Our church has been involved in local and regional mission work for many years. Many members felt the calling to expand our mission field to the international community and we were blessed to discover the Christian community in El Progresso, Honduras. It seems that everywhere one might travel in so called "third world" countries, one sees people in need. However in Honduras we found local partners in mission that are plenty willing and able but lack resources. Over the years we have built a relationship built on trust and mutual respect with our Christian brothers and sisters that enable our efforts to have an immediate and long lasting impact for the local people.
Our mission trips to Honduras have been filled with a variety of activities, often allowing us to experience many things in one trip. Our primary mission has been to support a medical brigade for the people in the rural communities around the town of El Progresso. Most days of the trip, we deliver and distribute preventive medical care to local residents who have no local medical options. The medical care consists of an oral parasite medicine, which if administered every six months will prevent many of the common ailments that could lead to greater health problems. In addition we provide a fluoride treatment for the children of the community. While visiting, we have often conducted a mini-vacation bible school for the children as they waited for treatment.
When we have had sufficient man power available we have engaged in construction projects including painting and replacing the roof on a school building and pouring a concrete floor for our sister church in El Progresso. In addition we have visited and supported a local Catholic orphanage and the prison where we supported a medical brigade and distributed bibles to inmates.
While travel to any destination can be a risky adventure there are many factors that should be considered. This is where trusted local partners are a huge advantage. Direct flights are available from major US cities to San Pedro Sula. Our local contacts include a medical doctor (educated at Texas A&M) and his family who have been kind enough to arrange transportation from the air port to a local hotel. On previous trips our sister church has provided a guide and local transportation to the mission site for each day and have provided breakfast and dinner on most days while the local church sends lunch and bottled water with us to the mission sites. Prudent precautions are required to minimize the risk. Drink only bottled beverages. Walking about town alone is strongly discouraged and travelling along dirt roads while standing in the back of a pickup truck is not for the faint of heart. The political situation in Honduras is perhaps more stable than other countries but is worth monitoring.
It certainly helps if some persons on the trip are partially fluent in Spanish. While some of our Honduras local mission partners are partially fluent in English (and some are expert) most of the people you will meet speak no English and your experience will be enhanced if you take the time to learn a little Spanish before your trip. Training tapes are available at the Van Alstyne library (and many other sources); you can learn some basics in a month or two, basics that may expand your opportunities in Texas as well as overseas.
Travel expenses are the responsibility of the missionary. In the past our church has funded the supplies for the medical missions. Costs of the construction supplies have often been donated by the missionaries. The people that you will meet are priceless and will make a lasting impact on your life.