September 9, 2022

Food For The Poor Recipients in Honduras Give Thanks for Bicycles

According to Food For The Poor (FFTP), Honduras is an impoverished country with the highest level of income inequality in all of Latin America. Nearly 65 percent of the population live in poverty – rates that are even higher among rural and indigenous people. Honduras also has one of the world’s highest murder rates. It is a country with many barriers to progress. Unemployment, gang violence and lack of opportunity is widespread. 

Sadly, Honduras is frequently affected by severe droughts that deplete its basic crops, leaving the country’s most vulnerable populations to suffer from food insecurity. Chronic malnutrition is rampant in this country, resulting in high infant and child mortality rates.

We are always grateful to hear when donations sent by Midwest Mission have been received. Recently, Food For The Poor shared stories of people in Honduras who have received bicycles.  

Personal testimonies like the ones sent to us on Sept. 1, 2022, give us a glimpse into the joy that someone gains from an in-kind gift, a financial donation, volunteer time and most importantly, prayers. Times of crisis are hard-hitting in Honduras and many other Caribbean and Latin American countries. The tangible items, like bicycles, are appreciated. However, it’s the intangible gifts of love and support that bring the real hope and empowerment, creating eternal blessings.

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development

organizations in the world, does much more than feed millions of the hungry children and families living in poverty - primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief

assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit

Partner Testimony

“While we were distributing the bicycles, we met a couple who reside in Lima Cortes, the city in Honduras that was hit hardest by tropical storm Eta,” said Heydy Bu, Food For The Poor’s in-country partner representative. “They were telling us how they lost their home and all of their belongings. These are the people who we are grateful to encounter in our field trips - people in dire need of our assistance.

“They said their experience was unimaginable, and that they don’t know how they were able to make it out alive,” Heydy added.

“We work as street vendors now, and we must travel to food markets to buy our produce,” the woman explained. “These bicycles will allow us to start our workday

faster, since we no longer have to walk to the market.

“Only about 20 percent of Hondurans have their own vehicle,” Heydy said. “The majority of us use public transportation, and those who live in either rural areas or in villages do not even have access to that.

“Thank you so very much for these bicycles,” Heydy added. “Everyone who received one was most grateful for it and they each conveyed the same message: ‘Many thanks to the donor, Midwest Mission. May God bless them.’”

Bleacher Wood Received From Iowa and Nebraska Schools

Midwest Mission began 22 years ago building Student Desks under the leadership of founder, Jack Travelstead. The growth of this program is immense, as hundreds of desks are sent around the world each year. 

The desks are made from recycled  bleacher wood that is provided to Midwest Mission by churches and schools when they decide to dispose of them. Roger McClintock, 85, is one of the volunteer desk shop leaders and has been teaching volunteers to build the desks for 20 years. A retired math teacher, he said the desks help provide a better learning environment for students. “You can generally seat three, sometimes four students at a desk. All depends on their size. Building the desks is a good experience,” he said, “and no matter your skill level, we can teach you to build.” He has seen many people come in who have never used a hammer or other tools and is able to instruct and encourage them through the process, which is well laid out from start to finish. The wood is cut, sanded and polyurethane is applied. Once a desk is fully assembled and given the OK for quality, it is disassembled and each piece is packaged into its own unit, shrink wrapped and then shipped to our partner nonprofits where they distribute and help the recipients put them back together.

Knowing about the desk project, a volunteer group from Carroll, Iowa brought bleacher wood with them on their recent trip to Midwest Mission. The bleachers were donated by two schools.

Kuemper Catholic High School in Carroll, IA donated their bleachers. Seven men from First United Methodist Church in Carroll assisted the high school’s maintenance staff for two days to remove the bleacher wood and hardware. Jeff Honold provided his flatbed trailer and the Kuemper baseball team loaded the bleacher wood on it. Jeff then drove it to Midwest Mission’s campus for processing. 

