Category Archives: Health

One Month Later…

Exactly one month ago, mission-minded runners gathered at Tribble Mill Park in Lawrenceville for the second annual HOI 5K: Miles for Medical Missions. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time! More importantly, however, is that together we made a difference for health in Honduras and Nicaragua.

Thanks to the HOI community’s support and participation, we raised enough money to purchase 150 water filters! That means that nearly 1,000 men, women, and children will have access to a sustainable source of clean drinking water. This summer, an additional 550 families will receive water purification systems in our service areas in southern Honduras and the Agalta Valley.

Although our teams in Honduras and Nicaragua are on the ground carrying out the day-to-day aspects of our mission, none of it would be possible without people like you. Without your partnership and support we could not reach the thousands of lives we touch every year through our health and medical programs. Thank you.

We look forward to seeing you at next year’s race!

Meet Our Interns: Jasmine Moore

We have a talented group of interns heading to Honduras in a few weeks. They’ll be working on various projects throughout the summer that will help further our mission in the Valley.

Jasmine Moore is one of those interns. She’s a graduate of Columbus State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Southern California Kent School of Medicine.

She’ll be following up with our water filtration installations to monitor the improvements we’re making in the education and design process. Her work will help improve our usage and contamination rates even more than they are now.

Let’s Keep Running for Life

Thank you to everyone that attended the HOI 5K: Miles for Medical Missions last weekend. It was a great success.
A special thank you to SR Homes, LLC and BrandBank for sponsoring the race and being a partner in our mission to bring improved health care and clean water to rural Honduras and Nicaragua!

Investments in Opportunity Lead to Transformation

Sometimes transformative change can only be sensed, but other times one is blessed to witness and experience the dramatic difference a change makes in a person’s life firsthand. Thanks to partnerships with U.S. churches, individuals and civic groups as well as our corporate partners and communities in Central America, we are sensing and seeing transformation!

Here are three examples of how HOI staff in Honduras and Nicaragua worked in 2016 to engage families and communities in making significant steps toward an improved quality of life:

• Over 7,000 people now have access to clean drinking water because of the installation of water filters in homes and schools. Clean water provides better health for adults and children, resulting in less school and work-place absenteeism. This translates to more learning days and increased household income. HOI continues to partner with U.S. churches in 2017 to offer the life changing gift of water filters in another 13 villages.

• HOI’s Spiritual Development Ministry offered marriage seminar training to local pastors and communities. The goal was to strengthen the family unit by creating core values for improving relationships with a focus on keeping Christ at the center of marriage. The response from other communities has been encouraging and exciting, as they are requesting this program in their villages.

• Our Agriculture staff works with local farmers and ranchers, demonstrating techniques which will lead to increased harvests and production. Most notable improvements have come from silage production to feed the cattle in the dry months when pastures fade. Training local ranchers about silage storage means better health for their herds and increased income from sales.

As family relationships strengthen and confidence grows with education and improved income, we sense where the real change is happening: in the hearts and minds of the people. What once seemed to be unattainable dreams is now becoming life changing opportunities; children and adults share the common desire to learn. God continues to guide and bless HOI’s endeavors. The transformation is not only taking place in the people of Central America but also in all of us who are a part of His great plan.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6


Laurie Willing
Executive Director

Long-Term Partnership Makes a Lasting Difference!

Dilson Manuel Rivera is not the same little boy we met in the village of San Agustin Arriba five years ago. When we first encountered Dilson he was malnourished and in need of immediate assistance.

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HOI’s medical team found Dilson in poor condition during an exploratory visit in 2011. With the support and commitment of his parents, Geovany and Brenda, Dilson began a nutrition regimen that would help him recover from his emaciated state. His parents accepted HOI’s invitation and joined our family garden program to learn how to grow vegetables and prepare balanced meals.

Through the five-year partnership between HOI and Dilson’s family, Dilson has grown healthy and strong. He is now nine years old and headed to the 4th grade. His parents continue to utilize the skills they acquired and are still growing healthy, nutritious food for the entire family.

