Category Archives: Blog

Young Life Olancho Update

It has been three years since HOI chose to partner with Young Life to send the newlywed couple, Michael and Daniela Aguilar, to the Ranch in Honduras to begin the ministry of Young Life. Throughout that time, Young Life has worked to share the Gospel with over 200 vulnerable teens in Olancho. Mike and Dani focused their efforts on seeking out young men and women who strive to serve as agents of change in their communities, resulting in a strong peer leadership base upon which the ministry can build.

We are deeply saddened to report on Michael’s passing. He was very dedicated to his work, feeling a strong sense of God’s call to the Agalta Valley. His incredible mentorship impacted the lives of so many kids yearning for positive leadership and role models. Mike and Dani will no longer be in Olancho, but the seeds they planted in the hearts of the youth will forever remain. We confidently step out in faith that God will lift up local leaders who will provide the resources and momentum to further spread his love throughout Honduras.

2016-2017 Accomplishments

In 2016, we expanded from one club at the Ranch to an additional location in the neighboring town of San Esteban. Planting a new club in San Esteban was a strategic move since it has a larger population than the more rural club at HOI’s Ranch. This provided the ministry with greater opportunities to reach kids and share the word of God. A positive result from the club expansion is that the ministry became much more well-known in the area. The local mayor provided funding to help send kids to camp and purchased soccer balls for the new leagues that were formed.

The greatest accomplishments have come from advancing the leadership training. Leadership training takes place with significant one-on-one discipleship. Those who attend the leadership workshops learn new strategies and practices designed to deepen their relationship with Christ, ever mindful of the Gospel that compels us to reach not just more kids, but all kids. After recently traveling to Honduras and witnessing so many teenagers leading and mentoring their peers, we are assured that the ministry will continue to develop in spite of the recent tragedy.

Another success from this past year is Young Life’s week-long camp. Camp is the time when the teenagers can set aside the distractions of their home life and focus solely on themselves, building relationships with Christ and others. Camp is the most important week of the year as leaders sit and pray with kids who are wrestling with their faith. It is often during that week that kids will make the conscious decision to choose to accept Christ into their hearts. When Young Life began in Olancho, there were only 11 kids who attended camp the first year. Check out the photo below that was taken at camp in June 2017!

Young Life campers from Olancho hold up special card honoring Mike. Dani traveled back to Honduras to be a part of the students’ special week.

Honduras Mission Story: Central Presbyterian Waxachie and First Presbyterian Grapevine

Our HOI Honduras mission trip for 2016 was a heartwarming experience for us all!  This year our two churches came together to form one mission team. One member was a first-timer, and the rest of us are repeat travelers to HOI Honduras Rancho el Paraiso. Our assigned village Rio Del Loro was a long drive from the ranch, with about 45 minutes over heavily rutted dirt roads, but we enjoyed using the time to rest and reflect on the toils of the day.

Here are some of the reflections of our team:

The villagers were amazing. Working side by side, we completed a large latrine and multiple cement floors, pilas, and eco stoves! We felt such a sense of accomplishment. The villagers enjoyed showing their friends the “improvements” on their homes.

Being from the village, the schoolteacher truly cares for the school and the children. She, the kinder teacher, and several of our team provided VBS daily to 40 children! Each child received a backpack filled with school supplies, hygiene supplies and a bit of fun — indestructible tennis balls! Seeing the faces on these children, enjoying their excitement and friendship, and receiving the deep gratitude of their parents was a high point of our trip. As one of our projects, we helped the villagers paint and decorate the school inside and out! They take amazing pride in their school, and we could tell the families truly support the teachers.

The work was hard, but getting to know the villagers and seeing our HOI friends were priceless. Neighbor helped neighbor, HOI staff helped with labor and translation, and the maestros (experienced masons) were seen passing on their skill knowledge to younger villagers and to the “estudiante maestro” or student mason – one of our long-time mission team members showing his skill at leveling a latrine cover.

Our team has a long history of bringing medical supplies to the HOI Rancho el Paraiso doctor. We enjoyed the clinic tour seeing how the donations are put to good use throughout the area. We also brought school supplies, dozens of soccer balls, and hundreds of tennis balls to the village school and to the HOI schools. We also provided jerseys and soccer balls with pumps to the La Venta team, who come frequently to the ranch to play friendly matches with the staff. Some of us cannot get enough soccer!

At the end of the week, it was heartbreaking for us to leave the village. We know that we cannot solve all problems, but we can “create opportunities” with the construction materials, medical and school supplies, and most importantly with our time and friendship. It is not an experience easily forgotten. We return home with full hearts and budding plans for our next trip.

