The following is a set of long term goals and methods concerning the orphanage in Honduras, which we hope to serve at. If the goals are inspired, they will succeed. If they are not from the Lord, we need to know before starting.
In the beginning, we know that we will be acclaimating ourselves to the cultural and language differences. Even with this though, our heart is to see the home on the farm established in the love, nurturing, and admonition of the Father. Kimberly (orphanage founder), has done such a wonderful job in loving and caring for the children there; we hope to add to. We want to bring the family together in discipleship, education, and life skills. Our desire is to help establish things such as devotional and bible time, prayer time, discipline, hands on learning and teaching in the home. We would hope to add some of the structure that we sometimes take for granted in our homes here in America. It is such a beautiful place for the children to learn of God's creation and love for His children, and that is what we want to set our days about. The Father has such a purpose for each of these children and we want to help raise them to know Him. We want to add a sense of belonging and value. The children there have already faced incredible abuse, neglect, and suffering. We want to help create a safe haven, a place of love.
Honduras is a poor country with low incomes. Whereas in America, we take food and clean water for granted, they are a constant concern for many Hondurans. It is essential that our goals take this matter into account. We hope to address the basic need of food, while providing employment and income so that Hondurans can feed themselves. Many Hondurans know of the Lord as most of the country is Catholic. We should be thankful that the Catholic Church has been present and is introducing so many people to Christ. While we might have fundamental differences in the way we praise God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a foreign concept in Honduras.
Nevertheless, while many people know of God and even believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose again, we all believe in Jesus on one level or another. Our hope is to disciple the children and families in Honduras to not only believe in Jesus, but trust Jesus as Lord (in other words, really believe). I see a lifelong journey with Hondurans from all walks of life. We hope to serve them. We hope to train them. We hope to release them to help others and spread the Gospel.
To put this practical terms, we first hope to practice excellence in agriculture. The orphanage sits on 18 acres of rich soil on a terrain conducive to raising crops and animals. The temperature range in that region is almost always between 55 and 85 degrees year round. The only significant change in seasons is that the first part of the year sees very little rain. Otherwise, there is ample rain for crops. Another 17 acres is for sale close by. When you consider the factory owned mega-farms in the USA, 18 or even 35 acres does not sound like much. However, consider that crops can be grown virtually year round. Also, when is the last time you see even a one acre garden? One tenth of an acre usually produces more food than an American family knows what to do with (especially since few of us eat as many veggies as we should).
We have a lot to learn about raising crops and animals but it is my hope that we not only grow enough crops and animals to feed the orphans and ourselves, but to have an abundance to sell for other needs. When we have an excess, we will be ready for the next phase.
All the while we are honing our agriculture skills, we hope to be training Honduran cooks how to prepare meals with ingrediants that few of them could afford otherwise. We hope to receive and entertain neighbors, missionaries, local civil servants and reach out to others around us. Perhaps we can even provide wedding receptions so long as the bride and groom submit to pre-marital counselling. Infidelity and longevity are problems in Honduran marriages, same as here. Just a mountain over, there are families that have no running water nor electricity. We hope to teach at least some of them how to fish while feeding them at the same time. When we are producing more than we need and have people trained in business and cooking, we hope to open restaurants along the Pan American Highway, which is less than a mile away. The highway is a transport that goes from California to Panama. Truckers bring goods and services along those roads and are likely better paid than most Hondurans. Many trucks travel the highway all hours of the day. Building a reputation of having great food at affordable prices, we hope to train Hondurans to feed themselves and have a brighter future for their children.
We also hope to tap the expertise of other marketplace ministry leaders such as pastor Felix, whom purifies water as a business. With some strategic partnerships and training, we can win the marketplace for Christ and those that love Him.
We hope to operate all of these ventures in a prudent, frugal business manner. We want the ministry to become mostly self-supportive. At some point, we would not need contributors to help us feed the orphans, but rather to provide startup capital for trained adults. The capital could be used to purchase restaurant equipment, food processing facilities or farming equipment. In other words, Christians would not be paying to feed families; they would be investing in Hondurans to feed themselves. All of the restaurants would be partially owned by the orphanage, but we want our managers to own the majority of their own business. The restaurants would be a conduit for excellent agricultural products to be sold through prepared meals, maximizing the potential of the orphanage to train more children and families. Some of them would become farmers, some would become food processors, some would become restaurant managers and most importantly, some would become missionaries so that they can train others and bring the love and hope that Jesus Christ offers. All will glorify God.
In short, Hondurans know that Christ forgives. Our goal is to show them the hope and vision that Christ offers. It is difficult to see God's hand in your life when you are constantly worried about your next meal, your next rent payment or whether or not your husband will drink his income before it can buy beans.