A small group of Christians from Southern Ontario has caught the attention of the Honduran First Lady, Her Excellency Rosa Elena Bonilla de Lobo.
On September 27, Lobo attended the annual fundraising banquet held by Carpenteros and Friends, a group that has worked in Honduras and El Salvador for more than a decade.
(L-r) Ken Vanderlaan, Honduran First Lady Rosa Elena Bonilla de Lobo, Honduran ambassador to Canada Sofia Ceratto Rodriguez, and Maria Vanderlaan
Manifesto Photography, Joshua Klassen
Dinner organizer Ken Bosveld explained that the paths of Carpenteros and the Honduran First Lady have crossed a number of times in the past year because of a shared passion for and dedication to improving the lives of the Honduran people. Through a chance encounter with the Honduran ambassador to Canada, Carpenteros got the idea to invite Lobo to Canada. To their delight, she accepted.
Her Excellency was moved to tears at the banquet, after listening to the reports on the work and ministry being done in her country and the strong support of the over 400 people in attendance at the banquet.
“Thank you for loving Honduras. People like you are the ones the world needs,” she stated. “You are an example, and you are helping to change the way of thinking in our country. I believe God makes everything happen for a reason, and God brought you here tonight.”
“You—Carpenteros, you are famous in Honduras!” she exclaimed.
The group, which started with some volunteers from Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Flamborough, Ontario, has raised over a million dollars in the last decade in support of Honduras. Each year they send several teams to assist in work projects. They are excited to see how the ministry will continue to grow now they are becoming more well-known.
Organizers said that the First Lady’s presence at the banquet is a testimony to the long-term effectiveness of their work; they have plans to tie in to some of her charitable work in the future.