April 29, 2020 / Interview with Sara Reyes / Source: Amber Grim
Poverty, lack of education and limited access to healthcare are no stranger to Sara Reyes. A native of Honduras, she’s seen firsthand both the struggles of her people and the ray of hope solar electricity brings to her nearby communities.
But it’s her heart for serving that sets Sara apart and makes her an invaluable member of our team as the Honduras Programs Coordinator. “I believe the Church is not just four walls in a room, but how you show Jesus’ love on a daily basis,” she says. “Anything that can help our people is of the greatest value and something we as Christians should do.”
How did you get involved and what’s your role with SonLight Power?
I work at Vida Abundante, a church here in Tegucigalpa. Jenny Sasson [wife of SonLight Power executive director, Kevin Sasson] contacted me to see if our church wanted to partner with SonLight Power as a local ministry. After seeing the great impact solar electricity was having for people around us, I talked with my dad (who’s the senior pastor), and he immediately said YES!
My team and I work with community leaders, mayors, teachers and parents to locate schools in surrounding areas that are completely off the grid. Then once we’ve found locations that will benefit from solar power, I coordinate what a missions team will need for a trip like transportation, lodging, translators and security. Vida Abundante also provides a storage space for SonLight Power’s installation supplies.
What can a team expect when they arrive in Honduras?
I meet missions teams at the airport, and then we host a welcome dinner. This is a great time to get to know each other and talk about the logistics of the installation. Or in some cases, I welcome back people from previous missions, and it’s like reuniting with family again!
Honduras is a safe place, but different from what many people are used to in America. So during a team’s stay, I help teach newcomers the customs of our country. And I’m sort of a hotel concierge, guiding people to reliable places to visit, tour, and eat while they’re here.
Can you describe the communities where you serve?
Most Honduran families are large with at least five children, and the areas we serve vary from 40 to 80 families. These communities will have just one school (without electricity) to serve all of these kids!
Since the region is mountainous, the communities are hard to access. Most people don’t have cars and either walk or ride horses on roads that only get maintenanced once a year for the coffee season. But they’re dirt, and if it rains a lot, the roads become hard to travel on.
Even though this part of Honduras is a very rich valley, the people living here continue to struggle. Most families live on less than $1 a day. Since the communities are hard to get to, they remain off the electrical grid. And that causes a generational cycle of poverty and lack of education.
How have you seen SonLight Power changing lives in Honduras?
After partnering with this mission, I certainly have stories about people gaining access to vaccines and nebulizers as a matter of life or death. And I know SonLight Power is giving kids a better education with computers and technology.
But beyond the physical needs, I’m keenly aware of the psychological benefit the SonLight Power team gives when they visit Honduras. Engaging with the communities, talking with the people, eating together, praying for families, and even playing with the kids creates just as much hope as solar power.
For example, once a SonLight Power team painted women’s nails. It’s such a simple act, but that gave them a chance to ask about these women’s lives, pray for their families, and display the love of Jesus. After being outcast by society, these people are shown respect, acceptance, and most of all love, and that’s truly changing lives.
The power of hope cannot be underestimated, and we will never be able to measure how one mission can impact or change a community or a person.
What are your hopes and dreams for people in your community?
This mission is two-fold. I wish for improved access to medical care, education, technology, and living conditions in general. But I also personally hope that SonLight Power helps both children and families experience the power and caring of a God that loves them! That even when our government and fellow Hondurans have forgotten or ignored them, that they would know God has not forgotten them. He is providing hope in a magnificent way by moving hearts far way to do His will here.
Our missions to Honduras and other countries around the globe would not be possible without the generous support of people just like you. If you’d like to join the mission, whether in the field or through a financial gift, we’re excited to have you on our team.
Want to learn more about SonLight Power and how you can help?
Connect with us at Info@SonLightPower.org or 513-285-9960 Ext. 4.
For more information: #GivingTuesdayNow Message: Spotlight on Sara Reyes