My nephew, Hunter Holbrook, just returned from a missions trip to Honduras.
While sharing Christ in the mountains of Honduras and doing construction projects forMission Lazarus they found themselves in the middle of the unrest in that country.
The local paper,The Courier, shared the details of their experience. My nephew is qouted in the article. Here’s an excerpt:
Members of a Conroe youth missionary group hoped to see change on their recent trip to Central America – but they never expected to be in the middle of a military coup that brought rioters to the streets and forced a national leader into exile.
The 35 members of the Conroe Church of Christ’s Mission Lazarus outreach program are back home after being in the Honduras capital during a military overthrow of the government that forced President Manuel Zelaya to leave the country.
“There was never a time when we feared for our safety,” said Jeff Phillips, head of youth ministry for the church. “But a lot of kids and their parents were very happy when we got home on schedule on Sunday.”
Nineteen area high school students and 16 adults from Conroe Church of Christ made the annual trek to Honduras June 20 as part of Mission Lazarus. The group goes into the poor mountain regions to spread the Christian gospel and help with area construction projects.
“We were distributing food, clothing and medical supplies and helping build a church,” Phillips said. “The people there are very warm and appreciative of our efforts, and it was a very successful trip.”
On Wednesday, local missionaries told Phillips about the impending coup. He contacted the U.S. embassy but was advised no problems were anticipated as the president was not expected to be removed from office until the following week – after the group had departed.
On Saturday, as the group was transported by buses from the mountain area to the capital of Tegucigalpa, the Honduran military was forcing President Zelaya to flee to Costa Rica in exile.
By Sunday morning, it appeared the missionary group might have problems getting to the airport for their return flight.
“You could hear military jets and helicopters flying overhead and tanks on the streets,” said Nathan Weber, 17, of Conroe. “CNN was reporting about riots that were taking place two blocks away.”
While Phillips acknowledged seeing the smoke from tires set on fire by rioters, he said the group never felt threatened or in danger. Because protesters blocked many of the streets near the hotel, however, buses could not reach the group.
“My biggest concern was that we would be forced to stay another day or two,” Phillips said. “But we were able to get taxis that took a roundabout way to reach the airport.”
Hunter Holbrook, 19, of Magnolia, said a few of the girls on the mission were afraid during the trip to the airport, but that most were calm.
This morning, I’m going to take some time and pray for the Christians who are serving in Honduras with Mission Lazarus.
On a personal note, I’m very proud of my nephew. He is a young man who is following God’s call into ministry and will be entering Florida Christian College this fall to begin his training. I can’t wait to see what God does through the life of this faithful young man.