Honduras (MNN) — Honduras is at
the center of the AIDS epidemic in Latin America. Government statistics show that in San Pedro
Sula, the country's second-largest city, AIDS has infected 5.5% of the
Although Honduras accounts for 17
percent of Central America's population, it bears roughly 60 percent of AIDS
cases in the region.
The disease is the leading cause
of death among child-rearing women, and the second-leading cause of
hospitalization among adults. Published
reports show that each week, family members are burying roughly 100 people due
As the problem grows though, in
many places AIDS is still being met with shame and silence. And the orphans
left behind are the ones bearing the brunt.
However, Buckner International has recently opened the doors for partnerships in Honduras. MNN's Ruth Kramer is traveling with a team in Honduras this week to see
what kind of work they're doing, and she found a dedication to meeting a dire need
in the realm of HIV/AIDS.
Kramer reports: "Our first stop was the House of
Mercy HIV home in San Pedro Sula.
"Tuleisha Signs is a young woman
from Michigan who came to work at the home in 2006 through the Mercy Corps. Although she finished her assignment almost
two years ago, she was back for a visit the week we arrived. Her heart spoke loudly of the
kids' needs even as her eyes followed dozens of toddlers and kindergartners
around the room.
"The home cares for roughly 45
children now. Signs says there is little
chance of these children getting adopted because 'almost all the kids
here are HIV-positive. None of them have
full-blown AIDS that I know of. A lot of
them came because their parents might have died, and so they had no one to care
for them. Some of them still have parents that are living but just can't care
for them, can't provide the medicine they need, can't give them the basic
things, food, clothing–can't send them to school.'
"And yet, the House of Mercy is a
place of hope. It's a pleasant place
that has been decorated for Christmas. A
tree stands in the entry room, and the children have filled the floor with a diorama
of toys and a nativity set.
"The children, with their faces
pressed up against the gate, are well cared for and greet our team's arrival
with enthusiasm. Their excitement grows,
combined with a skipped nap and the anticipation of waiting all afternoon for the Christmas party
"Already a home with high
standards, what they can do with the help of Buckner's partnership will only
make them stronger. Even though it's a
new field for Buckner, the mission is
the same. Their staff reflects the love
of Christ in how they serve, and their reputation is well-respected in the
community because of that difference.
"The team unloads supplies for a
Vacation Bible School, a craft and some recreational fun. Most of us became one-man horses, and we
discovered that ‘YAH! Mule!' is ubiquitous, and really needs no
"What we saw, through the course
of our afternoon, was a home filled with happy children. These children, despite sad circumstances
that brought them to the House of Mercy, now have a chance for a future life through
the work of the staff and through the Gospel of Christ that is lived out every
Pray for the ministry of the House of Mercy. Pray for stamina and wisdom for the workers, and pray that God will give understanding of the Gospel and saving faith to many children who reside there.