Thursday, November 12, 2020

Hurricane Relief and Missionary Syndicates

On Tuesday, Russell had a meeting with a fellow missionary in Lempira, Mr. Shannon Hopkins, to discuss consolidating hurricane relief efforts. There are four or five local missionary families and it simply makes sense to join forces right now. Russell struggled to find just the right word for this teamwork, so here are a few suggestions: a consortium, a fellowship, an alliance, or my personal favorite, a syndicate. The world needs more missionary syndicates right now. 

Elderly citizen being carried to safety during the aftermath of hurricane Eta.

Shannon had already sat down with the mayor of the county (similar to a county commissioner in the U.S.) to discuss the current COVID and hurricane relief needs. Even though the area around Gracias was not the hardest hit, the needs are still very real. According to the mayor’s statistics, sixty houses in the county were seriously affected by Hurricane Eta. Of those houses, forty of them need new roofs. The other twenty were completely destroyed.

Russell explained the benefits of working with the local government and the team of missionaries. It will help control the possibility of people going from one person to another asking for help. Besides those in need of housing help, the mayor said, “Here is a list of 200 families who are not finding a way to get enough food.”

Shannon and the mayor calculated that $200 per family will be enough to see them through to the end of the year. That comes to $40,000. With your help, Sowers4Pastors has been working diligently to get additional food resources for the extra burden COVID-19 has placed on their feeding program. Allen and Russell anticipate that some of the food coming over by container at this time can be used for this cause.

For those with damaged or destroyed homes, it makes sense to begin with the 40 houses in need of new roofs. It costs $1000 to fix a roof on one house. That comes to an additional $40,000, but you probably already figured that one out in your head.

In case you’re wondering how assistance is given, please know that it is not like Santa Claus tossing out candy from a float in a Christmas parade. There is nothing haphazard about this process. Remember that list of 200 families in need of help? Those are the people who will receive aid. Remember the 60 families whose homes were damaged or destroyed? They are the ones who will receive help with construction.

Sowers4Pastors is not trading its mission and becoming a humanitarian aid organization. They are still empowering pastors. The people being helped will be ministered to spiritually as well as physically. The pastors will continue to evangelize. This is not an either/or proposition. As Christians, we are instructed to help the poor among us. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to help people until we are bored with it, or until there is one tragedy too many in the same location.

Allen, Trish, and Russell are very cognizant of the fact that they just did a big push for funds for the food handed out during the COVID shutdown. As Russell said, “We weren’t expecting a hurricane to come in and wreck the country. Our area was hit less, but the aid that was being given has all been taken away and redistributed to those affected in the northern part of Honduras. Our area was affected. Now we are struggling and there are families left out in the rain.” Literally.

Solider carrying an infant during flooding 
He continued, “We are really short on time, as a ministry. Working with a team of other missionaries will help stretch both financial and time resources. We are hopeful that we will raise money to help purchase supplies and get a Honduran crew together to work on the houses.” 

Yes, this is a plea for money and a plea for prayers. Russell added, “We’re sorry to ask, but that’s where we are right now.”

Please consider donating to this crisis. It’s not like you get the chance to help fund a missionary syndicate every day!

- posted by Christi

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