Dear Family and Friends,
We had a wonderful trip to Heart to Heart Children’s Village last weekend. See photos in yesterday’s post.
Heart to Heart is home to over 100 children and youth, most from the streets or broken homes. The ministry includes a school, a medical clinic and a community church.
With the 5 senior business students, we left campus at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday in the TLC van. After much winding and climbing through the mountains and then traversing through the largest city of San Pedro Sula, we arrived in the small coastal village of Omoa. We stayed at a family owned small hotel, the Flamingos, pleasant, modest and friendly. The girls walked down to the beach immediately! They were quite excited. For a couple of them, it was there first time ever on the beach. We had a wonderful shrimp and chicken dinner at the hotel and retired early. The girls stayed up late though – watching TV, which is an albatross for them.
The next morning, we went to Heart to Heart’ s bilingual school. Each TLC student , as well as Chris and I, were assigned to a classroom as teacher assistants.
I was in a math classroom that was taught by a young Honduran. Oh boy, fractions were ok with the younger kids but polynomial equations with 11th graders was rough! We ate lunch at the school and had a terrific time interacting with the kids.
After a wonderful dinner of chicken and fish at the hotel, we drove back to Cortes for cafe and dessert with the Serranos, the directors of Heart to Heart. Their home is where all the teen girls live- about 15. It’s a very busy place. Our TLC students and the Heart to Heart girls had a great time together. It was very neat to see the expressions on the young H2H girls faces as our business students talked about their plans to start businesses after graduation.
We toured the San Fernando Fort in Omoa the next morning. It is 256 years old and represents one of five Spanish forts in the New World. Spanish used conscripted natives to build it over about 15 years. Its purpose was to protect their Caribbean coastal commerce area from pirates and the British who sought gold and other resources. The fort is a massive triangular bastion with original cannons. It is almost completely accessible and we toured it for an hour or so. It was interesting to hear the girls talk about history of the Spanish in Central America – not fondly, I assure you.
On the way out to the Children’s Village we stopped and picked up a dozen frozen chickens, bread, melons, limes and cookies! The kids always need more food. The house mommies do a great job preparing food but more of it is always welcome.
We spent Saturday at the Children’s Village and just enjoyed playing with the kids. Games of Uno, some soccer, swing sets and a lot of just talking. We ate lunch in the boys’ house – three small tacos and some juice! The kids really enjoyed the TLC young women and there were some hugs and tears as we left.
After a quick dinner we were back at church in Cortes. A delightful worship service of praise music and a very long sermon of bringing “first fruits” to God from Genesis 4.
Sunday morning we headed back to TLC. We stopped for bananas, fruits and many vegetables for campus. The van was loaded to the ceiling by the time we got back about 4 p.m.
It was great to get back to TLC and the students all welcomed us generously.
About 50% of the adult population here is un employed or under employed. Wages are very low. Average worker wages are 6-7000 Lempira a month- that’s $300 or so. (office, teachers or factory workers are more like 8-10,000 Lempira a month).
Chicken is about $1.10 a pound. Melons are $1.50-2 each. Bananas are $3-4 a complete stand (full set). Gasoline is about $2.25 a gallon. A burger fries and Coke at Wendy’s is $5-6.
It takes an incredible percentage of workers’ wages just to feed their families – frankly almost 100% for agricultural workers. Rice, beans and eggs are the main foods at most every meal.
That is a key reason why we are so focused on education for the young women at TLC. With more education comes more opportunity. More education will empower them to better themselves, their families and their communities.
The mission team led by Jose arrived late yesterday. We were all excited to welcome Jose, Sharon, Bill, Kathy, Peter, Pilar, Aaron and Caroline! They are fully in the swing of things here at TLC and loving it!
It’s cold though. Very unseasonably cold. But I bet it’s warmer than where many of you are now!
Thanks for your continuing prayers and support.
Blessings from Honduras,