from Gary and Cheryl Kuney
At the beginning of 1999 the Kuneys were not planning to become missionaries. They had raised their five children in Oklahoma, and planned to remain there. However, during that year they felt God calling and by the end of the year the entire family, except for one daughter, had moved to San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
There has been great excitement in seeing the Lord change the hearts and lives of individuals who are searching for truth. It is equally thrilling to see how Christians that come on short mission trips are challenged to continue sharing Christ’s message of love and hope when they return home.
In summary, the Kuneys want to help young Honduran men and women learn a trade so that they can earn a living. But experience has shown that is not enough. To be fulfilled they must come to Christ and learn how to apply Biblical truths to their lives. The Kuneys have found that in order for these new converts to be discipled, church development is essential. Gary works with the village churches to unite the pastors and help develop them to win the villages.
Many of the men in local villages speak of the “American Dream” and will risk their lives, and abandon their families in order to experience it. On many occasions Gary has said in public, “There is no American Dream”; it’s “God’s Dream” and you can experience it here in Honduras as well as the United States.” The Kuneys desire is to have opportinity bring as many as possible to that realization.
Your gifts, prayers, and service are all a part of this ministry! We thank God for all of our friends who share our burden for gathering hearts for Christ in Honduras.
from meeting medical needs to teaching a trade
From the beginning it became apparent that there were many single women in the villages who were in desperate need of learning a skill so that they could support themselves and their children. To adress that need, in 2001, the Kuneys began a sewing school. The many graduates since then attest to the success of the program. From the beginning, tuition for the sewing class was attendance at a daily Bible class with the goal of equipping the students for a successful and satisfying life.
Also in 2001 a Christmas Box project was begun. Each year since then Baptist Chapel Church in Oklahoma, with the help of other local churches, has packed and sent to Gathering Hearts nearly 1000 Christmas boxes. Each child in the designated villages receives a box with a toy, personal hygiene items, school supplies, a snack, clothing, and a presentation of the Gospel, designed by two Baptist Chapel young people. Hundreds of children have come to expect this yearly gift and they ask about it all year long
Many medical and dental needs continue to go unmet in local villages. To address that need, Gathering Hearts has begun providing dental and medical help in the new clinic areas.
Just this year they have also begun offering vocational training which includes carpentry, welding and computer training. This has great appeal to a number of young people who might otherwise be drawn into gangs. Each of these classas, too, includes a compulsory Biblical study in addition to skills training.
At this time we are constructing a Conference Training Center and attached dormitory that can house up to thirty two people. This will enable short term mission teams to be able to stay on site, but also a bigger purpose is to have training for teams and local converts so that they can in turn reach out to their own people. In addition we hope to have the ability to provide online higher level education where the students could earn a diploma that would make them eligible for a seminary in Costa Rico.
We are also working on a production center. The purpose for a production center is to provide employment for the impoverished, especially single mothers. Many of these mothers are bused out of their villages to larger cities and work in factories. The down side is they leave their children unattended or with siblings who are often not old enough to keep constant care of the little ones. Some of the young boys are pressured to join a gang.
The owner of Carpentree Company in Tulsa, Ginny Hobson, met with Mauricio Meyer, general manager of the Landau Corporation, who offered his expertise in starting production.
The Landau Corporation has already donated commercial sewing machines and designer fabric has been sent down from the United States. We hope and pray that this will be a source of income for years to come for the people of these villages.Gathering Hearts
2220 West Oakridge
Broken Arrow, OK 74012