It seems like there are as many hungry dogs in Isopo as there are people. I got to be involved with interviewing some of the people in Isopo about the village, their needs and their problems. Poverty was an immediate response, but there is also a huge alcohol problem. One of the women we spoke to told us about how there are children as young as twelve who are alcoholics. Grandparents, parents and children, all in the same family have passed away because they were alcoholics. She told us that when the gringos are there, the drunks don't come out as much, but we did see a couple young boys who were drunk. It was really sad. On top of that, the community can't drink the water that should be drinkable because the wells are contaminated from pesticides and other waste. They really need new wells, but there isn't money for new ones. The children in the schools can't really learn computer skills because there isn't electricity, which really hurts them a lot, and most of them don't attend school after the sixth grade. There was a man in Isopo who left his girlfriend, and stole the roof to her house because it was "his." Pretty crazy. There is a lot of pain there, but a lot of hope too.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Some people wonder why we spend thousands of dollars sending a mission team to a foreign country like Honduras when we could just send the thousands of dollars. The people in Honduras are capable of doing to work we do, and we could build 10 times as many homes. Only people who haven't experienced this ask those questions. There were so many cool things that happened in Isopo, but this one was one of the coolest. North Central Church of Christ in Indianapolis, IN has been working in Isopo for four years, building relationships. One of their ladies classes started a knitting project specifically for the mission trip to Honduras. The women knitted scarfs, shawls, hats, blankets and shirts to present to the women in the church at Isopo. All the women in Isopo were so excited to be personally handed an item! They would put on their hat, or their shawl and turn to each other and just laugh! This is what foreign mission work is about: building relationships, and encouraging one another in love! We have family all over the world! Who doesn't visit their family?! The woman in the red in this photo was one of the women who got so excited about her new clothes. She and many of the other women and children came back the rest of the week wearing all the knitted treasures! I think I'll take up my knitting needles again! This woman was baptized the next day, along with six other people! The Lord is working in this mountain community, and all over the world!! WOW!
This was a rare treat we experienced while working on one of the homes. This guy just walked up to where we were with his horse and he started making it kneel. We had no clue what was going on, but when he finally got it to cooperate and lay down, he just sat on it proudly. He just wanted to sit down! It was pretty amusing, and we were all cracking up, the cowboy included. Don't see that everyday in the states. This is such a charming place, it's like stepping back in history. Everything is done the old fashioned way, and the old fashion way still gets the job done, sometimes better! I don't know that many farmers in the states could do what the farmers here do. They work on MOUNTAINS! Fields of corn are planted on mountain sides that look too steep to climb, but somehow, they are cultivated. It is amazing!
Aguacatal was a very interesting community, but it has nothing on Isopo. Isopo isn't a place you would just happen upon, but you can see the city of Tegucigalpa over two mountain ridges. Isopo is the kind of place where everyone is a farmer, and most people probably haven't been to the city. The kids don't know what a shower is, and TV would blow their minds. Right now, there isn't electricity, but there may be next year. Everyone rides a horse or walks to get where they are going. It is 30 miles driving from the capital, but it takes an hour and a half to two hours to get there. Driving to Isopo, you make three turns, and each turn off presents a progressively worse terrain to drive on. The main road is paved, enjoy it while it lasts. The second road is mostly small gravel with a few bad spots, still enjoying the ride. The third road is mostly dirt, with some washed out spots and big holes, it's getting rougher. Brace yourself, because the last road is a doosy. It is about as wide as the school bus we were traveling in, but it is almost entirely big rocks, and washed out channels. There are a few sharp turns, and when there are people waiting to greet you on either side of the bus the turns and bumps are a little harder to take. This photo is a good part of the road that ran in front of one of our construction sites. Everyone hangs their laundry on the barbed wire fences! It's surprising they aren't all torn.