Erin Pettengill is a missionary in La Ceiba, Honduras through Mission to the World (MTW), the mission sending arm of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). I have been a Registered Nurse for over 18 years. My family and I have been here for over 5 years, and we are involved in Medical/Mercy Ministry, Street Children, prenatal classes, English classes, Kids Club, and Church Planting.
You may have already read the blog or letter from Mike announcing
our promotion with MTW. If not, I have included it in the bottom portion of
this blog. Basically, Mike has been promoted as the country director of
Honduras, and the Regional Director for Central America. Because of these
exciting job promotions, our personal ministry focus will change
I will use the experience I have gained as a nurse and clinic
director to help other MTW missionaries throughout Central America to
expand a medical/mercy program in their country. Therefore, I will not be
able to continue in my current position as director of medical/mercy
ministry of La Ceiba, Team Honduras. I am looking at turning all the
medical/mercy activities in La Ceiba to Dr. Roger Guillen. In the almost 7
years we have been in La Ceiba, we have hosted well over 500 mobile medical
clinics, hosted more than 25 medical brigades and have seen more than
12,000 patients. I want to see the ministry in La Ceiba thrive and grow
through the continuation of hosting medical brigades, mobile clinics, and
seeing patients at our permanent clinic. As a matter of fact, we are hoping
to open a second permanent clinic in downtown La Ceiba within the next
In order to continue giving quality health care at an
affordable price to the poorest of the poor, Dr. Roger’s salary cannot be
supported with the revenue generated from the clinic alone. For almost
three years, I have relied upon one-time donations to provide a salary for
Dr. Roger. I am hoping to fund Dr. Roger’s salary through monthly
contributions to the Armenia Bonito clinic. The salary will be overseen by
John Clow, the new MTW Team Leader in La Ceiba.
What do I need: to continue having Roger work in a part-time
capacity, I need an annual salary of $18,200, which equates to a monthly
need of $1,517. My desire would be for him to work full-time in order to
oversee all our medical/mercy ministries in La Ceiba. This would obviously
require additional funds.
Please let me know if you have any questions or need
clarification. If you would like to support Dr. Roger, you can click on the
link above and then let me know of your contribution. In this way I will be
able to keep track of the funds that come in for Dr. Roger’s salary. In
addition, if you know of any other person who would be interested in
supporting this ministry, please feel free to forward this e-mail on to
Medical/Mercy Ministries, Central America
Dear Friends and
We have some
wonderful news. Mike has taken a new job with MTW. In fact, Mike has taken two new jobs with MTW. Starting
January 1st, 2015, Mike will be the Country Director for
Honduras and the Regional Director for Central America.
We pray the
information bellow answers some of the questions you may have:
Where will you
We will continue to live in Honduras, but we will be moving closer to the
city of Tegucigalpa to be nearer to an international airport.
Are you still
Yes. We will remain missionaries by any definition of the word. We will
continue to live in Honduras and bring God’s glory in a cross-cultural
setting to Latinos living throughout Central America.
Are you still with
Yes. We appreciate and value the support given to us over the past seven
years from Mission To the World (MTW). Our new work is within the
leadership team of MTW.
What exactly will
Mike will continue to work with our two mission teams in Honduras, the
existing team La Ceiba and our new team in Tegucigalpa. Mike will work with
the existing MTW missionary teams in Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Mike
will also work toward starting new MTW mission teams where there are
currently none: El Salvador and Guatemala.
What exactly will
Erin will take the vast knowledge she has acquired as a Registered Nurse
for 19 years and as a missionary nurse for seven years and use that to
create and expand medical and mercy ministries throughout Central America.
She will serve and counsel the missionary wives and mothers in the region.
Erin will also have an expanded role in
evaluating new missionaries for their readiness to serve on the field.
What happens to
the other missionaries in Honduras? John Clow will be the new Team Leader of the
missionaries in La Ceiba, Honduras. John and Kathy Clow have labored in
Honduras for four years and as missionaries in Latin America for over 10
years. We are thrilled to place God’s work into their capable hands. Under
our guidance, the Halbert and Marlowe families are starting a new church planting
team in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
What about the
ministries in La Ceiba?
The 12 other adults missionaries in La Ceiba, Honduras are beyond capable
of running all the ministries we started together. There are no plans to do
anything other than watch God grow the work he has started under us.
When we arrived in Honduras almost seven years ago there was no
MTW/Presbyterian presence in Honduras. Since then we have added a high
school, medical clinic, four churches, a StreetKids ministry and a home of
single teenage moms. Our team has hosted 758 short-term missionaries and 25
interns. We have discipled pastors, educated children, fed the hungry,
clothed the naked and loved the unlovable. We want to bring that same vision
and experience to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala and
expand it in Honduras.
Do you still need
Yes. Now, more than ever we need the financial partnership of our
individual and church supporters. In fact, we need more finances to cover
our increased travel expenses. If you are not a current financial
supporter, please prayerfully consider partnering with us to impact Central
America by making a tax-deductible, credit/debit card contribution HERE.
How can we pray
This new work is exciting and very scary. Please pray for the following:
Mike and Erin have the
boldness found only in Christ to do all that is set before them.
The new missionaries we
work with throughout Central America embrace our leadership.
The team and ministries we
are leaving in La Ceiba flourish under the new leadership of John and
Our marriage is
strengthened and we grow closer to the Lord as we step into the stress
and uncertainty of the future.
We pray you are as
excited about this new chapter in our missions journey together as we are.
