Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network
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Monday, March 30, 2015

Río de Agua Viva: Our Team Members, Taylor Looney

One of the fun things that makes us different from other animals is our knack for taking personal histories and applying them to shape our future. Lieutenant Dan ended up in the military because every male member in his lineage had fought in died in a U.S. war. Sojourner Truth addressed her segregation within the Women's Rights Movement from her experience as a female slave by saying “Ain't I a Woman?” My friend DJ grew up to be a barber because a woman in Jasper, Al made an impression on him, and the Río de Agua Viva team's Taylor Lonney is headed to Honduras, in part, because caring for a family member started her on a journey. Here is Taylor's story:

I attend University of Alabama at Birmingham and am pursing a degree in Biomedical Sciences. I am also minoring in Public Health and Chemistry, which falls in line with my interest in medicine. I plan on applying to medical school within the near future.

This summer in Honduras, I will be doing water quality research and teaching community agents about bacteria and other important topics that relate to sustainability. My interest in helping others began with my uncle, Eddie, who passed away from Cancer when I was young. I provided him nail care, massages, and read him stories during the time of his suffering. Even though I was not old enough to fully understand the disease itself, I knew that my actions made him feel better. After obtaining hours of direct patient care experience as a Nursing Technician for the Baptist Health Systems, I know that I belong in the healthcare field and could not see myself anywhere else.

In my free time, I enjoy giving back to my community, reading, and being outdoors. I have a strong interest in contributing to the well being of others and look forward to seeing how my Honduras mission helps me do just that.

Who is the special person in your life that has led you to this story? Who is the special person from your past who might wish you to pursue a missions experience? Who do you know that would like to see you spend your time and money working alongside our team in the jungles of Honduras? Contact me for more info on our team and other outreach efforts with AHMEN. Whether a domestic or foreign volunteer, we need you!

Together, we are the difference.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Coffee, AIDS, & Tolerance at ASI-Yorito

True development work takes into account the individuality of the human element.  When Byron Morales and the local coordinating committee began planning the Spring ASI - Yorito workshop they knew many people could not make it due to it being coffee harvest season.  That's why there were only 25 Community Agents at the gathering on March 13-14.  Therefore the local planners decided to hold a second workshop for the harvesters who couldn't make it in a few weeks.  In a sense, they were modeling the tolerance they were about to teach.  

The videos below are with ASI-Yorito coordinators Fanny Aviles and Melvin Lopez.  The report below was prepared by Byron Morales:


1. To focus on HIV-AIDS prevention in specifics risk contexts, like alcohol and drugs consumption, negative influence of pairs, critical family situations, or in general adverse psycho-social and affective conditions,  as factors to risky sexual behaviors.

2. To facilitate dynamics for interactive participation to generate dialogue, discussion, reflection and proposals for changes on HIV-AIDS prevention.

3. To challenge and train the Agents to replicate the subject with focal groups in their communities during the three months before the next workshop and with at least three groups, one per month.


1.) 25 out of 50 Agents took the workshop.

2.) The Agents learned the difference between Sexuality, Sex and Gender.

3) The Agents learned the different risk behavior levels to get infected.

4.) The Agents discussed about Sexual life in Adolescence and the HIV risk.

5.) The Intimacy in Adolescence and the risk was discussed and learned form a medical and psychological perspective.

6.) Materials, methodologies and dynamics were shared and learned for the Agents to replicate the subject with focal groups in their communities.

7.) The Agents learned principles about non-discrimination of homosexuals or people living with HIV-AIDS. For some of them coming from a very religious context this was new, this was something that they have not had the opportunity to discuss in their churches. Some of them knew only a condemnatory approach. 

8.) The group commitment: “No Judges No Lawyers”, just Facilitators of a Human Perspective based in Love of God!

In the coming days, be on the lookout for personal accounts from the workshop.  If teaching tolerance is something you think you would like to be a part of, contact me today!  You may donate to the program's sustainability or volunteer your time to join a team that works at one of the ASI workshops.

Together, we are the difference.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

¿Cómo Nadas En El Río de Agua Viva?

