How it all began…
During the summer of 2004, HIllside Community Church of Keller, Texas connected with a start-up church in Danlí, Honduras, Llamado Eterno. Summer mission teams worked closely with the church’s leadership to construct a building for the church and minister to the surrounding communities.
The new church building is opened…
In 2006, the church was able to move into their building, and in the following years their congregation rapidly grew. Arturo Blanco and his wife Ruth, along with three other devoted families, lead this church. They have given their lives to helping the neediest in their community and sharing the love and truth of Christ in Danlí.
The trip that changed everything…
In 2011, Isabel Hawkins and Whitney Warner visited Honduras with Hillside on their summer mission trip. On this trip, both were struck with the reality that families were struggling to send their children to school.
Since public schools in Latin America require students to wear uniforms to school, one mom shared that her children share one pair of shoes so that each of them can attend school at least once a week.
Other families can only send the eldest to school, but at a certain age, they must drop out to get a job and provide for their younger siblings.
Even worse, some shared that because they lost everything (uniforms included) in recent flooding, they must keep their children at home as they struggle to rebuild their houses and feed their family. They simply cannot afford schooling.
However, without schooling, what future do their children have? What jobs would be available to them with little to no schooling? Something had to be done. However, hope existed. The fellow missionaries on the team longed to help and desired to do more after returning to the United States.
A plan was formed…
By the end of the summer of 2011, Isabel Hawkins and Whitney Warner had created a plan to connect the families of Hillside who desired to help with the families of Danlí who desperately needed it.
The partnership between HIllside Community Church and Llamado Eterno grew as they worked together to create this program. Arturo and Ruth began to prayerfully choose families in the greatest need to receive scholarships and worked diligently to create scholarship applications, accountability procedures and child profiles.
Back in the States, Whitney and Isabel reached out to people in their community to start the program with them.
A real difference was made…
Their first year, the program supported 11 children, providing them with all resources necessary to attend school.
From strength to strength…
The Honduras Education Project currently provides full scholarships for 170 children. 170 lives have been radically changed. The students are going to school every day, learning and building into their futures.
The families are more involved in the church’s ministries, and their love for the Lord is growing. One child recently wrote to their sponsor family, “Now I know God will always provide for me, because he loves me and has plans for my life.”
Empowering Education International is formed…
Listening to the hundreds of testimonies of how the Honduras Education Project had truly changed the lives of not only the sponsored children, but also their families as well as their sponsors back in the United States.
Hundreds of children with the opportunity to go to school, a connection with a family far away that loves them and believes in them, and the support of the local church have truly experienced God grace, goodness, and provision: a life-changing experience!
We knew in our hearts that God wanted more from us. He wanted us to step out in faith and grow past Danlí, Honduras and into the WORLD. We thus transformed Honduras Education Project to Empowering Education International with the simple goal of empowering children in need all over the world to create a brighter future for themselves.