May 20, 2019 / Source: John Stowell

Honduras Through A Fresh Lens

Your impact through SonLight Power has never been more relevant in a familiar mission field

When you’re traveling on your first SonLight Power mission trip, you see things through a fresh lens.

That’s particularly true for Sarah Topp, who literally saw the vivid impact of light through a camera lens on a recent SonLight Power mission trip to Honduras.

Sarah, a video production manager with Rebel Pilgrim, documented how your support and the service of SonLight Power trip participants continue to equip vulnerable children, families and communities with life-changing hope and solar power. 
 
“It was a week I will never forget,” Sarah said recalling the late November trip into the Honduran countryside to the village of Yamaranguila, more than an hour’s off-road drive away from the end of the electrical grid. “The people, especially the kids, were so excited to see us.”

While the SonLight Power mission team installed pole-mounted solar power systems at three schools in the region, Sarah was busy recording moments of impact for a series of short videos – one of which was just released on the SonLight Power YouTube channel. Through her lens, Sarah watched as sustainable electricity from solar power was introduced for the first time ever to hundreds of children and their families.
 
“Sarah and the team witnessed firsthand why the SonLight Power mission has never been more relevant than now in places like Honduras,” noted Kevin Sasson, SonLight Power executive director.

“The headlines today are often about walls and migrant caravans,” said Kevin, “but headlines aside,
there are vulnerable families in Honduras right now who are faced with decisions that you and I pray we would never have to be faced with.”

Kevin continued, “Our mission goes to these places to meet with school children and their families – to share hope in a God who loves them through the light of Jesus. And that there are people who care. God is using SonLight Power to bring His Kingdom together, to connect.” 

Gary Antonius, a veteran of several SonLight Power mission trips, called the impact of the Yamaranguila installations “generational.” That’s because for the first time, thanks to clean solar power, children living in the region today and into the future will have an opportunity for a better education and ultimately improve their quality of life.

Your impact cannot be overstated. In the context of current events, the difference you’re making through SonLight Power may very well give desperate parents and young adults the reason they need to hope for a better life in Honduras rather than risk their lives in a dangerous migration northward to the U.S. border.

“There was so much going on while I was filming,” Sarah said, “but to me, it was the kids and the looks on the faces of local community members that I’ll remember. You try and capture as much as possible because you don’t know as you’re filming what kinds of stories will come out of the trip. So, you just go for everything. And there was a lot.”


Because Rebel Pilgrim has been a long-time media partner of SonLight Power, Sarah was already familiar with the mission. She had talked with colleagues who had participated on past SonLight Power trips. Still, she faced a barrier that required her to conduct interviews with help from Spanish language interpreters.

“I thought ‘oh no’ this is going to be really hard and frustrating, but the interpreters were there at a moment’s notice for us and they were wonderful,” she said. “It turned out to be a beautiful way to partner three people in telling a story and providing a bridge of communication that I think viewers of the videos will appreciate.”

SonLight Power partnered again on this trip with Vida Abundante, a church based in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. Vida Abundante provided logistical leadership, interpreters and electricians to serve with the U.S.-based team members.

“What SonLight Power is doing is really important and has such an impact in these communities,” Sara Reyes, Vida Abundante trip director said. Sara also noted the communities showed their appreciation as several villagers helped with the installations. “SonLight Power is not only providing light through clean energy, but also the Light of the Gospel.”
 
After the installations were completed, it was Thanksgiving back home, so Sara Reyes organized a special celebration of the U.S. holiday on Honduran soil for the U.S. team members. It was hosted by teachers from the three schools and blended U.S. culture with Honduran foods.

Sarah Topp remembers the pumpkin flan and had no complaints that it stood in place of the traditional pumpkin pie.

Best of all, now that the village of Yamaranguila has electricity, residents will be able to enjoy what we often take for granted – leftovers!
Related Resources:

In this brief video featuring footage from the November 2018 mission trip to Honduras, SonLight Power
mission team leaders Gary Antonius, Sara Reyes and Jenny Sasson share a variety of perspectives on the
immediate and sustained impact that SonLight Power's outreach of faith-based compassion and solar
power have on remote schools and communities living without basic electricity in Honduras:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIwlkRoLKn4

This Wall Street Journal piece entitled, “Why Hondurans Flee for the U.S.” dated April 7, 2019 by Mary
Anastasia O’Grady connects the current flow of migrants northward from Honduras and Central America
with opportunities for economic development fueled by reliable electricity:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-hondurans-flee-for-the-u-s-11554661716
 

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