First I want to thank our almighty God for his care during these six months of the pandemic. During this time I have seen the hand of God and His protection on each person here at Ministries of Faith.
On March 12th, 20202 the quarantine for COVID-19 began. In Honduras it has been a very difficult time because factories and other sources of work were temporarily suspended. In Azacualpa where the ministry is located there are not many sources of work.
The schools were closed and we started working on virtual platforms for learning to continue. We used – and are still using – platforms like whatsapp, zoom and YouTube, something completely new for the country. For some low-income parents it has been difficult to maintain their child in school and pay for internet in order for their child to continue with virtual learning.
Churches were closed for five months. Many people began to pray and have church at home with their own families. On August 15th, church meetings and services began on weekdays from 2:00-3:00pm for an hour or two. All meetings needed to end before 5:00pm. The whole country was still under a curfew and citizens needed to be in their homes at 5:00pm. Just recently, the curfew has been extended and it starts at 8:00pm.
As a ministry, we have been helping low-income families in rural areas where people cannot travel due to lack of public transportation. We have been taking our truck and giving these families food bags to help with that need.
Urban transport has been paralyzed the last six months. In August, transport began in some cities using all biosecurity measures. It is mandatory to wear a face mask to shopping centers, banks and offices.
Of course this time has been one of great pain for families who have lost a loved one to the pandemic and were unable to give them a dignified burial.
We continue to pray for God to help us to move forward during this time. I want to thank our friends, families and churches who have been supporting the ministry with prayers and financial support. We know that work done for the Lord is not in vain. This is the trust that sustains us like the Word of the Lord says: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
The word of the Lord in psalms 121 1-2 says, I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. In these difficult moments that we are experiencing we know that our God is the only one who could get us through this. Our community here in Honduras is also experiencing hardship. Families who were trying to live on $8 a day are now faced with no jobs and no resources to buy food and other necessities.
This week Ministries of Faith New Life reached out to 35 families and by God’s provision for our ministry, we were able to purchase groceries and basic items for those families. We packed up our pickup bed with the bags and went to extremely poor needy parts of Azacualpa.
Right now our community has not seen any positive cases of covid-19. We are asked to stay home. Grocery stores are only opened in the morning. Banks are only opened three days a week.
We want to thank you for your support towards Ministries of Faith. Please continue your giving support as well as praying for our ministry during this uncertain time in our all our lives. God Bless you!
February 2020 – School Begins!
We are thrilled for a new school year to begin. It has been a lot of work getting the school opened up and cleaned for the beginning of the new school year. This year we have over 100 students enrolled. We are looking forward to seeing all the children grow in their faith. Please pray for our teachers, students and parents as we begin this school year.
This past week we hosted a medical/dental group from Iowa and Minnesota. The group saw over 600 people in four different villages. We thank the Lord for the help they were able to provide.
In January, a group from Minnesota came to finish an addition to a small house for a single mom and her three kids. We were greatly blessed by their visit and mom and kids are thrilled to have a lot more room to live life. God is good and He continues to provide for those in need.
Today was a wonderful day worshiping the Lord together with the Kindergarten Orlando Sandres . The Bible says Love you Lord your God and Love you neighbor as yourself. Praise the Lord.
Our school year is going great. The children are happy to be learning more about God’s Word as well as seeing their friends and learning from their teachers.
On July 19th, we celebrated the Day of Lempira. Lempira was a captain who fought against the Spaniards in 1530.
This year we’ve had the pleasure of hosting three mission groups. We started the year with a construction group from Minnesota. They were able to finish the details and dedicate Paola’s new home. It was an exciting week. Paola is extremely grateful and it was such a blessing seeing the group work together during the week.
After the group from Minnesota left, a construction group from Iowa arrived. The group worked on the new school addition. God is so good! He continues to provide the resources needed to continue this project. We are so thankful for all of you.
We finished the month of January with a medical/dental team from Iowa. The group was able to care for over 700 people in five days of clinic. They visited four villages and also did a half day of clinic at Ministries of Faith.
Thank you for your continued support towards Ministries of Faith. We love working with you. Come visit us soon!
Last week we had a week of celebrations. We started the week of by celebrating Carol’s high school graduation. The graduation ceremony is not until December 15th but we had a fun time giving thanks to the Lord for Carlos and his graduation achievement and finishing a successful year of school.
We were also thrilled to celebrate baptisms this weekend. We went to a river close to Azacualpa. Pastor Alex baptized six young ladies and three young men. Praise be to God! We are so excited for them as they continue to walk with the Lord and further their Christian walk.
