Local missionaries avoid Honduran unrest

Pastor Dilbeck
Pastor Dilbeck

Posted by: Mark Bullock - bio | email

PIKE ROAD, AL (WSFA) - A government coup is prompting protests in Honduras. The country's president was removed from office on Sunday. Since then, demonstrations have often turned violent.

Amid the chaos is a group of church members from Alabama on a mission to help children.

"We've never experienced anything like this," said Pastor Tim Dilbeck of Pike Road Baptist Church.

Dilbeck says 20 members of his congregation are in the region working with Forgotten Children Ministries, a Tennessee-based organization that witnesses to homeless orphans.

"They take them off the streets, share Christ with them, bring them in to a shelter type situation, then basically on to a boy's farm," Dilbeck explained.

However, the very day the group arrived, violence broke out in the nation's capital. It started when government officials ordered the ousting of President Manuel Zelaya, who is accused of trying to alter the country's constitution to extend his rule.

Speaking to the United Nations Tuesday, Zelaya condemned the coup and promised to regain power. Many western nations promised their support.

"The region has made enormous progress over the last 20 years," said President Barrack Obama. "We don't want to go back to a dark past."

This isn't the first time Pike Road Baptist Church has sent missionaries to Honduras. The pastor says he's confident his team is safe.

"They have seen no troops, no lock downs," Dilbeck said.

The Pike Road group is in a suburb of the capital and miles away from any violence. Dilbeck's 18-year-old son, Hamilton, told his father by phone the group was ok.

"I asked him how was it, and he said it's intense, but it will all be ok," Dilbeck recalled.

The group could still run into problems. Their return flight isn't scheduled until Friday. President Zelaya has promised to return to his country on Friday and the interim president has vowed he will not step down.

Pastor Dilbeck is asking for everyone's prayers.

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