Bruce Hanson

Bruce Hanson serves with the Association of Evangelical Institutions of Honduras.

Serving with: Asociación de Instituciones Evangélicas de Honduras, Iglesia Evangélica y Reformada de Honduras

How would you describe the mission of our partner in Honduras? (please include a link to the partners website)

The Association of Evangelical Institutions of Honduras (AIEH) is the branch of the Evangelical and Reformed Church of Honduras that responds to social needs in their communities. This has included providing health care through clinics and more informal “brigades”, the Pablo Menzel bilingual school, CEVER (a technical education program), emergency food after the 2020 hurricanes, and assistance in reconstruction after the hurricanes. In addition to the social services provided by AIEH, their programs provide pastoral care and spiritual guidance to the participants of their programs.

https://www.sinodo.org/

https://www.facebook.com/Iglesia-Evangelica-y-Reformada-Honduras-323206567886123/

How do you fit into their mission?

AIEH identified the area of Omoa, Honduras as an area of particular needs due to the devastation of two hurricanes of November, 2020, and its proximity to the border with Guatemala, where deportees from the US reenter Honduras. The Hansons are responding to health care needs for community members and the hurricane victims, still unhoused, and to the immediate needs of returning deportees for food, medical care and diapers, along with providing pastoral care. In addition, they are working with school children who have been unable to attend school due to the pandemic, many whom are older elementary children who don’t yet read or write.

What led you to engage in this calling?

The Hansons previously served in Honduras from 2004-2009. They had always hoped to return to mission work, and when they heard of the devastation of Hurricanes Eta and Iota, they felt called to return.

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

Bruce’s scripture choices are:

  • I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

Matthew 25:35

  • Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.

Ephesians 2:19

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

Since the two devastating hurricanes of November, 2020, along with COVID, this already impoverished country has struggled even more. It has now surpassed Haiti as the poorest in the western hemisphere. Honduras snuggles with high levels of poverty, high unemployment, an unresponsive and corrupt government, gang violence, poor quality education and poor infrastructure. Because of this, large numbers attempt to migrate to the United States, usually illegally, seeking safety and employment. AIEH has responded with a program for returning deportees at CEVER, and by having a presence at the border to let returnees knowing they are cared for, but they also struggle financially. They have called the Hansons to provide medical care to those still in temporary shelter after the devastating hurricanes of November, 2020, to meet urgent needs for returning deportees  and to work with school children with limited access to education.

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

We have been reminded of the importance of relationships, of taking the time to greet each other, check in with each other, ask about family, and bless one another.

In Honduras, churches play a central role in responding to the needs of the community.  Hondurans are more likely to respond with direct acts of service rather than monetary gifts as seen in US churches which more intimately connects them to people’s needs.

Church is central to community life with church services four times a week, an entire day of fasting together with worship each week, and Sunday school along with additional special services. This keeps worship and faith central to their daily lives.

Which books have influenced your understanding of your country, work, or theology (choose 3-6):

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.

If God is Love Don’t Be a Jerk by John Pavlov-itch

Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

Which films that have influenced your understanding of your country, work, or theology  (choose 2-4):

Bruce’s Movies

Romero

The Mission

Additional requests:

 (optional) Blog link: hondurashansons.wordpress.com

(optional) Is there a special food you would like to share a recipe of?

Baleadas

Baleadas are often served for breakfast, or as street food as a snack.

Tortillas:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup water

½ cup vegetable oil

1 egg

½ teaspoon salt

Mix flour, water, vegetable oil, egg, and salt in a large bowl; knead until dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Form the dough into 8 golf ball-sized balls. Cover and let rest, about 20 minutes. Stretch each ball of dough into a thick tortilla. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook each tortilla until browned and lightly puffed, about 1 minute per side.

Filling:

2 cups refried beans, warmed

1 avocado, sliced

½ cup crumbled queso fresco (fresh white cheese)

¼ cup crema fresca (fresh cream)

Layer refried beans, avocado, and queso fresco over tortillas. Drizzle crema on top; fold tortillas in half over filling.

(optional) Is there a song that they sing at church in your placement you can send us?

(optional) Is there a piece of traditional art that you can send us a photo of and/or explain?

Bruce’s appointment with the Association of Evangelical Institutions of Honduras is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, Week of Compassion, and special gifts.