JACKSON, Tenn. – March 31, 2003– Since 1989, David and Lydia Martinez have served the children of Honduras through Orphanage Emmanuel. On their Global Opportunity trip to Honduras, 27 members of the Union family spent spring break bolstering that work through manual labor, the provision of basic healthcare and giving loving attention to the children.
According to Kelvin Moore, associate professor of Christian Studies at Union and the leader of GO Honduras, the group constructed a retaining wall which will provide protection from erosion and flooding damage to one of the orphanage dormitories. They also mixed and poured concrete for sidewalks and other enhancements to the dorm.
“Our students worked tirelessly and without complaint,” said Moore. “They represented our university and our Lord in an exemplary manner. I am extremely proud of them and proud to have been a member of the group.”
The group also included nursing students and professionals who gave the children basic physicals and treated minor illnesses. According to sophomore Allison Seaman, they were also able to provide an early diagnosis for several ailments which might have become more serious before they were recognized by non-medical personnel.
The GO Honduras team spent their evenings developing relationships with the children at Orphanage Emmanuel. “Many of them come from abusive situations. They want attention and love,” said Mitchell Qualls, a sophomore. “We loved the kids and accepted them.”
“We were able to give them a little one on one attention,” said sophomore Sarah Bradley. “They miss out on that sometimes because there are so few staff members and so many kids.”
The GO Honduras team was impressed by the strength of the Hondurans’ faith in spite of their lack of material wealth. “I realized how much I have that I don’t need and how that hinders my relationship in with God,” said freshman Jen Kalinoski.
“It was inspiring to see their faith and the way God has provided for them,” said Seaman. “It makes you realize what’s really important and what’s trivial.”
For more information on Orphanage Emmanuel, visit http://www.dialog.dk/~fjordbak/emmanuel.
For more information on Union University’s Global Opportunity Trips, call Suzanne Mosley (731) 668-5244.
By Chris Allen
Director of News and Media Relations