Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network
How can you help?

Friday, June 29, 2012

De La Montaña Al Mar: The Crew

A mission team can only function as well as its individual members' sense of location, responsibility, and drive. Teams must be united in their goals and joined at the hip in terms of their commitment to the communities they serve. Such synergy does not require teams to be made up of people with all the same opinions and backgrounds, and in fact, I think that teams do better when comprised of individuals different in age, nationality, occupation, race, and religion. Maybe it's just me...but I really enjoy partnering with different groups to achieve common goals.  In fact, this is what AHMEN and the De La Montaña Al Mar Crew does.  So without further introduction, here we are!

Magan is a cardiac nurse at Children's Hospital in Birmingham. She and Doris knocked the pharmacy out of the ball park! I thought last year's team member, James Iverson, was the best I'd ever seen..But I was wrong!!

From Left: Magan, Delmer, Kyle, Lauren
Kyle is an E.R. nurse at Princeton.  His energy and appetite are a resource for any team.  This is Kyle's first time back to Honduras in 10 years.  I anticipate him leading his own team next year!

Lauren is the official team photographer and story-teller.  So in some sense of the word, she may be the team historian.  Lauren is a ray of sunshine, and her closest friends know her as "Barbie."

Delmer is a Honduran physician with a pure soul.  He is one of the most collected, honest, and dependable people I have every met in my life. Any team is lucky to have him volunteer to help.  His dearest friends call him "Hans."

Doris and Brent are the road managers of this team and many others.  They make everything easier, more fun, and more safe.  Their sense of humor and love for Honduras cannot be topped.

Mario trying on a poncho at the Telares El Cacao
Mario is the "Jack of all Trades." He packs trucks and then drives them. He protects the team from harm. He is a teacher, a preacher, and a true humanitarian. Mario is an incredible asset and an even better friend.

Amanda is our assistant team leader and accountant. She is a pre-med student at UAB. Amanda smiles often and keeps the team on track with even more regularity.  This team really lucked out when UMVIM sent her our way!  I hope to see Amanda become a lifelong AHMEN member.

Mariposa is the Spanish name for this team's most crucial component. Mary "Butterfly" Capps is an official AHMEN clown!  After traveling with her twice, I think I may be spoiled.  I can't imagine a team without her!

Circle From Bottom Left to Top Left: Mario, Walitza, Gaby, Margarita, Jany, Mariposa, Sayli, Sindi, Magan, Mirsha, Kyle, Michael, Amanda, Lauren, Delmer, Doris, Brent, Ernesto (Tom camp taking picture, Ron out on business)

Mirsha is the head organizer for the "De La Montaña" portion of the team. She prepares the surrounding communities for our arrival, readies our team for our arrival, and works hard to make everything go according to plan.  She has a huge heart and an even bigger smile! Mirsha works at CISA.

Sindi is so smart and cheerful. She is a delight to work with. She and Doris are a powerhouse in the pharmacy. She works at CISA.

Sayli is so smart and cheerful.  She is a delight to work with.  Yes, I am saying the same thing about Sayli as I say about Sindi..They are sisters!  Sindi single-handedly took on the role of inputting data in the AHMEN Database while passing out vitamins and worming medicine. 

Margarita is Sindi and Sayli's mom. She operates the computer programs which monitor the hydroelectric turbines at CISA. Margarita is a kind, proud, intelligent, and trustworthy individual.

Gerardo works at CISA as an engineering consultant.  He is ready to help out at a moment's notice and has a real feeling for what his country needs for the future. Gerardo loves his job and loves people.

The Water Team of Lepaterique From Left: Rosa, Santos, Michael, Carla, Gerardo, Maria

Jany works at CISA.  Her smile and work-ethic don't leave much to be desired! Doris, Sindi, and Jany make up a trio I don't ever want to lose.

Gaby has a thirst for knowledge and social interaction.  When Gaby arrives, everything runs smoother.  She begins school full-time this fall to study as an engineer. I hope she will return to CISA upon graduation.

Nadia is also a CISA employee.  Just by talking to Nadia I notice an honesty rarely seen in many places. We did not enjoy the pleasure of working directly with Nadia this year, but she quietly orchestrated behind the scenes the whole time.

Grace is an intern at CISA.  She loves working with NGOs and medical brigades, and this team loves working with her!

Ron and Ernesto produce hydroelectric power for La Esperanza and its surrounding communities. I am amazed at the way their entrepreneurship functions through humanitarianism.  AHMEN is very lucky to be considered partners of CISA.

Steve is an ex-patriot American sailor living in Utila.  He is Doris and Brent's right-hand man and a friend of AHMEN.  His tall stature is only shadowed by his big heart. His official job is to take Mariposa on joy rides!

From Left: Jeanne, Mary "Butterfly" Capps, Toinette
Toinette, the entire staff of and students at the Utila Public School exemplify why I come to Honduras.  The positive energy they convey is a common thread holding the country together.  I am excited about the way AHMEN's partnership with Utila's public edcuation system is developing.   Jeanne has also moved from the United States to Utila.  She works closely with the public school and hopefully plans to do the same with AHMEN!  Check out her blog, today! Jeanne's smile, compassion, and understanding of the world are a joy to experience.

