Frequently Asked Questions about Micah 2.0
1. What is the vision of Micah 2.0?
Micah 2.0 will be a simple yet beautiful place, with both indoor and outdoor spaces that are intentionally designed to be a platform on which everyone that enters through its gates will experience God’s love in a fresh and profound way, and will be transformed by that love to such an extent that they are motivated to “act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God (Micah 6:8).
2. What is the Micah Project?
Since its inception in January 2000, the Micah Project has helped 45 young men come off of the streets or other at-risk situations. Nine young men from our first generation of boys have graduated from accredited universities in Central America and the United States, and twelve are currently studying at the college level. The project is currently home to 14 young men in the Micah House (ages 12 to 18) and nine in the Timothy House (ages 18 and up). Micah, however, is more than just a safe place for these boys to sleep and receive three square meals a day. The Micah Project has become a family for these boys, many of whom only understood “family” as an abusive or absent father or a mother who was unable to support her children financially or emotionally. In the Micah Project, these young men have found that the love of Christ and the support of people who believe in them can change their broken pasts into promising and hope-filled futures. Besides our two group homes, the Micah Project also runs a technical school, a formal outreach program to street kids, and a variety of outreaches to the poorest of our society.
3. Why Micah 2.0?
In our continual efforts to provide the best home possible for our boys, we have come to this realization: the current Micah House is no longer an adequate space to protect and nurture our boys in the way they require. One reason is that the Lord has blessed our ministry with growth…and we simply don’t fit in our current house any more! A friend from St. Louis recently spent a whole day observing the Micah House in action. After watching dozens of people come in and out the front door for the Micah Moms sewing program, the technical school, and several other activities, after watching our boys trying to play soccer on our tiny interior patio and after trying unsuccessfully all day to find a space to have a quiet conversation, he summed up the vision for the new Micah House in this way: design out the chaos. Additionally, our downtown neighborhood has become increasingly dangerous due to the increased drug trade in Honduras, which now has more murders per capital than any other country in the world. In the last year, there have been several murders in the few blocks around the Micah House, and many of our staff and boys have been threatened with physical violence. For a more detailed look at why we are building Micah 2.0, take a look at the Case Statement in the green booklet.
4. What is Micah 2.0?
In September 2011, we purchased approximately seven acres of land about six miles north of downtown Tegucigalpa. This land is adjacent to the Villa Linda Miller community, a village for 165 families that we helped to build after Hurricane Mitch destroyed much of Honduras in 1998. We plan to begin construction soon on a 9,000 square foot Micah House facility, which will be home to twenty boys, office and classroom spaces. We also plan to build three duplexes that will contain small apartments for our missionary staff. Additional spaces will include a technical school, athletic facilities and ample space for an agricultural program. While we will move the current Micah House to the new facility, the Timothy House (for our college students) will remain in the downtown area. We have plans to convert the current downtown Micah House into an outreach center to attend to the population of children that still lives on the streets and a transitional program for boys who will eventually move into the new Micah House.
5. When was the idea for Micah 2.0 conceived?
In 2009, as the tenth anniversary of the Micah Project neared, we began an intensive strategic-planning process in order to prepare for the next decade of ministry. With the help of board member Jonathan Rogers, the Micah Project board of directors and staff initiated a series of meetings in order to create a working document which charted five strategic goals for the organizations and the sub-objectives necessary to begin to move toward each goal. As the board of directors and on-the-ground staff began to analyze our capital assets and the dreams that we had for the future, the vision for Micah 2.0 began to take shape!
6. Does Honduras really need a project like this?
According to the U.S. Government’s CIA World Factbook, “Honduras, the second poorest country in Central America, suffers from extraordinarily unequal distribution of income, as well as high underemployment. While historically dependent on the export of bananas and coffee, Honduras has diversified its export base to include apparel and automobile wire harnessing. Nearly half of Honduras’s economic activity is directly tied to the US, with exports to the US accounting for 30% of GDP and remittances for another 20%. The economy registered sluggish economic growth in 2010, insufficient to improve living standards for the nearly 65% of the population in poverty1.” Because of the increasing drug trade through Honduras (84% of cocaine going into the United States passes through Central America2), Honduras now has the highest murder rate per capita in the world.3 Urban youth seem to be the most likely victims of the extreme poverty and the increased violence and instability. Social services are basically non-existent for children and families from a governmental perspective; thus, any assistance that they might receive comes from churches and non-profit organizations.
7. What will be the administrative structure for the construction process?
We have formed a project management team in Honduras, consisting of Carlos Alvarado, the engineer who designed the project and will oversee construction, Olvin Funez, a Micah grad who will be the project coordinator, Michael Miller, the Executive Director of Micah Project Honduras, and Gaby Centeno, MP Honduras’ accountant. This team will submit a monthly expense report to the Micah Project Board of Directors, as well as a funds request for the following month. Two committees on the board of directors, the Micah USA Project Management committee and the Finance Committee, will oversee the entire process.
8. What is the total budget for Micah 2.0?
The total budget for the entire capital campaign is $1.7 million dollars. You can find a detailed breakdown of these funds in the Global Budget attachment below.
9. How much money has been raised so far for Micah 2.0
As of January, 2013, the Micah Project has raised $900,000 in capital funds for Micah 2.0. Thanks to everyone who has so generously given to help us get this far! We are truly grateful.
10. How much has been spent to-date and on what aspects?
A total of $239,000 has been spent on Micah 2.0 since its inception through September 10, 2012. This amount includes the land purchase, legal fees and taxes related to the land purchase, architectural and engineering design fees, the digging of a 450 ft. deep well and the construction of a well pump station, and approximately 910 feet of a brick perimeter wall. This amount also includes security, tools purchase, supervision and administrative expenses.
11. What are the planned phases for construction?
While we do not have formal phases for the construction process, we do know what comes first! As soon as we receive our building permit, we will begin the Micah House itself and the public services that will be a part of it (sewage, water, electricity and roads). As soon as funds come available, we will begin the missionary duplexes, followed by the athletic facilities, technical school and agricultural program. The board of directors chose not to delineate specific phases so as not to restrict the way and the timing in which potential donors might choose to designate their funds.
12. Can I give a donation so that an aspect of Micah 2.0 is named after a loved one?
The Micah Project Board of Directors will make every effort to honor requests for naming rights of a certain aspect of the project for a donor who gives the funds for that aspect. If for some reason that the naming-rights request cannot be honored, the Micah Project will make that known to the supporter before processing the donation.