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.
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