Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gentle Touch

Today I went to town to work on a couple of projects and to visit a couple of places. The projects are in Oriente and I had Milton working with me so pretty much I just needed to get him to the job site and pay the bills. The places to visit were what was really on my mind today - I took Felicia, Andrea, and Rayner with me because I wanted to visit a day care center in El Centro. This is a place that was established by the first lady of the previous administration and takes care of the kids from single working mothers. Without this place, most of the kids would be at home alone or maybe with an 8 or 9 year old brother or sister. There are about 80 kids in the center. Today we were disappointed because the center was closed - so, we didn't get to visit or get an update on the status of the center.
The next stop is a place that takes in old folks when there isn't any place else for them to go. This home is on the steepest street that I have ever seen - much less driven on. We lived in the SF Bay Area and have driven Lombard several times - this Tegucigalpa street makes Lombard look like Lubbock, Texas. Outside the home there were about 15 to 20 homeless guys waiting for lunch as this home also ministers to the homeless of the area with a hot meal every day. In the home, there are about 3o people that look to be older than 80 and some very close to 100. Today when went into the home, we spent time sitting and talking to the people. One thing that I noticed all of the girls doing was giving hugs. It was amazing to see the change of expression in the faces of those being touched. The time that we spent in this home was just like most of the ministry that we are blessed to be a part of - we were all much more blessed by going to the old folks home that we could have ever imagined.
I am guilty of not visiting the old folks homes of the states - so, what we did today is not part of my usual routine. I plan to change this. Why don't you join me in changing?
Be a blessing to somebody today!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More On Choluteca

Sometimes when you see something - especially here in Honduras, you are impacted to the point that you just can't stop thinking and praying about it. The first litle village we visited in the Choluteca area has effected me that way.
When I got home Saturday, I spent time talking with Andrea - one of our AIM team and we got up Sunday still talking about just what could happen to make the biggest impact on the community. Well, we just startd day dreaming together and so far - here is what we are dreaming about.
So far we believe that the biggest impact that we can deliver to the community is to find a way to feed the kids. We already have a pattern from the feeding center in Oriental so we won't be reinventing the wheel. We believe that using a feeding center as the base of ministry will have an immediate positive evvect on both the kids and the adults. Our aim is to build a center that will double as a church building and a place that the community can use for many other functions. We also want to find a ministry family that can act as both preacher as well as facility manager. We want to utilize the women in the community as our workers.
So - we want to build a feeding center, use the bulding as a place of worship and other community needs, we want to find a ministry family that will live in the community (in a house attached to the center), the family will manage the center and minister to the community. We believe that we can build and run the center for the first year for about $45,000 or less. That amount would allow us to build, furnish, staff - and feed about 200 kids a day - 5 days a week.
We know that our God has all the money in the world and we are praying that He will show us where the resources for this project will come from. Right now we are praying and planning.
Be a blessing to somebody today,

