Since the beginning of the shelter-in-place orders throughout the United States, every activity of life has been transformed. Children are finishing their school year using internet calls. Businesses that are considered to be “essential” have set up as many workers as possible to do their jobs from home. The live entertainment industry has been shut down…news anchors and talk show hosts are delivering their shows from their family rooms. Churches are “assembling” for worship via Facebook live.
Stop for a moment and consider what the situation would be like if we were restricted to our homes without reliable internet or even electricity. That is what life is for most of the people who are served by Honduras Ministries.
Just like in the United States, the routine of the daily schedule has been totally disrupted. Since curfew in Honduras began on March 16th, all in-person activities have been shut down. In the cities, the internet is reliable enough for schools to deliver their lessons to students. But that hasn’t been the case for the students in La Fortunita, Cerco de Piedra or San Jose.
What has Honduras Ministries done to overcome the limitations that have resulted from COVID-19?
Our staff – which thankfully does have access to reliable internet – has been in regular communications with each other from their homes, working to address this question. We are committed and determined to move the ministry forward despite the crisis.
The most immediate need is food, and we are happy to report that the distribution scheduled for April has been completed. Each family in the program received the regular package of supplies that will help sustain them throughout the month.
However, due to the cancellation of school and the orders for everyone to stay at home, it has not been possible to have our twice-a-week after school activities. And the churches have not met. Without reliable internet, it is impossible for “live” interactive meetings to take place.
The current curfew in Honduras is scheduled to end April 19th. However, the President’s pattern has been to extend the restrictions one week at a time and it is likely that this will continue. With that in mind, our team is exploring ways to use the internet to stay in touch with the families in our ministry. All the leaders in each of the communities have web access, so it will be possible for our staff to communicate with them and coach them in preparing lessons that can be posted on Facebook and YouTube. Not all the families in the program will have access to those lessons, but many will.
Until restrictions on movement are relaxed, it will take creativity to find ways to continue our work. And…it may take some additional resources. For example, the delivery of food for the month of April was just a bit more costly. Thankfully, the increase was small enough that we were able to include all the standard items that are usually included in the bag. But…it is quite possible that more increases will occur if crisis conditions continue into May, forcing us to consider reducing the items we can provide.
With that in mind, if you are in a position to share something additional this month to help with potential increases in our operating expenses, please do so. An extra $100 from a few would help guarantee that we can maintain our regular food delivery to our families in the months ahead. An extra $50 from a few more would help with possible extra costs that come from increased internet usage. Any additional gift will help.
We trust that God will provide. And we are so grateful for the support you have extended to this work.