My heart gets heavy when friends ask, “how much more can Honduras take?” The successive challenges of the last year have layered hardship on the shoulders of the most vulnerable in my community. When it starts to feel overwhelming, I think of the verse below. It does not say that we must have gratitude for every circumstance, but in every circumstance. Despite the trials, I am grateful that we are not in crisis alone. God is with us always and He has opened the hearts of many who want to help, which is why I write to you now.
At arm’s length, many are indifferent regarding COVID. Some of my close relatives have fought the illness and others have died. So I can tell you from experience that when it hits close to home, it’s a reminder of how truly vulnerable we are. In those moments our special children from Nazareth come to mind, along with those at the public hospital which has been at 140% capacity. The luxury of working from home is not an opportunity for the majority here and without employment, more families are suffering every day.
Over the course of two weeks in November, Hurricanes Eta and Iota caused massive damage in Honduras. Entire communities have been wiped out due to flooding, mudslides, and wind damage. Though Juticalpa was spared from the worst of the storms, these natural disasters have amplified widespread humanitarian and economic crises stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
The mission of the Olancho Aid Foundation is to help members of the community stay well, stay together and have an option to stay home in Honduras. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent devastation, ‘stay home’ has taken on increased importance. Empowering youth to rebuild will be critical, and we need your help.
“In all circumstances give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
As the Honduran school year comes to a close, we will encourage students and recent graduates to participate in recovery efforts by offering micro grants for initiatives they’ve identified with the help of instructors and parents. A voucher program at Nazareth School will support food insecure families as the special needs community remains particularly vulnerable.
Moving into 2021, a focus on expanding partnerships will help us contribute toward rebuilding over the long term. We will continue to stand up the Agape Farm program to address both food scarcity and retraining in sustainable farming techniques. Older students from Nazareth will have the opportunity to learn new skills as they get involved. A contribution, in any amount, will help to make these efforts possible. Can you make a gift today?
Your Thanksgiving celebration probably looked a little different this year. I pray you were able to find gratitude in your particular circumstance. Though we do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Honduras, I too took time to remind myself of all for which I am grateful. This simple act refreshed my conviction that God will lead us to higher ground.