The Miller’s – Mike and Glenda Miller – Border Buddies Ministries Inc. (Newsletter reference)
“Michael and Glenda Miller, missionaries in Honduras for 16 years, and founders of Border Buddies Ministries Inc.
Our anticipated time in the field is lifetime.
We currently have two full-time missionaries. The two missionaries are from Honduras. We also have four full-time construction workers and three part-time workers for our Saturday youth group that are Honduran.
It is our desire to hire local Hondurans to work with the ministry so we can offer employment, development, and opportunity to spread the Gospel within their country.
Our ministry has been in existence for 16 years and is located in Tegucigalpa, Honduras in Central America.
Why: Honduras has become one of the poorest countries in all of Latin America, if not the poorest, with 67 percent of the population below the poverty line. Studies have shown as many as 50% of Hondurans are unemployed.
A staggering 77% of Honduran children live in households that are in poverty; one in five children suffer from chronic malnutrition and only 58% percent attend school, according to UNICEF. And the poverty is only getting worse each year.
What we Do: When we first started out in 2004, we targeted the areas of Gang Members in prison and Men and Women who are incarcerated. We found out that the major problem is the lack our resources, training, discipline in the families. Basically, the family structure was broken in Honduras. In 2004 of September we came up with the plan to help “Increase the possibilities to Decrease the population in the prison systems”.
We started out in 2005 in the poorest communities in Honduras by helping with School Sponsorships. We started out with five sponsored children in 2005 and we are currently sponsoring 315 children. During these years we have worked in 14 schools and have seen a decrease in dropout rates from 50% to 2%. Also, we have graduated 188 students from High School and four from Technology School. We have also graduated our first student from the University where she is a computer engineer. Our current needs are the continued growth of new sponsors to sponsor more children as we have an increasing waiting list of children in need to go to school with the proper supplies.
While working with sponsorships we noticed that the public schools were run down to the point of closing. So, in 2005 we started rehabilitating public schools. To date we have helped seven schools by adding a total of 23 classrooms, including a computer lab. These improvements have kept two of the schools from closing. In four of the schools we have built working kitchens, fully equipped with modern appliances, the first in Honduras public schools. These kitchens are feeding over 1,200 students per day.
During our time working with the schools and with our sponsorship program we started reaching out to the youth that were in streets. Those young people are looking for drugs, alcohol, sex and some form of escape from the life they live in their homes. This passion in looking for these things of the world leads children to gangs which then leads them to becoming prisoners. Currently we have four youth groups that range from 12 to 25 years in age. We have seen hundreds of salvations and baptisms as a result of solid spiritual growth. Our original members from back in 2005 are now currently leading two of our satellite youth groups. We plan on opening up a third satellite youth group where we will continue to use older youth as leaders. They have years of experience and instruction from us and can now lead other youth to become Christians, to be better sons and daughters to their family and to bring back restoration to their lives.
Our original boy’s youth group and girl’s youth group also have been giving back to their country by serving 500 squatter families who live in homes made out of garbage. They have organized six house churches, have handed out shoes, clothing, water filters and much more in conjunction with our construction teams from the States during the last three years. We also have a Saturday Youth Program that is formatted like Vacation Bible School and is hosted all year long on Saturdays from 1:30 pm to 6:00 pm. We typically have 120 children in attendance, and during the program the children play, receive bible classes, are taught craft projects, and receive a snack with juice. Our current struggle is the need of a Truck to transport our Teams for activities. Also, with the continued growth and outreach we currently have a budget of $1,400 per month for all these activities and are in need of support for our youth groups.
We also host construction teams that help out in rehabilitating and building schools in Honduras. All our teams currently come from the Southern Tier area and it is building up awareness in what are needs are, what we are doing, and showing that we can work together as churches in Kingdom building. This awareness helps us with the growth of our sponsorship program. Because 50% or more of our team members come back to Honduras more than once, not only to help the ministry but to have interaction with their sponsored child/children. We currently have hosted 56 teams from the States, equaling well over 600 people and representing 11 different countries. We also host one medical team per year and these teams have helped over 8,400 patients in the last seven years. We are happy to say that this October (in 2020) we will be hosting our 8th Medical Team, plus we have already have three construction teams lined up. Our plan is to move into new churches that are outside of central New York State, so we can increase the awareness of the work the Jesus is doing in Honduras.
With this in mind we continue to do our work inside and outside the prisons of Honduras and have instituted our tattoo removal program. We currently have removed 390 plus tattoos from ex-gang members who have either changed their life for Jesus or have left their gang because they didn’t want to live the life of a gang member anymore. The tattoos are a brand that the gangs use to identify who, where, which gang, or what type of gang activities they part of. The tattoos make it easier for gang leaders to find and kill “offending” ex-members. Over 85% of men and women who leave the gang are dead within two weeks. The removal of tattoos is essential because it saves lives and is helping to reduce this sad statistic. However, we are in need of a new and much improved tattoo removal machine which can remove the tattoos in only two sessions versus the eighteen sessions required by the current machine. The reduced number of sessions also reduces the amount of infection and scarring done by the current machine. But the new machine costs in the range of $25,000, so that part of the ministry has been put on hold until it can be purchased. However, the seeds that have been planted in the past years have matured in many men and women which has brought forth a crop of leaders, who are ex-gang members, and who are now teaching in prisons and or in churches in Honduras.
We are blessed to be able to see all this work that God has and will continue to accomplish through the generous hands that come from our local area and abroad. We pray that the awareness through those who support us will continue to grow and motivate others to support the work we are doing in Honduras.”