Frequently aSKED QUESTIONS
How many kids are at the home?
There are currently 42 kids at the home. We hope to grow that number and bring more children on property eventually.
When do children leave the home?
The GSCH works with the Honduran government, which includes DINAF (Honduran child protection services), to fit the best home for the children. DINAF is working on an initiative to reunite children with their family members, so several children have left to live with a safe family member (could be a parent or grandparent, aunt, etc.) The Honduran government is also working on increasing foster care placements. Children also are required to leave the home once they are 18 years old.
What happens when the children turn 18?
When the children turn 18, they are required by DINAF to leave the home. The GSCH works with the children to arrange housing as well as college classes and/or job options. The GSCH has a Youth in Transition program to assist these children.
What are the backgrounds of the children?
The children come from various backgrounds of poverty, abandonment, abuse, complex family situations, or neglect. Most often, DINAF (Honduras’ child protection services), is made aware of a child’s situation and then places a child with GSCH.
Who takes care of the children?
Children are taken care of by house-moms and dads that are called Tias and Tios (Spanish for aunts and uncles.) The tias/tios live in the casitas (Spanish for little house) with the kids and provide love, food, and devotionals, as well as oversee chores and homework. The GSCH takes great care in selecting and training tias/tios that love God, have extensive experience working with children, and ensure the children’s safety.
How do you teach the kids life skills?
Each child has daily chores that they are responsible for, including making their bed and doing their own laundry by hand. We also have several training areas on campus, including a sewing center, wood shop, farm, and cafeteria.
Can you adopt the children?
Though we have had several U.S. couples adopt from the GSCH in the past, it is a very time intensive and complicated process. Honduras recently became a part of the international Hague adoption convention, which prevents couples from “choosing” a specific child that they want to adopt, unless they are 8 years old or older. Therefore, couples must go through the general Honduras adoption process to get a younger child, which considers all abandoned children in Honduras, and this process can take up to 5 years. To be adoptable, a child must get an “abandoned” status, which means that they do not have any relatives in Honduras that would claim them, or the relatives signed off that they could be adopted. If you are interested in adopting from Honduras, we encourage you to talk with Nightlight Christian Adoptions.
Where do they go to school?
The children attend the Good Shepherd Christian Academy (GSCA), which is a bilingual Christian school on our property. They attend GSCA from K4 through 9th grade, and then they attend the public community school for 10th through 12th grade. The GSCA is also open to children in the surrounding community.
Do these children have family and do they ever see them?
Many of the children do have several loving family members, but they cannot care for the child for a variety of reasons. The family members have an opportunity to visit their children at the GSCH once a month on visitation Saturdays. Unfortunately, several do not have any family or contact with any family members.
What do you do to protect the children?
The GSCH takes child protection very seriously and has extensive safety protocols in place. We also have an official GSCH Child Protection Policy that all guests and employees are expected to sign before interacting with the kids.
What does child sponsorship provide?
Child sponsorship is how we receive the vast majority of the funds needed to run the home. These funds go towards the child’s education, food, housing, and clothing expenses, as well as pay our staff.
How much does it cost to sponsor a child?
Our default amount for child sponsorship is $43/month, which helps to cover the child’s food, education, caregivers, counseling, and medical care. Many of our sponsors choose to give more than $43. However, we are happy to receive whatever monthly sponsorship amount you feel you can give.
How much is it to fully sponsor a child?
Each child needs 10 sponsors at $43 a month to be “fully sponsored,” which is equal to $430 a month.
The full amount needed for each child is $430 per month. This covers all aspects of the child’s care: 3 meals a day, 24-hour caregivers (including campus nurse, guards, and cooking staff), a private bilingual education, weekly therapy, and medical care. This means that each child needs about 10 sponsors with a $43/month commitment.
Why does my sponsor child have more than one sponsor?
This need arises from the monthly expenses per child being greater than the cost of one sponsorship. Each sponsor that the children has is special to them, and it gives the kids the opportunity to receive encouragement from multiple sponsors.
How often will I hear from my sponsor child?
The GSCH Task Force has been working diligently on improving donor communication, and you will hear from your sponsor child at least 4 times a year. That could be in the form of a letter, email, video, or a combination. You can also contact your child by sending an email (firstname.lastname@example.org ), and he/she will reply to you within a month.
How do I contact my child?
