God has plans for you.
This is a lesson that every child at the LAMB Institute learns from their teachers, caregivers and the volunteers that come to visit with them every year.
What is the LAMB Institute?
LAMB is a Christ-centered, multifaceted ministry based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. They seek to share the hope found in Christ Jesus as they care for, educate, protect and empower those suffering extreme poverty, abuse and exploitation in Honduras. LAMB was founded in 1999 by lifelong missionary, Suzy McCall, as a training school for Hondurans called to world mission. Today, LAMB operates an elementary school for children in one of the most violent and poverty stricken areas of Tegucigalpa, a large youth outreach program, a growing microcredit program with over 300 small business owners, a safe house for victims of human trafficking, multiple community programs and a residential home outside the city for over 70 children who came from situations of abuse and neglect.
To a few Atlanta churches, LAMB is so much more. LAMB is home to the children who have captured our hearts. LAMB is a place that we look forward to returning to each year. We count the days until we leave and we think about the children long after we have returned home. We have pictures of the children in our homes and on our desks at our offices. We follow the Volunteer Coordinator’s Facebook page between visits hoping for pictures of our favorites, while treasuring our memories that we created while we were there.
13 years ago, St. David’s (Roswell) sent their first team of volunteers down to LAMB, and a new ministry, the Honduras Building Ministry, was born. Since that time, the group has expanded to include St. Aidan’s (Alpharetta), Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit (Cumming), St. Peter and St. Paul (Marietta), St. James (Marietta) and a youth team in the summer months. In 2017, we will grow even more to include a second youth team in the summer.
John McKinnon, a longtime team member went on his first volunteer trip in 2005. Their team, although a smaller team, had the task of chopping out a trench, so that the next team could build a foundation for a playground. The soil was very hard, and compacted like cement. The only tools available were picks, hammers, shovels and iron spikes. To an engineer from the U.S., this wasn’t making a lot of sense, but he continued on the task. He kept asking himself what he was getting out of the money he spent to go to Honduras? As the week moved on, John felt himself getting more and more frustrated. As the team was getting ready to say goodbye, he asked Suzy what was the point of the work? Wouldn’t it have been better to just send a check? Suzy answered, “God didn’t send a check, he sent his son.” And with that, John hasn’t missed a single year.
Several team members have stories similar to John. They are scared prior to their first visit and, by the end of the first day, not only have they determined that they are coming back the following year, but they are also bringing the whole family. Other team members have spent entire summers at the LAMB Institute, just to be able to spend more time with the children and help as much as they can.
You may be saying to yourself by now, “I can’t do physical labor like that, but I still want to help.” The LAMB Institute recognizes that not everyone can do the physical labor. For those who feel called to go to Honduras, there are always lighter tasks available. And whether you go or stay, you also have the option of sponsoring a child, either partially or fully. A sponsorship for a child helps with their everyday necessities, as well as their education and medical expenses. You can also participate in the Links for LAMB Golf Tournament in May (watch for details in March) where all proceeds go towards helping the children by going towards necessities like school supplies, shoes or mattresses.
The LAMB Institute provides an environment of love, support and encouragement, for God’s beloved children, no matter what their past has been, or what they have been told by the world. Through Christ’s healing love and the help of those called to be Christ’s hands and feet in this world, precious children are finding new life and light. Please consider whether support of the LAMB Institute could be part of God’s plan for you.