, but that is yet to come to fruition. I’m very thankful in that I am in a financial position to support myself. I have sold my truck and will be able to use that money to buy a new one. I came here with nothing more than an extra checked bag, so I will have to set up house-keeping again. All of that I can handle on my own. But I will need help in supporting my mission there. I am going to be doing a great deal of traveling and all of that expense will be on me. Gas is really expensive in Honduras and I’ll be paying rent on something while often spending weeks at a time in hotels. So I need some financial support. The Bishop of Honduras has begun a “2019 Campaign” to move the Diocese from dependency on the U.S. national church into financial independence. It is a huge challenge. The National Church here cut their budget by 33% in 2009 and it has had incredible effect. Most of the rural churches serve extremely poor people and most cannot even pay their own power bill. There is basically no cash flow. I’ve seen Rick pull money out of his own pocket on many occasions to buy gas for the bus or paper for the printer simply because funds are so scarce. It’s a desperate situation. That is why we need to build the short term mission team program to inform those with means about the plight of our fellow churches in Honduras. We need to find some financial minds who can help with the development of endowments. The Episcopal schools in Honduras are often referred to as the best in the country and great money makers. We need to build more schools. (The plans for the school in Siguat were completed in 1989.) So I ask for your help. I need your prayers. And I need your financial support, not for me personally, but for my mission.
You can follow me on my journey at email@example.com and I will be posting my blog through Facebook as well. Join me on my journey to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ in Honduras.
We are seeking donors to support Bob’s ministry in Honduras, estimated to be about $1000.00 a month. If you are able to give a little or a lot, your gift will be put to good use. (RCW)