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Passing the "baton" in Helene.


"I love it when a plan comes together."

I am pleased to announce that a transition of ministry is taking place with the mission in Helene, Bay Islands Honduras.

As many of you know Alternative Missions was led to start a work in Helene back in 1996 after being exposed to needs on the island. As a result thousands of people responded to the call to get involved.  A plethora of challenges, miracles, adventures, stories resulting in changed lives have been the result. Long term staff, short term mission teams, and a steady stream of individuals have touched folks on the island through expressions of love. There have been so many that have made this mission endeavor successful!

Over the past couple of years Larry Benson (the location director) and I have been praying and planning in light of the “maturing” of the mission and ministry in Helene. The result is that we have determined that the future of the work is best served by encouraging "Team Helene" to pursue the development of a non-profit corporation that can continue the work as it moves forward. Because of our relationship and confidence that I have in "Team Helene" Alternative Missions is passing the baton of responsibiblity to them and looking forward to ongoing involvement via encouragement, counsel and friendship. As fellow believers and "team mates" passing the baton is an exciting event! Let’s all be praying for wisdom and provision for “Team Helene” as they continue to move the mission forward under their newly forming mission organization.

Share your Helene Experience / Comment below:

Have you been to Helene as a short term mission participant, intern or staff member? I would love to hear your thoughts or story as it relates to the Helene mission. What impact did your Alternative Missions / Helene experience have on you?

7 comments so far:

What a Blessing it was to serve and minister in Helene. I have such fond memories , Helene always will have a special place in my heart. Helene is always in my prayers and I made such wonderful friends while serving in Helene and attending Missions Training School. Tom,Dan,Jamera,Margie,Tim,Ruth Greg and Angela, Jeremy and Melissa Ronnie and Tammy love you all my christian brothers and sisters.

The experiences I had in Helene still help me day to day working in Womens health being able to pray with young mothers and ladies who are recovering from serious illness and surgeries.

Many Blessings and prayers for all who are going forth with Helene and its continued success for equiping more people to be followers of Jesus


Miss Bev

God provided me with the wonderful privilege to serve in Helene and I will be forever grateful. On that little island, so many thousands of miles from my home, the Lord kindly showed me so much of His love. He blessed me with new friends who will eternally remain in my heart. He filled me with His joy and His presence in that place. But one permanent change was COMMUNITY. In Helene, I experienced community in a manner that I had not experienced in my own home town. The Lord put that in my heart and over the last few years, I have been able to now share community with my neighborhood. It has been God's plan for families of different nationalities and customs in my court to share life together. We have celebrated holidays, births, and just days together. And we have hugged each other in the midst of trials. God's plan is for us to live in community and I am so very grateful He showed me this through my friends in Helene.
With Joy in the Lord,

I was a short term mission participant in 2000, during my junior year at Seattle Pacific University. To this day, my experience in Helene remains one of the most impacting and valuable of my life.

I reread the thank you letter I sent to my supporters as a reminder of this incredible opportunity to serve and be served. Here's an excerpt:

In the afternoons our team ministered among the people of the community. These times were my favorite part of the trip. The islanders welcomed us into their homes, instantly extending their hospitality and friendship. One afternoon, Jill, Stephanie and I visited an older woman, Miss Indiana James. Due to health complications, she is unable to walk the long distance to church each week, so we spent an hour sharing, singing hymns and carols, and praying. I felt so comfortable. It was almost like sitting in my own Gram’s home. At the end of our visit, she held our hands and prayed for each of us. Her love and concern for our lives touched me. Even though I had come to serve her, I left having been profoundly blessed by her words and understanding.

I also enjoyed the children on the island. Each one is a precious gift from God. They loved to play and be held. We swam together, played baseball, made beaded necklaces, blew bubbles, and painted fingernails. We enjoyed the privilege of ministering to them with our time and affection. The little girl in the picture with me is Tricia. We liked to sit and talk together. One day, walking along the beach, a little girl wanted to hold my hand. I told her I couldn’t because my hands were full of clothes and sandals. She took my sandals from me in one hand, and placed her other hand in mine. Although a simple gesture, it was one I will always treasure and remember.

All this to say, I am so thankful for the ministry in Helene and look forward to watching as it begins an entirely new chapter!

Jen Sullivan

Team Helene has been part of some major life changing experiences for me. When Greg and Angela Ruark left Roatan they asked Team Helene to take care of me. So it was that Joe and I got together when he came up island on his weekends off and we snorkeled and swam and went diving together. Also got to know Sheila and Larry and the rest of the team better at lunches after IWC meetings.When Joe and I got married I know it was a big adjustment for the team not to have him there but they were so great about embracing me into their "family". I did a 30 day internship on Helene 5 months after we got married and it was a challenging time.I felt like I was in a crucible and the Lord was turning up the heat. My introduction to being a missionary was great and gruelling at the same time. I was in the kitchen and we started early, I am not a morning person :-(, I learnt alot from Larry who is an awesome chef.He also got me to read 5 Dysfunctions of Team, what a awesome book about teaming. After a few team meetings I could see how well Team Helene is modeling the book. Besides working in the kitchen I got to exercise with Deirdre and some island girls ,she is a mean task master :-) Also got to go with her to the Northside to attend a women's bible study .It was the first time I heard people praying all at the same time. One time I had to step out of my comfort zone and pray aloud on my own and that was challenging. Another challenging out of my comfort zone experience was helping Joe and a team build Nella's house but what fun when I got into it. I was also around when Camas got his tooth knocked by a nail gun and Joe had to do some damage control. Poor Joe was called on again when Elizabeth's husband shot himself in the head. I had not been exposed to such traumatic situations. While staying on Helene you really live in the community and become so much apart of it. I had never lived so close to black people.It is different on Roatan than helene and in South Africa during the apartheid era, white people steered very clear of black people.I was always afraid of them. Spending that time on Helene really has helped me in our minsitry here. We are right in the heart of the refugee community and I am more comfortable than I thought I would be. It is amazing how the Lord prepares you for His plan in our lives. I was sorry that I did not get to spend much time with Sheila and Emily in the school, not enough hours in the day but both women are awesome wonderful people. Brandy and I had some laughs in the kitchen along with Linda and Lavern, the island cooks. The STMer's were hard work, especially the youth. I was always sad when I was around them because I so wish that my two children were leading lives like these "on fire for Jesus" young people. I continue to pray for The Lord's kingdom to come into their lives. I learnt how to organise large groups of people by working with the STMer's and hopefully we will have some teams of our own next year.

My internship on Helene will always be a very special time in my walk with the Lord. Thanks to Team Helene. I love and miss you guys .

In 1968 my brother died in the Vietnam war. My parents built a church on Helene Roatan Island in his memory -- Pollard Memorial Church. My parents, Sidney and Myrtle Pollard are now deceased, I am 59-years-old and would enjoy any information I can find in regards to the church they built in his memory. Our family was and are active members of the Church of God.

Gene; the person to email for the information you are looking for is Larry Benson. He heads up the ministry in Helene.

Love it, Chris!We are all still blessed my your visit to Mount Oak Church in Mitchellvile MD. Praying for you, failmy, mission and June 20th service. PLUS June 24 July 26,trip! Got my thinkin' cap on.Love servolution and your faithfullness.Blessings to your failmy and Mission to the Americas.Your Mt. Oak failmy sends love & prayers to all of you.Harriette


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