Christine (Bell) & Calix Maradiaga Infectious Mission
Christine came to Loma de Luz for the first time in the summer of 2005 to work in the hospital lab and fell in love with the Honduran people. After several more trips, she moved to Honduras in January of 2010. Christine went to Hospital Loma de Luz to become the Laboratory Supervisor and oversee test analysis, personnel, equipment, training, etc. Since she has been there, the hospital has made many more valuable tests available to the doctors for the benefit of the local patients. She has learned X-ray through on-the-field training to be a more valuable resource to the hospital in emergency situations. Christine met her husband, Orbin (Calix), while working at the hospital and they were married in 2015. In 2016, baby Samantha was born into their family. Christine and Orbin are involved in leadership of a local church where they teach and disciple children, youth and adults. They take joy in teaching Sunday School together for children 7-11 years old. Orbin leads a discipleship class with teenage boys at a local boys’ home who were rescued from the streets.
Cris and Daniela Jones Unto Life Project
Cris & Daniela (Cristopher) live in Shell, Ecuador where they serve as area directors with Young Life. They are currently responsible for the eastern region of the country where there are currently ten leaders, two weekly clubs and two more in the works. Young Life seeks to develop relationships with young people with the goal of introducing them to Jesus and discipling them as they grow in their faith. There are three main camps each year, one evangelistic, one focused on spiritual growth, and one on developing leaders. The youth they work with generally come from very difficult situations. Broken homes, alcohol and drug use, poverty, and abuse are common. To reach these youth it is necessary to go where they are and build friendships, which must continue to grow as they are being discipled in their new faith.
David, Teresa, Levi, and Zoey joined the team in Balfate, Honduras in March of 2017. David is working in the maintenance department for Hospital Loma de Luz, Sanctuary House Children's Center, and El Camino Bilingual School. He helps keep things running for all three ministries as well as for missionaries. Teresa is the second grade teacher at El Camino Bilingual School. She is teaching the children academics as well as the love that Christ has for each one of them. While their jobs take a lot of their ministry time, they are also involved in a young church plant that meets at the school. David helps lead a Jiu Jitsu ministry with one of the doctors that reaches out to the young men in the surrounding communities. They are also intentional about providing opportunities for their children to be a part of their ministry whenever possible, even at such a young age.
Heather serves as a nurse at Hospital Loma de Luz in Balfate, Honduras. In addition to her work at the hospital, she spends time pouring into the teenage girls at the Children’s Center and in the surrounding community. She is also helping with a young church plant. Her ministry is focused on evangelism and discipleship of the Honduran nursing staff, teenage girls, and children. She has been there since 2012.
John and Penny Alden The Least of His Brothers
John, a nurse midwife, and Penny, an RN arrived at Hospital Loma de Luz in 2004 and worked there until returning to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2013. They continue to visit yearly to nurture relationships in the church they helped plant in a nearby community of Margarita. They followup on both the nurses they scholarshiped as well as a high school and a seminary student.
Cindy finds it hard to believe that it has been 25 years since her first mission trip to Honduras. She felt God pulling on her heartstrings when an 80 year old friend, who led her to the Lord and was a missionary in Honduras and Belize, wanted someone to go with her on a two-week medical mission. Cindy had been to Honduras once, to adopt her daughter, but had no desire to go back. But this time the pull was so strong that she had to be obedient. Cindy made the phone call but the mission group was full. Immediately after she hung up the phone, she heard God say, “but you are going next year!” Cindy did go the next year and almost every year after, while Karl stayed home and cared for their 6 children. On her third mission trip, she met Dr. Jeff McKenney, a surgeon with a heart for the Honduran people who dreamed of building a hospital in the jungle. Over the years, she stayed in touch with him and as her heart grew stronger for missions, she had a deep desire to go to Dr. McKenney’s hospital in the jungle. Time passed and her 4 oldest boys got married and moved out. When her daughter was 12 years old, Cindy felt she should see her country of origin. Karl agreed, so they made plans to go for a month and serve at the hospital. On the plane, Karl reminded Cindy that he was not allowed to fix X-ray machines unless they were made by the company that employs him. She assured him this jungle hospital had no X-ray machines. When they arrived in Honduras, they met Brad who excitedly greeted them with “We have an old X-ray machine someone donated and we would like you take a look at it.” When he saw the X-ray machine, it was made by his company! Hospital Loma de Luz had been praying for 3 years for someone to come look at the machine. Every year since, Karl and Cindy have gone for one month to serve at the hospital. They are closer to their dream of spending 6 months a year in Honduras. Follow them at www.pokropmissions.com. They welcome you to partner with them!
