Young lives turned around in Honduras

Fernando, one of the boys mentored by Steve Poulson, with a book he can now read

Mission partner Steve Poulson works with street children and helps run a mentoring programme to empower and develop the full potential of some of the most vulnerable young people in Honduras. Here he reports on the effects of mentoring among local boys:

Now that I’ve been here for two and a half years, we’re starting to see fruit from the work we’ve begun.

For example, one of our projects, Proyecto Alas, started from nothing, but now we’ve got a mentoring centre in a town called Talanga.

Starting from scratch

The kids we connect with through this project finished their first academic year with us in November and they’re doing really well. I was so proud when Cristian (14), who I’ve been mentoring for two years now, was presented with an academic excellence medal and certificate.

Another one of the boys we have connected with, Fernando (pictured above), was completely illiterate when he came to us in January 2019. He couldn’t recognise any letters or numbers.

Towards the end of the year, I turned up to the ministry house and saw him sitting in the corner reading a book. I looked over, and he was on page 190 of the children’s Bible that we had bought him.

It’s amazing to think that in the space of a few months he has learned to read. This year, we’re getting him into school and helping him catch up with his education as he’s never been to school before.

These days, he even gets angry, which might seem a funny thing to point out, but it shows that he trusts us enough to really open up about who he is. I love the transformation we’ve seen in his life through mentoring.

Another one of our projects is called One Day Revival Ministries. It’s in a heavily gang-controlled area and we’re only able to operate there because of a good relationship with the gang.

Growing up fast

Another student at Cristian’s school, who is also called Cristian, is now 19 and about to finish the equivalent of GCSEs. His mum died when he was very young so he was taken away from his dad and grew up in a children’s home. At age 18 he moved to One Day Revival Ministries, and has now spent a year with them. It’s been interesting to see the change in him as he’s come from living in an institution and gradually adjusted to living in a much smaller, family-based project.

We now run mentoring in six different locations, all in independent projects. Some of these have been going for as little as two months.

The longest-running, Proyecto Alas, is just under two years old now. Please pray for us as we face new challenges as the project grows: how to develop as an organisation, fundraising, staff members and volunteers.

Another project, in Santa Barbara, has only been running for a few months, so there’s lots of potential, but also lots of potential for it to go completely wrong.

Please pray for the new projects; for them to start (and continue) in a sustainable and manageable way.

Published 17 March 2020
Latin America

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