This school year has been going so well. The teachers are doing an excellent job having lots of hands-on learning for the students. What better way to learn when you can eat your creation!
June 2018: A Few Words From Leonardo
First of all, I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to graduate! I would also like to thank Ministries of Faith New Life for trusting in me and encouraging me to pursue higher education. I’m also thankful to the brothers and sister from the United States who invested in my education financially. The day that we have all been waiting for is here, graduation day! I will forever be grateful to all of you. May God bless your lives. I’m ready to start a new phase of my life!
April 2018: Earth Day
Christian School New Life. Escuela Cristiana Vida Nueva. We are working together to keep our earth clean. The children from K-7 enjoyed cleaning our school and learning the importance of protect our earth . It was fun experience! We encouraged them to keep our community and our country clean so we all have a better future. God bless our Country HONDURAS.
April 2018: Feeding Program
One of the ministries under the umbrella of Ministries of Faith is our feeding program. The feeding program provides lunch Monday through Friday to 30-60 children. Alex drives the bus and picks up children from one of the local schools. The children load the bus up and Alex brings them to Ministries of Faith where they listen to a bible story and eat lunch. The children LOVE playing on the playground after they are done eating and have washed their plates and utensils. Thank you so much for your continued support towards Ministries of Faith and the feeding program!
February 2018: New School Year Begins
Praise the Lord, a new school year began last week! This year we have 71 students enrolled at our school and 21 of those students are on scholarship. Thank you for contributing towards our scholarship program.
As we start this new school year we ask that you join us in prayer as we ask God to give us wisdom to teach each student to achieve the maximum of their ability. This year we have a student with down syndrome, please pray that we may be be able to teach her and show her God’s love every day at school. Also pray for two other students with learning disabilities and one with vision impairment. We do not have a special needs teacher and this is new territory for us, please keep us in your prayers.
January 2018: Backpacks!
We had a team visit us in November from Iowa. They brought lots of backpacks and school supplies with them. Today after Sunday school we were able to give 35 children new backpacks and school supplies for the upcoming school year. In Honduras school runs from February-November. Thank you so much!
January 2018: Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to all our friends. Please continue to pray for Ministries of Faith and the wonderful things God has in store for us this year.
November, 2017: Construction and VBS
It might only take a few minutes of riding on a dirt road, mountains to the left, an abyss to the right, and rainy sky on top, for the questions to come. What were you thinking? Is this really serving Jesus? Questions continue to come, but the higher you go, the closer the sky looks, and the more meaningless your questions and concerns become.
After traveling only 5.22 miles over 32 minutes, you seem to have gone back in time as you arrive at the small village of San Antonio. San Antonio, a town of 180 people who live in 42 houses, just got electricity two years ago. Faces stare at you, looking for a sign as to your intentions. It seems like nothing can be said to bridge the cultural divide between you and these people. In a world of prejudice and differences, you are reminded of God’s gift of diversity. He created us all in His image, yet we are all so different from each other.
After the initial shock passed, the team took to their duties. It’s amazing to watch two different cultures come together and do great work toward a common goal. While the two interpreters could bridge the language gap, the heart and eyes are what connect us more than words. This connection is not reliant on age or experience, as the smile of a child can move us as much as a nod of recognition from a wizened resident of this place.
Several tasks lay ahead for the week. While the ladies started working with the children, the men began removing the roof of the old school. Americans and Hondurans, working side by side, took off the metal sheeting and then the wooden beams. In the afternoons, the women taught a small VBS on God’s creation of the world. It was a joy to see the children enjoy this time, singing and dancing about His creation. Despite the cold, rain, and muddy ground, the eager faces of the children absorbing the word of God made it all worth it. Although we didn’t always accomplish as much as we hoped, we knew God was working through us in ways we couldn’t see.
Over the next few days we not only helped rebuild the school roof, we re-purposed the wood beams to build a fence around the school. The school is the only one in the village, where one teacher is tasked with teaching kindergarten to 6th grade. Our team divided into teams, with one group cutting the beams for the fence, another moving the metal sheets, and a third group mixing and pouring the cement for the fence footings. After lunch, the men would continue this work, while the women would teach VBS.
There was constant activity for the group, whether working on the school in San Antonio or painting the church at Ministries of Faith. Between all this, the team got to know each other, not just as friends but as a family through supporting and encouraging each other during their time in Honduras. By the end of the week, nobody could see the differences anymore, but were focused on their common goal of serving one another. Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself was carried out this week – in this case, our neighbors live thousands of miles from home and speak another language, but understood and saw God’s love for them through our work.
