Letter from the CEO

Calling All Groups

February 3, 2014

If you haven’t heard, HOI is in a robust expansion mode, both in our programs and ministry locations. This year HOI will strengthen programs in Olancho, increase trips to Nicaragua, and explore an opportunity to expand to southern Honduras. Our success over the past nearly 25 years has been possible because of the volunteers who have responded to God’s call to service, and the next season will be no different.

As our ministry in the Agalta Valley matures, we are accelerating efforts focused on economic development in the area. A true pathway to economic prosperity requires jobs, jobs, and more jobs, so that effort will become a significant objective. Helping identify economic opportunities, training an appropriate work force, and mentoring aspiring business people from the planning phase all the way through implementation will become new cornerstones of our offerings. We currently have 55 teams signed up to volunteer at the ranch in 2014 and would like to see more as we broaden our efforts in Olancho.  We are also excited to announce that HOI will help establish Young Life clubs in the Valley in 2014, and we will share more about this opportunity as plans progress.

In addition to our growth in Nicaragua and new program additions in Olancho, HOI has also received requests to establish a presence in southern Honduras from several villages there. Water, health issues, education, and income levels are all significant challenges in this area. We sent several exploratory teams to evaluate the villages around Choluteca and found conditions similar to those in Olancho 25 years ago, with many unmet needs. While we have been very cautious about expanding within Honduras, I have learned both from Honduran authorities and personal experience that this is one of the most secure areas of the country.

We plan to send a beta team in March to work with a local foundation that is helping us coordinate our efforts as we explore this possibility. We fully expect this to become our third opportunity to follow our Biblical model of faith and works.  It’s a warm, beautiful area only 2.5 hours from the airport, and the people are most gracious and anxious for HOI involvement. As the HOI Board of Directors evaluates the results of the March group, we will keep you informed of our intent in this regard. Pray along with us for discernment.

To truly make an impact, we are in need of additional teams to leverage what we’ve learned through years of service and partnership. If you are interested in traveling to southern Honduras, please contact us to discuss being a part of this new ministry. We would also love to have at least 10 new teams available to work at our location near Jinotega, Nicaragua this year, for there is much to do. If you or your organization have the desire to add an additional team or teams to help initiate our expanded ministry, we’d love to hear from you soon.

Thank you for your continued support of HOI’s ministries.

God bless,

Jerry Eickhoff, CEO
jerryeickhoff@hoi.org