In the mountains of Honduras, an hour and a half from the capital, thirty pastors and church leaders sat at wooden tables surrounded by pastel-colored walls. They had come to listen to Coram Deo’s *first-ever Spanish-dubbed video.
Matt and Ellen Zell work with pastors in rural Honduras. Like many people in the mountain regions, these pastors have received very limited education, less than sixth grade for most, and some have had no formal schooling. Matt and Ellen wanted to share Coram Deo’s Basic course, but many of the pastors struggled to follow the Spanish subtitles. So Matt and Ellen found a local person to begin recording a voice-over in Spanish.
It was slow going, but finally, Lesson One was finished. Thirty pastors from five denominations came to San Pedro de Tutule to see, hear, and learn. One couple walked an hour and a half .
For the lessons, the pastors were arranged in groups of four, purposefully mixed to mingle with those from other churches. After every video, each small group discussed the lesson and one person from each group reported to the larger body.
The videos presented God’s transforming story as revealed in the breadth and depth of the biblical narrative from the beginning of the world to the end of time. One statement in particular struck the pastors: “Either the church disciples the culture or the culture will disciple the church.” Confronting the culture was a new idea to most of these men and women. It began a discussion among them that continues to this day.
The pastors were especially challenged by the teaching regarding machismo.
Matt explains, “In a typical Honduran home in that area when they wake their kids up for school the boys get dressed and play until breakfast while the girls get up and have to clean and prepare the breakfast. This is basically repeated when the kids come home from school.” “When a girl is born they have a ‘dicho’ (saying) that ‘es comida para los perros’ which basically means ‘food for the dogs’. When a boy is born they say ‘se ganó la gallina,’ which literally is ‘the chicken won,’ but actually means ‘it’s time to kill a chicken to cook for a celebration’.”
The group appreciated the teaching from Genesis 1:27 that specifically points out that the image of God in humans requires both male and female. None of them had ever thought it was the church’s responsibility to come against this cultural lie. Identifying this cultural lie and others like it has been a huge step forward for these churches.
At the end of the class the pastors were given reading material to take home. They loved the lesson and learned a lot. “They were so excited and so thankful and very, very eager for the next lesson!” Matt said.
Matt continues to teach the local pastors, and they in turn continue to disciple their flocks at the level of culture.
Please pray for the Zells and the pastors as they pray and work to see God’s kingdom come to their villages in rural Honduras.
*Another voice-over project is now underway in Latin America to audio-dub all of the Basics Course in a form that will be shared across the Spanish-speaking world.