Marian High School in Omaha, NE also provided bleacher wood. Matt Winterboer, a teacher at the high school, had learned about Midwest Mission’s desk project. He reached out to his parents, Cloyd and Carol Winterboer about the available bleacher wood. Carol is the Mission Committee Chair at Carroll First United Methodist Church. He knew they volunteered at Midwest Mission and had a late August trip planned to serve on campus. God’s timing for sure. Matt coordinated the efforts through his parents and the help of Principal Susie Sullivan and Assistant Principal Rochelle Rohlfs. 

Jeff Honold was also called to load the bleachers in Omaha. The students at the all-girls College Prep High School worked with Jeff to get the bleachers onto the trailer. The full load arrived at Midwest Mission, Aug. 29, 2022, along with a crew of volunteers ready to begin work building desks.

Do you know of a church or school ready to get rid of their wooden bleachers? Having Midwest Mission collect the bleachers can save an organization upwards of $15,000. People must be available to take the bleachers down. You can load them and bring them to campus or Midwest Mission staff may be able to pick them up. Contact Brad Walton at or 217-358-6675 for further details and to discuss logistics.

Thank you to everyone who has helped arrange the donations from schools and churches and to all of you who have helped in the process of building desks this year. Midwest Mission has already shipped 348 completed desks to Haiti and Guatemala in the first six months of 2022. You continue to touch hearts and lives! Incredible!

We are able to purchase hoodies in bulk for a great price. Our goal is to raise $6000 to buy 1000 hoodies. If you would like to give towards these hoodies instead of purchasing them yourself, go to and donate money towards the Ukraine fund.


Please pray God will continue to bless this ministry, and that we will continually be led by Him. Pray that doors will continue to open so we can send resources as efficiently and effectively as possible.

"I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

Psalm 27:13-14


Work of the Mission Volunteers

Projects completed

  • 216 UMCOR Cleaning Kits
  • 1104 UMCOR Hygiene Kits
  • 60 Layette Kits
  • 120 Home Care Kits

Other work done

  • Student Desks - sand, poly, build
  • Repaired bikes
  • Sorted outfits
  • Counted items into inventory
  • Grounds keeping
  • Repaired Sewing Machines
  • Cleaned
  • Painted


  • UMCOR Sager-Brown, Baldwin, LA., 2132 UMCOR cleaning kits Value: $159,900.00
  • Central Illinois Emmaus, Springfield, IL, 2 cases of sanitizing wipes Value: $48.00
  • ACE-SAP Free Clinic, Waterloo, IA, Redirected hygiene and cleaning supplies     Value: $68.00
  • St. Martin de Porres, Springfield, IL, 2 Bikes Value: $180.00

                               *Redirected items are those items received that do not fit into the parameters of our kits and projects.

Midwest Mission is able to do this work because of your generous donations and willingness to volunteer. Thank you!

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Schedule Your Mission Journey
Available Dates in 2022, 2023 and 2024

Need a Saturday option for team volunteering
or assistance in booking?

Contact Pat Wright at:
or 217-697-4063

Click below to check calendar openings and to reserve your spots.



September 6 - 9, 2022

Volunteer Leaders

Jennie & Stan Lowrey

Pattonsburg, MO

Donna Downen

Tolono, IL



Tampico UMC

Tampico, IL

Libertyville UMC

Libertyville, IL

Athens UMC

Athens, IL

Kayode Benson

Springfield, IL

Ron Wampler

Springfield, IL

Union Reunion

St. Louis, MO

Jay Grim
Marsha Johnson

Ray Ogden

Kent Douglas
Kelly Bagley
Brad Boucher
Louise Corder

Ron Kinner

Ken Anderson

Roger McClintock

Jordan Turner

Art Runge

Roger Schlichting

Alison Schlichting

Terry House

Sherry Sinnott

Rita Smith

Steve Smith

Carol Swettman

Dan Blank

Mary Snider

Mike Snider

Kathy Davis


Click Here for the UMVIM NCJ Newsletter
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