This week’s ROOM contributor is Kellie Weed. Kellie is a ROOM Missionary serving in San Pedro Sula, Honduras along with her husband Joey and son Connor. As Kellie follows God’s call to serve the orphans of Honduras, the Lord has brought her and the ROOM Honduras team to the place where so many of our stories begin: The Bordos. It is our prayer that we can begin to reach into the orphan crisis by reaching out to the place where abandonment often begins. Today’s story is one of poverty, provision, and, most beautifully, HOPE.
In a world of jumbo size, Costco and excess, it’s difficult to understand the desperation of a family living in extreme poverty many miles away in Honduras. However, once you get a glimpse of this poverty, you get a glimpse into the reasons behind abandonment. It helps you understand some of the reasons why someone would think an orphanage would be a better choice for their child.
Claire lives in one of the Bordo communities of San Pedro Sula with her husband and four children, all under 3 years old.
The Bordos, Honduran slum communities, are home to thousands of families living in extreme poverty. These small dwellings are built along dirty riverbanks littered with trash, human and animal waste. This unclean river water is their source for drinking, bathing and any other need. Claire and her family live in a simple one room home made of scrap metal, wood, tarps and dirt floors. The room is divided in half by a sheet. On one side there are two beds and a hammock. The opposite side has a patio loveseat and a small table for storage. The only source of power is an extension cord run from a neighbor’s home. Outside there’s a large wash bin for laundry and an outdoor stove. There is a shared water faucet used for drinking water, washing clothes, cooking, and bathing.
I met Claire three months ago while visiting Iglesia Restauracion around Christmastime to share cookies and juice with the children. Maybe it was the newborn baby in her arms, or her genuine smile, but I was immediately drawn to Claire. We shared a two-hour (Spanish only) church service. I didn’t understand the words to the worship (which was led by children) or any of the message. What I did understand was that the children and families in the church were searching for hope, acceptance, and peace that society tells them they will never have. My family and I knew immediately that God was opening the door for ROOM to begin building a relationship with the church and with the community.
After receiving a gift of diapers and realizing we had excess children’s clothing in the ROOM donation closet, we thought it would be a great opportunity to meet the basic needs of families from the church. ROOM Transition Home mom, Alba, organized for us to visit a few families in their homes to learn their stories. Our first stop: Claire’s home. She welcomed us with loving arms. All we had to offer was a small package of diapers and some clothes for her new baby. She was beyond grateful; not only for the gifts, but for our time together with her.
On our next visit to Restauracion Iglesia, I held Claire’s baby in my arms and prayed for him in the same way I pray for my own child. Without a change in the direction of this family, he would grow up believing the same lies so many people believe. The lies that say he doesn’t belong. The lies that say he doesn’t matter. The lies that say he doesn’t have a purpose. God’s true Word tells us different. He is more than what society says. He is more than poverty. He is more than drugs, gangs, and alcohol abuse.
He is more.
As our vision began to grow for our involvement in the Bordo, the Lord prompted us to plan a Vacation Bible School program for this church. While preparing for the program, I felt led to put a bag of groceries, diapers, and clothing together for Claire. As I was in the kitchen preparing rice and beans, my son Connor came in and wanted to know what I was doing. After my careful explanation, he got his Easter basket and emptied every bit of his candy into the grocery bag. He then went to his snack cabinet and added cereal, granola bars, cookies and other snack items along with a pack of diapers and wipes. I knew it wasn’t much, but it was something.
The next day would be our VBS program at the church. We were hoping for at least 40 children, we prepared for 50 and God sent us over 120!!! After an amazing time with the kids, I visited with Claire and took her the groceries. Again, she welcomed me with open arms. While visiting, I saw the disposable diapers that we had taken a few months prior, washed and hanging to dry outside. We chatted briefly before it was time for our team to head out. I knew Claire was grateful, but I didn’t know until the next morning what an impact the small bag of groceries had.
That afternoon, after everyone left, the Pastor’s wife, Mercedes went to visit Claire, only to find her sobbing. She was confused. After a wonderful afternoon, why would she be so upset? Claire began to explain that she had no money or food for her family that night. She didn’t know what or how she would feed her children. She listened to the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 that we told to the children, yet she didn’t see how in that moment Jesus could provide for her. But He did! She was not only grateful for the food, but excited because our God was faithful to her. He provided, in His timing.
Claire is the face of poverty, yet she is not the only one. She is one of many. It would be impossible for us to feed every hungry mouth, but that’s not what we’ve been called to. We’ve been called to be obedient and to trust in the Lord’s provision. It’s saying yes to the small things. For me, it was taking a few bags of rice and beans. For me, it started by making a small donation to ROOM two years ago. For me, it was committing to visit ROOM Honduras to see what it was all about. For me, it was selling everything we have to move to Honduras. What is it God that is telling you? He doesn’t call us all to the same thing, but He’s called us all to do something.
To learn more about the Weed family check out their Facebook page.
To support the Weed family financially, check out their Razzo Page.
If you want to come alongside of us here at ROOM to help provide necessities for prevention programs like Claire’s story, please visit: R.O.O.M. donation or mail a check to ROOM PO Box 5882, Concord, NC 28027. Be sure to indicate “Prevention” in the memo field to designate your gift.