Category Archives: Newsletters

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

A Match Made in Paraíso

Andrew and Elizabeth Thompson were married on November 12th, 2016. Without HOI, they may have never met…and nearly still didn’t. Here’s the quick version.

They grew up on opposite corners of the country, Andrew in Atlanta, GA and Elizabeth in Portland, OR. Both majored in Spanish during undergrad at Christian liberal arts schools, Andrew at Wheaton College and Elizabeth at Whitworth University.

Elizabeth pursued her dream to become a veterinarian at the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. She traveled on multiple short term mission trips with Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM), including Haiti, Bolivia, and Honduras. While in Honduras for a week in 2013, Elizabeth’s team stayed on the ranch and got to know HOI.

Group Vet Photo
Andrew worked in public relations for long-time Wilderness Team leader, Bob Hope. He worked on a few projects with HOI including an event with President Juan Orlando Hernandez in Atlanta. He eventually went down to the ranch for a week in 2015 to work with MAP International. He helped coordinate the dedication ceremony of Coach Vince Dooley field, with President Hernandez as the guest of honor.

Andrew with President Hernandez
Though Elizabeth and Andrew were in Honduras two years apart, two people managed to be on both trips- Andrew’s dad Greg Thompson and Elizabeth’s roommate from vet school, Jessica Walters Wright. Greg introduced Andrew to Jess and she vetted him (pun intended) all week without him knowing. Her final test of Andrew’s character: a 5:00 a.m. wake up call to milk the cows. Smile on his tired face, Andrew made the cut and Jess set to matchmaking him with Elizabeth.

Greg with Elizabeth and two other vets
Andrew milking a cow
Despite them living 3000 miles apart, God has a way of making the improbable possible. At Jess’s persistent prompting, Andrew and Elizabeth went on their first date over Labor Day (September, 2015). The rest quickly became history. A few great phone calls convinced Andrew to fly back to Portland for a second date. They started a relationship and criss-crossed the country on flights every few weeks until they were ready to get married. In May (2016), Andrew proposed to Elizabeth in front of the Grand Teton mountain range on his move from Atlanta to Portland. She said yes.

Proposal in Jackson Hole, WY
On this Valentine’s Day, Andrew and Elizabeth Thompson are celebrating just over 3 months of marriage. Next Valentine’s Day, the two hope their adventuring hearts will have gotten to travel internationally together.

Wedding Photo

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.

Hospital of the South 2

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.

meetingagreement

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

“Transforming Times” Summer ’16

Have you read the latest edition of our quarterly publication “Transforming Times”? Learn about how God is working through us to bring clean water to one of the hottest regions in Honduras, our latest staff and intern developments in Central America, the exciting news coming out of Young Life Olancho, and more!

Click here to read the newsletter.

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Ministries of Interest


Be Still and Know

Foreward by Jerry Eickhoff

For 26 years HOI has been answering God’s call to strengthen communities in Latin America through long-term partnerships. The profound long term impact on the lives of the people we serve has been well documented. The long term impact, however, on the North Americans who serve as the catalytic agents of change is not as well known.

No two mission trips are ever the same; neither are the ways we encounter and hear from God. Sometimes God calls us to work, to get our hands dirty, to sweat, and to “make things happen”. Other times He calls us to listen, to be still, or to simply “be” in partnership with families,  communities, and each other in the places where He has been working long in advance of our arrival. One of the great lessons we’ve learned is that in every instance God has beat us to the scene.

The touching story of Anne Ostholthoff and her family speaks to God’s urging to “be still and know that He is God”. We know for a fact that God can communicate with us on our trips in ways that penetrate the fog of our hectic everyday lives here.  In that environment we don’t miss the message.

Please take a few minutes in quiet solitude to place yourself at the Ranch inside the gathering room adorned with Anne’s “Patchwork Painting” of life in Olancho, accented with whimsical cats and birds, and absorb what she shares from her heart. Please be in partnership and prayer with Bob, Joe, and Anne, and all that are with them on this difficult journey.  We are thankful that her trips to Honduras were a part of her communion with God. Her words add an air of reverence to the environment she helped create at Rancho el Paraiso, our base in Honduras.  “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:11


