Robbery won't deter Central American mission of Crown Point church

2013-02-11T19:30:00Z 2013-02-11T23:31:29Z Robbery won't deter Central American mission of Crown Point churchSusan Erler serler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com
February 11, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | A Crown Point church plans to continue its mission in Honduras despite an incident last week in which a mission team member's passport was taken in a robbery.

"This incident is not going to at all dissuade us from going," said Mark Wilkins, senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Crown Point.

A team of 16 church members was on the island of Roatan off the coast of Honduras, where First United Methodist Church has an ongoing mission, Wilkins said. Among its projects are helping run a health clinic and working with an orphanage.

Four of the group, all women, were walking on a beach Thursday when someone approached and demanded their backpacks and other belongings, Wilkins said. He said nobody was hurt in the incident, and Honduran police responded immediately.

A passport belonging to one of the women, a Carmel, Ind. resident who is a member of the mission team, was taken in the robbery, Wilkins said.

The woman's return home was delayed until later this week while the process for obtaining a replacement passport was completed, Wilkins said.

U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, helped the mission team with the process, according to Wilkins.

First United Methodist Church teams travel to Roatan to take part in a mission that eventually will include a new church for island residents, he said.

"This is something we are incredibly excited about," Wilkins said.

"I promise you it's going to take a lot more than one difficult and tragic event to stop what Christ and we are trying to accomplish there."

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