Many fans attending a recent soccer tournament in Honduras were treated to free, four-page programs. The cover photo showed the 50,000-seat National Stadium, while the back page had a scorecard for the six-nation event—an elimination round for the 1982 World Cup finals in Spain.

The attractive and useful program seemed like something to hang on to—a souvenir maybe. And that was exactly what the publishers wanted, because inside, headed by the apostle Paul’s exhortation to reach the prize that lies ahead, was a simple plan of salvation with Scripture portions.

This creative evangelistic effort was the work of AMEN—La Alianza Ministerial Evangelica National—and the first phase of its multipronged campaign in the Honduran capital and its sister city Comayagula.

Though formed only last April, AMEN has burst on the scene with a spate of activities, which, at least on paper, promise to make a spiritual impact on this Central American nation of 3.5 million (an estimated 7 to 10 percent are evangelical).

The interdenominational group of evangelical pastors and church leaders began by sending 300 young people to the National Stadium in November, bearing 200,000 of the “gospel scorecards.” AMEN next sent tract-bearing young people to Tegucigalpa’s mobile population: buses, markets, and in the streets. At the same time, adults worked a house-to-house visitation campaign—using 486,000 pieces of literature in all.

Then on November 15, AMEN promoted a pastoral exchange program among the city’s evangelical churches. All these events were designed to lead up to a December crusade in the National Stadium with evangelist Alberto Mottesi. This would be followed by a program to integrate the crop of new believers into a local church.

After a short rest for the Christmas holidays, AMEN planned to start promoting an April crusade with popular evangelist Hermano Pablo (Paul Finkenbinder), and then an eight-city campaign in May with an as-yet-unconfirmed speaker.

Surrounded by violence and unrest in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, Honduras rests like a precarious island of peace—at least on the surface. “There is fear, doubt, and nervousness in our nation,” said AMEN president Enrique Peñalva. The pastor of Tegucigalpa’s large La Primera Iglesia de Santidad (First Holiness Church) believes the unsettledness has made Hondurans spiritually hungry. He says AMEN organized out a sense of urgency to take advantage of this openness, as well as the nation’s freedom to worship. There is no telling if and when these freedoms might cease, considering the volatile Central American scene, asserts Peñalva. (Hondurans recently picked their first civilian president in a decade. Roberto Suazo Córdova is to take office January 27, but skeptics give his regime a chance of surviving only from six months to a year before intervention by the army.)

Last April, leaders of two Tegucigalpa area groups—the one Pentecostal, the other not—sat down to discuss common goals. They wound up deciding to merge into what is now AMEN.

This remarkable unity owes partly to the fact that AMEN members represent themselves as individuals, not denominations or churches. Free from doctrinal and polity obligations, the group members can unite to make progress where a denomination-based unit might not, say AMEN leaders. Honduran evangelical churches grew 14 percent between 1960 and 1980, said Peñalva, and the largest denominations are Baptist, Holiness, Assemblies of God, and the CAM International-related churches.


Sandy Ford, 20, son of evangelist Leighton Ford; November 27, at Duke Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, of complications during surgery to correct cardiac arrhythmia.

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