May 2016 Updates and Prayer Requests

Below you’ll find this month’s general life/ministry updates and prayer requests along with photos our kids and I took a couple Saturdays ago as we were all doing chores, giving tutoring classes to Gaby and Josue, and generally participating in various activities around the house as a family.

 

Special Needs/Early Education Room Created, New Teacher Added

Due to the high costs of our special-needs son Josue’s private transportation and monthly school fees, we made the move to begin educating him at home for about the same cost (while being able to implement several positive changes not only for his benefit but for many others as well). A local Christian woman has been added to our team of laborers as Josue’s full-time tutor/teacher, and we’ve transformed what was our guest room to now be Josue’s classroom! Not only Josue but also 7-year-old Gaby (who also suffers developmental delays due to severe abuse suffered before she arrived at our home) and three little boys from our neighborhood also benefit from our new special needs/early education classroom, thus freeing up our primary teacher (Miss Isis) to focus more intensively on the other students who are more advanced and can already read, write, and participate in a normal classroom environment. Gaby and Josue’s new classroom has floor mats, a mini trampoline, many stuffed animals, balls, art supplies, a little skateboard, whiteboard, and everything else our little munchkins need to continue developing intellectually and emotionally in a safe, fun environment! I think our older kids are jealous!

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8-year-old Jason (who is an old soul) is quickly emerging as our most enthusiastic tutor! Every Saturday he teaches an hour-long P.E. class to 7-year-olds Gaby and Josue, who developmentally are lightyears behind him. The class looks like so much fun that it makes me want to throw on my tennis shoes and participate!

 

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Gaby and Josue going at it in some fun competition that Jason made up for them

 

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Watch out, kids! Sandra’s coming through on her way to the kitchen to clean!

Breakthroughs of Confession and Repentance

In the past several weeks we have experienced several surprising breakthroughs with our teen daughters in the realm of confession and repentance. We give thanks to God for these incredibly sweet moments of light as we are all coming into a fuller understanding of God’s grace, and we ask that you continue to pray with us for their continued transformation as daughters of the King!

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Every Saturday we are at home alone with our 8 kids — our Christian laborers and students do not come on the weekends, and on Sundays we spend the majority of the day up in the mountains with our faith community. We all generally enjoy our Saturdays together as each person has more breathing room and sets about accomplishing their chores along with resting and spending time together as a patchwork family.

 

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General Health Updates

My struggle with insomnia continues onward with basically zero progress. Each night I’ve been sleeping roughly 1-4 hours and am unable to take naps during the day. I’ve begun seeing a Christian massage therapist/counselor to help detoxify my body and find ways (both physical and spiritual) to manage my stress levels better, but even so I have not been able to attain normal sleep patterns. Darwin and all of our kids are enjoying wonderful health!

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I think Gleny or Jason took this photo. This is our growing herd of milking cows resting in front of our night-watchman’s house. Each of our two adult cows have already given birth once, and one of the cows is very close to giving birth to her second calf within the coming weeks. Their utters have already been dry for several months, so we are very excited and blessed to have fresh milk again soon!

 

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Over a year ago we gave up maintaining our chicken run after several frustrating robberies, but our night-watchman’s family has begun caring for several chickens with a bit of success. This is their young rooster — very free-range!

Adoption Progress

We have submitted our very large manila folder full of bank reports, personal recommendation letters, our marriage certificate, proof of purchase of our car, and many other letters/documents to our lawyer in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, and we are officially in the midst of adopting Dayana (15), Gleny (11) and Jason (8), the first three kids to move in with us in November 2013. The cost ended up being higher than we had originally anticipated, but even so we’ve been able to make the first of the three payments. Please pray with us that our Father will provide the funds each step of the way to make their adoption a reality.

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Poor Goliath! Every other Saturday Dayana and Josselyn give him a bath whether he likes it or not!

 

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One (dis)advantage to living in the countryside is that there are a lot of interesting bugs! Gleny found this one crawling around behind our house.

April Grocery Bills Cut Back Drastically

Last month we began a rice-and-beans-only fast for an indefinite period of time in an attempt to cut back on what were quickly becoming extremely high grocery bills due to the fact that many people get fed in our kitchen. Well, the fast was a raging success — last month we spent roughly ONE THIRD of what we had previously been spending each month on food products. Right now in the month of May we have continued onward with this fasting mentality, although not as strictly as last month. Please pray with us that we will be able to find sustainable ways to cut back on grocery spending while still investing in a fairly diverse diet for our growing kids.

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Jason’s photo of Josselyn swinging in a tree. It looks like she managed her time well and finished all of her chores early and was able to enjoy the afternoon relaxing a bit!

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Darwin, Jennifer and Team of Christian Laborers Studying Danny Silk’s Book “Loving Our Kids on Purpose”

We are currently studying a fantastically dynamic book targeted at parents, teachers and mentors. The process thus far of reading, underlining, etc, and then coming together throughout the week to sit down, pray together, and discuss new insights has been enjoyable and very helpful as we are seeking to grow in effectiveness while also training our beloved laborers in this work the Lord has entrusted us.

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Saturdays are also great days for musical practice. Currently three of our daughters are in piano, one in violin and several in recorder.

 

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Some wily young photographer snuck up on me as I was writing letters in our living room!

Conference Attendance

May 27 and 28 I will be attending a conference about 5 hours away with Isis (our Primary Teacher/Christian laborer) to continue growing together and learning from other missionaries and laborers across the country who are dedicated to similar labors with at-risk youth. Darwin and I have benefited greatly from attending this annual conference during the last two years, and this year we sensed that Isis and I were to attend while he stayed back with the kids and students.

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Team of repair men (with the young son of one of them) fixing our electric stove.

 

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Jason’s photo of Darwin

 

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Working on some homework assignment with Sandra and Josselyn at the table in our living room

 

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Dayana and Jackeline leaving home to go to church with a local family

 

3 thoughts on “May 2016 Updates and Prayer Requests”

  1. These are wonderful photos, Jennifer! I love to see how beautiful and happy the kids are. I pray for an end to your insomnia, and continued healing and growth for all your 8 children. They are doing fantastic, and each new blog shows God’s mercy in placing them with you, Darwin, and the community of caring adults who are part of the Living Waters Ranch. May Mary the Mother of God watch over you constantly and bring you the peace and grace of her Son.

  2. I was thinking about how you visited other orphanages in Honduras and how you were struck by the lack of loving care, playground facilities and education. I still am amazed at how you and Darwin want to help these children find a way out of poverty, drugs, gangs and teen pregnancy–and your approach is spiritual, physical, mental and emotional! What a vision and such action to accomplish it!!!

  3. Dear Jennifer and Darwin, I so enjoy your pictures of your family! I continue to pray for your safety, a good night of sleep, wisdom to teach your children, and any other needs you may have. God bless you. Love, Shirley Hooper

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