Kathryn arrived at Loma de Luz in Honduras in Jan. 2014. During her first two years at Loma de Luz, she was one of two house-moms for the older girls who live in the Casa de Chicas which is part of the Children's Center. Since then she has been serving in various capacities at Escuela Bilingue El Camino (which currently has Kindergarten through 5th Grade classes). Currently, she serves as the Teacher's Aide in the kindergarten class, and loves it! Although no longer living at the Children's Center, Kathryn continues to keep in touch with the girls and also spends time with the younger children, especially a few who face particular health and wellness challenges.
Lauren is working at Escuela Integrada, a school that provides an education, basic health care, counseling, after school programs and recreational activities for impoverished children. Lauren and her family have been involved with and visiting Escuela Integrada since 2006. After graduating college in 2016, Lauren felt God calling her to pursue mission work. So, with a leap of faith, Lauren worked at Escuela Integrada for 6 months in 2017 and now is going back as a full-time missionary. Lauren works with the children of Escuela Integrada daily and is in frequent contact with their families. She has created strong relationships and encouraged them through prayer and invitations to home church. Because of the economical condition of the children and their families, they are often rejected from normal churches. In some cases, Lauren and the staff of Escuela Integrada are the only real connection to Jesus they have. In addition to spreading the love of Jesus Christ, Lauren's work at Escuela Integrada includes administrative work, co-teaching 3 English classes, running an after school English club, hosting and translating for missions groups, coaching a girls soccer team and helping in the girls after school empowerment program.
Mike and Connie Shea River of The Lion
Mike and Connie Shea Londrina, Brazil
Mike and Peggy Yost Light of Life
Mike and Peggy have been in Balfate, Honduras since 2002! They are active in their community and local Honduras church. Mike is the head maintenance and construction supervisor for Loma de Luz Hospital and related ministries and can fix almost anything! Peggy also works in the Hospital in wound care.
Renee Kusler New Birth Project
After many mission trips through Westmont College and Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Renee knew she was called to serve as a full time missionary in Latin America. The Lord provided the opportunity to serve at Hospital Loma de Luz in Honduras for seven years, get her Masters in Public Health In Developing Countries in London, help train Burundian medical students at Kibuye Hope Hospital in Burundi, Africa and then settle in Nicaragua, doing full time public health with AMOS Health and Hope. Renee is passionate about improving women's health in rural communities where access to medical care is very challenging. At AMOS Health and Hope, she works with a team of Nicaraguans to train community health workers in women's health, prenatal care and newborn care to help reduce maternal and infant mortality, and empower communities to improve their own health.
Many years ago, God established a desire in the hearts of Stephen and Georgiana Thomas to aid the children of Costa Rica (and Nicaragua) whose lives had been shattered by abuse, neglect and abandonment. On April 1, 2004, the doors of Operation Abraham were opened for the very first time! Fourteen months later, the first Costa Rican house parents were hired to provide family-style care for the children. House parents and staff work hard to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of children. The Thomases forged relationships with government organizations and later, established a nationally recognized NGO (non-governmental organization) that operates with quality and excellence. They are known for fighting for their kids, sincerely believing that they are a voice for the ‘voiceless’ - the children God brings to their doorstep. To date, 96 children have been accepted and loved at Operation Abraham. Nearly half have been adopted into families in Costa Rica, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the United States. Others have returned to their biological parents or extended families, and a very few have been moved to different institutions. Most importantly, these children are offered Jesus. Only in Christ can they overcome the past and forgive those who have hurt them.