My dad is the biggest Christmas movie fan I know. He claims he doesn't commence reviewing his extensive collection until after Thanksgiving, but much like Christmas these days, he really starts well before!
|You haven't watched any Christmas movies yet??|
Why are we called to celebrate Christmas for more than just one day? Why has our Christmas culture expanded from just the celebration of Jesus' birth to Santa Claus, tree decoration, gift-giving, caroling, decorating our yards, kissing our sweethearts under the mistletoe, and a general continuation of the Thanksgiving meal?
Well, if I had to muse, I would muse that Christmas represents that which is good about the human spirit – community. The Christmas movies my dad likes the most are the ones where families or towns come together in the face of adversity to guide one of their own toward a brighter future. By extension, I think this may be why I love the philosophy behind the AHMEN-SIFATInitiative!
ASI, AHMEN's Community EmpowermentProgram, is a combination of communities. SIFAT (Servants In Faith And Technology) and AHMEN (Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network) represent two communities of volunteers. While SIFAT equips individuals from around the world with the mentality and capacity they need to meet basic human needs, AHMEN teams supplement the medical and educational infrastructure of vulnerable communities only in Hondurans. Together, through a relationship conceived in community, SIFAT has sent its chief Latin American educator to share his skills and set the stage for generational empowerment in Honduras.
|Community, Sustainability, Solidarity|
When asked recently what his major role was as a facilitator for the long-term success of both SIFAT and AHMEN in Honduras, Byron Morales said “I am here to teach individuals to identify the changes they would like to see in their communities and how to realize those changes.” With SIFAT's Byron Morales working directly with the communities where AHMEN teams work, we are able to maintain the type of ongoing presence in Honduras many of us are called to but are unable to answer for various reasons. As a result, many of the current focci of AHMEN teams will change. We AHMENers must build relationships with the Community Agents now being trained in order to see how our roles as missionaries will transform. After completing the three-year program, Community Agents in Belaire, Cusuna, and Yorito will serve as much stronger, more stable bridges toward the empowered Honduras we envision for future generations.
Honduras is not our native home, but many of us still choose to invest much of our time and money in the communities we have visited there. Our relationships with the Banana Republic may have started small yet, like Christmas, have evolved into something much more significant. Our regular teams to Honduras are needed just as much as ever, but the collaboration we can also offer through ASI is the same sense of community that touches our hearts in movies like “It's a Wonderful Life.”
Won't you consider setting aside $5-10/month to help 180 Community Agents continue their training? If you already support a project, contact me to learn about how an investment in ASI further informs that project. Make checks out to AHMEN with AHMEN-SIFAT on the “For” line and send to:
516 Ridgeview Dr.
Jasper Al 35504
Stay tuned for the latest report from the Cusuna workshop later this week....!
Together, we are the difference.