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,