SSAIVT 2014: Honduras
Beyond the work God does through SOS urban home repair camps, we strive to see the ways he is at work around the world. Every other year, we provide an opportunity for our summer staff alumni to see God at work internationally. We call it the "SUMMER STAFF ALUMNI INTERNATIONAL VISION TRIP" aka the SSAIVT (we at SOS like acronyms). This year, we partnered with Point of Impact (POI) in Honduras.
Point of Impact was started by a Memphis couple, David and Ruth Hamilton. David is the founder of POI as well as Impact Logistics, a business in Memphis that helps fund 80% of POI's ministry.
Our group had 7 people (4 full time staff & 3 summer staff alumni) travel on January 2nd to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. POI serves multiple neighborhoods in the capital city and has planted churches in those communities. We served in the San Juan community with the pastors of the local church. January 3rd through 5th, we were doing construction with the POI team in San Juan. Part of the money we individually raised to serve with POI was used for building materials.
Here is a list of highlights from our time with the POI San Juan church & community:
- All of our construction was led by the pastor of the San Juan church! Their church shares the gospel in their community by word and deed.
- Our work was very dignity-honoring and healthy. With the work SOS does, we often see doing for others what they can do for themselves as paternalistic and toxic. With that said, we were encouraged in that we worked WITH more than we worked FOR. We were following the lead of the locals. They were showing us how to do construction in their community.
- We took note of the Hondurans' strong work ethic and resourcefulness. We found ourselves complaining about some of the methods we used to mix concrete, but again we were learning from them.
- Amidst our language barriers, we worked as a great team. Friendships formed and we were bonded together by working towards one goal.
- The children who showed up and worked with us were filled with excitement and wanted to be part of the action! Without instruction, a group of 5 or more kids formed an assembly line to pass bricks to a tight passage where we were constructing a brick and mortar wall. It was beautiful!
- We worshipped with our new friends on January 5th in their native tongue as our own camp director, Drew Haltom, preached a sermon from Romans 1. POI's Executive Director, Esteban Elvir, translated for the San Juan congregation.
- Assistant Construction Director, Marlon Brown, was able to share his story at two different shelters that minister to homeless and drug addicted.
After touring the other Point of Impact ministries across the city on Monday January 6th, we had an unexpected change affect our trip. On Tuesday January 7th, our Delta plane could not see the landing strip due to poor visibility and did not land in Tegucigalpa to take us back to the US. We had to split up our groups to return to the states and this meant we had a longer than anticipated stay in Honduras.
The five men on our trip stayed at the POI Boy's Orphanage home & the 2 ladies at the Girl's home. When we toured the POI ministries, we had the chance to meet and briefly play with the children at these homes. We heard their stories of where they came from and had seen firsthand some of the communities that they were rescued from.
Here is Jeff Riddle's take on the time with the boy's home:
The time we shared with the boys was the highlight of my trip. We saw the gospel on display. These boys came from the gang-ran and impoverished neighborhoods we had seen earlier in the week, but they are now given hope and a home. Edgardo and Mary are amazing parents who are enriching the lives of these boys. It is sacrificial of their family to serve in this way. The boys were extremely polite, disciplined, and joyful. Everyday we witnessed the boys working together sweeping their home and washing dishes. The boys made sure we had a glass of water and were servants to us! Our two night sleepover at the Boy's Home was wonderful.
It is beautiful to see Memphians, like the Hamiltons, serve God through Point of Impact. We ask that you continue to pray for their ministry and seek to support them in any way you can. You can learn more about POI at their website, http://www.poihn.org/.
These are things we would ask you to join us and pray for as we consider our brothers and sisters in Honduras:
- Continued influence of the local church meeting spiritual and physical needs.
- House Parents are needed for POI's Girls Orphanage Home.
- Financial needs met for POI's ministries.