Our goals for today are to visit and film two outerlying areas from Tocoa. Tony is leading us to clinics in Abisinia and La Esperanza. We are the same team from yesterday, and I intend on staying with the group this time!
|Michael Franklin, Dr. Martín (Tocoa Municipality Minister of Health), Pastor Luna, Rev Dr. Tony Ponceti, and Antonio Martinez (City Council Chairman of Abisinia)|
We first traveled uphill through the muddy, rutty road to Abisinia where Ton'ys ministry is laying plans to build a birthing center next door to the local centro de salud. This time of year is called the rainy season...And I finally know why. It has been raining since I landed on Wednesday. After making it up the mountainside and successfully fording through each subsequent stream, Tony improves our chances slowly from 10/90 to 40/60 to 80/100 until there was no chance we wouldn't make it.
|Centro de Salud in Abisinia|
|Tony and Crew discussing the birthing center|
|Filming interviews in Abisinia|
What I was really glad to see was Pastor Luna. In my previous blog I don't think I gave enough attention to Pastor Luna as equally important in the Tony/Luna dynamic duo that got the Christmas container through.
This man has
the most honest eyes and open heart. He kindly refuses reimbursement
for the trouble he went through to help AHMEN help him lead his
country toward a brighter future. It was great to finally meet
the new friend in Honduras I had heard so much about recently.
After some of the best soup I have ever
eaten, we all traveled to La Esperanza. La Esperanza means "hope" in Spanish, and although it is not the La Esperanza I usually visit, both embody the hope of Honduras. The videography team filmed
a meeting Tony was having with eight pastors and two nurses at a
recently-built clinic. In order to encourage ownership in the new
community clinic, Tony told the pastors that their parishioners would
receive reduced-cost medical care there. Patients who do not
go through the church would be charged a normal rate. Tony also
plans to challenge the churches to tithe toward paying the salaries of the clinic's nurses. In
this way, the pastors would not only boost church participation but
also improve the health of the community in the process.
|Pastors Tony Ponceti and and Oscar Luna|
|Building relationships in La Esperanza|
After the meeting was over, guess who showed back up with my favorite Honduran snack? Pastor Luna arrived with pastelitos and banana soda for everyone! One of my New Years resolutions was to not eat meat until Easter. Life is short, and I've never been good at abstinence of any kind. I had already given away the chicken in my chicken soup...Pastor Genia, I owe you a dollar!
When all was said and done, I learned a lot being a part of the Lifeway team. I visited new areas of a familiar country, met new friends, and learned of new ways AHMEN can partner with Honduras. I learned that Baptists weren't as strange as the preacher told me. They even interviewed me for the documentary, and for that, I say “thank you!”
Partnership is a funny thing. We all bake bread differently to feed the world, but there is no guarantee our own loaves will be eaten. Even in unity we
have our own special interests. Nonetheless, here's to 5 million people
learning they can experience what God is doing in Honduras
today with AHMEN!
|The pastors of La Esperanza...and...Steve!|
Together, we are the difference.