Tag Archives: sponsor

Honduran Healthcare— Is there Hope?

It might not seem so horrible at the first look. A big blue run down hospital from the outside— and an outdated medical center inside. This is the public healthcare system and largest hospital in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Imagine you live in Honduras—your son breaks his arm and needs to go to the hospital. You will have to be prepared to wait all day… just to schedule a clinic appointment. There is no telling how many hours or days you will wait in the hospital, just for your sons arm to be treated.

As I walked down the children’s ward of the hospital, I was shocked at the hundreds of people lining the walls of each hallway— dirty, tired, and holding sick children. Some were laying on the dusty floors sleeping and others stared blankly ahead. Most of these families get there at 5 am and wait all day just for an appointment, only to come back the next day and do it all again.

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“This is our sad reality,” one local said.

Once you finally get to a hospital room, assuming you are sick enough to stay overnight, you are left with only a bed— no sheets, no pillow, no hospital gown. If you need something, someone must bring it to you. If not, you sleep on a dirty mattress, shower without soap, don’t brush your teeth, and eat the grimy food that is occasionally served [usually some eggs and a tortilla.] “The hospital emergency room looked like a scene out of a civil war,” said a CBS Reporter.

In reality, many die or watch their health plummet as they spend days waiting for emergency treatment. This teen nearly died after being shot—waiting hours for treatment before calling an outside organization. And these men slept in a room with countless others, not even knowing what type of cancer they had. The truth is devastating and overwhelming… but what does that mean for us? How do we begin to help a problem that is so desperate and so far away from our reality?

Amidst the devastation— there is hope.

Doctor Jose Barahona used to translate for POI mission trips when he was in high school. His dream, like many Honduran kids, was to become a doctor.

So he did, and after completing his education, Jose came back to POI to become our clinic doctor. He didn’t mind that his wages would be less than average, or that it held less status than the other jobs he could have easily gotten. This was his dream.

I spent a day in his office just observing— what a contrast it was to the heart-wrenching reality I experienced in the public hospital.

One older gentleman walked into the office with a smile that so proudly displayed every single gap in his missing teeth. He had a begrimed cast on his leg, splintered crutches, a soiled wound on his head, and two missing fingers.

As Dr. Barahona began asking questions, the gentleman told us how he was hit by a car in December (nearly 7 months ago!) and broke his leg. When he went to the hospital, he was forced to wait so long, his broken bones healed incorrectly— requiring an expensive surgery that he could never afford.

So he wrapped the excruciatingly painful wound in a grimy makeshift cast, endured the misery, and went on with his life.

As Dr. Barahona began to take his X-rays and schedule a surgery for his leg, he pulled out his stethoscope that was wrapped with five colorful beads.

Before I even realized what was happening, Dr. Jose began sharing the gospel with this man—who listened ever so intently. Despite the long line outside the door, Dr. Barahona took out his phone and began reading to his patient from the book of Romans.

He told him about a love that is not defined by who we are or what we have done— but by someone so much greater.

More than twenty-five people came in and out of the POI clinic that day— and to each one he pulled out those colorful beads and with so much compassion— Dr. Jose shared with them the only true healing they would ever find. Some asked questions, some cried, but they all listened and held onto every word.

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The contrast between the public hospitals in Honduras and the POI clinics is stark. Our clinics allow POI to connect with communities by meeting their most dire physical needs that cannot be met by the public hospitals. But most importantly, as these physical needs are met, a much deeper spiritual need is met as well.

All the children in the POI program, as well as the staff, get free medical care (that includes any medicine they may need.) In addition, POI also provides free medical care to a local homeless shelter. Anyone else from the community can come to the POI clinics for free. They are only required to pay 100 lempiras (about $5) for any medicine—regardless of how expensive it actually is.

I would like to take a moment to personally thank each of you who sponsor a child. I have spent the past two months watching children come to the programs each day, children who have families desperate for medical care. And as a result, deep, Christ-centered relationships are being cultivated in the hearts of people across Tegucigalpa.


Who is Blogging?

meHannah Johnson went on her first on her first mission trip to Honduras six years ago. She now works for the ministry and is passionate about orphan care and the “least of these.”  To read more,

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Never Too Young: Sarah’s Story

Eight-year-old Sarah Dow went on her first overseas mission trip to Tegucigalpa alongside her mother, two sisters, and two older cousins. As the team delivered food to the dump, played with street children, and delivered water to poverty stricken neighborhoods, SD, as they call her, tagged right along.

