For those of you who support us or are interested in knowing more of the nuts-and-bolts of our daily life, these updates will provide you with a deeper understanding of certain day-to-day activities we are currently involved in along with personal updates about Darwin and I and the kids under our full-time care. I have also included prayer requests for those of you who want to know how to pray for us in this season.
Homeschool Program Open to Illiterate Youth from our Neighborhood
Six illiterate youth from our neighborhood (ages 7-14) are enrolled in the nationally-accredited program we use in our homeschool three days per week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7:00am-12:00pm) along with Brayan, the local 14-year-old who lived with us for eight months and continues to be like a son and two of our daughters (Dayana, 14, and Jackeline, 11). Please pray for Jenae, Darwin and I as we guide the nine children/teenagers and that above all else their knowledge of and obedience to Christ may strengthen through spending time under our care.
A New Tactic With Groceries
Now that we are feeding between 10-15 kids breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday, our grocery bills have shot up! Thanks to the advice of several people here, we have changed grocery stores (the small grocery store in our town has very high prices, and although it was more convenient to shop there because of geographical closeness, it was quickly becoming unreasonable to do so!), thus we now shop once a week at a warehouse-type grocery store about a 35-minute drive away in downtown La Ceiba where prices are considerably lower and we can buy in bulk. I am also in communication with a large grocery chain in La Ceiba about receiving the products they are unable to sell. Please pray that we would trust in God to provide, and let us rejoice that several of our malnourished neighbors who are in the homeschool program are able to eat with us in our home several times per week.
Darwin’s Music Lessons and Youth Choir with Neighborhood Kids
Darwin has opened our home to give choir, piano, and recorder lessons to kids in our local community as a way of reaching out to them with God’s love. Every Monday afternoon from 2:00-7:30pm we have about a couple dozen kids and teenagers in our home playing and singing music, and we are developing holistic relationships with them and their families in order to plant seeds for God’s Kingdom. We are currently preparing for a community concert we’re going to hold in our home on May 17th.
Every Monday morning from 7:00am-11:00am Darwin works in agriculture and maintenance with 10-15 youth who come to our property to work and learn. Teenage boys, all of whom are also in our homeschool program and/or music lessons, work together in the grassy field with their machetes while our eldest daughter leads the other young women in extensive cleaning projects in the Education House and garden maintenance. This weekly experience has been a blessing both for us and for those who come to work, because unemployment in our little rural town is rampant, and many of the children and youth wander around or sit about without anything to do.
Prayer for Darwin and I
Please pray for my husband and I during this season, as we both feel exhausted and possibly stretched too thin. Every child and youth the Lord has placed in our path (the five under our full-time care, the 20+ that are involved in activities in our home plus our students in a local school where we teach/coach/guide every Friday) are a blessing and we know the Lord is utilizing us in their lives for His glory, but as of late we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, especially because more and more children and youth are arriving at our front gate wanting to be in our homeschool program or in music classes, in need of some form of help, etc. Please pray that the Lord may guide us and that we may learn to truly rest in Him at all times, whether we are in a busy schoolroom surrounded by a swarm of students who need us or if we are driving down the highway to take our kids to art class. Also, please pray with us regarding the future and direction of the Living Waters Ranch, as we are continually discerning God’s will for us, those under our care/guidance, and those who may arrive in the future.
After about seven weeks of battling Tyfoid Fever, my health has finally taken a turn for the better although I still get fatigued very quickly. I got so many shots in my butt cheeks that they turned speckled with bruises! Thank you to those of you who lifted me up in prayer during those difficult weeks, and pray that my body may be strengthened even now as I am recovering physical strength and endurance.
Josue to Enter Speech Therapy
Josue, the six-year-old little boy who has been placed under our full-time care whom I wrote about in the previous blog entry, will enter an intensive speech therapy schedule for two months before hopefully entering his private special needs school’s pre-school class with other kids. Please pray for his integral recovery from the abuse he suffered when he was little and that Christ may be glorified in and through his life and the way that we love and care for him.
Educational Progress Report: Jason and Gleny in Their New Christian School
Gleny (age 10, fourth grade) and Jason (age 7, second grade) have been in a small Christian elementary school since early February of this year, and although there have been certain academic and behavioral issues as they have had to become accustomed to a new and somewhat demanding daily routine (4:45am get-ups every morning, school uniforms and homework every afternoon!), they have finally settled in, are making new friends, etc. After the first grading period they passed all of their classes, and they seem genuinely happy in their new school environment. Please pray for our continued discernment regarding what they and the other kids under our full-time care need from us in regards to academic, emotional and spiritual support/guidance.
Strengthening Forces: A New Laborer Comes Alongside of Us
Martha, a local Honduran woman in her 50s who is a strong Christian and has a gentle yet very active spirit, has come to labor alongside of us after a long, God-inspired series of events. She is a registered nurse and secretary (and excellent cook!), and starting in mid-June will begin coming to our home/mission Monday-Friday to help love on all the kids who come to our home along with take control of the kitchen/community dining room. We give thanks to God for bringing such a dynamic, loving woman into our lives to help fulfill the great purpose the Lord has set before us. Please pray for our developing relationship with her and that Darwin, Jenae, her and I may form a wonderful team.