International Hope Builders has received this email from Giovanny Saybe. Gio is overseeing the ACC food distribution in Honduras.
I want to report you about the events that occurred after the passage of Hurricane ETA over Honduras.
After more than 8 months of confinement and restrictions due to COVID19, the Honduran economy was devastated. Eta began to intensify rapidly, reaching hurricane status in early November 2. Just nine hours later, Eta intensified into a major hurricane before reaching Category 4 strength just three hours later.
The northern part of our country was the most affected, with severe flooding over the departments of Cortes, Yoro and Atlantida. The cities of San Pedro Sula, Progreso, Lima, Tela, Ceiba and Puerto
Cortes, were under water in their lower and middle areas.
It is estimated that around 300,000 people were affected, losing their homes and all the possessions within them. There is still no official number of victims and disappeared, until now the search and rescue work continues, with the priority being to be able to feed the affected people.
In the western sector of Honduras, referring to Copan and Santa Barbara, the towns suffered floods and landslides in many of their villages and main streets, bridges were destroyed by the current of the rivers, many houses were destroyed by the landslides of the mountains.
In Copan, the municipality of Florida was the most affected, since many of its villages were cut off, and the passage cannot be enabled. San Nicolás suffered problems in the villages of El Modelo and Santa Teresa, whose streets were destroyed, which will affect the economy since this is the coffee cut season.
ETA caused too much damage to a Honduran economy that was already damaged, so hunger, new diseases and the re-emergence of COVID 19, may be the biggest catastrophes in history.
To this we must add that the government is wanting to control all the aid that comes from the USA, in such a way that the best way is to make the aid directly.
Many of the people who lost their homes are in temporary shelters, such as schools, schools and municipal centers, although most are in the streets and boulevards, under tents and waiting for help with clothing and food.
I leave a series of images of what is happening, they are very strong I recommend discretion.
I ask God and you for your consideration to support our country with food and supplies.
It is reported that “an estimated 122 million more people could be pushed to the brink of starvation this year as a result of the social and economic fallout from the pandemic including through mass unemployment, disruption to food production and supplies, and declining aid. This equates to as many as 12,000 people dying every day while the global mortality rate for COVID-19 reached a peak of 10,000 deaths per day in April 2020. The knock-on impacts of COVID-19 are far more widespread than the virus itself, pushing millions of the world’s poorest people deeper into hunger and poverty. It is vital governments contain the spread of this deadly disease, but they must also prevent it killing as many – if not more – people from hunger”.
In light of this information and the reports from our own Impact Ministry teams on the ground, we believe that this is a time when the Church needs to step up, not step back! We understand the financial pressures the pandemic and government restrictions has placed upon churches such as Arvada Covenant, but we feel challenged to step up and be the hands and feet of God in this time, maybe more than ever before.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues we are learning more about the challenges it is placing on our ministry communities around the world. Three of our Impact Ministries, GuateStar, International Hope Builders, and Ignite Myanmar, have each identified an immediate need for food distribution. Each of these ministries is already providing food distribution in the field and has the ability to scale up that distribution as needed to serve their local populations.
Serve Globally has already acted to meet the food needs of these communities by distributing $13,300 equally between these 3 ministries from our reserve funds but much more is needed. This is a real opportunity to “IMPACT OUR WORLD”!
For more information on the impact of COVID-19 see these articles,
Supporting the most vulnerable, Youth and Children’s Hostels:
Article from El Heraldo de Chihuahua
In Casa Hogar Word de Vida A.C. and El Por porvenir del El Porvenir del Student live people with social problems, orphanage or intellectual disability who currently receive psychological therapy and have a GP
Children and young people channeled by the Integral Development of the Family of the State of Chihuahua (DIF) continue to be sheltered in the various hostels of the city, such as: Casa Hogar Palabra de Vida A.C. and El Porvenir del Student, where they continue their normal activities, but taking appropriate precautions and receiving psychological therapy to resist in the best possible way, these weeks of quarantine by Covid-19.
José Luis Gardea, director of both associations, explains that in addition to frequent hand washing, use of antibacterial gel and head coverings, “we have a GP”, who constantly reviews minors, mainly check their temperature or other symptoms related to the virus.
He adds that, likewise, talks have been held to advise on any doubts, and in case of emergency, “we have isolation area and we will follow the protocol that the Ministry of Health tells us”.
The leader also reiterates the commitment to support the most vulnerable population, so among the eleven people currently providing their services in Palabra de Vida and In El Porvenir del Estudiante, they are organized in the various administrative, educational, psychological, canteen and routine areas that promote healthy coexistence among residents.
It should be noted that, in this return to school, some students will start virtually, while “looking for a way to provide us with the necessary equipment so that everyone can continue their educational training”, said Gardea.
The routine starts with breakfast
Then class therapy follows
Between meals, a sneak-up
Perform the respective tasks in bedrooms, dining room or TV area
Time to eat
Time to watch movies
Again classes on securities
Eleven people currently work, serving more than seventy children and young people with limited economic resources, with social problems, orphanage or disability.
Children are 24 hours a day in the hostels, seven days a week.
They continue to receive the children’s sector that THE DIF channels.
Palabra de Vida caters to children from six years onwards.
In El Porvenir del Estudiante, most young people have intellectual disabilities and are for men only.
I hear about the struggle parents are facing trying to keep their kids home from school durring the COVID-19 pandemic and I sympathise with them, but can you imagine having 60 children stuck inside durring this time! Pastor Gardea has let us know that the children at Casa Hogar and El Porvenir have been quarantined to protect them during the pandemic. He says, “They are like lions in a cage!” His family has taken on the challenge to keep the kids comfortable by providing morning and afternoon shifts to go into the orphanages and do activities with them, provide extra snacks, etc. The children are not even permitted to go outside! Your prayers are appreciated for the children and caregivers as these events stretch their capabilities.
Below, Mizraim has some fun with one group of the children, making hand puppets out of medical gloves!
Update on Pastor Gardea. His surgery has been postponed due to the coronavirus. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.