Little did we know that when we found out about Iglesia Evangelica Del Principe de Paz (Prince of Peace Evangelical Church), the impact the pastor and the people of the church would have on another congregation in Champlin, Minnesota. Riverway Church has become very involved with this small church in the colony of Monte Alegre, Honduras. Riverway has become supportive by providing curriculum for the kids Sunday School program, study materials for Pastor Javier, new tile for the church floor and the addition of a bathroom. A team from Riverway came in the Summer of 2017 and put a new, stronger roof on the church with funding from Warrior Supply of Victoria, Tx and Presidential Construction of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
When Jill with BCFC makes contacts and connections, there's no telling where it will lead, and that's a good thing! We count on God to help us "connect the dots" and when it all comes together, God gets all the glory! The way this all came together with Principe De Paz is just one example of God working in the lives of people seeking Him and willing to listen.
We have been seeking a church to really connect with for several years. When we thought one was a possibility, things fell apart. And that happened on more than one occassion! Finally, we were connected to Pastor Javier through a series of people and situations. What a blessing!
Pastor Javier has been at this little church almost 3 years. When he came to the church, they were ready to close the doors. Javier was given time and since he has been there, the congregation has grown from 6 (yes, SIX) to over 100, including adults and children
When BCFC puts together a team, it isn't by chance. We rely on God to build the team. The team that came to Honduras in the Summer of 2017 to help the church in Monte Alegre was the very first team to go on an international mission trip from Riverway! How exciting is that? And they did beautifully! They worked hard in the heat and made new friends at the church. No one who was involved will forget this experience any time soon!
With a dedicated team like the one from Riverway Church, instead of work being work, it becomes a labor of love. Not only did the team from Minnesota bond with the people of Monte Alegre, they bonded with each other. And that makes all the difference when it comes to putting in long, hot, sweaty, stinky, grueling hours to get a job done.
The church had a floor, thank goodness, of plain concrete. We had asked Pastor Javier what a need in the church might be. One of the items he talked about was to tile the floor of the church. So, from donations that YOU provided and a contribution from Riverway Church, we were able to purchase the tile and hire a tile layer to complete the project.
The floor was completed and now everyone can enjoy a beautiful new floor in the church. The kids are grateful to have a nice, clean floor for Sunday School and other activities.
We are ready to serve! But we are also ready to help the church serve too! When we came back in 2018, we came to do 2 things; complete a bathroom for Principe De Paz and help them minister to their community.
At this time, the church had been here for a little over 17 years, which is the same amount of time that they have NOT had a bathroom! With generous donations, we were able to provide them with a bathroom they have needed for over 17 years!
See the next section for an exciting way we were able to help the church reach their community.
Our goal with Iglesia Principe De Paz is NOT to come in and provide everything or do everything. Our goal is to come alongside the church and support it, help it along, be there to assist in whatever way we can and show the people of the church that it is possible to nurture their community.
One way to get the attention of the community and let them know the church is still here and still active is to provide them with a reminder. That reminder turned out to be a Family Festival, or, Fiesta de la Familia. It was much like what you might see at many churches in the States. The community was treated to a service with preaching from Pastor Javier where they were able to hear a message about the love of God, games for the kids complete with prizes, drawings for the adults and a meal for all! About 500 people showed up and had a wonderful experience. We believe this will be an annual activity.
What was equally impressive was the way the church people came together for the community. They had a little fun too but primarily ran the whole event. They registered people, ran the games for the kids, made sure everyone one was taken care of including feeding them all. What a successful time! Check out the pictures below to see what a great time everyone had!