Friday, July 5, 2013

America

The United Methodist Women, a group to which I belong, has a Charter for Racial Justice Club.  Really.  A club within a club.  To belong to this club each unit, as the local chapter of UMW is called, must participate in a series of lessons, activities, outreach and general mixing with a different culture or race.  In May at our unit's annual Spring Fling we had the local Grupo Latinoamericano spokeswoman as our speaker.  By doing this cultural celebration one requirement for the Racial Justice Club was met.  

For the Spring Fling the gym was set up to reflect an enclosed patio as one might see in Latin America.  The "patio walls" were lined with information about Honduras, Nicaragua and Cuba.  These three nations were chosen as our group supports financially in a small way volunteers in mission that go to these countries.  There were "missioners" sitting at each table to share their experiences in these nations.

Some of the missioners went as medical missioners into the mountains of Nicaragua giving medical attention to any and all that came.  Some days over 300 women, children and men were treated.  This group operates through The Rainbow Network.  One comment from a local pulmonologist was how the micro loans to the area for persons starting businesses was making a difference.  Then he commented, "To return year after year and see this one child as his health improves is so fulfilling."

Presentation of keyboard to a young Nicaraguan child.

Unpacking supplies that had been carried from the US.

One of hundreds being helped in Nicaragua

Road to clinic has a few unusual challenges!


Then transporting supplies on a different day after rains is yet another challenge.
Waiting Room, Nicaraguan style.

The Honduras missioners shared their work in rebuilding churches, adding classrooms, and and beginning the building of a conference center.  They shared the effect of seeing children asking for a drink of clean water.  Seeing the joy and the deep faith of these Hondurans.  A people almost destroyed by the Europeans in the 1500 and 1600's.  Stories of a people still struggling to recover from the 1998 hurricane, Mitch.  Three or so years ago several of the ladies at church made puppets and sets for the children of the second poorest nation in this hemisphere.  Two mission trips later the children of the church presented a puppet show using some of these characters.

Puppets for Honduran children during blessing service, 2010.


2012 Honduran work to keep the roof up!
Hand prints in new sidewalk is a must!
Americans working for a common good, 2012.

College group as missioners in Honduras, 2013 starting a new project, a conference center.


Cuba missioners shared how the churches are being allowed into Cuba to rebuild existing, crumbling buildings.  Two dear friends have led these works for about ten years.  They met on the mission trips and the husband proposed to the now wife during one of the mission trips.  Joe tells me that Cuba is considered a second world country.  One church has been rebuilt finally.  The last trip was to a new location.  The missioners have to carry every tool, hammer, saw, etc as they go to Cuba.  And pay the cost of any extra weight.  That is in addition to clothing for themselves.

Pretty sure we know how is giving orders here!

Meal break on the completed portion of the church.

Prep of rebar for columns of church.

Dear friends taking a walk after a hard day's work.


Flour delivery to a nearby bakery.



Yesterday, July 4, was spent doing things the way we wanted.  Even though the dryer was broken, I was still able to do laundry in a modern, air conditioned home.  I did violate the sub division rules by hanging out my laundry on a removable line to dry.  No armed guard showed up to take me away and the neighbors did not even notice.  I asked them as we sat together on the driveway of another neighbor around 10 PM as we have no curfews.  We neighbors had gathered to watch an annual "blowing up of money" as Gene and I call it.  There would be lulls in the action in the sky.  Brian noted that the folks were just making another fireworks run.  Sure enough the action would start up again shortly as there are what seems a fireworks stand on every corner.

Earlier in the afternoon we joined 4 couples at the home of a Vietnam vet.  Four of the five guys and one of the women had served in the armed services.  Three were still battling the results of either direct hits or exposure to agent orange, seeing the carnage or all of the above.  I suppose that is the way to spend the Fourth.  Surrounded by folks that have protected the rights granted by the forefathers as we call that group of rebellious traitors.  The document we call The Declaration of Independence, it occurs to me, is like a seed planted in a soil of dreams.

We in the United States of America have had opportunities others only dream of achieving.  Of course not all in the United States have been a part of "the dream".   I certainly know this.  Ms. Lorge reminded us UMW folks at that luncheon about one thing.  America spreads across two continents and a connecting body known as Central America.  Hondurans, Cubans, Nicaraguans, Mexicans, Brazilians, Canadians, etc, etc. are all living in America.  Think about that and its implications the next time you say, "God Bless America".



For more thoughts and takes on America visit Gretchen at Second Blooming by clicking on this cute little button. 

Second Blooming
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