June, already the middle of summer…where did spring go? Seems many of us had to spend it sitting in our house with only our family around. Was that a bad thing? I hope not. It’s time for families to bloom again, to burst open with laughter, conversation and fun, to experience life together and learn with and from each other. Let’s keep this thing going, this thing of being a family. That’s what God created us for, togetherness.
May was a busy month of continued food distribution. The country has been on restrictions for over 100 days now although things are starting to open up a little. While we (the people of Honduras) can only get out 1 day every two weeks, according to the last digit of our ID number, markets, street vendors and some stores are opened for business with a minimal staff. For many in our city that is great news! Many people are starting back to work and can provide food and needed supplies again for their families. For some, it is too late. They have had to shut their doors and stop their dream, at least for now. We pray for them that with time they can open back up and keep dreaming.
The last week of May, first week of June, the mayor’s office received their quota of food to be given out. We were busy packing over 1500 bags of food and distributing it to needy families in the La Esperanza area.
We missionaries are truly blessed to have good trucks! That is one thing that is always in great demand here. Our trucks and hands came in handy many times. When certain areas of the city were “locked down” because of the virus, the city needed to get food to them. Several of our missionary men were there to help! They were given strict instructions because the virus was active in the areas they were to serve. Each truck could have a driver, 2 persons from the mayor’s office and 2 military personal. Everyone had to put on a mask, gloves, gown and have hand sanitizer with them.
The American drivers were to drive, stay in the truck, and keep the windows up, everyone else would ride in the bed of the truck and help distribute the food. When a person came to their door, they stayed in the house and answered questions, signed a form, a bag of food was placed just outside the door then a picture was taken. Gene did a couple of these distributions as a driver, fortunately they only took a few hours to complete. After the work was done everyone, including the driver, was sprayed down with a disinfectant then they had to take off the protective gear and put it into a trash bag. This was quite an experience but a good example of the respect and care shown for the volunteers.
Children and parents lined up to receive the food and waited patiently. Unfortunately, in a couple of communities we ran out of the food bags before everyone could be served. At one place as the bags began to run low the people got anxious and just a little rowdy as they gathered around the community leader begging to be chosen to get in the receiving line. The people were to sign up to receive the food but some said they had not heard this news so they came with hopes of receiving. We began to pray and the community leader along with one of the Pastors that went with us calmed the crowd and handled the situation choosing the elderly and single mothers that remained directing them to the receiving area. The remaining people disbursed peacefully but we could see that the need was great.
During this time of no work many people have suffered physically by not being able to purchase needed medicine and baby formula. We heard some mothers were feeding their babies sugar water because that was all they had to give them. Thanks to you who gave and you who prayed, our missions group was able to purchase some of the needed medicines and baby formula to give to the neediest ones. We praise God for the way He provides before the need is even known.
As of the publishing of this newsletter, 40 lb. food bags have been provided to 4,464 families in the La Esperanza area through the cooperation of the Mayor’s office and our community relief missions group. We want to especially thank all of those individuals who have partnered with us during this time to bring Gods love and provision to so many. Click here to view photos of the food distribution we have participated in.
Over the past 3+ months our missionary group has developed a good relationship with the mayor’s office and we hope to continue working with them as needed. We have seen that they do care about the people in our community and work hard to meet as many of the needs that they can. Join us in prayer that La Esperanza will continue to be led by caring people and that the leaders will be blessed with wisdom and good health. Over the past couple of months they have worked non-stop, including week-ends, and are exhausted but have kept going with a smile on their face!
On another subject, South West School completed the year with the last month being conducted on-line. Gene had a great time teaching the book of John and 1 John to the 7th -11th grades as he stressed reading the Bible and hearing from God. “Senior Day” was conducted on-line and the 11th graders had such kind words to speak over Gene and his teachings (11th is the senior class here). Many mentioned that they were listening to God and that God was helping them make decisions about their future plans. Thank you for your prayers for these students, they were very interested in learning from the Bible and I believe many of their lives were changed. To God be the glory! Gene plans to return next year to continue teaching the Bible. Keep him in your prayers this summer as he seeks God’s guidance in what to teach next. There is no curriculum provided but God knows what is needed.
As the COVID-19 virus continues, keep us and our fellow missionaries in your prayers. Travel from city to city is by permission only and travel in and out of the country is very limited with much paper work to fill out to get permission for travel. Hospitals are full and people are still afraid. Churches are allowed to open but the restrictions are so tight most are not opening yet. A few restrictions are: that no one can leave their homes on week-ends and people can only attend church on the day their ID# allows them to be out. No children or senior adults are allowed to attend church and no more than 40% of the congregation can gather at one time. So sad! Internet is expensive here so most do not have a way to watch church on line. We ask you to pray for the people of Honduras that the Holy Spirit will guide them to encourage each other with the Word of God. Needless to say, we will not be returning home this summer but we are OK with that. Certainly, we would love to see each of you but that will have to wait. We know we are here for a purpose and plan to follow what God lays out before us, helping our neighbors, friends, city or just spending time in prayer.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Be a light where you are. Jesus is coming soon.
We love you,
Gene & Robin Willis
If the Lord leads you to support our ministry financially, all gifts are tax deductible and should be mailed to:
Heart of the King Ministries
115 Creden Pl
Alabaster, AL. 35007
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Click this LINK to view our Honduras photo galleries (newer photos appear toward the bottom of the individual galleries).