Tatiana Hoecker, Diocese of West Texas (Province VII).
SAMPLE TEXT: Patricia Perea has been involved with the Manos de Dios (Hands of God) Honduras Mission Team for the past 20 years. The mission started through a partnership between four churches in the Diocese of West Texas: St. Andrew’s, Seguin; St. Mark’s, San Marcos; St. John’s, New Braunfels; and St. Francis by the Lake, Canyon Lake.
The ministry began as an initial conversation between Dr. Henry Moore, a member of St. Andrew’s, Seguin, and an Episcopal priest who lived as a missionary in Honduras who suggested bringing a church planting ministry to Danli, Honduras. Danli is a small town two hours East of Tegucigalpa, the capital city. In 2000, the initial exploratory team traveled to Danli which consisted of 12 team members from all four churches. During this trip the team met with all the members of the deaneries of the region who came to the neighborhood Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) and went around inviting people to participate in the beginning of the Episcopal Church coming to their neighborhood. Three home churches were established in Nueva Esperanza from that trip.
After three years the ministry expanded to several microenterprise workshops and a scholarship program. The microenterprise workshops have focused on baking, sewing, setting up a school cafeteria and selling school supplies at a local high school. There have also been several educational workshops including sustainable gardening, job readiness, entrepreneurial skills, liturgical dance, safe sexual health, futbol (soccer), and on the Episcopal Young Adult Service Corps (YASC). Additionally, the scholarship program has been one of the most successful and has positively impacted over 200 students and their families. The program picks up qualified students who are entering the seventh grade and carries them through high school and vocational school or university. Several students have even gone on to complete a master’s degree that have been fully-funded by the sponsoring university.
About the author: Tatiana Hoecker, Diocese of West Texas (Province VII). After completing a Master’s in International Development in Barcelona, Spain, Tatiana worked for the World Mission Department for the Diocese of West Texas before working as a Consultant for Global Partnerships with The Episcopal Church. Tatiana’s interest in the United Nations began in high school when she participated in Model UN for four years and since then has dedicated her studies to advancing and advocating for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Additionally, Tatiana has been involved in mission work for the past 13 years in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Uganda, the Navajo Nation, and especially in Honduras. Tatiana is a Latina from San Antonio, Texas and for the past year has been involved with organizations in Texas, as well as the wider Episcopal Borderland Ministry assisting asylum-seeking families on both sides of the border.