For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34
It is summer time in La Ceiba. La Ceiba is known all over Honduras for being hot. Well, now we get to experience La Ceiba heat at it’s “best.” So the only place to be in the afternoon is in front of a fan, which I am at the moment. There are many in this world who think their cell phone is their most important possession. Send them down here and I’ll help put their life in perspective! Haha! A fan takes on a whole new value.
So, yes the heat is something to deal with but I am having such a rewarding time in the schools that the other is just part of life. It seems that I am in a time where things just seem to flow, a flow of favor, a flow of peace and a flow of joy in the work I’m doing.
I have posted many pictures of the precious children here in Honduras and several of you have smiled, commented and enjoyed them. They are precious and adorable and have such pure hearts. But I also wanted to share with you a little bit of the life they come from.
The vast majority of the students that I work with are from homes with intense poverty. This is the kind of poverty that you do not see in the States. This is the kind of poverty where some may go for days without food but there is no soup kitchen, food stamps or free school lunch program to help fill that need. In their neighborhoods, they are surrounded by neighbors in the same situation. When there is no work there is no money. There is no unemployment check, no disability check and no medical assistance. Today I was in a village school. There is 9 year old girl there who fell and broke her arm. After a month in a cast the doctors removed the cast and told her that she would need surgery to put in pins and plates for her arm to heal properly. At the social hospital (not a place we would ever want to go) the fee for this surgery is almost $400 and the family does have any money. They do not even have money to buy shoes for her. This is their daily reality. So, she currently has an ace bandage crudely wound around her arm and knotted at the end.
If someone has a cement block house, you are considered very fortunate. Usually these will not have paint, just rough cement blocks with a couple of rooms. Pictured below is a cement block house of one of the students. The sheets propped up with sticks to the left is their “bathroom.” The little girl who lives there is precious and is experiencing books for the first time in her life. I love the little puppy sitting on the doorstep. Future guard dog in training!
The other house pictured is difficult to see. It is a small 1-2 room house of one our students. I talked about him in the last blog. This is the house he caught on fire when he was left alone for several days. His mother was very sick in the hospital with AIDS. His bed, clothes and their furniture was burned. This child is 7, but very small and developmentally delayed, functioning more like a 4 year old. But he is doing well. His mother is out of hospital but still very sick. We are thankful that there was not more damage from the fire as the house is built from scrap wood, no cement floor, just dirt.
Another one of our students lives in a home of two cement 2 room buildings with an outside kitchen which has a fire stove. He lives there with 19 other family members
Some of the children come to school hungry and sometimes you can see them appear sluggish, laying their heads on the table. They are hungry. We are looking for local churches to help provide nutritional food so all can have a meal everyday but the local churches consist of this same community. This week I was able to give several pounds of meat so they could have a full meal during their snack time at school. If this is something you would like to help with, let us know.
But even though while being in these situations, the people live with gratitude. Many are trying to live by faith and are living by faith in a dimension far above even what any of us will ever do. Many times, I hear testimonies of God’s faithfulness and miracles of provision and healing. God is good and so merciful. He is helping all of us grow up in Him into “better.” He desires better for them.
But people are people no matter what kind of house we live in. We all love our children and are doing the best we can to help them grow up into the life that God has for them. We all desperately need God, His wisdom, His love and His salvation through Jesus Christ. I am having a blast sharing fun learning experiences and having success at reaching them academically but all the while knowing that the real treasure is life through our Savior Jesus Christ. He is the source of the answers we need, of the guidance that we seek and the love we were created to receive and to give. Dios le bendiga. God bless you.