Enjoying Rest and Refreshment from the Word in Honduras

Honduras Retreat Report

Thank you!

DSC_0623In January, Leadership Resources hosted a pastors-and-wives retreat at Lake Yojoa in Honduras – and we have Sanibel Community Church to thank for being a significant part of that.

The retreat was an extra special event that we wanted to do once in our four years of training with these faithful pastor-trainers, and it meant so much to them – and their wives, especially.

What We Did

We met at the modestly beautiful Hotel Finca Las Glorias on Lake Yojoa, the largest lake in Honduras. With mountains visible to the north, the spring-like weather and flowers made for a pleasant place for refreshment.

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The mornings were dedicated to training. The pastors continued TNT training – this time studying through the books of 1 & 2 Samuel. The pastors’ wives also had their own workshop – being introduced to the Bible-study principles of TNT through their own study of the book of Ruth.

The afternoons and evenings were blocked off for time together as a group doing fun things, like a boat ride on the lake, a trip to nearby waterfalls, and an evening bonfire with a time of reflection and singing.

Why We Did It

ASC_0500To give rest and refreshment. Behind the scenes, the wives of pastors carry a heavy load – not only caring for their families and being involved in ministry to the church, but helping to bear the load of husbands who labor faithfully but are often discouraged and weary. We wanted to give the wives and their husbands a time of rest and refreshment together.

To say thank you. For the last four years, Leadership Resources has had the privilege of working with pastors in Honduras who are diligently serving their own churches and serving other pastors throughout the country. Their wives have given up time with their husbands as the husbands come twice a year for four days to receive the TNT training. We wanted to take one meeting in this four-year program to include the wives of these pastors – to encourage them, strengthen them, and say thank you.

ASC_0628To help them see what it’s worth. As many of these pastors increase their efforts in the next few years to train other pastors throughout Honduras (and even beyond, in Nicaragua and Guatemala), we wanted the wives to better understand what their husbands will be giving their time to. By experiencing the training themselves, the wives were able to see the worth of the training, and we trust that will help them, along with their husbands, to make the sacrifices that are necessary to equip other pastors in Honduras to teach God’s Word with God’s heart.

In Their Own Words*

Omar and Rosita 2Sister Rosita – I praise the Lord for the opportunity that He has given us to be with our husbands. Because, I’ve never been out of the house that much. I’ve only been away for two days – and never like this! And I wanted to thank God, because He has sent you. As another sister said, we didn’t realize how much we had to learn! We had studied the book of Ruth before, but not as profoundly as this. We now realize that we need to dedicate some time to the Bible and dig into it just like we have here. I praise the Lord because God has sent you here to Honduras to teach us.

Melquis and wifeOne of the wives – We’re so thankful to our brothers at Leadership Resources for taking us into consideration. Generally, it’s only the pastors, only the men, that are given a study. They are the ones that are working. But we are also supporting them… We’re so joyful for the teaching, the communion that we have had with one another. Sandra Paredes has the gift of being a teacher. We have learned a lot. We’re so thankful for all this.

Melquis’ wife – I have taken this to be a dream, and tomorrow I have to open my eyes. It’s been a blessing to get to know the sisters, and hopefully we will see each other again! Please thank everybody that has supported this so this could come true. Please thank them.

Pastor Aquiles – I want to thank God for this TNT training. In every occasion that we are together, God brings new things into our lives. It’s almost 30 years since I’ve been serving in ministry, but I feel like I’m just starting to know things.

In this study of Samuel, I had not seen it this way before – seeing Jesus Christ and the big picture. In all the Bible, we always should be talking about Jesus Christ, especially in the New Testament, as we see God’s plan. But through this study, we see that God’s plan is in the whole Bible. That impacted me this week. Knowing more about God in every chapter. God used our brothers – Brother Paul and Brother Patricio – to see beyond what we were seeing.

I think we’re here because God has allowed us to be here. Some pastors don’t want to be involved in TNT because they don’t think that this training has the same capacity as training from a seminary. I have received from many seminaries, but none of them have changed the lives of students like this.

