This summer, the Heart to Honduras initiative "Communities of Holistic Impact (CoHI)" is well into it’s second year and brought opportunities for formation and practical application to the villages of Las Lomitas, Lomas del Aguila, and Caliche. The local leaders have been participating in workshops every month as well as organizing and executing their “Genesis Project” which is their ongoing challenge in the program for 2019. You can read about the Genesis Project in the 2019 first quarter CoHI update, and we will give a full report of the inaugurations of each of these in our next update but know they are in full swing, lots of hard work on the ground by the locals this summer building a school fence, addressing community health, and bettering drainage and road issues.
Our Corazón Para Honduras/Heart to Honduras (*CPHTH) team traveled to each village every month to share important topics in their current development. We stayed overnight to spend relational time together listening to them, attending church services together, eating their food, encouraging and valuing them. The Eldridge family was in Honduras for the summer and had the privilege of working face to face with CPH staff and the CoHI community members for three months. Our whole crew enjoyed being in fellowship again.
In May we covered “How to Protect Healthy Development” which included prevention, reaction, and resistance to threats that affect community health, unity, sustainability, and empowerment. We connected the concept of community defense to our own body's physical defense systems in order to better understand potential problems as well as the need to work daily to prevent illness, react when we do inevitably contract an illness and build up resistance to illness once you have experienced it. These processes can affect the life and development of a community just as easily as they affect a human body.
We walked through specific examples in dynamic ways to make it real and practical for local community members. One example is when a community has a politician come in and try to give away materials (in actuality trying to “buy” votes). Our goal is for a community to be able to say "no thank you" and not fall prey to a “selling your birth right for a plate of hot food"- Esau situation. This one situation crosses through multiple areas of holistic development (spiritual, social, intelectual, and material). Another common occurrence that we addressed is the scenario of organizations bringing in material donations or presenting projects they think need done but that locals do not identify as a real priority. Such project often create division to the community.
Our goal, in working through these scenarios, is for local leaders to be empowered to approach and address the outsider with the local protocols for how initiatives are formed and executed in their specific context. We empower and encourage them to speak truth in love from their heart and experiences as to what will bring true health to their community or not. The practical application came in their assignment for the month to write a local “Defense Plan” stating how each community member is to respond to these types of threats to healthy development and how to redirect the outsider to their established local leaders and processes.