Tag Archives: clean water

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!

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

Clean Water’s Impact

This World Water Day we want to thank all of our partners and supporters who have helped bring potable water to rural Honduras and Nicaragua. Your contribution and efforts have been invaluable.

To date, we have facilitated access to clean water for more than 7,000 families in Central America. With your continued support we can continue to partner with thousands more for better health and wellness.

Clean water provides better health for children, resulting in less school absenteeism. This translates to more learning days for our students.


Clean water is an invaluable resource that helps create stronger, healthier families.


HOI Serving the Community’s Needs


It’s safe to say that Rancho el Paraiso has become a community staple in the Agalta Valley region of San Esteban. Villagers travel near and far to receive much needed services from our on-site specialists.  Ranchers come to learn the latest techniques on cattle reproduction, educators may come for a weekend seminar on the best methods for teaching elementary aged children, and families come to learn about growing healthy and sustainable food sources.

But if you’ve ever been to the Ranch, you know that our clinic is by far the busiest and most visited site on the property. Mothers bring their sick children to get much needed medicines, husbands bring their pregnant wives for check ups, and thankfully some community members drop by for preventive care.  We pride ourselves on operating a community clinic that serves the needs of the people with a degree of excellence and at an affordable cost. But we don’t want families to simply come to us.  We enjoy meeting them where they are.


Recently, Dr. German, the lead physician at the Ranch, and his team traveled to the community of El Pedrero to issue vaccinations. As you may know, vaccines are critical to preventive and long-term health. We often take vaccines for granted; however, they are potentially life saving for individuals and communities as a whole.

If you’d like to learn more about HOI’s ongoing health initiatives in Central America you can read more about it here.  We encourage you to join us in our efforts to help strengthen the health of communities in Honduras and Nicaragua by becoming a Family Health Partner. Through this partnership, you will help Dr. German and the HOI medical team reach many more families to deliver quality healthcare to those in need.


Ordinary Things Can Produce Extraordinary Results!


This week, Tarrytown United Methodist Church from Austin, Texas will be installing the first set of water filters in the Valley for 2016!  In the past we have had other teams tackle clean water and health in their assigned village and for that we are extremely grateful.  Recognizing the tremendous benefits that these water projects have procured, we decided to make clean water one of our major priorities for this year.  We have an ambitious goal of installing ~1,000 new water filters throughout our tri-region area of influence: Agalta Valley, Honduras; San Lorenzo, Honduras; and Los Robles, Nicaragua.

Tarrytown UMC arriving at the airport in Tegucigalpa last Saturday.

Tarrytown UMC arriving at the airport in Tegucigalpa last Saturday.

You may be saying to yourself that that’s an extraordinarily lofty goal.  We would agree with you! However, extraordinary need calls for extraordinary effort. We believe that God has called us to work in this area of health and wellness, and with His help, and the help of our many supporters, we will be successful in our endeavors. The tremendous lack of access to clean water impedes on families’ ability to provide for themselves and lead productive lives.  It is our hope that our efforts will not only improve the overall health of families, but will also strengthen families to pursue their ideal future.

The filters that we are using are incredible! We are testing out two different types of filters during our testing period: Uzima and Sawyer. Although there are a few internal structural differences, the final product is still the same — clean potable water!  Each filter contains a bucket to hold the water, a filter to siphon out the impurities, and a receiving container to collect the pure, drinkable water.

Water Filter Buckets
It’s awe-inspiring to reflect on how such a simple device made from ordinary things can produce such extraordinary results.  God has a way of using the things that we may call simple or foolish and using them to “one up” even the brightest of us (1 Corinthians 1:27).

Sometimes we may even look at ourselves and think that there’s nothing special about us.  We may even question if God can use us in a special way.  The great news is that He can.  God likes to take ordinary people, like you and me, and transform them into His channel of blessings.  When we avail ourselves to God and the leading of His Spirit we can accomplish extraordinary things for his Kingdom.

Why not start doing extraordinary things today? You can partner with HOI and we can begin to do extraordinary things together in Honduras and Nicaragua.  You can partner with us in this clean water endeavor, sponsor a student’s education, or maybe even become a sustaining donor to our programs.  It doesn’t matter how you get involved.  What matters is that you take the first step in doing it.

You can make a one time or sustaining gift here, or you can send us an email if you’d like more information on HOI and how you can get involved.


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.


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.

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 Eickhoff