Mercy

Let’s be a blessing to others  (9-17-17)

SOR Mission continues to be a blessing to others needing a hand up in life.  SOR Mission statement of purpose puts it so clearly,  “Seeds of Righteousness Mission exists to help enable Love and Justice  to meet under the Banner of Service to help connect human need with God’s Resources”.

Recently SOR Mission hosted our beneficiaries for our quarterly meeting for those having received micro development loans as well as those who are living in one of the houses that SOR helped finance through a 0% loan.

This last meeting we discussed as a group how we can improve our household finances by being more careful with how the money is being spent.  The group was encouraged to help their children with an adequate education so as to be able to find adequate work when they finish their studies.

Our VP of the committee spoke to the group from personal experiences concerning how to maintain a watch over their household finances as well as the business that he and his wife own.

The joy of the afternoon was the cake that they had prepared for the director of SOR Mission who wasn’t able to be present in country for his most recent birthday.  Times like these are such a blessing to those of us working in this area.

What a joy it is to serve others and to be a blessing to those that we serve.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

 

Let’s Clean up our lives campaign  (6-16-2017)

Last week we were able to distribute 25 baskets to most of our beneficiaries to use as a means to reach out to a family in need with a basket of cleaning supplies.  We labeled it “Let’s clean up our lives” and inside the plastic bucket we included a New Testament of the Bible for the family to read about the life of Jesus.

The plastic container as we had explained in an earlier posting on Facebook at “Click for St. Nick” was composed of cleaning supplies that would be given to various families that our beneficiaries knew that could use a hand up in life.  Several important lessons were taught to our beneficiaries during this time.

  1. They are a blessed group of people because they have received assistance through a 0% loan with SOR Mission for a small business or a private residence.
  2. No matter their social or economic level, there are people worse off that they are who can use a hand up in life through a small basket of help.                                                                                                                            

One such story was doña Sofía a lady of approximately 75 years  of age who has been battling cancer and has nothing in the house to eat nor to clean with.  One of our recipients of a small business loan visited her last week sharing the eternal hope we have in Jesus and also showing her how much we care for those who others might consider insignificant.  My heart goes out to this lady.

Your ongoing giving to Seeds of Righteousness Mission allows us to minister in ways such as this.  Our group of beneficiaries shared some great stories of the help they were able to give.  Thanks for your ongoing support of this ministry.

“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
    and he will reward them for what they have done.” Proverbs 19:17

 

 

Water – the source of Life – Updated (6-16-17)

Marcela and her children have lived in the hills surrounding the capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras for some years.  In countries like Honduras, the intercity is where the rich live and the suburbs surrounding the city is where the poor call home.

Many of these people in past years came from the rural areas of the country looking for an opportunity to improve their lives.  Many came without work and have ended up being street sellers, such as Marcela.

Marcela had great  foresight to have the local water utility  bring a water line up to her house when they were recently installing a water line in the street in her barrio.  Before running the water line up to her home she and her neighbors were buying water from the water trucks that would come by every few days to fill up the 55 gallon barrels that she had to hold their water.  This was a very expensive way to provide water for the family but that was her only option.  There were many months that her water costs were over 10-12% of what she was able to earn selling in the streets.  Imagine paying 12% of your take home pay for water each month?

Marcela has had loans with SOR Mission in the past and has exhibited faithfulness in repaying her loan each time.

UPDATE: This past week Marcela was able to obtain an interest free loan from SOR Mission to pay for the water line extension that was installed.

She wept as we gave her and her children present the money to pay for this improvement.  Her comment to me was, “I don’t know what to say as I have never had this kind of a huge blessing before. Thank you and also to those who gave to help us with this.”

Now that she has the mission loan, she can repay the $200+ with a 0% interest loan to SOR Mission at $25 per month over an eight (8) month period.  The $25/month is what she will be saving by having this new water service.  It’s truly a win-win situation!  Your funding of this small water project helped us once again realize our mission calling to “connect human need with God’s resources“.  Your giving did just that.  You can partner with us on other similar projects by going to Donate now.  Scroll down to “where needed most” and I will note your donation.  Thanks.

Matthew 19:21” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

 

 

Meet one of our Mission’s partners (8-9-16)

Noe and AracelyNoé, Spanish for Noah, is one of our most recent recipients of a micro loan for his established business of selling and repairing of used tires in the City of Tegucigalpa.  This man is a hard working fellow who along with his wife and children are active members of one of the churches that we help in our ministry in Honduras.  He and his wife are active in the local church with both serving in various capacities and have proven themselves as faithful servants in their local church. It’s people like this that the mission seeks to help as the Bible states in Luke 16:10 that, “Whoever can be trusted with a little can also be trusted with a lot.”  Click here to read entire context of the story.  Very interesting story indeed as told by Jesus.

I have found over the years in working with missions in various parts of Central America and other parts of the world that when one is faithful with the things of God, that person will be faithful with his fellow human beings.   Likewise, we have all met people and maybe even been lied to by people who profess a belief in “God” or “the church” but maybe have never met personally the risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He’s the only one who can change lives.  After hanging out and getting to know him through the Bible, one will never be the same again.

Noé, is one such a person.  I have observed him over nearly a 5 year span and have seen him faithful in all things.  HeNoe & Mateo in Tire Shop has played an active role in our baskets for “Click for St. Nick” as well as providing music in the local church.  His family radiates the love of Jesus!

A loan such as his helped him provide additional inventory for his sale of used tires at his business location in Tegus.  This zero percent interest loan is repayable over an 18 months period so as to allow him the benefit of additional capital.   He joins our beneficiary team at each months’ meeting as we discuss issues related to business and personal habits that can make us successful.  He will no doubt be an active member of this group.

Our requirements are not extensive and our application process is more their character rather than an extensive application for a micro loan.  We ask three things of the recipients:

  1. They are presently active members of the local church where they attend
  2. They presently are supporting their local church through their giving.
  3. They will attempt each month to give a first fruits offering on their business profits.

We are looking for people like you who could maybe commit to a monthly partnership gift to the mission through Mercy of $25-$50 or more that we can use to give others like Noé an opportunity to start his or her own small business.  If you are like some, you might want to give a one-time gift to help this ministry of Seeds of Righteousness Mission. Click here to be taken to our Contact Us page on the website.  There you’ll find various ways in which you can partner with us.

To all of you, thanks for your prayers and for those who have given, thanks for your partnership.  We’re making a difference one person at a time.  Over time this number has grown substantially.  Thanks!

