Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Economic Consultant James Iverson to Honduras

As an experienced missionary I often foolishly think that I have a perspective to share with more novice volunteers.  In the case of an upcoming voyage to La Esperanza, the "up-and-comers" will serve as much-needed models for the "been-theres."  Along with Brian Price and Lauren Watkins, James Iverson is one of our young team members who will offer a fresh look in this time of AHMEN's transition to the future.  The following is his story:

As the month of May draws onward I find myself chatting about my impending departure to Honduras more often. I've perfected the spiel at this point – I can wrap a conversation up in about two minutes if I accidentally engage a coworker or mere acquaintance. The summarized transcript runs something like this: “Leaving in June, pharmaceutical needs, building relationships, financial planning,helping, humbling, thanks for the well-wishing.” Shortly after one of these abridged discussions a nagging thought entered my mind: In all honesty my contribution to the welfare of Honduras' people would be about as significant as that lame conversation just made it sound. I bounced these thoughts off of my brother and he candidly responded, “Well why are you going then?”

His question was not shallow. He slacked out a few calculated arguments: “You only get two vacation weeks a year, will be in the process of moving from an apartment to a house in early June and haven't taken more than three days off in over a year.” After all, what is so bad about helping oneself? He was right to bring these issues up. I would be busy with the new rental home (it will take some 'fixing-up') and have been stressed out at work. I weighed these arguments for a few days but inspiration struck me while brushing up on my Spanish online.

While I may concretely execute a lot more for myself if I stayed back and handled what we all commonly refer to as “life” I would lose out in the long run. Who was I kidding!? My belongings won't get hurt by sitting in boxes for a few extra days. My stress at work has a lot more to do with my sporadic sleeping habits and propensity to daily bite off more than a day's mouthful. The trip to Honduras is an opportunity not a distraction. Nothing about the process of going through those “life” motions would have prompted me to relearn basic Spanish conjugation. I wouldn't be looking forward to catching up with a dear friend from school. I wouldn't be presented with the opportunity to make many more friends like him. I wouldn't be traveling the world at all.

Since the dream of being a 'traveler' is what has motivated me in all my educational/professional endeavors it is, in hindsight, hilarious that I had even considered staying at home in order to better 'help myself'. It seems that my future and the future of La Esperanza are linked in this rather shadowy fashion. There is no longer any question in mind about whether it will be worth my time – now I must challenge myself to make it worth their time. My answer to my brother's questions is firm now. I am going to Honduras to help teach and learn. While I won't accomplish more than this I am convinced that this goal is attainable.

Look around the habitable world: how few
Know their own good, or knowing it, puruse.
~Juvenal, Satires
                                                      -James Iverson


Monday, May 16, 2011


Well who knew Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Julia Roberts were such huge fans of the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative?!!

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Academy Award-winning actress Julia Roberts want to help improve the living conditions for millions of women through programs like the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative! 

Speaking of the reason for the new United Nations push to help introduce cleaner cooking stove technology to 100 million women worldwide Roberts said "nearly two million people around the world -- mostly women and children -- die each year from an activity that many of us take for granted: cooking for our families." Because these deaths are largely preventable, let's join these powerful women to help train women and children in more beneficial cook stove technology!

At the September 2010 Clinton Global Initiative meeting, Secretary Clinton spoke of the immensely positive effects simple “tweaks” in technology can have on whole communities.

In addition to the effects on global climate change Secretary Clinton says “the journeys women must take to find scarce fuel puts them at increased risk of violent and sexual assault. Every hour spent collecting fuel is an hour not spent in school or tending crops or running a business. People have cooked over open fires and dirty stoves for all of human history, but the simple fact is they are slowly killing millions of people and polluting the environment."

The technology the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative is bringing to Honduras reduces communities' fuel consumption by a third while maximizing that fuel's efficiency.  If you think about it, this one change Byron Morales is helping bring to Honduras will have a domino-winning effect. Every AHMEN mission project stands to benefit from the types of technologies the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative is bringing to Honduras. The Advanced Eye Care program will see fewer patients complaining of problems related to smoke exposure; deaf students will worry less about damage to their precious sight! Medical teams will see fewer patients complaining of asthma, bronchitis, or other pulmonary diseases. More women in the classroom means less vulnerability and at some point in the future possibly less need for Shalom intervention. Teachers and students gathering 30% less cooking fuel can quite possibly spend 30% more of their time creating lesson plans and doing homework. More fully educated women raise children with greater self-esteems and more potential to transform communities for the better.

If helping women and children live healthier, more secure lives is a cause you can get behind, this is your project! Join the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative and help us bring lasting, beneficial change to Honduras. The following folks are committed to help sponsor monetarily and through in-country relationships 2011 SIFAT Practicum training in Lineville, Al:

General Support: Michael Franklin, Benny Rowe, Tom Camp, Byron Morales, Debora Arnold

Marianna: Lela Aaron-Vicente, Linda Norris, Methodist Women's Group of Walker County, Randy Lee, Lou Altman, Byron Morales

Suyapa: Jerry and Jean Boshell, Byron Morales, Tom Arnold, Dale and Anna Capron

Mario: Mary and Hugh Guffey, Bruce McFadden, Bud McKinney, Lou Altman, Byron Morales, Dan Isbell

We need you to donate your time and/or money to help make this possible. Consult Dr. Camp's, Bruce McFadden's, or my blog for more info!

Did Jesus prefer to just give a man a fish? Did Horace Mann prefer self-reliance to educational structure? Has Sister Eleanor ever said the people of Honduras are living well enough? The answer is plain and clear across two languages – NO!!

Now let's make it happen. Contact Michael Franklin, Tom Camp, or Hugh Guffey about how to support the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative today!