Another long day in Santa Clara with places to go and people to meet. The day started with the usual greetings from the children, who always come running to us as we get out of the cars, with arms open wide and smiles from ear to ear. Whenever I see them it reminds me of the joy our Father in heaven must have whenever He sees us running into His loving arms for peace, love, and security.
A couple of us went to the municipal office in Petoa to obtain a permit for cutting a tree to provide lumber for Mrs. Amalia’s house. We had a chance to meet with the vice mayor to discuss the ministry of the HAF both in Quimistan and Santa Clara. This was a great chance for us to explain our vision of spreading the love of Christ by partnering with local leaders and facilities such as the Pueblo Nuevo clinic and Samaritan’s Purse Office in San Pedro Sula.
After this visit, we took one of the children from Santa Clara to the clinic in Pueblo Nuevo to get some antibiotics for bronchitis. In this visit we learned that the doctor is on vacation for a few weeks. The patients who need a doctor’s expertise are referred to the nearest facility, about 45 minutes away in Trinidad. Those who can afford bus fare can go, if they want to take the chance that they might or might not get treatment that day. That’s the stark reality of medical care available in these small communities. Fortunately, the nurse was able to dispense the needed medications.
The rest of the morning was spent going door to door to all the homes in Santa Clara to pass out invitations to the community meeting with Samaritan’s Purse on Thursday to discuss the upcoming BioSand Water Filter project.
In the afternoon, the men hauled bricks while I had an opportunity to meet with the women of the town to discuss health topics, sanitation, hygiened, clean water, and Justa stoves. While I had been told I would be talking with mothers of newborn babies, I ended up meeting with about 15-20 women of all ages. From that meeting, I learned that most of the women here believed their water was safe, so it was difficult to convince them otherwise. On a positive note, however, they all agreed that the respiratory problems of their community are largely due to their inefficient wood burning stoves and almost all of them were enthusiastic about the possibility of working on improving that situation by building Justa stoves.
All in all, I was pleased to see the response of the community members to this meeting and believe that it is during group interactions like this that community-wide change can have the greatest success.