Residents of the remote Miskito villages of Rus Rus, Mabitah, and Suhi, were waiting with great anticipation as the MAG team was due to arrive. For the past several years a team had come to do VBS programs for the children, but this year’s team had a different flavor. This year was more about partnership, about the larger community, and about hope for the future.
The eight member team led by MAG’s Church Mobilization Coordinator Carmen Garrigan and Director of Pastoral Ministries Carlos Paz, was slated for a two-pronged mission. The first objective—to deliver a series of Bible lessons for kids in area villages in partnership the villagers themselves, especially the teens, giving them a more central way in teaching and ministering to their kids. The second—to work with the men of the village to replace the roof on the village schoolhouse, in hopes that a permanent teacher might be brought to Rus Rus. There hasn’t been a full-time teacher there in several years and renovating that building, starting with a roof, is the first step toward correcting that.
The VBS team consisted of five from the US and five Honduran adults and teens. The construction team consisted of three from the US and eight local men from Rus Rus and Mahbitah, the two villages that share the schoolhouse. Despite communication and cultural challenges, both teams merged “heads, hearts, and hands” and met all the mission objectives beautifully, doing it together, with local leadership and local ownership in the project!
Over the course of nearly two weeks in-country, the team executed two VBS events in six days—three days in Rus Rus and three in the nearby village of Suhi, about a two hour drive by truck. There was good attendance at both locations, estimated to have been nearly 500 kids total.
Carmen shares: “This year we taught on several of Jesus’ parables. We were touched by the number of children who could still recite our theme verse from last year. It was also a special joy to recognize names and faces from the children we had met last year. At the end of each session all the children wanted to say yes to following Jesus. It was a privilege to gather them up front and pray for them. In Rus Rus a few of the older children wanted to be baptized. Our Honduran teammate, Pastor Esau Nunez, baptized them on our last Sunday morning as the rest of us were ministering the neighboring village of Mahbitah.”