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Postponed: Not Called Just to Honduras

Postponed: Not Called Just to Honduras


In the spring of 2021, when Deb Kruger and Danielle Fannin told their missions team that their annual trip to Roatán, Honduras, had been postponed for the third time due to COVID restrictions, the group was understandably discouraged. After all, this group from First United Methodist Church in Butler, Pennsylvania, had spent nearly the past decade taking regular trips to serve and visit people who had become like family to them. “Honduras has a deep, deep place in my heart,” Deb expressed, sharing that the rest of the team feels the same way. “We’re in contact with these young adults on a weekly basis, if not more often. They’re as close as any family relationships we have.”

A group of smiling people in front of a large white cross standing on a hill overlooking a village..

The team and local children visit the town cross in Honduras.

“We could’ve just thrown our hands up in the air and said, ‘Well, we can’t go to Honduras, so we’re not going to do anything,’” Danielle added. Instead, they decided to try something new: to use the time and resources they’d already set aside to invest in their local community.

The team’s spirits brightened considerably at this suggestion. If they couldn’t go to Roatán this year, at least they could still serve. “We’re not called just to Honduras,” Deb pointed out. “God called us to serve that week.” And the entire team was committed to serving, not just going.

A group of fifteen people standing in a circle, praying.

The team prays at the home of a Honduran family.

Now that they’d settled on a new plan, the group started ironing out the details. They knew they wanted to find a way to continue deepening their relationship with Honduras, especially Justin and Ashley Guest, WGM missionaries who serve there. After hearing about WGM’s virtual mission trips, the team decided to take the opportunity to visit Roatán virtually while physically remaining in Butler.

“We’re really big on building relationships,” Danielle said. “It’s more about relationships than building projects. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to do the virtual mission trip along with local service. We wanted to maintain that relationship with the missionaries in Honduras.”

A woman helping a small child make a cross from popsicle sticks..

Debi makes a craft with a school child in Honduras.

First United Methodist has decided to continue sending a team to the same location rather than a new location each year in order to make the biggest impact it can. Why Honduras? “For some reason,” Deb stated, “God called First Church to Honduras. We can have the most impact in empowering and bringing people to Christ where we have this relationship.”

The team had also built some pretty deep relationships with each other over the years. While some members of the annual trip to Honduras change each year, there’s a core group that stays the same. As a result, the team has grown pretty close, “like a family,” Danielle said. They spend months preparing for these trips, holding Bible studies, fundraising activities, and teambuilding exercises.

To recreate the sense of community during their typical mission trip, the team found a local Airbnb to rent for the week which would serve as a home base. Most of their work in the local community consisted of home repairs and maintenance projects in three homes: one for female veterans and two for elderly members of their congregation.

Four team members breaking up a small concrete slab with a sledgehammer and hauling away the pieces.

The team serves at the home of an elderly parishioner in their local town of Butler, Pennsylvania.

The team was able to meet social and spiritual needs, as well, through time spent talking and praying with the residents. These interactions only strengthened the group’s passion for building relationships and sparked a new passion for reaching out to those who may be feeling lost or disconnected after the lockdowns of the pandemic.

These days of service were followed by evenings of conversation and fellowship around the virtual mission trip materials. Through daily devotionals, exclusive video content, and two live Zoom calls with the Guests, the group remained connected to Honduras and empowered to help those nearby.

Left: two women planting flowers in front of a house. Right: five people repairing a porch ceiling.

Team members minister through landscaping and home repair in their home community.

Though circumstances didn’t allow them to travel to Roatán in 2021, this team of missions-minded people refused to waste an opportunity to reach others with God’s love. They found a creative way to continue living in the calling God had placed on their hearts, right where they were.


PRAY: Ask God to deepen your love for people in other cultures—and people in your own community! Be open to the guiding of the Holy Spirit as you look for ways to partner with Him and with others in the Great Commission.

GO: Have you tried WGM’s virtual mission trips (VMTs)? They’re a great way to learn with others what God is doing around the world and to discover how you can join Him on mission. You can take a VMT to the next level like this group from Butler by pairing the content with service in your local community. Explore your opportunities to visit another country from your own home.

Missionary Bio: Justin and Ashley Guest have served in Honduras for ten years, and Roatán for two and a half of those years. They love finding ways to empower local people and showing them Christ’s love in tangible, practical ways. Learn more about the Guests and how you can partner with them.

The Call (Fall/Winter 2021)

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