25 April, 2024 Special Reports and Newsletters

Bloom Where You Are Planted: Honduras 2024

Several of you have asked for more information and pictures about my annual trip to Honduras. From January 15-26, I was one of a group of nine that mixed concrete and helped build latrines, floors and pilas (water storage) and developed relationships in Honduras. The trip was sponsored by West End Christian Reformed Church, Edmonton and supported by World Renew and Diaconia Nacional de Honduras. This was my fourth trip and the second time we were in the community of Tiguilotada on El Tigre or Tiger Island.

  • We work alongside homeowners and their families. The families benefiting usually participate in Diaconia's nutritional health program for babies and toddlers. The lack of a concrete floor, a bathroom and water storage jeopardizes the health of their family. Prior to our arrival, considerable effort is taken by the homeowner to prepare the site, such as digging a hole for the latrine mostly through rocks.
  • Hand up vs. hand out. These projects are out of reach financially for the recipients. They are very grateful and are quick to praise God for their blessings. I had a conversation with a 2019 recipient who I helped with a cement floor and roof and said his family was thriving and was eternally grateful.
  • The group has been involved in Honduras for over 15 years and has worked in three previous communities. These communities have initiated well projects funded by West End CRC. We viewed all three sites including one in the community of El Burillo which is located at the top of a mountain ‘in the middle of nowhere'. Access to the community is very challenging. The community is building a church using hand-made adobe bricks… a dried-mud brick made of earth, water and straw. Hopefully, in the future, we will be able to give glory to God together during a Sunday service in this church.
  • We sleep in an open-air classroom in a local school and are routinely awoken by barking dogs and crowing roosters at 5 am in the morning.
  • Cell phones are prevalent, but the family may not have a working bathroom.
  • All food, including ours, is cooked over an open wood fire. A boy or man carrying a large machete is not a cause to panic as it's used to cut down trees to build a fire.
  • In previous years, I thought I was doing well carrying 1 bag of sand weighing about 100 lbs. until I saw a Honduran man almost half my size carrying 2 bags and wearing flip flops.
  • I am grateful for World Renew and Diaconia Nacional de Honduras who provide translators, cooks and transportation to ensure we are kept safe.
  • We had the opportunity to visit the offices of Diaconia and Association for a More Just Society (www.asj-us.org) and hear about their efforts in improving the lives of Hondurans.
  • It was not all work; we went swimming in the Pacific Ocean and enjoyed some beach time. On our recreation day we visited the 23 metre, Pulhapanzak Falls where we ziplined, went under the falls and enjoyed a river float.
  • A special shout out to leaders, Bert Schouten and Steve Vriend for organizing the trip and taking care of all the details.

A question that sometimes asked or pondered is, couldn't you just send the money versus the expense of flying there? We represent the hands and feet of Jesus, and the impact is great, not just on the communities and families that benefit but on the participants. Most participants, myself included, come back with a different perspective on the challenges in the developing world and deep feeling of gratitude.

Adobe Bricks Cement Floor El Burillo Well Plaque Flooring for Cement Floor Hole for the Latrine Latrine Pulhapanzak Waterfall Sunset The Group