Larry Wu, Director of Field Operations, and Milton Jones, CRF CEO, are visiting CRF programs in Central America this week.  Here is Larry’s first blog post from the trip.  Keep checking back for more!

Flying into Tegucigalpa airport, I was thinking to myself how much the mountains around the city looked like the mountains around Kisumu, Kenya. I am familiar with traveling in Kenya, and am equally unfamiliar with travel in Central America. But the similarities don’t end with the topography. It FEELS like I am in a familiar place, meeting familiar people, and hearing familiar stories.

Everywhere CRF goes, it seems that poor people live similar lives. They work long hard hours to feed their families, and their day doesn’t end when work ends. They have to travel home and then put dinner on the table. The poor walk a lot. Whether it is fetching water, or walking home from the last bus stop 2-3 miles yet from home. Meat is a rarity in the diet. School is a luxury. Opportunity is scarce. Hard work is a destiny. Joy, generosity, faith, and love come easily. They are thankful for what little they have. They know complaining doesn’t accomplish anything.

Here’s a story that has a familiar sound to it as well. Milton and I spent the better part of the afternoon and evening traveling in the mountains around Tegucigalpa to visit an area where the poorest of the poor of Honduras live. It was suggested as a possible new program for CRF in Honduras. We met a local preacher, Leopold, and followed him as he sped off. The drive there is what I describe as “kidney-busting” the roads are so bad. Crawling up and down potholes, driving on the dirt to avoid large trucks, and trying to avoid bumps, lumps, and crazy motorcycle drivers. After a couple of hours, we were asking where we were being taken. “A little farther” is a very common answer when you really don’t want your passengers to know how really far off your destination is.

We ended up in a small compound where a small church meets. The local volunteer preacher, Coronado, greeted us, introduced us to his family, and showed us his humble home. The family of 10 subsists on what is grown on about an acre of ground. Corn, beans, some rice, and vegetables. If he has a little cash, he buys some meat for the family. Three of the little boys slept on a single mattress on the floor. The chickens live in the home as well to keep them safe. There was a bad corn crop this year, and about 1/3 of his corn is moldy. This won’t stop them from eating it because they need all the corn they can get. So they mix a little in with the good corn to spread it out. But the kids were happy, they sang us songs, and didn’t know how poor they are.

The last time Milton and I experienced a trip exactly like this was when we were asked to come to a distant city and check out a possible new project. We were to meet a young preacher at the post office on a specific day. The day had been set up months before, and we weren’t sure we could even make it. But make it we did over roads very similar to the ones we drove on today. And that young preacher was there waiting as he said he would be. We questioned the difficulty of the trip, wondered if it was worth it, doubting he would even be there. But that is the day that we met Francis Bii at the Eldoret, Kenya post office. That small project that was started that day is probably one of the best we have ever started. God really blessed us with a steadfast,  faithful, and loving man.

Maybe Coronado will be the man who wants so much more for his faithful church family and neighbors. Maybe he won’t take “no” for an answer either.