Making a Difference, One Drop at a Time

Greater Works Trip to Honduras
Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
Group at the Well

Traveling group at the new well

There are rare moments when I have an opportunity to engage directly with saving lives.  This past April, I traveled with five amazing women (including two Good News Girlz) and one fortunate man to Honduras to do just that.  I saw change.

On our trip, I met precious twins that are right around nine weeks old.  They were born prematurely and weighed just over two pounds at birth.  The mother was unable to care for these babies right away because she suffered severe hemorrhaging and kidney failure, caused by malnutrition, post labor.  At first thought, these babies had little to no chance of survival.  However, their grandmother carried them to the home of our Honduras partners, Henry and Cindy Lowman (see for an article about Cindy), to ask for help.

In Honduras, it is crucial that babies breast-feed because the water used for formula by mass majority is full of bacteria and disease.   Cindy and her family gave these babies a hope for a future by taking sanitary bottles and clean water to the family every few days.

pouring cement for baby's family

Mixing cement for floor of babies' home

This story touched me in my soul.  Something as simple as pouring formula and water into a bottle can be as deadly as a firearm.  I babysit regularly and with each bottle I fill, never have I worried for that child's life.  Not every human shares my certainty.  It is stories like this one that make what we do as Greater Works- as humans- so important.

The well that we dug in Honduras is on the grounds of the hospital in La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras.  In speaking with the hospital Director and Chief of Surgery, I learned that this hospital services the entire state of Intibucá- more than 200,000 people.  They see an average of 70,000 patients including 3,500 births annually.   There are approximately 75 beds in the hospital.  The staff also informed me that they would not wash their hands before and after every procedure because the water at the hospital was not good.

at home in Honduras

At a local home - 2 rooms, 1 mom, 9 kids

There is a Women's Center located behind the hospital where women come one month prior to their due date so that they will have access to a doctor during childbirth.  This Center is also a place for women to recover from surgical procedures before traveling back into the mountains, often times a four-hour hike.

The GW well will provide clean water to both the hospital and the Women's Center.  The well is pumping 45 gallons per second when turned on and 5 gallons per second at rest.  The 5 gallons per second will be used to irrigate a garden adjacent the Women's Center that provides nutrient rich vegetables to the patients!

I cannot begin to express how it feels to be a part of something bigger than myself.  I can however, invite you to join me in the Greater Works that are happening every day.  Doing Greater Works is easy- it does not require much sacrifice to make a big difference in the world- all we have to do is recognize opportunities to participate in things that matter.  With a little discipline and self-awareness we can save lives.  I would like to challenge each of us to notice the people in our lives that need help, the people that live next door or work at our favorite Starbucks, the people that live in Africa or Honduras that are part of our shared humanity, the people that call us family- we can help them.  This is Greater Works.

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