Honduras (MNN) — Wherever
International Aid works, community transformation is their goal.
Most poverty-stricken villages
need help with hygiene information, supplies, and know how.
IA's Kurt Reppart says they were
recently in Honduras finishing work on installing water filters, new stoves and
latrines. Short-term mission teams also
help with village pharmacies, medical kits and training for local health workers,
among other things.
Building a stove that keeps the
living area free of smoke, providing water filtration and sanitation, can have
big impact on the families.
When not battling water-borne
diseases or pulmonary issues, the children are healthy which allows them to remain
Stoves that are more efficient
save cooking time and fuel. That
translates to money going for better food for the children.
As often happens, when a team
arrives in a remote area to being work, word gets around about what is going
on. In this case, one thing led to another. Reppart says, "We were working in the
next village over, and their village leader, Sylvia, came to us and said, 'We
need these projects in our village.' This woman advocated for her community,
and as a result of that, we've been able to go into her community and begin working on projects there."
Sylvia's village, Piletas
(peeLAYtus), has about 25 homes. The team was able to incorporate her village
into some of their projects and will be finishing them in May.
However, it takes more than
medicines and bandages to transform mindsets, values, and behaviors.
Reppart says the work often paves
the way for ministry. "When we work in one village and are successful,
then the leaders of that community go to the next village. That enables us to go to places where other people aren't able to have access. That
obviously opens up doors for us to spread the Gospel in places where the local
pastor might not be able to reach."