As a bit of background, my church partners with a ministry called Lifeline and a church in Ocotillo, Honduras. Every year, we send a couple of teams to bring supplies and do some construction projects to the church family there (one year we brought an ultrasound machine, for example, and this year I think we did a water filter.) There are usually two teams that go on short term trips and one team that's down there for about three weeks. Many people at my church also sponsor children through Lifeline, and I love it when we show video and photos of the times when church members get to meet their sponsor kids. It's so sweet! Our involvement with Honduras and Lifeline was actually what got me to request a correspondent in Honduras in the first place, and that's how Eduardo came to join our family.
Recently, our pastor shared that we were going to participate in a church-wide service project. We would be packing meals for Honduras, to be distributed by Lifeline. They operate feeding centers (much like the one our dear Zoila attends) throughout central America and the Caribbean, and we would be packing some of these meals to be shared with our Honduran brothers and sisters. Our goal was to pack 100,000 meals! Each bag we packed contained six meals, and the bags were filled with dried vegetables, vitamin powder, soy, and rice. When I say everyone participated in this project, I mean it! We came in to the sanctuary on the morning of the project and several rows of seats had been removed, replaced with tables (or left empty so people could stand on the other side.) After an introduction and an instructional video, we started packing. My friend Emily brought her mom to help out, too! We donned our hairnets and I held the bags as Emily, her mom, and Brandon's cousin Kayla scooped everything into the plastic bag. I then passed the bag to Brandon, who shook it down and passed it to his mom and aunt Ann, who weighed it. If it was a little under the ideal weight, Brandon added a spoonful of rice. If it was over, he scooped some out. The bag then traveled further down the line to the people who sealed the bags, and then the folks on the end stacked them on a grid made of masking tape. When all the spots on the grid were filled, those bags were packed up. I think that they held 24 or 26 bags in each box. The congregation packed meals and boxes during both services, both on the floor of the sanctuary and up in the balcony. Childcare was only provided for the very youngest kids (babies and toddlers) and people with mobility issues or the elderly had a special room set up so they could pack meals while sitting down (and let me tell you, the following week when they showed a video they put together of that morning, seeing the fragile old ladies wearing hairnets and scooping rice into little bags, wearing their church clothes...it made me cry!) I'm happy to report that our church packed something like 100,140 meals that day. If one fewer box of bags had been packed, we wouldn't have made our goal. It was a beautiful experience, and one that I was very excited to share with our kids.
Unfortunately I don't have the text of the letter available right now, but I did take screenshots of both the letter and the photo pages I created to send to the kids (now that we can attach pages to our letters, my kids are getting a lot more photos! I've shared those below. I also asked the kids if their church or project has ever done a service event to help people in their community. I'm really looking forward to seeing the responses to these letters!