Category Archives: Armenia Medical Clinic

The Latest On Gangs, Guns And God

Last September we reported to you on our first interaction with the local gang in Armenia Bonito. Also, we shared with you Mike’s work sharing the gospel with the gang’s leader. Since then we have had regular and sometimes daily interaction with members of the gang. Many of you have asked for an update, so here it is.

Throughout the fall and winter the gang continued to terrorize the community. Extortion, rapes and murders caused many residents to flee Armenia Bonito and at night the citizens stayed locked in their homes. A dozen armed and stoned teenage boys wandered the streets, firing guns into the air and terrorizing anyone who went out-of-doors.

Businesses, families, delivery trucks were all being forced to pay the gang a “protection tax.” During that period our ministry refused to pay money to the gang. That is not to say we did not pay a cost. Almost all of our Honduran employees, students of our school, patients at our clinic and congregants in our church are residents of Armenia Bonito. It would be irresponsible of us not to protect those with whom the Lord has entrusted us. The primary way we have kept our people from harm was by providing free medical care to the gang. This made the gang happy and allowed for free and safe passage for those who frequented our ministry. But, we knew we only had a good relationship with the gang as long as they wanted one with us.

policeIn November Honduras held its Presidential election. The ultimate winner, Juan Orlando Hernández, ran on a platform that he was going to use paramilitary tactics to rid the country of gang violence. On inauguration day, January 27, 2014, the new President sent the highly trained Honduran narcotics police into some of the most dangerous communities in order to send a message. Armenia Bonito was one of the communities to get such a visit. In fact, these visits have continued daily. Each day the community receives an unannounced, quick moving, heavy hitting visit from this paramilitary force. In addition, the local police have upped their visits. Several of the gang members have been arrested, shot at and chased out of the community by the police. The gangs hangout was raided and all its contents were confiscated.

Now, the dozen person gang is down to four boys. The bulk of the gang, including the gang’s leader, has left Armenia Bonito and has said they’re not coming back.

IMG_5165What about the three boys that came to Christ? After Umberto accepted Christ the gang’s leader promised us Umberto could leave the gang without retaliation. That lasted about four months. Umberto, who remains a believer, was being pressured so much to rejoin the gang that he ultimately fled Honduras and is rumored to be living illegally in Mexico. The second boy (name intentionally withheld) rejoined the gang and is active in another community. And, the third boy (name intentionally withheld) is still walking with the Lord and is attending our local church.

The remainder of the gang is still hanging around. The police and narcotics police are still visiting daily and chasing off the remnant. The community is quite, the citizens are calm and the murders, rapes and extortions have nearly ceased. But, we have no idea what the future holds.

Please pray for Umberto and the two other boys. Pray the rest of the gang will come to Christ. And, pray for increased safety in our ministry, Armenia Bonito and Honduras.

U.S. Visa For Dr. Roger

IMG_4095Dr. Roger and Erin have been working together in Armenia Bonito since before our medical clinic opened in February. Dr. Roger has been a huge asset to our ministry and to the people of Armenia Bonito.

Dr. Roger has been given an invitation to travel to the U.S. and spend a few weeks side by side U.S. doctors. Dr. Roger will be afforded the opportunity to teach medical students, work with and learn from U.S. physicians and experience U.S. medical care.

Erin, Dr. Roger and our friend Mindy are traveling to the capital city of Tegucigulpa for an appointment with the U.S. Embassy to try to obtain a U.S. visa for Dr. Roger to travel to the U.S. This is the hardest part of the process. It is difficult for Hondurans to obtain a visa to the U.S.

This would be a great benefit to Dr. Roger and our ministry. Their appointment with the Embassy is Tuesday morning. Please be in prayer for a favorable response.

Saving Money And Looking Good

Our mission team and our Honduran workers seem to find new ways every week to save money without sacrificing quality or functionality. We place lots of faith in our workers and let them have the freedom to try new things. They continue to show their talent and pride in what they are doing.

IMG_4140In Armenia Bonito we are doing some finishing work on our medical clinic and are blazing ahead on the construction of our high school. To save money and increase quality we are having some of our workers build all the teachers desks, storage cabinets and student desks for the property.

They take lots of joy in putting their personal touches in the furniture. It saves lots of money to build them from scratch and they look gorgeous. On top of that, some of the guys are learning new skills that will help them land jobs in the future.

Our Medical Clinic Is Approved

DSC01933Since June of 2011 our team have been constructing a medical clinic in the rural community of Armenia Bonito. This 3, 000-person community, outside of La Ceiba, Honduras, has never had a medical clinic within walking distance. All that is about to change. On Friday the Honduran government granted approval for our medical clinic to open its doors and provide care. On February 21st we will host our Grand Opening of the new medical clinic.

DSC01335This past Wednesday and Thursday Erin, Dr. Roger, Erin’s dad and the Clows all went out to clean the clinic and set it up for the inspection. They spent over 10 hours organizing the clinic and making it look pretty after all the construction. On Thursday we received notification from the Honduran government that their inspectors would not be coming to look at the clinic because, “Armenia Bonito is too dangerous.” On Friday, after a couple of meetings and paperwork we were given our license to open the clinic.

Next week the clinic will be open daily to provide God’s mercy and grace to the community. To see a short video tour of our new clinic click HERE.