Dear Loyal Luke 9:2 Ministries Supporter,
We hope this finds you and your family well during the global pandemic. We wanted to update you as to what is going on with the ministry during these trying times. We have been in close contact with our in-country doctor regarding the current situation in Honduras.
Here’s what is the same for the people in Honduras. They are experiencing the same shelter in place orders as we are here in the U.S. Dr. Ponce has not been able to visit any of the rural communities we support because of these orders. This means our 22 villages have limited healthcare because we are their primary healthcare resource. Dr. Ponce doesn’t know when the restrictions will be lifted so this could go on for some time. Just so you know how dire things are in the area we serve, Dr. Ponce’s son is studying to be a doctor (and has been coming with us just about every January since he was a little boy), however he has been sent home from the hospital where he works because they had no masks or protective gear to give students to make rounds.
Because of these issues in Honduras, we have had to cancel the pastoral training for April and the one for July. We will resume that training up as soon as it is safe to do so and we have notified all the pastors in the program that are studying hard to get their certificates. Here’s what is different in Honduras: we cannot switch to on-line learning because most of the pastors do not have computers of any sort and the Wi Fi there is very spotty.
We also have made the difficult decision to cancel the September medical trip that we always do to follow-up on the January patients that need long-term follow up and a resupply of their medicines – usually blood pressure or diabetic medications. God has blessed us in that Dr. Ponce believes he has enough drugs on hand to take care of our patient’s current needs. If not, we will send him money to buy them in-country because our patients desperately need these medications.
Here’s also what is different in Honduras. Healthcare is primarily a pay only system with limited options for health insurance. If you don’t have money, the doctors and/or hospitals turn you away. We provide some of the only free healthcare available to people, especially the poorer citizens of the country. Many hospitals have laid off doctors during this crisis (due to a decrease in paying customers and elective procedures) which provides us the opportunity to hire a few in-country doctors for a week to help Dr. Ponce host those vital September clinics in the villages. Dr. Ponce can’t cover it all by himself even once he is free to leave his house.
Because you have supported us in the past with volunteer work (packing all those pills people need so desperately), prayer, and monetary gifts, we are asking for three things. First, pray for the health of all the people in our 22 villages as they are without healthcare now. Second, pray for the health of Dr. Ponce and his family as they begin to serve again. And last, if it is possible, could you make a donation to allow us to temporarily support a physician to assist Dr. Ponce? We know it is a big ask when our country is in great need as well, but our charge (and charter) from Jesus (Luke 9:2) is to care for the sick. We are going to do our best and know you will help if you can.
Bless all of you for being faithful supporters. We are praying for your health as well. Please stay safe.
Beth Ann Yakes, MD
Chairman, Luke 9:2 Ministries