Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network
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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Not Accepting Normal

Recent research indicates that 66% of Hondurans, whose country officially documents its murder rate at 182 homicides for every 100,000 citizens, feel safe in their country. This compares to 51% of Costa Ricans who feel safe in their communities even though the murder rate in Costa Rica is 10 murders per 100,000 people. The blog article on Honduras Culture and Politics titled “Sentiment Isn't A Crime Statistic” attributes the discrepancy to Hondurans becoming dull to reality. The author says Hondurans are getting used to feeling unsafe.

Hondurans must not become accustomed to the status quo and neither should AHMEN. AHMEN's Community Empowerment Program, the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative teaches communities that, like Jesus of Nazreth taught his disciples, they have a right to demand more from their government. It is past time to work together as an organization to empower our friends in Colón, Atlántida, and Yoro!

Byron Morales teaches ASI-Yorito

AHMEN is an organization filled with various teams and myriad individuals dedicated to projects dear to their hearts.  As an organization we must fully support each others' goals and projects which have the most long-term beneficial consequences for the Honduran people. We are a network, and ASI is a web with the potential to connect our shared missions with greater tensile strength.

ASI teachers local Hondurans to better inform our missions.  No longer can we come in and out of the San Pedro Sula Airport on high horses without considering the impact of our missions. Even the most well-intentioned of us can spur consequences as a result of the most well-planned or poorly managed teams. 

Going into the 2015 AHMEN AnnualMeeting, we must we evaluate our assumptions. We must reconsider what we thought we knew.

As one of the founding members of AHMEN says, "I thought I was going to Honduras to teach people about Jesus. What I found was that Jesus was alive and well in Honduras." 

Does this mean that we shouldn't go support pastors in Honduras? No! But just because we want to work for churches, does that mean we should not also support long-term community development in the three main areas where AHMEN volunteers work? That is also a "No!"

Fifty individuals have graduated from a three-year training in Cusuna. A hundred others are going through the same training in Jutiapa and Yorito.  After their graduation, community agents are charged with replicating their training in a specific area of development. They may choose maternal health, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, clean water, or abuse and violence prevention.  Whatever they choose, they will be chipping away at injustice. I seem to remember Paul replicating the church in a similar manner??

What are you doing to support AHMEN'SCommunity Empowerment Program, the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative? It is our program on the ground.  It is US when we are not around. It is a way to enable our friends to overcome basic health, economic, and societal issues without us. It is our cast to heal a broken system.  Seventeen years into this work, we can no longer rely on band aids. This is the project which supports all other projects! It is a way to finish the job we started almost two decades ago.

Before AHMEN, 1998

What do you need to do to get started?
  1. Contribute $10/month to the program.
  2. Schedule your team to spend 1-3 days teaching supplemental lessons to the community agents in your area during your mission
  3. Invite community agents to participate in your team.
  4. Encourage others to do the same.

ASI works but needs your help to work better. How can you help?

Together, we are the difference.