What Can You Do With $25?
November/December, 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

Honduras microloan The principal ministry of the Society of the Good Shepherd in Honduras is making interest-free microloans to poor families in order to help them grow small businesses. When the loan is paid back, that same money is used to make a loan to another family. . .and so on.

However, one of the wonderful things about traveling to Honduras regularly is that Deborah and I become aware of other ways that Christians here in the States can bless the poor in Honduras.

One of the needs we learned about only a year ago is school uniforms for poor children. The public schools of Honduras provide free education through sixth grade to all children. To be sure, a sixth-grade education wonít qualify anyone for the top-paying jobs. But it does lift a child from the very bottom rung of the poverty scale.

Honduras microloan However, even though education in the public schools is free, the children must wear the prescribed uniform: (1) navy blue pants for boys and navy blue skirts for girls and (2) a white shirt or blouse. Plus, they must wear the prescribed shoes. Some Honduran schools donít allow a child to attend school if he or she isnít wearing the prescribed uniform. However, most schools will allow the children to attend on a probationary basis. However, if the child hasnít acquired the proper uniform by the end of the term, he is not allowed to pass to the next grade. He has to repeat the same grade over.

Honduras microloan Various stores in Honduras sell school uniforms, and they cost about $25 per uniform. For the very poor, thatís a huge outlayóparticularly when they have a large family. Not that these children are dressed in rags. Used clothing from the U. S. is both plentiful and affordable. And this is what most children wear for everyday use. However, itís not acceptable as a school uniform. As a result, thousands of children end up not even completing sixth gradeósimply because their parents canít afford the cost of uniforms for them. Such children are usually illiterate as a result, and they are doomed to spend their lives working at low-paying jobsóworking as agricultural laborers, cleaning women, and open-market vendors.

About a year ago, we told our readers about this sad situation, and a number of readers donated money for school uniforms for these children. The Society then arranged for a Honduran pastor to contact a number of local schools and talk to the teachers in these schools. The teachers were able to give him a list of children at their schools who didnít have the necessary uniform and would therefore not be able to be promoted to the next grade at the end of the term.

Honduras microloan The pastor then used the money the Society had provided him to purchase uniforms for these students. The children were told that the uniforms were being furnished to them by caring Christians who wanted to help them. This way, the appreciation expressed by these children and their parents is directed to Christ

Now that we know how smoothly this ministry works, we would like to expand it to reach as many children as possible. I can honestly say that I donít know of a better way to spend $25. The impact on a childís life will be tremendous. One Sunday school teacher here in the States had her students contribute their small change towards this project, and these children were able to raise enough to purchase a complete uniform for a child in Honduras. If you teach Sunday school, you might want to make this a goal for your students as well. David Bercot

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

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Click on the following link if you would care to make a donation to the work in Honduras: Donations

100% of all donations go to the designated work in Honduras. We pay our own overhead and travel expenses. All loans made are interest-free. The Society of the Good Shepherd is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible.