In response to God’s call in Zechariah 7:9-10, Heart of Christ Ministry in Honduras, founded by Reverend Lee and Gracie Murphree, has served the victims of violence in Honduras for over 12 years.
“This is what the Lord Almighty says: Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor.” — Zechariah 7:9-10.
The focus of Heart of Christ Ministry (HoCM), working closely with government officials (police and court system), Compassion International, the Gospel Justice Initiative, and the International Justice Mission, is four-fold: Spiritual, Mercy, Victims, and Children’s Home/Foster Care:
- Spiritual: Through radio & TV ministries, HoCM teaches on the importance of family and the reduction of domestic violence. Classes focus on spiritual healing for victims and on discipleship. In 2016, Gracie preached about God’s call in Zechariah in more than 15 events across Honduras to more than 2,000 pastors, parents, children, and leaders.
- Mercy: HoCM provides food, clothes, medicine, education, Christmas, disaster aid, and other aid to those in need.
- Victims: HoCM provides assistance with the rescue of, and refuge for, women, children, elderly, and disabled who are victims of violence.
- Children’s Home/Foster Care: HoCM provides a specialized Children’s Home for children with special needs and for young pregnant girls.
These ministries are supported by donations from churches and individual supporters, and mission teams are assisting with the on-going construction of the Children’s Home. In fact, adults and youth from Aldersgate have participated in many of these projects and ministries serving as God’s hands and feet to the Honduran people. Interesting thing is that the people of Honduras served as God’s hands and feet to us as well. What a blessing!
Aldersgate UMC has supported Heart of Christ Ministry since 2010 through prayers, finances, and sending mission teams to Honduras to support the construction and community development. The pictures below show the construction of the facility used by Heart of Christ Ministry to serve the people of La Ermita and surrounding villages in Honduras from 2010 through July 2018. Also shown are the Mission Teams commissioned, by God and AUMC, to serve hands-on with this ministry.
2010 – This picture (above left) shows the Heart of Christ mission as the AUMC team (above right) found it when we arrived. The front left is the home where Gracie and Lee live. The back wall contained a big room, a kitchen, and dorms where the kids and some staff lived. Inside the wall on the right, behind the tree, are classrooms and dorms under construction that the AUMC team helped with. Some of you may recall sending prayers written on pieces of paper – those prayers are embedded inside the cinder-block walls of the dorms and classroom.
2012 – The fresh coat of paint shown in this picture (above left) and the classroom/dorms behind the tree were complete when the AUMC team arrived. This trip the AUMC team helped build a dining hall (back left of the facility) and screened in another porch area in the facility.
2014 – The second story dorms in the picture above (image on left), in the back of the facility, were complete when the AUMC team arrived. This trip the AUMC team helped build restroom and shower facilities for the upstairs dorms and helped build a permanent staircase to the upstairs.
2016 – This picture (above left) shows the back of the facility. The upstairs and downstairs rooms were complete when the AUMC team arrived. These rooms serve as the children’s school and other educational facilities. This trip the AUMC team helped with construction of the Children’s Home, which you can see in the foreground. This building will be a 40’x60’ facility for the children to live in; and includes built-in cisterns which hold over 20,000 gallons of rainwater to support the needs of the facility.
2018 – This picture (above left) shows the front of the Heart of Christ Mission and where the addition of the Justice Center is under construction. The team from Aldersgate helped lay the footings for the foundation of the Justice Center, which will provide office space, classrooms, and other facilities to support the needs of the clients served by Heart of Christ Ministry.
The purpose of the Justice Center is to advocate for vulnerable groups who suffer from violence and to provide direct services such as shelter, medical/psychological care, social assistance, restoration aftercare programs, and other assistance as needed. The Justice Center will also provide community informational and training programs to strengthen the family , create a culture of peace, and educating to recognize victims of violence and how to participate in their rescue.
The photos below show the progress made to date on the Children’s Home. Currently, the children are staying in the dorms. With God’s help, this facility will be completed in 2017 and begin providing a facility designed to support the children’s specific needs and safety.
HoCM Children’s Home as of January 2017
HoCM Children’s Home as of July 2017
Aldersgate’s involvement goes beyond assistance with construction. Our mission teams, and all mission teams who come to work with Heart of Christ for that matter, share their faith with the people in the surrounding villages. One way Christ is shared is through the development of relationships with the women and children living at the Heart of Christ facility, as well as playtime with children in the surrounding community.
Another way of sharing Christ is spending time with families in the surrounding villages, praying and anointing with oil. Many of our team members were not familiar with anointing. This was a great opportunity to share this blessing with them and with the Honduran community.
Families welcomed our team into their homes and shared a bit of their story with us, and were very grateful for prayer. Some even prayed for us! The lower left picture above shows our team praying with an elementary class in the town of Talanga. The school teachers and principle welcomed us into their class, allowing us to talk with, play games with, and pray with the children. They even invited us to come back any time. Once again, God provided a blessing for all involved!
Gracie and Lee Murphree are very thankful for the support Aldersgate has provide to the Heart of Christ Ministries. Your continued prayers, hands-on service, and financial gifts, serve to further this ministry and share Christ with the people of Honduras.
Donations are needed to:
- Complete the Children’s Home
- Provide monthly sponsorship for the children, and
- Support the general budget and programs.
Hands-on support from individuals, families, and/or teams, for construction and ministry in the villages, are always welcomed!
If you would like additional information about Heart of Christ Ministry, or ways to support Heart of Christ Ministry, please visit www.heartofchristhonduras.org or contact Jim and Kim Shivers (firstname.lastname@example.org).