Honduras (MNN) — God always provides what we need right when we need it. That’s the theme of this story, brought to us by Angie Overholt of World Gospel Mission.
Angie and her husband Larry have served as missionaries for 36 years in Honduras. For the last several years, they’ve worked in Choluteca, Honduras to establish education opportunities as well as churches. They’ve helped set up a vocational school as well as a Bible institute. These schools run under the belief that in order to affect true community transformation, education is necessary.
“Education is the key to everything we do, […] with a biblical worldview, basing everything we do on Scriptures and on teaching them about leading Christians lives.”
By sharing valuable information along with Gospel truth, World Gospel Mission has an incredible impact. Overholt says one of the most exciting things to see is preventative health education taught alongside Bible lessons.
A contact recently told her, “Because of the teaching they’ve had, there are people who have not been sick this year from the rains, the mosquitoes, causing malaria, dengue fever and everything, because they’ve been able to take better care of themselves.”
In addition to that news, they are seeing more people attend church and Sunday school classes, asking to know more about God — all because someone came to their door to talk to them about health.
But what about when people do get sick or injured?
Overholt along with her nursing mentors from Ohio State University discovered only about one-third of nurses in Honduras have their nursing degree. Usually, those nurses end up working in administration rather than interacting with the patients. That means the nurses on the floor of the hospital and in the communities are nurse’s aides. They only have about a year of nursing education.
“We came to the conclusion that out of the 8,100 nurses in Honduras, two-thirds of them are nurse’s aides who only have a ninth grade education,” Overholt explains.
In Honduras, students begin career training in high school. But when a nursing student starts working, they cannot finish high school. Overholt says there’s no opportunity for them to advance their careers or education. She wants to change that.
“Our goal was to try and somehow come up with a program to help the nurse’s aids go on to get more education so they would be better trained and better equipped to take care of patients better in the communities and in the hospital.”
For the next several years, the team began planning and consulting with health officials about what it would look like to create a whole new nursing program. Many people told them they couldn’t do it — that it would be too hard.
But they kept going, and God was right behind them.
Through a seemingly random connection, they were able to get a meeting with the Minister of Education of Honduras. He was thrilled with their plan, so much so that before the meeting was over, he began tweeting the President of Honduras to tell them they would soon have a new technical high school for nursing.
“They approved this project, and they want it to be so innovative that it is actually going to be the first high school where they’re adding extra, extended hours and it’s going to be a more intensive high school program than anyone else has.”
This February, not only will the students get to complete their high school education, but they’ll learn valuable skills in their vocation.
Choluteca School of Nursing
For now, the program is starting small. They’re accepting 30 students under the age of 18 for this first year. They hope to expand this program in the following years to current nurse’s aides so they can finish high school.
Classes start soon — but there’s a lot that needs to happen in the meantime.
For starters, there are many financial costs. This includes running the school, student tuition, and supplies. Click here if you’d like to help support an area financially. In addition, check out their Amazon Wishlist here for library books.
The first year will be run out of their renovated clinic while they look for a property to buy and build on. That will bring up costs very quickly, but you can help support the Choluteca Nursing School here.
World Gospel Mission is also looking for volunteer work groups and collaboration from health authorities regarding their educational content. Contact them here if you think you could help.
This project isn’t just about one small school in Honduras. It’s about systematic change and spiritual transformation. With that in mind, can you pray? Ask God to guide them to the right piece of land for the school, and to provide all the pieces necessary for this to happen. Pray that the team working on this will be able to pull things together and create a quality education.
And finally, praise God! Overholt is trusting that He will continue to bring the right people into this story as they move forward.
“We’re so thankful [for] the way the Lord has opened up the doors. We could have never imagined this was the way it was going to go, and how God was going to work out the whole dream of having improvement in nursing care in Honduras.”