Honduras under Construction

There are many hopes and dreams that Honduras missionaries have sweat over with their hard work and prayers that are now becoming a reality. Missionary Volunteer Partner Sarah Larson and missionaries Tim and Aleyda Spetnagel and Larry and Angie Overholt are just a small part of the group of people working together to make housing construction and a nursing school come to life.

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“This is in essence the first official step to starting a Nursing high school.” Photo credit: Larry Overholt

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Photo Credit: Larry Overholt

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There’s a new logo for Institutions for Wholistic Transformational Education designed by Sarah Larson. (“Institutions” refers to high school education in Honduras.)

“As veteran missionaries with WGM, Angie and I are excited that both missionaries and Hondurans are intimately involved in working together as a team to fulfill the future vision for the ministry in Choluteca,” Larry said about the nursing school. “Angie led the effort for several years in getting a high school nursing program started. It is a comfort to know that Angie can now pass the torch on to others and to be confident that those others will continue to build on the foundation that is already being constructed in southern Honduras.”

Larry then talked about the housing development. “To develop healthy communities, it is important to have adequate housing. Families need houses that do not fill up with water every time it rains. Their homes should be constructed from materials that do not harbor harmful insects that transmit diseases. Potential homeowners need access to financial resources, and they need to learn to manage their economic resources.”

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Photo Credit: Larry Overholt

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Photo Credit: Larry Overholt

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Photo Credit: Larry Overholt

Larry concluded by saying, “By working together with Ohio State University faculty and students, we have developed a model home that may be duplicated throughout the community. The potential homeowner is informed of the exact amount of materials that would be needed to build a quality home efficiently. Home builders have been trained on ways to improve the quality of the construction of the houses.”

You can get involved in these projects without needing any special skills. All you need is a heart for helping the ministry in Honduras. Will you answer God’s call? Visit www.wgm.org/serve for more information on how to sign up to help.

Healing in Choluteca

Sarah Larson is a Missionary Volunteer Partner in Honduras. In a recent blog post she shares stories of God’s people whom she met through a medical brigade. Stories of hurt, pain, confusion, laughter, and healing come together to make a moving testimony of what a difference a few people can make in the lives of those who need them so desperately.

“As I am writing I hear an iguana running over the tin roof above me, and occasionally a mango drops, sounding like gunfire. There is laundry on the line, and if I look back I see palm and mango trees. There is a fan going, but it’s still very hot here. Very hot. I was told Choluteca was hot, and they were right. I spent my morning baking lots of chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t count how many I made, but I used 8 cups of flour and spent almost 4 hours in the kitchen if that tells you anything. I put them in bags and they are in the freezer waiting on the next work team to arrive.

“I spent the last week here in Choluteca translating for a medical brigade. Although I lived with a Honduran family in language school and have been living in a Spanish-speaking country I felt in some ways that this was the first real test of my Spanish in the outside world. I was nervous the first day, but I felt better as the day went on.

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Local people receiving treatment in the medical brigade treatment area. Photo Credit: Sarah Larson

“Some of the main health concerns I saw throughout the week were diabetes and high blood pressure. Some of the patients were new diagnosis, and others who were there for testing. The mobile pharmacy we had with us was able to give people months of medicine that many of them would not have been able to afford otherwise. Many people came in looking for help with pain they experienced from overuse of joints due to walking long distances or very hard work.

“Certain people from this week will be stuck in my mind and remembered in my prayers. One of them was a little boy with a very bad case of scabies. It was so sad to see how much pain he was in when they were looking at his rash, but he smiled SO big when I gave him bubbles and talked to him. He told me he was 6 and learning his letters, so my failed attempts to sing my ABCs in Spanish were hilarious to him. He came back when we were leaving and gave me a hug (don’t worry, hours of exposure is needed to contract scabies).

“Another case that struck me was a teenage girl who came in because she had had an itchy rash on her neck the day before which had already gone away. Before she left she also mentioned that she’d had a white tongue since she was a child. When she opened her mouth it was clear that she had had a fungal infection for a very long time. She was given a prescription for 3 pills that will take care of the fungus. Only 3 pills, and she will be cured of something she has had since she was a little girl.

“Others were difficult to see because they needed more help than a medical brigade could provide. Two parents brought in their young adult children who needed psychiatric evaluations. They came looking mostly for help dealing with their child’s insomnia, but we saw how they needed so much more. A little boy came in with a significant hearing problem. He could only hear very loud talking and voices, and at three years old he was struggling to learn to speak a language he couldn’t hear. When people came in with problems that couldn’t be handled by a brigade, they were given referrals to a good doctor, who should be able to treat or make any further referrals needed.

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A medical brigade treatment table. Photo Credit: Sarah Larson

“As I sit here pondering this last week I feel a lot of emotions: joy, sadness, frustration, hope. The mangoes are still dropping. An iguana has almost fallen off the roof. Twice. The world I am living in down here is very different from my world in the US. Being a part of this week was more than a chance for me to use my Spanish, it was a great chance for me to see needs in the communities up close and see the challenges many are facing. Although I pray for physical healing for the people we saw, my greatest hope is that they will come to know the love of the Great Physician.”

Will you join Sarah Larson in prayer? The needs seem overwhelming; yet, God answers prayers and cures the sick. Praise God for His grace and mercy in the ministry of the medical brigade in Choluteca. If you’re interested in getting involved or being one of the team members who travels there to help, click the word help. Don’t miss out on what God may have for you.