BEING STILL AND  KNOW
by Anne Ostholhoff

PREFACE

God has been communicating with me in an amazing way since 2013 when He asked me to begin walking through a dark valley. (NOTE: Some of you know, others don’t, that my husband was contracted with cancer in 2013 and is living now to keep the tumors in his lungs from growing so we can have lots more time together. Additionally, this past November, his cancer moved to his brain requiring surgery). I’m compelled to finally document this experience with God as His amazingly personal outpouring of love to me is something I must share. Many have asked “how are you able to deal with this?” and I can truthfully say it is only because God is so obvious with His love and nearness right now – and in moments you’ll learn about in this story of how He steps up the messaging, fresh and surprisingly abrupt with yet another moment where He says “I’m here and I’m loving you no matter where you are.” The story proves that God is real, this story is woven over 20 years in amazing coincidence that can’t be coincidence. So here you go – this is a story of how God loves us all, and weaves His loving ways into our lives… at least my story of this reality.

THE STORY BEGINS BUT NO ONE KNOWS

It was 1994 and I was with a team of artist friends who joined me on a mission trip to the Honduras Outreach’s ranch in San Esteban, Honduras. Our task was to hand-­deliver the large mural created by elementary school students with me  in  Chicago  saying  “Hola! Nos Gusto Mucho Honduras!” (Hello, we  love you Honduras!) – to the town mayor… which we did in a small ceremony. We then were to work with the students in a series of 4‑5 schools to create individual drawings titled “What it’s like where I live” that we would  take  back  to  the  students  in  the  Cabrini  Green  neighborhood  where  I  worked.  These  were  in exchange for the drawings we delivered from the kids in Chicago that were created to the same theme. It was an “art exchange”. We shared photos of the kids in Chicago with those in the schools in Honduras and vice versa. It was lovely, and deeply moving to watch both groups of students’ eyes open as they shared an experience with children their same age from so far away and from such different circumstances – thatched roof huts vs. concrete public high-­rise housing.

BeStill8
As part of our time at the ranch, my friend Jennifer and I also decided to see if there was an interest in our adding some artistic touches to the facility and perhaps paint a few things on the blank walls. We were given the freedom to paint whatever we liked – so I took the little foyer and painted all the walls a bright blue and in the center with a simple border painted a verse of scripture in Spanish; I then also painted a large grid “Patchwork Painting” on a wall and engaged some of the ranch hands and farmers, cooks and staff to paint their image of “How I Know God Loves Me” into their own unique square space. Jennifer painted little realistic sketch like paintings of animals all over the place…birds on top of window sills, a cat near the floor behind a door, surprises all around. We finished the trip and left for home with great memories, and mission accomplished with the schools.

 

A NEW STORY BEGINS

In 2014, our family signed up for a mission trip through our church (North Point Ministries) and planned to join the team going to Haiti.  However, a few weeks into the planning, we were asked if we would shift to the team going to Honduras as they needed another few families. We agreed. It was after a few weeks into this trip’s planning that we realized we would be going to the exact place I’d been years earlier – now called HOI, instead of Honduras Outreach, but it was the exact same organization (now expanded into other countries) and the name abbreviated. I met members of the exact same ministry team, we visited the exact same village and stayed at the same ranch facility! I could not believe that my husband and son were now returning with me to the very same place and experience some of the same things I did 20 years earlier!

The thread of the story of my heart being touched by God in an amazingly personal way starts here.

Before we left, we had two bits of unfortunate news: the first, that the cancer we thought was gone from Bob’s throat was actually back, this time in his lungs. When we would return to the US, he would have to have surgery and we’d start a new journey of treatments. The second, was that we would have 4 weeks in which to find a new home and move as the house we tried to buy went to another couple willing to pay a premium for serious construction issues we discovered during the inspection.

From left to right: Bob, Anne, and their son Joe

We arrived at HOI’s ranch in Honduras and I surveyed the facility with Bob and Joe. While there was much change and new additions for more space, there were still the very same rooms with our artworks — the scripture I’d painted on the wall, the large grid painting, the smaller animal illustrations were all in tact! Then, at the initial prayer meeting with the ranch staff in the simple courtyard, three men came up to me, took my hand and guided me to the room with the large painting. There they pointed to their artworks and helped me see, despite the language boundary, their own individual artworks – and then they pointed to me, through teary eyes and with smiling, weathered faces said they remembered – 20 years ago – painting with me! Bob and Joe were amazed and needless to say, I was overcome. God was here touching my heart for sure. But it gets even more obvious!

