Two New Students Enter Our School
In the past month two new students from our little town have become students in the one-room schoolhouse where we educate several of our children and a handful of our neighbors. Michelle, age 8, and Selbin, age 11, have entered the program at the first-grade level and are participating weekly in agriculture, music, and Bible study along with academic classes. We currently have 6 children/youth from the community in our school along with several of the 7 kids under our full-time care.
[Explanation of the need for our school program]: There are a couple public elementary schools in our area, but the education the students receive is very poor due to lazy and/or absent teachers, sexual abuse that occurs on the playground, and a ridiculous number of ‘holidays’. Many students who are in sixth grade, which is the last year of elementary school according to the Honduran system, cannot even read or write. Even so, many poor families cannot pay the fees for their kids to attend these corrupted government-run schools nor can they purchase the uniform or buy basic school supplies. Thus illiteracy, unemployment and idleness run rampant in our little town, and as more mothers approach us asking if their kids can become students in our school, we sense that this program may grow with time.
Miss Martha’s Daughter Joins Our Team as the Teacher of the Living Waters Ranch School
Miss Martha, our nurse and cook who labors alongside of us Monday-Friday, has a 22-year-old daughter named Isis who this past month began working three days a week with us as the teacher of our school program. She is a fantastic teacher and assigns quite a bit of homework each night! Having her in the school has liberated Darwin and I to plan, work in the office on administration, run errands, and have one morning per week when we can rest together.
Gabriela and Josselyn’s Progress
Gabriela (age 6) and Josselyn (age 10), biological sisters, moved into our home in July of this year and are adjusting very well to life in our family. Gabriela has received her medical exams and psychological evaluation and is all set to enter into a small school geared toward children with traumatic pasts and/or special needs for roughly 5 months to prepare her with basic vocabulary, social skills, and kindergarten-level academic knowledge (the colors, how to hold a pencil, etc) so that she will hopefully be ready in February to enter first grade at the private Christian school where Gleny and Jason attend. Emotionally and behaviorally she has improved leaps and bounds in just seven weeks of living with us, and we are thrilled to see her grow into a young women in conformity with God’s own heart. Josselyn has entered first grade in our homeschool program and is doing very well in all respects.
A New Initiative: Wednesday Bible Study with our Neighbors
Several weeks ago Darwin and I started a Bible study in our dining room for our neighbors and the children/youth in our school program and choir, and we have had between 14-22 people attend each week, not including Darwin, our seven kids, and Miss Martha. Anyone from our neighborhood is invited, and we serve lunch from 12:00-1:00pm, study God’s word together from 1:00-2:00pm, and then have some kind of soccer game with the kids in our front lawn from 2:00-3:00pm. We are excited to see how the Lord will use this time to touch the lives of many of our neighbors with the good news of Jesus Christ.
Local Family Moves to Our Property to Work in Agriculture and Security
A local family who has four of their kids in our school program moved this past week to the little watchman’s house on our property to begin working the land and helping with basic security. We are looking to develop a good relationship with them as we discern how the Lord would have us to love and serve one another for His glory.