The moment our many feet hit the ground in Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras, the mission began: to reach the lost at any cost. With unrelenting faith, we extended our presence to another corner of the earth to minister for 14 days, in 6 cities, through free concerts and various compassion ministries.
This was a unique trip for Christafari. It was the very first mission trip that we opened up to the public. This meant that we had a larger team than ever. There was a total of twenty on the trip, including five newbies that had never been on a mission trip before! On this trip, God truly demonstrated what He can do with hearts of servitude. With personal testimonies, we connected with each other and the communities in this country. Hearts were opened, souls stretched and through our own sacrifice of comfort, over 6,000 people found comfort in the decision to follow Christ.
Day 1 : Evangelism in Tegucigalpa Barrio
The first day in Honduras, our mission team visited a major ghetto controlled by a local gang in Tegucigalpa to engage in door-to-door evangelism. There were several ministries that partnered with us to bring doctors and dentists to provide free medical care to the residents. Our team set out through the dirt and broken concrete streets, knocking at each door to offer prayer.
“We act as vessels; as the hands and feet of God, working to display Christ-like love and reunite souls with Christ.” -Taryn King
Several residents invited our team into their humble homes, but greater than this, Jesus Christ was welcomed into the hearts of four people. We were blown away when God used our hearts of servitude to bring Jesus to these people right in their very own living rooms.
“[My personal highlight was] When we did the street ministry in the barrio/ghetto. Knocking door to door and praying for peoples’ needs and leading them to Christ” -Torie Hoopii
Following prayer throughout the neighborhood, the band performed in the middle of the ghetto.This was our first show done entirely in Spanish in a long time. So preparation and performance was a challenge. As we started to play, residents gathered and danced in the streets, while holding umbrellas and pieces of cardboard over their heads to protect themselves from the scorching sun.
This was our first concert of the trip and 40 people stepped forward to accept Christ and were helped by counselors.
The second that the concert was over, we began hearing reports of what the Lord had done through our ministry.
Five alcoholics had given their lives to Christ and had the desire to get sober. The believers and the local churches immediately collected money to send all of the men to rehab. So we had the opportunity to pray over them before they checked into rehab and took the next step toward transformation.
After the concert, our team was informed that the gang leaders who had given us permission to enter and minister in the barrio/neighborhood wanted to meet privately. They wanted me to pray for safety and God’s blessing for their gang. I couldn’t condone their activities. So instead, I lovingly led them all to Christ. With tears in their eyes, they accepted Jesus into their lives. We would end up seeing them a week later when we returned to the city for our final show. There was a noticeable change about their spirit.
Day 2 : Reaching the Untouched Through Compassion and Testimony
We jump-started this day with a live television interview on the biggest station in the city. People were perplexed about our mission trip. They couldn’t believe that we had come to Honduras to minister for free. It was awesome to be able to share God’s heart for missions and the lost on live TV.
In the midst of the majestic mountains of Tegucigalpa lies the city trash dump. It is more than just a space dedicated to discarded waste, scattered with forsaken scraps of garbage, and buzzing with hundreds of vultures circling over head. The trash dump is a home and treasure ground for many Hondurans. They live scavenging through the garbage for food and sustenance.
“The second we arrived I was overwhelmed by the stench and then sharply aware of God’s heart for the untouchables” -Mark Mohr
Entering into the trash dump, the first noticeable thing aside from the smell of filth at every turn was the emptiness. Such desolation is seen when scanning the horizon, looking over the hills of refuse. It is an oasis of sorts. An oasis of souls often overlooked and waiting to be touched.
On day two we did exactly that: reached out to touch the untouchables. It was a humbling moment and took great faith to lay down our own concerns for sanitation, and meet this group where they were: in the filth of a trash dump. But we became a reflection of Jesus and His ministry. Jesus went among those considered untouchable and restored them.
We surprised the people of the trash dump with 200 slices of pizza offered to hopeful hands extended, as well as soda and clothing. And we gave some special stuffed animals and toys to the kids. The responses of joy and gratitude were priceless.
