She became an example to everyone in the church. She gives hope and teaches the love of God to children during Sunday school and her smile brings joy to all that surround her. She is only 14 years old and at a very young age, Julie* has seen the darkness of life, felt the pain of losing her loved ones, but at the same time found the strength to get up, move forward and shine. Julie lives in a neighborhood surrounded by gangs, drugs and violence. “Living in this neighborhood can be very scary. There is a lot of poverty, a lack of opportunities and broken families.
|Reina (middle) enjoys a glass of clean water with her friends.|
It’s a sunny day, you can hear the roosters sing and the smell of fresh coffee lingers around the house of Mrs. Reina Herrera. She lives in the community of Nueva Coyola, a beautiful community with access to clean water. “Having access to clean water gives me the opportunity to take care of my house, spend more time with my family and live a healthy life,” Mrs. Reina says. She has been living for many years in this community. “I remember when I was a child, my mom, my sibling and I used to wake very early in the morning, around 4:00 am to find water. I was only 6 years old.
The school bell rings, children run outside to the playground. It’s recess time. All of the children are playing and having fun, except for Gabrie, an 8-year-old 3rd grade student who is heading to the principal’s office. “Hi Gabrie, how are you? Here is your lunch…later you can go out and play,” says Mrs. Marta Sauceda (pictured right with two of her students). She gives him a big hug. Mrs. Marta is the principal at the school. Every day she feeds Gabrie. He suffers from malnutrition and his mother cannot afford to give him a proper meal. “Gabrie is one of many students, whose situation at home is not good. That’s why, as a teacher, I try to support all of my students with whatever support I can give them,” she says.
|Pastors Roman and Fanny prepare a lesson|
Sabanagrande is a small town located in the south region of Honduras. The people who live there are hard-working people. They are grateful that God’s love is present in their community. Roman Bueso and his wife Fanny Zambrano have been living in Sabanagrande for more than 20 years. They both serve as pastors at the Amor Viviente Church, which translated means, ‘living love church'. “Teaching Gods love to the youth and kids has brought peace to each person in the community,” says Pastor Roman.
A few years ago, things were different in the community. Violence and bullying surrounded the school environments, gangs and other groups started to organize in the neighborhoods, recruiting vulnerable teenagers who didn’t find love or acceptance at home. “We use to live in Tegucigalpa. But I felt in my heart, a call from God to move into this community. Because with His help, we knew that we could change lives,” Pastor Roman remembers. He decided to serve God and become a pastor when he was 35 years old.
|Gladys picking peppers
Every morning, Gladys wakes up and runs into the kitchen for breakfast. Her mother, Olga Campos (37) prepares her a healthy meal; Soy milk, green tortillas made out of vegetables, eggs and beans. Gladys who is 4 and half years old looks very healthy and happy. They all live in the community of Santa Ifigenia in Honduras. “Thanks to the recipes I learn from the World Vision project, ‘Common pot’, I saved my daughter’s life,” Olga says very proudly. A few years ago Gladys use to suffer from anemia, she almost died. Her father Jaime Coto use to work at other people’s farm, making a daily income of $6. This was not enough to properly feed his family. “We struggle for a long time with money, my daughter was very sick and it was hard for me to afford Ramon and Ana Julissa, my other 2 children ́s education,” Jamie recalls.