Pastoring El Dorado!
Preaching adventures in Honduras
The name ‘El Dorado’ conjures up tales of extreme deprivation in search of a mythical city or kingdom of gold…
But Pastor Oscar Danilo Madrid was after a different kind of treasure when he set out into the hostile mountainous area near San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras. Betuel Ayes, the national Coordinator for Langham-Honduras, shared his encouraging story at a Langham Preaching Seminar in Colombia:
Pastor Oscar served for more than ten years as a committed lay leader in the Four Square Church, one of the oldest denominations in Honduras. Then he fell prey to the seductive power of the so-called ‘American dream’. But after three years as an illegal immigrant in the USA, he perceived God´s corrective voice speaking into his situation and calling him to something better.
So he returned home.
There he sensed an overwhelming call to pastoral service. Following an intense year as a lay leader at ‘Las Bodas del Cordero’ Church, and noticing his growing and fervent desire to serve the Lord, the church leaders commended him for a special mission: to plant a new church in a difficult, mountainous rural area.
Oscar took on this challenge immediately, without second thoughts or any visible means of support other that his firm desire to honour God. Of his immediate family (his wife and three children) only his youngest son (15) went with him. His two other adult children stayed in the city, as did his wife.
In that hostile region known as ‘El Dorado’, Oscar began his mission with home visits and preaching in public places. He soon gained the favour of the local people. One family opened the doors of their home to him. Their house became the interim meeting place for a fledgling church.
Conversions became the order of the day; friendships developed; more and more people began to join Oscar´s project. In less than a year, the church grew to over 50 members.
That was three years ago.
Today the church has more than 200 brothers and sisters attending regularly. One member donated a piece of land, where a church building has since been constructed.
We first met Oscar by a kind of providential coincidence: one of the coordinators of ‘Escuelitas-Langham’, happens to own a plot of agricultural land near El Dorado. In the course of his work, he came to know this dynamic pastor and invited him to participate in an ‘escuelita’ (mini preaching school).
We were struck by Pastor Oscar’s exceptional leadership abilities, his fervent desire to grow and his amazing hunger to learn (he is over 50 and only had a few years of formal education).
Oscar and seven of his leaders began their process of formation as expository preachers over a year ago when they participated in a Langham Preaching Level One Seminar. They have now started an ‘escuelita’ in their own church!
Gold is often used by artists to depict the presence of the divine. In this El Dorado, a true ‘city of gold’ is to be found!
by Jennifer Cuthbertson, Langham Preaching