“Generous people will be blessed, because they share their food with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9
As the people from the village of trash began to pour around our team, I was asked to share words. I began my normal presentation of the gospel, but in that moment, the Lord stopped me. He placed another message in my heart. I shared how much God values them, despite the condition of where they live.
“The same way that they search through trash all day long to find something of value, while the world may see them as trash, Christ sees in them a treasure. And He values them so much that He gave His life for them.” – Mark Mohr
The greatest thing shared here, without doubt, was hope through the gospel and a warm invitation to know Christ, to which 60 calloused and begrimed hands raised to accept.
After sharing compassion at the city dump, we visited a church in a nearby barrio/neighborhood, which was founded with the primary goal of shepherding youth in the community. It was incredible to see a large group of youth open their minds and hearts to receive from the missions team. 80% of the youth in attendance were first-time guests. Our mission team members each shared testimonies written on a single piece of cardboard, exposing pasts that dealt with drug addictions, suicide, sexual abuse, abortion, divorce, fear, doubt and depression. On the other side, they wrote how Christ brought them salvation. Furthermore, I had them translate these words and share in Spanish. It was definitely a stretch for everyone on the team to share in a foreign language.
In our vulnerability, we showed that we are now over-comers through Christ and God received all the glory. These testimonies revealed the hope and salvation each of us found in Jesus Christ. We must never forget how one’s story can inspire and incite transformation in another life. That night, 70 young people boldly stood on stage, displaying a desire to accept Jesus into their lives. Many of them had never stepped into the church before.
Day 3 : Prayer for the Sick in San Pedro Sula
We drove four hours from Tegucigalpa, rolling around mountains and through small towns of tiny tin shacks, tucked between the trees of hillsides. The destination was San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in Honduras.
We stayed in the houses of wealthy business owners and a missions compound. The homes were swallowed within large walls, wrapped with barbed wire at the tip top. At the doors, three guys stood guard with guns secured at their sides. When asked why, the owners informed that, outside of a war zone, San Pedro Sula is the “most dangerous city in the world”! In the last few years, the city has even surpassed the murder rate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. This was not the most comforting information, but an illustration of a great need for prayers and the sharing of Christ in this city. We had come to do exactly that.
“I have made you a light for the other nations, to show people all over the world the way to be saved.” -Acts 13:47
For our team, it became a great test but we kept our faith complete in the Lord. We continued to trust Him for protection while traveling the dangerous streets of San Pedro Sula.
We were also extremely grateful for the provisions He granted through the generosity of the home owners.
Sheltered in the wings of God, some of our team members travelled to a local dialysis center to send out prayers for the health needs of many weakened patients.
It was explained, by one of the local coordinators working with us, that many Hondurans in need of critical healthcare don’t receive adequate attention or any at all due to the costs.
It was powerful to join hands with the dialysis patients as they arrived to the health center and remind them of the love and power found in Christ. The hum of prayers in Spanish and English collided into one dynamic symphony of faith, love and hope. It was a segment of time, like many others during this trip, that displayed the unity that Christ brings into this world. Such a union that reaches across culture and language barriers.
Afterwards, the team was welcomed at Hospital Mario Catarino Rivas to visit with patients in the cancer ward. The many smiles welcoming the team were warming. There was much gratitude shown for the time we gave to share our presence with families, yet we also had much gratitude for being allowed to share our faith. Our hearts became heavy seeing children from ages 2 – 11 in such weakened states from battling cancer. Yet, to have the opportunity, in their hurting moments, to share hope and remind them of the confidence and the never failing comfort that is found in Christ was a great reward.
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick” James 5:15
Visiting hours came to a close and our work continued without pause. We took the stage for the first time in San Pedro Sula, before a crowd of thousands. Bombarded by press and fans, we were humbled to find how the name and reputation of our ministry precedes itself.
The energy and passion of the crowd was high. A sea of hands waved before the stage, as people chanted throughout the concert for “Hosanna”. We finally ended the night with that song:
Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the hi-ighest!
This was the perfect end note after witnessing 60 decisions for Christ and another moment of His name being lifted to the highest.
Day 4 and 5 : Until all have heard: From El Progreso to Tela
These two days passed more like a typical tour for Christafari. El Progreso was the location for the concert of day four. Before the concert, some members from the team passed through barrio de Suyapa (neighborhood of Suyapa) and invited the locals to attend.
“[My highlight was] Watching the holy spirit move through each team member with their specific gifts, with the end result being people giving their lives to Jesus and knowing their lives will never be the same” – Georgina Verzal, Evangelist/Spanish Interpreter
The fifth day we arrived in Tela after 2 hours on the bumpy roads of Honduras. The concert was located on the beautiful shore of the Caribbean Sea, filled with crisp white sand and scattered with coconut trees. This was our first time seeing the coast of Honduras. When we walk by faith and commit ourselves to completing the work Jesus assigned, the journey and all of the sights are amazing.
Nearly 500 decisions for Christ were made in these two nights.
Day 6: Ministering to Youth in La Ceiba
After a late night on the road traveling from Tela to La Ceiba, the day began with youth ministry. At the first school, over 300 students presented themselves to Christ after hearing the testimonies of some of our team members and others. Cliff aka DJ CXR, one of the missionaries on our team, shared his testimony of finding salvation at a Christafari concert 25 years ago!
Our team was then blessed to share lunch at Heaven’s Door, a local Christian school. The team also shared time and space with the students as we taught them a new song, danced and played basketball.
Every day on the mission field is full of surprises. The pastor of Heaven’s Door shared that since teenage pregnancy is rampant in Honduras, they are filming a movie to combat the issue from a Christian perspective. It was requested that one of Christafari’s songs, “El Amor De Mi Vida”(Love of My Life), be used in the film. I was also asked to play a small role in the film! You can never know what to expect, but be sure the experience is always grand.
The Pastor of the school also leads one of the most influential churches in the country, and is also a popular singer. He graced the stage as our opening act for the concert in La Ceiba, which was one of the largest crowds, seeing as many as 1,000 hands raised to Christ during the altar call.
Day 7 : Welcome to the Island of Roatan
The day began early, which isn’t fun for musicians after a late night of ministering from a stage encased in the heat. We drove to the dock to catch an hour and a half boat ride to Roatan, our next site for ministry.
Roatan is a Caribbean island off the coast of Honduras, formerly controlled by the British before giving it to Honduras during a trade agreement. Due to this history, residents of the island speak both English and Spanish.
The boat ride was long and some of the team members suffered from sea sickness due to the rocky boat ride. Eventually we reached the shore of Roatan, which was a great relief to us all. There we were greeted by Pastor Tristan, the head of an association of pastors on the island. We learned from the pastor, that there was resistance, at first, to the idea of a gospel Reggae event. It is common for people to associate Reggae and dreadlocks with marijuana and the Rastafari movement, instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ and salvation. We were pleased for the opportunity to break that stereotype and demonstrate that there can be many different faces of ministry and worship, yet it is all still praise to the King.
Day 8 : Ministering in Roatan
Our team made a visit to Children’s Palace Bilingual School to minister to the students. A group of children ranging from 4 to 16 gathered in seats placed around a rickety wooden stage and set their attention on our team. From that stage we shared testimonies, we sang, we shared the gospel and we danced. They were especially drawn to Kenny Moreno, our sound engineer, who is a genuine doppleganger for the actor that plays Thor in the Avengers films.
From that same rickety stage, we also saw nearly 60 youthful hands raised to accept Jesus Christ. This is a light for the future.
It was such a blessing to see an even larger crowd at the concert for this night. As the team traveled from city to city, the response grew larger each time. The growing response blew us away. Thousands showed up at the concert in Roatan and nearly 1000 raised their hands to accept Jesus during the altar call.
