Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Central America, with two-thirds of the population living below the national poverty line. In a desperate environment, there are few options for children, with gangs increasingly providing an alluring alternative to hunger and fear. Gangs actively recruit young children to run drugs, steal, force them into prostitution or other crimes; by the time the children become teenagers, it’s almost impossible to find a way out. El Hogar Ministries provides a way to break the cycle of poverty and violence and gives children an opportunity to transform their lives.
El Hogar operates through three schools, including 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 teenagers are trained in the fields of carpentry, electricity and welding; and El Hogar for High School Girls in the small town of Santa Lucia, where girls in grades seven to eleven live together on a three-acre campus and attend a private secondary school with the option to attend high school through eleventh or twelfth grade.
St. Andrew’s sponsors a child in the school with an annual financial donation. By providing students the experience and training needed to stay and contribute to Honduran society, El Hogar helps to address some of the root issues that have contributed to the Central American migration crisis.
St. Andrew’s has sponsored adult short-term mission trips to El Hogar in Tegucigalpa, giving parishioners an opportunity to be part of a small, focused group of people who share an interest in learning and serving others. Although we are not participating in mission trips at this time, the trips provided an opportunity to get to know children whose lives are being transformed from poverty and hopelessness to love and promise.
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.