A community known as Los Bordos stretches along the banks of the river that winds through the city of San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. The thousands of people living here are forced to contend with frequent flooding when the river bursts its banks, washing away their makeshift homes and the few possessions they have. This, along with limited work and education opportunities, keeps them trapped in poverty.
The coronavirus pandemic has made living conditions even worse. As people in the city lost their jobs and their homes, many set up shelter by the river, causing the population of Los Bordos to increase by more than 50 per cent in the past year. With no access to clean drinking water or a sewage system, the crowded community is vulnerable to the spread of disease.
Pastor Eddy has been living with his wife and three children in Los Bordos for many years, passionately and faithfully serving his church and community. And now, Tearfund’s local partner has helped him take his community work to the next level.
Uniting pastors and leaders
Working alongside 26 churches, Tearfund’s local partner organisation, Comisión de Acción Social Menonita (CASM), is helping the community in Los Bordos to lift themselves out of poverty. They are doing this by providing education and employment opportunities, and empowering people to advocate for their right to have a safe and healthy place to live.
CASM is helping to equip local pastors to be leaders – not just in spiritual matters, but in matters of social justice and community development. Pastor Eddy and other local pastors received training in ‘integral mission’ – this includes following Jesus’ example in speaking up for the most vulnerable, meeting physical and emotional needs, restoring relationships and promoting peaceful coexistence between and within communities.
‘It has been so encouraging to see many pastors in the local community attend the training, grow in their confidence and leadership, and commit to working together,’ says Alexis Pacheco, who oversees Tearfund’s work in Central America. ‘They know the needs of their community and they are now better equipped to meet those needs.’