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A Helping Hand

A Helping Hand

NOVEMBER 7, 2022   |   5 MINUTE READ

Imagine stepping into school for the first time.

Based on your age, you are immediately thrown into the second grade, but you do not know how to hold a pencil, write your name, or count to ten.

That is what it is like for the children in Honduras. They have missed out on two complete years of education and teachers are pushing them to the limit to get caught up.

However, some of the kids are even further behind.

At the village school where I teach English, I noticed that one of my students was not at the same level as his peers. Cristian has trouble participating, is easily distracted, and cannot communicate well. His teacher told me he is deaf, but I noticed that he responded when I called his name.

There had to be more to the story.

After being in school for two months, I asked Cristian’s teacher if he was making any progress; she said he wasn’t. That’s when I told her that I might know someone who could help. She was super excited at the possibility.

A woman and a boy smiling

Cristian's story is a tough one, but not unique in Honduras. Now that we know, we'll be able to offer him, his family, and his teacher support to help him progress.

A few Facebook messages later, I had arranged for another missionary who is working in our area to come evaluate my struggling student.  

Alicia Looney lives nearby and has established a school for special needs students. She is an expert at working with students like Cristian, and equipping teachers and parents to empower their children. She readily agreed to come to the school to evaluate Cristian and provide support.

Alicia discovered that Cristian grew up in a home where his mother was deaf and mute. That means for most of his life, he has never heard any oral communication. She determined that many of his issues are learned behavior. He has learned some bad habits that get him attention in the classroom. For Cristian to be successful in school, he will need to work hard and break those bad habits.

While she was visiting, Alicia was able to evaluate a few other students identified by their teachers who were also struggling.

A girl smiling

As it turns out, Keyli is struggling in school because she has some vision issues. Now we'll be able to work together to help her family get the glasses she needs to succeed.

Keyli is a fifth-grade student who has been involved in Team Solheim’s Club Aslan after-school program. Her teacher was concerned about her, but Alicia and I determined that Keyli just needs glasses. Now we can work together to find a medical team to help the family address her vision issues.

Another first-grade student was evaluated and while he does have some issues to overcome, he was able to associate objects with their colors. Guess what comic book character he associates with the color green? Check out this adorable video to find out!

Although he struggles to communicate, this first grade student clearly knows his colors!

I learned long ago in the corporate world that it is not what you know, but who you know that matters.

Networking on the mission field is just as crucial as anywhere else. Knowing who to contact to help someone with their problems is an incredible gift.

We are blessed to have built a network that allows us to provide holistic support for the young people to whom we minister.


PRAY: Ask God to produce more of these connections. Pray that the Holy Spirit would comfort and encourage those global workers who feel like they’re alone. Pray that the body of Christ would work cohesively in proclaiming the kingdom.

GO: Consider joining the network of Christians serving the people in Central America! You and a team can visit Honduras to encourage the work God is doing through the Solheims and other global workers. Fill out our mobilization inquiry form, and we’ll be in touch to talk about your opportunities soon!

GIVE: The Solheims teach English in a rural public school, which allows them to see the students’ needs firsthand. You can partner with the Solheims to provide classes and materials so they can share the love of Christ every day.

Missionary Bio: Steve and Kelly Solheim serve in La Esperanza, Honduras, where they work with churches, Christian leaders, and young people to transform hearts and communities for the kingdom of God. Check out their personal blog for more stories!

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