Friday, September 09, 2005

The Stucco Princess Rides Again

Darwin, Nelson (new kid), and Fernando mixing the stucco mixture
Once again we finished a room in one day!! It makes me so happy. I've had several things on my heart that I have been wanting to blog about lately so this is probably going to be a conglomeration of several ideas. First a touching occurance:
At the end of every day that the boys work I try and pay them something. Usually 50L - 100L. For those of you not up on your Lempira exchange rates that's about $2.75-$5.50 for a hard's day work. For me it is more of a token of appreciation than anything else, but for many of the poor people in honduras that is a good day's wage. So anyway, today at the end of the day I handed each of the boys 100L. All three of the boys said that I didn't need to pay them, but Fernando almost made me cry. He kept saying how thankful he was for all that I had done for him and that he would work for me everyday for free. It was so sweet. All I did was buy the kid some shoes and be his friend. Anyway after much arguing he said that this would be the last time he would take money from me for work. Such a little bit of love goes such a long ways here. In the morning all three of the boys are coming back to work and I'm excited about taking them donuts for breakfast, lol sometimes I really am a geek. Anyways, onto more serious matters. Please if you read this leave a comment with your opinion on at least one of the following subjects. I would really like some input:
1) How do you feel about giving money to beggars, either children or adults? I waver between not giving anything because most of it goes to by products that harm both the body and mind and feeling guilty because I have so much and they want so little. God calls us to give and I want to do that but at the same time I feel like I'm condoning bad behavior if I give money to the numerous people I encounter each day begging in the streets. Thus far my policy has been never to give money to kids because they use it to buy glue that they huff, but a few times I have taken kids to eat dinner instead of giving them money. Please let me know how you feel.
2) I encounter child abuse on a weekly basis here. Abuse of children I love by parents that many times I respect. I am at a loss as to what I can do to stop this or at least help the kids enduring it. Most people here believe that if you discipline your child and it doesn't leave a mark then it didn't do any good. I've even heard a doctor say this. I feel helpless to do anything for these kids that are obviously hurting, especially the adolescents. If you have any advice on what might be helpful please let me know.
I love and respect each of you so much. Your support and encouragement makes what I do here possibly and some days bearable. Today was highly bearable, it was a wonderful day, but sometimes I get bogged down by the problems of poverty that I face each day. Love you guys!!


Jeff said...

I don't believe giving money to people is really helping them unless they are actually buying food for them or family, I do believe in giving them food or things they need but especially giving them Jesus.

michele MD said...

God calls us to be wise in our relationships and dealings with others yet pure and full of love at the same time. Sometimes this can be a tough call when encountering poverty. I believe its worth more for both sides when something given is more than just a paper bill ie time spent with that person, a meal, new shoes, etc.. and more importantly an opportunity to know Jesus. However, each situation calls for an individual decision.
Thanks for being such a light to those in Honduras and for showing so much love to those who need it most. You're such a blessing and I'm sure many are glad that God has placed you in Honduras!

crittermer said...

Awwwhh! Those are some sweet-looking Honduran boys. I could just hug them!

You do a great job of graciously and firmly handling people who are living in poverty. I definitely don't have all the answers about how to deal with poverty-stricken people. I know that some sticky situations can rise out of the work you do. But I always try to handle everybody I meet with dignity and grace since that is how God has handled me and in many ways, I live in poverty, too! You're doing great work! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Holly said...

Amber your questions are ones that I know you deal with on a daily basis and that I know are true struggles for you. On giving money to beggers. God does call us to give to the poor, and not to go and leave people without daily food. However we are also told to be good stewards of our money and therefore have a responsbility to look at how to help others in a responsble manner. I believe it is always a balance. Usually, compassion wins out with me on this one, but you are surrounded by such poverty that you have to set good boundaries for yourself as well. On child abuse. Girl, we need to talk! Child abuse has nothing to do with leaving physical marks. I talk with adults on a daily basis whose scars from childhood abuse are so deep I don't know they will ever heal. It can be emotional, physical, whatever. Discipline has nothing to do with hitting or using phsysical force. I have more to say...but I should stop.