I pray that all is well with you where ever you are. It has been a very exciting month, more so than usual. As you know I returned from an extended stay in the states at the end of August so September was a time to get things back on track.
The stadium feedings are going extremely well. Our relationships are growing and we've expanded to 3 different sites. With each new site comes more caution. The further we spread ourselves out the more likely we are to encounter a problem but so far we have been extremely blessed. The people we reach at the stadium are mostly addicts and children, there isn't too much danger there. But the people we reach further down in the city general make their living by thievery. They tend to be a lot more sober but we also have to watch our backs quite a bit more. But they have welcomed us with open arms and often tell us we have nothing to fear. They are very protective of us whenever a new person comes up and are excited to tell people that we are christians. It is heart warming to watch them take care of us as we try to take care of them. Last night one of the guys said something that really touched me. He really understands what we're doing. He said to another person standing around, "Who would do this? Who would prepare food and bring it to people like us? No one. Only God." It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. He is exactly right. Amber would still be at home sitting on the couch or in the kitchen making desserts. It is only through God's leading that any of us go feed these hungry souls. I have felt a lot more pressure and a lot more hope to help these renegade souls do something more with their lives. The people at the stadium are often times so far lost in their addictions that I am at a loss as to how to begin to help them out of that pit. But those that are living a life of crime have to remain aware enough to get away with things and they seem very open to talking about God and exploring options in their lives. I hope to be able to help them all but I know that God will light the path as it needs to be followed.
Regino is an 11-year-old boy that I encountered at the stadium last week. He was obviously not your typical street kid. We spent some time talking to him and ended up taking him home for the night. He is a very sweet kid and quickly got into my heart. The next day I took him back to his family. They had missed him terribly. This is a longer story which you can read about on my blog but I mention it because I would really like this family to become a regular part of my life. On Friday I attempted to pick the kids up for the weekend but they weren't home so I made plans for Tuesday. I'm hoping to shine a little of God's light on a very hard life.
Mogote Church of Christ
Things in Mogote continue to go well. The church is thriving. The kitchen should be finished soon, and everyone is just acting like the family we should be as Christians. Earlier this month the church held it's first yard sale and it went extremely well. Almost the whole church turned out and a lot of the community came by to check out the excitement. The women all helped with selling and buying items while the men and the children did clean up projects around the building. It was such a joy to be a part of. Last month we had 2 baptisms and 3 more people are studying and expected to make that decision today. It is such a blessing to have such a close Christian family.
This week in Bible class we finished up the life of Christ. We're going to begin the early church and also start preparing for the Christmas play. The kids are all very excited. We had a huge children's day celebration on September 10th. I spent the week prior making cupcakes and cakes for the congregation and we pulled out the giant bounce house MRCC had donated and everyone had a blast. I think there were about 80 kids in attendance. There are lots of pictures of this on my facebook.
Darwin has also really stepped up as a leader at church. He is helping out in his bible class and even led singing the other night at church. It really makes me proud to see him taking such an active role in the congregation. And Ariel has become a lot less apathetic about church which is leaps beyond where we were this time last year. Both of the boys are doing very well.
A Month of New Things
The beginning of this month has brought with it a lot of new things. I finally got a new vehicle. Diego is a 87 Land Cruiser with 4x4, stick shift, and a diesel engine. He's a great vehicle. We've had to do some minor repairs and get some new tires but he's got great power and lots and of space for packing people. I am very pleased with the purchase.
With my saved up work fund money I was finally able to get a new stove. For any of you that have been in my home you know that was a big deal. I've been living with a tiny stove whose oven didn't work and only 3 burners worked for awhile. This was a big hinderance in the stadium work. I now have a giant stove with 6 burners that runs on gas. This is great since the power tends to be intermitant at times here. My new stove allowed me to make 200 cupcakes and 3 cakes for children's day with a couple of marathon cooking days. It has definitely been a blessing.
