Honduras, “the Banana Republic”, famous for its coffee production, a beautiful country with virgin beaches, national parks, thousands of square miles of undisturbed forests, hundreds of rare and beautiful species of wildlife, mountains, water falls. On the other hand, Honduras is plagued with a history of drug cartels, terrorism, destructive hurricanes, military coups. This article is not about the natural beauty of Honduras, nor the darkside of man’s fallen nature, but rather about what God is doing in the lives and ministry of Pastor Isaias and Olga Cantarero. They are doing evangelism and church planting primarily in a region of Honduras called La Paz.
The following is what the Cantarero’s have been able to do in this last year, 2010.
They started out in a village, in the mountains southeast of Marcala, called Mogola.
There was already a small local church in this village. The Contareros came to this church merely to be a support and encouragement. Little did they know that a few months later the church would suddenly be without a pastor, and that they would be taking a very significant role in the leadership of this little church. God used them to bring church members together. They have a burden for children so they did a children’s Bible school and reached more children in Mogola.
In November, some young delinquents broke into the Mogola church, stole some small items, but burnt some Bibles, among other things. I was touched to see the Cantarero’s heart of compassion, when they prayed for these delinquent young people that God would have mercy on them and that some might be saved and become leaders in the Mogola church.
As if pastoring this Mogola church was not enough, the Cantareros began traveling twice a week to Santiago, an hour or so north of Mogola. Javier Martinez and his wife are committed Christians and desired to have an evangelical church in their town. They used the Martinez home as a meeting place. Within a few months this house church had 28 children attending a children’s Bible class. Isaias is a strong believer in training people for leadership. He already has 7 young adults in training for leadership. In fact, they are already in negociation with community authorities about acquiring a piece of land and building a church facility!
They are asking prayer for a children’s outreach that they just planned. They are aiming to have at least 50 children in attendance, in the hopes that many of these children might come to know the Lord.
As if pastoring a church in Mogola and starting a new church in Santiago wasn’t already enough, Isaias felt called to do an outreach in San Isidro, a town further east. He has found that reaching children in a community is one of the best ways to reach young parents. My wife Kandee and I found this to be true in church-planting ministry in France. So Isaias did a children’s Bible school in San Isidro. He found three families in this community who “stand firm in their faith.” These three families have been reaching out to their neighbors. The believers are meeting in the home of Anthony Escobar. Now the house church in San Isidro has about 30 regular attenders. Isaias believes that Anthony has great potential for being a church leader. Believe it or not, this neucleus of Christians is now negociating for a piece of land in order to build a church facility.
Isaias has also been preaching on a local Christian radio broadcast. It costs for him to have this ministry, but God has faithfully provided. For the last 6 months, Isaias has been preaching on the radio, which reaches people in many villages deep in the mountains. He has heard reports of many listeners being blessed through this radio ministry!
Isaias’ wife, Olga, in addition to being a homemaker and mother of twin girls, has been working with a women’s ministry called Lenca Women’s Ministry. She is on the board of directors. One event they plan is a Christian women’s conference, addressing such subjects as: how to teach Sunday school, how to raise children, how to reach other women for Christ, etc.
Isaias and Olga are expecting their third child, due this March. They ask prayer for a safe pregnancy and birth.
We at Praise International praise the Lord for ambitious young pastors such as Isaias and Olga Cantarero, who have devoted themselves to reaching as many people as possible for the Lord. Remember, what I explained above are the ministry activities from only this last year. Pray for the Cantareros and other Honduran pastors. Pray that Honduran pastors, serving the Lord in the context of all the natural beauty around them, that they may point people to the Creator, who can create a beauty in their lives if they only give their lives to Him. Pray for Hondurans, with the violence, drug cartels and such, that they might find their solace and joy in the Lord Jesus-Christ and communicate this with their families, friends and neighbors.