Each morning when at home I awaken early (4 am typically) for a conversation with God involving journaling and reading scripture, listening to Him prompt my heart and reading various other devotionals by Boyd Bailey, Ken Boa and Nancy DeMoss. Here on this trip, I’d planned to do the same and arranged for a borrowed key, that would allow me to sit in a rocker in the same room as the large artwork using my phone for a flashlight in the pre-­‐‑dawn  darkness. The first morning, as I wept to God about all we were now facing, I was directed to this Scripture “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth” Psalm 46:10. This calmed me, spoke truth I could not deny and helped me hugely.

BeStill1
The days passed and we were busy with trips to small villages, helping children to engage in artistic, fun experiences as our team worked with their teachers in the schools, and various construction projects — helping the townspeople build new additions to their homes, outdoor latrines and assist with other projects. We returned exhausted to the ranch but filled with the satisfaction of knowing we were helping to make a big difference. On one of these days, I walked through the hallway I’d painted and stood to notice the Scripture I’d painted in Spanish. For the first time this trip I noticed the verse was – yes – Psalm 46:10. I fell to my knees, cried openly and prayed such gratitude to God for talking to me so amazingly personally. Having me paint, by my own hand, 20 years ago in this far part of the world, the very Scripture He’d given to me a few days earlier to help me right now.

THE STORY BUILDS ON AND ON

So, we returned from the mission trip, found a temporary home in time, and began working through the challenges of Bob’s cancer. God continued as well to use this verse to speak to me at moments when I needed His encouragement most.

The first such experience was when I visited my friend Julie at her home in Serenbe. I had a reaction to her sincere question “How are you Anne?” that included tears – and of gratitude for our friendship, and in my moments of pouring out my heart I shared this story with her. She smiled and after we’d finished lunch, guided me to a path in the woods to walk down a path and sit on a bench and see what was on the ground in front of me. I did and saw “Be Still and Know”. Needless to say I was deeply moved by God’s hand once again – holding mine at a moment when I needed it most.

In late November, within a two day span I lost my job, learned that my step-­brother committed murder and suicide, and that Bob would have to have brain surgery as the cancer had shown up there now too. Many friends rallied around me and one asked me to her home for prayer (as did others too!), but in this case Camilla also ended up hearing this story, smiled and took me into her daughter’s room where just a few months prior she had purchased a plaque — large and beautifully painted on wood that read “Be Still and Know that I am God”.

In January, I was enjoying time with my friend Katie in her home for a conversation and prayer as well. We spoke then of our kids and how we longed for the wisdom to help them help themselves best in this society of media heavy bombardments. We shared concerns and agreed to pray for each other. As I left, I spied a small plaque in her window to the left of the door in the foyer with the same Psalm 46:10 scripture verse. I caught my breath, told her I’d share this story this way, got in my car and cried out in gratitude that God there again, was so very close to me, showing up when I needed encouragement.

In February, I was asked to shift dates at Whitefield School’s Middle School Bible Study class “Stone Works” where I was to share a 10-minute message about “perseverance.” Tyrone Johnson, the teacher, was starting a lesson on the difference between survival and endurance. It was amazing how my thoughts “dove-­tailed” into his message, clearly revealing the shift in schedule was God ordained. In fact, the connection we made was this: survival is tackling fearful situations alone; endurance is inviting God to stand with you as you  tackle a fearful situation together. Coach Johnson blessed me with his thoughts and in closing said these words: “We need to be still and know that God is in control, and listen to what God says to us to help us endure life’s hardships  and challenges”.

Finally, every morning I place on my bed a small pillow that my friend Terri gave to me over 8 years ago now that says “Be”. Amazing isn’t it?

So – I know God is for real, I know He holds me close and have proof in many other stories just like this one, of how He has woven threads through my life to demonstrate He’s been with me all along, and can show that to us if we are still.

I know He is God… and I share this remarkable story so that He is exalted.

