In 1998 as Hurricane Mitch ravaged Honduras and Nicaragua, a small team from Mercy Ships, on the ground at the time, immediately began responding to the needs of the people who had lost everything. Rescue turned to relief efforts as the team organized food and supply distribution, most of which was brought in by the m/v Caribbean Mercy. As word spread, local pastors began to gather in the living room of the main team house. Weeks turned to months. Tom Schmidt realized that in order to equip these pastors to better equip their people, he himself needed more training.