2017 Annual Report
Protests Close the National University
Greetings, Friends of Professionals to the World!
For three months this year a student strike by leftist groups closed all the national universities. The rioters took over classrooms, occupied administration offices, smashed windows, stole and damaged property and closed the highway in front of the school in Tegucigalpa.
At the same time, the work of Arnulfo Matute and Elin Torres, training teachers in the use of the children’s book, Principles that Make you Strong, is continuing to bear fruit in elementary and middle schools.
Many dedicated workers labor to bring stability and hope to this small country torn by leftist conflicts. The contribution of PTTW is to teach right thinking and behavior to the younger generation of Hondurans. Following are some comments from Comayagua teachers and school principals, regarding teaching from the textbook, Principles that Make you Strong:
“This program has made a valuable contribution in improving the conduct of the students.”
“The book is extremely helpful in the development of both moral and spiritual values.”
“The book makes an important contribution, as we do not have this teaching.”
“It is good to work with this valuable text, which is well accepted by the students.”
“Thanks to God for putting in your heart the desire to write this book and bring it to our educational centers.”
“Please keep up the good work, as we need individuals to provide us with new texts.”
“I would like this text to be implemented in all our classrooms so that our students could practice the principles being taught.”
“The book is excellent. Our children are taught almost nothing in their homes, and most live in an environment without any of these values.”
“This teaching helps me and my students survive in this world with so much upheaval. Our children are prejudiced from lack of God in their homes.”
“I think parents will be a great help in putting the content of the book into practice with their children at home and at school.”
The year’s agenda is not what we planned! We expected this to be a big year. Mike Guerrero travelled to Honduras last year and in January I did too in order to plan a business conference in the universities. Instead we found that the universities were not ready for us. We rescheduled our conference for September, then for November. Both conferences were cancelled because of the student strike. As a result there was no trip this year.
Instead, as I explained above, the teaching of PTTW’s Principles that Make you Strong grew significantly in the grade schools.
In Comayagua where the work began, Elin has visited 50 schools and donated 184 books. Eighteen of these schools are actively teaching the book.
In these 18 schools, 164 teachers have taught approximately 5000 children.
A new program was begun for parents in 12 schools and two high schools, where 18 talks were given to 854 parents.
Talks were also given in eight high schools to 641 students in their senior year.
In Tegucigalpa, Arnulfo has begun the same program with school teachers. He has visited 20 schools in gang-controlled, high risk areas of the city. He donated books to each of these schools.
When the university wasn’t on strike, Arnulfo also presented 18 seminars to 601 students on various subjects, including: making good grades, memorizing, public speaking, dating, teamwork, temperament, self esteem, making good decisions, perseverance, and values and principles. At the end of these seminars he also shared the Gospel, with 26 students praying to receive Jesus as Savior.
He went on the radio twice, speaking of the impact the teaching of values and principles has made at the universities.
The program at the universities has continued at most of the national universities, and plans are moving forward for a business conference in March, 2018.
To expand the program we have purchased top grade video equipment which will be used to record conferences given at the National Center for the Teaching of Values (CNFV) in Comayagua. The video equipment will also be used to record the presentations made in primary, secondary and high schools and for interviews of students, teachers and professors. All of these video recordings will be put on youtube and accessible by anyone and especially all of the other national universities so as to expand the program to include the whole country.
The crisis in the university system, brought on by student demands, has not helped their situation. Instead it has hurt students, and the prestige of the university as well. At the moment the dispute has been settled and a dialog is taking place between school administrators and students with seemingly good results.
However, the country is now in turmoil following their presidential election. Main highways have been blocked by leftist groups, making travel difficult. As Silvia Matute wrote, “I feel like a prisoner in my own country.”
As for the work of PTTW this year, what looked like a disaster has turned out to be positive. Rejoice with us for the way God is using Arnulfo Matute and Elin Torrez to bring change in Honduras.
We ask that you will pray with us that the current problems will be resolved and that God will bring good out of this national conflict too. Thank you.
Happy New Year! God bless you all for being part of this amazing work.