We discovered a new way of doing internet! This has been a huge blessing. For about $40 a month I have a little plug in modem that I can use anywhere. It is great. I am able to get so much more done from the comfort of my own home and I can even use the internet in Mogote.
We also finally got permission from our landlord this month to get a puppy. We brought home sweet little Lucy soon after I got back from the states and we love her dearly. She is a 3 month old black lab. Right now she's pretty sick and we're not sure that she's going to make it, she has distemper, but we pray that she survives. The pet store is going to replace her if she doesn't make it so you'll be hearing an update on the puppy status either way.
Donations and Commitments!!!
My time in the states and also since being back here has been very good for our ministry. We now have four nights a week that we are able to hand out food thanks to donations from sponsors in the states and just this week I received a donation of several 100 gallons of soup. I haven't yet decided if we're going to feed other nights or just use this on our already established nights but it will definitely be put to good use. I've also spoken with people at 2 different congregations who are interested in sponsoring nights starting next year and possibly helping rent a facility. I pray that we are able to find an affordable facility soon and that the funds find there way here. But as always I await God's timing.
I also spoke with someone earlier this week who has committed to bring down 100 sewing machines that can be used in several different ministries here. We are hoping to start up a sewing class in Mogote and I would also like to see if we can get some of our homeless people sewing once we have a facility. God is doing some amazing things here. Please let me know if you or your congregation would like to sponsor any part of the work.
The political situation continues to be a little shaky here. Mel Zelaya is still in the Brazilian embassy and Micheletti is not backing down on his stance against him. I am doing my best to stay out of the political issues because I truly don't know who is in the right. I think both sides have done some pretty awful things to the other. I pray that things continue to remain peaceful and that the elections in November resolve the problem. Please continue to pray for this country.
As I mentioned above, I am in the process of finding a facility to better be able to meet the needs of the homeless people we work with. I hope to be able to meet some of their spiritual and emotional needs while also meeting their physical needs. This will be greatly increased through obtaining a building. I looked at a couple of building to purchase and they are outrageously priced so for the time being I think we're going to try and rent and see how that goes. We can always purchase a building in the future if things work out. I am also doing some research to find out what needs to be done to establish a non profit organization in Honduras so that we can staff our building once we have it. If nothing else we are going to need a security guard and a cook and hopefully a sewing teacher. I hope to partner with some existing ministries here in Honduras in order to be as effective as possible.
Mogote Church of Christ
Our big plan in Mogote right now is the Christmas play. This is a time consuming but very rewarding undertaking. I was blessed to find a great website with spanish Christmas plays so I'm wading through them right now trying to decide the best one for us.
Recently at Jovenes most of the older boys were sent back to live with their parents if they had them. This was due to some major behavioural issues as well as some staffing problems. This will definitely be better in the long run but it's been hard on me to see the older ones leave. I am hoping to get contact information for as many of them as I can and meet with them on a monthly basis just so they can stayed tied in to each other and know that we still care. I pray that this will be successful and that the boys are able to tie into congregations in their areas.
There is a new organization being started by some friends of mine in OKC called Shine. Shine is going to provide private education to gifted children here in Honduras. I will be working with Shine in a auxilary capacity to help them make contacts and establish relationships with local schools here. Will and Rachel will be taking on the bulk of the day to day work involved in this ministry and I feel blessed to be a small part of something that is going to be a great blessing to this country.
I started up my blog again!!! Since I now have internet at home it is so much easier to do. I am trying to post daily or close to. I usually miss a couple of nights a week. I'm also posting daily pics with each blog so it's a good way to keep up with the ministry. Check out www.amberinhonduras.blogspot.com to see what's happening on a day to day basis and please feel free to let me know if you would like me to blog about anything or anyone specifically. I love comments so leave lots of comments :).
- Regino and his family
- Everyone we encounter through the homeless ministry
- Peace for Honduras
- Successful fundraising for a facility for the homeless ministry
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my newsletter. I appreciate your love and support more than you know. I hope that you have a blessed week. Keep in touch. I love hearing from you.