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Bangor Churches Await News from Missionary Group in Honduras 

Joy Hollowell

Extra prayers are being said tonight from members of the All Souls Congregational Church in Bangor.64 members,including some from St. John’s Episcopal church in Bangor, are in Honduras tonight, a country whose leader was overthrown by a military coup over the weekend.The assistant pastor of All Souls has been in steady contact with Reverend Bob Carlson, who’s leading the Bangor church until the group returns.”It was right at the beginning of worship, I said I had some news, I spoke to Mrs. Garrett and explained that there had been a military coup, however everybody was safe, there were no outbursts of violence,” says Reverend Carlson.One week ago Monday, 64 adults and youths from All Souls Congregational Church and St. John’s Episcopal church in Bangor flew to Honduras. It’s a volunteer missionary trip that’s taken every other year. Sunday morning, Reverend Bob Carlson received a phone call from All Soul’s Assistant Pastor Renee Garrett.”She said there’s been a little problem, there’s been a military coup. And the president of Honduras was taken captive,” says Reverend Carlson.Soldiers snatched President Manuel Zelaya from his palace in the capitol, and flew him into exile in Costa Rica. The bangor group is only 10 kilometers north. they were instructed to stay at their training center Sunday.”Both Senator Collins and Senator Snowe and their staff have been working very diligently with the state department. The embassy does know exactly where they are, so we’re not anticipating any problem, and that’s a good thing,” says Reverend Carlson.In fact, Reverend Carlson received another phone call from the group late Monday morning, saying they were being allowed to leave the training center and again work on their projects.”She said everybody is fine. And it’s actually a normal workday,” says Reverend Carlson, referring to the phone call from Renee Garrett.The Bangor group is scheduled to leave Honduras Wednesday night.Reverend Carlson says one member already flew out Monday, without problems, on a pre-planned trip.A special prayer service was held at All Souls Congregational Church Sunday night.