Rhonda Wilkinson has served for nearly 2 years as a missionary for Foursquare Missions International in Honduras, a nation of 7.8 million people that, despite its rich history and natural resources, is the second poorest country in Central America. With 60 percent of the population living in poverty due to unemployment and underemployment, the need here is great, and opportunities for ministry are many.
Those living in this nation of lush forests, stunning beaches and archaeological wonders represent a diversity of ethnicities, including mestizo (90 percent), Amerindian (7 percent), black (2 percent) and white (1 percent). The country is predominately Roman Catholic (97 percent), with a Protestant population of 3 percent.
Foursquare has 255 churches and meeting places in Honduras. There are 21 Bible institutes, 3 orphanages, and 2 ministry networks that help orphans. Rhonda lives in the town of Tamara.
Why did you get involved in missionary work?
Rhonda: For years, I have had a passionate desire to serve in an orphanage, but I wasn’t certain in which country I would land. After visiting the Foursquare orphanages in Central America, I strongly felt like the Didasko Children’s Home would be my home. The Lord has placed a desire in my heart to be a “mother to the motherless.”
Children all over the world are being abused, neglected and abandoned. This breaks our Father’s heart. He loves them so deeply, and longs for them to be cared for and loved. My prayer has been that the Lord will place little lives in my path, and that through the love He gives me, I can help to nurture and care for them, so they can be productive citizens; but more important, I pray I can help them to understand the immense love their heavenly Father has for them.
What do you wish people knew about missions work?
Rhonda: You can truly make a difference in someone’s life, regardless of the physical distance that separates you. When we think about missions, we frequently get so caught up in what we can do for someone, or what we can give, that we forget completely that it’s relationships that change lives. It is so important—whether it be through connections made on a short-term trip or choosing to sponsor a child and truly getting to know him or her—that relationships are formed and disciples made.
Tell us about one of the children helped by the ministry there.
Rhonda: Eight years ago, a 2-year-old boy was found naked, tied to the national stadium in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. By the time he was rescued, no one was really sure how long he had been there. Shortly after, he came to live in Didasko Children’s Home, a Foursquare orphanage outside of Tegucigalpa.
Today the memories and the scars from being tied up and abandoned still remain, but through the love and care received throughout the last several years, the wounds in his heart have continued to heal. Now he is no longer a little boy, but a young man who brings much joy to those around him.
Without the care of the children’s home where he lives, his future would have been very grim. He would likely be living on the streets, rummaging through garbage to survive, with little to no hope of ever escaping.
Looking at him today, no one would ever guess the trauma he experienced at such a young age. He is currently at the top of his class, loves to study, and hopes to go to a university someday. He always has a smile on his face and loves to make people laugh. We are so grateful the Lord blessed us with the opportunity to love and care for this sweet child.
Have any teams come from the U.S. to help out?
Rhonda: Yes, this year we have had four teams come. They began construction on a new girls dormitory for the children, rebuilt and remodeled a building that was destroyed in a storm in 2008, conducted VBS programs for our kids as well as the children in the community, and held medical clinics.
What is your vision for the future?
Rhonda: Our desire is to raise the children in Didasko to be godly, successful citizens who love and serve the Lord. Last year, we were blessed to receive 11 new children between the ages of 3 and 8. We are currently in the process of building a new dormitory for the girls, which will allow us to better care for our current children as well as provide more space to be able to take in more children in the future.
How to Pray for Rhonda:
- Forty-two Foursquare churches in Honduras currently do not have their own buildings. Please pray the Lord will provide for these churches to purchase land and be able to build.
- It is the desire of The Foursquare Church in Honduras to have a convention center. We currently have land, but pray the Lord will provide all that is needed to be able to build on that land.
- Thirty Foursquare churches have outgrown their current buildings and need more land and/or larger buildings.
- Pray that the Lord would give me wisdom beyond my years and experience as I do my best to care for these children on a daily basis.
- Ask the Lord to provide opportunities to speak into the lives of the children and the staff on a deeper level.
- Pray that the Lord would continue to bless and provide in every situation and every area.
How You Can Bless Rhonda:
Our Foursquare missionaries are always encouraged by and grateful for any prayers and correspondence they receive. Whether it’s a gift sent on a holiday, or simply a letter or note of encouragement, you can make a difference by expressing your support in a practical way.
To send correspondence to Rhonda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
Jorga A. Castillo
Apartado Postal 2700
Interview conducted by: Bill Shepson, a Foursquare credentialed minister and freelance writer in Los Angeles