Water Projects, Anniversaries, Legal Statuses and New High Schools: November 2015 Updates

Water Project in Southern Honduras

During the first week in November I went to the department of Choluteca in southern Honduras with a dynamic group of Honduran, American, and ex-Patriat missionary believers to aid a rural village in the installation of a potable water system and to go house-to-house sharing the good news of Christ and praying with the people. Darwin held the fort down at home for the week, and everyone survived! It was truly a growing experience for all involved, and through the trip the Lord has planted the desire in my heart to begin going home-to-home with our children in our own rural neighborhood to share His Word and pray with our neighbors. (All of the photos on this post were taken during the water project).

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Doroteo, a Mexican-American who came to Honduras for the water project, sharing his testimony of faith in Jesus with the villagers

 

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Returning from a good hike up the mountain to see the spring that will provide the lengthy system of tubing with its water.

 

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The men of the village will continue working roughly 40-50 more days in rocky, elevated terrain to lay the tubing of  their first potable water system.

 

Two-Year Anniversary as Family

November 1, 2015 marked our two-year anniversary with Dayana (age 15), Gleny (11) and Jason (8), the first sibling group who moved into our family roughly 4 months after my husband and I were married. It has been a mind-boggling journey deeper and deeper into God’s grace, into the riches of His understanding, and into a truly incarnate walk with Him in today’s world. Darwin and I are planning a 2-3 night trip with them to a neighboring city in December to celebrate all the Lord has done in and through us as family in these last two years, and we are looking to begin the legal adoption process in June 2016 once, by Honduran law, we have been married 3 years and are thus valid candidates for adoption. Please continue to pray for our growth and unity in the Spirit, and that the Lord would continue to prepare and equip us as a family for any good work that He may have for us.

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Having fun with the village children — the great thing about leaving my 7 at home was that I could be silly with the kids without having to worry about homework assignments, discipline or bedtime routines!
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I don’t remember what the game was, but it sure was fun…

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I think I might have been the tallest kid there…

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My competitive side got the best of me…

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I still don’t understand why the other kids were so shy about participating…

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Update on Legal Situation

A few weeks ago I wrote about the current legal situation we are in the midst of, and I’m here to report that we were able to get everything together within a week to pay the large government fine along with our lawyer fees, and our lawyer is currently working on the case and moving it forward as quickly as possible in a system that is generally bogged-down by tragic inefficiency. Darwin and I have planned to take the 7-hour busride to the capital city of Tegucigalpa (where our lawyer lives and where the majority of the legal jinking and jiving occurs in Honduras) the second week of December to be able to talk face-to-face with her and see the progress of the case. Please continue to pray for this situation as it is not yet resolved, and that the hit to our finances will not affect the stability of the mission the Lord has entrusted to us.

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The men from the village and those who came to support the water project praying together before beginning a long day’s work in the trenches

 

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Andy, from Minnesota, sharing his testimony with those present

 

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An elderly man from the village who works alongside the younger men each day on the mountainsides planting, harvesting, and laying the tubing for the water system  just to have enough to feed his family

 

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Our pastor/mentor/friend Larry Smoak leading the biblical teaching each evening

New Initiative: Living Waters Ranch High School

After having first received children and youth from our rural neighborhood into our government-registered primary-level homeschool program roughly one year ago, the Lord recently expanded our vision to include a secondary-level section in another room of our Education Building. We currently have 7 students in primary-level (1st-6th grade), 3 of which are kids who live in our home full-time and 4 of which are neighbors of ours in extreme poverty who had not previously had the opportunity to be in a school.

The eldest of the 7 children the Lord has placed in our home as sons and daughters, Dayana, is graduating 6th grade, which is the last grade of elementary school and will be entering 7th grade, which is considered “high school” because there is no middle school in Honduras (in the Honduran system students graduate in November and re-enter in February). After discerning the options for her high school education, Darwin, Dayana and I all felt peace about continuing to educate her in our home/mission for at least the next year or two so that she can continue her musical and artistic studies along with developing the different leadership roles she is taking on.

So, Darwin and I visited the 6th-grade classrooms in two of the local public elementary schools to spread the word about the new high school we will be starting in our small town, and we’re currently weeding through the 40+ candidates, making phone calls to parents, conducting interviews, and organizing informational meetings in the hopes that God reveals between 8-10 students who will be entering into our 7th-grade program alongside of our daughter in February 2016. It is an exciting process, and thus far we have 4 spaces already filled with young teens who are already heavily involved in our weekly Bible study, in Darwin’s choir, agriculture classes, and other activities in our home/mission. Having them in our home 5 days a week, 8+ hours a day will enable us to profundisize our relationship with them and our impact on their lives for God’s glory.

The purpose of the high school is to offer a discipleship-focused alternative to the extremely crowded, low-quality public high school in our town for students who are earnestly open to and seeking to walk with Christ and know his Word, all within a family-like environment that values discipline, integral development, and creative growth. Please pray with us that the Lord would guide us in the process of discerning which/how many students should enter the program, and that this new initiative would meet a felt need for the teenagers of our town who are looking to grow in the Truth.

Just this week after a process of interviewing candidates for the position of “7th-grade teacher” we found the woman who will hold the position alongside of Darwin and I. Praise God!

We’ve purchased new desks/chairs for the incoming students along with a large dry-erase board, and in the coming weeks we will be cleaning out the storage room to prepare the space to be the 7th-grade classroom. There are many decisions to be made, schedules to be created, curriculum to be organized, meetings to be had, student contracts to be written, norms to be established, and lives to be impacted for Jesus, so we ask once again that you would pray with and for us during this time.

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A quiet morning before breakfast to reflect and pray

 

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One of the homes from the village in Choluteca, Honduras where we spent the first week of November

 

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Andy, Larry, Joel and I walking through the village with the rest of the group and villagers

 

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Sheri, Adria and I playing “cheerleaders” for the men who were coming in after a long day of digging. We had spent the morning going house-to-house sharing God’s word and praying with the people.

 

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More cheerleading

 

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And still more cheerleading…although we never got around to doing the pyramid as we would have liked…

 

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