I thought that we should retrace our steps a bit and recap the last several months. Per usual, it's been a very full and wonderful season.
In September, we had an awesome group that visited us from Emmanuel Christian Center in Minnesota. They worked really hard, but knew how to play hard too. They built an aqauponics system (to grow fish and vegetables together), helped us finish our community kitchen, and brought some fun crafts to do with the kids. We really enjoyed our time with these guys!
The holidays were a special time here. We utilized our fantastic new kitchen facilities to make the traditional Christmas fare: tamales. It was an incredible feast! And of course, the kids were pretty excited about their presents too. (Thanks to all the sponsors who sent a little something extra for their kids!)
Thanks to our donors, our Christmas Gift Catalog was a success! With the gifts given we're now purchasing 4 more dairy cows and we're able to continue teaching English and computers for our village school. Others helped us towards the purchase of our solar project and our bus.
So far this year we've prepared to homeschool our kids on-site (that's for another post) and we've installed our solar electric system. We just received the final components for the solar project and as soon as they're installed, we'll be ready to flip the on-switch. This is such a HUGE step for our long-term sustainability!
We just had a heartbreaking thing happen around 11:30 this morning. For reasons that are still unknown to us, the six new children that have lived here for less than a month were taken away by social services. We all gathered around them, gave them hugs and kisses, and prayed together with them. I don't know why things happen the way they do sometimes, but I do know that God has a plan for every one of those precious kids. Please help us pray for Carlos, Ingris, Agustín, Jorgito, Yensi, and Dennis. Even though we are all upset, I feel that in the time we had to watch over them, that we did the best that we could of showing them that we love them and that God loves them. We'll send out more updates as soon as we know more. We would appreciate your prayers for our ministry and our work here.
Update: These kids were put up for international adoption.
Here are some photos of the precious kids we work with. In the short time they've been with us, we've seen so many positive changes in their lives. They've progressed in so many areas, from Junior's increased mobility, to Javier learning to do his homework before he plays. We're proud of the direction these kids are headed. We have big hopes for their futures, because we trust that God is looking out for these little ones.
First of all, let us introduce you to the new family on our staff. Over the past few years we've gotten to know this family from our village of Urraco. We met the girls through our Library Program and English classes, then met their Mom, Belkis, through church activities, and finally their Dad, Oscar, when he joined our construction team. We've been very impressed with their whole family and are so excited to have them working in our Children's Home. They already feel like family.
We're proud to say that we have our English classes up and running again this school year. These classes will give a good head start for the kids who go on to high school. Monica and Erin are our English teachers for the 3rd-6th graders at the school. The teachers are enjoying the extra time with the kids in the community and the kids love practicing their English, so everybody is having a good time.
It's been a great few months of launching new educational programs. We see that this is such a great way to broaden the horizons of the kids in our area and we're excited to see where a love of learning will take them in life.
Ever since we started Give Hope 2 Kids, we've had endless projects to do without the human resources to get them all done. Recently though, we've been really excited to watch a great team of people gathering around us. We feel that we're able to accomplish so much more now.
We've yet to introduce our house-parents to everyone on the blog, so we want to take this opportunity to have you all "meet" Wilfredo & Sinndya and their two kids, José (6 yrs) and Dana (1 1/2 yrs). They've adapted really well to life in the country with us and have done a great job accepting kids into their family and life.
Kelvin is a great dad and handyman and loves to work on agricultural projects. Monica has been an excellent mom for the house they're in and has helped with organizing and running our Youth Night, Library Program, and English classes. We are blessed to have them as good parental figures on the property. Kelly is practicing sitting up on her own and is Josiah's little buddy.
We're really grateful for all these awesome people working with us and helping to make Give Hope 2 Kids a success!
We are excited to announce that we have five new kids living with us.
On January 5th we brought in a sibling group of three -- Carolina: 9, Javier: 7, & Fernando: 4 -- along with two more 4-year-olds, Carlos and Lilian.
This bunch of kids is so full of personality and energy that they're hard to keep up with! We're so thankful that we have the Activity Center and Playground so the kids have a place to burn off their energy.
The kids are thriving on our property, with so much room to run around on and so much to do, like learning how to take care of the chickens.
We are celebrating five years of ministry! God has blessed us with a very productive season and we are thrilled as we look back and see how far we've come in our quest to care for children who desperately need help.
To celebrate these years we put together a memory book summarizing the time. These pictures show how we prepared to, and now are caring for abadoned children, and how we've reached out to our community. Click on this link, choose to make it full-screen from the bottom right hand corner, and enjoy watching a ministry be born!
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We just wanted to let everyone know that we're temporarily on hold with bringing in the kids. Due to internal issues at the Social Services office here, we had yet another inspection yesterday (#4). We're once again waiting on paperwork to be processed. They've told us Wednesday is the day! Please pray with us that everything goes well.
We'll keep everyone posted as things happen.
We just wanted to share that we are SO close to getting the first kids. In the past month we've been working with Honduran Social Services in La Ceiba, which is our regional office. The woman we're associated with here is working to help us start well. She has a heart for particular children that she will be permanently placing with us. After a couple attempts, La Ceiba Social Services came and inspected our facilities. They've given us the green light. We've met the first few children that we'll be taking in and their paperwork is being finalized so they can transfer into our care. Hopefully we'll take them home with us in a couple days. We're just waiting for the final word so we can go and pick them up!
The little kids we're starting with are so precious. We're so excited to introduce them to everyone here on the blog, but we'll wait on that until they're in our care and we have some photos to share.