How a Seed of Faith Blossomed
During a global pandemic, at the most unlikely time, a pastor and his wife saw God fulfill their dreams of a ministry to children in poverty in Honduras.
Pastor Clovis and his wife Reina have big dreams and even bigger faith.
Through the years, the couple have seen impossible dreams come true — including their biggest dream for the children of their community.
As I tell you their story, you may find your own faith growing a little bigger, too.
Hope in a Parched Land
Pastor Clovis is from Choluteca, in the south of Honduras. In 2013, when he was 30 years old, his denomination sent him to the small community of Monjarás. It was a hard post to say the least.
Monjarás is located in one of the hottest areas in Honduras where the temperature soars to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also known as one of the poorest communities in the area.
Pastor Clovis started a church in Monjarás with only about seven people attending on a regular basis.
No one knew him, but he visited homes and walked the community to meet his neighbors and invite them to come to church.
And he has seen God’s faithfulness since day one.
“We started in a canopy,” he recalls. “No walls, no windows, barely any chairs. But people kept coming.”
Busy with a growing church, Pastor Clovis promised himself not to find a wife from the church. But God had other plans. Pastor Clovis met Reina, who became his wife and has walked hand-in-hand with him ever since.
Though Reina went to law school, she left her career in law to become a pastora and join Pastor Clovis in ministry.
“It’s hard to do two things and excel in them,” she explains. “Our priority is the ministry, and we work hard on it.”
Children Are the Present
An important part of their ministry is serving the children of Monjarás.
As the church kept growing, Pastors Clovis and Reina felt they needed to buy land and build a place where people could gather and where they could serve a children’s dinner for the kids in the community.
“We wanted a place where children were fed not only spiritually but also physically,” says Pastor Clovis.
So, they prayed and claimed the land as conquered. In 2016 God gave them the opportunity to buy the land, and they started to build the church that stands there today.
Pastors Clovis and Reina have been praying for children of their own, but they don’t yet have any and they ask us to pray for them. (Would you take a moment to pause and join us in that prayer?)
Although they don’t have children of their own, the pastors pour out their love on the children of Monjarás.
For them, kids are the most important people in their ministry, and they are committed for the long term. The couple also believes we need to stop looking at children as future members of the congregation.
Children are the congregation.
When Pastors Clovis and Reina count the offering, they are amazed to see the tithe envelopes with children’s handwriting on them.
“Children tithe in our church,” says Pastor Clovis. “Not because we preach a lot about this, but because God has convicted their hearts. And we need to be like them.”
Pointing to the chairs we were sitting on as we talked, Pastor Clovis says, “Did you see who brought us the chairs? Where they adults? Did you see who was around us, where they adults? No, right? They were children. Children are not the future; children are the present!”
Living Miracle by Miracle
During the pandemic the church experienced an unexpected phenomenon. While in other places people had stopped attending church, the little church in Monjarás started to be packed full.
Before the pandemic they had only about 30 members. But during and after the pandemic, the numbers rose. They began to receive, 80, 90, 100 people in the church, and more than 60 children.
As part of their testimony, Pastors Clovis and Reina live entirely by faith.
“We are not pastors for a salary,” says Pastor Clovis. “We live each day miracle by miracle. This is a poor community. Our monthly income doesn’t reach the lowest salary rate dictated in the country, but we lack nothing! We never have, we never will.”
He adds, “There have been times when the church could not make it financially, and out of our pocket we paid the monthly fee for this land. Do you know why we have done it? Because we believe in what God is doing in Monjarás. So, we plant a seed every time we can.”
The seeds have grown, and today they are very close to having the land paid off.
A Shared Dream
With their huge heart for children, Pastors Clovis and Reina have always dreamed of having a ministry dedicated specifically to children, and they shared this longing with the congregation.
To their surprise, a couple who attends their church volunteered to cover the children’s meals for over two years. They are not wealthy people; in fact, sometimes they face financial struggles.
“We were able to see how the congregation felt part of this ministry and wanted to be part of the blessing,” says Pastor Clovis.
God Answers Prayers
The church in Monjarás began to see their dreams for children’s ministry flourish when Josué, a Field Facilitator for OneChild in Honduras, visited Pastor Clovis and Reina with an amazing opportunity. He asked if they were interested in being candidates for opening a Hope Center in their church.
They immediately said “YES!”
Josué asked if they thought they could build some classrooms for the kids because they only had the main sanctuary.
They did not have any money to build the classrooms, but that didn’t stop these people of faith. Again, they said yes.
He told Josué, “We can try to build them.”
The next day a donor came forward and committed to building the classrooms.
Pastor Clovis and Reina did not know yet if their church would be chosen for a OneChild Hope Center.
But whatever happened, they knew their work would be focused on the children.
They attended the information meeting and received a visit from the the OneChild Honduras Leadership Team who came to see the church and their ministry to children. A few months later, they were told that they qualified to have a Hope Center in their church.
A Great Harvest
In March 2022, they registered the first child at Cosecha de Campeones (Harvest of Champions) Hope Center in Monjarás.
They have now registered more than 100 children from the community. The Hope Center is not only one of the newest in Honduras, it is also has some of the highest impact on children of any Hope Center the country.
Walking through the community with Pastor Clovis, I was able to see how much the children love him.
When children see him on the street, and they invite him to play. Parents greet him as he walks, and one mom stopped us to share a story with me.
“You know, one time during Christmas time, I was serving my children Christmas dinner, which was a tortilla with salt,” she said. “They knocked on our door and it was Pastor Clovis and his wife — they brought tamales for all of us. There are things I will never forget, and this is one of them.”
We asked Pastor Clovis and his wife what they would tell those who are hesitating to start a ministry because they have no funds.
“We will tell them to check if that ministry is something that God wants them to be involved in,” he answered. “In our situation we have never had the funds to start. But God has had them. He goes before us and sustains us.
“When He puts a longing in your heart, He provides for it.”
Today, Cosecha de Campeones Hope Center is thriving, thanks to a couple of pastors who planted a seed in faith, believing they would see a harvest.
Help OneChild go further into the hard places, open more Hope Centers, and do whatever it takes to reach more kids living in poverty. Donate to the Partners Fund today!
We are accountable to the children we serve AND to our donors.
Our accountability to our donors is one of our highest priorities. Our goal is to use the funds entrusted to us as wise stewards. To do this requires continued monitoring of our fund distribution. OneChild is also a member in good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)