More About Us
We hope as you read more about Gary and Cheryl on this page you will see deeper into their hearts. Not only will you be able to see that they are an everyday couple but you will also see how God has used their simple obedience to His call to touch the lives of multiple people in Honderas and in America. Many Honderans have been brought to Christ; medical needs met; a church plant begun; and vocational training to enable the people to support themselves. However, the Kuney’s ministry has reached beyond Honduras. They are inspiring others in America to realize what a big God they serve. As you read their testimony of God’s call and moving in their lives, we hope you will join the many others who are encouraged to believe and experience the great God they serve.
Gary and Cheryl with their two sons, Michael and Jeffrey.
If someone had said, “I want you to go to Honduras alone and head up a construction project, work with lawyers and developers who don’t speak English, preach in Spanish, give shots and pull teeth—alone–I would have said no way. I intended to be only a helper in mission work.
This is a testimony about the simple quiet voice of God calling us to do His incredible work. He directs our lives in such a way to demonstrate His truths and let us see and experience His power. Just to know the Word without living it is like knowing and memorizing a recipe while never making and eating the food. One can starve to death by reading, listening but never eating. What we did in 1999 gave us an unusual perspective of tasting God’s challenge to surrender all to Him. That we are something special….that would be flattering, but it is not true. If the Great Commission took ‘special people’ then it would never be accomplished. God says, ‘give it all.” The devil is still in the background saying, “Hath God really said?” You can still fulfill the Great Commission and pursue your career/success/financial freedom at the same time. I think it has been said many times, “God, please let me become wealthy so I can give more to the church, missions.” It will never happen. We have it all wrong. We are seeking blessings by receiving–buying, accomplishing, attention, comfort. God says it is more blessed to give than to receive. The Christian is born to give it all for the cause of Christ. That is what I was born to do.
At the beginning of 1999, we were not thinking of becoming missionaries. I had a good job that I loved in management at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, OK. We lived in the same neighborhood for 35 years; had a great church; happy kids; and looking to retirement and the ‘good life.’ However, three things were happening: Cheryl and I began to pray more together; we were attending an inspiring seminar; and I was beginning to realize that if I did not do something to make a change, I could spend the rest of my life going to work and coming home every day…(what is a rut? a grave with both ends knocked out) I began to sense that if I had stayed doing what I always did, I would have died spiritually. I would have gone to heaven but was that the only goal of life? I had always been interested in Latin America off and on for years. Cheryl and I took vacation days during those beginning months to pray at our church and ‘be still and hear God.’ God began stirring our hearts telling us He had an exceedingly abundant job for us. On March 31, 1999, I told the Lord in prayer that I would be willing to do anything He asked; that very same week, doors opened from a ministry which needed help in Honduras.
We sought counsel from our spiritual authorities and pastor. Within a short period of time, all confirmed God’s call on our lives to serve Him in Honduras. We burned our bridges. We sold our home; I resigned my job. Looking back, I know that if I had had a line of retreat the first three years, we might have taken the clear line of retreat. I came to Honduras at the age of 56. Some people hear how we sold our home; I quit my job; and we moved our family to a third world country and say that we are special and had a special call. It used to be when I heard someone give a testimony like ours, I thought they were something special. Having done as we have done the past 7 years, I have come to believe there are no special ones. And with that, there is no reason for us to be prideful about what we have done. If everyone continues to do what they have always done, we will not fulfill the Great Commission. At the end of the day the people of Seis de Mayo will have received a lot, but not as much as we. Yes, there is great delight in receiving God’s blessing but there is ecstasy in the sacrificial life. Each of us has 24 hours and we are going to spend them all. The question is…how will we spend them? Prayer or TV? How grateful I am to experience God’s abundant journey here in Honduras for which I was called to do!
I was raised in a home where I remember Dad sitting around the table with others pouring over the Scriptures. Eventually, my parents were called to begin a church in Fostoria, Ohio. They left their family, work, friends and invested most of their home equity into the work which included some impoverished people. This has been a lasting example to me years later as we left our home, work and family in Tulsa to come to the mission field in Honduras.
I was a full time home-schooling mother of five, volunteer for our church and we were both involved in several charitable organizations in Tulsa. Even with all this service we felt that we had not yet realized what it meant to surrender all to Christ. Gary started taking vacation days for us to spend those days in prayer before the Lord. It was from those times that brought us to the place that we were willing to sell all and come to Honduras. I must say this has been one of the most difficult times for our family and we have experienced several life changing events. It has also been one of the most glorious times with our Christ. He has truly shown us Himself in ways we have not known earlier. I am blessed to be a part of God’s incredible work in Honduras.
Jennifer and her husband, Marco
Living in Oklahoma
Maris and her Husband, Ben
Living in California
Song writer; attending University in California
Graduated high school in 2008; attending university
11th grade home school
Mission Board for Gathering Hearts:
- Tom and Janet Hagen (layman businessman)
- Lynnell Fields (Missionary in Honduras – 18 years)
- Rev. Doug and Lisa Johnson (Associate pastor of Baptist Chapel)
- Rev. Steve and Barbara Johnson (Pastor of Baptist Chapel)
- Frieda Longstaff (Cheryl’s mother and retired pastor’s wife)
- Bret and Bette Snipes (layman businessman)
- Jim and Pat Ward (layman businessman)