The $5000 Mansion
August, 2016

Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." Matt. 25:40

Published by the Society of the Good Shepherd, P. O. Box 122, Amberson, PA 17210. (717) 349-7033

Last fall, on the night of October 15, Siguatepeque received heavy rains. Most of Siguatepeque is on elevated ground, so most people in the town were not affected by the rain—other than damage to their streets. However, a part of Siguatepeque lies in a river valley, with houses situated alongside the river. As the rains continued that night, the river began to rise dramatically, and then it spilled over its banks. The waters flooded the houses lying alongside or near the river. Honduras microloan

One such house that was flooded was that of Antonio and Elia Alvarado. The river had not gone over its banks in many decades, so they didn’t fear when the heavy rains pounded their house that night. Elia was 8-1/2 months pregnant at the time, and the family had no place to go. However, as the waters kept rising and began entering their home, they became concerned. Still, they thought the water would pose no danger. However, at 11:30 p.m. that night, the waters were still rising, so Antonio and Elia and their two daughters climbed out a window and fled to higher ground.

The next day, they returned to their house to discover they had lost everything. The house itself had been damaged beyond repair. Antonio buys coconuts and resells them on the streets for a living. So although Antonio is a hard worker, the family is poor and had no funds to rebuild. Blessedly, one of Antonio’s neighbors was Ovidio Gonzales, a loan beneficiary of the Society of the Good Shepherd. Ovidio is a very committed Christian and a youth pastor. Ovidio’s house was on higher ground, so it wasn’t damaged. Honduras microloan

When Ovidio learned that Antonio had no resources to rebuild, he told Antonio that he knew of a Christian organization that might be able to help him. So he told Luis Vega, one of our directors, about Antonio’s situation. Luis was in touch with a group of brothers and sisters in Idaho who were planning to come to Siguatepeque in February of 2016 in order to build a house for any family in need. This group belongs to the Old German Baptist Brethren, a church that is similar to the conservative Mennonites and Amish. They have had close connections with the Society of the Good Shepherd for many years.

Honduras microloan Antonio did not want to rebuild close to the river, so he was eventually able to find a small lot on the outskirts of town, halfway up a mountain. The group from Idaho arranged for some local workers to pour the foundation before the group arrived in February. Once there, the men quickly went to work, and worked hard. As a result, they were able to complete the house in about two weeks. Antonio worked alongside them each day, as did some local workers they had hired. The sisters prepared the meals for them each day and did the laundry.

Deborah and I were down in Siguatepeque on Society business when the house was completed, and we were able to meet Antonio and his family. As the construction neared completion, we and many of the volunteers gathered with them for a prayer of thanksgiving. Honduras microloan

Because Antonio and Elia’s new house was built primarily with volunteer labor, the group was able to construct the house for only $5000. The Society of the Good Shepherd paid for part of the cost of the house, and the group of volunteer workers from Idaho paid for the rest out of their pockets. Their new house is solidly built with a cement floor, concrete block construction, and metal roof. It has electricity and indoor plumbing. Although it is a simple house, it is nicer than what the majority of Hondurans live in. To the Alvarado family, their new $5000 house is a mansion!

The Society of the Good Shepherd, P. O. Box 122, Amberson, PA 17210 • (717) 349-7033

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