The Hayes Zoo

Our Purpose


- to know God and use our entire lives in service to Him.

- to stand in the gap through prayer, giving and service to viable ministries in Latin America.

- to be transparent helpers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, using our resources and skills that through the Holy Spirit, we might encourage and equip those who have less.

- to share a living perspective from Latin America to our churches, friends and family in the states and beyond.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

of politics and such ...

Note - I have received several comments on this post, asking if it is ok to link to it. Please do - feel free to link this post, forward this post, and do whatever else to get the word out!

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I will preface this post be saying it is political in nature. As Americans living in a foreign country as missionaries, we would be wise to stay out of politics and focus on spiritual matters, so I will do my best to make this short. I will also preface by saying that I will not address the issue of who the Honduran president should be, and my words here are directed to neither the people nor the government of Honduras. My message is for the United States and its leaders.

I wrote in a blog post a year ago, as we were leaving Mexico for Honduras, that our time in Mexico had been spent as ambassadors, and that, probably more than anything else we did there, as we walked the streets everyday and as we paid our bills and interacted with the people in the grocery stores, our lives there were speaking to the people around us about our Lord Jesus and also about Uncle Sam. They saw us as Americans first, Christians second, and the things we did everyday were statements to the people there about Christ and about America. But, an ambassador’s job is bi-directional. As he represents one country while in another, he also brings petitions and grievances from his host country to his home government. As we have lived in Latin America we have had ample opportunity to bring the needs of our friends and the people around us before God; today I bring to the American people a need and a plea from the people of Honduras.


On Saturday evening, June 27, I called my parents in the US and talked to them for a bit. I told them that there was a political coup pending down here, and that things were likely to get dicey here for awhile. This, again, was Saturday night, the night before Zelaya was ousted, and the coup many in the country were expecting was that of then-president Zelaya effectively rendering the Honduran constitution impotent and setting himself up as a dictator in the form of Chavez or Castro. The expectation was that the encuesta – the public survey he insisted on holding on Sunday – would be held up as showing that the public overwhelmingly supported Zelaya in changing the constitution to his whim, beginning with the removal of term limits. By Saturday the congress and the supreme court of Honduras had already determined such a move would be illegal, would be a direct affront to the constitution of Honduras, and had stated that if president Zelaya moved forward with his plan to hold his encuesta, he would be arrested. The view by many Hondurans before this past weekend was – and still is – that Zelaya was a threat to the country, that he wanted to make the country like Venezuela, and that the congress was really the only hope of keeping him from doing that.


I will not claim to speak for the Honduran people; they are speaking for themselves. There are riots and protests going on in this country; there are people attacking other people and vandalizing businesses. There are also peaceful protests going on, people holding banners and flags and asking for peace and order. People holding signs and chanting, “we don’t want to be Cuba”, and “we reject Chavez and Ortega”, and “keep Zelaya out”. The later are the larger groups – the numbers in the press say 25,000 people, 50,000 people. These peaceful protests started a week and a half ago, protesting where Zelaya was going with Honduras. The former group is smaller, but noisier; violent. And this is the group that the world press seems to see and show. Whatever it was, the ouster of president Zelaya was not an isolated event done by a heavy-handed military in the face of the government and the citizens of the country. And not everyone shouting in the streets wants him back. All of the pictures included in this post have been taken in Honduras within the past week, and are of demonstrations against what the people here think Zelaya will do in power. If you doubt this, go to www.onlinenewspapers.com, go to Honduras, and look at the current papers here. Even if you don't read Spanish, the photos speak volumes.


I do have personal feelings about the situation here in Honduras; I have tried to keep them to myself and present only the facts of the case. Regardless of whether the current government was right in removing Zelaya, trying to forcefully restore the peg into the hole that expelled it will not work. It will certainly be the end of the government and military who expelled him in the first place; it will be the end of the free press here, and disastrous for the thousands of people in Honduras who wanted him out. And I believe long-term, it will be harmful to the United States I love. The embargos and sanctions that the US and other countries are threatening will be devastating to most of the people in this country - a kick in the face to one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere, who are doing all they know how to avoid going the route of Cuba and Venezuela. If Zelaya should be reinstated, let it be done via an impartial court of law, and only after considering all the facts of the case and with the voice of the people of Honduras in mind. And don’t make things worse for the Honduran people in the meantime.


The future of Honduras as we know it depends upon people joining us in contacting their president and other elected officials and expressing themselves on this issue. The ball is already rolling on this, and from where I stand, the path it's rolling down has no happy ending.


Our family came to Honduras to help the people here. In our time here we have been involved in a variety of efforts in helping the local churches here, in addition to humanitarian work. From the way things look right now, next week we will quite possibly be evacuating the country, fleeing not Honduras, not the political ‘coup’ that occurred Sunday, not the national police force or the military, but the policies of our own nation and the fallout from that. And as we leave, we will have to do so with heavy hearts and with apologies to a great many friends and people here for what our country is doing.


- Alan Hayes

13 comments:

Enamorada de un Hondureño said...

Oh no this doesn't sound good! I will definetely try to contact the president!

Suzanne said...

I really respect what you've written on the situation in Honduras. I agree with you - I feel ashamed that the USA is pushing its views onto Honduras in a move that will probably bring much violence and heartache for the people of Honduras. Keep praying and doing the best that you can with the situation you are facing. If you decide you must leave Honduras in the near future because of this situation, know that you've done your best and that even though you will no longer be there, the people of Honduras will continue to be in God's hands.

Lana Brubacher said...

Thank you for the update. We will be praying.

Kelly said...

Thank you for such a wonderful article. My heart goes out to you, our friends and family in Honduras. May the Lord keep His hand upon this country.

Birthblessed said...

Thanks for giving us your voice. I'd love to post this on my FB...

Psallite Domino said...

Adding my prayers to the others! Please, Lord...protect and defend!

MiPa said...

Thank you for the update and the careful examination of what is happening. Is it okay with you to link to this to help give this side of the picture?

Michael said...

Allen.. thank you for your thoughtful, clear and insightful update.. You and your family are beacons of hope and help in as the Lord is using you to 'live out' the reality of WHO Christ IS!!! You are faithful!!!

You are in our hearts and prayers as you seek counsel and wisdom your future.. Our Father will give you His heart and wisdom!!

Let us know how we can help in any way..

We love you and trust God to care for and protect you as you continue to walk before Him and His kids in Honduras!!

Mike

Theresa in WV said...

I so appreciate reading the viewpoint of an American living in Honduras. Thank you.

Grateful for Grace said...

Faith, I"m praying. I am stunned by the whole thing. I will be taking time tomorrow to make calls and send emails to US leaders. I feel like it is useless, but I will try anyway.

Hugs from afar,
GfG

Grateful for Grace said...

Faith,
I'm praying here. I'm so stunned and saddened by what is happening. Honestly, it scares me on several levels. I have set aside time tomorrow to make calls and send emails to US leaders, but I feel like it's useless. I'll try any way.

hugs from afar,
GfG

Grateful for Grace said...

P.S. I'd like to post this on my Facebook, too!

MERRITT FAMILY: said...

Thank you, Alan. Well said! I just posted a short speech by Sen. Coburn of OK. He did a great job stating the same views you shared. I pray the U.S. leaders and listening and will reassess the situation and their response. As Coburn said, I think the U.S. is currently "on the wrong side of freedom" in this case.

I know you all are in transition...so sorry. Praying for you, Faith, and your whole family.

blessings,
shelley merritt.