Saturday, January 29, 2011

Esperanza - Hope

I recently read a wonderful book about Haiti called On That Day Everyone Ate by Margaret Trost.   In it she observed that amidst the crushing, pervasive poverty the Haitians have a faith and a joyfulness that defies logic for an affluent American.   The reason, she learns from a priest, is that they live a life of miracles.  When they have no food and no expectation of getting food…suddenly, someone or a group of people will appear and provide a hot, nutritious meal.   To us, it is charity and volunteerism.  To them it is a miracle.  And indeed it is a miracle.   It is the miracle of the Holy Spirit who kindles our hearts and moves us to act in a variety of ways to provide that meal.  Some are in the kitchen stirring the thick stew,  some are praying and some making donations.   The priest explained to Margaret that when you live a life of miracles, you live a life of hope.   

Hope is a way of life in Honduras as well.   As I sat in a dentist’s chair in downtown Tegucigalpa, the Dentist’s assistant/secretary/receptionist sat next to me quietly telling me about hope.  “Jesus is my first love,” she said.  “When you love Jesus, you have hope.”   A young woman, she told me her husband had died in a terrible car accident.   “He loved Jesus so much, Jesus appeared to him and took him to heaven for eternal life.  He had so much hope.”  Her face was shining at that moment with a smile of peace and certainty.  

The children in Flor del Campo, the impoverished barrio on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, have every reason to live a life of hope.  They, too, live in crushing poverty.  LAMB Institute has been a source of miracles for over 10 years now.  Our  school, El Cordero, provides so much more than a good education.    Our Community Assistance Program, CAP, provides so much more than food.  They are a source of love, of safety, and of Jesus.  LAMB  needs a miracle now.   The economic crisis that has hit the US so hard is orders of magnitude worse here.  The enrollments for the school year beginning in mid-February are way, way down.  Parents can no longer afford the cost of tuition, books and uniforms for their children ($50/month).  LAMB’s donations are also down and we cannot afford to offer scholarships to them.  More and more children are found begging on the streets, some as young as 3.   Our hearts are breaking at the thought of so many of our students missing out on the LAMB miracle.

We need your help and we need it now.  If 200 people commit to donation of $20 a month, the children can stay in school instead of begging.   We can be the miracle for more and more of God’s children.  Will you live into a life of hope and be a miracle for these children?