Honoring HOI’s Unsung Heroes
Joe is a very important part of the HOI story. Had Joe not responded to God’s call to Honduras, there might have never been a Honduras Outreach, now HOI. There might never have been a Predisan. There might never have been a CERAPA, the alcohol and drug treatment center.
In the mid 1980’s, through his association as a lay preacher with the Church of Christ and Archie Crenshaw, Joe began a life-long passion of established healing ministries around the world. Then, on a life-changing trip to Honduras in 1985 with his son Jeff, and Cissy and Candy Crenshaw, Joe became truly inspired to help form organizations in the state of Olancho that were to become pillars of faith and healing in that region of the country.
At an amazing 81 years of age Joe still travels to Honduras and actively serves on the HOI Board of Directors. In Archie Crenshaw’s own words, “Joe is the quintessential servant leader. He does not seek the limelight, but works behind the scenes with dedication and humility, and is a team builder and vision implementer.”
Born in Cincinnati, David moved to Atlanta where he studied photojournalism at Georgia State University, hoping someday to be a combat photographer. He started his journalism career as an intern with the Gwinnett Daily News and then joined the Atlanta Business Chronicle, one of the most influential business publications in the US and has spent the last 30 years with the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Responding to an invitation from Bob Hope to join one of his Wilderness Team trips to Rancho el Paraiso, David ventured out on a trip that would eventually motivate him to return for years to come. David will be taking his 13th trip to the Agalta Valley when his Wilderness Team goes on its annual trip in March.
David is a prime example of the hundreds of business men and women who have traveled to Olancho helping HOI expand it’s educational excellence while also lending expertise to community and economic development.
Ubaldo Ponce is the mysterious man of Olancho. A name as lyrical and appropriate as Don Quixote, the man of La Mancha and for those of us who know him, perhaps as iconic. Ubaldo was chosen for the HOI “Unsung Hero” award as a representative of the hard working and dedicated HOI staff in Honduras who make it their life’s work to help their countrymen. They expect nothing in return but the smile from a child who can now get a quality education or a mother who now has little fear of losing her child to infant mortality.
He joined the ranch staff as a guard in 1992, and has through the years held many positions of great responsibility, particularly helping ensure group safety as a senior member of the Community Development team. In this role Ubaldo leads by example, and is one of the most trusted members of the HOI family.
Ubaldo has also quietly made it his business to help the local Honduran children when they have been abandoned or need help completing an education. There are many stories where he has invested his own limited resources to offer a lifting hand to his countrymen, an example of stewardship and love that should be an example to us all.
We are so grateful for his 22 years of faithful and dedicated service to HOI, the people of the Aglata Valley, and the Lord he serves. We are humbled by his humility, sacrifice, and outstanding performance, while looking after the thousands of North Americans who travel to the ranch.
Barbara Ann McCullough grew up in New Galilee, Pennsylvania, and after high school moved to Atlanta to attend Emory University where she obtained her degree in nursing. Barbara then joined the Emory University Hospital staff. Over her 41 year career with Emory, Barbara has held many nursing positions, including Staff Nurse, Head Nurse, Research Nurse and Utilization Review Nurse. She continues to work part time in this last position.
Barbara, a brave cancer survivor, has remained committed to the mission in Honduras in spite of her health challenges. She is a tremendous inspiration to all those who come in contact with her. She continues to prepare and organize Bible school lessons by mobilizing church volunteers throughout the year. to be able to share the love of Christ with the children in Honduras during that special week when she is in country. Barbara still travels annually to Rancho el Paraiso.
We honor Barbara not only because of her individual contributions in Honduras, but also importantly as a representative of the thousands of HOI volunteers who prepare all year long for their annual trips to serve in Honduras. It is because of these thousands of volunteers our ministry thrives. We thank Barbara for her passion to make a difference in the lives of the Honduran people and her dedication to HOI for 22 years.