This letter is extra special for me, because I have been to this project. I spent a couple days here, loving on the kids, worshipping with them, playing with them, talking to and hugging Pastor Elias, who is an absolutely wonderful man.
It is very nice to see his words down on paper. He truly has a wonderful soul and vision for his community.
The pictures I use in this post are from the actual project of HO-372. All of the pictures were taken by me during my visit there in August.
Greetings and blessings from the city of San Pedro Sula. May God Almighty pour down rich and abundant blessings in your life and in your appreciable family.
My name is Elias Castellanos Rivas. I'm pastor at the Jehovah is my Refuge, Gateway to Missions Baptist Church in Honduras and our projects is Champions of the King, where Debora attends. We are located in the riverside El Gavion.
God knows how much I wanted to have this opportunity to write to you, beloved sponsor and collaborator in Christ. My words are not enough to thank you for what you are doing. Ever since the project came to our lives, things changed radically and now we cannot just talk about the love Jesus, but show it by serving children and their families. All I can say is that God is not unfair to forget what you are doing and the love you have shown by sharing your resources with those in need. I know that I might not have the opportunity to shake your hand or hug you but I assure you that one day, when we are in heaven, a child will approach you and say, "Thank you for sponsoring me. Had it not been for that, I would not be in this beautiful place and I would not have known Jesus."
Our community is located in a poor area and we don't have a sewer system. We have a very poor water service as we don't have water everyday and this causes diseases like dengue fever, malaria, skin rashes, and blisters, and also stomach diseases caused by parasites. My vision and desire is to have a potable water well because there is no water here and children need it for everything they do and also for the kitchen to keep it clean as it should be and that children can also brush their teeth after their meals. There are a few jobs and most of all the influence of antisocial groups that try to deviate children to get them to become a part of them. Another great problem is school drop-out because many of these children grow up and become a workforce for their families, and many parents would rather have them working instead of attending school, because many of them see it as a waste of time.
I have seen the project as a means to attack these problems directly, by making an impact in the lives of children. We are aware that this is a slow process and that we have to work hard, not only with the children, but also with mentality of their parents, and this not easy, but with God's help and your support, we will make it. As you can see, our challenges are great.
Our vision is to see our children become professionals, good Christians, and that one day they can have decent families.
The visits of our sponsors bring so much joy to the children and their families and also to our work team, because we can see and thank the sponsors in a personal way.
Know that they children are always looking forward to hearing from their sponsors. It is beautiful to see how they get excited when they see pictures of them, their families, and the places they live. They it very seriously knowing that there is somebody praying for them.
I ask you to help us pray that these children stay in the project, that the financial conditions of their families improve. Pray that the violence and abuse suffered by our children stops and pray for the plans that we have and that God provides for us.
Thank you so much. May God bless your life and your family and may the Almighty bless and prosper your life and your country and that the Holy Spirit dwells in your life.
Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble. Pslam 41:1 Hallelujah!
Elias Castellanos Rivas