Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

An Ongoing State of Emergency in Honduras: How You Can Help?

Before reading in full, click below to learn why you should donate to an awesome long-term education project in Honduras.

In a chat I heard on NPR, an anthropologist commented on the effect an emergency has on an individual's willingness to donate time and money to a cause. After 9/11, people opened up their pocket books for the fire departments in New York City. After Katrina, folks emptied their wallets to help provide food and shelter for those whose lives had been destroyed. After the tsunami in Indonesia, money flowed into international relief organizations. And now with the earthquake in Nepal, an emergency in every sense of the word, money from the masses is beginning to flow to a common cause.  Baltimore and a justice system that is just are causes as worthwhile as those above.  The cause that I consider an ongoing and perpetual emergency is the Republic of Honduras.  God put me there, and I ask you to join me.  

Is the injustice of a corrupt government made feeble by drug gang conquistadors not an emergency? Are not the crimes of children eating out of trash cans, drinking out of puddles, and suffering from preventable disease not emergencies? Does the deforestation of indigenous land not qualify as an emergency condition? Is it not an emergency when God's people are being forgotten because their cause does not trend on Facebook and Twitter?  

AHMEN's Community Empowerment Program teaches communities how to develop local solutions to local issues like the aforementioned ones above. Dr. Byron Morales teaches communities to build pathways out of poverty. He trains local leadership to be the “eyes and ears” on the ground so short-term mission teams can develop more appropriate outreach through up-to-date information. Byron initiates conversations to help communities critically think about their own conditions. Instead of wondering why God would punish a community with the undue injustices of disease and violence, “Agentes de Salud Integral” learn to contemplate how God's mercy and justice is motivation to heal a world torn apart by greed.

ASI-Jutiapa, 2014: Messages of hope build confidence and encourage leaders to continue regardless of setbacks.

You can and should be a part of helping any community in the world build bridges toward prosperity, but I am calling on you to take an active role in Honduras.

  1. Donate to our team via our new fundraising site.
  2. SHARE our fundraising site across Social Media.

Contribute what you can and ask five friends to do the same. Ask your 5-person team to also have 5 of each of their friends pledge to keep the chain going in continuum.  Help me make the fundraising site go viral.  Together we can help local leaders to transform their communities into healthier and safer spaces.

Children need clean water and education.  They need you to get it!

The people of Honduras demand answers, change, and respect same as we do. By donating to AHMEN's Community Empowerment Program, community agents will have their demands met through the dignity of education.

It is past time to take a stand. Join the movement that is Río de Agua Viva today!

Together, we are the difference.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Will You Provide School Supplies & Gas Money? The Teacher Has Work To Do!

The leader, coordinator, and teacher of the “Agentes de Salud Integral” in Jutiapa, Cusuna, Yorito, and soon Raistá, is a man named Dr. Byron Morales. Byron is an expert in community development. He understands the amount of time it takes to change the mentality of poverty-stricken villages from a mindset of helplessness to one of empowerment. He understands that it takes time for a boy with little time to dream of a future free of back-breaking manual labor to develop the capacity to know it is safe to aspire to become a doctor. Byron understands that it takes time for a young girl to overcome her experiences as a victim of perpetual abuse and leave her grandmother's home to become an advocate for the voiceless. He understands that it takes time for a community held hostage by gangs to go from living in fear to end their captivity by implementing a neighborhood watch program. He knows it takes time, and he continues his work diligently under the guise that every moment counts.

This Wednesday I will feature Byron's latest report from the Spring training at ASI-Jutiapa. On Friday I will feature three life stories presented at the meeting. I will feature the remaining seven life stories later next week.

In the meantime, I please consider adding AHMEN's Community Empower Program and Byron Morales as part of charitable contributions. It costs around $2,500 every three months to fund the series of four quarterly ASI workshops.  For that amount 200 individuals receive education to which they would otherwise not have access.  Any and all contributions toward this cause sustain this very important catalyst for change.

To help fund the ASI workshops, or "school supplies and gas money" for Byron, please click here now! Please respond to me via email to learn how to plan a team to work with Byron and his community agents. What he is doing with the people of Honduras is not only meaningful and effective, it adds value to each moment of life for all involved.

Be sure to leave your comments below, share this post across Social Media, share our fundraiser page, and buy my book!

Together, we are the difference.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!

Great for Missions Study or Sunday School!
Today is earth day.  Today is a holiday I have been celebrating since I was a young child.  The concept seemed valid for as long as I can remember.  A group of high school students, maybe college age, came to King Springs Elementary to put on a show about protecting our environment. They sang a song called “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.” I can still sing it today both because it was catchy and rang true with what I learned in church also. On the first page of the Bible it says we must be good stewards of the earth.  Now I don't interpret the Bible literally, but this message has always seemed like one of the most important to me. If God created the world for us to live and love, what kind of sense does it make to do anything that might be destructive to the world? How can we say we truly love Jesus if we pollute and plunder the home God made for us? In my opinion, we can't do both. We can't do both in missions either. 

That is why I wrote and have published my 2012 graduate thesis entitled Applying Ecofeminist Theory to Christian Mission Work in Honduras: Building Theoretical Bridges for Real Change.

What is Ecofeminism? Ecofeminism links the protection of the earth with ending the blanket discrimination against women across the world. I link the two with Christian missions in Honduras, and I urge you to buy my book and see how!