Please send an email with your name and your child’s name to email@example.com, and he/she will reply to you within a month. Feel free to send pictures!
How can I send mail/a gift to my sponsor child?
- It can take a while to ship to Honduras, but that depends on how soon a team or scheduled cargo shipment is going to the GSCH. If it is a Christmas gift, the GSCH team has a process for organizing and sending gifts months in advanced of Christmas. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm details for shipping a Christmas present. If you would like to send a non-Christmas gift, please include the child’s name and mail to:
BMDMI (GSCH Sponsor Gift)
11 Plaza Drive
Hattiesburg, MS 39402
Please email email@example.com to inquire about the timing of the next shipment.
What kind of gift should I give my sponsor child?
We prefer that you send educational, inexpensive fun items, or need-based items like clothes. Please refrain from sending expensive gifts like electronics. You can see the list of children’s sizes here on the Children’s Sizes Page.
How have you been impacted by COVID-19?
Honduras was initially hit very hard by COVID-19, but implemented strict quarantines and has been declining in cases. Luckily, the GSCH has not had any cases on property, and only one employee who was exposed. There have been several teams who have visited the home since COVID-19 started and they have not had any issues.
Can I visit GSCH?
Yes! Though it has been more challenging recently to host guests due to COVID-19, we love visitors. There are a few options for visiting, including coming individually, with a team, or as an intern. We also will be hosting an open team for GSCH sponsors each summer. For the next 6 months, we are focusing on team visitors or longer-term visitors (individuals or couples) who want to stay a minimum of six months. We hope to be able to schedule shorter term individual visitors soon once COVID-19 slows down and there are more missionaries on property. The current COVID-19 regulations are that you need to take a rapid or PCR test before arriving in Honduras and then again before leaving, and you need to wear your mask when you are interacting with GSCH kids (though these rules are subject to change). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like an application or more information.
How can I be a missionary or intern at the GSCH?
We are currently accepting resumes for full-time Orphan Care Missionaries at the children’s home. We are looking for committed individuals or couples with a specific skill set who can come alongside the Honduran leadership at the Home. Please see the job description here and email email@example.com if you are interested. We are also accepting applications for longer-term interns (minimum stay of 6 months) that have experience at the GSCH and/or speak Spanish; we hope to expand the intern program further in 2022.
Can I bring a team to the home?
Yes! We love hosting teams from churches or other groups. We have a brief team screening and scheduling process in place as our schedule can fill up quickly. We have team housing available for up to 30 team members at a time. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like an application.
What is the housing like on property?
The GSCH has several different buildings with visitor housing on property, and can house up to 30 team members at once. The rooms are stocked with linens and towels, and have mostly bunk beds. There is hot water and fans. Teams eat most meals at the cafeteria with the children, but it can also be arranged to hire a cook for your time.
How much does it cost to visit?
For short-term visitors (group size 1-4), the fee is $350 per week, which covers all food, housing, and transportation for the week. For Teams of more than 4, BMDMI (our parent nonprofit) requires that all visitors pay a team fee of $850 per person. These fees do not include the cost of airfare, which can be anywhere from $400 – $800 a person. BMDMI can arrange group plane tickets for teams of 4+ as well.
What’s the weather like?
Honduras has two main seasons – dry and rainy. During the dry season (November – April), it can get quite hot, but it is cooler at night. Typically November through February are not as hot. During the rainy season (May – October), it rains often and is cooler during the day. The majority of the year is warm, but not hot, and cool in the morning and night.
What is BMDMI and how is GSCH related?
BMDMI stands for Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International, and is a large Christian nonprofit that has been doing mission work throughout Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Nepal since 1974. They are the parent 501(c)(3) organization to the Good Shepherd Children’s Home, so all donations and logistics ultimately roll up through BMDMI.
Where is GSCH located?
The GSCH is located in the beautiful, lush mountains of the Zamorano Valley on 70 acres. It is about an hour drive from the airport in Tegucigalpa and 20 minutes from the BMDMI mission home in Zamorano.
How can I get my church (or other group) involved?
We love making church partnerships! We host several church teams on property each year. We also have many Sunday schools and youth groups get involved by sponsoring a child. You can also host fundraisers, supply drives, or display child sponsorship cards at your church. Please email email@example.com to get connected.
What are your most needed items?
See the list here. You can bring these items as a team member or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange shipping.