Our blogs, twitter, Facebook, YouTube and monthly e-mails will continue as they have. You will continue to be informed
on how you can be a part of what God is doing through us. If you have any
additional questions please e-mail Mike directly by clicking HERE.
It is exhilarating
to imagine how God will use us throughout Central America.
Mike & Erin
Missionaries to Central America
Big changes are on the horizon for the Pettengill family. Mike has received a promotion and is the new Regional Director for Central America. This is going to require a lot of changes for us - please see Mike's blog for the entire scoop.
Every four years all the missionaries from Latin America get together in a different location. This time we are going to be in the Dominican Republic for the week. It is a time of re-connecting with each other, be spiritually refreshed, attend some break out sessions, and even time to hang out and lay in the sun. Normally all family members are invited, but with this being Madison's first semester in college, we felt we couldn't take her out and miss an entire week of school. So - it will just be Mike and myself meeting up with the rest of Team Honduras in the Dominican Republic.
I have been asked to give a presentation of the work in Honduras. This is a great opportunity to share with everyone else what God is doing in Honduras. Please pray for our time, and a chance to take a deep breath and find some rest in there too.
So Madison has successfully been in school for a month. She is THRIVING in school - excited to be in a classroom with students that actually want to learn. As she has been there, she has found things that she still "needs" and things she still "wants." If you want to bless her and send her something for college or for herself - here's the EASY way to do it. Click on the Amazon wishlist below, pick out a gift, and Checkout. No need to do anything else. The default address for her wishlist is straight to her college.
I have a missionary kid (MK), or as my daughter fondly calls it, a Kid Missionary. She has been out of her birth country for the majority of her growing up years. The Jr. High and High School years, the ones that have a lasting impact on her life. Yesterday I was sitting back and reflecting on what that meant for her and it made me ponder a few things.
I have been around a lot of MK's and I wonder if we treat them right. Do we allow them to be their own person or do we mold them to what we want them to be? These kiddos don't really have a place they call "home". Home is where they currently are living. If you ask an MK where they are from, you will get a quizzical answer with varied responses. Is where they are from where they were born? Where they went to school? Where they currently are?
In the U.S., if you have a child that has one or more parent from a country outside of the U.S., we pride ourselves in encouraging that child to understand where their genetic roots came from. We encourage them to celebrate activities, events and holidays from both their host country, and the country of their roots. We encourage language acquisition of both their host country and their origin country. I wonder then, why we give that all up when we go on the mission field? Why do we get so single minded in becoming so entrenched in our new host country that we abandon where we came from?
Let me give you some examples. Since I have been on the mission field I have traveled all over the world and met Mk's in places all over. We have regional retreats with missionaries and families from all over Latin America, and I have talked with many an MK. Just recently I spent some time with an MK getting ready to go back to the States, and when I asked this person what they were going to do after college the response was not surprising, "I will never stay in the U.S. After I graduate." It got me to wonder. Since when did it become the norm to instill if not hatred, but disdain for the U.S. To our MK's?
I did a quick, unofficial survey of MK's and found that many don't know the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, the US capitol, who the Vice President is, what we celebrate on the 4th of July, the meaning of Memorial Day vs Veterans Day, and much more. How many MK's know why we have stripes on the flag? What is the significance? Who is known for having crafted the flag, who were the founding fathers? I could go on, but I won't. It is okay to find fault with the U.S. Heck, I found fault when I lived there. I wonder when taking pride in your country became "uncool".
So let's lift up our MK's - love them for the unique people they are - encourage them that it's okay to be different, to not know how to answer the question "where are you from" - but also recognize the unique things that make them who they are - allow them to embrace ALL the countries they are from. Share their history with them.
When we dropped Madison off at college, the first few days of orientation were just for the international and missionary kids. When all was said and done, the announcer said to all the kids, "Now...take care...because tomorrow the American's arrive." It was funny, and we all laughed, because we acknowledge the uniqueness that our kids are - that Third Culture Kid - not a kid of one country or another, but unique in their own culture.
It is always a little odd to write about stuff while we are on furlough. It doesn't have the same appeal, excitement, or fun qualities as blogs while on the field. However, the reality is, every missionary goes on furlough (Home Mission Assignment - what our mission agency calls it). It is meant as a time to re-connect with family, friends, supporters, churches, and to remember what it means to be an American. For us, it also meant sending off our sweet daughter Madison to college. We had our first set of prayer cards made without her face on it. For us, it means a new season of life with lots of changes coming. It is also meant to be a time to rest.
Being on the front lines on the mission field is just outright exhausting. People forget about us. Through distance and time, we become a faded memory...so much of our support system slips away. Our family situations change, our parents age, and we just need to get caught up with where life has brought us.
I am starting a job in a few weeks - many reasons for this, the primary reason is to make us personally financially sound. I will be working in the field I love - pediatric hematology/oncology at an amazing hospital here in Phoenix - Phoenix Children's Hospital. The nurse manager seems really committed to making her department excellent - and that is the primary thing I look for in a unit - a place that is exceptional at what it does, and truly cares for the patients under their care. I will be working only 1 to 2 days a week. The other goal for these funds? To finally get Mike and I on a real vacation. We totally skipped our 20th wedding anniversary as we are always busy working with teams during the summer when we have our anniversary - so I am hoping this is a way to make up for some lost time. A church gave us some "seed" money for our vacation, and I will work to pay for the balance.
That's all for now...we will keep on keeping on...visiting churches, individual supporters, and hopefully a few visits with friends and family along the way (and maybe a baseball and/or football game in there too).