So that’s why I thank God for this ministry. It’s been a question: Why do you think we’re here? Why is TNT here in Honduras? I say that God is merciful, and He sees servants for Him with many difficulties. But now He’s using other servants that come from another country. They come to teach us better and let us be better children of God. Thank you for this. I will praise the Lord for this.

ASC_0512Pastor Wilver – I thank the brothers that have helped us in the training, in the ministry, to preach the Word of God in a better way. Thank you, brothers. Sometimes I think I’m not supposed to be here, but then I realize that God has me here. God wanted me to change my preaching – to preach the Word in an even better way.

Noelia Guillen – I don’t know what words to say to describe the blessing that it is to be here. Thank you to all the ones in charge from Leadership Resources – for coming to Honduras, and especially this time including the wives. Because, as someone said, you always think about the pastors, but not all their wives. Whenever I heard about this – that the wives  were being included– I thought, “Wow.” And I would like to thank Sandra for showing me that I know nothing. [Laughter.] I had read the book of Ruth, more like a novel, that Ruth needed to get married to Boaz. And to see that there’s a plan there from God . . . I’m surprised that I have read this book before, but never in the way that we have learned it – and I don’t want to leave! I want to keep studying. I want to thank you, and may the Lord continue to use you. I hope that we can have you again sometime. Thank you, and may the Lord bless you all. And to all the people that made this possible, please thank them.

Again, we sincerely thank you all at Sanibel Community Church for partnering with Leadership Resources to make this special pastors and wives retreat a reality.

Submitted with much gratitude in Christ,

DSC_0475Patricio Paredes
Regional Director, Latin America

Paul Adams
Program Director, Honduras


*(edited for readability)

How an Unlikely Answer to Prayer Has Blessed the Church in Honduras

Paul Adams of Leadership Resources recently shared a ministry update at College Church in Wheaton, IL on our work training pastors in Honduras. Watch Paul share his story above or read below.


I have a friend named Omar, who’s a dear, humble pastor in the town of Zacapa, Honduras. He’s a small guy with the boyish face of a twenty-something-year-old, even though he’s in his 40’s – not necessarily the outward appearance of someone you’d think of with a lot of influence.

But influence was what Omar was praying for.

About 5 years ago, Omar was deeply concerned that pastors around him weren’t preaching the truth of God’s Word to their people. Incidentally, when Leadership Resources first began working in Honduras, one of our partner missionaries told us that the greatest challenge for the church there was the off-the-wall teaching coming out of the pulpits every Sunday. Omar saw something similar and prayed, asking God to somehow let him have an influence on the pastors around him. You see, he had been to seminary, but because that school wasn’t looked upon well by his denomination, Omar was largely marginalized by his fellow pastors.

Shortly after he began to pray, Omar got a phone call from the leader of the churches in his region. He said, “There’s going to be a training next week, and the denominational committee has asked us to find two representatives from each region to go. Do you want to go? Because nobody else wants to go.”

The next week Omar was a part of a group of about 14 pastors that was introduced to the training of Leadership Resources. How excited do you think Omar was when he found out that this was a 4-year program designed to equip pastors like him to train other pastors to understand and preach God’s Word faithfully? That week the group explored the book of Ruth, learning simple, transferable principles to help them discover the message of the book and to teach it faithfully to their people. Omar was so thankful to learn those simple tools he could pass on to others.

Soon after Omar returned home, he was invited to give the devotion at the next pastor’s meeting. In front of 67 pastors, Omar unfolded the beautiful message from Ruth of how God was working His plan of redemption, even in the spiritually dark time of the judges. When he was finished, all of the pastors clapped, and there was a total reversal in the leaders’ and pastors’ attitudes toward him. And there was a receptiveness to the training Omar had received as well.

That was just the beginning – though it wasn’t always easy.

At one of his first trainings, a pastor came who had been in ministry for more than 35 years. When he realized who would be leading the training, he said, “Omar? How is Omar is going to teach me? He’s just a child to me.” With God-given wisdom, Omar said to him, “No, it’s not going to be I who teaches you. It’s going to be the Lord speaking through His Word.”

