The mission of El Hogar Ministries, Inc. is to assist in the improvement of social and educational conditions in Honduras, principally by supporting the El Hogar Projects. The three project centers include an elementary school, The Home of Love and Hope, in Tegucigalpa, where young children from abandoned and impoverished backgrounds are housed and schooled; and two high school facilities: St. Mary’s Technical Institute in the Amarateca Valley, where young men are trained in the fields of carpentry, electricity and welding; and The Episcopal Agricultural School and Farm in Talanga, where young men are educated in the areas of raising crops, animal husbandry and academics. Plans to provide on-going education and special skills training for young girls graduating from the elementary school are nearing completion.
St. Andrew’s sponsored its first adult short-term mission trip to El Hogar in Tegucigalpa in 2010, and sent a second work team the following year. A 2013 trip is currently being planned. These trips are an opportunity to be part of a small, focused group of people who share an interest in learning and in serving others. They are an opportunity to live with and get to know young children whose lives are being transformed. They are an opportunity to grow spiritually and to see firsthand God’s work in the world. A work team goes to El Hogar to do work. But more importantly, a work team goes to be a presence to these children and their teachers, to learn from them, and to build a relationship with them and with the work El Hogar is doing.
Our church is pleased to sponsor one of the El Hogar children. Jairo Sagastume Martinez came to El Hogar in 2010. He is now eight years old, in the third grade and thriving in his new home. He likes to rollerblade and excels in his art, English and physical education classes. Our work teams have the opportunity to spend time with Jairo during our visits, and we look forward to hearing of his progress and delighting in his successes as he continues through school. Our parish families and Sunday school classes write letters of friendship and encouragement to let Jairo know just how far the light of God’s love reaches around the world.
For more information about El Hogar, its ministries and work teams, visit www.elhogar.org.
St. Andrew’s currently supports four different programs in the Diocese of Jerusalem. Most of our outreach is provided through the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ). The AFEDJ helps to sustain an Episcopal presence in this troubled region that affirms Christ’s message of love and reconciliation for all through schools, hospitals, and churches in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Through the donation of medical equipment, school supplies and money, AFEDJ support allows the presence of a small but vital Episcopal community to be felt in the heart of this troubled region of the world. The Diocese consists of approximately 7,000 members served by The Right Reverend Suheil Dawani, Bishop of Jerusalem.
St. Andrew’s provides scholarship support to the Arab Evangelical Episcopal School in Ramallah, Israel. The school is co-educational and provides kindergarten through high school education for live-in orphans and local students of any faith or nationality from Ramallah and the surrounding villages. The school is under continuous pressure to provide scholarships or tuition aid to the families that are unable to afford the fees. In spite of the political, economic and social unrest in the area, the staff is able to continue their educational ministry in Ramallah. As a Christian private school, it is perceived as one of the best schools in the area.
We have re-initiated our long time support for a senior living center in Bir Zeit in Israel. The lack of work opportunities for young adults prompts them to emigrate from Israel, leaving elder adults without customary family support to subsist as they go through their senior years.
Newsletters from the Diocese of Jerusalem are frequently posted on our church bulletin boards and e-mails from the area are passed to members of the Holy Land Committee. We work to keep current with the needs of the Christian community there and support them through our prayers and resources.
For more information on the Diocese of Jerusalem visit AFEDJ’s website.
Pray for peace in the Holy Land.
Whether its responding to natural disasters in the United States or needs around the globe, Episcopal Relief and Development is there on the ground for rapid response. St. Andrew’s has supported this agency of the national Episcopal Church in its response to tornadoes in Oklahoma and Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey/New York.