For more than 30 years, Honduras Outreach International (HOI) has worked to change the lives of people throughout Latin America. They have developed a platform for everyday Americans to find their purpose through serving others. HOI provides a number of services for Central American citizens and missionaries, alike. But when the COVID-19 global pandemic hit, HOI was forced to shift away from their mission trip model to ensure that they could continue to serve the people of Central America.
HOI, based in Tucker, GA, develops agricultural, educational, and medical infrastructure and programs in Central America with a focus on sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. When the pandemic set in, travel came to a screeching halt, thus the primary revenue source took a hit, which is the lifeblood of the organization.
Like everyone else, seemingly, HOI turned to Facebook Live and Zoom calls to engage their target audiences. Churches from around the country, many of which would normally be going on mission trips, are able to gather every few weeks virtually. The purpose is to bring those that still want to help together, minister to them, rally support, and connect them with HOI staff from Honduras that can help continue to do the important work.
“It is amazing to see individuals, churches, and companies come together virtually to discuss what’s really going on and highlight the areas of greatest need. In times of crisis like this, it is important that we are living out our faith, serving each other, and making a positive impact in the world,” stated John Burrough, CEO HOI, Inc.
Organizations like HOI, like the rest of us, are turning to technology to continue to serve. Virtual events, virtual trips, virtual auctions, social media – the shifting mindset that would allow HOI to continue to impact the world. HOI and similar nonprofits are being forced to evaluate how they operate.
One of their more recent shifts is the move to virtual mission trips. While the platform is still being developed, HOI envisions virtual mission trips between HOI leaders in Honduras and partnering church groups in the US, and virtual collaboration between farmers, physicians, engineers, and pastors from one continent to the other.
They’re also focusing on their sponsorship program where families in the US can sponsor a student and partner with the HOI team to aid in their education as they progress through elementary and middle school.
HOI and other nonprofits continue their great charitable efforts in the face of overwhelming challenges. While we thank them for their efforts, we encourage you to get involved. Find ways to help those less fortunate than yourself. Find a greater purpose by serving others. The world will be better for it.