Category Archives: Updates

Dania’s Story

Dania Castro is a vibrant and playful girl from our POI center in Villa Nueva.  Dania is in the 4th grade and has attended POI since 1st grade.  She lives with her mother, Maria Teresa, and is the fifth of six siblings. Her mom is a single mother and lives with a very limited budget.  Maria usually washes neighbors clothing or cleans or their homes to earn a very little income.

Dania1

At a first glance you would never guess Dania suffers from the terrible diseases Vasculitis and Osteomyelitis. Vasculitis is a term for a group of rare diseases that cause inflammation in the blood  vessels. There are many types of Vasculitis and they all vary in symptoms, severity, and duration. Most types of vasculitis are rare and the causes are generally unknown.

Osteomyelitis is an infection in a bone. Infections reach the bone by traveling through the bloodstream or spreading from nearby tissue. Infections can also begin in the bone itself if an injury causes prolonged exposure germs to the bone. In children, osteomyelitis most commonly effects the long bones of the legs and upper arms.

Dania  was  diagnosed  with  vasculitis  when  she  was  1  year  old.  Throughout her  short  9 years  she  has  gone  through  several  surgeries  which resulted in the amputation of her  fingers and  toes. Every  school  year  she  is in need of  special  shoes because  her  feet  are  wider  than  usual.  Her shoes need to be comfortable so that they do not hurt her feet. Her POI sponsors, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hudnall, have been so gracious by providing her with these specialized shoes.  Sadly, the disease has taken  a  toll  on  her  health. After being hospitalized for 15 days, her left leg was amputated above the knee.

When our POI team visited Dania we were gladly surprised.  Although the pain was visible, she was very energetic! The doctor even mentioned that she had been telling jokes and sharing her excitement to go back to school.  Doctors  say  they  are amazed  at  her  fast  recovery and  her  correct  mental  health.  She was released from hospital care last Wednesday and is enjoying being home. As of now, she needs a wheelchair, but eventually will need a prosthetic leg.  She will also continue treatment for both diseases and physical therapy. All these treatments are expensive.

We ask for your prayers upon her and her family. May she keep her vivacious spirit and may  all the  complications and changes that  will follow this procedure  shape  her into a girl  of  faith  and  not  turn  her  away  from  God.  At the  moment,  we  have  provided  her family with a Tube of Love (TOL)  and we have started looking for the right wheelchair for Dania!

 

“I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me.”

Matthew 25:36

Meet Carolina

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Born on December 6, 1998, Heidy Carolina Avila Espinal spent her early years with her mother and grandmother in a small town near Tegucigalpa. In 2009, she lost her mother to AIDs, leaving Carolina in the care of her grandmother. When her grandmother grew unable to care for Carolina, she moved to Villa Nueva to live with her aunt and cousins. Although her aunt worked long hours to provide for her family, she was simply unable to provide the amount of resources needed to support her family plus Carolina. When Carolina’s aunt came to a neighbor for help, she was introduced to POI. Through this newly formed relationship, Carolina was able to move into a home with 14 other children in the POI family.

Over the years, Carolina has become a part of the POI family. Through POI, she has received an education which allows her to pursue whatever she puts her mind to. POI has not only given opportunities but also hope. In the year 2016, Carolina and two other members of the POI family reached their 18th birthday. 4In the country of Honduras, once a child turns 18, they are no longer legally allowed to live in a home with younger children. These new adults must move out of the home and all of a sudden, they must try to figure out how to live on their own. They often end up back in the very environments from which they came.  Because of this growing need, POI has ventured to create a solution for the problem, a Transitional Home. This newly founded step allows those who have lived in a POI home to continue their education in a safe and secure environment once they have aged out of the system.5

This is exactly what Carolina is doing! We are proud to announce that she has graduated high school and is currently enrolled in college, majoring as a food and beverage technician. Carolina also attends a private culinary school where she will eventually become a certified sous chef! Her current education and dedication allows her to work her way to become a head chef. She is already an amazing cook and enjoys making food for her POI family.

 

 

 

-What is your favorite meal to make?

Chicken with a tomato based sauce. Since I began culinary school I have been taught how to make various sauces. I absolutely love to make sauces!

-How did graduating high school make you feel?

In my previous years of schooling I never really gave it my best. Ana then told me that we need to be intentional about what we do. I then decided to challenge myself and give it my all. By graduation day I had accomplished my goal.  Although I was sad that my mother wasn’t there to celebrate with me, I enjoyed spending the day with the people I loved.

What are the most important lessons you have learned during a year in the transitional house?

I have learned to make decisions thinking towards my future. Those around me have taught me to take responsibility for my actions and truly become intentional about what I do in life. I have learned to set goals and how important it is to work to achieve them.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

My dream is to become a chef doing international cuisine. Someday I would like to visit France where the Culinary Institute has a study abroad program. This practicum is only given to students who have academic excellence. And that is what I am striving for!

Exciting New Opportunities

A note from our boys home:

On June 20, 2009, POI opened its doors to children who, before that day, had no hope and an uncertain future. POI took these children off the streets, out of abusive environments, away from poverty, hunger, loneliness, despair, and gave them a place to call home. Each of the stories of our children is proof of God’s redeeming love and hope for the future. Several of you have had the opportunity to meet them and learn a little bit more about them. Today, we wanted to share some exciting news happening at the boys home!

As many of you know our boys love to play table tennis. Over the last few years, their skills have developed immensely. This past year, all the boys began competing in tournaments and some of them were even selected to represent Honduras in a Central American tournament.

Anderson will compete in the U-18 division, while Helton, Isaac, and Andre compete for the U-15. They will travel to Guatemala and compete against teams from; El Salvador, Panama, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Guatemala. Our boys, who train daily, look forward to giving it their best and possibly earn some awards.
Alongside Mary, they will leave Tegucigalpa next Tuesday, February 7th, and will return home on Sunday, February 12th. Please keep them in your prayers and join us in celebrating their accomplishments!