Mango Season in the Tropics with Mercy . 5-2-2015

MangosIt’s mango season in Central America!!! They are now in abundance in the local farmers markets in San Jose and Tegucigalpa but this year’s price is a bit higher from last season but they’re still a delicious bargain.
Now for those of you accustomed to eating mangos that have been picked green and shipped a Mangos in all their gloryfew thousand miles north, you might not realize the absolute joy of biting into a tree ripe mango and enjoying the tropical flavours that come alive with each bite. This is what makes the tropics so alluring to those of us born in the Northern Hemisphere. Just this morning passing through the kitchen heading to the “pila” or the outdoor wash sink I smelled the alluring flavour of several ripe mangos sitting on my kitchen counter. Along with great mangos, one can add to that a myriad of tropical fruit to garnish your plate for the treat of your life.
Mango nutritionI leaned the absolute joy of mangos and sticky rice while working in Thailand as a missionary some years ago. The mango season isn’t complete without enjoying a few desserts of “sticky rice” and coconut milk. Sticky rice is glutinous rice that once cooked becomes quite sticky and forms into a nice shape that you can serve along with fresh sliced mangos accompanied with a warm Mangos and Sticky Ricesweetened coconut milk that you can pour over the rice just before serving. Once you’ve had it you’re hooked. The combination is delightful. You must try it if you have a chance.
These delicious treats are a sharp contrast to the desperateness of the life of the poor in Costa Rica and Honduras. These people are simply without options and often without any food to eat in the house because of the lack of work and opportunity. It’s so clear to me that one glaring difference between the poor and those of us with a few means is their inability to access credit to help them with a hand up.
Each week we meet and visit with people that need help both spiritually and physically. We try to coordinate with the local churches we work with in Honduras and Costa Rica in helping these people. Of late, we attempt to find a day’s

Eric and friends

Eric and friends

work for the person helping someone in the community that needs some help. We do attempt to help rather than enable those we work with. It becomes a win-win situation for the person who receives physical help such as a house cleaning, or an elderly couple who has someone come in to wash their clothes for them in the “pila”. It’s a win-win for the person who does these chores for someone needing help because they receive a basket of food for their day’s ministry to someone else. We are finding more people coming to church in this manner.
These “Click for St. Nick” type baskets of basic food items cost us about $37 each. Maybe you might want to buy one. If so, you can go to donate now and there you can scroll down to Mercy and then make your donation for the purchase of one, two or more baskets on our secure online e-giving source or you can partner for a basket by sending a check to our mission in the USA.  You can leave a reply below on this page if you don’t have my email address and I will reply privately to you on this.    
The diet of a family such as these is quite basic and it doesn’t have much variety. The average family eats quite basically which includes beans, rice, a few eggs and spaghetti along with “masa” for making some tortillas. Their diet doesn’t include many mangos  because to them they are kind of pricey but  they do get a chance occasionally  to enjoy some of these cheap and delicious mangos from time to time.

Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. “ Deuteronomy 15:10

Maria’s story is one of heartbreak but it ends with rejoicing (1-6-2015)

The story that impacted my life the most in 2014 was when I recently went to deliver a basket of food to a single mother and her two daughters. A person had recommended that we visit “Maria” and her two daughters and seeing that Christmas was near, we decided to visit her and to leave a basket of Christmas joy through our “Click for St. Nick” program at SOR Mission.

Maria & Group 1-6-15A “friend” had told us that Maria was a single mother who was going through a very difficult time, both economically and spiritually. Her youngest daughter, Carla ,only 9 years old, had kidney disease and her immune system was very delicate as she had been hospitalized on several occasions. Maria didn’t have the help of a husband seeing that she was a single mom.

When we arrived at Maria’s little house, she didn’t know who we were but still received us in a very special way. Her daughters were also very happy with our visit. We began to share with her about the true meaning of Christmas and why Jesus Christ came to this world. We told them it was not coincidence that Christ was born at night, because He had come in darkest hour and His birth brought all mankind the true light, joy, peace and glory than mankind never before had ever experienced.
Immediately after sharing this message with the family, Maria began to cry and told us she was sure it was God who had sent us to visit her. She told us that that very afternoon she had a talk with her daughters and told them that she no longer wanted to live. She just wanted to die and not have to see his daughters going through all the sufferings and sorrows that was going on in their lives. They had nothing to eat in the house much less anything to celebrate Christmas with. “My life has no meaning” she said.
The Holy Spirit led us to share our story of salvation with Maria and as we did she cried uncontrollably. The Spirit likewise guided us to ask Bethlehem StarMaria and her two daughters if they wanted to receive Christ into their hearts to transform their lives and the three repeated the prayer of salvation.
I am very happy that we were able to be obedient to the Holy Spirit and to have been that instrument in the hands of God for this family to accept Christ in their hearts. In January we will start a Bible study with Maria and her two daughters and I know without a doubt that God will do great things in the lives of this family Glory to God !!

A day’s work will warm Juan twice (9-18-14)

Juan & Miguel laying block

Recently while working on the project for the church in Tegucigalpa I was reminded once again of the struggle of the underemployed here in Central America.  In many North American cities there is work for those who seek it howbeit also at times it means for some having to take an underemployed job in an  attempt to make ends meet.

Here in Honduras, underemployed means that you will work a few days each month, not because you don’t want to work but simply in an economy suffering from corruption, gangs, drugs and high unemployment there are days and weeks when the wage earner at home has no work.

This was the situation with Juan when asked if he wanted to work on our project.  I thank God that one of you partnered with us to to offer Juan a job for two weeks.  When we approached him he sobbed saying that his family hadn’t eaten in two days seeing that he had no work.

His work with us gave him a great boost to his self esteem and his sweat enabled him to bring home food that he and his family might be warmed on a cold rainy night in the hills surrounding Tegus.  In this picture Juan works on another small project laying broken tile to make the floor.  It is indeed more blessed to give than to receive. Juan is a good brick mason and I would love to provide another week or two of work for him.

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” I Corinthians 15:58 NLT

 

 

Its Fiesta Time here in Costa Rica (6-10-14)

Fiesta Image

Being North American I find I need to chill out a bit more and have a few more fiestas during the course of the year. Our Protestant work ethic has turned us into a people who just work and work and pay and pay to have more and more but finding that life just passes us by without realizing how fast it has flown. Here in Latin America, knowing they’ll never accumulate much, they find small reasons to celebrate something and to have a fiesta. They enjoy the time they can spend together with friends and family celebrating and laughing. Recently we had one such event.

