We are Matt and Ellen Zell and have been with Equip since 2010. We are serving in Honduras in the district of La Paz, and are purposing in Biblical discipleship done hand in hand with practical helps. It's never one over the other but always both.
One of the things that we appreciate in Equip as we started out was the Community Health Evangelism training (CHE) that we took before going on the field as it has shaped our mission methodology.
Early on in serving here in Honduras there was a major faith moment, or a big “ah-ha”. It was based on Rom 11:36 and Col 1:16. The thought was that if everything was made from, through and for Jesus, then I should be able to see Jesus in everything and therefore use anything to point to Jesus.
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:36
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16
This has been powerful basis in providing the confidence to look at any lesson, anything, as a means to present Christ.
One of the things we have learned is that we are not looking for a perfect project, but rather it's whatever project that will allow us to practically bless the people and to share Christ.
We have taught many different lessons in churches and in the government agricultural school and it has been anything from heat retention cooking, making compost, raising black soldier fly larva, building an aquaponic system, even a lesson using blowguns, and much more. No matter what we are teaching we are sharing Christ.
We have a puppet ministry which gives us two ministry targets: the audience and our team of puppeteers. We use the puppets to tell stories that relate to the children’s lives. After each drama we asked questions about what they saw and share a memory verse. With the puppet team we place a priority on starting every practice with a devotion, and everybody gets to lead a devotion, and then we share prayer requests and pray.
The Lord has really put on our hearts to try to help the people in income production and this has led us the work in developing an agricultural training center. It will be an organic, all natural, agricultural training center for small land holders. The initial project will be raising pigs using the Asian method of natural farming.
While the training center is still under construction, we have already started training with about 30 pastor's and church leaders from several denominations. We have partnered with a ministry that brings seminary level training to areas where pastors have no access to such training.
We are excited and feel blessed to be able to help people practically and share with them the amazing love and truth which is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
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.