TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS -Established in 1999, Jericho Ministries is an outreach organization founded by bilingual missionary Betsy Hake. Dedicated to restoring victims of prostitution, abuse, and human trafficking to health and wholeness, Elvia Forgas de Madrid helps teach high school and serves as director of children's ministries and medical assistance there. Here's Elvia's story:
Sixteen years ago, I was invited to church in Tegucigalpa. I wasn't a Christian then—someone invited me to their church. I went one time and Betsy [Hake] was singing, but I didn't meet her. The people from this church called me every week to invite me to meetings where I live. I always said, "I'm coming, I'm coming," but I never came. One day my husband said, "You are a liar—you always say you're going to go, but you never go. Go with them." So I went.
I was surprised to find that Betsy was the leader of this group. As she started to teach and guide me, the Lord put us together in the Spirit, and we're good friends now. She's a special teacher—my spiritual mom—and a good friend to me.
My husband is in Tegucigalpa, and I have three children of my own: the oldest is 24, the next 23, the youngest, 22. My husband is a good man, and he always helps us with our ministry at Jericho and with the children. He's an engineer, so he helps with construction projects. He built the road leading up to the villa, and he's always helped with different projects.
The longest girls can stay at Jericho is until they're 18 years old, when they become adults by law. Personally, I say they should stay with us until they are prepared to leave, just like my own daughter and son. We want to help the most we can. The Lord sends girls to us.
I help with teaching high school at Villa Jericho, Sunday through Thursday. On Thursdays I return to the city, and Betsy takes my place at Jericho. On Sundays, we go to church in Tegucigalpa, at Iglesia Baptista. We participate in the ministries there. Some of the girls teach in Sunday school, and some sing on the worship team. Sometimes we go to Danli to shop.
We live happily with the Lord here, and we've seen many miracles together. It's beautiful.
To read more about Jericho Ministries, visit their website at http://www.jerichomin.org/.