DCH’s New Partner In Gracias Honduras
A Missionaries Work With Deaf Children in Honduras
Deaf Child Hope International has partners all over the world. We just recently welcomed our 17th partner, Two Hands, in Gracias, Honduras. Ellie Cecil is the founder of Two Hands Ministry. Their mission is to bring language, community, and the Gospel, to the Deaf in Western Honduras.
On a weekly basis, Ellie provides language support in the form of Honduran Sign Language, or LESHO, to the families of about 10 Deaf children, primarily in their homes. It is an important part of their mission to make it family-focused so the parents and siblings are just as involved as the Deaf children themselves. The word is spreading quickly, and more and more families are traveling upwards of an hour on foot to see how this resource can help them. In addition to aiding families of Deaf children, Ellie has a weekly Deaf adult gathering. For most of these adults, this is the first they’ve learned sign language and met other Deaf individuals, which means it’s the first they’ve effectively communicated with somebody else.
Ellie is from Riverdale Michigan and has a degree in Sign Language Interpreting. She was working as an Educational Interpreter from 2011 to 2017 in Michigan when God unexpectedly called her to work as a sign language tutor for a Deaf child of an American family living in Honduras.
Through that experience, Ellie became very aware of the lack of resources for all Deaf individuals in Honduras. While Deaf children are more or less welcome to attend school, there are no resources for them. They don’t know sign language, they don’t have access to what is being taught and most of them just learn to mimic what their peers are doing.
“It simply just wasn’t ever discussed with them.”
So in the Spring of 2018 when Ellie started Two Hands, children started coming out of the woodwork. In a society where Deafness, or special needs in general, wasn’t discussed because the community didn’t know how to help those individuals, now they have resources through Two Hands. We asked Ellie what the most glorious part of her journey thus far is, and she responded, “To watch the children build relationships, not only with each other but within their own families. Also, for the first time, parents are connecting with other parents having the same struggles. It simply just wasn’t ever discussed with them.”
Ellie also said that one of her greatest challenges is getting to all of the children physically. She keeps hearing about more and more families in need further up the mountain from Gracias. She has a car and does a lot of commuting around the area but it is terrain that takes 45 minutes to travel 10 miles, so the struggle to physically get to the children is real. Deaf Child Hope is very excited to partner with Ellie and her mission work in Gracias. We have already been able to get her one teacher sponsorship and one Deaf child sponsorship so that her work can continue to grow and spread. Please join us in welcoming Ellie to the Deaf Child Hope family!