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Work in Honduras orphanage a family mission
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Reed and Kim Skinner with their children Cassady, front left, Hannah, right, and Corban. The Skinners are missionaries in Honduras and spoke Sunday at First United Methodist Church. - photo by Tom Reed

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Hear Reed and Kim Skinner talk about how they have fared in their mission work in Honduras.

A missionary’s life can be tough enough overseas, just getting used to a new climate, strange foods and different routines.

But throw in a government overthrow and the aftermath — protests and riots — and life suddenly becomes a lot more interesting, if not a whole lot scary.

That’s what happened this summer to Reed and Kim Skinner, a Hall County couple that has spent the past 18 months ministering to young boys and girls at Orphanage Emmanuel in Guaimaca, Honduras.

The Skinners, back home for a two-month furlough, were about 70 miles northeast of the capital city of Tegucigalpa, where, on June 28, then-President Manuel Zelaya was forced out of power, flown to Costa Rica and placed in exile.

“Immediately afterward, when things were dicey, the army was recruiting off the street,” said Reed Skinner, speaking before a contemporary worship service Sunday morning at First United Methodist Church on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville.

“That quit within about week, but it caused us to be very careful with the boys. We’ve got a whole orphanage of boys who fit that age,” he said. “We were concerned that if (the army) thought about it, they could make us a one-stop shop and fill up several trucks ... but they never did.”

The Skinners’ road to Honduras began several years ago, when God started tugging on Reed’s heart to serve abroad, the couple said.

“I didn’t tell Kim for quite a while because I knew that wasn’t going to be something she wanted to hear,” said the Gainesville native, cracking a slight grin.

Finally, he did, and what followed was a spiritual struggle.

“We just continued to pray, work through God’s will and hear from him,” Reed Skinner said.

Eventually, the Skinners, both 39, realized they “were going into the mission field, but we waited on the Lord to say it’s OK to get up and go.”

They ditched jobs — he in banking and real estate lending and she in accounting — to make the move, forming a nonprofit corporation, For His Kingdom Missions, where donations help pay their living expenses.

“The Lord has always been faithful to provide more than we could have hoped for — in our secular jobs and in the mission field,” Kim Skinner said.

The Skinners felt led to serve at Orphanage Emmanuel, where Reed oversees a boys house and Kim cares for young girls.

“We’re basically house parents,” Kim said. “We’re doing mom and dad stuff — making sure they brush their teeth, brush their hair, eat their meals. And every single morning, we get the opportunity to preach the word.”

Also, he, with the help of older boys, works a dairy and she home-schools their two older children — Cassidy, 10, and Hannah, 8.

They also have a son, Corban, 2.

“I don’t how long we’ll be there,” Reed Skinner said. “It could be many more years. ... God sent us and he’ll tell us when to come back.”

The Skinners were supposed to leave Honduras July 20 for their furlough, but “we ended up leaving a few days earlier because the airport was supposed to shut down (from) more riots and protests.”

On Sunday, praise songs and prayers filled the air in First United Methodist’s Reception Hall — far from the protest signs and angry shouts from the country they’re set to return to Sept. 21.

Reed Skinner spent a few minutes thanking worshippers for their support and prayers.

“This body has been tremendously faithful to the Lord and to us in supplying all of our needs,” he told the crowd.

“... We’re raising up 430 kids right now (at Emmanuel) in the word every day and they’re going to come out and be a blessing to those around the country, I hope.”

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