I would usually take our medical teams to the east coast of Honduras. There are so many really poor villages of people there along the coast and inland from there. However, we went two times into the Province of Yoro in the central highlands, and the town of Yoro with teams sponsored by First Baptist Church of Carrollton, Texas. This is an extremely poor area of Honduras.
At Yoro there is a strange thing that happens every year, and sometimes two to four times a year. Fish fall from the sky. The locals call it, lluvia de pesces.
When I first heard of it, of course I did not believe it. How could such happen. But I met so many people from there, including my eventual evangelist lady, Onelia, that had gathered the fish in baskets and had sea food that they only get to eat that one or a few more times a year. They consider it a gift from God, and so many of these people are so desperately poor that they really need the protein, especially at that time of the summer.
This has been happening for generations. They say that in the mid 1800’s a Catholic missionary named Manuel de Jesús Subirana came to Yoro to minister to the people. He was so distressed over their poverty and lack of food that he fasted and prayed for three days and three nights. The people say that immediately after that the fish started falling and have done so ever since. A team from National Geographic actually got to be there and record it in the 1970’s. And on our second trip to Yoro I missed it by only two weeks.
There is a mountain range just to the west of Yoro. Onelia said that when the clouds got extremely black coming over those mountains she would ask the priest if it was time. He would say that they need to be even more black. Finally, he would say: “Get your baskets, it is time”. And after those clouds have passed, they would go out to this field and fill their baskets with fish.
Having an engineering degree and having taken all those science courses, I really wanted an explanation; so I set out to find the answer. Sometimes the fish are small and silver colored like sardines, but more often they are much larger. I got Onelia and some of the other people there to draw me pictures of exactly what the larger fish looked like.
I have had some great times with my father catching big sail fish in the Pacific fairly near shore in southern Mexico. Every time we went out, we would pass large schools of bonito schooling right on top of the water.
Those pictures that they drew looked exactly like the bonito, which are related to tuna fish.
Almost every afternoon, cold air would drift out from the mountains there and water spouts would drop down and just “play around” over the water. Sometimes we would have to wait until they went back up into the clouds before we could get back with our boat to where we were staying. I just know that sometimes those bonito were sucked up and carried over the mountains to Yoro. But you say, how could a storm be that strong?
On the afternoon that our medical team was coming back from the mountain where we had ministered to the Indians that had never seen a white man, I saw what it looks like. From our eclectic caravan of cars and trucks, we saw a storm coming toward us from the west. I have seen lots of weather, but I have never seen clouds that incredibly black and lightning that intense. Sometimes in Texas storm clouds will look dark blue, but these were absolutely black. I did not hear of any fish coming down that day, but I could see how a storm that intense could keep fish up there and carry them east.
So I thought that I was so smart for figuring out how this happened. Then I saw the pictures from National Geographic, the New York Times, and the History Channel and others that had recorded those fish. And I knew that I was not correct, for there were all kinds of fish and different colors. I have no “rational” or “practical” explanation. Some of those pictures showed fish with no eyes. They had to have come from some cavern or underground river to have no eyes. And why do those fish fall every year just in that spot……most in just one field adjacent to Yoro at La Unión. Maybe the people are correct. Maybe God is sending them protein as was promised to the missionary, Manuel de Jesús Subirana, so many, many years ago.
Of course, the people there consider it a direct gift from God, and I would not dispute them. They really need the protein. Sometimes the fish fall in town, but almost without exception, for several generations the fish fall in a particular field next to a suburb of Yoro called, La Unión. They even have a festival and parade in little La Unión every year where they elect a “Miss Falling Fish” as queen…..Senorita Lluvia de Peces…….or, Miss Fish Rain. She rides in a float dressed as a mermaid.
Since I know some of you still won’t believe this, here is an article from the New York Times from last summer:
Every Year the Sky ‘Rains Fish’
By KIRK SEMPLE
JULY 16, 2017, THE NEW YORK TIMES
YORO, Honduras — “Things don’t come easy in La Unión, a small community on the periphery of Yoro, a farming town in north-central Honduras.”
(Click on this site and read more of it, or paste it in your browser)
Like I wrote before, here in the U.S. which has so many churches and Christian media, evidently God does not need to show his Spirit Power so much. However, you get far enough away to places with little Christian influence, and one gets to see actual manifestations of God’s Spirit Power.