AnneO
Anne Ostholthoff
anneostholt2@gmail.com

Visions for the Future, Major Initiatives Ahead

2016 promises to be a year full of exciting new initiatives and the continuation of ongoing effective ministries. Here is a sneak preview of what’s ahead:

Clean Water at Point of Consumption

There’s a tsunami of clean life-giving water coming! Following the initiatives of the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (Dunedin, FL) in Honduras and Comunidad Connect in Nicaragua, HOI has validated that the implementation of in-home water filter systems has a dramatic effect on the reduction of water-borne illnesses in our areas of operation. In response to this acquired knowledge, HOI has launched a major initiative partnering with groups and villages to implement a comprehensive hygiene education and filtered water program for hundreds of families in Honduras and Nicaragua. This effort will be jump-started by a generous grant from GlobalX, funded by the annual North Point Community Church “Be Rich” Campaign. Additional financial support will come from the recently launched Family Health Partnership program ($39 per month if you’d like to join) at HOI, and also from group community development support. The plan is to work with select mission teams to help provide education and materials for this effort. Local participants will commit financial resources and also invest time in training to learn the value of good hygiene, clean water consumption, and care and maintenance of their filters. Teams will help construct support tables and also assemble the filters and buckets for delivery. Our goal in 2016 is to install point of consumption filtration systems in at least 1000 homes. We have enlisted support from public health experts and the CDC to advise and monitor our program and results.

IMG_5108

Honduran family with a water filtration system in their home

Expanding corporate partnerships in Southern Honduras

HOI has executed a third corporate partnership in southern Honduras, joining forces with another outstanding corporate organization that wishes to help improve the lives of the people living in that area of the country. An agreement of mutual support was signed with the Chorotega Foundation, the faith based philanthropic arm of the Chorotega Credit Union in Choluteca that is dedicated to helping start and nurture small businesses in Honduras. Chorotega will assist HOI teams with the logistics of working in the South, and will help our local staff build relationships and partnerships with the people we’ll serve. We hope to send a few teams with our new partner in 2016, so if you’d like to be an early adopter, just let us know. These are wonderful people to work with, as are our initial two partners Agrolibano and LUFUSSA, so we know you will have very rewarding and impactful experiences. We still have room for about 7 more teams with our partners in southern Honduras for 2016 if you’d like to help us in that area.

Camila Reina, HOI Director of Development and Gov't Relations (Honduras); Jerry Eickhoff, HOI CEO; Jorge Nuñez, Chorotega

Camila Reina, HOI Director of Development and Gov’t Relations (Honduras); Jerry Eickhoff, HOI CEO; Jorge Nuñez, Chorotega

Increasing medical support in the South

One of our medical team partners will be making a trip to San Lorenzo and Choluteca in 2016. In addition to these professionals, HOI would like to increase its logistical support to the two major hospitals in the area, Hospital San Lorenzo (HSL), and The Hospital of the South (Hospital del Sur, HDS). HSL is a smaller, well run institution that is becoming a model for the country, due in large part to of the efforts of our partner Agrolibano Foundation and other corporate sponsors.

HDS, on the other hand, is a very large public hospital that is underfunded and in desperate need of additional resources and support. Although the corporate partners are also helping this large organization, they are in need of significantly more resources. Upon a recent visit the massive over-crowding, lack of supplies, and equipment were heartbreaking to witness. The maternity ward, for example, delivers on average about 6,600 babies per year.  As a result of the hospital’s poor conditions, it has become the norm for two women and their new born babies to share a bed with no sheets or pillows. There is also no potable water in the 250 bed hospital. HOI would like to play a catalytic role with local and international resources to help continue improvements at HDS so the health care professionals on staff can be much more effective serving the people of Choluteca.

Our goal is to help both of these hospitals initiate a combined MAP (map.org) medication shipment in early 2016. Agrolibano will arrange the financing fee for this shipment.
We would also like to work with MedShare (medshare.org) for a medical supplies and equipment shipment to the Hospital of the South. We plan to work with Honduran corporate sponsors and other supporters to make this a reality. We are currently working on inventory needs, internal controls, and accountability to ensure efficient implementation.

Expanded educational and sports programs and ministries

Due to the success of our elementary and middle school programs, and growing demand for higher education and skills training in our area of influence, HOI is investigating the feasibility and advisability of developing a high school and career academy near Rancho el Paraiso. The flame of learning has been ignited in Olancho and almost 100% of our Hope Middle School graduates now desire to continue their education beyond the 9th grade. Building on our early economic development successes motivated by our catalytic agent, Smoke Rise Baptist, HOI places a high priority on job creation for the people of Olancho. To that end, our initial thought is that any additional educational offerings should include skills and career training.

pulperia
Our evaluation will also consider the potential for a robust faith based athletic program that would be focused on soccer for boys and girls.  We are considering a sports and family life complex that would be used for the school activities, leagues, faith and skills coaching, Young Life, and community gatherings. This planning and review is in its initial stages and there are no determinations yet. However, we wanted each of you to know the types of initiatives we’re considering if you’d like to join us in the effort.

