Since we started GiveHope2Kids, we have had some great volunteers walk these paths, teach classes, play with kids, and just in general get the job done. We always hope and pray that the time they spend here leaves an imprint on their worldview and changes their lives for the better. The hard part with volunteers is saying good-bye, parting ways, and not knowing when our paths will cross again.
We've just had to say good-bye again. In the month of August, we had two volunteer families head off to the next adventure. But even in seeing them leave, we are excited for their futures and what God will do through them. They are headed out with the long-term goal of launching more homes for orphaned and abandoned children!
It is humbling and exciting to see God use our imperfect selves to help plant other Children's Homes. Both of these families saw GiveHope2Kids as their training ground, so we can pass on the model of a family-style and community-focused Children's Home.
To the Johnsons and the Bakers, we want to say thank you for the time you served here. We want you to know that we are praying God's fullest blessings upon you as follow his path for your lives.
Kelvin & Monica Johnson served with us for 2 1/2 years and you can now find them in Ecuador.
Jacob & Cynthia Baker volunteered here for just over a year. Their family will soon be headed to India.
People often ask us why there are so many orphaned and abandoned kids in Honduras, so I'm writing a series of articles to answer that question. I write this from our 8 years of experience in working with students, abandoned kids, the Honduran social services, and many other non-profit organizations in Honduras. While we will keep our kid's histories private, these are the types of stories they could tell. -- Sarah Furrow
We live in the country of Honduras, where girls can be stolen.
In Spanish they use the verb robar, to rob or steal. Where we live, people use this word to describe a few different relational contexts.
1) Getting Married – If young people don’t have money for a wedding (meaning that they can’t afford to feed the whole village a nice meal), then they might choose to get “married” unofficially. This is how most of the previous generation got married. They would generally have their parent’s consent. The guy would come get the girl in the night sometime and then they’d be considered married.
2) Eloping – Sometimes without parental consent a girl will be stolen in the night. The girl is choosing to run away and live with a guy. Maybe it’s a secret relationship with the boy down the street. Or, maybe it’s a married guy in his 50s (or older) that’s promised a better life to a girl (we’ve seen as young as 11).
3) Kidnapping – And then there’s kidnapping. Men do it as revenge between feuding families or because they think (know) they can live beyond the law. Thankfully this isn’t commonplace anymore, but it does still happen.
The first two methods of “marriage” are the norm here and often just what’s expected. Girls often don’t see any other choice for their lives, so they settle for these (usually) short-term relationships. Some of these “marriages” work, but generally it seems that they’re over in a few months or a couple years.
The girls are normally left with a kid or two and no way to support themselves, since they probably never finished their education and live in a country with an unemployment rate of about 30%. They often move home with their parents until they find a new relationship. And often the new relationship isn’t interested in the kids from the last one, thus more “orphans.” There’s not much hope in this system.
So, how are we offering hope? We’re helping to educate kids from our community and teaching them skills like English and computers so they’re more employable. We’re encouraging kids to stay in school (and not get “married” so young), and giving some young people work so they can pay for their school fees. In our Friday Youth Group, we’re teaching about good marriages and how to break out of negative family cycles. And we’re providing a solid family and home for some of these orphaned and abandoned kids in our Children’s Home. We hope and pray that God will use our efforts to help change a generation!
Part 1: Teenage Moms
We had a very busy summer with four different groups that came to serve here at GiveHope2Kids. It was a summer of reconnecting with good friends, as all were repeat groups for us, full of familiar faces. Each and every team worked hard and were a joy to host.
To start out in June, and just 10 days after the birth of Micah, we hosted a group from Destiny in Alabama. This team helped us build wooden tables, benches, and a couch for each of the kid's homes. They also painted and moved fill dirt into our Community Kitchen. One of the most special moments from this week was watching this team teach some woodworking skills to our kids.
Then we hosted a team from Cloverhill in Virginia. They tackled organizing, painting, and more with a lot of energy. They got the very "down to earth" experience of building a mud oven for our Community Kitchen and they took time to do some leadership training for our house-parents.
We planned our bridge project around a group from Cornerstone in Virginia. They brought lots of young, eager workers who helped dig, move rocks, paint cables, and more. It was a BIG project that week and really made the difference to have so many hands.
Our last group of the summer was from Lancaster, in Northern Minnesota. They mixed a LOT of cement by hand to help us pour the floor in the Community Kitchen. This group also did some organizing projects and helped us with fun activities for our kids.
We want to say a big THANKS to everyone who came to serve at GiveHope2Kids. We enjoyed having you and appreciate the sacrifice you made to come and work.