SOURCE: www.bpnews.net (Baptist Press), "Hondurans give $18,000 to Hispanic church hit by Katrina," October 21, 2005.
KEYWORDS: generosity, 2 Corinthians 1:4
"Seven years ago, the Good Shepherd Hispanic Baptist Church in Metairie, Louisiana showed compassion to fellow believers in Honduras who were suffering after a hit from Hurricane Mitch. The people at Good Shepherd sent twelve containers of food and clothing to an evangelical church and a Baptist church in Honduras in 1998 to meet the needs left by the storm. When Hurricane Katrina hit Good Shepherd hard this summer, they were surprised when both Honduran churches returned the favor by helping them.
Though the people of the Honduran Baptist Church were poor people who worked in the local marketplace, they sent their pastor a love offering of $1,000 to help their American friends. The other church from Honduras sent their pastor and five workmen along with a gift of $17,000 to help Good Shepherd. The men helped in cleanup efforts, and cooked a chicken dinner for a celebration service attended by more than 450 people.
The Pastor of Good Shepherd Church, Gonzalo Rodriguez said Good Shepherd never expected the Honduran churches would remember what they did seven years ago and decide to come and help. He said, "What makes a difference is that Honduras is what we consider a country of the third world. They are very poor people and we never expected they would come here to help us."
Rodriguez is thankful for the gifts and admits Good Shepherd will struggle for some time because most of their congregation was scattered by the storm and have not returned. He hopes the church can reach out to other Hispanics in the community during this opportune time. He added, "We need to organize an evangelistic team because there are lots of needs among all the people without a place to stay, and we need the wisdom to see how we can help these people."