Follow-up on Shoe Drive

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Kudos to all who helped with the shoe drive launched in December. We had an extraordinary outpouring of financial help in a brief amount of time in December. I purchased shoes as well as sent a generous offering to partnering ministry, His Eyes, that oversees my former ministry on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. With our gifts they can distribute shoes as well buy shoes in the capital. Thank you.

Coincidentally, I happened to be in Honduras the same week that our shoes arrived. I went to Honduras last week. It was my first trip since I moved back to the US in 2014. I literally pinched myself a few times as I met friends at the airport upon arriving last Friday. Just to be back with such dear friends in a country that I love dearly was overwhelming.

Our gifts will be distributed next week as school starts in the beginning of February. I spent a good deal of the time visiting my former ministry. It was a joy to be with the children as well as speaking with old and new staff there.

If you follow me on Facebook some of the following information will be old news. However, it bears repeating, especially since some who donated do not follow my Facebook posts.

The ministry is growing in size as well as the quality of services offered to the children. The new overseeing ministry, His Eyes, is in the process of completing a new children’s building. What a blessing it will be to have a new, larger space to help more children. In the meantime, the children’s present location has been given a facelift with renovated rooms and new paint. They have a ROOM OF COMPUTERS that have wifi! For such a poor and neglected slum area, that is a major achievement. Most homes do not have running water, just a bulb or two for lights, and no bathrooms. Yet, our building has wifi, pure water, indoor plumbing and as well as a safe place for young minds and bodies to grow. 

His Eyes Ministries started many years ago as a small eye clinic. Today, the clinic has two floors, offering services such as general medicine with two full-time doctors, a pharmacy, simple medical testing,  a dentist office, an optometry department with a full time optometrist and one optometrist-in-training. The roads in this community barely qualify to be called roads in most cases, so the thousands of people in this crammed mountain area of shacks are grateful to have quality, afffordable  medical care in their community.

In the midst of turmoil in Honduras, I see hope. The country is still a place of tragic violence and poverty, yet I see much that speaks of hope. Thank you for being my audience for my writing though my years there, as well as partnering with Hondurans to make their lives better. I hope to find the time this week to share a few pictures from my recent trip as well as short excerpts about the lives of some of my friends from Honduras.

Thanks

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I want to offer my gratitude for all of you who have offered prayers, thoughts, and comments as I journaled my thoughts and stories through the years. The children pictured above are some of the children that I worked with while living in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Even though Thanksgiving is not celebrated as a holiday in Honduras, giving thanks is universal, or at least it should be. These kids often expressed in prayer or thoughts about their gratitude for many things: parents, food we provided, football (soccer), even our lessons and books were dearly appreciated as the poor of this world don’t enjoy much variety or choices in schooling or resources.

If you have a house, food, clean water, and clothes, be thankful. While many of us may  have challenges with our health, finances, employment, etc., if you have access to the internet to read this, you have a wealth of resources compared to the poor of this world. Wherever you may be today or whatever is your state, I pray you will be blessed today with the knowledge that you are loved. I hope you have a table with abundant food, family and friends to share today.

Yes, We Can

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This weekend, my church, Northshore Vineyard Church, launches a shoe drive on behalf of  school children in my former ministry on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  In Honduras, one cannot attend school, even public schools, without paying for uniforms, fees, books, and even shoes. The shoes must be black or brown and closed toe. Due to the rising costs of school attendance, many parents do not send their children to school.

Shoes are a great investment in the life of a child. With a pair of sturdy shoes, they can walk into opportunities such as the classroom that are otherwise beyond their grasp.

We have selected fifty children who are in need. All of these children are from very poor homes. Most live in substandard homes. Many don’t eat but once a day. Many are supported by parents who are day-laborers existing on less than 10-15 dollars wages per week. Many are single-parent homes whose moms juggle selling food on the street with child-rearing duties.

Not everyone lives like the homes pictured below, but an alarming number of Honduran children grow up in homes such as these. In the area where we minister, none have running water or inside sanitation of any sort, and the use of electricity is usually restricted to a few lightbulbs or small appliances. A gift of shoes is a great investment for a mother who can scarcely afford to feed her children.

green houseIf you want to give towards this project, the funds will be used for purchasing shoes as well as paying for shipping. We want to ship in late December, as the new school year starts in early February in Honduras. We are asking for donations of $20 for each pair of shoes. A gift of $25 will help pay for shipping as well.

This PayPal link to my bank account is reserved for Honduras projects.

The inspiration for the title comes from a song recorded by the late Allen Toussaint, a New Orleans legend. Here’s a bit of the lyrics from Yes, We Can Can.

Yes, we can great gosh Almighty
Oh, yes, we can, I know we can, can

And we gotta take care of all the children
The little children of the world
‘Cause they’re our strongest hope for the future
The little bitty boys and girls

We got to make this land a better land
Than the world in which we live
And we gotta help each man be a better man
With the kindness that we give

As far as this small project is concerned, there’s no pressure to give. There’s a world out there waiting for you and I that needs our love and help. We can help a refugee, an orphan, a widow, a neighbor, a Muslim, a Christian, or anyone in need. That’s the sprit of Yes, We Can, Can.