Friday, August 15, 2008

Choluteca & July Report

I started to write a July report but just need to talk first about a great day (today) in Honduras. Many of you have met my good friend - Timoteo Estrada. I have known Timoteo for about 8 years and the more time I spend with him the more I love him and his love for the people of Honduras and his love for the Lord.
Today Timoteo, his son Milton, one of the AIM'ers (Felisha) and I went to the Chulateca area. Our goal was to give away a truck load of clothing and to meet some of the Christians in the area. The first area we visited was about 35km West of Choluteca - we went about 35km on pavement and then up about 10 miles of dirt and mud roads. We finally arrived in a community that is only seperated from Nicaragua by a muddy river. The little village where we were exists in a way that is totally different than even many of the poorest communities around Tegucigalpa. They are isolated from the world - no electricity, no phone service, no running water in any of the houses. There are a number of wells in the area so - you see the women pumping and filling buckets. There are about 175 houses in the community and about 800 to 900 people that live there. I was able to spend about an hour with the community president and he shared a lot about the community with me. There are only 2 school classrooms in the area - that is intended to serve more than 350 to 400 kids. There isn't a doctor within miles. Since there are few cars and no phone service, medical emergencies are handled by the women of the community.
One of the primary sources of food is corn - today we were met at our car with some freshly prepared sweet corn (boiled with shucks on).
After my walking tour of the community - the community president and I returned as Timoteo was handing out candy and toys to all of the area children. There were about 100+ kids and nobody was pushing or shoving - everybody was patiently waiting for a small gift (most were about like a happy meal gift). The kids were as excited as if it were Christmas - even with a simple gift. The entire community was as friendly as any place I have ever been and it was as poor as any I have ever seen. I wish I could do a better job of describing how the community looked - it just seems that it would be impossible to do so. The households iin the area are made up of intact families - mom, dad, and multiple kids. This is a big difference from most of the communities around Teguc - where most of the villages are made up of single moms with multiple kids.
The other area we visited was a community where Timoteo's family lives. There are 18 houses in the community and we spent time in the house of Timoteo's 90 year old aunt. Because we were guests, we were offered coffee and cake - no chance of turning it down. The cake was a corn bread cake and we truly enjoyed spending time in a place where many of the things that we see as important are not even considered.
We met people that have never used a computer, have never taken a hot shower, likely don't eat meat more than once or twice a month, likely only eat an average of one meal a day - or less and are amazingly happy. When they pray, they thank God for the bountiful blessings.
Today was a blessing and I am thankful that I was able to meet and learn from my new friends in Chulateca.
July Report
Much of our work is reported on the site - mstorch.blogspot.com
We were blessed in July to be able to lead 3 teams through TORCH (4 straight weeks). We worked with people from East Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas, Illinois, North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, New York, and other places that I have forgotten. During our work we were able to feed more than 1400 families with bags of both fresh food and with beans, rice and other staples. We were able to send teams to the dump to feed people about 10 times - we made about 3200 sandwiches. Our teams built 2 school buildings and more than 22 houses. We visited 100's of kids in the hospital and special needs orphanage. We gave away clothing to more than 1500 people and toys to more than 3000 kids. We worked in about 9 different communities and we taught the gospel to an amazing number of people. There are now 36 new Christians that have chosen Jesus to be the master of their lives. We have identified a new community to plant a church in 2009 and we continued into August with follow-up in many of the areas where we have spent the past few months working.
Our final team left the country on the 9th and we were able to spend a few days away getting a little much needed rest.
We truly appreciate all of your prayers, encouragement, and your constant support of our work here in Honduras. You are a blessing to us and we love so very many of you.
Marc & Terri Tindall

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Just A bunch of little beggers!

Today I took the end of the summer TORCH group to the airport. One surprise to a lot of groups is when the kids that they have fallen in love with come to the airport to tell them goodby. Since we are back using the Tegucigalpa Airport, the kids are back too. Today the kids were from Los Pinos - there were about 12 of them - pretty amazing since there were only 6 people leaving today.
After the group secured their boarding passes, they were in line to pay their exit fees and the kids were standing with me and 2 of the AIM girls. We were all laughing and having fun when a complete stranger walked up and said "don't bother too much with those kids, they are just a bunch of little beggers! Besides, I already bought then something to eat so they don't need anything else."
I was stunned!
I told him that these kids are my friends - that I know all of their names and where they live. I told him that they had come to the airport to tell some of my friends goodbye and that if he was able to see where they lived, he might understand a little bit about why they were asking for food.
I was amazed that this guy was wearing a shirt that said "Heart For Honduras".
As the afternoon has passed, there are a lot of things that I have thought of that I could have said - some of them were not very nice and others were just things that would hopefully provoke a little bit of thinking before you say something so stinking lame. I believe that Jesus said it best when he said "let the children come to me" and when he said " unless you become like these little children, you cannot enter the kingdom".
I pray that the words that came from this man were ones that he has choked on this afternoon.Maybe he had time to reflect on them on his flight back to the states and will somehow regret his arrogance. I hope so.
I am truly glad that the kids couldn't understand English - they just smiled at him as if he were one of their friends.
If you get a chance, come to Honduras and I will introduce you to my little friends and perhaps they will sone to the airport to see you off too.
Be a blessing to somebody today.
Ps: I will be posting a July report within days.