Community Family Care Training!
BY: BECKY VEGA, IDENTITY MISSION SOCIAL WORKER
“God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose.” ― John Piper
In April, we received a call from the welfare office that reunification would be happening soon for one of our sweet little girls! We were overjoyed, but also concerned, as she still needed a lot of support. We stepped out in faith and asked the welfare office if we could assist in the follow-up and support for the family after she was integrated. Her family’s home is one and a half hours from our offices. The last 30 minutes of this journey is a slow climb up a mountain, which leads to amazing views of coffee plantations and into the territory of the Lenca ethnic group in Honduras.
With every visit to her home, we had a chance to meet neighbors and seek out support for the family. One of those neighbors is a woman named Gloria. Gloria oversees the medication dispensary in the community. She is also an advocate and promoter for women’s and children’s health in the area. She was very welcoming and from the start was excited about the return home of Rebeca, and she agreed to be a part of her necessary support system.
The 16th of every month, Gloria hosts a day where the health department promoters weigh the children, measure their height, dispense vitamins (when they have them) and keep track of the child’s development and health. Mothers in the community walk for miles over mountains and up trails, with a child in their arms to get their children to the building where the volunteers and health department promoters are. While we were talking, Gloria shared the concern that many children of 2 or 3 years of age still aren’t walking and have not achieved important milestones, as well as have other growth and health issues. When we shared more about how Identity Mission trains families to care for children correctly, she asked if we could share that information with her, other health promoters and the women in the community. We were excited about this invitation and agreed to join them at the next month’s meeting!
The next month at the meeting, we were able to share key information on child development with a group of 40 women (mothers, aunts, and grandmothers) and 10 of their husbands. They were so interested in the details and importance of milestones and breastfeeding and crawling, etc. It was such an honor to share with them practical ways they can help their child develop in a healthier way, as well as share with them the love of Christ and pray for them!
The health promoters were thrilled! They had never had so many families come, and they asked for help with some cases they have in the community and asked for more training for themselves. To be able to share knowledge and resources that will equip and empower these men and women to be an agent of change in their community was surprising, refreshing and an answer to prayer! This is exciting for us as it shows how ready they are for knowledge and how their hearts yearn for change and development for their community! This training was the beginning to a partnership that will serve to change the course of a community, potentially preserving hundreds of families over time, and it all began with the reintegration of Rebecca into her family!