Recently, I read a Honduran Newspaper article, that cited a study stating that two of the top ten most violent cities in the world are found right here in Honduras. San Pedro Sula (the industrial capital in the north coast) was number two and Tegucigalpa was number seven. In addition, five of these ten cities are located here in Central America.
These statistics are alarming and truly horrifying, especially for all of those who have been victims or family members of victims of violent crimes. Just last month, a 23 year-old young man from our church was murdered in front of his mother’s house at twelve noon, in La Travesía, a community that borders on La Era. Almost everyone we meet have had a family member or friend murdered. Hondurans are often scared to leave their houses, especially after dark.
Most of the victimizer’s violent patterns begin during adolescence and 45% of Honduran’s population is under age 18! For the most part this youth population has hardly any opportunities, very little job prospects and few quality education opportunities and as such Honduras’ youth is a growing time-bomb waiting to explode.
But who is investing in the Honduran children and youth so that these awful patterns of violence stop? The government? The schools? The family? The church? The non-profits? Sadly, the Honduran government is nothing short of an absolute disaster and houses some of the biggest murderers, thieves, and narco-traffikers in the country. NGOs, churches, and others must invest in Honduras’ children and youth impacting many many more lives than they already, working to defuse this time bomb, and instead transforming children and youth to be a catalyst for positive change and blessing in Honduran society.
Realizing the horrible daily violence that goes on in Honduras is no-doubt frightening, and a cause for us to be on our knees everyday asking for God’s protection, however, at the same time it makes us recognize even more the great importance of Jubilee’s ministry among the youth population in Tegucigalpa. Everyday, as we have the opportunity to minister to children at Jubilee’s Christian school where our biggest concern and priority is making a lasting impact and a Christ-centered transformation in the lives of the kids and their families and in turn in life of the community. We hope, pray, and trust that the investment we make today in children’s lives will reap a harvest one-hundred within the Honduran society and will also be a cause for many many celebrations in heaven.
The bloodshed of innocent victims cries out to us who are still living, revealing to us that our ministry with children and youth will not be in vain, but will truly be the catalyst for transformation in the Honduran society.