The title of today's blog is "¿Cómo Nadas En El Río de Agua Viva?"  That means "How do you swim in the River of Living Water?"  We have a mission to save little kids' lives so they can grow up to be the future leaders of their country.  It is going to take a serious plan, and we've got one heck of a team to make that plan come together.  And I love it when a plan comes together!

Here are the Rio 2015 Team Jobs:

From Left: Taylor Looney, Hayley Nichols, Dr. Tom Camp, Lane Turbeville, Michael Franklin, Nelly Fielding.  (Dr. Ben Copelan not pictured)

    1. Team/CA Name Tags, (need 100 +pens) – Michael
    2. Devotional, Photographer (2) – Michael, Nelly
    3. Journalist (2) – Michael
    4. First Minutes of Life – Ben
    5. Collect Water Samples – Tom, Taylor, Hayley, Nelly
    6. Test Water Samples – Tom, Taylor, Hayley, Nelly
    7. Collect Data from Families/Pictures/When, Where, Contact Info – Michael, Taylor, Nelly, Hayley
    8. Teach Worms and Germs – Tom Taylor
    9. Water With Blessings – Sister Larraine Lauter and Water Women
    10. Community Development Intro – Byron, Michael
    11. Translators – Nelly
    12. Road Manager – Mario
    13. Team Water – Michael, Tom, Taylor, Hayley
    14. Team Food – Taylor, Tom, Hayley
    15. Banker – Tom, Hayley
    16. Team Paperwork – Nelly, Hayley
    17. Communicator – Michael, Tom, Hayley, Taylor
    18. How to Price – Tom
    19. Marketing – Taylor & Hayley
    20. Local Sales – Tom, Ben
    21. Professionalize – Michael
    22. VBS – Nelly
    23. Fundraisers – Brianna Camp, Nana Williams, Randy Lee
    24. T-Shirts – Taylor, Lane, Nelly
As you can see, we have a lot of strong support.  However, we still need your help.  We need more members, fundraisers, sponsors, and prayer partners.  Contact me to join the team as a domestic or foreign member.

Together, we are the difference.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Río de Agua Viva: Our Team Members, Dr. Tom Camp

The next member of the Río team I want to introduce to you is my Assistant Team Leader. He is also married to my Great Aunt Judy. By name, that makes him my Great Uncle Tom. It is through his own personality, though, that he is a great uncle! Read on to learn more about Dr. Tom Camp and his involvement in the Río de Agua Viva team this year.

Hola Amigos,

Mi nombre es Dr. Tom Camp. I am 73 years old, and Michael is still letting me join his team. I am one of original members of AHMEN and also its General Coordinator.

Have been a member of Rio team since its conception. I have participated on the team as medical doctor, teacher, and assistant team leader. I love the direction this team is taking in it's work in Honduras – Community Development & Leadership Promotion – and am most excited about the idea of transforming the drinking water situation for kids who are not even aware of the problem.

I look forward to working with all of our new and old team members, getting to know everyone, and watching the health of the kids improve over the coming years.

I love being on the Río team, and I hope you will join us too.

Remember, you can be a part of the Río team also. Members travel with the team, and we have members who stay put here in the United States as “domestic missionaries.” Our domestic missionaries fundraise for team supplies, sponsor team members' dues, and pray for our success. Are you read to join Team Río?? Come on out and join us at River ofLiving Water United Methodist Ministries from 10 AM – 12 PM this Saturday as we plan our team activities. Contact me for more information!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Rio de Agua Viva: Our Team Members, Dr. Ben Coplan

Today's Rio member blog comes to you via Dr. Tom Camp.  As you know, sometimes Dr. Camp get's excited about Honduras.  As Ben is one of his favorite people, Tom asked me if he could write about his buddy Ben.  Here is what he wrote!

Dr. Ben will also be reprising his role as dance instructor this year!

If any of you have spent any time with California Pediatrician Dr. Ben Coplan you know his love is for newborns and kids. Dr. Ben joined CHIMES for his early mission career, but AHMEN has recruited him for ourselves.

