Tuesday, January 1, 2013

From the Trash Dump to the Classroom

Living in Honduras, there is a constant reminder of the extreme poverty that is all around us.  This is not our first experience in desperate destitution, but now that we live in and around it, it is far more real.

This Christmas, Liz and I decided to help 4 children that are part of a ministry here called Amore, Fe, Esperanza ("love, faith, hope" or just AFE pronounced "ahfay").  This ministry seeks to reach out to the poorest of the poor in Honduras and give the children an education.

You can see children in the middle

Here is how the ministry works.  These families are so poor, that their entire life is spent in the garbage heaps and trash dumps of the capital city (click this link to read more about this trash culture).  They root around in the filth to try to find something salvageable or edible.  This is their income.  That is their work.  They live off of what we discard.  But since the income is so low, the children are forced by their parents to take up the family business.  That means, they are not given the luxury of even an elementary education.  These kids are illiterate and filthy. 

AFE steps in and has provided not only a school for these children to learn, but they actually pay the parents to allow the children to attend to make up for the loss of income!  Each year at Christmas, teachers from our school help out and give each of the many children involved a Christmas present very similar to the "shoe-boxes" that most churches take part in the States.

Liz and I picked 4 names which turned out to be associated with four beautiful children.  We bought them school bags, school supplies, and other toiletries as well as some games.  And the little bit we bought them brought such a joy and happiness that we Americans hardly ever experience being so wealthy.  But this is the gospel in action.  Loving the lowly, healing the hurting, and taking kids out of the trash dump and putting them into the classroom.  To God be the glory.  May the gospel be lived out even more here in a place that desperately needs it!

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