Understanding Our Local Context

Our rural village is located on the outskirts of La Ceiba, Honduras’ third-largest city. In recent years Honduras has been recognized by the UN as having the highest per capita murder rate in the world.

Honduran society is wrought with violent crime, a corrupt and unresponsive justice system, sexual perversion, educational inefficacy and devastating poverty.

We have personally suffered numerous robberies, an assault at knifepoint, the violent kidnapping of my husband (Triumphing Against the Blows of Fear), and the murder of my husband’s brother (Worshipping Death: What Happens When We Reject the Life-Giver) during these first three years of ministry.

In Honduras, the average age for a first-time mom is 15 years. We personally know several young women in our neighborhood who have gotten ‘married’ (become sexually involved with typically older men without being wed legally) and begun having children between ages 12-15.

Many Honduran laws look ideal on paper, but there is a major disconnect between the law books and the daily reality. While many government-sponsored billboards encourage citizens to report crime and trust the police, our experiences in doing so have been met with mind-boggling indifference and corruption.

(My husband’s family knows the name and address of the man who shot Darwin’s brother point-blank and there were eyewitnesses. They’ve gone numerous times to talk with the highest police officials in the local justice system, begging them to enact justice, and the police have yet to investigate the case or arrest the murderer nor do they promise to do so.)

Untold youth in our neighborhood are not enrolled in school or simply choose not to attend their classes. The public school system is corrupt and largely ineffective as teachers assign false grades to failing students and are forced by law to pass all students, regardless of whether or not they have actually learned anything. There are numerous students that we know personally who have been in the public school system for years and have yet to learn the alphabet. Many graduate primary school (sixth grade) and are passed along to high school without knowing the times tables or basic grammar rules.

There are droves of children who wander the streets of our neighborhood without adult supervision. Children as small as two years old run about on the main roads in nothing more than underwear, no mothers in sight. Many babies are fed bottles filled with Coca-Cola and never partake in any kind of dental hygiene, thus leading to thoroughly rotten teeth at a very young age. The majority of the local students in our program have grown up this way – accustomed to an undisciplined, rogue lifestyle. No rules; no guidance; no experience with Truth.

Witchcraft, delinquency, malnutrition, sexual abuse/incest and illiteracy are also rampant in our area.

The World Bank asserts the following: Honduras is a low middle-income country that faces major challenges, with more than 63 percent of the population living in poverty in 2014. In rural areas, approximately six out of 10 households live in extreme poverty, or on less than $2.50 per day.

TradingEconomics.com reveals that the GDP per capita in Honduras in 2015 was $2,329 while in the United States it was $51,486.

I share the above information so that those who do not have an intimate knowledge of Honduras can better understand the context in which our Lord’s ministry takes place. Please pray for our daily protection and our efficacy as Christ’s lights in this very dark region that is wrought with the works of the enemy.

May God be glorified in and through our lives as He utilizes us to proclaim Truth, heal those who have been broken and lovingly shepherd others into the fold of Christ!

Amen!

From Jennifer, with joy

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