When I arrived on Roatan this week the island was buzzing about the arrival of this cruise ship. People were all excited about the money they were going to make from the tourists who would be disembarking and playing for the day. Some hoped the tourists would be spared the "behind the curtain" aspects of the island and be interested in purchasing higher ticket items like a home or condo on the beach in a gated and guarded community. I must say the ship was impressive and the island folks are trying to make Roatan a more liveable place...God bless them in their efforts.
Over the next few weeks I am in Roatan, Honduras working with people who are "the behind the curtain folks" in desperate need of housing and other basic necessities. From August 8-14 I am being joined by a team from the North Seattle Alliance Church in Seattle, Washington who have generously given of their time and finances to build a home with Consuelo and her family. You can follow a blog post about the build here that will have pictures and running commentary as the build takes place.
Roatan is an island that most visitors that arrive by plane, sail boat or cruise ship know as a beautiful tropical paradise where every pleasure related to food, beach and other desires can be fulfilled. What tourists do not see is that behind the "curtain" exists a population of desperately poor people who live without the benefit or conveniences that the hotels and dive resorts provide those with money. One day of play for a tourist can represents months of income for a local family with the combined income of several people. It is amazing and sad. A local worker can watch a tourist enjoy things that they could not even dream of...like eat. This week I have been shown the world not seen or experienced by most. It is a world of folks trying to survive. Their day is spent trying to find enough work to provide water, food, and shelter for their families. I don't mean an abundance of those things I mean enough to survive the day. It is amazing and heart wrenching to see and experience. While people come and go on world class cruise ships and fly in on personal and commercial jets to experience some of the best diving the world has to offer, others watch and wonder why they have to live like garbage dump dogs. I am finding it hard to sleep at night processing what I have seen.
As I tour the island and then consider what can be done I am reminded that it mentions several places in scripture that Jesus "saw" the crowd or individuals need and was "moved" with compassion and took action. I am also reminded that Jesus has commanded us to "Go" with the gospel. I think both of those are important and need to be a part of our lives…"Going" and "Seeing". As we go we will see and the combination allows for our hearts to go out to people and act in compassionate ways. I wrote a blog post called "Pray, Go, Give" which is also the title of my blog. It speaks of a beneficial life cycle that exists as we do so.
Personally; I am finding great fulfillment building homes for folks. The relationships that are formed and needs that are met are incredible. The week long build gives amble time to show people the love of God and share in their life with them. I cherish the time visiting and praying with folks. People are connected together and the love and truth of the gospel is shared with the family, friends, neighbors, and all that we do business with. It is an amazing experience. I would love to have you join me on a build. I have many families that I have interviewed who dream of a simple, clean, safe home to put their kids to bed in at night. Let's talk about how you can participate by "Praying, Going & Giving" towards a home for a family in need.
When there is a high tide this ladies home (made of particle board) fills with water. What a mess...she needs a new home. Can you join me with your prayers, time and finances and build her and her daughter a home? Dwellings: Building Homes / Changing Lives.
Book Recommendation: "The Hole in our Gospel" What does God expect of us? (an overview of the who, what and why of those in need and what we can do about it)
If you would like to help provide a home for a family in need you can contact me via email: email@example.com
Conceptual drawing of the home we build in Roatan.