When the training was over, the pastor came to Omar to ask for forgiveness. He said, “I see that I am like the child.” He even expressed regret over his years of ministry. He said, “I’ve really just been wasting my time, wasting 35 years of just preaching nothing.” Thankfully, that pastor continued on with Omar – not just in training but also in warm friendship.

A photo before Omar’s graduation with his training group.

After four years of training, it’s been amazing to hear how God has been using Omar and the rest of the group we trained in Honduras. At last count, Omar and 12 others had trained 260 pastors and church leaders throughout Honduras. And those 260 had passed the training on to more than 211 others. That’s a total of about 500 pastors and church leaders.

Do you think God answered Omar’s prayer?

Well, He continues to do so. Omar has 12 trainings lined up this year. And I’ll see him again in June as we continue to work more deeply with him and others, in hopes of seeing a movement begin – seeing pastors learning, discovering, preaching, and strengthening the church in Honduras – and beyond – with God’s life-giving Word.

Thank you, brothers and sisters, for giving me the privilege to get to know and work with precious brothers like Omar. Through your partnership and your investment in God’s kingdom through missions, you have a part of what God is doing all around the world through dear, humble servants like Omar.

PS: Your gift today will enable us to train more “Omars” in many nations to the Glory of God!

“Take that Bible Away from that Man!”

Omar-1-copy

The man pictured above is named Omar Jiménez. Omar is a pastor in our Honduras group and is very active training other pastors with the Training National Trainers program.

The story below describes a valuable lesson one of the pastors in Omar’s group learned about relying too much on outside framework in reading Scripture (see more about Text and Framework in our Dig and Discover Hermeneutical Principles Booklet.)


In the last group of pastors I (Omar) led, there was a pastor who was given a study Bible, which he brought to our training. For him, every good pastor who preached correctly should preach according to what the notes in that Bible were saying. Even if you went to preach at his church, he was expecting you to follow the notes of his study Bible!

One time, one of our fellow pastors said, “Please, take that Bible away from that man!”

Because of that study Bible, he was feeling that he was better than everybody else. One time, one of our fellow pastors said, “Please, take that Bible away from that man!”

He brought this mentality to our training as well. On the first day, when I went to lead the TNT training, I noticed that while the other men were participating in the training, this man was comparing whatever was said with his study Bible’s notes. I told him that he could not express an opinion until he put his study Bible to the side. And when he prepared and delivered his own practice sermon, his message was very strange and very different.

I challenged him to use just the Bible, and not the study Bible notes in the training. But he kissed the Bible and said, “No, I’m not going to get rid of this Bible, at all, ever. There is no other Bible like this.”

I took my little Bible out, and said, “I’m going to be your teacher now with my Bible, small and old and used.” I told him he needed to understand that actually it is the Word of God that is inspired – not the study Bible notes – and he needed to leave his study Bible to the side and just to try to concentrate on doing his preaching with the Bible alone.

The pastor said, “No, I’m not going to stop using this study Bible. I’m going to leave if you make me use the plain Bible.”

Thankfully, I convinced him to stay.

A Change of Mind and an Important Lesson

On the second day of the training, I told him again that he needed to just use the Bible without the notes. And he said, “Okay I’ll do that. I’ll use the Bible without the notes.”

Later, when he gave his second practice sermon, we all cheered because he did a much better job than the first one!

Afterwards, he said, “Now I’m going to check my notes in comparison with the study notes.” And so, when he compared his study of the passage with the study Bible notes, he said, “My conclusions are better than the notes.”

He said, “Now I’m going to use the notes just as a reference after doing my own study in the Bible.”

It wasn’t until we learned the Text and Framework hermeneutical principle that he understood that his study Bible’s notes were a framework preventing him from letting the text speak to him on its own terms.

He said, “Now I’m going to use the notes just as a reference after doing my own study in the Bible.”

After the training, of course, he was a changed man. Now he’s preaching the Word as it is written in the Word, and doing so with a humble heart.


