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Honduras 2018 – The Beginning

First United Methodist Church of Heath member shares adventures from mission trip to Honduras

(HEATH, TX — April 19, 2018) The story starts shortly after my mission trip to Kenya in 2008.  Our team was having a debriefing meeting to hash out what we wanted to continue to do to help Kenya.  Someone asked. Who wants to go to Honduras in Central America?” Having an open calendar, I popped up with a “Yes.” No one else responded.

Three months later I found myself traveling with Tom Brain, a dentist, from Allen, Texas to Puerto Limpera, Honduras. (This is about 50 KM from the northern border of Nicaragua.) He had founded and opened the House of Hope (HOH) in 2005 to house, treat, feed and educate needy children.  Our team was there to finish construction on the guesthouse, which would house missionary teams like ours, from all over the world.

The HOH houses 40 children with physical /dental problems from newborn babies to kids who were malnourished or had severe burns over their bodies. In third world countries like Honduras, if you are born with a physical problem, you are discarded, as there is no way you can get treatment.

Many children go uneducated, as there are fees to send your child to school. Most parents cannot afford these. So in 2010, a school was built to serve the HOH elementary age children and the children in the surrounding neighborhoods. To expand on the need for secondary education, the Institute for Abundant Life (IVA) was built and opened (2013) by Laura and Alex Waites from McKinney, Texas. This school is within walking distance of the HOH and now has 400 sponsored students (10 from the HOH) grades 7-12 who walk or are driven by the school pick up from 45 minutes away.

Each of the 11 times I have been there, I have learned about myself as well as have witnessed the growth of programs for these neediest of street children: Education including college; food (Kids Against Hunger Rice) and formula, to stop/prevent malnutrition; dental care; and medical treatment (a retired doctor on site) provided there or sent to a larger city or Dallas for involved treatment. Also, religious education is another focus.

One thing we did was teach the students how to make aprons to sell to other missionaries who come to serve in Puerto Lempira. This money can go back into the schools and children’s home for supplies etc. The younger students decorated the aprons with fabric paint. Every student signed their apron. We made 60!

In February of this year, our mission team launched a sewing project, which had been in the planning stages for a year. Our goal was to teach a large group of older students at IVA and a small group of students who go to school there but live at the HOH.

We had five used and five new machines donated for this project. These plus fabric, ribbon and sewing supplies were shipped down in a container in Oct in order to arrive by Feb. when our team kicked off our project. We had planned for a class of five students and ended up with an initial group of 25 girls and six boys!

After the third day we had instructed 60 children who had begun to teach each other! They were so excited to operate this machine and to make something. We had taught students in previous years, but this time we left them with a personal skill and with an employability one. Our team also identified a group of students who could serve as teachers for others and a plan to open the schools for sewing class on Saturdays, hoping that they can continue to use their skills beyond the basic projects i.e., pencil bag, aprons and purses we did. Many of these they will sell their creations to earn money for their schools.

We have started to plan and recruit for our 2019 trip. Our goal would be to teach higher-level sewing skills to those we have already taught and to include classes of new students willing to learn. If you would like to venture with us, please call Richard Lopez at 469-745-9024 for more information.

By Judy Holder.

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