Missionary Steve Rose thinks Americans should look past their fears and comfort zones to help the people in Central American countries such as Honduras.
He also thinks U.S. churches should look at their budgets to determine what really is needed and what they can do to meet needs in poorer parts of the world.
His church, Springwater Community Church, does mission work in Phoenix. But it also uses part of its budget to buy diapers for orphanages in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He said the government-controlled orphanages don't provide enough to meet the daily needs.
"Realize the task of making a life-changing decision to help people in the world is not that much," he said. "Realize that if you don't go yourself, you can still help. It's an investment that's well worth our time and effort."
Credibility is vital for any organization working in Honduras or Guatemala. If you plan to work with or donate to an organization, make sure they are credible here and in that country. They should have a mix of Americans and residents of those countries working in them.
"Hondurans have experienced Americans and Westerners who have come in and taken advantage of them. You have to be aware of that. They have been burned before," said Rose, who works for Sparrow Missions.
However, "the people of Honduras are genuinely loving, genuinely appreciative of you being there, especially if you're there to help their community."
(Note: Editor Joe Hight's oldest daughter, Elena, has taught English for BECA in Cofradia, Honduras, and will teach at Amigos, on the Honduras-Guatemala border. During his trip to Honduras, Hight traveled to and experienced both places.)