Celebrating 20 Years of God’s Faithfulness
The summer of 2017 marks 20 years since Jim and Ouida Phillips first responded to God’s nudge to serve the people of the mountain villages around San Matías. In July, families from the communities gathered at the MDM Honduras Operations Center to celebrate Jim and Ouida, and more importantly, to recognize God’s provision for the people of the mountain and for His answer to their prayers.
The children sang and danced, parents were proud and the mission teams from Tennessee, Missouri, Virginia and Rhode Island learned about Honduran culture.
Yet, the highlight of the day by far was a skit acted-out by the children honoring Jim as their “Shepherd.” Of course, Jim is quick to give glory to God for introducing him to the mountain and for His grace in sustaining the ministry all these years. Still, God beckons, and man responds.
Thank you, Jim and Ouida, for responding and for being His willing servant. By His grace you have both made a forever impact in these people and in all of us who serve alongside you.
2017 New & News
Spanish Literacy Program at MDM
- Newly selected and trained literacy tutor
- 30 students from primary grades and 29 from secondary grades working through the “pilot” reading club format
By year end:
- Remodel the old family home on the Operational Center campus to house the Reading Clubs
- 70 students participating with additional tutors
- Launch the Reading Center
- Add a library to the Reading Center
- Strengthen tutor skills and capacity
New homes are all the rage this year!
Expanded Board of Directors
John Turner, President
Don Behr, Vice President
James Phillips, Secretary
Bill Alfonso, DDS
Larry Severidt, MD
Michael Calfee, MD
Richard Howard, DO
Jim and the founding board have prayed for years that God would raise up men and women of wisdom and passion to help guide MDM through its second decade.
In His perfect timing, these men and women have answered the call! Please welcome them and list them and their families in your prayer journals.
Many of you know of our efforts in late 2016 to turn the vision of our Honduran Leadership Team, Dixie, Juvenal and Francisco, into a ministry plan. The goal was to describe how everything at MDM fits together into a single integrated Community Development strategy.
Others of you have been with us on the mountain in recent years and seen (and invested in) many of the individual pieces of MDM’s ministry work through your sweat and through your wallet.
So, in preparing to tell the MDM Honduras story, a first goal is to create a statement of purpose – here’s where we’ve landed:
MDM Honduras is a faith-inspired community development program bringing hope, healing, and empowerment to the people of mountain villages around the community of San Matias, Honduras
A second goal is to accurately describe what we do. We think of our ministry work as concentrating in three main areas:
- Mountain of Blessings Learning Center
- Public School Partnerships
- Vocational & University Scholarships
- Adult Education
- Clean Water & Nutritional Programs
- Agricultural Programs
- Medical & Dental Services
- Entrepreneurship Support
- Enterprise Incubation
- Financial Skill Development
- Trade Skill Development
Examples of bringing each of these to life are listed in the bottom part of the diagram.
Creating a Strategy
A third goal is to demonstrate how the work of ministry happens. Here we are guided by three key ideals – or guiding principles:
- Build local leadership: Underlying everything we do is the goal of equipping and empowering Godly Honduran men and women – helping individuals recognize the gifts and abilities God has given them and use those gifts to His glory and to support themselves and others.
- Connect partnerships: The truth is, few mission groups can create sustainable progress without great partnerships. By God’s grace, we are able to connect literally dozens of organizations (foundations, churches, universities) and hundreds of short-term missionaries (YOU) into the strategy for the “heavy lifting.”
- Persevere: Think of the MDM Honduras approach as a Paradigm Shift:
OLD: Visit… proclaim the Gospel… go home
NEW: Move in… partner… live out the Gospel together
So, there it is, a story 20 years in the making. A story that creates opportunity to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ in the midst of great physical need, and yet, in the context of warm personal relationships. Perhaps just as it is intended to be!
As you would imagine, there is much more to “show and tell” about the MDM Honduras strategy and about how God is allowing us to participate as He “TRANSFORMS LIVES – ONE CHILD, ONE FAMILY AND ONE VILLAGE AT A TIME.” If you wish to learn more, give one of us on the leadership team a shout and we will share even more.
2017/2018 Giving Opportunities
Since many of us respond to the Christmas holidays with a giving spirit, perhaps you might consider a few areas where children and families on the mountain, as well as MDM, are experiencing need. In particular:
Community Health/ Community Projects
A safe, secure, and lasting home is a foundation for strong families. So often, our friends on the mountain barely have a roof and four walls, much less something that can hold the family together for generations.
Over the years, MDM Honduras, through the ingenuity of missionary construction teams, has developed a process to provide a lasting home in only two days. For 2018, we are prayerful about building 8 new homes through the efforts of U.S. missionary teams. Will you help make this dream come true by contributing funds to build a home?
Gift Goal – 5 homes at $2500 each
MDM continues to support kids beyond our partnership with schools on the mountain. As students approach high school, trade and university years, the cost for books, fees, and transportation grows.
Some of these students have sponsorships that have continued from their younger years.
However, many do not! Plus, sponsorships at this level tend to fall short of true needs.
The MDM General Scholarship fund fills the gap. Might you consider a monthly gift for the General Scholarship fund?
Gift Goal – $25,000 annually
Three times each year, MDM puts together food baskets of essential nutritional items for families who are part of our Educational program.
These interactions are special, giving our team and short-term missionary teams the opportunity to demonstrate Jesus’ love in very tangible ways.
Gift Level – $7,200 annually
One major family health matter in our villages is the abundance of dirt floors in homes. As missionary teams pour concrete floors, both the health outlook and the hope of family members seems to rise.
Might you help a family upgrade their home with a concrete floor?
Gift Level – $400 per home
Our partnership with the Independent University of Honduras provides skilled medical, dental, nutrition and agricultural development help in select villages.
Their faculty and students provide the skill and MDM manages relationships and coordination. The missing part is funding for medical supplies, agriculture supplies and transportation.
A gift to fund these needs helps villages like El Molular and Resisapa get a community-wide jump start.
Gift Goal – 6 gifts of $350
Starting 2018 strong…
We anticipate finishing the year right on our original budget, although, not exactly in the anticipated categories. However, good management by our team in Honduras has helped us adapt to several moving targets and has kept us whole.
This does leave us without a cushion going into 2018. Contributions toward this purpose will help us start 2018 strong!
Gift Goal – $20,000
Checking the Numbers
Stepping into this expanded strategy for 2017 was certainly a leap of faith – calculated – but still a leap. The price tag was almost double our historic budget levels and the workload equally heavy. Thankfully, our newly expanded Board of Directors guided this new adventure with great wisdom, ensuring any and all commitments were measured against available resources.
It would not be surprising that our team has learned a great deal in these first 10 months. We’ve seen great progress in every area, yet more was planned for the first year than could be accomplished. Even so, we believe the path is true and we are all excited about 2018.
As a point of reference, here is our 2017 “dream budget” (in round numbers) based on the plan we laid out for the year: