|Grupo de Ahorro, El Zarzal|
The Aanglidesh trainers communicate with the officers regularly by telephone or WhatsApp, the ubiquitous social-media platform in Honduras. They visit each group in person periodically, to provide counseling and support as well as oversight, and to gather quantitative and qualitative data from the members. They also conduct trainings on topics such as self-esteem and domestic violence. In El Zarzal, Allan announced a new training on developing a community vegetable garden, and signed up the needed minimum of ten participants, who committed to attend the initial workshop on how to make compost, and to bringing one large sack each of topsoil, animal manure, and grass cuttings.
|Allan of Aanglidesh|
cigars, and the boxes they are packed in. Manos de Dios is emblematic of a paradox I saw manifested in various ways throughout the Church in Honduras: the congregations that are making the most evident progress towards the Diocese's stated goal of auto-sufficiency are the ones that are best-connected with supporting churches in the United States. Manos de Dios, for example, used to be the site of La Esperanza, but chose a new name at the time of the consecration of their new building, which was constructed with the aid of an ecumenical organization by that name based in Episcopal congregations in central and west Texas.
The ongoing support of these partnerships is what enables Victor's members to undertake entrepreneurial projects like a sewing cooperative, and a school bookstore, as well as to support the music programs and youth and adult formation ministries that are growing his congregation.
On Wednesday morning Victor and I had breakfast with the Rev. Francisco , of an old friend of Rev. Kent McNair of my own diocese, who relocated to Cristo Rey in Danli two years ago, after many years at St. John's Church and School in Puerto Cortes. Here he has made remarkable progress in
revitalizing a congregation that had been almost abandoned, and is also developing a mission in one of Danli's poorest neighborhoods, at the feet of the San Cristobal mountain. After a tour of the premises, Victor and Francisco conducted some business related to the program, funded by Kent McNair's former parish of Faith Church, Cameron Park, that is providing elementary and secondary scholarships to academically-gifted and economically-deprived students in Danli and El Paraiso, where many children, especially girls end their schooling with the sixth grade.
|With Victer Velasqez and parishioners|
of his missions, El Buen Pastor and Santa Maria Magdalena in the Valle Jamastran, a center of corn, beans, and dairy farming. This took us to small farms and villages far beyond where the pavement ends, an experience that was to define most of the rest of the week. Vctor begins his Sunday routine at El Buen Pastor in Santa Maria, in the new church building constructed with the help of a Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Florida. His second service of the morning is in San Lorenzo, where the congregation of Santa Maria Magdalena meets in a kindergarten built by the Episcopal Church. He then makes the long drive back to Danli for a 3 p.m. service at Manos de Dios.