Thursday, January 31, 2008

January Report

Monthly Report
January 2008
We arrived back in Honduras on January 1. We spent the month of December on the road in the states speaking and meeting with many churches and both old and new friends. Our first week back was spent taking care of some special requests and preparing for other new projects. This month we were able to construct a new kindergarten building in the community of Mirradol Oriente. The one room school is about the equivalent of 3 TORCH houses and it will be used by about 140 students – 70 in morning classes and 70 more in the afternoon classes. This little community was so excited to be finally getting a “Kinder” and they turned out in force to help us with the construction. We spent 3 full days building the new structure and will now work toward getting chairs and desks for all of the kids. The classes will begin on February 18 so that doesn’t give us a lot of time to furnish the building. The teaching will be done by Christian women from the community and every day the kids will be singing praises to our God, learning to pray, and learning to read and write.
Terri has spent a ton of time during both December and January coordinating the collection of school supplies for the children in many of the very poor communities in the area. The collections are taking place all over the United States and we believe that when the shipment is made to Honduras there will be well over $15000 in much needed school supplies. It is hard to imagine not being able to go to school because you cant afford the supplies that are necessary but it happens all the time in third world countries. Recent newspaper articles say that it cost the family of the average student about L500 to start school. That is about $25 and many of the workers only make about $5 per day. They cannot afford that much – especially if they have 4 or 5 kids. This number doesn’t include the cost of a uniform either. We hope to ship the supplies so that they will arrive in early March.
January was also the arrival of a container that was shipped from Florida. Much of the container was medical supplies for the local hospitals as well as the clinic on the property where we live. The container also contained tons of Christmas gifts for children in several communities. The gifts were packed in shoe boxes and were marked with the appropriate gender and age of the child. The group that distributed the gifts had also purchased new shoes for every child receiving a gift box.
Healing Hands International – a ministry in Nashville, TN coordinates a program called “Maji Boxes”. The program encourages churches all around the country to fill shoe boxes with gifts of many needed items and some extras like a toy and some candy. In January we discovered that we had about 70 of the boxes remaining and we decided to take all of the Casa kids to a day care center in “El Centro” so that they could play a role in distributing the gifts to some very poor children. That was a very fun day for our kids and hopefully that are learning the blessing of sharing.
When we left the country on the first of December, we had arranged for the remodeling of our house – hoping that it would be complete when we returned. I was optimistic and Terri was “Honduras Realistic” Needless to say, our house wasn’t close to being finished when we returned on the 1st. It took 3 more weeks to get the job done and we have spent the last week or so painting and cleaning up the construction mess so that we can finally move in – maybe even today. Our house was initially ½ of a duplex but our neighbors – Noel and Joanna moved back to their home country – so we opened the wall separating the halves, we put in tile throughout, added stucco to the block walls, expanded one of the bathrooms. We now have a house where any of you are welcome and can be very comfortable.
We have begun the preparation work for all of the TORCH groups that will start coming in early March. We are also planning for the arrival of the AIM Team – which will likely be here in May. We have done site work for the construction of a new church building in a place called Villa Nueva Sector Ocho.
This week I have been mostly useless. I have a case of the shingles. They are on the left side of my head, all over the left side of my face, in my left eye, and in my mouth. To those of you that have had this horrible ailment – you understand. To those of you that have never experienced your skin (all the way to the bone) on fire, your eye felling like it has been treated to a hot dagger – well, I hope you never get this. Today I think that I have crossed the hurdle to getting better.
February is lining up to be another very busy month. I can’t wait to see everything that our God has planned for us to do. Thank you for your constant prayers and for your support. We are partners in this work. We love you and hope that you will come to see us.
Be a blessing to somebody today,

Monday, January 07, 2008

Fast Start in 2008

We landed in Tegucigalpa at 12:30 on the first and we hit the ground running.
We arrived back in Santa Ana in the early afternoon and discovered that our house wasn't quite ready to move back in to. When we left last month we had set up to have some remodeling done that will eventually make our house a bit more livable for Terri. We are probably about 2 to 3 weeks away from the finish. We are doubling our size, adding stucco to the walls, new tile, and a bathroom improvement that will give Terri some extra counter space.
Our first day of work was to begin the process of building the new kindergarden in Mirador Oriente. I met with the community president and we staked out the land for the school. We began work on Friday and finally completed the building today at about 3. It is a great building that is about 3 houses big. Changing plans to build a building that large was interesting because the wood is all 16 ft and our building is 25 ft on each side. The new plans worked and we will start shopping for furniture and other needs this week. While the construction project was going on, we had a new container to arrive and were able to get it unloaded on Thursday night - started at 6 and finished at about 8. I think that is a record for a 40 ft container.
On Friday, we had a new worker that arrived. Kameron Vick from our home church in IL is a Harding Student and has decided to take a semester out of school to come to work with our team. Kameron got off of the plane and we put a hammer in his hand within about 30 min of clearing customs. We are excited that Kam is going to be working with us through July. He will be a great asset and helper to the childrens home and to TORCH.
Of course one of the best things about getting back to SA is the kids at Casa. They have been full of hugs and kisses and I love every one of them. On Sunday we were able to put a new trampoline together - it was shipped on the container that arrived on Thursday. The kids love it and so do our Casa workers - it wears them down and they are ready for bed.
Well - this has been sort of a rambling blog - I just wanted all y'all to know that the fun og 2008 has begun. I can't wait to see everything that our God has planned for the work here.
Come and see us!
Be a blessing to somebody today.