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Why Support Us As Missionaries And Where Is My Money Going?

Although it doesn’t cost a lot to live in Honduras compared to the United States, there are specific expenses associated with living as missionaries abroad including international health insurance, immigration costs, Honduran phone plan, plane tickets for the 6 of us, etc.  All of these expenses (and others) must be covered by donations because we do not receive a salary for the volunteer work that we’re doing.

In addition to directly supporting our family while on mission, funds raised through Cumbre Family Missions also directly support the people we serve.  Their needs are many, but because of our background and passion for education, that is an area we have chosen to focus on.

When we were in language school in Guatemala last fall, we discovered that there is a unique problem that presents a large barrier for the poor that impedes access to free, public education.  The same problem exists in Honduras as well.  Even though school is free, many many children cannot attend because they can't afford the required school supplies, books, uniforms, transportation costs, and activity fees.  You would think this would be an easy fix, with foreign aid or philanthropic organizations willing to send money to these countries.  But the problem is that the money never reaches these children.  Often this is due to red tape and corruption, or poor record keeping so schools don't know which children are not in school because of this issue, or misappropriation of funds, etc.  Even putting money in the hands of parents is not effective because the money often gets spent on other needs.  It requires volunteers on the ground to actually purchase the necessary school supplies, buy backpacks and fill them, identify which children are in need (via word of mouth, churches, and other charitable organizations), and put the items into the hands of the children who need them. This is one area where Cumbre Family Missions can step in and help.

  • $120 can sponsor 1 student in the primary grades for the entire school year by providing uniform shoes, socks, undershirt, white shirt, and skirt or pants in addition to a backpack filled with pens, pencils, eraser, pencil sharpener, glue, crayons, scissors, ruler, and 6 notebooks

  • $200 can sponsor 1 senior student (8th grade and above) by providing the more costly school uniform and more extensive supply list to include computer paper, scientific calculator, felt markers, white out pens, 6 large notebooks, highlighters, and compass set, in addition to tennis shoes, gym shorts, and special white monogrammed school shirt.

  • $480 can provide bus transportation for a student for an entire year ($48/month).  There is no free bus service and many students have to travel from remote mountain villages to attend school in Trujillo.

  • $200 can support the continual demands that a student may have throughout the school year, such as field trips, special projects and materials, science labs, etc.

  • There are other needs as well throughout the year that require funding such as dental workshops, eye exams or glasses, etc.

Everyone knows the value of education in a society.  Few would dispute that.  But seeing what we've seen in poor rural areas of Central America, I can't stress enough the life-changing impact of even just being able to finish high school.  Without educational opportunities, many girls of 14, 15, 16 years old start having babies (often with fathers who don't stick around) and the cycle of poverty continues.  Giving them the support and opportunity to complete high school opens up so many opportunities for better jobs and even the chance to pursue a college education - something they could never dream of otherwise.  

Last year when we decided to go and volunteer in another country with our family, some people asked, “Why do you have to go all the way to a place like Honduras?  There are plenty of people who need help in our own country. Why can't you help them?” Yes, there are plenty of people who need help in our country.  But they are already having their basic educational needs met by the public school system, and local, state, and federal programs.  That safety net does not exist in the rest of the world, so kids are constantly slipping through the cracks if no one is there to plug up the holes. There are 1st graders who can't go to school because they can't buy a notebook.  There are 10th graders who can't go to school because there isn't a high school within walking distance, and there are no other transportation options.  These are concrete things we can do to change lives.

It often looks and feels like an overwhelming problem to try to “solve”.  But seeing the success stories that have come out of relatively simple acts that help open the doors of opportunity, it makes it worth the effort of helping even just a handful of kids.  Fortunately that “handful” continues to grow in number thanks to generous volunteers and benefactors, and we're working to keep that trend going with the help of our donors!

Any size gift makes an impact. Thank you for your support!

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Hi! We're Pat & Shannon.

We have a passion for education and a heart for service. Our goal is to make a global impact beyond our local community.

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