Day 9 : Sabbath Day in the Mission Field
After eight days of work, we were blessed with an entire day of rest. This was one of those rare moments found on the missions field: a genuine day off in paradise. Our team had been running ragged since day one.
The highlight of this day was five people being baptized on a lovely beach in Roatan. Two of the people on our team actually came to Christ at Christafari concerts years ago, so it was a privilege that I was able to baptize them.
Mark baptizing five people in the warm Carrbbean. Two of them came to Christ at the band’s concerts.
People had the chance to hear stories of lives forever changed before each person was submersed. During the baptisms, there was a surprise for our team. A lady witnessing the demonstrations for Christ, was moved by the testimonies on the beach and came forward requesting to be baptized also. Her spirit was so moved, that she made a decision to follow Jesus that day without hesitation.
Day 10 – Travelling Day Back to Tegucigalpa
Across the sea, through valleys, and around mountains we traveled. There are definitely many hills and valleys in Honduras, which we got to see plenty of in our traveling. We spent an hour and a half on boat and eight hours on the road, making our way back to Tegucigalpa for a final concert to end this mission trip.
There were some mishaps along the way. Some of our ministry partners got lost at sea for three hours while traveling back to the mainland from Roatan on a small passenger boat. Then, during the last stretch of the journey, one of the trucks carrying stage and sound equipment had a tire blow out. It was fun dealing with such incidents, yet we were grateful that no one was injured. It could have been deadly, so we thanked God for the safe travels and for a safe arrival in Tegucigalpa.
Day 11 : Final Concert in Tegucigalpa
Most of the events were coordinated by Stereo Amor, a Christian radio station in Tegucigalpa. These events were centered around one major event, which was this final concert in the city.
It was the largest crowd, as a sea of over 6,000 people swelled around the stage. And the response to salvation was incredible with an estimated 3,000 people accepting Christ.
One of the noteworthy events that took place on stage, was the sharing about the inspiration behind the song “Love of My Life”. The song was written from three different perspectives: someone waiting for the love of their life, someone marrying the love of their life, and someone being married happily ever after to the love of their life. Each night, I would share the story of our guitarist Solomon and his wife Jacquie, our saxophonist, both marrying as virgins. The people were astonished that Solomon would wait until he was 35. It was nice to give a positive example of abstinence in a society that is plagued with teenage promiscuity. Each night, I emphasized to the audience that if you’ve made mistakes in the past, Jesus can cleanse you and make you pure from that day forward. The song is still a hit in Honduras after placing number one in eleven Central American countries for forty weeks straight!
Day 12 : Final Day in Honduras – Reflection
The final day in Honduras, our team took a quick trip to Valley of the Angels to explore handmade crafts. We finally had the opportunity to pick up some gifts for our supporters as a special “Thank You” for sending us on this incredible journey.
It was like summer camp during the nights spent in Tegucigalpa at the mission house. It was a great time of bonding for the team members and with the local church hosting us. One of the nights, the youth group from the Nazarene church raised support to feed us dinner. We were extremely honored and grateful for the time and energy given by the youth.
As a way to reciprocate, we hosted a free concert for the youth. There were around 150 in attendance and all very grateful to experience the intimate show given right above our lodging facility. Obie, our lead guitarist, led the entire gospel presentation. It was incredible to see God use him as a vessel to reach lives through his testimony of purity and waiting for marriage. Around 80 youth declared they were all in for Christ this final night.
After twelve days in Honduras, we spent the last night together preparing each of the missionaries on our team for reentry to their home countries. A debrief is necessary at the end of any missions trip because it can be difficult to assimilate back to American culture after eyes have been opened to a very different way of life.
We encouraged them to be a positive catalyst for others to take action and get involved in mission work. It is our hope that our work as musicianaries encourages others to use their talents and testimonies to continue the mission that Jesus assigned to is us all:
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” -Mark 16:15
Will you prayerfully consider partnering with us to help make future trips like this possible by donating to our ministry? Or are you interested in joining us on our next mission trip?
If so, then please visit www.Christafari.com today.