By Bob Groeneveld
Special to the Langley Advance
Trisha Evans was browsing the internet, looking for something to do.
She wasn’t looking for just anything.
She wanted something that would fit with her young family’s motto of “see a need, fill a need” – the theme of their favourite movie, the 2005 Robots.
Soon after she happened on the PAOC International Missions website, she thought that maybe she’d found it.
It was a mission project in Honduras that was looking for someone with bookkeeping skills (Trisha) and another with building skills (her husband Mike is a plumber).
Since 2010, Schools of Hope-Honduras has been working with thousands of Honduran public-school children, providing bible studies to more than 5,800, giving daily breakfasts and lunches to 2,000, and offering a child sponsorship program for 150.
The Evans family will join the organization’s short-term missions team.
After overcoming some disbelief that they could be fortunate enough to get involved with such an opportunity in another country – and after a 2016 trip to Honduras to see the mission in action and to see what they’d be getting themselves into – Trisha signed a one-year contract to serve as financial administrator.
Her job will be to develop and maintain bookkeeping records for all aspects of Schools of Hope, and train local staff.
Mike signed on as the maintenance and project manager. He’ll oversee special projects, including partnering with community leaders for future projects, and he will be in charge of maintenance of office space and the feeding program kitchens.
They’ll be moving to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in August.
While they could consider extending their contracts beyond a year – “If we love Honduras… and they love us” – their goals at this point are not long term.
Their basic role will be to train local Hondurans, “And we’re not expecting or wanting to stay longer… as yet.”
They have every intention of returning to their home in Langley, and continuing with community service here.
Mike explained that Trisha has “always done that [helping out in the community] in Langley” through their church, Living Waters, and her involvement with the Langley Rotary Club, and the family just “thought about going further,” looking for opportunities in other countries.
They’ve been with Living Waters Church for the past nine years, after moving to Langley 10 years ago, and she has been a member of the Rotary Club of Langley – which now directly supports Schools of Hope – for the past three years, this year as a member of the club’s executive.
The decision to get involved in Honduras was not taken lightly.
The whole family had to get on board, including their young children Jonah, Hunter, and Alianna.
The money needed to get involved in the project was not a small issue, either.
“When we saw the original budget of $75,000 [set by POAC to register the project], we couldn’t believe we’d get there,” Trisha said.
Between family and friends, talking to two Rotary Clubs, and making presentations at three churches, they are “almost at the end of the road” of their fundraising efforts.
“I don’t know how this happened,” said a mystified but clearly pleased Trisha.
It was her Rotary club that “really got the ball rolling” on fundraising with a $10,000 grant.
And now, a recent spaghetti dinner fundraiser spearheaded by Mike’s parents and their church in Powell River –where Mike grew up – put them within $10,000 of the goal.
The bottom line was boosted by a silent auction at the dinner, and after giving a talk at the church, “People put cash in our hands,” Mike said.
There’s more about the Evans’s Honduran endeavour online (find a donations tab at the top of the page), or people can make a donation directly at the PAOC website. Tax receipts are available for any donations made through either link.
A video (below) made by the director at Schools of Hope, Kathy Mizen, provides further information on the Evans family’s mission.
The Evans clan still have a few more obstacles to overcome.
“Learning Spanish is very hard,” laughed Mike.
“But his tutor says he is making great progress,” Trisha chimed in.