Brook native’s ministry targets education needs

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, June 6, 2006

After nine years of mission work in Honduras, Brookhaven nativeTim Posey is now better able to respond to an overwhelminghumanitarian need through the support of American sponsors.

Posey recently established the Center for Faith, Hope and Love(CFHL).

The child sponsorship program allows American sponsors tosupport Honduran children by providing the vital necessities offood, education and school supplies. The program purchaseseverything a child needs for school, including uniforms, schoolsupplies and one meal a day for $35.

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Posey believes the effort is crucial for Honduran childrenliving in abject poverty.

“I wanted to build something that would make a difference in thecommunity,” Posey said. “I wanted to see the needs of the peoplemet.”

The program’s inception began as Posey searched throughdifferent avenues to find his niche in ministry to Hondurans.

Posey first visited Honduras in 1997, following his graduationfrom the New Orleans Baptist Seminary.

Posey, a certified Southern Baptist evangelist, spent theearlier years of his ministry visiting rural villages and spreadingthe gospel message through film. Projectors were set up andvillagers observed films in their native language.

Feeling compelled to serve the people of Honduras, Posey movedto the country and transitioned into providing theological trainingand pastoral guidance to Honduran pastors.

But prior efforts did not seem to meet the seemingly unendinglist of social needs experienced by villagers.

“One thing I saw throughout my time here has been the poverty ofthe children,” Posey said.

Church groups constantly sent resources of money and manpowersouth. But resources were spent inefficiently and would often leavealong with the mission team.

“I was tired of seeing evangelical groups invest $5,000-$10,000to build a church that was too small,” Posey said.

What communities needed most was not another large, one-timemonetary gift. Honduran villagers needed ongoing support.

Vital to long-term effectiveness in ministry to Hondurans wastheir need for education.

Without a sophisticated public education system, Honduranchildren are required to pay for their own school supplies. Mostcannot afford the expense.

“Some can’t go to school because they can’t pay for uniforms andsome can’t go because they can’t pay for books,” Posey said.

Posey saw CFHL as providing the missing link to the educationalneeds of Honduran children.

“When they look around, they see so much hopelessness,” Poseysaid. “I want to give them hope of some kind.”

But Posey views the child sponsorship program as having amulti-faceted social impact on small rural villages.

“We’ll buy cloth and hire local women to make school uniforms,”Posey said.

Locals will also be hired to work in the kitchen of a feedingministry Posey plans to start. Posey believes the added jobs willimprove the overall economic climate of the impoverishedregion.

Posey’s idea of child sponsorship is not entirely new,however.

Other international child sponsorship programs exist. But Poseybelieves that CFHL offers something larger programs don’t.

“When you pick up the phone and dial our number, you are talkingdirectly to a missionary on the mission field, who deals with thechildren and knows each individual child and their families,” Poseysaid.

Close contact with village children also allows for greateraccountability.

“Some child sponsorship programs offer activities for theirstudents once a week,” Posey said. “Our program will be every daywith those kids.”

Sponsors who give gifts to Honduran children will receivephotographs of their child receiving the gift. More information onthe program, including how to contribute, is available

Posey believes the program will be equally beneficial toparticipants and sponsors. It will enable children to receive thephysical and spiritual gifts they need the most while sponsors cantake comfort helping to meet those needs.