THE POTENTIAL AND THE PASSION
A brief history of Open Eyes Ministries International
The Call: God seems to place us in the strangest places to open our eyes and hearts to His will for our lives: from 25+ years in health care positions to full-time ministry, to my first mission trip, to full-time missionary. In 1999 God burdened us (my wife, Arlene and me) with the lost people of Nicaragua who needed to hear the gospel. Much like Moses, I complained that I was too old, couldn’t speak the language and really didn’t want to go. But He let me know it was not all about me, but all about HIM. After much prayer, seeking through the scriptures, seeking advice from my mentors and many miracles in our lives at that time, we sold our house, most of our possessions and set a date to move to Leon, Nicaragua for His glory.
The Vision: Again, like Moses, after we received the call, I asked God what He wanted us to do in Central America. He said to me, “I want to use the gifts I have given you and the gifts of those who will come along side of you to be witnesses for me in Nicaragua”. Specifically, God laid on our hearts to bring vision and leadership skills to pastors, churches, leaders and organizations to be catalysts for evangelism and cell group ministry across Nicaragua. Wow, I can still hear the instructions He gave us.
We believe evangelism and leadership are our first priorities; then establishing cell groups, discipleship and sending. We believe God’s will is that we begin the work and the leaders in these nations continue it with the support of Open Eyes.
The Journey: The journey began on October 26, 1999, as I drove from Knoxville, Tennessee, to the Colonial Hotel in downtown Leon, Nicaragua. After 3 ½ days 3200 miles and many exciting and frightening moments, my interpreter and I arrived. Then on November 4th, Arlene and a team from Faith Promise Church came with 14 suitcases; which contained most of our remaining possessions.
After seven weeks, we moved into our first home and through the only person we knew in Nicaragua, Pastor Fausto Perez, we began Open Eyes Ministries. As we began teaching and preaching, our vision spread from church to church, denomination to denomination, to organizations like the National Police and others. Teams from the United Stated began to increase and miracles have been abundant. Many people have been saved and lives are being changed. Now the Lord has placed us in Honduras, Costa Rica and for two years in San Miguel, El Salvador. The Journey has been supernatural and continues even today.
The Results: God, in His mercy and grace, has allowed us to be part of the following:
- Hundreds of thousands professions of faith
- Working with over 3,500 churches and organizations
- Having input in over 25,000 cell groups
- Seeing a harvest from Women’s Ministry
- Hosting close to 500 + mission teams
- 40 crusades
- Feeding programs for hungry children
- Working with schools to help children get an education
- Home of Hope; where 8 little girls have been taken off the streets, starving and mistreated and put into a home with Christian parents, sent to school, receive medical care and are taught the scriptures
- Thousands of Pastors and leaders have been trained in our leadership center and they continue to teach and lead others. We have given “Certificates of Completion” to over 10,000 church leaders, police, schools and other organizations
As we travel to visit and share the vision across Central America and the United States, work in Central America continues through our employees and leaders.
The Future: God has promised us through visions, experiences and His Word to open more doors throughout Central America. How and when, we don’t know but from Nicaragua, to Honduras, to Costa Rica and El Salvador, to wherever is no problem for God. We believe if we are faithful, He will provide all that is necessary. We are praying for a supernatural revival in these countries; where people will be convicted of their sins, repent and are discipled; where churches are full every day and jails empty, bars closed and a Godly presence through the Holy Spirit prevails.
They said it:
Dr. Chris Stephens (Senior Pastor, Faith Promise Church, Knoxville, Tennessee): I have known Terry and Arlene since 1996 and have participated in numerous missions projects with them through the years. I have sent hundreds of our church members to Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica to be part of their outreach efforts. They are two of the most effective missionaries in the planet. I have never seen God’s blessings poured out in such a mighty way than on these precious souls. The earth will never be the same because of Open Eyes Ministries.
Dennis Watson: (Senior Pastor, Celebration Church, Metairie, Louisiana): God is moving in incredible ways in the poverty stricken nations of Central America and one of the vehicles He is using is Terry and Arlene duPont and Open Eyes Ministries. When you meet and travel in ministry with them, you will quickly see that Terry is a man on fire for God who is especially gifted in training people to reach the lost, make disciples and develop leaders. God is using this ministry to reach nations for Jesus.
The World will be changed through the unity of churches, organizations and Christians. Open Eyes Ministries would love to partner with you and your church or organization to help change Central America.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and we pray you will be blessed.
In His Name,
Terry and Arlene duPont
The Open Eyes Story from Another Perspective
By Harriett Westmoreland – 2017
One of the greatest blessings of my life has been working with this God-inspired ministry over the last 18+ years. Beginning in 1995, Terry duPont was Executive Pastor of our new church, Faith Promise Church, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He had been called to leadership and was the primary leader until God gave us a Pastor in 1997. Terry was a tireless worker, gifted in growing leaders, enthusiastic for his role in the Kingdom of God and I am sure, at 62, had no inkling of what God was going to do in his and Arlene’s life. Fast forward to 1999. Terry went with Pastor Chris Stephens on a mission trip to Leon, Nicaragua. They spent the week with another missionary evangelizing to the people of Nicaragua, and although many people accepted Christ, God began working in Terry’s heart by making him realize that there was no one there full time to bring the skills and vision to the churches, pastors, and leaders to disciple the people. Terry’s heart was all about vision and leadership. Then God, during that trip, placed a God-sized vision in Terry’s heart for the Nicaraguan people. It was a struggle when he returned home to make the decision to go. He and Arlene had good jobs, a home they had purchased recently, a daughter, parents and a community of friends and other family. But God kept showing them that was His plan for them. So, they sold their home, most of their belongings, put everything else in storage and in October 1999, Terry bought a new truck and, with an interpreter, drove 3 ½ days from Knoxville, TN to Leon, Nicaragua – Open Eyes Ministries was born!
Terry asked God what He wanted him to do in Central America. God told him, “I want you to use the gifts of those who will come along side of you to be a witness for me in Nicaragua.” Specifically, God laid on his heart to bring vision and leadership skills to pastors, churches, leaders and organizations to be catalysts for evangelism and cell group ministry across Nicaragua. Terry and the other Open Eyes Leaders believed developing leaders was their first priority; then establishing cell groups, evangelism, discipleship and sending. Terry and Arlene have been faithful to this vision for 18+ years. They have ministered across Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica and El Salvador.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been fed, ministered to, and snatched from the hands of Satan because one 62 year old man was obedient to the strong call of God to leave home and all his “stuff” and go where God sent him and to stay true to God’s vision for this ministry. Because one woman left her job, her daughter, her aging parents and life as she knew it to follow this vision with him. One woman who learned the language, loved on people and was and is the most necessary helpmate of this ministry, infused with God’s vision for her ministry role to His people in Central America.
I have been privileged to walk with Terry and Arlene for the last 18+ years. I have had the privilege to walk with them through the good and troubled times. I have seen the struggles, growth, victories and the hardships and so, so much love from these inspiring people. I have a passion for this ministry and it has changed my life. I want to thank everyone who has come to Central America on a mission trip; everyone who has financially supported this ministry; everyone who has prayed for this ministry. I beg you……..do not stop. God has not stopped working through Open Eyes Ministries. He is not done. We need you.
Thank you, Terry and Arlene for heeding the call and sacrificing. Thank you, all of the former and current staff, and the Board of Directors for all of your tireless work. Thank you God for your vision, imparted to Terry over 18 years ago.
Thank you God for Open Eyes Ministries