Thanks to the team for their servants’ heart and for showing their love toward those in need. We could see the message of Colossians 3:23-24 through your work – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Thank you to all who supported the team, whether financially or through prayer – this work was made possible through you.
Let us keep serving our Lord…
May, 2017: Fun Day at School
May 30th was a special day at Vida Nueva Christian school. Teachers, students and parents enjoyed some time planting trees. This year we planted 30 fruit trees and 15 ornamental plants. After we were done planting we enjoyed a picnic that was provided by the parents, everything was delicious. This year the eight grade students from Macuelizo brought a trampoline to be used at Vida Nueva. All the students enjoyed taking a turn jumping in the trampoline. We thank God for all his abundant blessings!
March 2017: National Water Day.
This year was our first time celebrating the National Water Day. Vida Nueva christian school participated on a walk
of water awareness in Azacualpa. During the walk, the students carried banners with messages about the importance of water and the conservation of the environment and the well-being of people.
We were also able to present the gospel, in John 4:14 Jesus says, whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
We had a blessed day. After the walk, we had some games in which the children learned the importance of caring for and conserving water. Our community needs to remember to protect our natural resources. We must remember that we cannot live without water and most importantly, we cannot live without Christ.
March 2017: Feeding Program.
We are three weeks into the feeding program. Our feeding program provides lunch to children from a very poor area of Azacualpa. Alex goes and picks the children up in the school bus, brings them back for lunch and takes them back to their neighborhood after lunch. While they are at Ministries of Faith, we sing christian songs, tell them a bible story and pray with them. They wash their own plates in the ‘pila’ and play for a little bit on the playground equipment.
We are so thankful for your support towards the feeding program.
February 2017: New School Year.
Vida Nueva Christian School has been running for four years and just last week we started our FIFTH year. Praise God! The first week of school went extremely well, the children and staff were all excited to get the year going. We currently have 63 students enrolled and we have added 6th grade this year. Friday we had our first Recrovia which is a time where the parents have an opportunity to spend time with their children at the school. It was a great success! We are all looking forward to a year of learning and growth. Thank you for all your support!
September 2016: Baby Chicks!
We are so excited to once again have baby chicks at Ministries of Faith. This morning 50 beautiful chicks arrived. The children will take turns feeding them and cleaning up the chicken coop. We can’t wait to have fresh eggs available once again!
August 2016: God is Good.
working with groups that have visited us from all over the United States. Every group has greatly blessed us during their stay and we know that God worked in their lives while they were here.
Some groups were involved in construction, painting, distributing food to needy families. Other groups did skits in public schools and helped out with the feeding program. All the groups shared the gospel in one way or another!
One other highlight this summer was the visit of my daughter Keren and my two grandkids, Ethan and Johana. My “batteries” were recharged while they were here. We had a such a great time together.
We want to thank everyone that spent a week or more with us. We would also like to thank everyone that prayed, donated and sponsored an individual and made it possible for them to come to Ministries of Faith this year.
Please continue to pray for this Ministry.
Too soon, we had to pack up and leave for home (Minnesota and Illinois.) We’ll be back next year!
May 2014: Reyna’s new house
We are excited to report that the next home project is nearing completion! Back in February, we told you about Reyna and her son Oscar who tried to build a home for themselves but were unable to finish it. Due to complications from polio, Reyna has a tough time making a living, much less building a home.
In March, construction began and their modest home will be complete within the next month. This home building project and others planned for later this year would not be possible without your generous donations! Please contact us if you wish to help cover our expenses for this wonderful new home!
April 2014: Computer Class!
The children at our Christian school have been having an awesome time learning how to use a computer. Not many families in Azacualpa have a home computer. Not surprisingly, computer class is one of our most loved classes. We thank God for another school year where we get to see the excitement on our students faces as they learn new things!
APRIL 2014: LEARNING ENGLISH
We are so happy to have Grant with us this school year. Grant is visiting us from Georgia and will be giving English classes to the school children, school teachers and the Children’s Home staff members this school year! We would love to see and hear the children and staff speaking English with the mission teams that come and help us out every year.
March 2014: A new school year!
As many of you know, in 2013, Ministries of Faith opened the doors to a new Christian school located at the Children’s Home. The school year runs February – November in Honduras and we have started our 2014 school year. We are very excited to report that our enrollment is nearly double what it was last year! In 2013 we had 24 students enrolled and so far this year we have 45 students.
The first week of February we had a welcome night for the students and parents. We have six teachers who will be teaching first through third grade and we offer computer classes and English classes as well. Our school building is serving us very well and we look forward to expanding our programs in the future.
