Cristo Salva, a ministry recognized by the Advent Christian General Conference of America as an Associate Member, is very heavily supported by Advent Christian churches in the United States and by fellowships of other denominations, and has a long history of social service and evangelism in the rural “Department” of Santa Barbara, which is in the north-west of Honduras
The ministry began in 1991 when the Rev. Ray Marco, who was then and still is, the Pastor of the Advent Christian Church in Miami, Florida, responded to an invitation from one of his church members to go to Honduras to pray for a member of his family who was suffering from cancer. While there, Rev. Ray was asked to share the gospel with the people in the little village where the lady lived. That was the birth of a ministry which has developed into a partnership with local churches, schools and service providers. For many years, three teams annually, made up primarily of teens and adults from Advent Christian churches throughout the United States, have travelled to Honduras to participate in the ministry’s activities.
Cristo Salva’s website (www.cristosalva.org) gives the following information about Honduras…
“Serving The Poorest of the Poor…
Honduras is the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere
- 53% of the population lives in extreme poverty. Most families live on less than US$2 per day.
- 22% of all residents are undernourished.
- The Northwest region of Honduras where we serve has the highest concentration of poverty.
- The national unemployment rate is 65% and is known to be much higher in our service area.
- Many men leave their families to find work but do not return, leaving women to raise a family alone.
- Clean water is scarce in the poorest areas, opening the door to parasitic infections.
- There is no welfare system or access to medical care for the poor.”
Their Statement of Purpose reads…
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Cristo Salva is a “Ministry of Encouragement” whose purpose is to continue the work Jesus began during His life on earth, when He went about healing the sick, feeding the hungry, opening the eyes of the blind and preaching the gospel of the kingdom to the Nations.
The vison of Cristo Salva “Ministry of Encouragement” includes:
- Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, praying for the sick and presenting the message of the gospel to any and all who would listen.
- Equipping and encouraging Christians to reach the unreached in other lands and cultures with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Equipping and sending short-term missionaries to learn about and encourage other believers.
- Bringing an awareness of the body of Christ in other lands and cultures by providing opportunities to witness, share and fellowship with other believers.
- Establishing and maintaining fellowship with other Christians.
- Mobilizing Christians to catch a world vision and to obey the Great Commission.”
Today Cristo Salva addresses medical needs through mobile clinics, a fully equipped health and dental clinic complete with a pharmacy. Food distribution to the poorest of families opens the door to what is called Hut to Hut evangelism. Vitamins and nutritional supplements are distributed annually to 50,000 children. Working with the schools, Cristo Salva identiifies the most needy students and offers assistance to them through the Student Sponsorship Program. Over 300 children are presently being served by the provision of school supplies and uniforms each year for the students. During the visit in January individual pictures of all the students are taken and they are presented with a backpack filled with the needed supplies. Children are measured for the required uniforms which are purchased and distributed during the January trip.
Retired ACGC Executive Director Rev. Ron Thomas, who has been a member of over 30 teams since his first trip to Honduras in 1993, and his wife Jan have recently accepted the responsibility for the administration of the Student Sponsorship Program of Cristo Salva. After the January team visit, they begin the process of finding and communicating with sponsors and from time to time they send the sponsors updates and photos of the child or children they sponsor.
Please pray for this ministry, for Rev. Ray Marco, who currently is receiving treatment for esophageal carcinoma, and for his wife Ledy; for Rev. Ron Thomas and his wife Jan; for those who volunteer for the three annual teams which travel from the USA to minister, and for those in Honduras who serve the Lord there on a day by day basis on behalf of Cristo Salva.