As a wonderful 2015 comes to a close, and an exciting 2016 looms in the future, I wish you all a blessed Holiday Season and a healthy and happy New Year. Thank you for your continued generous support and unceasing prayers.

God bless,

Jerry

Jerry

Jerry Eickhoff
CEO

Letter from the CEO: Feeling Thankful

 

This is the joy and “esperanza” of Christmas, a blessed miracle of the highest order.

In the case of HOI, the appearance of the heavenly hosts wasn’t so “sudden” but they appeared nonetheless, over a period of many years, and for that we are thankful. I saw a quote stating that special education teachers are angels disguised as extraordinary human beings. I believe this to be true, and the same can be said for all those who are dedicated servants of so many ministries like HOI.

2015 has been a year of remarkable advances in the lives of thousands of people in Honduras and Nicaragua, thanks be to God. The staff and partners of HOI are feeling great humility and appreciation for all of you who were a part of making these life-changing efforts a reality.

In Light of these blessings we’ve all received, I want to reflect on the year by highlighting a few, just a few, of the many supporters who have been the angels disguised as extraordinary humans. Knowing it is dangerous to mention only a few because there are so many, gratitude to ALL compels me to take the risk of omission.  I decided to identify a few sources of God’s love for our ministry and those we partner with in the villages of Honduras and Nicaragua. Our heartfelt thanks to:

• The graciousness of the people of Nicaragua and Honduras for accepting us into their homes and hearts as we struggle to discern and follow God’s will.

• The dozens of church partners and the over 1000 mission team members who are on point, on the ground, touching thousands of lives.

• All of our HOI staff members who are dedicated to spreading the light and hope of the Good News, and to helping create a path to improved health, education, and prosperity for all they encounter.

• Our quality partners: in Nicaragua, Comunidad Connect; and in Honduras, Agrolibano Foundation, LUFUSSA, and our new partner Chorotega Foundation.

• Our partnership with Young Life in Honduras, and our fantastic ministry team of Dani and Michael. What a blessing are they!

• The donors, supporters, sponsors, and participants of our events and special fundraising efforts.

• Our mentor and benevolent partner GlobalX.
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• The HAVE Foundation and the Wilderness Team, our generous Education partners.

• The Peugot Center for Engineering Service at the Lipscomb University, for providing the wonderful 104 foot long pedestrian bridge that unites our two school campuses over a busy highway.

• Our specialty teams of health care and dental professionals and veterinarians who administer healing services to people and animals alike to improve the overall health of the communities.

• The musicians, dance instructors, and artists who expand the horizons of the youth and adults they encounter.

• Our hundreds of financial supporters through The Way Forward Campaign, Pathway Scholarship partners, and the new Clean Water initiative of Family Health Partners.

• The team of investors who provided our new tractor and farm implements to allow for expanded agriculture production improving our sustainability.

• The leadership of our HOI Chairman Scott Luttrell (I’ll hear about this, but I rarely get to publically thank our Board) and the entire team of former and current Board Members of HOI for their unbounded generosity and investment of time and talent.

We reflect on the year with hearts full of gratitude for everyone who has prayed, supported, traveled and invested with us. Thank you and God bless you all.

Jerry

Jerry Eickhoff
CEO

In Memoriam – Dan Pattillo, Sr.

Letter from the CEO

In Memoriam- Dan Pattillo

November 25, 2015

 

danpattillo

Dan Pattillo

It is with heavy hearts that we let you know that one of God’s mighty warriors, Dan Pattillo,  has gone on his last great mission trip. Dan died peacefully last night surrounded by family and his beloved wife Anne. He now is at peace with the Lord he served so generously and well.

Dan was a powerhouse developer in Atlanta for many years, and he became the driving force behind building the infrastructure of the HOI Ranch in Honduras. Through many trips, Dan and his team planned each of the buildings on the Ranch, shipped down all the materials and equipment necessary for construction, and then, as only Dan could do, working in concert with local and US volunteer labor, provided the “hands on” effort and expertise required to build each facility. Having these wonderful facilites has made it possible for us to host thousands of mission members over the past 26 years to partner with 35,000 residents in 130 villages. Dan and Anne also contributed the funds necessary to establish HOI’s award winning clinic in Olancho. Then he built it.