Dr. Ben at ASI-Jutiapa

Dr. Ben’s forte is education of moms in Honduras. Again this year, he will be joining AHMEN’s Rio de Aqua Viva team in setting up a new AHMEN-SIFAT Workshop in Raista, La Mosquitia, Honduras.

Dr. Ben teaching at ASI-Cusuna

One problem, Raista is not on the main electricity power grid for Honduras. After some research, Dr. Ben has decided one of the things he will be teaching/instructing is a system called: Kangaroo Mother Care.  Take a look at their web page, it is fascinating.

Join the Rio team today.  We are having a team meeting this Saturday at River of Living Water United Methodist Ministries in Jasper, Al from 10 AM - 12 PM.  We have many different ways of participating in the team both here and abroad.  Either role you and God decide, we need your help!

Together, we are the difference.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Rio de Agua Viva: Our Team Members, Nelly Fielding

Hi Everybody,  

I write a lot about the ideas behind the members of the Rio de Agua Viva team, but I forget sometimes to talk about our members.  Well, no more!  Each day this week I will feature a blog written by each of our members about why they are headed back to Honduras with us.  Feel free to come meet our team members at our meeting this Saturday from 10 AM - 12 PM at River of Living Water United Methodist Ministries.  For now, meet my friend Nelly.

Nelly Fielding

I was blessed to share in a mission trip to Honduras in June of 2014. The focus of the group I was a part of, Team Rio, was education. Rio has been training women representing local communities how to take care of themselves in several capacities, from filtering their own water, to helping women work towards becoming small entrepreneurs.

Dr. George and Nelly interviewed by Dr. Noe's Broadcasting Team

A new dimension, personal gardening, was begun on that trip. A master gardener, George Wong-Chong (Doctor George) spoke to those women about the imperative need for vegetables and fruits in the diets of the children to build up their immune systems. He imparted some simple steps towards making fertilizer from readily available materials hoping to propel people to build community gardens. I regret that George and his lovely wife, Mary Lou cannot make the trip this year. Imagine the boost in nutrition for the children, if people were able to cultivate the produce they cannot afford in the local markets. I had the privilege of interpreting for Dr. George, and hiking with him through a coastal village where other mission groups have impelled the villagers to start small coconut plantations and to raise chickens. We would like to return to that village in particular as the members we spoke to were very interested in starting a community garden.

Nelly's Bible School Students

Part of Team Rio held a one-day Vacation Bible School session for the children of a very destitute community. The Lord gave us a beautiful program for those precious children, who were very well behaved, despite the fact that we were in tremendously cramped quarters. They sang their hearts out to God and one could see the intensity in their eyes as they listened to Suyapa, an important local contact, tell them about the life of the Savior. The mayor of Jutiapa, Dr. Noe Guardado, and his wife, both very active in community improvements, gave us some very encouraging news. They said that as a result of years of American mission work in Honduras, there are now visible inroads of success through work. Many people now have hopeful attitudes that they can improve their own lives, as opposed to depending on handouts.  I think we all swelled up a little when the interpreter quoted the mayor on that point!

I am returning to Honduras because those people need us. Christ has given me so much that my cup runneth over, and I want to share the overflow.

Nelly de Los Laureles con Nelly de Cordova

Feel free to join the Rio team as a prayer warrior, fundraiser, member sponsor, or traveling team member.  We are a community of many different types of volunteers, and we need your help!  Contact me to learn more about our team today!

Together, we are the difference.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The River Breaks New Ground

Good Morning Friends and Family,

Admit it.  You've looked at the "Rio" team page on the AHMEN website.  You've even checked out our Facebook page.  Come on; you've thought about joining us.  So what's stopping you?  God had something special in mind when putting this team together.  How are you part of that plan?

Head on over to River of Living Water United Methodist Ministries on March 21, 2015 from 10 AM - 12 PM to attend our second team meeting.

Are you one of our prayer warriors?  Are you one of our fundraisers?  Do you want to sponsor a member, or do YOU want to BE a member?  Either way, contact me today!  We've got a lot to do and can't do it without you.

Together, we are the difference.