Thank you, HOI, for this opportunity to serve Honduras.

by: Beverly Chernoff

HOI Welcomes globalX Team!

HOI and our partner in Nicaragua, Comunidad Connect, welcome a globalX team to Finca de Peten this week. globalX travels with us through a partnership with North Point ministries in Atlanta. While the team serves in the community of Los Robles, they will work with residents to put in floors and build stoves and ovens, lead Bible School for children and women and offer prayer visits in homes before enjoying a tourist day in the colonial city of Granada.

A trip to HOI’s Ranch in Honduras is life changing. Aside from memorable experiences you just might come back home with a few new thoughts, habits, and “cravings” that you didn’t have when you left. Enjoy this fun message from Caroline Cramer, a first time traveler with HOI.

What happens when you return from Honduras:

*You take bottle of water into bathroom to brush your teeth

*You freeze at night with the A/C running

*You have a hunger for watermelon

*You miss your team buddies

*You make plans to return to Honduras

Familiar Faces at HOI Ranch: St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church

We’re happy to welcome back some familiar faces to the Ranch. This week, Saint Luke’s Presbyterian Church is working with the community of La Jagua. Together, they’ll construct four latrines and five water reservoirs, pour five cement floors, paint a mural at the village school, plant fruit trees, host VBS with the children, and organize a community clean up. Talk about a busy week!

We look forward to hearing about how God moved in the team and through the community.

HOI Welcomes Decatur and Greenwood Presbyterian

HOI and Communidad Connect, our partner in Nicaragua, welcome volunteers from Decatur and Greenwood Presbyterian Churches to The Farm (Finca de Peten).  The team will spend this week in the community of Los Robles providing Children’s Bible School, assistance with new stove construction and office administration in the health clinic.  If the rain stops in time, team members with a green thumb will plant an herb garden around the clinic.

Happy Father’s Day!

Provider, teacher, example, leader. These are some of the words that come to mind when we think about what it means to be a Christian father. HOI is committed to strengthening fathers and their role in the family and community. We come alongside fathers so that they can be a good reflection of our Heavenly Father in the home.

Through HOI’s spiritual training efforts, fathers are shaped to be spiritual leaders.  HOI’s economic development programs supply education and resources so fathers can work and provide for their families. And, HOI’s education and medical efforts create a hope-filled context for fathers to encourage their children.

It is not easy being a father in today’s world. This is especially true for fathers in Honduras and Nicaragua. However, because of your prayers and support, HOI is able to provide a hopeful future for fathers who are committed to their God, their church, their community and most of all their home. 

David Davis
Director of Development

Living Your Best Life

When is the last time that you took an inventory of your life and assessed if you were living on purpose? When is the last time you paused and reflected on how you use your time? Are you using your most precious commodity for good? Are you spending it partially in service to others? What about the people you love – have you made time for them in your schedule? What about your passions, your purpose and destiny?

So often, we as North Americans get so caught up in our lives that we forget to ask if we’re living our best lives. People define what a good life looks in many ways. Some consider economic affluence as an indicator of success. Others in the level of prestige their jobs carry. Some even consider the good life to be a life with no worries. All of those things are in fact good and on some level do factor into the equation of a good life; however, we are in search of our best lives.

The good life measures our personal happiness and success. Our best life revolves around us living out our purpose, which includes service to others. God wants us to search out the best life in Him. In turn He promises to bless us with a good life according to His divine purposes and plan. Jesus teaches his disciples to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness first and then he promises that other things would then be added to them.

In seeking out our best life we will find that we have been called to serve. In the almost 30 years of HOI’s existence in Central America, many people have traveled with us to answer that call to service. In their service, they discovered a new level of satisfaction with the life that they have been blessed with. They found renewed joy in ministry and reignited passions that aligned with their purpose. And others, even, came away understanding that the “good life” that they were working for pales in comparison to the “best life” that God had to offer.

Today, we encourage you to take a moment and ask yourself if you’re living your best life now. Are you following your passions? Are you seeking out God’s kingdom through service to others? Are you making an impact in the world in a way that only YOU can?

If you’re looking for an opportunity to serve and make a difference in the lives of others, consider traveling with HOI on one of our upcoming mission trips. Trips are scheduled all year long and have a range of focuses. We have a special water mission trip, “Beyond Measure”, scheduled for September. We’d love to see you there. For more information on this trip, or any other way that you can get involved with our mission, contact our Missions Coordinator, Morgan Leary at

Mercer on Mission

Mercer On Mission just spent two weeks in Honduras caring for patients in the local villages. The medical students had an opportunity to share their gifts of knowledge and medical expertise. We and the people of Olancho and San Lorenzo, Honduras appreciate your service.

Click here to read one of their full blog entries >>>