Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Acts of Friendship

Every summer Friendship Church has an event they call Acts of Friendship. The congregation splits into groups and spends an entire afternoon in service to the community. Activities range from bringing pets to the local nursing home to offering free car washes at the bank. There is no cost and no donations are accepted. The idea is to show the love of Christ through service to others.This concept of giving back to one's community is not common in Honduras, so we thought that we would follow the example of Friendship Church and organize a similar day for the students of El Sembrador in the hopes of teaching a valuable lesson in selflessness. So, we asked the help of Friendship and their missions board who donated $500 to the projects. Since it was our idea, PK and I were left to run with it, which was a nice opportunity to really make an impact on the school.

One day, after lunch, we divided into our Day of the School teams. The yellow team went with PK to the nearby village of El Carbon. Some of the group assisted PK while he worked on adding electrical lines to some rooms that had recently been added to the back of the church. He also spent a lot of time cleaning up the dangerous electrical mess in the school rooms and at the water tower. It's a wonder no kids have been seriously injured because exposed wires hung around all over the place, sometimes in pools of water. We believe there about 300 people living in El Carbon. Of those, more than half are children. There are very few men so the women are responsible for everything in the town. So, the rest of the yellow team spent the afternoon helping with yard clean-up and tree trimming around the school and church...things that the women struggle to maintain on their own.

It is the culture in Honduras to throw trash on the ground when you are finished with it, so the ground is constantly littered with candy wrappers and old food. While this is slowly changing in some of the urban areas, the people who reside poor neighborhoods and villages still live in filth. As another part of our Acts of Friendship, we loaded up four or five vehicles with the red, blue and green teams and headed into Catacamas to launch a clean-up project in the market area of town. We picked up garbage for four hours and it felt like we hardly made a dent. The citizens seemed supportive though and we got lots of honks and some nearby shop owners gave out drinks to the hot and tired boys.

After our hard day of work, we met back at the church where we had a special service....special because I was the speaker! Of course, I had to have a translator, but I spoke for about 20 minutes about the Biblical principles for serving others. I used the example of the boy who gave his lunch so Jesus could feed the 5,000 and the example of Jesus washing the disciples feet. The main theme was that it doesn't take a lot of money or power to have a big impact on the world. This is a new idea for this culture, so I hope we were able to inspire them to continue this tradition of service in the future. For several days following the event, I was called "Pastora". I hope that means I did a good job. After church, PK and I had one last little act of service. We served all the boys with a little treat. We made a huge fruit salad and served it with ice-cold pop.

Marvin working on the Catacamas project. Notice how much litter there is on the ground!

Jorge always has a smile no matter what he's doing.

Victor working on the Catacamas project.

Even the staff and Bible School students participated. Anna and Karla helped in Catacamas.

Reyes tried really hard to avoid the camera while picking up garbage, but I managed to get snap this photo with Cristian Ariel and Gelbert.

As always, CT sets a good example for the rest of the students.

Scary Honduran wiring on the water tower near the church in El Carbon.

Justo worked in El Carbon to to help PK.

All the electrical work required the help of an expert and Eddy was happy to help.

PK cleaning up the scary wiring to make it safer for the kids that play near the church.

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