A Little Background …
In Pastor Dago Zelaya’s own words: “Ten years ago our church received a call from God to take a giant step of faith in our missions program. Hurricane ‘Mitch’ had slammed into the small country of Honduras, leaving a devastating path of death and destruction. The after effects of this storm will be felt for many years to come. Our first outreach was through a medical/dental team who traveled to the town of Azacualpa and ministered to the needs of the people. During these first few visits, I saw in the faces of the children a need of a more permanent solution for the pain. Ministerios de Fe Vida Nueva (Ministries of Faith New Life) was established in 2001 with the express purpose of serving the children and the people of the surrounding communities.
“My own childhood was lived without my father and I never had the experience of having a dad in my life; when I was about 10-years-old, I dreamed of having a happy family and being able to help orphan children. In 1999 God began answering his prayers about building a Children’s Home. God provided the money to purchase property and he provided the money to start building the two first houses for the children.”
In 2003, Dago and Dilia Zelaya started the Children’s Home and hired one of Dilia’s sisters, Brenda, to run the show. She lived in the one house (now the main house) at the Home with a few children and raised them family-style while they attended the public school in Azacualpa. As the ranks grew, so did the compound, number of staff members and children. Now we have had many children, now adults, graduate high school. Some are in college now and others have found jobs and live with family members in nearby cities or towns. Today, there are 9 children that live at the Home.
The purpose of the Home is not to find new homes for any of these children but to raise them to lead productive and self-sufficient lives by the time they reach age 18 and leave the Home. All of the children have numerous chores they do at the compound including laundry, dishes, cleaning and helping with the cooking for the “family” and the feeding program.
In early 2016 Dago decided to step down as the Director of Ministries of Faith. Dilia has taken up the director position and all other responsibilities that come with the Ministry.
The Children’s Home Today …
The Children’s Home currently houses seven children, ages 12–19. They all attend public school, share in the chores around the grounds, and participate in daily Bible stories. The children do their homework and house chores before participating in their favorite activities, playing in the playground or on the soccer field.
We have a number of buildings on the property and God blessed us with our own church building, which was finished in January 2008. The building is used for worship and fellowship, as a cafeteria for the people who live here as well as for the popular feeding program. It also serves as a clinic for our annual medical/dental team visits. The school building, which doubles as Sunday school classrooms, was completed in 2012 and has an office, six classrooms, girls and boys bathrooms, and a garden for the children to maintain behind the building. Lastly, we have our own water well. The well system stretches 195 feet underground and has an output of 50 gallons of water per minute.
We are so thankful …
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to each person who has been part of the development of this project of faith and love. It would have been impossible to give the children a better life and attain the positive results we have had without the help of donors and others praying and giving of their time. Thank you for your financial assistance and for keeping this project in your daily prayers.
God has been so faithful to this ministry! We wouldn’t have been able to get this far without the powerful hand of our living and loving God. He has provided every necessity, no matter the size, and has protected every boy and girl.
God has moved us to take part in this marvelous plan for the children to know Jesus and love God as well as their neighbor. God will work in the lives according to His plans which we know are perfect and better than what we can imagine. God has been faithful and His faithfulness is awesome!
Just the FACTS…
- Pastor Dago and the medical/dental mission group first saw the land in 2001. Without knowing whether it was up for sale, they went onto the property and prayed for it.
- In August 2001, after listening to Pastor Dago’s vision for the land, the previous owner offered the land for $10,000 US, half the original asking price.
- In December 2001, work began on the property by installing a fence and constructing the first building.
- In the Spring of 2002, work began on the second building and final touches were added to the first building.
- In the Summer of 2003, an Opening Ceremony was held signaling the launch of the Children’s Home.
- During the Winter of 2004, a playground was installed
- In the Summer of 2005, work began on the first family cottage. Funds for this cottage were made possible by donations from the First Baptist Church of Champaign at Savoy Illinois
- In January 2006 the first cottage was completed.
- In January 2007, work began on church building. It was dedicated in June 2008 and is being used for church services.
- In July 2008, work began on the second cottage. Funds for this project were donated by the Champaign, IL Rotary Club.
- The second cottage was dedicated in January 2009.
- In 2011 the water well was completed.
- The school building – which doubles as Sunday school classrooms – was dedicated in 2012.
Who works there….
- Dilia Zelaya is the Director of the Children’s Home.
- Alex and Mariana Mendez, the couple helps with daily maintenance as well as cooking meals.
Who pays for the Children’s Home…
- Donations are the main source of funding.
About the Mission Trips…
- Six to Eight mission groups travel to Azacualpa, Santa Barbara, Honduras each year
- These mission trips usually consist of construction visits, one medical/dental team visit, youth/adult outreach and teams.