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A Farmer's Vision Fulfilled in Honduras

A Farmer's Vision Fulfilled in Honduras

The Best of the Story: Miraculous Answers to Prayer (published 1993, reprinted 2001) was written by WGM retiree Burnis Bushong. The purpose of the book is to share miraculous answers to prayer experienced by WGM missionaries over the years. We hope these stories inspire you to pray for missions activities around the world. A new story from the book is posted each month.

“A sower went forth to sow...some seeds fell by the way side...but other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit” (Matthew 13:3–8).

Don and Twana Hawk, farmers from Ohio, felt divinely called to Honduras to start a school for underprivileged boys. After more than five years of hard work in the jungles of eastern Honduras, their dream was realized when El Sembrador opened in 1954 with twelve boys in attendance.

El Sembrador, of necessity, started small. All of the boys slept in a room just off the screened-in back porch. The porch served as classroom, dining room, playroom, and chapel. Leona Powell was the first missionary teacher. They were taught modern farming techniques along with their elementary education.

Boarding school was a whole new way of life for these boys, most of whom came from isolated areas. Some were from homes of poverty where often they had only a mother for a parent. Classes were announced to begin on Monday, but some arrived a few days earlier. It made no difference to them that the double- and triple-decker beds were not finished.

At the close of the first school year, Don wrote to his constituency: “El Sembrador has been accredited by the government, and government appointed examiners will give the boys their final exams. We are sure you will be more than glad for the sacrifice you have made in giving to the work if you could see the big difference we have seen in these boys in just one year.”

More and more students came asking to be admitted. One mother walked seven days over mountains and through rivers to bring her two sons to the place where she knew they could prepare for a better life than she had known. All the beds were full, but Don’s great heart could not turn them away.

Additional missionaries and national staff were added. God provided classrooms, dormitories, a dining hall, and a beautiful chapel. Staff homes, workshops, and sheds for machinery and storage were built.

"I am thankful I was permitted to come to this school. It has meant my salvation," said one student. Another followed, “I think I am most grateful because here at El Sembrador I have learned to talk with God.”

“I was a bad boy," shared another student. "It was nothing for me to spend the night in jail, and the whole town despised me for walking the streets like a drunkard. Now my life is different. I no longer have the same desires. I feel like a new person.”

The name El Sembrador (The Sower) has been lengthened to honor the founder, which is often the custom in Latin America. The official name is now Escuela El Sembrador Donald Hawk. The school stands as a memorial to a man with a vision who had faith to believe that God would see that vision fulfilled in his lifetime. It was.

"Men are looking for better methods. God is looking for better men." E. M. Bounds

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