Read letters from Mark and Ashley Wright
November - Relationships - Upside Down
November - An Amazing Response
June - A Church With a Present and a Future
Spring - Building for the Future
August 30, 2010
October 14, 2009
The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 28
Rev. Mark and Ashley Wright
Mission co-workers in Honduras since 2009
Serving at the invitation of the Presbyterian Church of Honduras
About Ashley and Mark Wright's ministry
The Wrights are the first Presbyterian mission co-workers to serve with the Presbyterian Church of Honduras. They began their service in July 2009. They’re tasked with leadership and theological training, as well as promoting congregational self-sufficiency in the Honduran context. While their primary role is helping to build the capacity of local church leaders, the Wrights also nurture and resource the PC(USA)’s network of churches involved in mission work in Honduras. They have created a website about their life in partnership.
Once part of the Mayan empire, Honduras is a now a sparsely populated, moutainous country in Central America, and one of the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. Throughout most of the last century it was ruled by various military dictatorships. After the end of the Cold War, Honduras, like the rest of Central America, moved toward democracy, but a military coup of democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya on June 28, 2009, has created a lot of tension within society and called into question the military's commitment to democracy.
Download: a prayer card that lifts up the Wrights' work in Honduras.
Watch: a recent video of Mark sharing about his work in Honduras.
Watch: the Wrights in a video
Read: “A Harvest of Love” (Jan/Feb 2015 Presbyterians Today)
Watch: Carlisle Presbytery & Peña e Horeb Church in Tegucigalpa partner to build livable housing.
Read: The Wrights' work to equip church leaders (June 2013 Presbyterians Today)
The Presbyterian Church of Honduras consists of 20 churches located within a 60-mile radius from the capital city, Tegucigalpa. The church members are said to be so enthusiastic that many meet four days per week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday as well as Sunday.
About Ashley and Mark Wright
Mark tells about the time during his junior year abroad in 1986-87 when he was part of a group of American students who crossed the Berlin Wall and were hosted by a group of students in East Germany. The two groups defended their countries vigorously. Then, Mark reports, “As the evening wore on and our leaders went home for the night, we all began to talk and defend less and listen more. Words got easier, ideas and ideologies got softer, and we all began to be able to admit both the faults of and our love for our respective nations. A wall fell that day. Later, during graduate school at the University of Salzburg, I took another trip to Berlin and Checkpoint Charlie, where not long before the guns, dogs and barbed wire had seemed so permanent and dangerous. This time, however, I borrowed a hammer and climbed on a stretch of that thick wall. I beat enough pieces of concrete off to fill a backpack and I brought them home when I returned to the United States. The funny thing is, I don’t know what happened to them. It seems that even the pieces of that wall have disappeared.”
Ashley recalls a particular moment of insight that occurred in India when she was only 10 years old. “We were in New Delhi visiting the Taj Mahal and it was very, very hot. We had walked back up to the front along the flat pools and were standing next to a man chopping sugarcane. He tossed the leftover ends into a huge pile on his left, and many children were scampering onto the pile looking for pieces that had any juice left in them. I started watching a little girl who was about 6 years old. She stopped in front of me and we stared each other up and down—I in my dress and shoes and hat and she in a dirty undergarment but with a gold stud in her nose. She was very thin, and from the way she tore into her small stump of discarded sugarcane she was obviously very hungry. For the first time I realized how extremely blessed I was to have been born into my family in the United States and not into poverty in India. I realized at that young age that I was not put into the world to be a taker, but to be a person who gives and makes the world better.”
Ashley spent four years in children’s ministry for the Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. She gave children’s sermons, taught both preschool and confirmation classes, and organized a Bible school. Prior to that work, she had served in a similar ministry with children at First Presbyterian Church in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. Before that, she worked as a librarian at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta, a high school biology teacher in Charlotte/Mecklenburg, North Carolina, and a customer service representative for Eagle Vision in Memphis, Tennessee.
Mark spent a year in Germany and another in Austria and is fluent in German. He served for almost five years as pastor of Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and two and a half years at Spruce Pine Presbyterian Church, Spruce Pine, North Carolina.
Ashley earned a bachelor’s degree in art and literature from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. She also earned an M.Div. from Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in religion from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. He has also earned three master’s degrees. The first was in teaching from the University of Memphis, Tennessee. His certificates are in middle school and high school biology, chemistry, science and German. The second was in German language and literature from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. The third was an M.Div. from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia.
Ashley is a member of the Balmoral Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a candidate for ordained ministry in the Presbytery of the Mid-South. Mark was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament on July 1, 2001. He is a minister member of the Presbytery of Cincinnati
Ashley and Mark have three sons, Ethan, Eliott and Gabriel, who are accompanying them on their assignment to Honduras. Ethan has created his own website and blog about his life as a mish kid.
Ashley - June 15
Mark - June 12
Ethan - February 6
Eliott - March 19
Gabriel - August 27
I work for a small orphanage close to Zamorano and Ojo de Agua, in Nueva Esperanza. The mission, "Montaña de Luz", is a home for children affected by HIV-AIDS. Would love to connect w/ you when I'm in Honduras (about once a month, with mission teams. I live in FT. Myers Fl. My husband is also a minister/PCUSA. Blessings!