Thank you to Dawn Bradley for providing this overview of the Honduras mission trip!
When Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras in 1998, there was extreme devastation and flooding in the majority of the country. At the time, Alicia Vandergriff, an Orangewood Christian School Spanish teacher originally from Honduras, wanted to return to her hometown and care for her family and others living there. She invited Jessica Mauger, then a high school sophomore, to come with her. Jessica’s father, Bob Mauger, an eye doctor, helped to arrange others to go together to provide medical care in the village. A team from Orangewood has gone to Honduras every year since then.
At first the trip was strictly medical, but over time, it has evolved to meet other needs as well. At some point in the history of the Honduras medical mission trip, Gloria Banzhaf went on the trip and saw all the children running around while waiting to see the doctors. Gloria encouraged the team to add a children’s ministry component to the visits as well. Now the team spends time sharing the gospel to children in fun and age-appropriate ways, offering the love of Christ to meet spiritual needs. Several other side missions have spun off the medical and children’s ministry: hair cuts for the boys, hair braiding for the girls, manicures for the women and girls, and just plain fun with jump rope, reading, play dough and puzzles.
The trip lasts for seven days and the team visits five remote villages in the mountains of Honduras. Until the last few years, it was normal to go to villages that had no electricity. In each village, the team sets up in the local school house. For the most part, this is the only building of substance in the area. The team consists of a medical doctor and an eye doctor, and the team brings the pharmacy and eyeglasses necessary to help the people served.
When the team arrives in each village, there are many, many people (mostly women and children) milling in the school yard, waiting for the doctors. Some will wait for hours. The whole family comes, often times wearing their Sunday best. Later in the afternoon, the men and older boys will arrive from the fields, wearing their boots and sometimes carrying their machetes. It’s very common to see people with all kinds of disabilities and deformities. Some people suffer from simple illness that have become life threatening because there is no doctor or antibiotics available.
This trip has long been a collaboration between Orangewood Church and School. With the help of Vicki Glodo from OCS, students at the Lower School are challenged to donated their unused school supplies at the end of the year to send to Honduras. Each village received about 50 lbs of markers, notebooks, pencils, rulers, and other school supplies. Martha Castor also collects clothes throughout the year so that each of the five villages also receives about 50 lbs of donated clothing. This year, Kevin Rambo will head up a team that will build a playground at a children’s home.
Bob Mauger has organized and led this trip for many, many years with the help of others, and we are praying for the next generation to be raised up. As Pastor Jakes says, “We are family!” Our family in Honduras is waiting for us to come visit and we can’t wait to go!