Ceiling for Flor waits at front door (2)In mid May we had a mission team visit us in Costa Rica and one of the projects that the team worked on was to install a drop ceiling for doña Flor who suffers from Fibromyalgia. Without a ceiling to keep in the heat of the house at night she would suffer during the cold months with tremendous pain in her arms and legs. The team that came down was able to build the lowered ceiling in the majority of her small 500 sq ft. house. After seeing the completed drop ceiling in her little house she exclaimed to Lorenzo, one of the volunteers, that she would no longer be embarrassed to invite neighbors and friends over to her home.
After we had finished and hearing her comments we asked her to invite some of her friends, neighbors and familyCeiling for Flor & Lorenzo over to celebrate the new ceiling in her house and that we would pray for God’s blessings on her home that it might be a beacon light to others seeking God’s help.
This past Saturday evening she invited over some of her friends, neighbors and family to have a fiesta to celebrate the new drop down ceiling. We brought the cake, one neighbor the tacos and she provided the delicious Costa Rican café.
I shared a bit from the verse from the Bible that states that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son and whoever believes in Him will not perish but instead have Eternal life.” John 3:16
ceiling of flor with cakeLast night Alexandra and Hannah were there having their first Bible study with 4-5 ladies who had come to the fiesta and were interested in knowing more about God. Thanks for your partnership with our mission in reaching out to those not attending a church, but who are seeking peace, contentment and joy for their lives.
Maybe you can form a team to come down to experience some moments like these and to also submerse yourself in a different culture and learn from Ticos what pure life is to them.  Click here  to read more about “Pura Vida” here. This is their expression that means pure life. We look forward to hosting you soon.

To see the remaining pictures that weren’t posted with this article please go to our Pictures page to see more of the ceiling project.

“Maria’s” Story (5-30-2014)

Backyard scene of Immigrant Camp Hannah and I are so happy for all the opportunities that we’ve been given for serving the women of San Ramon and outlying areas of Costa Rica. God has opened the doors so that we’re able to assist the poor, help the sick and also to educate the children and youth of this area of Costa Rica.
One example of this is “Maria”, a teenager, who approached us after a Bible study that we had given recently in her barrio. She met with us along with various other women of her barrio to learn more about the Bible. Afterward “Maria” shared with us that she so desperately needed to attend a church but that she was very timid and didn’t know how to go about it for the first time. She told me that she felt trapped and didn’t know what to do.
She related with us that her mother wanted her to become a prostitute like she was so as to help bring in money toAlexandra with ghetto children take care of the family and her children. Beginning to weep harder she said that she didn’t want to have this kind of life for herself knowing it was not something she would want to exhibit before her kids when they got older.
Earlier before meeting “Maria” she had had a son with an ex boy friend who had abandoned her when he found out that she was pregnant. Her current pregnancy was caused by a rape that happened near her home just a few months before I met her.
While we were together she looked at me and said “the thing I really want to do is just end my life because I don’t want this baby that the man who raped me gave me. My neighbors criticize and laugh at me at the kind of life I am living. I feel like someone without meaning and no value!” “I can’t go on with a life like this but how am I going to support two children, plus feed and educate them. I just can’t do it. I give up!
2008 San Ramon2 024As a missionary, God certainly does place us in interesting and challenging situations! The joyful part of this story is that now for two Sunday’s “Maria” has attended our church as Hannah and I have been sitting near her to give her the hope and encouragement that she so desperately needs. She is now happy that God has sent her help and that we are now going to start a Bible study in her home where her mother and two sisters, who also are prostitutes, have agreed to attend our study.
We believe that God will provide all that we will need to help this family who are living in such a desperate situation to see the light and freedom that we have found in Jesus. Jesus is the only one who is able to heal hearts and transform lives. Our help will include sharing Jesus and also giving physical help for her and her child plus helping her through her pregnancy. Continue to pray and if you can help us with girls like Maria through our programs of Mercy and Justice where these events are facing us on a regular basis.

 

How an empty box from Yakima was a blessing in Tegus (4-12-2014)

Washington State ApplesWell you might wonder, “how does an apple box from Yakima end up helping to bless a family in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, some 6107 kilometers (3817 miles) away.  Let me tell you the story.

Kevin, one of our dear brothers and friend has had cerebral palsy since birth and for about a year now we’ve had a wonderful sponsor from the USA helping us to be a blessing to him and his family.  He cleans and helps out at the local church along with his mom and his work brings home a monthly food package.  Its a real joy to be an intermediary in this process.  Our sponsor donates to help him and we deliver the goods along with a blessing, scripture reading and involvement in the family’s life.  You too might want to take on a project such as this.

Well back to the story.  Last week I purchased a large amount of provisions for the family and met up with Kevin’s mom along with his sister due to the fact that  Kevin was home with a bad case of the winter flu.  He cried that he couldn’t come to see us as well.  However, his mom and sister showed up and I wondered how they were going to transport this heavy box of food to their home on the mountain.  This meant a bus ride plus walking a long distance plus climbing the hill trail to get to their home.  The box weighed over 40 pounds.  I had lifted it to her but it was indeed heavy.

Honduras Trip 018She was able to lift this box on her head and off they went for the local bus stop.  Well how did this box bless them?  They would have been unable to carry all the bags of groceries that they had to carry home and so one box made it easy because her daughter also has cerebral palsy and couldn’t carry much.  When I asked Andrea how she could carry such a heavy load on her head she just shrugged it off and said it was no big deal.  She had learned it from her mom Gertrude and she from her mother and so on.
This stout box was from the Borton & Sons apple orchard in Yakima, WA and it had found its way here to the local marketHonduras-Costa Rica Pics 105 with its delicious Washington state apples only then to be used by  SOR Mission to help Andrea carry her family’s food home from their American sponsor.  What a blessing all the way around.

It was a joyful day that you too can make happen in the life a needy family  if you would be able to sponsor people  such as this.  We Anrea takes her box homehave many that can use your help. My list can go on but let it suffice to say that the need is greater than what one or two families can do.  However, together we can make a difference in the lives of a few and that should help all of us to better understand the gospel in Matthew 25:34-40.  Go to the donate button and there follow the instructions or I can help you as well.  An email to me can start the ball rolling for a family in need.  Just go to the contact us page for my email address.

Joyfully, Mateo

February 27, 2014 – Shine a Light on Slavery Day

End SlaveryOn February 27th we will remember the millions of people worldwide including the many women and young girls who are forced into various types of slavery each year.  Here in Central America SOR Mission has worked in part with young women and girls since 2006 and through our efforts we have helped many of these women and girls to avoid the lure and deception of sexual slavery through prostitution.