Paolo is the man to call if you need a driver.  He is friendly, trustworthy, honest, and dependable.  Please look for Paolo's contact information at honduranmissions.com.  Next time you are in Honduras, think about hiring Paolo for your travel needs.

Micah is a college freshman and "piggy back" AHMEN volunteer. He spent a few days with our team before joining up with his scheduled team in La Ceiba. Micah's spirit thirsts to tell the story of Jesus, and Honduras is the Powerade it craves.

Shalom stands for peace. The ladies of Shalom stand to change the face of Honduras for the better.  We thank you for your love.

Micah and Shalom

Cruzadas is on a mission to share the love of Jesus throughout Honduras.  Sister Eleanor, Sandi, Shane, Yappi, and everyone else at Cruzadas de Evangelio, AHMEN would not function without you.

The La Ceiba Dump Women's Co-op

There are 30 women  living at the dump in La Ceiba who have gotten together, formed plans, and have accepted Ezekiel Nichols' proposal to start micro-enterprises.  The women have no property or money. They do not seek to get rich. They seek opportunity. I pray AHMEN is able to help them identify and seize this opportunity.

Telares El Cacao
Telares El Cacao is a model for the future of Honduras.  In a small mountain-top community in the mountains above La Esperanza, a group of five women use old-fashioned looms to sew and quilt products for local sale.  We have much to learn from them.

Thank you to Rev. Matt Lacy, the North Alabama Conference, UMVIM, and the United Methodist Church.

All of our sponsors and everyone who prayed for our team.

Together, we are the difference.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"De La Montaña Al Mar" Has Returned!!

Honduras Bound!
The “De La Montaña Al Mar” team has returned to the United States after a busy 12-day mission to Honduras, and boy were we successful! I don't think in 14 years of mission work that I have been on such a successful team, and I'm sad to say that my inaugural stint as team leader didn't have much to do with itThis team has been blessed to come together every step of the way with the right people at the right time. And with the right team, we aim to build relationships across Honduras so that nobody is left behind!

The "De La Montaña" Portion of the team
“De La Montaña Al Mar” means “From The Mountain To The Sea.” We didn't choose this name as some nod to our mentality that Honduras is a “land for you and me” but instead to simply describe the path of our mission work. After flying in to San Pedro Sula, our team traveled to the mountain community of La Esperanza. We spent five nights there holding medical clinics by day and clean water talks by afternoon. We also spent a significant amount of time building relationships between AHMEN, the communities where we worked, and the local hydroelectric company. On Day 6 of our journey, we traveled to the seaside community of La Ceiba to catch the next day's ferry to Utila. So as not to have any time wasted, before catching the ferry, we were able to visit the local city dump in La Ceiba to gather information for EzekielNichols' long-term project there. Once on Utila, our team focused our attention on unpacking, stamping, cataloging, and shelving books for the local public school library. We were also able to loan the school two Sawyer 0.1 micron water filters so that students and teachers can begin the process of enjoying a safe and sustainable source of water throughout the year. Relationships, water, long-term – these are the words of our new approach to mission work in Honduras. We worked our way from the mountain to the sea, but this is not a one-time deal. Top to bottom, AHMEN is here for the long-haul!

From Left to Right: Keyla, Suyapa, Amanda, Michael

If you are thinking that this team didn't sound all that successful, well then you have to stay tuned...! In the coming blog posts I will feature short profiles of our team's members. I will specifically highlight the miracle revealed through Mary “Butterfly” Capps. I will talk about three different ways we saw women empowering themselves. You will read about the connections this team made, and you will read about the role of AHMEN missionaries as both workers and ambassadors.

Look for the coming blog posts to learn more about relationships-based missions in Honduras:

  •  De La Montaña Al Mar: The Crew
  •  Mariposa's Miracle
  • Representing The Church And Democracy
  • ¿Feminista o Mujerista?: AHMEN Investing in Women

There is much to read and see! Look for these upcoming blog posts, and as always, continue to follow us on the honduranmissions.com website and facebook pages.

For a live presentation of this team's philosophy on mission work, please feel free to attend Christ United Methodist Church in Jasper, Al this Sunday, July 1 at 11 A.M. for a special missions service.

1401 Jones Dairy Road  Jasper, AL 35501
(205) 387-7603 

Together, we are the difference.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I Know You....!! - Part Two

JULIAN BERMUDEZ, Cusuna Community Agent
Julian challenges his workshop mates to make the most of what AHMEN offers. He testifies about the importance of reading and reviewing the program materials community agents receive during the workshops. Julian suggests that he and his fellow community agents should not waste time between workshops but master concepts already covered in preparation for future dialogues. When Julian notices self-confidence issues in his community, he doesn't shrug responsibility. He instead reminds his peers to be confident in their united ability to foster the progress they want to see. In addition to the motivation and "fire" we have seen grow inside of Julian, he has also come to value the importance of appropriate, practical solutions to community needs.
Julian is but one of the dozens of community agents who will be graduating to their third year of the program this fall. They are hungry to begin their individual initiatives required for graduation next year, and we need your support to turn the tassels! 
Please contact me today about how you can be a part of the SIFAT-Initiative of AHMEN's Community Empowerment Program.

Together, we are the difference.