Grace Bible Fellowship Church of Gunter has spent the past year raising money and preparing for a weeklong mission trip to Honduras. Ten women from the church will leave Feb. 18 for the Latin American country.

“Our goal is to come alongside the ‘Hope 4 Honduras’ organization,” Grace Bible Women’s Ministry leader Tinna Hood said. “For 16 years, ‘Hope 4 Honduras’ has shown the hope and love of Jesus Christ by providing food and housing to those devastated by Hurricane Mitch.”

The massive hurricane struck Honduras in October of 1998 according United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, and the Caribbean the storm left 5,657 dead, 12,275 injured and 8,058 missing as of 1999.

They also said that hundreds of thousands more were forced out of their homes. The nation is still recovering.

Providing aid on that path, and sharing Christ’s love along that way, is a calling that Grace Bible Fellowship Church of Gunter is embracing.

“We’ve been praying like crazy to earn funds to feed 300 families and to build a house,” Hood said. “By making 500 dozen tamales, with Rosa Hubert and her mother Dora shouldering much of the load, we held two tamale fund raisers. From those sales, plus a T-shirt campaign on Facebook and support letters we’ve sent out, we’ve raised $20,000.”

Groups providing aid through Hope 4 Honduras must send money in advance to pay for the aid they are providing, coupled with their own food and housing costs while there. In addition, volunteers are responsible for their own travel expenses.

“We will be sending $17,000 this week to cover the feeding of families, the house we’re building and our own food and shelter,” Hood said. “With the additional $3,000 we have raised, we are also providing bilingual curriculum for schools, a firewall for their internet and assisting with security costs for the organization we are partnering with.”

Hood added that her group will be joining Gunter High School graduate Megan Mezzorel, who has been working as a missionary in Honduras for the past year.

“Megan served as an intern with our youth until her departure time arrived in January 2017,” Hood said. “She shared memories with us from a short-term mission trip to Honduras she was previously on, and we watched her as she prayed about a longer commitment there. She has answered God’s call to that commitment, and we are eager to work with her when we arrive.”

The Grace Bible efforts to help Honduras have been supported by many in the area.

“They have bought T-shirts and tamales, and now they are bringing gummy bear vitamins for us to give to the street children,” Hood said. “We are a crazy little church that loves Jesus, and we love each other like family. Last Sunday, when we finally brought in all of the monies from our fundraisers and realized we had surpassed our goal, it was surreal.”

When 10 women from Grace Bible Fellowship depart from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport next month for Tegucigalpa, Honduras, they will advance a theme of servant-hood that Hood believes is a reflection of faith.

“God calls us,” she said. “He calls some to go. He calls some to pray. He calls some to send.”

For more information, the church can be reached through their Facebook page Grace Bible Fellowship Church Gunter.