This isn’t the first time Omar has been featured on our blog. Read how one man he trained confessed to wasting thirty-five years in ministry preaching nothing.

Related Links:

Photo Update: Laying Groundwork for a Movement In Honduras

I (Paul Adams) just returned from Honduras. This trip was not a normal one — we, ourselves, didn’t do any training; rather, we watched some of the guys we’re training pass on the training to other pastors. My colleague, Patricio Paredes, and I also met with the board of a denomination — our partner for the training we’re doing in Honduras. And we also got to visit two other pastors we’re working with.

My first stop was to visit one of the pastors in our ongoing training. Omar looks young, but I was able to witness his strong, yet humble, leadership among the other pastors he’s passing the training on to. (God’s work in Omar has been featured on the blog before). Being in his church, meeting his family, and eating meals at his kitchen table gave me a clearer perspective of who this pastor is who has become a friend.

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Omar and I in front of his church. We were about to catch a bus to attend a denominational board meeting in another city.

patricio-principles

My colleague, Patricio Paredes, arrived, and we met with our partners in Honduras — the board of a denomination that invited us to come do training with their pastors. Since we are halfway through our 4-year program there, we wanted to make sure they were thinking strategically about how to continue to spread the training throughout their country after we hand things off to them.

looking-at-principles

We introduced them to some training materials I had just finished working on before I left on this trip. (See our Dig and Discover Hermeneutical Principles Booklet.)

standing-outside

Next, Patricio and I traveled about 5 hours to a church where three of the pastors we’re training led a training for other pastors.

three-brothers

These three brothers (our students) – Wilver, Jorge, and Armando – have been passing on the training they’ve received to a 2nd generation of pastors in their region.

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The bedding arrives. Pastors who came to the 3-day training slept on these mattresses at night in the church building.

studying-mark-together

We studied through the book of Mark. This group of pastors from the surrounding region have been coming to these 3-day trainings twice a year — and some of them are even passing the training on to a 3rd generation of pastors and church leaders.

teaching-mark

Here is an action shot of Armando, who is a gifted teacher, leading his training. There was friendly and helpful interaction as we explored the message of Mark’s Gospel.
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Patricio giving one-on-one guidance. This kind of interaction makes these workshops really special.

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It’s exciting to see the pastors “dig and discover” what God’s Word says.

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Jorge taught a session on Biblical theology – seeing how a passage or theme fits within the overall story and message of the Bible. Here, the group was getting at the significance of Peter’s confession: “You are the Christ!” by going back to understand what “Christ” meant — examining key passages in the Old Testament that spoke about God’s King (the “Annointed One” = “Messiah” = “Christ”) who would come to rule and reign.

whole-2nd-gen-group

Here is the group of pastors who were being trained by those we are training.
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After the workshop, Patricio and I spent time with the guys evaluating the training and doing some coaching. Watching them do training was also an evaluation of our training, helping us see what is transferring well and what we need to clarify or give greater emphasis to.

jorge-home

We had the opportunity to get to spend a lot of time with Jorge in his home – hearing his thoughts, getting to know his family, seeing how God had shaped his life and ministry through the Training National Trainers program.

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Finally, we went up into the hills to visit Pastor Wilver’s home and church.

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Pastor Wilver preaching in his church.

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Pastor Wilver and I at his home.

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Patricio and I with Pastors Jorge, Wilver, and Armando at Wilver’s home. It was good to see where our guys live, serve the Lord, and pass on training to others. Jorge and Omar (who is mentioned at the beginning of this post) were both selected by their denomination to be in-country coordinators for Honduras in charge of expanding the Training National Trainers program all over their country and beyond.

After watching these men encourage other pastors in a workshop, shepherd their own churches, even lead their own families, we were thankful for the men God has put in place to pastor His people in Honduras and to raise up other faithful leaders in the church there. We look forward to continuing our work and our friendship with these brothers and seeing how God will use them. For those who have partnered with us, thank you for investing in the work to make these things possible. May the Lord bless you for it!