Go to the web page for the Sandtown United Methodist Church, in Neshoba County, and click on the tab for Ministry and Mission. Then scroll down to Honduras Missions and click. And the bottom photograph is a Jelly House.
No it's not made OUT of jelly, but back in Mississippi, someone made a lot of jelly that raised the money to buy the material that the mission group from Sandtown Church used in Honduras to build it.
Connie Walters lives in the community and is a member of the church and has always been a home canner, especially around this time of the year and especially making jams and jellies.
Everybody in the church takes part in helping with the annual Mission Trip to Honduras and the sweet idea hit Connie as to exactly how to add her touch to the mission.
I wanted to help," said Connie. "And I'm retired. And one thing that I can do is make jam and jellies for my family. So I thought, Well I'll see if I can sell some. And it went over really well. And then REALLY well! And so now I do about 16-hundred jars a year. And that buys the material to build one house in Honduras."
Connie knows who is to get the next jelly house. And she keeps a photo of them tacked up beside her sink in her kitchen as inspiration.
Sixteen-hundred jars of homemade jelly MAKES a home for a family in Honduras; from sticks and pieces of tin to cinder blocks and a real roof.
Connie is quick to say that although she's the cook in the kitchen, she has lots of helpers with her jelly.
"God just has people bringing me strawberries," said Connie. "I came home one day and there was two cases of strawberries in my refrigerator and I don't even know where they came from. They know what I'm trying to do for the Lord and so other people help."
My Sunday School teachers were always trying to tell us kids that we were the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. I never thought of that as including stirring steaming pots of cooking jelly and putting it in jars. But ya know, it doesn't grow that way. If it's going to get canned and sold, somebody is going to have to do it.
Connie Walters is that somebody in Neshoba County. And in doing so, is Making a Sweet Difference to some people's lives in Honduras.
The next trip to build another Jelly House for the group from Sandtown United Methodist comes up in May of 2014.
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