Ana’s house was falling apart. The doors were long gone, several of the beams that supported the roof were broken, and a leak in the roof made the kitchen unusable. But still — her family was grateful they had a home.
Ana’s family lives in Choluteca, one of Honduras’ poorest regions, where nearly 60% of people are undernourished. Many Cholutecan families, out of options, have chosen to take the dangerous journey to the U.S. border, praying to escape pervasive poverty, violence, and corruption. Ana’s father, Noel, never considered leaving. Noel is a carpenter who has worked with wood all his life, a trade handed down through several generations of his family. His pieces are beautiful, but there isn’t always enough demand to meet his family’s needs.
Salt and light
In Honduras, Haggai leader David Garcia is the country director for OneChild, a nonprofit that operates in 14 countries, and would change the trajectory of Ana’s family’s struggles. OneChild serves children and families through Hope Centers at local churches. It partners with the local church to provide children with educational support, assistance with basic needs, and mentorship.
Ana and her parents received assistance with repairs to their home from the Honduras branch of OneChild, which is led by Haggai leader David Garcia.
“We serve congregations in difficult places, where not even the police dare to enter,” David says. “Communities where children and young people grow up surrounded by violence, mistreatment, abuse, economic deprivation, and Gospel poverty. But it is here where the Lord’s Church becomes salt and light, bringing hope to children and their families.”
During the early days of the pandemic, Ana’s family’s situation worsened. Even fewer people could purchase Noel’s furniture, and the family could not afford to buy food. OneChild stepped in to help and with its support, Ana’s local church provided her family with food each month.
Noel, Ana’s father, is a carpenter who has worked with wood all his life.
“I don’t know what we would have done without their support,” Ana’s mother says. The church, in partnership with OneChild, helped Noel rebuild the family’s home. OneChild’s Children’s Crisis Fund provided the funding necessary to rebuild the roof, neighbors raised money to purchase new doors, and Ana’s parents got a loan from a bank to rebuild the rest of the home.
“Ana’s life has improved significantly, and her life will continue improving since the redemptive message of Jesus has come to her and her family,” David says. “That message will bring them liberation, life in abundance, and peace with God.”
As the leader of the Honduras branch of OneChild, David’s ultimate vision is to introduce children to Jesus, but he believes sharing the Gospel cannot be separated from attending to physical needs as well.
Ana’s local church, in partnership with OneChild, helped rebuild her family’s home while welcoming them into their community and sharing the Gospel with them. David Garcia says this is the way sharing the Gospel should be: meeting physical needs while sharing the message of Christ.
“In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the Kingdom of Heaven,’” he says. “Something intentional in our leadership should be to guide children to Jesus, and the best way to do this is to serve them holistically. By supporting the local church, I have had the opportunity to serve her children and families in this way.”
David says his 2019 Haggai Leader Experience further equipped him to lead this organization well and reminded him of the importance of his work.
“It turned out to be an incredibly transformative experience for my personal and ministerial life,” he says. “At Haggai, I understood that as leaders, our call to eradicate Gospel poverty goes hand-in-hand with serving and helping children to become free from spiritual and material deprivation.”
Written by Jill Clair Gentry