This month has been a busy one! Along with the programs (english classes & baseball) we’re involved in, we’ve been helping out Living Water 4 Roatan (www.lw4r.com) with their short term mission teams, which have been arriving here for one week stays. They come to do a variety of things: construction projects, water improvement, bible studies, Vacation Bible School, Sports Camps, food distribution, and more. Their weeks are jam-packed and it has been a blessing to be able to witness how this all works. Both, the smooth and the rougher moments, will be cherished as learning opportunities. For remember, we are all students, continually asking God to stretch and grow us. Ugh….
how it does hurt sometimes though!
When we think about a study the World Bank did in the 1990’s, interviewing more than 60,000 poor people from 60 low income countries, asking “What is poverty?”, the results continue to stop us in our tracks. While us North Americans tend to emphasize a lack of material things such as food, clean water, housing, medicine, money, etc., their responses tended to revolve more around psychological and social terms. The common responses included such words as shame, inferiority, powerlessness, fear, humiliation, hopelessness, and voicelessness, in addition to a lack of material things.
We are truly in the process of discernment these days…discerning how best can we- a family of 5- enhance the lives of the people here. The mismatch, between what “we” think they need and what they actually do need can actually do more harm than good, often with devastating consequences. We want to create independence, not dependence. Without even realizing it, the opportunity is always there to communicate that we are superior and they are inferior. We need to tread carefully. The programs begun thus far, we believe, are about creating relationships, getting to know one another …treading carefully. We are realizing daily though, how broken WE are. As with all human beings, not one of us is perfect. We have so much to learn from each other.
Working together to make positive changes, our baseball team was gung-ho on the idea to help repair the entranceway into the Colonia. While the immediate result was somewhat of a “bandaid”, this small act encouraged some of the adults in the Colonia to get involved, bringing in some dirt a few days later to really improve the entrance. Perhaps, we can begin to affirm people’s dignity & contribute to the process of overcoming poverty, by asking questions such as “ What do you like about your life?”
“What are your God-given gifts and talents?”, and “How can these be used to improve your situation or your neighbors?”
We’ll post again soon, as we have some exciting news coming up! Keep in touch. Thank you all so much for your continued thoughts, prayers, and donations. How do you like Levi’s 7th birthday present, sweet little Lo Lo?