Also, be sure to check out the Río de Agua Viva team's fundraiser page. The people living in La Moskitia, specifically in the areas around Raista, are not only thirsting for the clean water we will teach them how to obtain, they are thirsting for knowledge!

Join me. Join us. Join your fellow earth inhabitants and make a difference! We still need members for the R
ío team by the way … If you would like to join us in Honduras June 1-10, it is not to late to register. Contact me today.

Together, we are the difference.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Keeping the Water Alive: The River Continues

Good Morning Friends and Family,

This morning I want to keep it short and sweet.  

Will you please go to the new Rio de Agua Viva team fundraising site, drop off a donation, and SHARE our page via Social Media and email.

There are 200 community agents willing and ready to learn how to make a better life for their families and communities.  All we need to do is spread the word!

Here is the site. 

Copy and past it to all of your Social Media sites.

Let's raise the money we need to raise to help countless families raise healthier children in safer communities in Honduras!

Together, we are the difference.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Life Stories from ASI-Yorito, Spring 2015

Empowerment is enabling a community to overcome its situation, and it only comes through education.  The AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative is not as attractive as a feeding kitchen or an orphanage because a donation does not go toward a readily solvable crisis like hunger and homelessness.  Education takes time.  However, empowerment prevents and resolves the need for soup kitchens and children's homes from the get go.  Join this exciting and valuable project today; we need your help!  Read the following report prepared by Byron Morales to learn about some of the individual community agents and how they contribute to the empowerment process in Yorito.

Community Agent Miriam Zulema Velasquez lives in Yorito. She is committed attending the training and at the same time she serves the community from her house receiving lab samples to process at the Yoro Hospital for low costs provided by the Hospital.

Community Agent Sergio Ramos from Portillo community, is the Community Coordinator for youths, developing programs to motivate them and deter their involvement with gangs. The subject on HIV is what he will be replicating in the community with Youth Focal Groups.

Wilmer Jovany Alvarado Ramirez, from Uwaco Community is one of the most active and critical participants in the learning process. He is responsible for a group of 15 youths in his community. Since the beginning he was requesting resources to work with them Now he has in his hands materials and methodology to replicate the subject on HIV.

Nuria Johana Murillo Palma is 19 and is one of the students attending the workshops representing the local High School at Yorito. As part of a work group during the workshop she is applying the methodology. She is planning to study the Nurse career.

Melvin Lopez, one of the Local Committee members contributes always with the logistic during the workshops… laptop, group’s discussion and more.

Byron Morales, your ASI Coordinator, developing the HIV subject.

The work Byron is doing is the slow work of development that contributes to a more peaceful and just society.  Please begin donating to his success today, or contact me to learn how to lead a supplemental course at one of the ASI workshops.

Together, we are the difference.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Río de Agua Viva: Our Team Members, Hayley Nichols 2.0

In two months the Río de Agua Viva team will be on its way to the jungles of Raista via Cusuna after having just spent time doing followups at ASI-Jutiapa and teaching business basics at the Los Laureles Jewelry School … Just two months! I spent a good deal of time talking with my step-dad, Dr. Tom Arnold, last night about our plans, and I am stoked about our upcoming adventure. I wish he could go, but someone's got to represent at the Alabama ACEP meeting!

I'm excited too to have all of our team members' blog post introductions in place. We will all be blogging in, somewhat, real time while in Honduras also. Read more below about the team member I wrote about in my last post, Hayley Nichols. She is going to be a great channel for the Río team.

My name is Hayley Nichols and I am 18 years old. I am a freshman at UAB and majoring in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Public Health. I am on the pre-med track and hope to be practicing medicine in the future.

I believe this trip will be truly life changing for me, and the Hondurans that we meet there. I will be conducting an experiment, alongside Taylor Looney, to test the drinking water that is killing so many children each year. I will also be teaching classes on our findings, to help the people better understand why they need water filters. I believe that God led me to this team for a reason, and I cannot wait to make a difference.

I love any form of community service, all sorts of books, and anything to do with the sea. Dance is another one of my passions and I hope to share that passion with the people in Honduras when I teach a dance class on our trip.

If you are looking to be a part of something bigger than yourself this year, why not think about joining our team as either a foreign or domestic member. There are many roles you can play to help this team succeed. Contact me for more information.

Together, we are the difference.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Río de Agua Viva: Our Team Members, Hayley Nichols

Joining AHMEN's Río de Agua Viva is a commitment to fundraising for some people. For others it is a commitment to pray for a cause. Others join the Río team to sponsor. Finally, a select few join us to travel, to experience the “reasons for the river.” Hayley Nichols is one of those who decided she wants to travel with us on June 1-10. When I asked Hayley to write a short introduction of herself for my blog, she said “okay” and took it a step further by making her own GoFundMe site.

Let's all pitch in any amount to help Hayley raise her team fees, as my friends Sister Eleanor and King Tall T say, in the name of Jesus!

The sooner we knock out Hayley's fundraising needs the sooner we can focus on our team's fundraising needs. Check out those needs at our new Nations Bridge site in a few days....

Whether you want to join the Río de Agua Viva as a foreign or domestic member, please know that every little bit of support you lend adds to our success in Honduras. You are part of what makes this river a living & breathing source of life for so many deserving families. Contact me to learn more.

Together, we are the difference.