Friends of Barnabas empowers families in Honduras through healthcare and education.
Founded by a United Methodist minister who felt called to help the poor of the world and saw a need for enabling volunteers in mission, the Friends of Barnabas Foundation began helping those in need in 2000 under the direction of its founder, Reverend Linwood Cook.
During the inaugural years, Reverend Cook and his son Matt laid the foundation for the organization which exists today. From simple mission trips to dispense Vitamin A and anti-parasite medications to children, the trips expanded to include general medicine, eye, and dental clinics to the communities in the remote mountain regions of central Honduras.
In order to reach those children with medical needs beyond the care that could be provided by traveling mission teams, the Extended Care Program for children was developed and housed at the Barnabas House, a permanent place of healing established in Peña Blanca.
Soon FOB added surgical mission teams focusing on cardiac, oral and maxillofacial, and neurological cases, and a full-time clinic. These surgical teams slowly transitioned toward mentor teams, thus allowing Honduran medical professionals to advance their skillsets and provide more sustainable care options.
Today FOB’s programs address each component of the Honduran healthcare system, from community-based programs to system-wide endeavors. FOB seeks out sustainable solutions to empower Hondurans, be they parents, community leaders, or medical professionals. By enhancing existing systems on all levels of scale, FOB believes lives can be changed and saved.
Who was Saint Barnabas?
"For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means ‘Son of Encouragement). He was from the Tribe of Levi and came from the Island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles for those in need.” Acts 4:36,37 (NLB)
Barnabas, Son of Encouragement, served as an early missionary and supporter of those who suffered challenges and faced daily struggles. He had a kind and generous spirit, was a thoughtful teacher, and offered encouragement to those in need. These qualities are fundamental to the work of Friends of Barnabas.