Proclaiming the Prince of Peace in Honduras

November 07, 2013

It´s known as the homicide capital of the world. Shootings on the streets. Kidnappings. Twenty violent deaths on an average day.

We are not referring to Syria´s war zone, brutality between rival drug cartels in Mexico, or even ongoing bloodshed in the inner cities of the United States.

No, this claim to shame is owned by the small Central American country of Honduras, where gang violence, drug trafficking, and extortion has affected the very fabric of its society.

According to the United Nations “Global Study on Homicides,” Honduras had the highest murder rate of any country in 2011–at 91.6 killings per 100,000 inhabitants. For more than a decade, it has ranked consistently as one of the world´s most dangerous places to live.

Gang warfare has taken a particularly heavy toll on the souls of the nation´s young adult population. Out of an estimated 36,000 Hondurans who belong to gangs, more than 4,700 members are youth or children. Some are as young as 9 or 10.

Extreme poverty and fractured families are among the reasons children join gang communities. With no one to take them under their wing, they become easy targets for recruiters, who coax them with opportunities for fast money and “a better life.”

Leaders of Prince of Peace Mission of Honduras (PPMH) believe starting from the ground up is the best place to tackle their nation´s deep-rooted problems. That foundation is the Word of God and a transformed life through Jesus Christ.

The ministry sends out over 220 gospel workers to every corner of the country, from remote mountain villages to bustling urban centers. Through their determined outreach efforts, there are now more than 13,000 believers in fellowship with PPMH, and that number continues to increase. The believers gather in over 220 local assemblies and 75 mission posts.

In addition to planting churches, PPMH holds leadership and discipleship training to equip believers to become evangelists and pastors in their own communities. These Christian leaders, many of whom are younger men, play a crucial role as they model for children and teens what it means to follow Jesus and be a loving husband and father.

Elvin is a 20-year-old man who was immersed in gang life and substance abuse as a teenager. A PPMH missionary shared the message of Christ´s unconditional love with him. He had always taken pride in being tough and self-sufficient, but Elvin realized he couldn´t break free of his addictions alone. He would need a Savior to help him clean up and redirect his life.

“He received Jesus, and the Lord transformed his life,” the missionary explained. “Elvin is eager to learn more about Jesus and is attending all of our congregation meetings.”

Although the ministry faces many societal challenges, PPMH is seeing a steady harvest for the gospel as it works in communities throughout the nation. More workers are needed, and the ministry is excited by the success of its Bible institute, called “El Shaddai,” where 600 students are currently enrolled to receive training as church leaders and missionaries. Two primary programs are offered–a three-year diploma and a five-year bachelor´s degree. Supporters of Christian Aid have helped pay expenses for some of the students who cannot afford the training.

Through the inspired efforts of PPMH, both children and adults are committing their lives to the Lord and growing in their faith. Pray that gospel workers will continue to impact lives for eternity as one person at a time, in one village at a time, hears and responds to the good news of true peace that can only be found in Christ.