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Donald Westra


Honduras

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How would you describe the mission of our partner in Honduras?

CCD offers vocational and life education to youth and adults at risk from ages 15 to 35.  The agency offers courses in computers, cellphone repair, handcrafts, welding, and cosmetology to name a few.  The courses are offered in various communities instead of one central location.  Some of the neighborhoods are dangerous, so the classes are taught close to peoples’ homes.

CCD has 31 years of experience in Honduras, and coordinates their efforts with numerous organizations and churches in surrounding communities. 

How do you fit into their mission?

With my background as a business owner, Engineer, and farm kid, I am using my talents for administration, fundraising and sustainable agriculture to augment the financial position of CCD.  Additional income for CCD means we can offer more courses in such vocations as plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, and sustainable agriculture.  

What led you to engage in this calling?

Maryjane and I have always dreamed of doing mission work someday.  After the last child graduated and left the nest, we realized someday was now.  Global Ministries helped us realize our dreams with challenges and opportunities.  The opportunities are many when you look for them.  CCD looked like a good fit for us.

Is there a passage of scripture that carries special meaning in your daily work?

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”  Philippians 2:3-4

“and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”  Micah 6:8

Each of these passages deals with humility.  To be effective in mission humility is almost a requirement.  

What are some of the challenges facing the people of Honduras, our partner, or yourself?

Many people in Honduras face economic hardship.  Unemployment is at 40-50%.  The fear is that the country’s youth will be swallowed up by the gangs.  Corruption and gangs are in control in the major cities.  In rural areas, the problems are more related to basic needs.  Finding enough to eat in the arid areas is a full time job, and clean water is hard to find in much of the country.  Parents put a high value on education for their children, but find it difficult to pay for.  CCD helps fill that need.

CCD’s greatest challenge is funding.  Grants come and go, but CCD has no permanent support.

I am challenged to bring sustainable income to CCD.  Personally, our greatest challenge is being constantly vigilant of the level of crime on the streets.

What is a lesson you have learned from our partner that you feel should be shared with churches in the U.S.?

The lessons are many, but here are just a couple to think about.  We should value relationships more and possessions less.  Worry less about tomorrow, and appreciate what you have today.

Which books have influenced your understanding of your country, work, or theology:

Enrique’s Journey—Sonia Nazario

The Mosquito Coast—Paul Theroux

Which films that have influenced your understanding of your country, work, or theology:

Gold Fever—Thom Haynes

Garifuna in Peril—Rubin Reyes and Ali Allie

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Find out more about our mission work in:

 Prayers and Mission Stories