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Posts Tagged ‘Meeting Needs’

I am convinced that every one of us was created on purpose for a purpose.  You are neither an accident nor is it an accident that you are where you are in life.  You may have made some decisions in your life that have gotten you to a place that you never expected or didn’t plan for, but take heart, God has not abandoned you.  One aspect of every person’s purpose is to help meet the needs of people God puts in our path.  We were created to be inter-connected.  We are not meant to do life alone.  That is in the intimate friends, family and spouse sense, but also in the larger community of faith, geographical region, and as part of all people God has created.

In May of 2008 my brother Steve, my daughter Christin, and I traveled to Honduras for a week to work with Fernando Acosta in a church plant in Playa Grande.  We held a day camp for the young people with a soccer tournament, daily lessons, games, and singing each day.  We wrapped up with a celebration including pinatas and a party on the final day.  Over the next few days I want to share some of the impressions from that trip.

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One of the indelible impressions was the ability of our new friends and faith family to live above their circumstances.

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In the pictures you will see mostly smiling, happy faces.  Our event was a wonderful diversion for children and adults alike.  Some of the pictures will show the living conditions.  Mud huts are common.  Cinder block is perhaps the majority along the roads where we traveled.  Many homes are only one room.  There was no running water.  Water is delivered into the family pila once every third day.  We lost electricity almost every day for periods of 30 minutes – 2 or 3 hours.  Homes were not closed up and there was no air conditioning.  When we were there in May the temperature was 94 – 96 degrees every day with 85 – 90% humidity.  For us used to air conditioning the sleeping was probably the most challenging.

The home we stayed in was one of the nicer homes in the area.  The family who owned the home were working in the US.  They bought the home with money they made in the US so they would have a place to live if they had to leave the US.

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It had a real kitchen with essential appliances.  It had a large living room area where we held the mid-week service for about 50 – 60 people.  We were packed in and it was stuffy and really hot, but the Lord blessed the time in a wonderful way as 6 young people chose to follow Christ that night.

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Another home we visited simply had a fire pit inside the home for cooking.  It struck me that the arduous task of cooking a meal for this mother was essentially the same a campfire cooking that I have done a number of times.  She does it every day, multiple times every day.  Additionally in her one room home she raises her four children without a husband.

Despite the joy that we got to see, the life of the people in Playa Grande is a very hard life.  Unemployment is 25% or higher.  Despair and hopelessness are two of the greatest struggles.

IMG_8124IMG_5512There is one private doctor who lives several miles from Playa Grande, but very few of the villagers could take advantage of him.  Medical care is government provided, but that means you have to arrange transportation to the capital of Tegucigalpa which for us was a 5 hour trip in and a 6 hour trip back.  The pattern for most young people is some schooling until they are 9, 10, or 11 years old and then it is off to try and find some sort of work even if it is simply subsistence farming of the family vegetable garden and few animals.

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I have been around poor living conditions here in the US, but I have to say the scope of poverty does not compare.  In the US people have options that simply do not exist in Playa Grande.  That despair and hopelessness are the two biggest challenges is not in the least surprising.  It drives me to be incredibly thankful for what we have, but it also makes me desire to help.

Playa Grande is a real place God has used to touch my heart.  However there are Playa Grande’s everywhere.  Each one of us has opportunities all around us where we can reach out and help.  You do not have to go a thousand miles away to meet needs.  They exist in your own community, perhaps within your family, surely through your church there are real needs to be met.  I encourage you to join me in seeking areas where the unique gifts and talents that you and I possess can be put to use for the good of others.IMG_8133

Have a blessed day and ask the Lord to make you a blessing to others today.

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