Several mission teams donated crayons, color pencils, markers, erasers, and other school supplies last year and we were able to give bags of school supplies to 60 children from the feeding program! Most of the feeding program children are unable to afford school supplies so it was very exciting for the children and their parents to receive these essential supplies. We encourage teams that plan to visit us in 2014 to consider donating school supplies so we could help more children next school year.
God continues to bless our every step with the school and the feeding program. To Him be the glory.
February 2014: THE NEXT HOME-BUILDING PROJECT
We pray and hope that these tidings find you well.
Many of you know about “My House Project,” a project that help poor families to acquire an honest home. We just finished the third house we have been able to build in the Azacualpa area. Three poor families have received homes in the past year; Victoria was first, then Chely, and the recent one was Nancy and her family.
The total cost for Nancy’s family home was $ 7,465.00 and four mission groups were involved: these groups came from Clarks Grove, MN, Fillmore, MN, Locust Grove, GA and Marshalltown, IA. More than 50 people, men, women, youth and children gave their talents, skills, knowledge, and all their love and support to make this happen. Nancy and her family are so thankful for this great blessing they have received.
We want to continue blessing other families in this area as God provides the resources to do so. Next month, we’ll help Reyna Victoria to finish her small house. Reyna is a single mother to 16-year-old Oscar Rene. Reyna has polio and has extreme difficulties getting around but that does not stop her from trying to earn a living for her and her son. She works as a housekeeper while Oscar learns welding and bodyshop while attending 9th grade in the evenings from 5-9 pm.
Please keep serving the Lord in your local congregation and let us know if you want to get involved in another experience of faith in Honduras.
God bless you. Dago and Dilia
January 2014 – HONDURAN HOME MAKEOVER – TAKE 3!
Nancy is a 16-year-old girl who volunteers with the feeding program at the Children’s Home. She, along with her parents, Rafael and Tina, and her brothers, Kevin and Josue, collected rocks and bought cinder blocks one at a time for a number of years in hopes that, one day, they could build themselves a decent home. Their need was very real and through various circumstances, it came to the attention of Dago. As they owned the small lot of land they live on, teams were able to help them realize their dream.
Two mission teams worked on the home in November, helping with demolition of their one-room, mud and stick home. These teams helped lay the foundation and the family, local volunteers, and workers continued construction efforts until two more teams arrived from Minnesota. Those teams spent two weeks finishing the home and building furniture for the family (including beds, a table and dressers for personal belongings) and a dedication celebration was held on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014.
The most joyous outcome from the entire process was that Rafael, Nancy’s father, came to know the saving power of God’s grace as he rubbed elbows with volunteers and witnessed, first hand, the love of Jesus poured out for him. At the dedication celebration, he told the gathered crowd how he came to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior during the building of his new home and expressed that he is now beginning a whole, new life. Amen!!
January 25, 2014 – CHILDREN SING AT THE AZACUALPA CITY MAYOR’S INAUGURATION
December 25, 2012 – MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Hello Friends and Partners in Missions:
It is that time again, when we celebrate the birth
of our Lord and Savior, a time to rejoice and be glad that the
Heavenly Father sent his only begotten son into this world to save us.
We, at the Children’s Home in Azacualpa, Honduras, will be celebrating
with a special Living Christmas Tree Cantata, 30 kids will be participating singing to Jesus.
We’ll be at the neighborhood, where most of the kids come for our feeding program, at the plaza and the city hall.
We want to say thanks for your support, love and prayers. FELIZ NAVIDAD from the bottom of our hearts.
Sept. 10, 2012 – A BOOK CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Every day is full of activities at Ministries of Faith New Life. The children and teenagers of both the Home and the feeding program are full of energy. Daily we ask ourselves, what does God want us to do for these children and teenagers? With this question in mind, I started thinking about a reading program.
Most of the children that live in rural Honduras do not have access to childrens books or fiction books. Story time is not something readily available to them and even at home story time is non-existent. There is no local library where imagination is encouraged. I took a small number of books from our small library and introduced them to the children. I asked how many of them would like to start reading some books, the reply was an overwhelming YES by every single child. We formed groups based on their reading level. Their eyes were shining with excitement. They were thrilled to read a book that was not a text book or a homework assignment.
They read books like, “I Love my Shadow, Daniel’s Pet, Too Many Tamales, The True Story of the Three Little Piggies, My Grandma is Awesome, Jesus and His Friends, Pedro the Courageous, The Chest Vendor and a few other books. I can honestly say that I have never seen them so captured by an activity. Their hunger for reading was astonishing. To read a book is such a small thing but it has the power to make these children happy. I thought about when Jesus would sit and children would flock to sit by Him. What kind of stories did He have to tell?