According to the International Organization for Migration, the trafficking of women and girls for purposes of sexual exploitation has become over a $16 billion dollar business and only second to drug trafficking which is in first position.1

Because of logistics and lower costs, this illicit trafficking of humans is growing each year.  Young Central American girls are often times sold for as little as $100-$200 each.  It has been estimated that nearly 50,000 people are trafficked into the US and Canada for various illicit purposes each year.   This includes sexual exploitation, financial exploitation and other forms of servitude that render the victims as slaves.

In Central America it’s estimated that nearly half of all women have suffered some form of violent act and nearly a third of these between the ages of 16 to 49 have been sexually exploited.

Often times a younger woman will visit various small towns in Central America and act as a recruiter.  These women, known as“coyotes”Pictures from Tegus 018 will promise the girls work in a larger city, often times as maids in large tourist hotels and then to set the “bait” an older woman will pass through behind telling of how her life has been improved by her employment.  They promise the girls that they will be able to send home money weekly and that all visas will be provided.  Once they leave their town they are turned over to representatives of human trafficking rings who will then exploit these girls. 

The Palermo Protocol was signed in December 2000 in Palermo, Italy with 148 countries present.  Of these countries present, nearly 128 signed some of the Protocols which included the trafficking of women and children for illicit purposes.  Since then additional countries have signed the Protocol.  The Protocol addresses prevention and the suppression of trafficking and the punishment of people who do traffic people especially women and children for illegal purposes.

Shortly before the passage of the Palermo Protocol, the USA adopted its own domestic legislation against trafficking known as the Trafficking Victims Protectior Act (TVPA) of 2000.  This act reaches well beyond the US borders and allows the President to withhold non humanitarian financial assistance from countries deemed in non compliance to the TVPA.

Like in other areas, the US has become the “global sheriff” on trafficking but its influence in other countries has been cited as Uncle Samineffective and inconsistent in practice.  The TVPA attempts to threaten international cooperation by injecting its unique standards to the world community of nations.  This threat of sanctions has motivated some countries to implement standards but the enforcement of these standards are overlooked by officials who merely look the other way due to the inadequacy of local governments.2

Although all countries in Central America act as transit points in some respect, the major transit locations are Honduras, Guatemala and  El Salvador.  Many victims are trafficked within their own countries such as Costa Rica and Honduras.  Many start in their own country and are then sold to intermediaries such as Costa Rican or Honduran women being sold to a trader from outside the regional area. 3

Because of adverse social conditions is many of Central American countries, women are forced to assume full responsibility for income and support of their families and thus spend a larger portion of the day or evening away from their children.  These economic problems make the children more vulnerable to traffickers who will exploit their financial hardship.  These false promises of employment and opportunity are often times the bait that entraps these women and children into being exploited.  The report concludes by saying that the commoditization of people in Latin America is a result of a lack of law enforcement and victim protection.

Alexandra @ Tiny HousesWhat is SOR Mission currently doing to help prevent some of these susceptible women and girls from being drawn in to this web of trafficking in Central America.  The missionaries ministering with SOR are actively involved in the teaching of purity, self respect and to be aware of such promises that may confront them during their daily lives.  In addition, Seeds is also helps women economically through micro projects as well as Biblical based teaching to encourage them in the difficult life they face as single mothers.

We have worked in both Honduras and Costa Rica and our Mission is settling up classes for young women to receive teaching on how wonderfully made they are and through the Bible teaching them of the importance they have and thus helping them to recognize the dangers so prevalent in the poorer areas of these two countries

A course known by its acronym as PACT is helping these young girls to learn Purity, Abstinence, Consecration and Truth.  This course from the US has been translated into Spanish by our staff and has been adapted to the Central American culture.  We presently have two missionaries ministering this material to the girls of Costa Rica and Honduras.

What can you do?  You can mark the red X on your hand on Thursday the 27th which will give you an opportunity to tell others not aware of this major social evil going on around us.  You can also support missions such as ours who work on the front lines helping those who need help the most.  If you would choose SOR Mission you can go to the donate now area to make a donation under MERCY.  Lastly, without prayer and asking the Almighty Father of Light to help each one of us to be a part of the solution rather than the silent majority that does nothing

1. DM Hughes – Journal of International Affairs-Columbia University, 2000
2. The United States as Global Sherriff: Using Unilateral Sanctions to Combat Human Trafficking by Janie Chuang- American University-Washington College of Law. Michigan Journal of International Law. Vol.27 No.2. Winter 2006
3. Guinn 2007
4. The Development of Sex Trafficking in Central America by Kate Zdrojewski.

 School starts soon in Honduras and Costa Rica (1-21-2014)

time in Tegus 010time in Tegus 043This past week I have been busy getting the “kids” ready for school in Honduras.  As some of you might be aware we are involved in helping children stay in school to complete their studies. This is part of our PEACE plan that we follow as a mission.   Some of you have been very generous in helping us to help these children to stay in school with your sponsorship of $35/month.  Some of the children are shown here in the pictures.  We purchase clothes, shoes, school supplies  and other needed items for each one.  What a blessing to see them continue their studies rather than drop out to help the family with obtaining needed food and other items.  With your partnership of $35/month you too can be a part in helping us to make a difference for many years to come in the lives of these children.

Joyfully,

Mateo

 

Kevin & Kelin are a joy to be with (11-21-2013)

Time in States & Return to Tegus 019In getting involved with the family of Kevin I have gotten to know his parents, siblings and grandmother.  Each one has enriched my life as I have gotten to know them.  With current conditions in Honduras being at best very difficult, being able to help this family has been a huge blessing to them. 

Last Christmas through our Click for St. Nick program we were able to present a basket of Christmas help at a time when the family was totally out of food due to an accident the father had had as a brick mason.  Of course a mason in Honduras earns a minimum wage as its considered almost a minimum wage job except for the few well trained. The mother had prayed for a miracle and the next day we showed up at their doorstep with a basket of food.  This made a lasting impression on the family of God’s provision in times of need.

Kevin hard at workKevin continues to help around the church in spite of his limiations having celebral palsey since birth.  We’ve  been able through his work at the church to be ale to help the family in a number of ways.   I believe that this is mercy at its best.  When we realize that the person God calls us to help in the end teaches us more about mercy than we previously thought we knew is indeed a blessing.  There are others we would like to help like Kevin so if you are reading this wondering where you could make a difference then consider a monthly automatic donation through our online giving site where your $40 or $50 dollar gift can make a huge difference.  Help if you can and prayer for someone to help if you can’t .   Thanks!

