Thrift store funds girl’s home in Honduras

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Photo courtesy of Becky Staples Photography: New Desire Christian Ministries’ House of Hope Thrift Shop board of directors members Sebrina Crosby (left) and Jennifer Spears share a hug during the shop’s grand opening on August 4.

By Lindsey Frazier, Editorial Assistant

In a small village an hour and a half outside Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, sat an unfinished house on a small piece of property in the heart of the community. New Desire Christian Ministry saw this house as an opportunity to establish a full-time presence in the town.
“Nine years ago, we started a ministry in Honduras,” said New Desire Christian Ministry board member Jennifer Spears. “In those nine years, we now have two churches and two feeding kitchens where we feed over 600 kids per week in the community three days a week. We do a water program where we have a well in our church, and in the dry season we take tanks of water around for anyone who needs water.”
New Desire’s most recent contribution to the community of La Ermita is a girl’s home the ministry started in March.
“We named our girl’s home House of Hope,” said Spears. “That’s what we are giving them – hope for an education, hope for a future and also our hope is in Jesus. Right now, we are having to turn away girls that need a home.”
House of Hope currently houses six girls ranging in age from eight to 17. It has two housemothers, Leslie and Elma, who have been members of the church in Honduras for years. Each woman stays at the house for seven days and swaps on Sundays. New Desire Christian Ministry goes beyond just housing the girls, however; it is also providing an education.
“Education is the way out of poverty,” said Spears “All the girls, except the eight-year-old, are very behind in school. 75 percent of the country is illiterate, so none of them have gone to school consistently, if at all. So we have hired private teachers that meet with the girls at the local school to catch them up so they can join the class with the other kids of their age. In just two months, one of the girls has already almost caught up to her grade level.”
The organization has also developed a scholarship program which sends over 100 children to school every year, and even some to college. To help support the ministry’s efforts, Spears opened House of Hope Thrift Store where one hundred percent of the proceeds contributes to the girl’s home.
Located at 32765 U.S. Highway 231 in Ashville, the store sells everything from home décor to school supplies. The only items the store does not accept are mattresses, pillows and old printers. In the store, one can see pictures and handwritten letters from the girls.
“The goal of this thrift store is to have a sustainable income so that we can add on another bunk room and take in a few more girls.”
The idea for the thrift store came from a classmate of Spears’ from the University of Alabama Ty Harris who founded Amazon Hope in Boaz.
“Ty and his store manager Whitley have been great,” said Spears. “They’ve pointed us in the right direction, they’ve told us what to take and what not to take. He has really been my mentor in this.”
In addition to the help from Harris, the ministry has joined Planting Oaks, which is a part of The Big Oak Ranch in Gadsden. Planting Oaks partners with 120 children’s homes across the world and has given Spears guidance, resources and access to reliable service providers for the construction of the girl’s home.
New Desire Christian Ministries operates local missions as well. It has provided school supplies for children who are in need. The ministry has a program called All God’s Children for foster parents who need outfits and toys for their foster children.
“We want to give our girls an education, a way out of poverty and show them the love of Jesus,” said Spears
According to Spears, there are no foster homes in Honduras to provide for children who are orphaned or abandoned. Of the girls the ministry house, one is a true orphan whose brother was trying to raise her but was unable.
Another girl was taken in by an older church member after she ran away from a stepfather who tried to sell her into human trafficking.
“If these kids have nowhere to go, they just have to survive,” said Spears “That’s why the girls end up in prostitution or human trafficking, just to get a meal. The girls are able to stay at the home until they are capable of providing for themselves after going to college or a trade school. We wants to make sure the girls have everything they need to be self-sufficient.”

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