The Micah Project believes in a God who never, ever stops pursuing His lost sheep. In our context, those lost ones are usually just kids, young people who have had to figure out how to survive on the streets of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We believe that God sees them not as “street kids” but as His precious sons and daughters. In our work with this population that now spans decades, we have seen Him transform them in beautiful and miraculous ways. There is no addiction too strong, no heart too broken, and no life too far gone that His love cannot find a way to break in with its transforming power. We believe that God delights in helping our young people learn, in the deepest part of their souls, what it means to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
The Micah Project opened our first group home in downtown Tegucigalpa in the year 2000. Our founder, Michael Miller, had moved to Honduras full-time in 1998 to work for another organization. But in October 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated this Central American country. Michael immediately found himself with a new role in Tegucigalpa: helping a community of 165 families rebuild their lives in the Villa Linda Miller community six miles outside of the city of Tegucigalpa.
Throughout the process of building this new community, God placed a call on Michael’s heart to create a home for homeless youth. He and his teammate Aminah (Al-Attas) Bradford worked to build a team of supporters and a plan for a new ministry, focused on giving street-connected youth a family environment in a setting where they could be discipled and take time to heal. At the end of 1999, we purchased a home in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of downtown Tegucigalpa, just a short walk from the central plaza of the city. The first group of boys moved into the Micah House in January 2000. Click here to read our very first update after opening the doors of the Micah House: https://micahprojecthonduras.org/file_download/inline/d251f709-6c53-4b95-90a8-2269c6392097 !
Of that initial group, four young men graduated from high school in 2004. For many organizations, that is where their services end and their kids are forced to figure out once more how to survive on their own. For Micah, though, graduating from high school is just the beginning! In 2003, we opened our second home, The Leadership House (since re-named The Timothy House) as a place for our high school grads to continue to receive the education, discipleship, and mentorship they need to flourish as young adults. Just blocks from the Micah House in downtown Tegucigalpa, this program became an important stepping stone towards adulthood for our young men.
The Micah Project’s programs continued to mature in that first decade of ministry. This was in big part thanks to our Honduran staff and U.S. missionaries who invested so much into Micah and into our young men. Roger, Ana, Aida, Wendy were our original Honduran staff who are still a part of Micah to this day. Matt and Amy Darr, Erin (MacLean) Hale, Becca (Hogan) Woods, Lauri (Deniakos) Henderson, Jeremy Tolleson, Dan and Kamia Paul, Brian and Natasha Wiggs, and Rebecca (Haver) Bell were some of the missionaries who dedicated years of their lives to the Micah Project during those first ten years.
As the years passed, the neighborhood in which we had our Micah House began to change as violent street gangs began to take over all urban neighborhoods in the city. We began to go to bed to the sound of gunfire and, more than once, we woke up in the morning to find a body in the streets near the Micah House. Additionally, our growing ministry was beginning to outgrow the space in our small, inner-city home. In 2011, we purchased a seven-acre property directly adjacent to the Villa Linda Miller community. Micah 2.0 was born!
We planned Micah 2.0 with the following vision: “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).’”
We moved into the new Micah House on the Micah 2.0 property in November 2013. At the time, we had no idea how God would indeed use this place to transform more lives in a deeper way. Even as Honduras changed around us, God provided us with this amazing space to help prepare our young men for a flourishing adulthood in new ways. For example, we were able to build a vocational education program focused on carpentry and welding. Our missionary Brian Wiggs had started a small welding and carpentry program on the roof of the old Micah House, but on our new property, we had the space to expand that program. Even more importantly, our new property provides our young men with the space to heal and grow in a more intentional way.
In 2015, our missionary Stephen Kusmer inaugurated the Isaiah House in the home that was the original Micah House. This was a place for older teens and young men in their twenties to receive the support they needed to leave life on the streets. They received emotional support, spiritual counseling, and skill-training while they transitioned from living on the streets to a more productive, wholesome future.
In 2018, we began the process of transitioning the Isaiah House program into a new initiative called Micah Works. Micah Works is an accelerated, year-long program of classroom instruction and hands-on training to help older street-connected youth acquire the skills necessary to be able to step away from the streets and successfully enter the workforce. When we first started planning Micah Works, our vision was to help a few older youth receive intentional training. Little did we realize, Micah Works would turn into a whole umbrella of programs! In 2020, we inaugurated Micah Cooks, our culinary program, in 2021, we inaugurated Micah Works Foundations and our Micah Salon program, and in 2022 we inaugurated Micah Co-Lab! We praise the Lord that we are able to offer all of these hope-producing programs in a country that is facing catastrophic levels of unemployment.
In this last decade at Micah 2.0, the Micah Project has continued to have a combination of Honduran staff and international missionaries staffing our growing programs. John and Becca Bell, Izzy and Jenna Zaldaña, Pat and Michelle Corley, Megan Scheumann, Jessica Briant, Jared and Kelsey (Cratty) Bullock, Lucy Wynn and others have invested their talents and their hearts in this ministry. Their commitment to the life-long discipleship of these young men and women is what makes our ministry a family. Many of our young people who have moved to independent-living stay connected to the Micah Family, often providing mentorship and encouragement to the current residents of our homes.
Over the years, the Lord has allowed us to bless our community in many other ways as well. In our first few years, we helped to start a school for the kids who live near the city dump. In 2012, our missionary Natasha Wiggs founded the Mama Jo's Bakery as a way to generate income for some of our boys’ moms, which was the forerunner to our Micah Cooks program. Thanks to the generosity of so many, we were also able to build a clinic, an elementary school, and a sewage treatment plant in our neighboring Villa Linda Miller community. You all have also helped us to build many houses for other homeless families around the city. God has used all these projects to help us share His love far and wide.
Even as our programs grow, we remain fully engaged with the street-connected population of Tegucigalpa. Our team returns downtown on a weekly basis to love and support the kids and families that are trying to survive on the streets. This is the very heart of our ministry!
The Micah Project is supported financially and in prayer through many faithful individuals, churches and foundations across the United States. We also receive support from individuals and organizations in Honduras. Several mission teams and many of our extended Micah Family members visit us in Honduras throughout the year. We invite you to come and see all that the Lord is accomplishing through the ministry of the Micah Project!