Operation World urges prayer today for Honduras, a place with many problems. They note that
Socio-economic problems are widespread and deeply entrenched. At the root of most problems lies endemic and lasting poverty, affecting up to 80% of the population. Pray for these issues:
a) Children at risk. More than half of Honduras’ population are children, the majority living in poverty. Destitution drives them to desperate measures.
i Illegal emigration. Thousands of children attempt to cross to the USA to find family members working there. Usually, they end up incarcerated in Guatemala or Mexico – in terrible conditions.
ii Pepenadores, or garbage dump children, are more prevalent in Honduras than in any nation in the Americas.
iii Street children, numbering in the thousands, are often exterminated as a nuisance by ruthless groups in the name of social cleansing.
iv Vice and crime. Many of the above groups and others get swept up by organized crime and exploited as gang members and sex workers.
b) Powerful gangs known as maras are made up mostly of youth, but have massive influence and power in Honduran society. They are becoming more violent and ruthless and are linking up with drug cartels using Honduras as a transshipment point. The government is waging an increasingly intense war against these groups for whom kidnapping, extortion and assault are the main activities.
c) AIDS has decimated the population. Honduras is home to 60% of Central America’s AIDS cases. Poverty, ignorance, a widespread sex industry, a macho culture and the Catholic stance against contraception all contribute to its rapid growth. Pray for moral courage and an educational shift among Hondurans to halt the spread of AIDS.
d) The devastation of Hurricane Mitch continues to blight Honduras. Many towns, villages and churches were virtually destroyed. The needs after 10 years are to re-establish both infrastructure and self-sustaining industries. Pray for all involved (World Relief, Tearfund, WVI, Lutheran World Relief, others).