Matt and Ellen both grew up in Maryland where Matt previously worked for the Food and Drug Administration as a Lead Program and Policy Anaylst and Ellen homeschooled their two children. They started in missions by serving in Indonesia at a National Christian School from 1994 to 1995. After returning from Indonesia the Lord placed a burden on their hearts for Honduras in Central America. Matt went on his first trip to Honduras in 1996. Since then Matt and Ellen have been on many short-term mission trips to Honduras together and have lead several short-term mission trips to an orphanage that now has over 600 children.
In the fall of 2009 they joined their mission agency, Equip International, which purposes to serve the poorest of the poor through practical helps integrated with Scriptural discipleship. They attended language school in Costa Rica in 2010 and moved to Honduras in 2011. Honduras is known for being the 2nd poorest country in the western hemisphere and for having the highest murder rate in the world.
After moving to Honduras and starting their work in the communities, they were invited by the director of a government agricultural school to teach their lessons at the school complete with Scriptural lessons. The agricultural school provides training opportunities for youth who have completed 6th grade and are considered poor even by Honduran standards. Matt and Ellen have also joined a local ministry to 1st and 2nd graders who need help academically in an extremely impoverished town close to them and this provides an opportunity to share Scripture, pray with the children and even provide what may be the child's only meal of the day. They are also working to reach the Lenca, who are an unreached indigenous Indian group, mostly surviving through subsistence farming. Their poverty is often exacerbated by alcohol abuse and there is virtually no evangelical outreach to the Lenca.
In every venue that Matt and Ellen are working through, they utilize the methods provided in Community Health Evangelism, CHE, which has lesson plans on health, hygiene, sustainable agriculture and appropriate technologies. The lesson plans are coupled with Scriptures and sharing the gospel. This is an integrated process of helping the people by meeting both the physical as well as the spiritual needs.
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