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Home > Interpreter Magazine > Archives > 2005 Archives > April 2005 > Empty banana crates rejunvenate Honduran medical clinic

Empty banana crates rejuvenate Honduran medical clinic

During the past five years, members at First United Methodist Church in Frankfort (Ky.) have sent more than seven Volunteers-in-Mission teams and provided other missions outreach to the small community of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. As the church in the United States built a relationship with the people of this high-mountain village, members began dreaming about how God might use them to do more and give more.

One ongoing project has been to support a medical clinic with Forces Unitas Church in Tegucigalpa. The Frankfort church has sent health professionals to support and train residents, done construction work at the church and the adjacent medical clinic and taught Bible School.

Church members, many health professionals themselves, wanted to help the desperately needy medical community in Honduras. They asked the local hospital to contribute unused or surplus hospital equipment.

The result: contributions of new and almost-new hospital equipment that surpassed the church’s expectations. The equipment, valued at more than $2 million, filled three truck-sized cargo shipping containers.

But how would this equipment find its way to Honduras? A large freight company in the area ships fresh produce from Honduras to the United States. Every cargo container of fruit that arrives must be returned to Honduras, usually empty, to be refilled. The church arranged to use these empty cargo containers as “one-way” transit for the donated supplies. More than $15,000 was raised by several cooperating churches to pay for the inventory, storage, transit and customs fees.

The delivery was large enough to supply both the rural clinic and a nearby urban hospital with modern equipment. The rural clinic at Forces Unitas Church now has the capacity to handle more complicated medical procedures.

“I think one reason God had blessed our church is because we’ve consistently invested ourselves in missions projects both here in our community as well as with the people of Honduras,” says the Rev. Jack Brewer, pastor at First Church. “Our members say, ‘Yes, we can do this,’ because they know we’re not a selfish congregation. We’re trying to make a difference in the whole community: education, healthcare, quality of life and spiritual nurture. This is the social gospel, and our church is benefiting by it.”

To learn about this partnership, contact the church at (502) 227-7430 or e-mail .

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