Newsletter - March 2021
Dear Friends and Family,
I’m going to keep this portion of the newsletter short because there are some very sweet stories and also exciting news we want to share with you.
Last time I wrote, we were still in the US trying to get back home. Thankfully, we were able to return this past November. Currently, things in Honduras are fairly normal. All businesses, restaurants, stores, churches, etc. are open. We are free to go anywhere as long as we follow Covid guidelines and a curfew. School will continue to be virtual this year, however, we will share more about that below in this letter.
After being gone for 9 months, we hit the ground running. With Christmas, mini graduations, Disaster Relief trips to the North, and school now starting (among many other things), we have not stopped.
Arold and I are doing very well. We’re thankful to the Lord for allowing us to work together in a ministry that we love so much. Annie turned 2 years old this past January and is growing up way too fast! She is currently learning her numbers in English and knows 1-10 except 7. Now we just need to work on her numbers in Spanish!
Needless to say, we are blessed that God allows us to serve Him in Central America. This is truly where our heart is. Thank you for helping to make this possible. Your continued prayers and support are changing and impacting lives here. As the Hondurans say, you are truly a channel of blessings.
Arold, Stephany, and Annie
Please keep reading to find out what has been going on with Good Samaritan and how to get involved!
After 21 years, we are getting a new database for our donor records in the US. We want to be sure that our records are correct with your updated address, phone numbers, and email address. We now have the option to include your social media handles and even your photo. Our goal is to build strong personal relationships with you, our faithful sponsors. This database will help us do that. Please send your updated info to:
With these exciting changes, please remind us how you would like to receive future newsletters and letters from your Opportunity children and pastors.
Recently, a young man visited our office and we soon realized he was a graduate from our high school. He shared that while he was in school, he was very rebellious. Many times, he would escape from school to avoid going to the weekly devotionals. After graduating from school, Alvaro went to college and found himself not fitting in with his friends or the things they did. He felt like he needed a change and became very involved in church and soon became one of the leaders. After working as a chef through college, he graduated as an engineer.
Alvaro now pastors a church in a remote village in Northern Honduras. As he told his story, he pulled out a Bible that was carefully wrapped in a plastic bag to keep it safe and clean. You could tell it was worn out and had been through a lot. He said, "This is the Bible that Good Samaritan gave me when I graduated. It has served me very much in my ministry." (We give a Bible to each of our graduates with their name engraved on it).
Before leaving, he read some Scripture and said, "In our church when we pray, we come to the Lord on our knees." We knelt with him and he prayed the most solemn and beautiful prayer we have heard in a while. He prayed for us and for Good Samaritan and he thanked the Lord for allowing him to come through our program and giving him the opportunity to be who he was today. He prayed for each of you and thanked God for your impact and especially for his sponsors, who supported him from kindergarten to graduation.
We were blessed to see a life dedicated and committed to the Lord. To know that our school had a part in his life reminded us of our purpose and encouraged us to stay the course, even when some students don't seem to "get it" or appreciate it. Alvaro was one of those students, but God transformed his life and now he is reaching others with the Gospel and using the very Bible we gave him.
We learned a couple of lessons that day. "Train up a chid in the way he should go...", even if we don't see any results at the moment because God's Word never comes back void. One of the fundamental elements of the ministries and programs of Good Samaritan Baptist Missions is to plant the Word of God (the seed) in every heart we meet. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 3:6, "I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase."
Let's never get tired of planting the seed. You never know what God will do with it!
This year, we were able to have mini graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020. These graduates never imagined their senior year would turn out the way it did. In spite of the obstacles, they pushed through doing the best they could to finish this chapter of their education. One student in particular stood out and we wanted to share her story.
Andrea has been in the Opportunity of a Lifetime program since she was in the 4th grade. Andrea and her family rent a one bedroom home with an outdoor bathroom and kitchen in poor condition. They have never had electricity, so to go to school every day, she would heat up a metal iron in the fire to iron her uniform. Her clothes were always spotless, very neat and pressed. She would light a candle at night and do her school work. In spite of all this, she graduated with honors. This is a reminder for us that there is no excuse to not strive with excellence in all you do.
Andrea's family is receiving a blessing because Sandy Payton, along with her family, Jason and Missy Waldroup, and the Kestner Family (Andrea's little sister's sponsors) have been raising money to build them a new house and it is almost finished! It will have a front porch, 3 bedrooms and an indoor bathroom and kitchen; something they've never had. We are thrilled they will soon have a home they can call their own.
