Adrian Donato, an alumnus of The Master's Seminary, serves as an educator at The Master’s Academy International training center in Honduras. The following is Adrian’s report of how the Lord is using their center, Ministerios Evangelicos de las Americas (MEDA), to impact Honduras.
Carlos Montoya, Carlos Nunez, and I recently had the wonderful opportunity to honor our governing authorities by using the MEDA facilities to host the vice president of Honduras, Elvin Santos, during his visit to our city.
It was quite an incredible time. MEDA obviously enjoyed the highest measure of police cover ever experienced. The secret police came about an hour before the vice president was scheduled to arrive. In the process, Edwin Sauceda, a student at MEDA, and I got to evangelize three officers and discussed with them where their hope lies in the face of death. It was a great conversation, and Edwin exchanged contact information to follow up with them.
After evangelizing some of the secret police, I was told that they needed my car! The mayor of the city had not prepared enough vehicles, so my car was volunteered to serve the vice president and the people of Honduras. The MEDA employees did the fastest wash job I have ever seen, and the car was ready and lined up at the end of the vehicle train. The captain of the secret service asked me if I would drive the vehicle and I told him that he could. He told me that he wanted me to. So…what does a man do?
Eventually, the vice president’s helicopter came thundering over the mountains. He touched down on the MEDA soccer field and was immediately surrounded by military and secret service officers as he came over to greet our families and the MEDA personnel.
Soon afterward, he boarded the car in the middle of the train and the secret service boarded the other vehicles (one of which, of course, I was driving). As we began to pull out of the MEDA facility, the captain told me two things. First, we were to roll down our windows so we could have our machine guns out, in the case of an emergency. Second, should something happen, we were to serve as a barrier for the vice president to escape, so we’d need to park the car on whichever side is being attacked! I asked him, “What should I do after that?” He said, “Pray that God will watch over us.” (By the way, this captain is a brother-in-law to one of our seminary students who studies here.) It was at that point that I realized that I really was honoring the vice president in a very practical way out of love for Christ!
Finally, our caravan arrived at the municipality where every mayor in Honduras was present to receive a reforestation grant. I was asked to read Scripture and pray. So I read John 19:7–11 with emphasis on Jesus’ response to Pilate, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above…” and then I prayed to the triune God as I gave the sense of the passage, and asked that each one of these mayors would carry out their duties and functions being conscious that they are accountable to God the Father. It was tough to pray to our Lord in a way that would give him the distinction he deserves in such a confused society over who God is, but I hope the goal was achieved. At the end of the ceremony, the vice president specifically thanked MEDA for its hospitality and willingness to serve.
After the ceremony, the train returned to MEDA, and we enjoyed lunch at one of the MEDA homes with the vice president and other dignitaries. At the luncheon, we presented the vice president with a MacArthur Study Bible and he said that he had seen one before on the mayor’s bookshelf beside his desk, and that he was pleased to have his own copy. We gave a MacArthur Study Bible to the other dignitaries as well, and then sent one with the vice president to give to the first lady. MEDA gave a MacArthur Study Bible to the president in November 2006 in thanks for giving a special order for the issuance of visas for Cuban pastors coming to MEDA. At the same time, Carlos Nunez (our executive director), had the opportunity to share what we do here at MEDA and how the changed lives of people who submit to Christ is what will transform the culture.
As the vice president left the MEDA home, each family took pictures with him (he speaks very good English). Our children gave him gifts and pictures that they had drawn to honor him in a small way. He told us he would like to return to play soccer with us at some point, got into his helicopter, and lifted off at the joyous screams of our children (the Montoyas have six and we have four that can scream quite well).
We don’t think the president or the vice president are Christians, but it is very apparent to all of us that over the last three months the Lord has opened some very significant doors for us to walk through. This whole thing came about just by being neighborly and modeling Christ to our city mayor. We are unsure whether he is saved, but he did invite us to participate in this wonderful event. Our time with these men was not political; it was focused on trying to define Christ and Him crucified with clarity.
We have also just been approached by the colonel of the military base here in town to pray with them and offer biblical counseling! So the Lord has us here not only to prepare men for ministry and to serve in our local church, but also to give testimony of Him before kings and governors!
Please pray for us and the various ministries of MEDA. Ask the Lord to make Christ our focal point in everything that we do with relationship to the governing officials. Ask the Lord to keep us and protect us in this wonderful city. Ask Him to make our relationships on the MEDA team even stronger than they already are, as we enjoy such wonderful opportunities to minister together.
Together for the Gospel!
P.S. We did manage to invite the President to come to MEDA one day as well.