Working with young minds reminds us that we can have an impact on the future of this country, even if it is something as small as getting them to read. We want to encourage you, whenever you travel, to take an extra book or two with you and leave it behind to someone who has none. Even better, read a child a book and experience the happiness and excitement they feel.
May 4, 2012 – VIDEO
April 8, 2012 – EASTER UPDATE
We are getting close to that time of the year when we celebrate with great joy and happiness about our Lord and Savior’s ultimate victory over death, sin and Satan. And that is the reason for us to rejoice in HIM, the reason to proclaim and shout to the world, that JESUS is what this world needs in order to be save. We hope and pray that you will be celebrating with all your heart the Risen Christ.
Our activities in Azacualpa, Honduras continue day by day, the kids are growing and some of them are talking about their future and things they would like to do in life.
Leonardo is in his second year at the Agricultural School, we get good reports from his teachers saying that he is an outstanding student with a great potential to continue his studies at one of the Agricultural Universities in Honduras; we pray daily for him asking the Lord to keep his feet straight.
Ricci started her 10th grade at the Bilingual School, she is doing very good, she is dedicated to her studies and hopefully in year 2014 she will attend the University in San Pedro Sula.
Dania is in her 9th grade and her plans are to attend the Agricultural School, we hope that she will fit there, as for now those are her plans.
Yeini, Milton, Keidy and Brayan are attending 8th grade and doing good as for now; Milton is learning mechanics during the day and attending school in the evening, his plans are to attend the same school as Leonardo.
This year we got to new kids; Maiky Ariel, he is brother of Yeini and is 9 years old, he is in 4th grade; and Carlos Estiven, brother of Ricci, Brayan and Breidy, he is in 3rd grade.
Our plans to finish the new building for the school will be accomplish next month, tomorrow the constructor will start laying the ceramic tile; the building is being used for sunday school program and hopefully for February 2013 we’ll start the Bilingual School.
Dilia and I are coming to the US in May 18th to June 8th, to attend the World Mission Conference that will be taking place in Green Lake, WI. The conference will be on May 18th to 25th and of course we’ll take the rest of the time to visit some churches, pastors, groups and friends. We might see some of you, that will be a blessing to shake your hand and give you a hug from our hearts.
Please keep praying for me and Dilia and all the kids, also for Alex and Mariana and their two girls.
Thanks for supporting this ministry, we couldn’t do this without you, please keep doing so.
Dago and Dilia Zelaya
THE YEAR OF BLESSINGS – December 24, 2011
The year 2011 has been a time of harvesting blessings. First off, we would like to thank the creator of the universe, the provider, the great I am. We would also like to thank everyone who in one way or another has contributed to Ministries of Faith here in Honduras. Daily we put out trust in His promise, “my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19.
Time is an incredible thing. It has been three years since we came to Honduras as full-time missionaries. When we arrived, we had many dreams and goals for Ministries of Faith. One of our dreams was to have our own water well. This year, thanks to the help and collaboration of the Rotary club in Champaign, Illinois and San Pedro Sula, Honduras, we have an abundance of clean quality water. Praise the Lord!
After moving back, we quickly recognized the need for Sunday school rooms. We wanted a place where we could teach the children the word of God. In January, we began building the classrooms in faith. God has been sending construction teams and providing monetary help. We hope to have the Sunday school classrooms finished by spring 2012. To God be the glory. Our desire for this building is for it to function not only as Sunday school classrooms but to be a bilingual Christian school. We want to enroll children who would otherwise have no financial means of attending a bilingual school. We pray that once the school opens we will have the ability to give scholarships to these children.
The feeding program has been a tremendous blessing to our ministry. Around 80 children ages 5 to 14 are given a daily nutritious lunch during the year. This part of the ministry has been a success because of the church members and churches who have supported us financially and prayerfully. The children are taught the Word because they need spiritual nourishment as well as physical. It is heartwarming to see how the children love Ministries of Faith. They enjoy and look forward to an afternoon here. Right now they are thrilled to be practicing for a Christmas program.
The children and teenagers that live at Ministries of Faith are on break from school. Here in Honduras the typical American “summer vacation” is during November, December and January. The young ladies have been busy learning how to cook and the young men have been working in the fields. They have also been working on the sidewalks that connect to the classrooms. It has been a great experience to see them grow and mature both physically and spiritually. All the children are having English classes taught by two interns who are currently at the Children’s home.
We give the glory to God because every day we can serve Him through the many little things that happen here.
We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has prayed, visited and supported us financially. God Bless you.
Dago and Dilia Zelaya