News Articles

10/2/97 Baptist missionary couple help Hondurans see Jesus

OLANCHITO, Honduras (BP)–Cloaked in leafy shadows, two followers of a famous martyr meet comrades-in-arms deep in the rain forest.
A swinging footbridge bounces dangerously underfoot as they lug equipment across a gorge to a waiting team of pack animals. On this muggy August evening, the squad of Americans and Hondurans has a re-education mission in the mountains of Olancho, Honduras. They’ll try to implement a global strategy — one that has long-range implications.
After a 90-minute ascent to a mountaintop village, the band of revolutionaries drops backpacks full of propaganda to the ground. In a matter of minutes, a huge tarp goes up, along with a movie screen and a crude table for the projector. A generator roars to life. Nimble fingers thread film through a maze of cogs and reels.
Then the “Jesus” film begins.
So does the rain.
And the tears.
Southern Baptist International Mission Board missionaries Sam and Rosalie Jones — Texans who live in Olanchito, Honduras — melt into the background, watching the crowd of almost 200 people.
“I couldn’t help but notice several men, with faces marked by an obviously hard life, openly weeping and wiping tears from their eyes,” said Sam, who sat under a palm tree to watch.
“Several accepted Christ, and it was obvious that all were deeply moved by the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus,” he said.
The converts joined with their village neighbors who comprise the Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) Baptist Church — one of five remote churches on the Joneses’ off-road circuit.
All that identifies the church is the members themselves. The congregation owns no property, land or building.
“We’ve applied for a grant from our Honduran National Baptist Convention (through International Mission Board Lottie Moon Christmas Offering funds) to buy a piece of property. Then we’ll need about $1,500 for a building built mostly of natural resources and some concrete,” Sam explained.
When the time comes, Nueva Esperanza members will build their building. And the Joneses will help. But for now, with their first “mission” accomplished, the Joneses begin their 10 p.m. descent. Guided by a few flashlights and the church members who led them to the village, the missionaries leave the mountaintop behind — but not the experience.
“I can still feel their hugs and hear their sincere thanks for our promise to return soon with more Bibles and another message from God’s Word,” Sam recalled.
“I have a rush of excitement because we showed most of the people their first movie,” said Rosalie.
“Praise the Lord, they saw JESUS!”

    About the Author

  • Norman Miller