An Amanda Update by Alex (8-3-2013)

Hospital Esuela w. Alex 022This past week I took some of my “extra” time to help Reina and her daughter Amanda during their time at the Intercity Hospital.  Reina’s been there for two weeks watching over her daughter and helping her to mend from the gunshot wound she received two weeks ago.  We attempted to provide a source for a blood transfusion that Amanda needed but in the end, after spending several hours the other morning we found out that our donor was 7 days short of meeting the hospital’s 120 days requirement for donating blood.   One needs to learn from these dead end paths that God is in control and he will never lead us anywhere in vain.

I spent some time on  two mornings this past week visiting them after my normal visitation I did to maternity.  We talked and visited and I brought some food and a few things for Amanda to do.  We had a nice time and I was able to share about how we need to seek God in the good times and not just the bad so that when the day of difficulties come we have already established a wonderful contact with our Savior and God, Jesus Christ.   This has taken me over many bumps in the road from time to time.

Today while posting I just got a call from Reina asking me for help to get her and her daughter home from the hospital to their outlying town.  I will offer her the opportunity of inviting Jesus to live in her rather than, as she thinks, inside block walls down the street at the church.  Its a joy to serve God in this way.

I look forward to receiving your comments and please remember that our Mercy Fund at SOR Mission is what supplies us the means to visit and help people such as Amanda.  Currently we are running low on funds in this account and if you are able to help please do so here at Donate under heading Mercy or go to Contact us to find our mailing address or our PayPal account for transfers.  Please help if you can.

Time Spent with Amanda (7-30-13)

Little child (Amanda) injured by flying bulletsToday like two other days before,  I was able to spend some time with “Amanda” and her mother at the hospital. As some of you might have read in our recent email posting, she arrived here not under the best of conditions.  In spending time with her and her mother my heart was touched  to reach out and help little Amanda in what I could do for her.

In talking with her mother I saw what a miracle it was that she was alive and how brave this little girl was.  The bullet entered her hand damaging two fingers and then the projectile grazed her face and ear as it exited her body.  Just a few inches to the left and it would have killed her. She certainly can be considered an innocent bystander concerning this shooting.

Today, I found out that she was in need of pain medication and without it she would suffer in extreme pain for days until the surgery is completed for her hand.  The family had expended all they had being very poor rural people.  What little they had was spent on keeping the mother at her side day and night and providing a little food for the mother and daughter.

I was able to purchase via our  Mercy Fund the needed pain medication for one day which runs quite expensive. (note if interested: Go to Donate Now scroll down to Mercy for an online donation or go to Contact Us for Paypal).    She will need it for 3-4 days more.  We encouraged the mother to only have the nurse administer the doses we purchased  when the pain gets unbearable. I also told her to keep the other doses in her bag as during the night the doses might “disappear” or otherwise get lost. The hospital system runs a little different than the States.   She has enough doses to last  until tomorrow morning when I plan on returning again.  This evening she called me to ask if I could locate someone in the capital to donate a liter of blood for the surgery.  This I am working on this evening.

When one gets involved in helping the needy, one never knows where it can take you.  This particular woman does not regularly attend a church but she has been recommended to read the Bible to see God’s wonderful plan of salvation spelled out in the Gospel of John. Click here to read  John 3:16-17

A Morning with Suyapa in her grief (7-13-13)

It started just like many mornings at the Intercity Hospital… visiting the young mothers, and sharing with them the blessings of what many of you have helped us provide for them.  We gave out  blankets, onsies, and other women’s  items for the young mothers as well as a time of sharing the good news of the Gospel of Salvation in Jesus and giving them a time to respond.  Living in Tegucigalpa  gives us the opportunity to share frankly and often as each month it seems that the violence continues to escalate.  We as well pray for our personal daily safety and how much more many of these women who live in various dangerous barrios around the capital who never know how their day will end.  Living in one of the world’s most dangerous cities in the world is like that.

Female blank imageOur morning was continuing on this track until nearly the end of our visit when we saw a young mother crying and sobbing about the loss of her child who had just died after delivery.  We approached her and talked with her about her life.  We found out that she had no family, no safety net and no help from anyone.  Here she was in the hospital with a dead child that needed a burial and she was still recovering from the birth process and she was being asked to deal with the burial of her child.  She didn’t have a penny to her name.

Upon talking with her we found that she had an estranged mother who took her other two children from her  some time back and now had been living on the streets due to what one might suppose….prostitution and drugs.  It would have been easy to cross by on the other side of the street so to speak and not get involved.  Reminds me of the Good Samaritan story in the Bible. (Luke 10:30-36)

We couldn’t do that so we went looking for what a coffin would cost us and when told L$900 we bartered it down to L$500 and said we’d come back to pick it up later.  Through the course of the afternoon we helped find a source of additional money so that what we had plus what we were able to obtain we were able to help her to buy the coffin she needed.

This story reminds me of an important Biblical truth and that is no matter the circumstance and no matter your position in the community we are all made in God’s image and are worthy of His respect.  We were merely helping one of God’s children in her darkest hour.  Doesn’t God expect us all to do the same?

Can you help us to continue  helping additional people like Suyapa by going to the Donate Now area on this page and entering your data and then scrolling down to Mercy and help us with a generous donation for people like Suyapa who needed a hand up yesterday morning.

 

An Afternoon with Eric (5-12-13)

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit Eric and his family who live near the church where our latest mission team was working.  Several of the team members, Bill and Chris, established a friendship with Eric and he became a regular “helper” at our build site each day before or after school. His smiles and enthusiasm encouraged us all and he was fun to be around.  He amazed us all by the desk that he built from scrap lumber.  He was so happy when we told him that he could take his desk home.  I did see, however, a sadness in his eyes as I talked with him after the team had left for home. This really motivated me to visit Eric’s home and family this past Saturday.

In barrios like this one,  boys from very poor families like Eric’s don,t have a lot of opportunities to improve their life situation and because of this hopelessness, some of these young boys end up in the local gangs and of those who do join the gangs, many of them end up in the local cemetery before the age of 18 from the violence that is shaking our country to its core.  This is unless…

Unless people, like Bill & Chris who have taken an interest and others of you who might want to take an interest in helping boys like Eric stay in school, their future is not very hopeful.  He’s nowEric & family attending school but doesn’t have a uniform and the children don’t have shoes to wear as I noticed on the day I visited them.  The pictures posted with this article are of the family and of the three kids who attend school, each one needs assistance to remain in school.

