Often, God begins working out His plans years before He pushes the “start” button. That is the case in the story of OLGA Ministries:
Tom and Jenta Strombeck were missionaries in Tegucigalpa, Honduras in 1970. A fellow missionary asked them if they would be interested in housing a smart girl from a remote village, so she could continue her education. They agreed and Olga moved in with them. She will tell you that it was a cultural shock for her, modern appliances, phones, etc. She learned a lot from them and was able to earn her teaching degree. Following graduation, Jenta took her to the American Library and helped her to acquire a job teaching Spanish to Diplomats, stationed in the capital city. In the 80’s, she was able to visit the United States where she was able to experience several firsts, while staying with the Strombeck’s children, whom she considered family. Because of the influence Jenta had on her, Olga knew that one day, she would she would also help needy children.
Back in Honduras, Olga married a pastor and while still teaching, started working with an organization building small houses, supplying food to the needy and starting churches in remote villages. Through this ministry Olga and her husband Isaac came into contact with a woman who was unable to care for her children. They took the children in and little by little more children were brought to them for care. Soon, the orphanage, Centro Integral Fe, Esperanza y Amor was founded.
In January of 2018 Jessica Tharp, one of the Strombeck’s grandchildren, talked her father, Tom, into going to Honduras to experience, with her and her family, the area he grew up in. After communicating with Honduran family and friends, it was decided that they would stay at Olga and Isaac’s orphanage. Following that first visit, together in collaboration with family, friends, and area churches, Jessica and Tom were able to organize a total of 5 more trips to the orphanage by January of 2020. On those trips, groups worked to provide several updates the orphanage’s facilities, built a medical room for doctor visits, provided groceries for multiple needy families in the community, along with the orphanage, hosted a 4 day Bible School at the community school, financed a micro-business for a community member and built a house for a single mother of 4, who was in need of adequate housing.
As COVID-19 hit in the spring of 2020, it was decided that the most practical way to continue lending help to our Honduran brothers and sisters was to start a Non-Profit Organization, to enable us to continue working, despite traveling restrictions. On June 12, 2020, OLGA Ministries was officially approved as a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization! Even though we weren’t allowed to travel freely to and from Honduras, we were able to provide the funds needed for the food and medical needs of the orphanage, many needy community members, and we were able to provide assistance to several families affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota.
God has done amazing things through this process. Wonderful relationships have been built, healing has taken place and miracles have been ever present. We have big dreams for OLGA Ministries and what all God will accomplish through our organization’s obedience. We appreciate your prayers and support as we do what we can to meet the spiritual and physical needs of those we serve, in Honduras.
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”John 13:35