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Changing hearts

Woodburn church sends missionaries to Honduras orphanage


by: COURTESY OF WOODBURN FOURSQUARE CHURCH - Pastor Luis Molina shares a moment with two young men living at the Didasco Children's Home in Honduras.A group of seven from Woodburn Foursquare Church returned from visiting an orphanage in Honduras earlier this month, a place that has been sponsored by the church for about 12 years.

Nearly every summer, volunteers from the church travel to Didasko Children’s Home near the capital Tegucigalpa to tackle different projects, from building the complex’s school to installing a freshwater well to this year’s project of constructing a girls dorm facility.

by: COURTESY OF WOODBURN FOURSQUARE CHURCH - The church volunteers helped build and install bathroom cabinets in the girls dormitory while in Honduras, as presented by orphan Esther.The group, which included Pastor Luis Molina and his wife Luz, Mark and Shawna Tittle, Eggie and Mina Maldonado and Ruben Velichko, spent eight days building and installing bathroom cabinets, creating and sanding tables and benches and bonding with the orphans.

This was Luz Molina’s first trip to Honduras, and the experience was indescribable, she said, adding that she’d like to bring her kids with her next time.

“You get a different feeling there,” she said. “It’s not something you can’t get from looking at pictures. That was the best feeling to me.”

This was her husband’s fourth year visiting the orphanage, “but probably the best trip,” he said.

That’s because a lot of the focus shifted from physical construction to spiritual relationship building.

“This year’s experience gave me a better purpose for why we go,” Luis Molina said. “This year, we realized the greatest project is the kids.”

Molina’s favorite thing was to spend time with the two dozen orphans, whether it was playing checkers, kicking around the soccer ball (the Woodburn volunteers brought the children tennis shoes and soccer balls from the U.S.) or simply talking. There has also been more focus on another project that supports individual orphans when they get too old for the children’s home.

“We’re partnering with other churches around the U.S. to provide the children with a transitional project that gives them the tools to introduce them into society,” explained Molina. “We want to encourage the kids that they can pursue a career and we’ll help them out, so they’ll have hope.”

He gave the example of Junior, a 20-year-old orphan who was sponsored by the Woodburn church’s Sunday school to get through electrician school. Now he is working to become a welder, so the church bought him a $400 welding machine, which will change his life, Molina said.by: COURTESY OF WOODBURN FOURSQUARE CHURCH - Woodburn Foursquare Church paid for a welding machine for 20-year-old Junior, who grew up at Didasko Children's Home in Honduras and is now going to welding school.

“With that machine, he can realize his goals and it provides a path for a better future,” Molina said, adding that Junior’s dreams include buying his own house and land.

It hasn’t been easy supporting the orphans over the years, but the church has managed to do so through individual donations and fundraisers, such as a mission auction.

“It’s lots of work but it has changed so many lives,” Molina said, also referring to the work volunteers take on while visiting Honduras.

While most volunteers speak minimal Spanish, the primary language of Honduras, Molina said that doesn’t matter.

“Taking people who don’t speak Spanish, I’ve learned that you don’t need words to express love or hope because it’s a matter of the heart to tell someone how much you care,” Molina said, referring to his fellow volunteers’ hard work over the eight days at the orphanage.

“I probably worked the least,” he added jokingly.

Coming back to the U.S., Luz Molina admits she’s more grateful for what she has.

“The question they would always ask me is if I knew my parents,” she said. “It was really impactful. It really made me appreciate my parents. They were always there for me, and it’s a different perspective being there with the orphans.”by: COURTESY OF WOODBURN FOURSQUARE CHURCH - Seven volunteers from Woodburn Foursquare Church visited Didasko Children's Home outside Tegucigalpa, Honduras this summer, building a girls dormitory and connecting with the two dozen children.

The public is invited to Mission Sunday, when the Sunday service at Foursquare Church in Woodburn will focus on the Honduras mission trip, on Sept. 15. The service, which starts at 10 a.m., followed by an authentic Honduras meal.

“You can have a taste of Honduras and learn how to join this ministry,” Molina said. “The greatest blessing for me as a minister is leading this ministry. We go and we always come back with blessings we never thought we’d receive. It changes your heart.”




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