Pastor Victor and I visited his family and talked with his mom and her family.  We took some pictures of the kids and also I read Psalms 23 to encourage his mom in the difficult life situation she is living.  We were also able to present them a “Click for St. Nick” basket of food as the picture shows to initiate our 2013 campaign to put 75+ baskets in the hands of needy families like Eric’s before Christmas.  Not only do we give them this basket of food essentials  but like in Eric’s case we will continue to visit from time to time throughout the year to encourage the parent(s) and family to continue to support their children’s education.  This is what planting Seeds of Righteousness is all about.

Pictures of Eric & Family, Central Church 020The Old Testament Prophet said it well as revealed by the LORD.  Hosea 10:12:  ‘Plow new ground for yourselves, plant (seeds of) righteousness, and reap the blessings (children staying in school, families being helped, etc) that your devotion to me will produce. It is time for you to turn to me, your LORD, and I will come and pour out blessings upon you.

In closing, who is it that the LORD uses to pour out these blessings so we can do the work?  Yes, it’s you and I who are responsible for these blessings.  Your help can make a difference in the life of Eric and his sister Merlin and others as well.  Some are called like us to go and to help  these families and others are called to give from their abundance sacrificially to help others merely survive.

Your help is needed and appreciated. Please consider helping us with our upcoming Click for St. Nick program.  Let me know of yourJoseph & Mary at Christmas interest and you will be contacted.  You can donate directly at our donate now site on this page or you can go to contact us to find other ways to donate and to get involved.

Joyfully submitted,

Mateo

The Lord’s kindness never fails!
If he had not been merciful, we would have been destroyed.
The Lord can always be trusted to show mercy each morning.

Lamentations 3:22-23  (CEV)

Little girl from barrioEach day, each one of us are called to reflect the nature of Almighty God to those around us in this world.  We are called to show mercy to those deserving love and mercy but also to those we “deem” not worthy to receive love and mercy.

Our work at Seeds of Righteousness Mission includes the sowing of seeds of mercy with those we work with.  Mercy can be shown in buying a family an iron who doesn’t have one to iron their clothes.  It can come in the form of a coffee for the person we know at work that hasn’t joined the “group”.  Here in Honduras we literally have opportunity every day to show mercy to those who are in need of God’s wonderful mercy.

The above verse states that God’s kindness never fails!  That is an amazing statement and I believe that in my life I have seen his faithful kindness exhibited time after time.  I have spent some night weeping over this or that not knowing what direction to go.  Has this been your experience?  Is it what you’re going through now?  As the Psalmist has said in Psalms 30:5  “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

We thank the Lord for his faithfulness and whether you’re reading this from Australia to Lebanon to India, God’s faithfulness will never let us down or disappoint.  Seek the Almighty now while He’s calling you to do so!  Fresh are his mercies each day!

Blessed are the Merciful for they shall see God (April 7, 2013)

Our friends “Jerry and Ingrid” had their little girl on February 27th.  This couple have become very close to Mateo and I because Jerry and Mateo spend a lot of time together in ministry as he accompanies Mateo a lot while he’s out in some of the more dangerous parts of town.  His wife Ingrid is a sincere and humble woman who is a bit timid but little by little she has opened her heart to me and says now that she considers me as her second mother.

Because of being in the States when her baby was born I wasn’t able to be with her at the hospital.  In fact, the day we left is the day she had her baby girl.  My heart was broken to know that I wasn’t able to be close to her to help with whatever was needed to be done after her birth and short hospital stay.

Alex with Alexandra after leaving hospitalThe day that we returned to Tegucigalpa, we received a call from our pastor telling us that Ingrid and Jerry had taken their baby to the hospital because she had contracted pneumonia.  I felt so sad to hear this news because I knew that they were not in a position to be able to cover these expenses at the hospital as Jerry has not found steady work and because of that they had moved in with Ingrid’s mother in one of the most dangerous parts of the city.

The house doesn’t have secure walls and what there is is full of holes where rain and wind enter the house.  They don’t have electricity and because of this they cook with wood and the smoke is absorbed and breathed by those living in the house.  This was the precise reason that this little baby contracted pneumonia as the environment in which they live is not adequate for an adult much less for a recently born infant.

The following day after arriving back home after a harrowing flight (Be sure to read the Red Light of Flight 1540 under Today here on our website), Ingrid was so delighted to see me at the hospital.  Immediately after arriving at the hospital I asked Ingrid to close her eyes and to pray with me for her baby.  After finishing our prayer, I saw Ingrid’s eyes full of tears and then, she mentioned that she had talked with the doctor and she didn’t have good news!

She mentioned that the doctor was asking them to purchase a number of prescriptions for their baby that were very expensive that the hospital could not provide because of its tight budget.  Desperately she told me that she feared that her baby would die because of them not being able to purchase these much needed prescriptions for the recuperation of their baby.

Mateo and I are very thankful that SOR Mission was able to cover the expenses at the hospital as well as the medicine for this baby.  As you read this you might be one who has donated to SOR Mission under the heading MERCY for moments and people such as this.  We know that the Lord will give back to you what you have given to help others in serious need. If you’ve read this and feel like you would like to start now to help us to help others like Ingrid and Jerry you can do so by going to our donate now section here to do so online or you can go to Contact Us on our website to see other options for giving.

Thank you so much to those who have given to help us to help Ingrid, Jerry and their baby. You have saved a young child’s life and this child was named Alexandra.  I was so deeply touched.

Thanks,

Alexandra

God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  Matthew 5:7 TLB

These young girls have truly touched my heart! (2-21-13)

Girls from Alex's classI love the young girls from church where we attend.  I’m so very happy to see that we are developing a wonderful and very close relationship together.  Some of them now call me auntie and others call me mom.  I’m honored to be able to disciple them and especially to offer them that sincere love that most of them are craving and lacking.  Because of these great needs, recently I began to offer them a series of classes entitled “PACT” (Purity, Abstinence, and Consecration & Truth).
Honduras has the second highest incidence of teen pregnancies in Latin America for girls under the age of nineteen.  What makes this statistic so real for me is to see so many very young girls around the city, who themselves being scarcely teenagers, having to take care of babies of their own.  In Honduras sex education for children whether it be at home or at school is almost a taboo subject.   As a result many children grow up with a distorted view of themselves physically and sexually thus opening the door to abuses in both areas.  This has become a major problem in Honduras and we are trying to offer a solution that can be copied by others, by teaching this class on purity and respect for who they are as girls. .
This year, however, there are a few schools beginning to open the door to starting sex education classes.  Many educational leaders are desperate to deal with this ever increasing problem.  Because of a lack of resources, what we offer is beginning to open doors for our teaching in a few public schools.  What an opportunity this would be for us to teach these young girls as well as sharing the gospel with them at the same time.

