Saturday, December 1, 2012
We began breakfast this morning with a discussion of some of the things we had seen yesterday. We have been wondering if there is a better way to evaluate the projects in which we participate before we begin working on them. We want to make sure that the projects we help to build are really helping the community in which they are built. One resource for thinking about this is the book When Helping Hurts, by Brian Fikkert. Our first priorty is building lasting relationships with the people with whom we are working..
One excellent project has been the rebuilding of the church in San Marcos. The church was destroyed when an earthquake ripped through the sanctuary. We promised to help rebuild the sanctuary if the local people would take responsibility for tearing down the destroyed one. Partners from New England then supplied money and labor to work with the parishioners to rebuild. We toured the property and it is quite beautiful, and the people there know some of us by name. Our next step is to strengthen the relationships by communicating more fully what our respective communities are doing in our own places.
Another excellent example has been the construction of the new church in Yuscaran. People from St. Andrews in Charlestown, RI helped the local people to first dig the foundation. Later, other people from New England joined in this effort alongside of the vibrant community here. Last April the walls were completed, and this coming April we will be helping with the floor of the sanctuary. The completion of the roof will be left to the skilled workers here in Honduras. Scolarships that have been provided to the pastor here, Rev. Dagoberto Chacon, have been well used and children are doing well in school.