WHO WE ARE:
Care4Communities (C4C) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), Florida-based Corporation, headquartered in Jacksonville. C4C exists to share the love of Jesus with the communities of Roatan through sports, education and construction activities as a means to develop relationships and affirm the dignity of the impoverished.
WHAT WE BELIEVE:
We believe that the Bible is the infallible, authoritative Word of God and there is only one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We stand on the power and glory of the deity of Christ, His birth, His sinless life, His sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection. It is through our service to Him that C4C functions.
WHO THEY ARE:
It is critical that anyone coming to Roatan to serve with C4C understand the culture. Bottom line: Most North Americans think very differently than Islanders. The Honduran culture…
- is about family and relationships. It is polite to greet someone by asking how they and their family are doing. Avoid going directly into your purpose for engaging them in conversation. Hondurans are interactive with and supportive of each other since there are many needs and they usually need each other’s help. They rely on community more than North Americans do.
- involves a simpler life. They have a very relaxed view of time. The relationship being built is more important than any task that may need to be accomplished that day.
- does not prioritize education. It is acceptable to not complete school.
- is somewhat de-sensitized to bad/violent situations. Due to the harshness of the environment and lifestyle, what may shock or upset a North American does not affect them the same way. Unfortunately, abuse is very often tolerated.
- accepts unmarried couples cohabiting and having children. Marriage on the island is difficult because you must go back to your birthplace to obtain the required paperwork and pay your taxes. This is a costly process for families who are on limited incomes. The primary needs of food, clothing and shelter take precedence over the cost of getting married.
- is agreeable. Hondurans do not want to be insulting, so they say “yes” frequently. They will say “yes” to salvation repeatedly so as not to offend the person asking.
WHAT WE DO:
We believe poverty, not just material poverty, is rooted in broken relationships with God, self, others and the rest of creation. We believe God has created each person with value and a unique set of talents and abilities. Our strategy is to help each person recognize their value and help them discover and develop their God-given talents and abilities, empowering them to affect positive changes in their lives. Building relationships through education, sports and construction activities gives C4C the opportunity to do just that! Our programs enhance the individual’s education and life skills, building their self-esteem and showing them that they matter to us and more importantly matter to God! We call this “Life Change.”
- Education – English as a Foreign Language (EFL)
The island of Roatan has a tourism-based economy which makes speaking English a valuable skill for earning a living. C4C meets the need for this skill by offering multiple EFL classes throughout the week. Participants are taught conversational English in a setting that offers encouragement and fosters self-confidence in the individual.
When playing team sports, there are many life lessons to be learned both on and off the court/field. C4C embraces sports as a venue to teach these life lessons. Lessons grow out of the relationships built between the C4C staff, the players and other teams. Through the strict rules of conduct and opportunities for mentorship, participants learn teamwork, good sportsmanship, interpersonal skills, responsibility, service and respect for each other and their opponents.
Prior to C4C’s presence, there were few safe places to play in the community. C4C’s first construction project was to provide that safe place: a fenced-in, concrete soccer/volleyball court. Since then, we have constructed a beautiful, safe schoolhouse called Casa de Luz (House of Light) that serves as the “lighthouse” for C4C Roatan. All construction activities endeavor to involve local citizens in line with our belief of valuing and empowering those in the community. Ministry is never “for” or “to”; it is always “with”.
LEARN AND RESPOND JOURNEYS:
We believe mission journeys are an opportunity to listen and learn, encourage, and fellowship as equals with the people in our community. We seek individuals and teams willing to come alongside us as we do the work that God already has set in motion. Can you sit with a child and help them learn English? Can you play soccer with a bunch of boys from the community? Can you come alongside men in the community, maybe even teach them masonry, electrical, or woodworking skills? If so, we may have just the place for you. Our ultimate goal is to develop long-term church partnerships with like-minded believers who want to make a difference. We encourage all individuals and teams to approach their visit with an attitude and focus of building relationships.
CODE OF CONDUCT:
We represent Christ in all we do and therefore C4C has zero tolerance for any behaviors/actions which result in actual harm or the possibility of harm to any child or staff member. C4C reserves the right to request a background check on any volunteer. In order to protect you, the staff and the children, we have established the following guidelines:
- No alone-time with children. All interactions are to be done in public or in the presence of others.
- Be cautious with friendly gestures of physical touch and displays of affection. What may seem to you as an innocent gesture or a way to establish a friendly connection can be misinterpreted by observers or cause a child to feel uncomfortable. These are new relationships that are being developed and you are operating in a culture different than your own.
- If you take pictures, all staff and children must be depicted with dignity. C4C reserves the right to ask for the removal of any photograph for any reason from any social, web or blog site. Please do not post any full names or biographical information of the children.
- We understand that our main focus is relationship-building and that social media can be a way to continue the relationships that have been initiated during your visit to the island. However, we request that you do not “friend” the children of Casa de Luz on social media. We encourage you to keep in touch with the activities of the children and staff by using the org website, C4C Twitter, C4C Facebook and C4C Instagram sites. You are welcome to email our on-site missionaries to share with the children. Because Roatan does not have incoming mail service, letters should be mailed to our headquarters in Jacksonville.
- Be respectful of the teachers and on-site missionaries. They are most familiar with the island culture and the backgrounds of the children. If they ask you to refrain from certain language or behavior, they are acting in both your and the children’s best interest.
- All visits must be approved and scheduled through the C4C Mission Journey Coordinator.
- Any material donations (clothing, school supplies, etc.) should be coordinated with the C4C Mission Journey Coordinator prior to bringing to Roatan.
PARTNER WITH C4C:
C4C extends a heartfelt, sincere invitation to you to partner with us! There are several avenues for C4C partnership:
Pray for us, our mission and our vision that we may maximize all the gifts and talents that God has given us to reach Roatan for Christ.
100% of all donations go directly to support the activities of C4C Roatan. You can make individual or recurring donations. You can choose to donate to: Sports, School, Construction, Missionaries or general.
Many visitors develop a connection to the school and want to continue to feel connected with the children. School sponsorship is a way to do that. At designated times during the year, various children will write letters to or draw pictures for school sponsors. These letters/pictures are scanned and distributed via email. It is a way to continue feeling connected to the precious children who attend Casa de Luz. All donations go into a pool for the school that supports all kids in our program.
- Develop relationships with the on-site team
Ron and Jamie McDonald have been serving as C4C’s on-site long-term missionaries for several years. You can follow their story on our blog and donate directly to them on our donate page.
- Host a Learn and Respond Journey
If C4C sounds like the place for you and/or your church to serve and make a difference, we would love to hear from you. We welcome you contacting us via our website to proceed to the next step.
We are so thankful for what God is doing and
excited to be a part of His work. Come join us!