Stopping Buses

There is no bus service in Las Lomitas, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be a bus stop right? This was putting community-based initiative in projects to the test. After weeks of working with the Guy’s Group to identify a project that they truly wanted without any outside input, it came down to a “caseta” or what we would call a bus stop. A basic place that people can sit out of the elements and wait (for whatever that might be: a friend, an empty truck giving rides, or a bug passing by.)

The guys then nailed down a design that they made and figured out how to reach their $500 budget. We wanted to do it all with Honduran funds, but how? The guys ended up saving about $100 of their own, which was a great start. From there, two of them went to the owner of the local hardware to discuss the project with him, which landed a $100 donation, and talking to a local rich land owner another $100 came in. However, the moment of truth came when they went to meet with the mayor.

Two boys from the top of the hill in the middle of nowhere went with me and the pastor for a ride to the county seat, Santa Cruz de Yojoa. Bouncing in the Suzuki on the ride in, we prayed with them, coached them and tried to raise their confidence level. It is not every day that some muchacho from Podunk, Honduras goes to talk to the most powerful man in the surrounding area. I had called in advance, so the mayor came out of his office personally to bring in the boys, which silently shuffled in. After formalities, the mayor looked a Naun and Andres and said, ”Well, then?”

Naun says,“We, uh, uhm, we would like to, uhm, present you, uhm, with a-“

“Take it easy cousin.” Says the mayor reassuring him. “We’re all friends here. Take a breath and explain what it is you would like to tell me. You’re okay.”

With those few words of compassion, the mayor acknowledged the young man’s courage and multiplied it ten-fold. The hardest step of the project had passed and the most important moment in the year process from planning to completion. The two young men who walked out of the mayor’s office with a $200 donation, were not comparable to the two nervous boys who walked in. They were confident. They had stared fear in the face for their community and arrived back home with victory in their hearts. 

 From that point on, some other guys from the group went with us to make the purchases. The group then broke the ground on the project and finshed by installing the roof in December. That little shelter is now the pride of Las Lomitas. No other community on our hillside has one and everyone knows it. Whether you’re walking or driving through Las Lomitas, all pass by the caseta and takes note. Those from Las Lomitas are proud. Even the drunks and potheads have said “Thank you,” and taken the time to sweep and wash it, since they use it a little more than the rest.

It is not every day that a Honduran pastor helps lead a project knowing it will probably be used by the town addicts from time-to-time. He has showed the community that he cares about all of them. This project has inspired a rare confidence in the guys. Last year, we needed a full month to figure out one project. This year’s planning session yielded eight solid projects in 15 minutes. That is development. The leftover materials from this project were used by these same teenage guys, with no input from our part, to build a pila with the pastor for a single mother. The leftover sand was donated to a poor family in the midst of trying to install a concrete floor. That is why we are here. That is development. The town’s liabilities have become their most valuable asset, and the love of Christ is made strong.

Not all are pictured here, but this is some of the guys in the group.

1 comment:

  1. This is so great!! God is moving for sure in Las Lomitas. So excited!!