Welcome to the village of Hato Nuevo. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt the Spirit so vividly alive in a place. Here is a whole community pulling together to honor God and support each other. They really taught us a huge lesson about putting God first in their lives.
Hato Nuevo is a small farming community about 15 miles outside of Choluteca, Honduras. Their small church is the center of their community life. About two years ago, their long time preacher passed on to the Lord, leaving the community without a spiritual leader. The community pulled together to hold their church together. Alex, a young farm worker stepped up to lead the church. After long days loading watermelons on refrigerator trucks, Alex comes home to study God’s word and prepare to feed his family and neighbors. We met Alex and his community a few months ago when they sought out Ismael and Roberto of the Mission Lazarus evangelism team. Their request was not for support or funding or any other material needs, rather, their priority was for spiritual guidance, teaching materials, and mentoring on practical ways to build their church and their community. That’s the kind of request God loves to honor. We’re blessed to be a part of this community.
Now, let’s talk about tamales. When the time came to expand their building, the whole community came together. Rather than seeking outside support, the ladies of Hato Nuevo got busy and made a veritable mountain of tamales to sell in the markets of Choluteca. Over seven months of hard cooking, these busy ladies raised a staggering 130,000 Lempiras (nearly $7,000.00) to buy building materials. Not to be outdone, the men pitched in to provide all of the labor and craftsmanship. These guys volunteered countless hours, often working late into the night after a full day in the melon fields. In fact, the day we arrived to visit them, several of the men had been up most of the previous night pouring the new stage area at the front of the building.
The team from Grace Crossing, Conroe and Cross Bridge were privileged to visit Hato Nuevo to bring Christmas gifts to the children. But we were the ones who were really blessed by the visit. Standing in the midst of the people of Hato Nuevo, I was overwhelmed by the passion and spirit clearly alive in this place. Here is a community of faith for whom God is real, vibrant and central to their lives.I found myself in awe of their commitment to God. All of these people clearly put God first, community second, and themselves last. Alex and his friends told me they count it a privilege to serve God and their neighbors.
I count myself as very privileged to see how God is working in His kingdom in places like Hato Nuevo. I wish their spirit and devotion for all of us.
-Dave Gibbs, Shepherd