Sunday, February 19, 2012

All in one week

In just one week, so much has happened here! As many of you may have heard in the news, there was a devastating fire in one of the prisons about an hour and a half from here. It has been hard to hear the different speculations and the stories! I don’t know the truth, but around 300 people lost their lives in the fire. Yesterday, another large fire broke out here, in the downtown market area of Tegucigalpa. Many vendors lost their possessions and businesses in the fire and from looters. From working at the ministry, I understand the hard life that these vendors live, and to have lost everything in the fire will be hard to come back from. Try to picture a market in the third world, that’s the location of this fire, with everything close together and made of wood. I still have not heard the cause of this fire. That’s the major news of the country for this week.ith the Casa de Luz teachers we had the opportunity to attend a teachers seminar so that we can become a certified kindergarten. Here in Honduras, children cannot start first grade without a kindergarten diploma. Since we have children up til age 7, it makes it easier to keep them in the program longer. Up until now, the kids have gone to pre-K at age 5 and kindergarten at age 6, and in the afternoon they would return to the program for lunch and we would watch them in the afternoon. We are still in the process, but this will save the families the money of sending the kids to public school, which requires uniforms and supplies. By having kindergarten in our facility, they would not be required to purchase a uniform or bring their own supplies. I will keep you posted on this exciting development!

Three of my kids told me a heart touching story last Monday that I wanted to share with you. Gabriel walks in on Monday morning and excitedly tells me, “We went to the prison yesterday (where their father is in jail, not the same prison with the fire) and sold stuffed animals. My mom made $50 and we got to go to the grocery store!” Then the little brother and sister chimed in to tell me about their trip to the grocery store. With wide eyes they told me they got to buy chips and juice. It touched my heart that going to the grocery store was a treat they were not accustomed to. They live from day to day by going to the neighborhood shop or market and the kids eat most of their meals at the ministry. So next time you are at the grocery store, remember not to take it for granted.

In the last blog I informed you about the truck being sold! After selling the truck, we looked in the paper and visited every car lot in the city. We also told our mechanic what we were looking for, in case he heard of a suv with 4x4 in good condition. On Saturday night the mechanic called me and said he found what we were looking for, he had checked it out and it was in great condition. We drove over and checked it out, and prayed about it over the weekend. Although it cost more than the truck, it is reliable and will not have problems! On Monday I bought it and it has already been a huge blessing for driving people around. I can fit more people and it is a lot more comfortable than a pick up truck. I will try to take pictures sometime this week. Thank you for your prayers, I am grateful to have found a great vehicle for the ministry!

If you would pray about helping me financially, specifically for this vehicle, I had to spend more than I had budgeted. As it turns out, finding a 4 runner with 4x4 is very difficult in this country. I considered other vehicles too, but the parts are not as easy to find and can be expensive when found. I am so thankful to have found a car in such good condition here!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Four New Kids

I want to introduce you to the four new kids who are now in our program. One of them you have heard a lot about, so he’s not really new, but he has been with us the past few weeks. Javier was not with us for a few months due to huge behavior issues. We have seen improvements in the past few weeks, he is not as violent and does not react to punishment by biting, kicking, and screaming. There are still many problems we are dealing with and he needs continued prayer. From what I understand, there was a problem at the house they live at over the break, and the mom had to run away with the 2 boys and left the little girl with the aunt. According to the boys, their father is still in prison, butthey still go to visit him. We get bits and pieces of the story from the mother, but she is not the most reliable source of information we have come to realize. But it is clear that the children are left to roam the streets at night. Continue to pray for stability in this family.

Another new boy in the program is Alejandro. He is the younger brother of David Edgardo, and the cousin of Alicia. Having family with him has made the transition easy for him. He rarely cries and loves to play with the boys. He is 2 ½ yeard old. He is really sweet and his mother, Marcela, is a huge help to the daycare.

One new girl, who just started last week, is Mariela. She is 2 years old. Our understanding is that her mother lives on the street (we have not met her) and she lives with her grandmother, who has health problems, from how they describe it she may have dementia. It is clear this little girl has never accepted the word no before, but she has a sweet personality and loves to sit in my lap. Just in the past week, she has started to learn the routine and adjust to structure.

Our last new girl is Valeria. She is 15 months old with very cute curly hair. I don’t have a picture yet, because she has not been coming every day and she does not stand still for me to take the picture. She is still wobbly when walking, so we have to keep her occupied away from the bigger kids who want to ‘play’ with the baby, which often results in her losing her balance and falling down. Her mom is still looking for work and they live very far away. Her mom said she was at the bus at 7 one morning and they did not arrive until 10:30. We are praying she will find work and an apartment on this side of town, so that we can watch the baby.

The Honduran public school year starts this Monday, so we will have 5 or 6 kids going to kindergarten in the mornings and then coming to Casa de Luz for lunch and the afternoon. The Honduran school year is from February to November. It will be a different dynamic with only the little ones in the morning, but we will still have all the kids for lunch and the afternoon. (Zulema pulled David's tooth with dental floss)

The last update is that my truck is sold! Over the past month it has been in the mechanic more than with me. But it was finally fixed, we put it in the newspaper, and within a week we got a call, he looked at it Monday and bought it on Tuesday. I was not imagining it would sell that quickly, but it is a blessing that it is gone! Now I am in the process of looking for a new, reliable car. Please pray for the process and the funding for something more reliable. Also for protection on days that I will be walking to take a taxi to and from the daycare.