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Your partnership with HOI helps make life-changing opportunities, like Dilson’s, a reality for others. Your support is extremely important because it ensures that HOI’s programs continue to impact and change lives in Honduras and Nicaragua every day.

Please consider giving $50 or more to help us reach our goal of raising $40,000 by the end of year. You are a vital part of this ministry and we hope you will continue to join us in transforming lives.

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St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Mission – Day 3, Wednesday, July 13

Honduras Day 3

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Today started at 3:30 am with no power or water at the ranch after yesterday’s rain storm. Pastor Barry, Jayne, Radi, Jeanne, and Jason set out at 5 am for the three hour ride to the extremely remote community of Naranjal to deliver Sawyer water filters. It was truly an adventurous & wild ride! We were grateful for our expert driver, Nelson (nick named McGyver), who successfully drove us through the extreme terrain which included several heards of cattle, a fallen tree that was cut out of the way with a machete, and several creeks. The scenes along the narrow roads at the mountains edge were breathtaking! After arriving at Naranjal, all I could think of is that no matter how far out and remote they were, God had not forgotten them. When we arrived the kids greeted us with big smiles and a song and then we got to work on assembling the Sawyer water filters. Before distributing the filters, Jorge, HOI’s new health promoter, gave an excellent presentation on the use and care of the filters. Jorge will also be following up with the communities receiving filters on a regular basis to ensure that they are using them properly and to answer questions or concerns they may have. Pastor Barry prayed over the community and the filters were distributed. Once the Sawyer water filters were distributed Radi pulled out some bubbles and we celebrated! The kids had never seen bubbles before and the joy and laughter shared with our brothers and sisters in Christ today was a great way to spend my 29th birthday😉

In His Service,
Jayne Dowdy
AKA: Juanita

Honduran and Nicaraguan Independence

Today marks the 195th anniversary of five Central American states’ declaration of independence from Spain. Two of those states are Honduras and Nicaragua, our long term partners in mission and ministry. As the nations celebrate their independence in a historical sense, HOI celebrates the their continued independence from a different perspective.

1. We celebrate the Agalta Valley’s freedom from high infant mortality.

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Loss of life is always terrible, even more so when a child dies in their infancy. According to the United Nations the world’s infant mortality rate is 49.4 and 42.09 according to the CIA World Factbook. When HOI began working with the people of Olancho in 1989, the infant mortality rate was extremely high. Now, almost 30 years later, infant mortality has nearly been eliminated in the areas which we work.

2. We celebrate students’ freedom to determine to their own futures.

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HOI is proud to operate two fully operational schools near our ranch in San Esteban. Our elementary and middle schools have some of the best and brightest students that Honduras has to offer. Our students have a robust curriculum that features technology, English, and life skill classes. A well rounded education affords our students the opportunity to dream. Not only are they able to dream, they are free to determine their own futures and make their dreams a reality.

3. We celebrate families’ freedom to live a happy and healthy life.

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In 2016, HOI set out on an ambitious project to make potable water more accessible in our three service areas. To date, we have installed almost 1,000 water filters! The results so far have been impressive and the impact is measurable. When speaking of the benefits of the home water filters, HOI Water Projects and Mission Team Coordinator, Morgan Leary reflects, “The positive impact that the water filters have on families is numerous. The families that we’ve interviewed have reported that they can see a clear difference in their overall health. In addition to the health benefits, families are experiencing a positive economic impact as well. Breadwinners aren’t missing as many days at work which allows them to earn more and families are beginning to save money that previously went towards the purchase of bottled water.”

As we continue to celebrate freedom and independence in Central America we invite you to join us in our efforts. Consider donating to our Family Health Partnership, sponsoring a student, or making a general donation towards HOI’s ministries. Thanks for your support!

Water for a “Dry Corridor” Hospital

The Hospital of the South, in Choluteca, Honduras, is a place where the poorest of the poor in southern Honduras go for care. They face many challenges providing adequate service to the region, which include: serving a population of over 300,000; delivering more than 7,000 babies per year with limited space and equipment; having a solitary X-ray machine that is 60 years old; serving thousands of patients with all types of medical conditions…and having no potable water! Imagine that if you can.

