Much more than playing in dirt: The most visible sign of the community associations in the urban neighborhood of Nueva Suyapa are the gardens that the members tend. Beautiful splashes of green cabbage, lettuce, and many other crops are a delight against a background of dirt roads and cinderblock. Tucked away in eight neighborhoods, around 500 families take turns tending the communal gardens. Most of these city folk, almost entirely women, had never worked in a garden but with practice and blisters, they’ve learned new techniques that make them fruitful. Besides taking home something to eat, many take away knowledge and ideas for starting their own family gardens using old tires and other found materials. A surprising reality of living in a poor neighborhood is that people are often lonely, so the most frequently mentioned benefit–after fresh produce–is the opportunity to work together, share about God’s grace in their lives, and strengthen the social fabric of the community. We’d all be surprised how many issues are resolved in those garden conversations.
Thinking that the associations are only involved in gardens would be a mistake. Stewardship of Christian Ministry (MCM), one of CRWRC’s Honduran partners, supported the birth of the associations and facilitated the leader training process. Doña Crucita, an association leader (on the right in the photo above), explains the participatory surveys they did to identify resources and needs, and then develop plans for change. Last year they organized to reduce the incidence of dengue fever and implemented projects to provide water storage and cement floors for some of the neediest families in each neighborhood. All the members are concerned about rising violence in the community, but they scratch their heads about what to do. Please pray with them for protection for their families and that they can be part of a lasting solution that builds peace.
The Growing Needs of Honduran Youth. A recent flurry of news articles here has focused on the fact that 50% of the Honduran population is under 19, giving rise to many social challenges. For example, 24% of 12-30 year-olds (more than 700,000) neither study nor work, and 22% of adolescent girls (15-19) have had at least one pregnancy. This is the backdrop for programs that address the needs of this high number of at-risk youth.
Personal Update. Caspar continues to enjoy the absence of pain in his back. Sometimes he’s sore after a long trip on rough roads or doing physical work. But perhaps that has more to do with the year we were born.
Reuben took off a day of work in June to go back to Prince Albert for his graduation. We’re so glad he could celebrate the event with Malyssa, since we weren’t there to cheer with them. Now he’s happily framing houses in Saskatchewan.
Please join us in prayer.
- We have finished another program year with God’s blessing.
- In August, we will celebrate our 30 year anniversary of leaving North America and beginning our mission career with language study in Costa Rica. We praise God for his faithfulness over the years. What an adventure it has been and continues to be. Thanks to so many of you have supported us over the long haul, as well as those who have joined us recently!
- And speaking of anniversaries, here are a couple more: the CRC of Honduras celebrates 50 years of worship, CRWM celebrates 40 years of service in Honduras, and CRWRC celebrates 50 years since it was established by Synod. Great is [His] faithfulness!
- Funding is down for CRWM. Please pray for increased financial support.
Thank you for your continued support.
Shalom from the Geisterfers!
World Renew Honduras