SCUGOG: Honduras is a country characterized by contradiction. It is a popular tourist destination because of its lush rainforest, the magnificent Mesoamerican barrier reef, and the many historic Mayan structures, but amongst the natural beauty and rich culture, the country is plagued with economic instability, gang violence, wide-spread poverty and lack of job opportunities. According to the World Bank, more than 66 percent of Hondurans live in poverty. One in five people endure, what is called “extreme poverty,” and must support themselves on less than $1.90 a day.
In a joint effort with other churches across Canada, members from the Port Perry New Song Church, a part of the Anglican Network in Canada, are partnering with their sister church, St. Brides Anglican church of Mississauga, and are taking action to provide support and assistance to the people of Roatan Island in Honduras.
Suzanne Garriock explained, “In 2014, work began with Missionaries, Nelson and Kara Meija of Honduras, to build the first “Hurricane-safe” church on the Island. “We will be travelling there, from March 7th to the 14th, to continue our work there. This church, which can seat 400 people, will not just be a church, but can also serve as a Community Centre, a Mobile Health Care Centre, and a Youth Centre. It is located high up in the hills to be safe from potential disaster, from tidal waves and hurricanes. A team of volunteer engineers designed the building. This is a Christian and humanitarian project, and all the supporters are from Canada and work as volunteers.”
This year, the team of 16 youth and leaders, from the New Song church and the St. Brides church, have raised $4,100, to-date, to continue construction on the church. Their goal, for this trip, is to lay a 3 inch concrete foundation over the existing temporary foundation, and finish tiling the floor. They will be assisting local workers, who they have hired for this phase of the project, and who have been working on it since 2014, thereby providing employment to local workers, as well as providing the financial contributions to cover the cost of the materials for the building.
Suzanne Garriock and her husband will be taking their two children on this trip. Suzanne stated, “My husband and I believe that every child should experience a view of the developing world, before being launched into the world on their own, so they can appreciate the opportunity that God has given them within the family they grew up with...It is very easy to take everything for granted. It is our hope that our youth will see the world with more open eyes and want to be part of the bigger picture. To have them want to try to make a difference, by pitching in, either by continuing with mission work, spreading the word of God or simply by trying to make the world a better place in small ways”.
While the volunteer group is there, for the week in March, they will also be hosting a “Vacation Bible Camp” for the local children to attend.
To support this cause all are welcome to attend a “Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction” fundraiser, on Friday, February 1st, at the New Song Church, at 6:30 p.m., located at 14460 Simcoe St. in Port Perry.
For tickets to this fundraiser, or to make a donation for this project, contact Chris at the New Song Church, at 905-982-2064. Donations of supplies, such as clothing, crafts, sports equipment, balls, and educational materials, will also be gladly accepted.
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