Amor, Fe, Y Esperanza Dump Ministry in Honduras
A massive garbage dump lies outside the capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Garbage trucks carry waste to this landfill every day, leaving the trash of more than 1 million people in a vast expanse on the hills. Acres of unwanted materials create one of the most undesirable landscapes imaginable, but each garbage truck arriving from the city is met by an eager group of people forced to sustain themselves by scavenging through this waste.
These garbage dump workers form a community of more than 1,500 people who live in homes created by the various materials they scavenge. Amor, Fe, Y Esperanza (Love, Faith, and Hope) is a ministry led by Honduran pastor Jeony Ordoňez that educates the children belonging to the families who form this community.
The school began holding classes in the garbage dump in 2001 and then moved to a nearby field in 2004, meeting under trees and small metal structures. Now, the school has expanded to three buildings and teaches about 150 children in kindergarten through 11th grade.
Thirteen teachers, with hearts to serve, come from local churches and communities and as far as the United States to facilitate learning among the students at AFE. In the cafeteria facility, children eat nutritious meals and come together for devotions and special assemblies. The ministry team at AFE goes beyond simply offering the children an education. They focus on holistic ministry, providing for the physical, intellectual, relational, and spiritual needs of the children to allow them to grow into the happy, healthy servant leaders God intended them to be.
AFE uses a homeschool curriculum approved by the Honduran government. When the children register for classes, they undergo a series of tests to determine their appropriate grade level and are then placed in the classroom that best suits their needs. Children learn about proper nutrition and healthcare in natural science classes, but, like everything at AFE, their education is very practical. They also learn about nutrition in the classroom and are served a well-balanced lunch, given vitamins, and provided any healthcare needs by the school nurse.
The school also works on a case-by-case basis to help stabilize and maintain a healthy family life for each child. AFE has a full-time social worker on staff who provides home visits, investigates possible situations of abuse, and alerts AFE if a family is falling into crisis. Through a special fund, AFE is able to provide groceries, pay for hospital visits, and build temporary shelters for families in need.
AFE encourages each child to participate in church life outside of school, but while they are at school, each student receives spiritual guidance during morning devotions and from Christ-centered mentoring by their teachers.
The ultimate goal of all the ministries at AFE is to provide the children and their families the skills and resources needed to reenter normal society. With a strong foundation and a Christian education, these children can leave the landfill culture and serve the Lord as they go forth into healthy community life.
PRAY: Pray for the children at the school who continue to overcome great odds in their lives. Pray for their safety and that more families will come to know the life-changing love of Christ through the ministries at AFE.