Las Lomitas Carries On

In Las Lomitas (village where we live in Honduras) and in the other communities where we work, the goal of our life and HTH's Community Development department is empowerment of locals to lead their own development and care for their own poor through the power of Christ while we seek to decrease dependency and increase local involvement. We don't always have "big" stories every month of hundreds "accepting Christ" or "dozens of houses being built." We share little victories in the lives of individuals and small groups that represent true (not emotional highs), long-lasting, holistic change and development.  We try to model, teach, come along side, and hand off Biblical principles to local leaders.

While we are back in the States we communicate several times a week with our good friend and co-worker Pastor Fredy because we continue to work hand in hand while in the stateside office each day. We also communicate weekly with friends in Las Lomitas.  Pastor Erick, Nahun, Argelia (Mrs. A), and several others. We strive to share life from a distance (just like any of you who live far from family/friends) and continue to remain updated on their lives.  They call us, we call them, and we write letters back and forth. Pastor Fredy is our mail courier. We wanted to just share a few huge successes that we've seen and heard.  This comes out of years of sharing life with these people, encouraging them in their faith and dependence on the Lord and not on the North American.

A first huge success is that Pastor Erick has submitted his first few solicitations to HTH's Community Development department. You can see them online on the sponsor project page! We are very excited because these little "solicitations" represent months and years of personal development for Erick and the community leaders of Las Lomitas. They are now the leaders of their own development, looking for needs and addressing them. They are involved, collaborating, initiating, and leading. They have met with local government and fought against oppression. This is a direct result of their North American supporters allowing them the time and space to step into this role. A big thanks to Las Lomitas' stateside sister church Cherry Hills in Denver, Colorado. These solicitations are now ready for North American partners to come along side of them to support. Look for the ones from Las Lomitas. http://hth.org/2011/get_involved/projects/

Some other successes came in the form of a letter from a girl in the youth group that Stacey has led and is now being led by the girls themselves and supervised by two older women in the Church. Kenia wrote to Stacey last week sharing several things. Kenia is one of the Sunday School teachers that Stacey has trained over the past few years. She now leads and has the help of two other youth every Sunday morning at 10am. Please join us in praying for them to carry on. We'll just write here what she wrote (translated of course):
"With the kids in Sunday School and other teachers we raffled a ball in order to have more funds. It went really well and we raised $30.  From this fund for Sunday School we have been able to buy snacks for the kids and make copies for coloring sheets"
Kenia (in red) and Stacey.
These few sentences are major successes! Not sure if you all can understand and rejoice with us over what might seem like such a simple thing!  It represents a different mentality, growth, and development. It took creativity and follow through. We did not give them this idea. There is not as much mental poverty in these youth and the church as there was before when they would say "we have nothing and can do nothing." Or even, "why would we take action or given anything ourselves if it will be given to us for free by the North Americans?" They are seeing needs and meeting them on their own. They are taking care of their community children materially and spiritually every Sunday morning. This did not exist before. One of Kenia's most common phrases used to be "No puedo" ("I can't).  Which Stacey slowly worked on with her repeating Phil 4:13 and other verses. Stacey would often respond, "Nope, you can't...but with Christ you can!"  It has become a joke between us and she is now "not allowed" to say that phrase and is working each day on a dependency on Christ. We knew was that Kenia was very sick for a while with a sick rash/condition that was very painful.  In Kenia's letter she wrote: 
"In the girls group I'm doing well. Recently I was sick and they came and visited me and prayed for me and now I am better."
It reminded me of Matthew 25:36 "I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ It is her own church, youth group, and community visiting her and praying for her. This is a group of girls who 3 years ago would never prayed for anyone, they were too shy and didn't know how. Throughout their growth in their Wednesday Bible study they have learned what prayer is, why it is important, and how to love one another by praying for each other.

These are the successes that we get excited about in the ministry that God has called us to. Praise God with us for the growth!

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