Greetings to you all! I am Mindi Bennett DeLancey, and I am your OTHER full-time missionary with Teach Them To Fish Microindustries. (I also happen to be John DeLancey’s wife!) I have been on the island now since June of 2020, and am so excited about the growth and diversity I have seen in our mission, our communities, and especially in our microindustries over the last year and a half!
Praise God, Roatan seems to be out of the worst part of the pandemic, and many islanders and ex-pats are already fully vaccinated. Tourism is slowly starting to return, and we are excited to have 4-5 cruise ships arriving weekly. This doesn’t compare to pre-pandemic numbers, but it is a nice beginning of economic improvement for many here on the island.
Unfortunately, the reason for today’s blog post is not quite as uplifting as the improvements on Roatan. I am writing to let you know of a tragedy that occurred recently on our sister island, Guanaja. Utila, Roatan, and Guanaja make up the three Bay Islands of Honduras. Guanaja is arguably the most poverty-stricken of the three islands. Last week, a terrible fire broke out and completely destroyed over 100 homes and damaged hundreds more homes and businesses. There are hundreds of people without homes or any belongings. The good news is there are many ongoing humanitarian efforts focused on getting immediate needs met; food, shelter, clothing, medicine, etc. We are asking for your prayers for all those affected. Additionally, we are working to find out how our missions can contribute the best way possible.
In our last blog post, we introduced you to Rolando and his family as well as Tropical Wood Works, our outdoor furniture-making microindustry. After prayerful consideration, we are asking our supporters to consider donating towards efforts to build simple wooden tables and chairs for the families who have lost everything. The rebuilding effort is going to monumental, but once homes are rebuilt, families are still going to be left without any furniture, and we feel this is something with which we can help.
We would like to set an initial goal of building 10 table and chair sets that will be ready to be shipped to Guanaja and donated to a family in need. Because the cost of wood has become so high here, we are asking for donations toward this endeavor. We can build a chair for $35 and a solid wood table for $75. This means for just over $200, we can purchase the wood, materials, and labor for a whole set for a family four who has lost everything. This continues also to help support Rolando and his family! Would you consider a table, chair, or even a whole set for a family that truly needs it?
We know that everyone has struggled over the last year and a half, and many people are “donated out”, and we understand that completely. If, however, you would like to contribute toward helping a family in Guanaja, they would be incredibly grateful for your help. Rest assured that your tax-deductible donations will go directly toward the table and chair-building effort, and will result in families in Guanaja receiving, free-of-charge, beautiful and necessary furniture to aid in the rebuilding of their homes and lives. As always, we covet your prayers for all the people of the Bay Islands, and our continuing efforts to help the people of Roatan become self-sustaining. God bless you all!