GRACIAS, Honduras – Today, we saw the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering in action, with three men carrying nearly 60 pounds of food on their backs, across a shaky wooden footbridge to a family in need. Shannon Hopkins and his friends, Kevin and Hugo, carried the load of food to a family of 15, living in extreme poverty.
Shannon serves as a missionary with 61 Isaiah Ministries, a ministry that receives funding from the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, and seeks to provide food to those in crisis situations in and around Gracias, Honduras. 61 Isaiah Ministries also partners with Ellis Baptist Association to receive support for the work they are doing in Honduras.
Jose Elias is the patriarch of the family across the footbridge that we visited today. He is a fisherman by trade who lost three of his fingers on his right hand while fishing with dynamite in the nearby river over a year ago. Now, Elias looks for jobs he can do to provide food for his growing family (his youngest son is three months old and three grandchildren are due within the next few months). His face is weathered by the years, making him look much older than 57. His first wife passed away several years ago after battling a difficult illness and his 16-year-old son, Oscar, is currently in the hospital to receive treatment for epileptic seizures he has suffered from since infancy. Elias is in desperate need of hope and help.
When we arrived at his house today, the kitchen was completely bare with the exception of a small bowl of corn. The corn was soaking in water, waiting to be ground into meal and used to make tortillas for lunch. As we looked around, we realized there was literally nothing else for this family to eat.
The packages of food that were brought included 15 pounds of rice, 10 pounds of beans, 10 pounds of spaghetti, 20 pounds of maseca (used to make tortillas), spaghetti sauce, oatmeal, spices and lard. With this food, Elias and his family will have meals for the next 10 days. The timing of this delivery was clearly orchestrated by the Lord in a great time of need.
As Shannon has developed a relationship with this family over the past year, he has helped meet their obvious physical needs by bringing food when he can. More importantly, though, he has begun to share the gospel with Elias and his family. They have been talking recently about beginning a Bible study at his house to study the Word together.
While it takes a significant amount of time and resources to bring food to this family across the footbridge, Shannon knows the impact is worth it. The physical hunger of those in Honduras is significant, but the spiritual hunger is even more important. By taking time to meet these needs, Shannon is sharing the love of Christ.
Pray for Shannon and the relationship he is building with Elias and his family.
Pray for the Lord to use these packages of food to minister to those in need and to stir a desire for spiritual nourishment.
Pray for the more than 180 ministries supported by the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering that are changing lives every day through their work to end the cycle of hunger and poverty experienced by so many around the world.