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Grateful Hondurans extend helping hand to N.C. Baptists

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (BP)–“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over … .” (Luke 6:38)

North Carolina Baptists were reminded of this scriptural admonition when Honduran Baptists, still recovering from their own natural disaster, presented $1,000 to supplement Hurricane Floyd relief efforts during the recent Baptist State Convention of North Carolina annual meeting in Winston-Salem.

Hurricane Mitch ripped apart Honduras the last week of October 1998, but the disaster fostered a growing relationship between Honduran Baptists and their North Carolina counterparts. A formal partnership developed between the state convention and Honduran Baptists because of the disaster response.

As of November, North Carolina Baptists had sent 79 volunteer teams (72 construction and nine medical) consisting of 862 volunteers (781 construction and 81 medical) and built 152 houses. They expect to send 91 construction and 10 medical teams in 2000. The partnership will continue at least another year.

Grateful for this outpouring of volunteer and financial resources, Honduran Baptists wanted to respond when Hurricane Floyd blasted North Carolina this fall. They collected the financial gift and presented it via International Mission Board missionary Max Furr, disaster response coordinator for Southern Baptist missionaries working in Honduras.

“The Honduran Baptist people just felt that since North Carolina had been such a help to them in Hurricane Mitch with money, medicine, food, etc., they should and could return that kindness with a gift to help their relief efforts in North Carolina,” said Furr, a native of High Point, N.C.

Many Hondurans struggle for whatever they get, so giving to the church is a sacrifice, Furr said. Giving over and above their gifts to the church is exceptionally difficult. The $1,000 gift indicates the Hondurans’ deep desire to return the generosity of North Carolina Baptists, Furr said.

“It really meant a lot to us — it’s a tremendous sacrifice and a tremendous gift on their part,” said Mark Abernathy, associate director of North Carolina Baptist Men. “We were amazed and feel blessed.”

The money has been added to a state fund to rebuild houses in North Carolina, Abernathy reported. “It will go to do here exactly what we’re doing (in Honduras),” he said.

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  • Julie McGowan