Did you know that all of the POI staff in Honduras are Honduran? “I believe there is no better person to reach Hondurans than Hondurans. A North American would take years to learn the language and possibly a lifetime to completely understand the culture. I believe in investing in indigenous people and giving them the tools to reach their own people.” —David Hamilton, Founder and CEO, Point of Impact
Not only does this provide the locals with much needed jobs, but it also allows the ministry to reach the culture in a way a non-local never could. This week, we would like you to meet one local who is changing lives, one orphan at a time.
Meet Pastor Yovanni.
Just a few weeks ago I was on a mission trip in Honduras at the San Juan program. Pastor Yovanni leaned over to me and pointed at one of the cutest kinder kids I have ever seen. He looked so tiny in his little plaid uniform pants and giant backpack.
With such compassion, and nearly to the point of tears, Pastor Yovanni told me how this little boys parents are both on drugs, and that they have been trying for months to get him into the POI program. He told me that even though this precious child still is experiencing what no child should ever experience, for the first time, he has a safe place to come each day– where he receives food, medical care, love, and most of all, gets to hear about a God who absolutely and completely loves him.
Pastor Yavonni has worked at the POI San Juan project since 2002 when David and Ruth Hamilton first began ministry in Honduras with an organization called “Movimiento Juvenil Cristiano” (Christian Youth Movement).
Before Pastor Yovanni came to know Christ, he worked as a business man.
“When I received Christ He changed my life, and my future; I became a man of faith in God rather than in myself,” Pastor Yovanni said.
Pastor Yavonni serves alongside his wife and daughter who are both teachers at San Juan.
“As I follow Christ, I get to watch him continually change me and the staff here
For me, my reward is every child that I see eating a meal [a blessing through our friends in the states who sponsor these children] and watching people make the decision to follow Christ.” Pastor Yovanni said.
As you can probably imagine, working in one of the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods of Tegucigalpa each day is anything but easy.
“Hardships… there are plenty. This is a complicated place to work, and for me, the challenge is just to wait for God to bring true change in people and to help this community to know and live for Him,” Pastor Yovanni said.
“Honduras is beautiful. San Juan is beautiful. And I want you to all know that you are welcome to come and see the fruits of your sponsorship; how kids have gone from sleeping on the floor to sleeping on a bed. God has provided through you.”
Hannah Johnson went on her first on her first mission trip to Honduras nearly six years ago. She now works for the ministry and is passionate about orphan care and the “least of these.” To read more, click here.