| By Rita Howell
The vision of a mission group founded by a Batesville dentist is coming into focus in a poverty-riddled mountainous region of Central America.
New Vision Ministry, Inc. is nearing completion of two buildings on a 16-acre campus near the town of Yarmaranguila, Honduras, where Dr. Andy Garrott and a host of others are working to build a complex to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of the people.
It is the poorest region of a poor country, said Garrott, who has been traveling there on mission trips for 23 years.
The new facility will house an orphanage, educational facilities, a church building, a medical/dental clinic and pharmacy, a cafeteria, soccer fields and a radio station from which Christian programs will be broadcast to three countries.
The land, located on a flat expanse about a mile from the town, was donated to the group by the owner last year. In September construction was begun on the first building, and a team of men from Batesville’s First Baptist Church spent a week there helping put together the metal beams, install the tin roof, and lay the concrete blocks to form what will be the campus administration building. All the materials for New Vision’s buildings are being partially assembled in the U.S. and shipped in containers to Honduras.
Helping Honduran workers at the site in September were Mike French, Billy Benson, Randy Willis, Greg Johnston (pastor of Batesville First Baptist Church), Dennis Mangrum, Ken Williams and Roger Cheeseman.
Randy Willis reported that the workers used a low-tech method of mixing the mortar: the Honduran laborers had shoveled loads of sand and rocks from a creek, tossing each scoopful atop a screen which allowed the sand to fall through and the rocks to be caught above. At the work site are piles of carefully separated sand which is mixed with cement to make the mortar.
The second building, also nearing completion, will house an orphanage for boys. (The area already has a girls’ home nearby.)
Dr. Garrott and a crew returned home two weeks ago after spending a week helping complete the administration building and orphanage.
The third building, a storage facility which will also house the radio station and areas for vocational training, was purchased from local steel building company ACI. The components will be shipped to a company in Arkansas where they will be carefully packed into a shipping container which eventually will make its way to the Gulf of Mexico for loading onto a ship, and ending up in a port in Honduras, where the huge crate will be loaded onto a truck for transport to its destination in the mountain meadow.
The ministry operates on a "pay as you go" system, according to Willis. Donations have allowed the completion of the first two buildings, and the funds have been collected for the third. What is lacking is $5,000 to ship the ACI building to Honduras, and $10,000 for a concrete slab to on which to place the building. Also needed is about $20,000 for equipment for the radio station.
Garrott is hoping for 1,000 people to pledge $10 per month to support the mission.
Anyone wishing to make a donation may send it to New Vision Ministries at P.O. Box 350, Batesville, MS. More information is available at 563-1488. The Web site is