 

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Dan Pattillo Clinic

Anne and Dan Pattillo have left their mark of extreme generosity on people and organizations all over Atlanta, the United States, and the world; but, in no place did he have a bigger impact than Honduras Outreach, Inc. (HOI) and the country of Honduras. Literally thousands of people in this developing country are living healthier and happier lives because of the groundwork he selflessly laid over a 20 year period.

As Thanksgiving approaches, and I reflect upon our ministry in Central America, there is no person I am more thankful for than Dan Pattillo.The trips weren’t easy, the work hard, but the result and the reward were immeasurable. Dan never asked anyone to do anything he wasn’t prepared to do himself. It is the kind of selfless leadership by example that we need so desperately in today’s world. God bless Dan as he rests in Heaven, and  we pray God’s grace and peace for Anne and the family as they deal with this irreplaceable loss.

I also predict God and St. Peter will soon be hearing they’re “burning daylight”!

In His name,
Jerry

Clean Water Efforts Underway in Central America

“Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink”

by: Laurie Willing

The line from the poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, may have been written over 200 years ago, but it remains a fact for the HOI communities in Honduras and Nicaragua.

When impure water creates sickness, disease and even death, opportunities for education and employment diminish. Contaminated water becomes a catalyst for poor health which creates and continues to feed the cycle of poverty.

“Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you…” Exodus 23:25

For many years, HOI has partnered with the Honduran government, local communities, U.S. mission teams, and other organizations to install water lines from reasonably clean sources to villages and individual homes to improve potable quality. However, the water can still be contaminated through poor handling and storage, as well as breaks in the lines from the source.

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Mission Team

The HOI mission team from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Dunedin, FL, decided three years ago to make clean water its church’s mission focus. Through discussions with the HOI Ranch staff, a plan was made to supply an entire village with in home water filtration systems. This pilot program proved to make a significant improvement in the health of the village! The cases of waterborne illnesses dropped dramatically in the village of El Mico and the results are life changing for the families!

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HOI is committed to continuing efforts to purify water in the homes, so beginning in 2016 it will be one of our focus areas. Major fundraising efforts, support from U.S. Mission teams and personal investment from the locals will help the organization with its goal to have purified water in homes where we serve in Honduras and Nicaragua. Along with the filtration system, families, schools and communities will be provided with hygiene education, installation training and equipment maintenance instruction.

Clean water will transform lives and communities for generations. We hope that you will partner with us in 2016 to make a difference in the life of a child, a parent, a village.

Laurie Willing
Laurie Willing
Executive Director

The Bridge Is Coming!

 

As you may have heard, the students, faculty, and alumni of David Lipscomb University School of Engineering in Nashville have been working together for over a year to design, fund, build and deliver a 106 foot walking bridge to connect the two HOI schools in Honduras. Each school sits atop a bluff on opposing sides of what has become a busy and dangerous highway. The vision to connect them with a walking bridge was conceived as a safety precaution at the request of the parents and teachers.

Vince Dooley mixing the foundation for new bridge
The bridge can’t arrive too soon in that we’ve recently had two of our youngest students involved in a pedestrian accident. Fortunately neither was hurt seriously, but the danger remains.

A team from Lipscomb, supported by their donors and also advisors from McBurney Energy in Atlanta, will be at Rancho el Paraiso in the Agalta Valley the week of August 8-15 to receive the container shipment housing the disassembled bridge. They will then reconstruct the structure and hoist it into place with a 100 ton crane that is coming out over the mountains from Tegucigalpa. The huge concrete footings for the bridge were designed by Lipscomb engineers, and constructed in March by team members of the Bob Hope Wilderness Team, led by Coach Vince Dooley. There was more concrete mixed by hand and poured by these team members than any other project in the history of HOI. Ranch staff and local volunteer workers dug the massive holes for the bridge caissons.

Preliminary build of new pedestrian bridge at Lipscomb University before final construction in Honduras in August
The Ranch staff is busy making preparations all the team members coming for the culmination of this project, and there will be other mission teams at the ranch during that time also. Please be in prayer for all of these volunteers, and also for the safe and successful installation of this bridge. It is a very complicated and difficult engineering feat. When it is place and open, it will provide safe and convenient passage for the students of our Aldersgate Elementary School to access the facilities and resources at the Hope middle School.

Our thanks goes out to all the people at Lipscomb, other US and local volunteers, Daniel Toon of the HOI Board, and the HOI staff members who have worked so hard to make this dream a reality.