This has been on my heart for some time, so I think, I am writing this so that others will be able to understand what we are going through.
In New Zealand we fed some children and an occasional adult because many people would waste money on alcohol and drugs and then not be able to feed their children. In New Zealand there is no real reason for people to need help, because the government provides very well for everyone whether they work or not. One family we helped there, neither parent ever held a job. Yet they lived in a nice new home with all the amenities including wall to wall TV.
So in New Zealand we seldom supplied food or anything else to individuals from our support. Honduras, on the other hand, has people that are truly poor and have real needs. Even those that work long hours in the streets selling and in the fields picking, have very little. So when you find a sixteen year old mother who doesn’t want to work, she only wants to beg, should you only watch as she starves her baby to death or should you do something? We opted to try to save the baby’s life, it has taken a lot of time and money, but that baby is nearly as healthy and happy now as if she had not almost died.
The free medical care here is very poor, even worse than New Zealand and Canada. So people die when they go to the major hospitals with perfectly curable medical problems. When a person that you know, who is a good, hard worker and provider for his family, has a pregnant wife with a baby in distress, do you sit by and watch the health care system kill his unborn child or do you step in and save the baby’s life by taking the mother to a private hospital close by? We again opted to help and yes, that took what we would call a lot of money, some people would not call it that.
We have cared for a baby while the mother was in the hospital and we bought medicine and cared for that mother. When the mother died, we helped the family obtain a coffin and a burial plot. These were provided free from the town, but it still cost us money to help, and the town employees tried to steal from the family, even a neighbor came in the house to take advantage of the family, proposing they spend money they did not have.
We don’t give money to street beggars with the exception of the very elderly and then cautiously. You sometimes wonder if they have spent their whole lives on the street begging? We try to only provide help where others cannot help themselves. But, life here is not easy and many times you want to help but you’re not sure or the person in need is not sure of you. Like the little boy that passed the house yesterday. He was about eight years old with tattered clothes and he was carrying two, obviously heavy, sacks. He could barely handle the sacks and he stopped about every 50 feet to rest. I asked him where he was going, but he didn’t answer. I sent one of the children to the house for a glass of water, but he wouldn’t take a drink and as he slowly walked on up the road it tore my heart out watching him as I prayed that my God would care for that little man apparently all alone.
Yes, we have lost support and had churches tell us that it is cheaper to live in Honduras than in New Zealand. I just haven’t figured out how it is cheaper, yet!