What do roofs and roasted roulade have in common? The roasted roulade was part of a gourmet Valentine’s dinner that also included heart-shaped mashed potatoes to raise funds to build roofs,  latrines, and concrete floors for Honduran families in need.

The dinner was hosted by Carpenteros and Friends, a ministry started by Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Flamborough, Ont. Carpenteros has been serving up a delicious Valentine’s dinners since 2004 to raise funds for community improvement projects for villages in Honduras. The Carpenteros Bistro includes dedicated volunteers who work countless hours to prepare and set up for the event, now fine-tuned to execute an impressive evening of good food, good music, and great fellowship. 

These dinners have raised over $225,000 over the last 14 years. The Carpenteros serve the neediest families as identified by  partnering organizations in Honduras. They work closely with World Renew-Canada and World Renew staff in HondurasDiaconia Nacional, Alfalit, Harvest, MCM/Stewardship of Christian Ministries, and the Association for a More Just Society in Honduras to carry out these projects. Each year, one or two teams travel to work with local Hondurans in the building or repair projects. With over 25 teams now sent from Calvary CRC and many repeat volunteers, the Carpenteros have built meaningful relationships with fellow Hondurans.

“What’s really great are the friendships that have grown through this movement, a genuine connecting and a bond in Christ,” explained Carpentero Ken Bosveld, member of Calvary CRC.  “And as you build relationships, you can really see the needs.”

The Carpenteros have set up other initiatives, including 60 community based micro-credit unions, a direct-trade coffee project, and an education fund to help transform communities in Honduras. They have also raised funds to build communal wells to provide communities with clean water for years to come. 

From its beginnings in 2001 as an earthquake response team in El Salvador to the organization it is today, it is evident from the faces pictured in the hundreds of photos that flowed on the projector screen throughout the Valentines dinner and on the faces of those cooking, serving, and cleaning, that this ministry been transformational for both those in Honduras and for the church that started it.

“The Hondurans have taught us so much about hospitality, about prayer, and about trusting in God,” said Bosveld. “It’s been such a blessing. A blessing that flows in both directions.”

About the Author

Krista Dam-Vandekuyt is the Banner’s regional news correspondent for classis Hamilton.