Thank you to all who has had a part in Andrea's journey through the Opportunity of a Lifetime program and this project!
Disaster Relief Trips to the North
Arold and a group of our national pastors made 2 trips to the North to serve those affected by multiple hurricanes. After each trip, they came back burdened by the overwhelming destruction that was left in the aftermath. They found people sleeping in make shift tents on the sides of highways because their homes were either destroyed or inhabitable due to the mud that the flooding brought.
As the locals struggled to clean their homes and churches, the Disaster Relief Team worked hard digging out mud and using pressure washers to clean up floors, walls, and furniture. The team also gave out food bags, mattresses, and clothes and shared the good news of Jesus!
Thank you so much to everyone who donated to the Disaster Relief Fund. With your donations, 4000+ families received food bags, mattresses and clothes. We were also able to give a donation to the local health department to help with Covid efforts for those infected and for testing.
The 2021 school year has started virtually once again. Although, teachers are hopeful that later this year, the government will allow semi in-person classes. We are amazed at the incredible work our teachers are doing despite the limitations they face in teaching their students virtually. They are using Zoom and Google Classroom for their daily classes and assignments. They are also using printed packets of assignments, especially for those who do not have access to the internet. Please keep our teachers, students, and their parents in your prayers as they continue to do school in a way they have never had to before.
Feed the Hungry Program
We are so excited to slowly reopen our feeding centers because they have never been closed this long. Our pastors have been begging us to reopen because many children in the villages are suffering from hunger. Reopening takes a burden off the parents because that's one guaranteed meal a day for their children. Let me tell you about one kitchen in particular.
Sister Joan's heart was first burdened about feeding hungry children in the very hot village of Azacualpa, and this is where the first feeding kitchen was started. Years later, the feeding center had been reduced to only serving meals on Sundays due to limited funds and other circumstances. A few years ago, Pastor Belarmino started pastoring the church. Recently, he called to ask if it is possible to reopen the kitchen full time because he has close to 200 hungry kids coming to church. We explained this would raise the budget and we would see if this was possible.
After looking over the budgets, we decided to step out on faith and fully open the kitchen to serve a meal every day. When we called Pastor Belarmino to tell him the news, he broke out in tears and said, "When I was a little boy, I ate in one of the feeding centers. I would have to sneak out of my house to go eat because my mom didn't like me going to the Baptist church. I know the impact this makes on these children because it impacted my life."
Wow! For only $5/month, you can feed a child!
Please pray about helping us feed hungry children in Honduras and Nicaragua.
Stories from Our National Pastors
The Honduran police recently approached our National Pastors asking them if they were willing to visit different police stations for weekly devotions! This is Pastor Santiago Colindres sharing the Gospel and passing out Bibles at his local police station. It is incredible that God has opened this door and our pastors are thrilled for this opportunity. Please keep them all in your prayers!
Due to Covid, it is very difficult for the Nicaraguan pastors to cross the Honduran border. Therefore, they are not able to study at the Bible Institute in Honduras. For now, they are holding Saturday classes at the Nicaraguan mission center. We thank God for the faithfulness of our Nicaraguan pastors not allowing obstacles to stand in their way of studying and preaching God's Word! If God would touch your heart to help support the Bible Institute, it would be a great blessing.
Ways to Get Involved
Provide a Chicken Coop!
We are so excited about this new project! We want to provide chicken coops for our Feed the Hungry kitchens. One of the main goals of this project is to provide eggs (and sometimes chicken dinners) for the children to eat.
For only $400, you can provide a chicken coop with 15 hens and 2 roosters!
New Chairs for Our Office Staff
Our Honduras and Nicaraguan office staff work so hard to make the operations of our ministries possible! As you can see, they need new office chairs.
Thank you to those who have already donated to this project! We have received a total $1542 but we still need $583 in order to buy a new chair for every office employee.
Our schools are in need of new copying machines. Some of our schools do not have one and others have one but is old and outdated. We have a budget of $8250 to purchase 5 new copying machines.
The El Pedernal, Nicaragua church construction now has a roof! Thank you to all who have given!
We still need $5760 to finish this construction project.
Come visit us on a Mission Trip!
Although travel looks a little different these days, we are now receiving groups again after a year of no teams! If you're interested, please contact us for more information!
Check us out on social media, website, and/or email us by clicking on the links above!
Good Samaritan Baptist Missions, Inc.