I am very appreciative of the Lord for giving me this opportunity to begin the series called “PACT” at our church.  Every Saturday I have the Alexandra & Maria Elena at Intercity 002class which is attended by 15-20 young girls who are showing an intense interest in listening and learning what I have to say.  I am so happy to see them enthused and wanting to learn.

My prayer is that with God’s help and leading, many of these young preteen and teen girls will end this destructive pattern of giving themselves to a guy at such a young age with the end result of pregnancy and thus dropping out of school. (I posted a story this past week about “E” and what happened to her as a young girl.  See this story that I posted on our website by clicking here to read the post.

Also, one of my mission goals is to be able to teach this material in other churches and schools in this country.  As I shared above there are now a few doors beginning to open in several public schools for this teaching.  I need help and assistance to achieve my goals and dreams.  Might there be a calling for you to help?  Pray with me that the Lord will continue to open these doors for this important ministry.  The life of every young girl is so important to God.  You can also check out another page on our site at http://sormission.org/volunteer.

Thanks for taking the time to read this story and praying for this ministry that God will use it to help these young girls.

Alexandra

Helping this young girl with a several pairs of shoes for school was a real blessing!  (2-7-13)

Genesis after getting her new shoesShe was a little baby of several days when her grandmother, now called mom, took her home because her daughter had addictions and didn’t want to raise a baby.  She wanted however to head back to the streets where her “support group” hung out.

As a result today, Maria is the mom raising her granddaughter on basically nothing, but God has his ways of intervening and helping those crying out for the help of the Lord as did Maria.  We really met through our “Click for St. Nick” program that we ran over the Christmas holidays for families in need in Tegucigalpa.  They were one of the families that we were able to help.

I was able recently to help Maria’s “daughter” get registered in school for this year.  She didn’t attend last year due to financial problems but in talking with them, I encouraged Maria to register her daughter because I told her that  God would provide the means for her to go to school and in fact he did.

This picture, taken at their 300 sq. ft. house shows the two boxes of shoes that we were able to buy for Marias daughter.  Students can’t attend school after the first week without a uniform and the proper shoes.  Next week she will be able to attend class of secondary school which is equivalent to our 7th grade.

Our hearts go out to her and many other children like her needing help throughout the year with their education.  Staying in school is like giving them a new lease on life with a window of opportunity open before them.  So many young kids choose the wrong path because of the lack of options.  For the young boys it’s the gangs and for the young girls its pregnancy and a tumultuous relationship with someone not ready to be a dad.

Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support of our helping others such as this young girl with a hand up so she can stay in school.

Joyfully,

Mateo

 


This page is dedicated to what we are doing through Seeds of Righteousness Mission for the families of Honduras.  We update this page often  with what we are doing to help these families who consist often times  of single women who struggle to give their children and grandchildren a hope that they themselves never had. 

We are reminded in Hosea 10: 12 that as we sow righteousness we will harvest mercy.  As we challenge ourselves to do good, areas of our lives  that have laid dormant maybe even for years, will now begin to develop and grow.  Not just regular growth but as the picture shows, exponential growth that is luxuriant and green. 
This is the time to seek the Lord  until  He returns  and rains righteousness on you.  Hosea 10:12

 

MY HEART BREAKS FOR HER TWO BOYS (1-26-2013)

We are approaching the beginning of the school year for the students in Honduras.  Classes will begin the second week of February and for many Honduran youth they wait with expectancy for the beginning of classes just like many do in the States.  For some, however, the beginning of the school year has no significance.  Many of these children don’t go to school because their  parent(s) need them at home so that they  can find some type of menial job in the street to help with the cost of maintaining the family.  Other youth don’t attend school because their parent(s) who would want them to attend, simply because of their economic situation can’t provide for the cost of them attending school.

Bertilias BoysThis is the case of Elvin and Rolando, the two young boys I invited to have lunch with me today to celebrate their success of having completed the first 6 years of their primary education and to motivate them to continue their studies beginning with grade 7.  Here the school system is divided into two sections.  The first six years is considered their primary education and the last six years are considered their secondary education.  Many students don’t go beyond the sixth grade of their education.

Their mother, my friend and sister in the Lord, informed me that she still hasn’t registered them for their classes because she does not have the necessary funds to cover the expense of registering them, buying uniforms and other school items required such as backpacks, shoes, supplies, etc.

She said that to see her sons continue their studies is her strongest desire but simply there is no other option because what she made with her job working at a school cleaning and cooking last school year will probably not be renewed this year and so therefore she will not have sufficient funds to pay for their secondary education.

In addition, she also takes care of her daughter’s three little girls who were left with her when her daughter left to find a better life up north.  Her daughter left them behind and hasn’t sent any money home to maintain her children.

My heart has been broken into pieces knowing that Elvin and Rolando won’t be able to continue their studies.  They have shown themselves to be boys who love the Lord and respect their mother who has done her very best to raise them as a single mother.  These two boys have completed the sixth grade and that in itself is a great accomplishment here in Honduras.

It’s also so sad for me to know that living in one of the most dangerous barrios of Tegus highly influenced by various gangs; these are the people who will gain control of the boy’s lives if they do not continue in school.

I told sister Bertilia today to please register her two sons for the coming school year and that without a doubt I know that God will provide in such a way so that they will be able to continue their studies for another year. The monthly cost is about $35 which includes buying uniforms, school supplies and materials that the teachers require during the school year.   If someone reading this would like to help this noble cause please let me know or you can go directly to our donate now portion of this page to make your donation.   May God bless you for your help.

In faith,

Alexandra

Planting seeds of righteousness in the Single Mothers of Honduras.

I have great respect for the single mothers of Honduras, but wherever I go, I either see or  know of someone that is young and a single mother.  Sometimes, I think that this is probably an epidemic situation in this country.

For example, Veronica is one of these young mothers that I recently met.  She’s doing everything she can to help her two young children to have a better life without the support of a husband.  “Life isn’t easy for me; I get desperate sometimes because my kids don’t have anything to eat. It’s not easy for me to find a good job because I don’t have the right education.  My kids ask me for food, clothes and shoes but I’m not able to provide for them” she replied to me sadly.

These are some of the phrases and anxiety that you hear and see in many of the single mothers I have found in my path.  Life isn’t easy for a Honduran single woman; not even the government provides a program where they can go if they are struggling or going through a difficult situation.

This culture allows men to be very irresponsible, because in many cases as soon as they find out that their girlfriend or common law wife is pregnant they abandon them.  They don’t contribute or help with the expenses to educate and raise the child because the government is so underfunded and so often the man will not be held accountable for any type of responsibility with the government to provide for the child.