The “Dry Corridor” of Honduras runs along the southwestern border of the country, from Nicaragua, up along El Salvador into Guatemala. The parched desert-like conditions, brought on by severe drought and temperatures routinely in the low 100s, exacerbate the water availability problems for the hospital.

HOI was fortunate enough to be invited to work in this area by three of the leading corporations in the region. Our community development efforts in several villages ultimately led us to the needs of the hospital. A first heart-breaking visit was all it took to motivate us to get involved and establish a partnership. Witnessing the maternity ward, where each bed had two mothers, two babies, no sheets, no pillows, and no running potable water left us highly motivated to help where possible.

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As is our standard for approaching situations like this, we solicited the counsel of the hospital staff, our corporate partners, and the local HOI team to find the best way to provide support. Our primary objective has been to engage the hospital in a way that would be catalytic for the development of additional local resources. This hospital building, built over 100 years ago, has 18 inch thick walls, so any rehabilitation work is a major undertaking. The Citizens’ Hospital Oversight Committee (CHOC), which is in place to ensure proper planning, stewardship, and prioritization of improvements, with a keen eye towards effective employment of resources, was involved early in the discussion.

Although the needs for this hospital are too numerous to name, at the top of the priority list is drinkable, parasite free water. The overall project to drill a new water well, install the pumps and electrical controls, and add distribution lines anchored along the walls to every department, was estimated at over $150,000 (U.S.). The CHOC had already begun raising money for the distribution system. HOI asked for a specific proposal for the well, pump, and controls, which is the life-blood of the system.

Camila and Hospital Patient

HOI Honduras staff member, Camila Reina, visits with a young boy sick with dengue fever.

This estimate, with three competitive bids, came in at $22,500. After much prayerful discussion within HOI and with the CHOC, HOI decided to make a matching grant of $11,000 to drill the well. This effort would not start until the full amounts were committed locally for the additional $11,500 of needed funds. The entire hospital management group enthusiastically embraced this solution.

On Thursday, May 11, a delegation led by HOI Country Director Jose Mondragon, attended a ceremony at the Hospital of the South to present the funds. We had been assured that the matching funds had been secured, so they could start the project. In attendance were representatives from the hospital and Citizens’ Committee; our three local corporate partners: Agrolibano Foundation, LUFUSSA, and Chorotega Foundation; local dignitaries; the HOI representatives; and four television stations.

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Pictured: HOI Honduras Director, Jose Mondragon (second from left), with local partners.

Jose did a masterful job of representing HOI, challenging the local leaders to quickly get the water flowing, and thanking all who made this grant and process possible. As with all of our projects, we remind people that this water will sustain life on earth, and the Living Water provided by God’s Grace will sustain us all for eternity.

It was emotional for me to see God use Jose in this mighty way to help bring healing water to the hundreds of thousands of residents where he was raised. It was especially gratifying to know that the Chairman of the CHOC, Luis Marcia, was Jose’s teacher in high school in Choluteca. What a proud moment for them both. It was heart warming to have Jose’s son, Francisco, in attendance, to see the influence his father has for the good of the Honduran people.

Luis Marcia, CHOC Chairman

Camila Reina, HOI (Tegucigalpa);
Luis Marcia, CHOC Chairman

Ultimately, we want to thank you, our generous supporters, for making the funds available to provide these focused types of highly leveraged matching grants that will bring health and healing to thousands. God is good, all the time.

Jerry

Jerry Eickhoff
CEO

Northminster Presbyterian Brings a Bit of Southern Comfort to Southern Honduras

Northminster Presbyterian Church in Roswell, GA, donated 45 bed sheets to The Hospital of the South, a public hospital in Choluteca, Honduras, last week during their mission trip. Sheets are in limited supply in this facility and the church eagerly and generously collected donations for the team to take with them. Thank you Northminster Presbyterian Mission Team for seeing the need, filling the gap and helping to make a person’s hospital stay a bit more comfortable!


Northminster Presbyterian Mission Team in San Lorenzo

Northminster Presbyterian Mission Team with Donated Bed Sheets for Hospital in San Lorenzo