Mission UpReach began when Phil and Donna Waldron, along with their two youngest teenage children, Harrison and Laura, moved to Santa Rosa de Copán, where MUR is located, and began working with local churches of Christ in the western highlands of Honduras. Phil began traveling back and forth from the USA to Honduras in July of 2008, making preparations for the family’s move in June of 2009. It took almost an entire year to get everything prepared and to raise the money needed to begin the work. In those days, it was just the Waldron family doing everything but things began to happen quickly and it wasn’t long before there was a team of people from Honduras that were working side by side with them in serving the communities in their area.
MUR is laser focused on educating and equipping individuals to be all that God the Creator intended them to be when He made the first man and woman as His image bearers. Whether it is our DESEO values education program that is taught in the public schools, our CREO/CRESCO Christian leadership training academies, our ESPERO school for deaf adults or the Moses Project which trains young men from poor families in sustainable agriculture; everything that we do is tailored towards producing a whole new generation of leaders that will transform their families and their communities from the inside out. Honduras is a nation facing overwhelming difficulties. The challenges of poverty and systemic corruption have produced a life of desperation for the majority. MUR, in the name of Jesus, is helping to provide hope for today and a future for tomorrow and education, access to economic opportunity, spiritual formation and more are the outcomes that result.
Roll forward to some point in the distant future, say 20 years from now, and what you will see in Western Honduras is a wave of change beginning to take place. There is a generation of a new type of leader in the communities where MUR has been working for these past decades. There is hope in the air that comes from people having confidence in their leaders being concerned about their wellbeing and the wellbeing of their children. Gone is the desperation that comes from not being able to provide for your family economically and not being able to trust the community leaders to honestly safeguard your wellbeing. No longer does every man and every woman dream of going to the United States illegally just so that they can provide an economic future for themselves and their children. Here, because of the equipping and training that MUR has provided, there are jobs and economic opportunities provided by entrepreneurs and businesspeople from within their own community. Here there are churches led by these same individuals who know that Jesus is Lord of All and that access to the Abundant Life promised in John 10:10 is through responsible stewardship that permeates every single aspect of one’s life. That, is the future we are working towards.
Roll forward the events of seven years, and a wave of transformation is occurring in Christ’s church in this region. In the process of identifying and developing Christian leaders, collaborative efforts to provide healthcare, education, counseling, and vocational training have been initiated; but our core ministry is and always will be church development. Community relationships gained through our support ministries engage individuals to join our church leadership development and discipleship courses. These programs provide the training needed to build self-sustaining congregations of Christ’s church as the vessel for hope in each community. We refer to the impressive growth we are witnessing as The John 1010 Generation – with the goal to develop local leaders to launch 1010 self-led, self- sustaining, and self-replicating congregations in and around Western Honduras in this generation, and so that “they will have life and have it to the fullest”. (John 10:10).