One of the hardest things for me to understand is to know that most of these single mothers are adolescences.  The statistics say that 40% of them are between 15-19 years of age. This is a very shocking number for me.  Poverty and all the social issues associated with being a single mother are increasing rapidly in Honduras.

My heart breaks when I see what these women have to do to survive and support their families. Most of the women cling to their partners just to get what little they might offer for them and their families. The vast majority of them are usually physically, sexually and emotionally abused by their partners.  These men come and go as they please; many times leaving them pregnant once again only to be left behind for another.

I told Veronica that I admire her because she is doing whatever it takes to help her children.  She started making tortillas and she goes from house to house to sell them.  Whenever she has the opportunity she also works as a domestic to bring home food for the table.

I also told Veronica, as well as all the single mothers I meet at the hospital that they are not alone and that God is the best husband they can have in their lives that He is always there for them, sustaining them and looking out for their best interest always.

Please help me to continue sowing seeds of hope, justice and righteousness in the lives of these young single women.  Donate to this ministry through the means you feel most comfortable with.  Go to the donate now or to our contact page for more information.  Que El Señor te bendiga!

In the work of God,

Alexandra

I wept for Carla and her difficult life in the barrio 12/11/2012

Today while working on Juan’s house with our team of four Hondurans and Americans I saw a lady entering the house on the hill, apicture of which I posted yesterday on our sister page at Facebook: SOR Mission At Work.  She slowly walked up the rocky path revealing the difficulty of the path and her advancing years.

As she approached the house on the hill I approached her and asked if she would mind if I took her picture in front of her house.  She replied, “It’s not mine, we just rent here as we could never buy something like this.” As someone commented yesterday on Facebook, some of us have nicer looking storage sheds but here this older lady was apparently living here. Her house is about a 10 x 10 with a dirt floor and a few bricks outside that acted as a stove. There are no lights or water or any other public service available to the house.

As I prepared to take the picture another lady came out from inside of the house and the older lady, whose name I found out was doña Leonarda, said that doña Concepcion was her daughter and that she

The family of the house of the Hill. A needy family worthy of our Click for St. Nick basket of love and hope.

had two children who shyly came out of the dirt floored house.

I took this photo and after taking it, another girl came out who turns out to be doña Concepcion’s 20 year old daughter in law.  I took her picture as well and as I did, I noticed that she was not focusing on the camera but rather looking off into the distance towards Juan’s house that we’re building.

After taking the picture I asked her how she was doing and Concepcion replied that she couldn’t see.  I immediately began a conversation with Carla Patricia about life and all and nicely asked her what had happened in her life that she couldn’t see.  She replied that a month ago she fell as she walked down to the main road much like we do leaving Pastor Juan’s house each workday. Several of us also have fallen on this path as well.  It’s a very treacherous path and she said that she had fallen hitting her head and since then she has been blind.

Carla asks with a small voice for help but so far no one has listened. The plight of the very poor!

I asked her if they had sought medical attention for Carla and Concepcion replied, “Sir, it would cost us about $125 to see a specialist and we can barely buy food and pay a small amount for this house.”  I began to realize how fortunate we have it and I asked myself what I could do for them.

I offered to pray for Carla and she accepted and I simply prayed that God would glorify his Holy Name in the life and eyes of Carla.  After chatting a bit more I left as I wasn’t able to talk much more as I began to weep for Carla, her two children and her mother in law and the grandmother and the conditions under which they lived.

I was reminded of a thought that I have had about how pouring out more of God’s love to the hurting of this world would affect my current life.  I realized that my life as a pilgrim on this earth will never be hurt by giving away God’s love.  There’s never a bottom of the barrel with God’s love.

The Scriptures talk of a Kinsman Redeemer and in the case of this family they need a person to come alongside to help them and to be their voice.  Psalms 82:4 says it so well:

“Rescue the weak and homeless
from the powerful hands
of heartless people.”

We will revisit them on Saturday and we will bring a basket of hope and love for Carla and the entire family living in the House on the Hill.  Her larger need for medical attention plagues me still and I am praying for her and the entire house.  Please pray with me as well.

Your brother and friend in Service to those with no voice,

Mateo

So what do you want for your upcoming birthday?

During our Click for St. Nick campaign this past December we were able to share a basket of food and kitchen utensils with Maria and her young granddaughter.  Maria as I have learned from talking with her from time to time is a woman of great valor who has struggled for the majority of her life.

Genesis & Maria on her 70th birthday 1-20-13Raising five children with her husband, one day she awoke to realize that he simply had walked out on her leaving her with no means to support their family.  She had no education herself to find a decent job.

She persisted in the raising of her 5 children until each one had left home to seek their own life.  Her ex-husband left her without a home and livelihood but she in spite of this curve ball, she hit the ball out of the part and persisted.

After a time her daughter got involved in drugs and began to live on the streets of the capital.  After her daughter became pregnant she abandoned her young baby and  grandmother was left with the task of raising another daughter.  She has done this well

Today, January 20th, we celebrated her 70th birthday and this week I am going to purchase a birthday present for her.  You might wonder what a Honduran woman might want for her 70th birthday?  Some of us have replied to friends to not  buy us anything as we don’t really need anything and  for others they feel they have too much stuff.  Yet others might think that a small token of friendship is more than adequate.

She mentioned that the recent wave of cold weather has left her and her granddaughter freezing at night.  Here in the hills surrounding Tegucigalpa temperature have dropped  to near 50 degrees at night.  She lives in a very small wooden house with no insulation, cracks everywhere and no heat nor hot water to warm the body on a night so cold.

Her reply to me was, “Could you provide my granddaughter and I a warm blanket to use on these nights so cold?”  When I told her I would, she lifted her hands to heaven and with slight tears forming in her eyes, she said, Thank you Lord for this wonderful gift!

What a joy it is to live among such wonderful people who live their daily life on the very edge.  For us, who are from developed nations, realize that our safety net is large and well constructed.  We have such a large assortment of plans to protect us from this edge.  In addition to our retirement plans we have insurance for cars, health, life, disability, government assistance, , etc.

Here there is none of that and living on that edge has made these people rich in faith and a joy to be around for their simplicity of life and the joy they obtain from such little things as buying them a warm blank for their bed.

If you have been touched by Maria’s story and want to help other women like Maria you can donate now on our site here with our secure online giving or you can go to contact us for other ways that you can donate.  Pray that God continues to give us the means to help families such as this.

Joyfully in Service to Others like Maria,

Mateo

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