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Amid Pandemic In Honduras, Christian Ministry Becomes Food Delivery Service

Colorful paintings of bees and hummingbirds adorn the walls of the Christian Relief Fund facility in this Central American town. So do the signatures of visiting mission teams from the Crosspoint Church of Christ, Preston Road Church of Christ, Southwest Christian School, and more.

The building—which housed a daycare, tutoring programs, a computer lab, and even a barber shop, all CRF ministries—was empty and quiet when The Christian Chronicle visited on a recent Friday. Pandemic restrictions have limited gatherings. At least 15 mission groups scheduled to serve here have had to cancel their visits.

COVID-19 has transformed the way the ministry serves the children it sponsors in Campamento and its surrounding mountain communities.

“It’s disaster relief, really,” said coordinator Donnie Anderson. Instead of feeding sponsored children at their schools, CRF workers deliver bags of rice, beans, coffee, and sugar to their families. Those staples are needed, especially now, Anderson said. In addition to COVID-19 deaths and lockdowns, Hondurans are recovering from two hurricanes that hit the Central American nation in 2020.

CRF programs around the globe faced similar logistical challenges, said Milton Jones, the ministry’s president.

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“So we became Amazon,” Jones told the Chronicle. “We started delivering food like crazy.” In communities near Kenya’s Mount Elgon, CRF workers strapped supplies onto motorbikes and used what Jones described as “streams of donkeys” to reach sponsored children and their families.

In Campamento, cell phones have become necessary education tools. Most classes are available only through videoconference or programs like WhatsApp. Some children in the CRF program have received phones through gifts from their sponsors, Anderson said.

It is, at best, a stopgap solution, said Iris Alicia Matute, principal for the Joan Jones Memorial School, a school built by CRF with 280 students, all sponsored by the ministry. She longs for a day when the students can return to class.

Until then, she said, “We are so thankful to this organization, to all of our friends, for all of the help.”

This article was published by Religion UnPlugged. It is reprinted with permission.

Erik Tryggestad

Erik Tryggestad joined the staff of The Christian Chronicle in 2001 after working as a writer and assistant editor for the Savannah Morning News in Georgia.