It was an eye-opening experience for this young girl, and she was frequently overcome by confusion and brokenness because of what she saw throughout the week.

I couldn’t help but picture myself as I watched SD pilfer through these complicated emotions. At 6 years old I made the same trip Sarah did. I still remember the sadness that ached in my heart as I looked around and saw something so very different from my own home.

One evening at dinner SD skipped up to me and tapped me on the shoulder,

I’ve been saving up my money…and I want to sponsor Bessy!

Bessy is an 8 year old from one of the POI neighborhoods where SD and her team spent time leading a VBS for the children. Their friendship was sparked despite their language barriers and diverse backgrounds. There is no doubt Bessy will remember Sarah’s friendship forever.

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The last evening of SD’s trip, her team was having a time to share about their experiences. The room fell silent for a moment and Sarah stood up in a chair next to her cousin. Tears streamed down her tiny face as she paused to arrange her thoughts.

This week my Mom has been teaching me what it means to be a disciple. I know that I can be one too…

There wasn’t a movement on that rooftop as our team watched in joy as Jesus transformed the willing heart of one of his precious children.

Nowadays you’ll find 8-year-old SD eagerly pursuing her desire to be a disciple, just like her mom taught her. She has decided to make jewelry and sell them to her classmates—but this time she’s saving up money to donate to the children who live in the Tegucigalpa dump.

SD knows without a doubt that God doesn’t need a particular age, maturity, or income to make a difference. He simply needs our hearts. That week Sarah taught her teammates and many others, that no one is too young to change the world—even an 8-year-old.

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Who is blogging?

Hannah Hamilton is the daughter of David and Ruth Hamilton, founders of Point of Impact Ministry. She first traveled to Honduras at 6 years old and has been passionate about advocating for the impoverished ever since. To read more, click here.

 

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How sponsoring a child changes the sponsors life

Meet Lindy.

1982274_10152265683112156_1305704632_nLindy is a Junior English major at the University of Memphis. She works as a nanny and hopes to one day teach english as a second language. 

559008_10152265682977156_1123877025_nI met beautiful Yessenia when I went to Honduras on spring break. She lives in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Honduras called Feb 21. 

I wasn’t sure why then, but the whole time while I was there, she was at my side wanting to hold my hand. I got to talk with her more and learn about her family. She is eight-years-old and lives with her single mom.

I knew then that it was my responsibility. 

Though I am a college student and don’t make much money, I knew that there were small sacrifices that I could make in order to sponsor Yessenia. 

By just giving up a few meals out with friends, I am able to sponsor her monthly. I am comforted by the fact that she is not only being fed and receiving tutoring, but also that she is being taught about Christ’s great love for her. Though I have not sponsored her very long, I am so excited to start writing her letters and building our friendship.

-Lindy May


 

Meet Stephen.

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I decided to sponsor through POI because I fell in love with little Maria Jose when I met her on a mission trip. We had so much fun that week (even when she thought pulling on my hair was fun).

It wasn’t until the second time I went to Honduras that I made the decision to sponsor Maria Jose. Right there in Honduras, I pulled out my iPad and started sponsoring her. That was almost 2 years ago.

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Maria Jose is full of life, and always smiling. But her life is nothing to smile about.

Last year, while delivering tubs of love, we happened to walk into her house without me knowing. I saw a little unicorn sitting on a shelf that looked exactly like a unicorn I had purchased at Target and gave to her the day before. I immediately blurted out “Are you Maria Jose’s mother?” Through a translator she said she was indeed her mother. She then began to tell the sad story of Maria’s home life.

11478_10100599409041491_1994065912_nI know that the joy of Christ gives her that smile on her face, and she is an encouragement to me each and every day

I have been sponsoring Maria Jose for almost two years now and I plan to do it as long as the program allows me to. It is a small way that I can make a difference.

-Stephen Hayden

 

 

 

 

 

We are so thankful for sponsors like Stephen and Lindy. They are a perfect example that anyone can make an impact. If you would like more information or would like to choose a child to sponsor,  just click here. 

To each of our sponsors, THANK YOU. Point of Impact could not exist without your prayers and generosity.

 

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