Guest post for Compassion International by Kathy Olson and reposted in full here
SAFE TRANSPORTATION FOR CHILDREN IN HONDURAS
Help Kathy Raise Money for Eduar’s Center (HO355)
My car won’t start. There is no money for repairs. My preschooler is sick. My vacuum cleaner is clogged. The A/C is broken and the house is too hot.
Sometimes my life gets so frustrating that I want to pull my hair out. However, I’ve learned that problems are relative. Compared to what some of our sponsored kids face each day, my problems don’t seem so bad. A little boy in Honduras has given me new perspective on problems. My problems are insignificant compared to his.
I am the correspondence sponsor for a boy named Eduar. Eduar is 11. His younger brother, Mainor, is 6. The boys have no father to support them. Their mother is very young and uneducated. She cannot find a job. The three of them survive on the scraps and hand-outs of other poor relatives. They seem to drift from house to house. Sometimes Eduar writes that they live with an aunt. The next time he writes, they are living with a different relative. Sometimes they live with their grandmother whose health is failing. There is no stability. They are a burden, a drain on the limited resources of already-impoverished relatives.
Fortunately, Eduar is a sponsored child. He is given regular medical check-ups and supplements for deficiencies caused by malnutrition. He receives love and encouragement, tutoring, bible teaching and nutritious meals twice a week at his child development center, Conquistando Promeseas.
There is another problem.
Eduar is afraid to walk to the center. Eduar lives in one of the worst neighborhoods of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the most violent city in the world. An average of more than 3 people are intentionally murdered there each and every day.
Two rival gangs are at war with each other in his neighborhood. The bullets fly day and night. Innocents die in the crossfire. Earlier this year troops were called in to quell the violence, but the gangs fight on.
I try to imagine how I would feel if 90 people or more were murdered in my city every month and the police never solved the crimes. I imagine it would erode my sense of security. It would shake the foundations of my life. If I saw dead bodies in the street, would they haunt my dreams?
This is what Eduar and Mainor live with, month after month.
Eduar’s mother begs Eduar to come to church with her. Sometimes he refuses. He is too afraid. He knows his delicate, young mother cannot keep him safe on the trek through the neighborhood to the church. He hears the crack of the gunshots day and night.
Eduar has heard that someone is grabbing children off the street. Their bodies turn up later with all the internal organs missing, sold for profit on the black market. Can it be true? Can people be this evil to children? This story is so horrifying that my mind refuses to believe it. Yet in the days since Eduar first related this story to me, several people have told me that they have heard of this occurring in other impoverished places in the world.
Whether this gruesome story is true or not, Eduar believes that it is true, and he is afraid. He knows he is not big enough to protect himself and his little brother, Mainor, for whom he feels very responsible. I tell him that many people are praying for their safety and that he must continue to attend the center and go to church. I tell him that he must obey his mother. Nevertheless, I know he is still afraid.
My heart goes out to Eduar, but surely he is not the only child at the center who fears walking through the neighborhood. Surely there are other children in that neighborhood who also fear their walk to the center.
The pastor, Rigoberto Alfoso, oversees the child development center where Eduar attends. The pastor confirmed that the children have reason to fear the violence in the neighborhood and said that a project gift would be most welcome.
I am endeavoring to raise $2,000 (US) so that Pastor Alfoso could rent a bus to bring the children safely to the center so that they did not have to walk through the neighborhood.
I am Eduar’s correspondence sponsor. I don’t have the resources to do this on my own, but maybe together we can make the trip to center not as scary. Can we do this? Can we band together to help Pastor Alfoso transport the children safely to the center? The center is an oasis of security for the children of Eduar’s neighborhood. I’d love to see them be able to arrive safely and without fear. Whether or not you can contribute, please pray for the safety and sense of security for all the children in San Pedro Sula.
Please click here if you would like to help. http://www.compassion.com/eduar
UPDATE 24 OCTOBER 2013: The funding goal for Eduar has been REACHED! A huge thank you to everyone, but please keep Eduar and his family in your prayers.
UPDATE 1 JULY 2014: Kathy has heard from Eduar that he has finally received his bus, but the family’s challenges are not over yet. Please keep them in your prayers.
Compassion blog: Living in Fear (with photo of Eduar and his mother and little brother)
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