Saturday, March 31, 2007

Easter celebration!

Yesterday was the last day of school before Easter Vacation! I had each child in my 3 classes bring 6 hard-boiled eggs and a small box. We painted the eggs and made baskets out of the boxes. Then the boys took the girls'eggs and hid them, then the girls went to find them, and vice versa with the boys. It was a lot of fun! The first picture is of some first graders painting their eggs, and then my second grade boys, crazy, fun, and challenging, the third, the second graders running to find their eggs, and a second grade girl who obviously forgot to bring her little box! It was a great day! They all had a ton of fun.
Happy Easter everybody!

Rehabilitation visit

These are some men at the alcoholic rehabilitation center. We went last Monday, the same night our small youth Bible study group meets. It was March 19, Father's Day here in Honduras, and one of the ladies in our group had the idea to go since many of them couldn't celebrate with their own families. She cooked a big dinner and others brought dessert. We had a wonderful time with them. Beto and I talked with one man in particular for awhile. He showed us their little garden where they've planted different foods. So many of them are farmers. Some of them have jobs that they go to each day but have to be back to the center at a certain time. The facilities are very primitive since it is new. You may see how they hang their clothes inside. They made their own beds. They all live together in this one large one room shack, basically, with a police guard always on duty. The man we talked to told us his story about how he'd been drinking for so many years. He's save up his money for a few months and then take it all on a trip to the city where he'd spend it mostly on alcohol. One time he woke up on the side of the road having been beaten up on his head, losing most of his eyesight as a result. Earlier this month an eye doctor brigade came down and he was able to get some real thick glasses for free, so he's so happy to see anything clearly now. He's been at the center for about 3 months since it opened in January.

The men arrive at the center after having been taken there by the police off the streets where they pass out.

Please continue to pray for these men. The center has a lot of needs, like psychologists, for instance, and counselors to help them once they leave the center. And of course, spiritual direction. It was really neat to worship with them. God is really moving among them.

P.s. Here in Honduras when one takes a picture, instead of saying, "Say Cheese!", we say "Say Whiskey!". Of course, I forgot when i took the above pictures and had another embarrassing moment!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

God's work

In town there's a new rehabilitation center for alcoholics. It's much needed in this town where the only downside is seeing many men of all ages lying in the streets on the weekends, passed out and drunk. Sometimes people steal things off of them while they are passed out.
A few months ago some leaders from different organizations got together to start the non profit center, not religiously based or run by any one church, but a collective effort on behalf of the community.
Our church is probably the closest the the center and on a voluntary basis about 20 men come each sunday morning. It is so encouraging to see these men who have been recovering for about 3 months now lifting their hands and vigorously searching scripture.
So far we've donated food every once in a while, but tomorrow our small home Bible study group is going to take dinner (and dessert...yumm) and share a meal with them. I'm so excited.
Please keep this center, the men, and all who volunteer there, in your prayers. It is really uplifting to see how God is moving and working in this town, His love for the people, His desire to reach them, have relationship with them, and caring for them. Pray that this will be just the beginning of a great recovery of men and families in this town, which is called "Hope", that the "not-yet"believers will see that Jesus is their only hope.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody!

This is what I saw out my window shortly after I woke up this morning. Usually March is the hottest month, but it's been rainy off and on lately. How perfect for today. I didn't see any Leprechans though. whew!

God is good and His mercy and goodness endure forever.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I ate my homework, not my dog!

A student ate her assignment today. No lie. I thought I´d seen it all after leaving Watts, but apparently not.
In class this morning she said she didn´t want to work(nothing new for her..aarrghh!) and asked if she could do it at recess. I said no and she sullenly sat down like she was going to die. At recess I gave her a friends notebook to copy the notes from since i´d already erased the board. this other girl has nice writing so i thought it wouldnt be a problem. boy am i stupid! I took her to the 10th grade room thinking it would motivate her. She said she didn´t want to work because she didn´t bring a snack and she was very hungry. Her mom, now a teacher at our school, decided she ¨couldn´t¨send a snack since her daughter forgot to take her lunchbox home yesterday. I think there´s another way of teaching her to remember her lunchbox, but hey, i´m not a mom.
so after recess she comes back to my room and NOTHING! hadn´t written a word! she said it´s because she couldn´t read the writing of the other student. well, hello, you couldn´t come ask me 25 minutes ago? EXCUSES! all the time with this girl!
so at lunch, right after she finished eating, she came to me a little more chipper and told me she was going to copy the notes from another student whose writing she could read. Fine, great, thanks, i said to her. One minute later she comes back to where I´m trying to peacefully eat my ramen noodles and says she doesnt have her original paper from the morning. ¨Why not?¨, I ask, thinking she´d say she lost it or she stepped on it, etc. Ï ate it¨, she said. ¨You what???!!!¨

I was so irate, i saw her mom standing outside. Her mom didn´t have much to say to her, only that she shouldn´t do that. Ah! what do you do in a situation like that? The students pointed to her belly when her mom asked where was her paper. All I could think to say was that next time she wanted to eat paper she should choose that wasn´t an English assignment.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

March already?!

This past month we celebrated International Day of Prayer at the school. Each class sang a song, did a little dance, or read scripture. I wasn't familiar with this day until this year, but it's been around for quite awhile, each year focusing on a different country. This year the focus was on Paraguay, bordered by Argentina and Brazil in South America. I never knew much about this country but considered it one of the more rich countries, but it is not. Now I know why it was chosen as the country this year. you can google it if you're interested. The program went very well after school on Friday, with a pretty good turnout.

God is good and always working for our good, even when we may not see it or can't imagine that what's happening is for our good. We've gotten lot's of encouragement lately about the wedding and will start marriage counseling with our pastors (they're married) this month. Please pray that Beto's family in Guatemala will be able to get his paperwork needed to be married here in Honduras so that he doesn't have to make a special trip just for them.

Today our small Bible study group that meets on WEdnesdays was chosen to lead service in church. I led the morning prayer and Lindsey, 2 students, and I sang a song. We got the two gringo's involved that don't speak Spanish. They collected the offering and then said the prayer for it in English, which is good for them to be involved. I can't imagine going to church every Sunday for over a year and not being able to understand a word. They are great people though. Sometimes we have a bilingual service. Today Beto preached about Human dignity, how Satan stole it in the beginning and continues to do so today, but that our worth and dignity is in Christ because of His blood. There is a new center in town that opened up in January for alcoholics to go to recover and they all, a group of about 30 men, come every Sunday. It's encouraging.

An update on the kidnapped girl. She has been back with her family for awhile and I was told that they payed to get her back. Here the papers aren't allowed to print anything so any info is rumored, hearsay, aka unreliable, but about a weeek or two after she was kidnapped the chatter died down and I've only heard since that she's back safe with her family.

Some misc. items...

We're in the dry, hot season now, which means dusty. Not too unbearably hot, like in the 70-80's.
A new teacher from Arizona arrived last week to stay for about 2 months. Her college Spanish professor is good friends with our principal, so she's here for the experience. It's good to have her as she can relieve some stress from the English teacher of 3rd-6th grade.

I ran out of gas for my stove yesterday, so Beto and i put it on a dolley and walked the 3 blocks to exchange it for a new tank. It didn't quite fit my hose that connects to the stove so Beto used lots of strong masking tape and it works fine.

It's possible to live well on about $100 dollars a month here, of course i'm not paying rent or utilities, nor do i have a vehicle, but in my mind i'm still living well.

Psalm 103.1