Aaron and Rachel Halbert - March 2021
Dear Christ Covenant Family and Friends -
What a blessing and delight it is to be able to give you an update about the work in Honduras. We recognize that it has been a while since our last update (therefore this update might be a little longer), and we would like to let you know a little bit as to why. A few years back, I wrote an article for the Washington Post about embryo adoption and our journey through that process. We have been greatly blessed by the way the Lord has grown our family and we were thankful for the opportunity to tell of God’s faithfulness to us through adoption and embryo adoption. All that to say that over the last few years, we have become click bait on a whole host of websites. Some of you have even emailed us to let us know you saw us on different websites. One of the difficult parts about all of this is that people began to take pictures of us and our family from various online platforms like our ministry page, our facebooks, and even from this email update list. It has caused us to have to be more direct in our communications with churches and individuals. So, please accept our apology for the delay in getting this update out. We are looking to clean up our update list and hope to be able to share more pictures in the future, but as for now most everything on this update will remain as is. Even as some of the process of having people take our information and continue to try to contact us has been frustrating, there are many people who heard about or have chosen embryo adoption because of the article. And for that, we bless the Lord!
With that mentioned, we pray that this update about what the Lord is doing in Honduras is an encouragement to you. We are thankful for you, your prayers, and your love for the work in Honduras!
CHURCH DURING COVID
As was true for most of the world the beginning of the pandemic, last March brought a swift and very strict lockdown in Honduras. For the first few months, we were only able to circulate by ID number once every 14 days. Which meant a lot of time at home. At first, this was a pretty difficult time because of the lack of time together as a church and not being able to get out, but over time, we got to know more of our neighbors. Many of the people on our street quickly grew tired of spending all their time inside and began to go on afternoon walks or take their kids out on the street to ride bikes and play with our kids. We were able to get to know lots of our neighbors during these months and even began to do potluck style meals in the street. Many of these folks continue to be dear friends and are wonderful blessings to our family!
In September, we were grateful to be able to begin gathering at the church once again. Six months apart had been difficult on our church family. We did all we could to continue to encourage our people to stay connected through prayer meetings and other studies we offered online. When we first went back, we didn’t really know what to expect. The first week we had about 30 people attend, but by the end of October, we had all but three families coming to church. As of today, we have only one family that has not yet come back. By God’s grace, we have actually grown during this season. There have been some who began watching our services online during the 6 month lockdown who have become regular attenders ever since we began gathering in-person again. It has been a wonderful reminder that the Lord is always faithful to His church and that not even a countrywide lockdown can keep Him from growing the church plant here in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
After about 5 months of having new faces attend our worship services faithfully, we began new members classes at the beginning of February. We will be adding about 25 new members and there will be a handful of baptisms. I will have the great privilege of baptizing covenant children and new believers. We have a couple of people who have told us they came to know the Lord while hearing the Word preached through our online stream. What a testimony of the Word of God not returning void! The pandemic was yet another reminder to me of my inability to change hearts, but the clear call to preach the Word and allow the Lord to cause the increase. We thank you for your prayers for us during the pandemic and your continued prayers as we seek to faithfully pastor and plant churches in Honduras.
NEW INTERN AND JOSUE'S INSTALLATION
Another exciting thing that happened during the last year was the addition of an intern to the church. Ventura and his wife, Candi, will be with us for the next couple of years as a way to see if the Lord has called Ventura to the work of church planting. They moved here in October and have been a great blessing to us. Ventura is doing Hebrew with Josue, practical theology with Rudy, and studying the confession with me. Please pray for them and their time with us. We are hopeful this will lead to a future church plant.
A harder providence that the pandemic brought was us having to postpone Josué’s installation service. We are still hopeful to do that this year and have men come to Honduras to do the installation at the church. We don’t know all the details or whether or not it is a possibility, but we would be grateful for your continued prayers as we strive to be faithful in the establishing of this first church in Honduras.
At the beginning of last year, we had begun making plans to visit the United States as an entire family because it had been almost 4 years since some of our supporting churches had been able to see all of us. It goes without saying that most travel last summer was not a viable option and thus, we are looking to come back for part of the spring and into the summer. Our kids continue to have online classes and we thought that it would be a great opportunity to take advantage of online schooling in order to visit all of our supporting churches and individuals. We hope to be able to do that over about a 3 month process starting around the middle of April. We are currently reaching out to churches and friends and hope to be able to see everyone. If you would like to connect please reach out to us and we will do all we can to make it happen.
Finally, we are continuing to do recruiting for the work in Honduras. We are specifically praying the Lord would send us more church planters, a campus minister, and someone to work alongside Josue with the seminary. We are currently recruiting not only in the USA but also throughout the Spanish-speaking world in hopes that there may be other Spanish-speaking pastors that would like to join our team. Please pray with us to these ends. The fields truly are white and we long to see Christ glorified in Honduras through the work of church planting.
Aaron, Rachel, Ford, Catherine
Ryley, Whitley, Anne Waverly
-New Members Class: Pray as we continue to add people that a love for Christ and His bride would grow amongst us.
-Recruitment: pray specifically for more laborers!
-Our trip: pray for safety and encouraging times with supporters and potential supporters.
-For Ford and Catherine as they continue virtual classes. They have adjusted well to this year online, but it isn’t easy to be away from their teachers and classmates all this time. Also, pray for Rachel as she homeschools the triplets a little bit to prepare them for kindergarten next year.
Aaron and Rachel Halbert