Category Archives: Mission Teams

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.

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 >>> http://medgallery.mercer.edu/MedicalMissions/MOMHonduras-2017/i-vprwJ4F

Remembering Michael Aguilar

In 2014, Michael Aguilar and Daniela Solano stepped out in faith to begin a Young Life ministry in the Agalta Valley, Honduras. Over the last three years, God has used them to build a growing, vibrant, and fruitful ministry that has led hundreds of youth into a deeper relationship with Christ.

On Monday, Michael was fatally injured in an accident. We ask the entire HOI community to be in prayer for Michael’s wife, Daniela; his family in Nicaragua; the HOI staff in Honduras; and especially the young people of the Valley who were touched by Michael’s passionate commitment to Christ.

While Michael will truly be missed, we take comfort in knowing that he is resting in the loving arms of Jesus.

Use Social Capital to Invest in Change

Every day, amazing things are happening in Honduras and Nicaragua. Thanks to the combined efforts of HOI and our partners in the U.S. and Central America, we are able to walk alongside and partner with developing communities in the Agalta Valley and Choluteca regions of Honduras and Los Robles in Nicaragua for a better future. Our work touches the areas of education, health and wellness, job creation, clean water, spiritual development and more. Although we are making tremendous strides towards progress, we need your help to maintain and expand these programs to have an even greater impact.

An easy way to help is to utilize your social capital and online presence to invite friends to make an impact with you. This is easy to do through Facebook’s new fundraising platform. Take a moment to reflect on HOI’s mission and Identify a cause that we are working on that you connect with. Then follow these 5 simple steps to get started:

1. Log in to HOI’s Facebook page.


OR

 

First, you’ll want to find HOI’s Facebook page. You can either click the hyperlink to the left, type the direct address (www.facebook.com/hoiinc) in your web browser’s search bar, or type in “HOI” in your Facebook search bar and look for the HOI logo icon. If you haven’t already, be sure to “Like” our page.


2. Click the “Fundraisers” tab.

 

On the left hand side of the page you’ll find a list of tabs. Click third tab listed as “Fundraisers”.


3. Click “Raise Money”. 

 

Once the you’ve clicked the “Fundraisers” a new page should appear. A “Raise Money” button should be on the right side of the page. Click it.


4. Personalize and launch fundraiser.

 

After you’ve clicked “Raise Money” a new window should appear. This window is where you will customize your fundraising campaign. The window is preset with HOI’s banner, a title, a description of our mission, and a suggested goal amount. Each of these sections can be personalized in a way that speaks to you and explains your connection with the HOI mission.

If you have any photos of yourself engaging with our mission it may help add a personal touch to your outreach efforts. In the description, in addition to or in lieu of explaining HOI’s mission and methodology, you can share your personal story of encounter and transformation through our mission. We know HOI mission trips can be life changing and we’d love for you to share that narrative with others.

You can set your fundraising goal as high or as low as you’d like to. Any amount that you raise will have a significant impact on the communities we serve and our organization as a whole. We simply appreciate you raising awareness and taking ownership for our mission.


5. Invite friends. 

 

A quick and easy way to hit your target quickly is through your friends. Once you’ve set up your fundraising page you can choose friends to share your campaign with. More likely than not they’ll want to support you and learn more about HOI. Take that opportunity to share photos, stories, and the impact that you’ve had with communities in Central America through HOI. Then invite them on a trip with you!

If a friend expresses that they would love to support you but doesn’t feel comfortable using Facebook, you can direct them to our website or invite them to donate securely through our donations page (http://hoi.org/online-donations/).


Thanks!

Thank you for partnering with HOI to help strengthen communities in Honduras and Nicaragua. The work you are doing is invaluable. Without your support our mission could not reach the thousands of lives that it does. God bless!

Moms on Mission

This weekend we will honor our mothers — the women who have made a difference in our lives.  We will celebrate the one who gave us life and the countless, often selfless, women who served as scout leaders, coaches, mentors, teachers and friends.

Recently, HOI and Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, NC sent an all-female mission team to serve in Fe y Esperanza, a village located in southern Honduras. They modeled “motherhood” by caring, loving, giving, teaching and praying with the families in the community.

Community welcoming Forest Hill Mission Team

Fe y Esperanza greeted the Forest Hill mission team with a warm welcome.

Earlier this year, Forest Hill Church provided funding for a well. This all-female team installed the PVC pipe to carry water from the well to homes. As a result, 57 families in Fe y Esperanza now have water for household use and irrigating small family gardens. Prior to the well, the community had no running water. Their only viable option was to purchase bottled water in bulk, which came at a hefty cost. Now, they have access to water at a fraction of the cost.

Mothering, as these team members will tell you, is not for the faint of heart! After laboring several hours in the sun (temps in the 90’s), they held Bible School classes for children and women. As caring disciples of Christ, they took village children under their wings to share the joy and love of Jesus. They taught the women in the community about Jesus’ forgiveness and love of all people. They represented the hands and feet of Jesus as they modeled grace and compassion.

The well that the Forest Hill Church mission team and Fe y Esperanza worked together to install.

As we recognize and reflect on what it means to “mother,” let’s consider how God nurtures and cares for us. In a similar way, the women on this mission team brought life and compassion to the community. They enabled residents to receive water at their doorsteps for the first time; nurtured those who attended Bible classes; and they provided support and encouragement to one another during the week.

This weekend, as we honor those women who nurtured and encouraged us, let us remember and rejoice in those women who have made an impact in our world.

Shirley Erena Murray, a hymn lyricist from New Zealand, in her book Every Day in your Spirit, poetically asks “Who is my mother…” and tells us:

“All those who gather round Jesus Christ:
Spirit-blown people, born from the Gospel….
Bound by one vision, met for one mission,
we claim each other, round Jesus Christ,
Here is my mother…kindred in Spirit, through Jesus Christ.”

We thank you, Lord, for the women who have influenced our lives in so many ways.  We pray that we will honor them in everything we do.  Amen

Fe y Esperanza from Forest Hill Media on Vimeo.

Emily Grossman
HOI Missions Coordinator for Southern Honduras and Nicaragua

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!