Back to main magazine page now!!

God Gave the Increase
By Evan & Carmen Williams
After we had served our Lord in the Gospel for
of us met to sing hymns and to study the Word
25 years, God clearly showed us His desire that
of God. The following week Carmen’s nephew
we should leave my native homeland in Ireland
joined us along with a neighbor. After that,
to serve Him in Santa Lucia, Honduras. Santa
new people came in every week until the house
Lucia is a rural township of 25,000, tucked up
could no longer hold the numbers.

in the mountains seven miles above the capital
In February 2009 we began meeting in a
city of Tegucigalpa. It was here God would
conference center in Santa Lucia and on our first
have us commence an independent Baptist
Sunday we had 21 people gather with us. On
church for His glory.

that date we started two Sunday school classes,
When we arrived in November 2008, we moved
one for the adults and young people together
in with Carmen’s parents in Tegucigalpa while
and the other for elementary age children led by
looking for a house and meeting place for our
Carmen. We also announced that we would be
future church in Santa Lucia. We felt it right to
meeting Thursday nights for Bible study back at
hit the ground running. On our first Sunday
my in-laws’ home, as the conference center was
in the country, we held church in the front
too expensive to rent for more days.

room of the home of Carmen’s parents. Due to
God continued to add to our numbers through
false doctrine, they had long since fallen out of
25 salvations and through the restoration of
church and were more than happy to have us
21 souls whose faith had grown cold and who
start our ministry there. The first week the four

had dropped out of church (Carmen’s parents
being two of them). This latter group joined
Carmen and me in becoming the founding
members who signed our church covenant
during our first anniversary Sunday, bringing
to full birth the very first New Testament local
Baptist church in Santa Lucia. The first thing
we did after the signing of the church covenant
was to baptize into membership 10 of the
converts God had given us, thus closing our
day of celebration of the goodness of God with
a total church membership of 33.

By 2010 Carmen and I realized that we needed
to find a new meetinghouse that would allow
us to have more Sunday school classes for
our growing congregation. In addition, we
sought to add a Sunday evening meeting, a
mid-week Bible study in Santa Lucia, and a
children’s Bible club on Saturday mornings.

God answered our prayers with the provision
of a low level two-bedroom home with a large
living/dining room space where we could hold
60 people comfortably for church. It also has
a long exterior porch that we can use as extra
meeting space if needed.

God has continued to bring needy souls our
way. Through our visitation program, we have
been able to reach over 132 souls for Christ!
We have started four other church plants,
another children’s club, and a Bible institute
for 10 students who want to train for ministry.

Just recently, The Lord has also given us the
preaching charge of a floundering church,
started in Tegucigalpa by a BIMI missionary
back in 1969; however, since his recent
homegoing, the church has fallen on hard times.

In all, our ministry now consists of 71 members
with another five due to be baptized in June of
this year. We are also reaching a total of 153
souls each week, which gives us an average
Sunday morning church attendance of 80,
twenty of whom have to be seated on the porch!
This has presented us with challenges beyond
our expectations. Even though believers are
growing stronger spiritually, they are not at
the stage to be given full-time ministry. How
are we to expand further without suffering
the infamous missionary burnout? God
was already working to provide answers to
this need. In May 2016 Miss Keren Burdick
came to join our ministry and her arrival
has greatly relieved much of the pressure
on Carmen and me. She has taken charge of
the financial bookkeeping and the Saturday
morning Children’s Club. She has started the
much needed ladies meeting as well as a third
Bible club for children. She has also been able
to spearhead new evangelistic ministries into
Number 2, 2017