Who would have imagined such busy times here in Honduras? We are in the midst of many things happening at once:
We are getting our sponsored kids prepared for school (public school year here runs mid-Feb. through November) and all that that entails. Between shopping for shoes and uniforms, obtaining the necessary paperwork for “colegio” entry, undergoing blood tests at the hospital, organizing a schedule that works for all (ugh!), finding a reliable driver, and meeting with parents, we’ve been running! But, oh, the laughs that have poured fourth, as well as the cries out to God. We currently have 6 youth that have been matched with sponsors. We are looking for a few more sponsors or groups, to take on youth for our private school sponsorship program. Perhaps, a school, hospital group, or bible study group might be willing to rise to the challenge of coming together to commit the $215/month needed/per student. All kids will start at the public school next week. Those eligible for the private bilingual school, will then change schools in August, when private school starts. All sponsored kids are attending english/mentoring classes with us four days/week, so that we keep close ties to them. We are currently in need of assistance with providing lunch for these kids. In order to reach more kids, in the future, we are looking into the possibility of bringing a full education to the kids, rather than bussing the kids out to schools. Funding for computers, teachers, and classroom renovation are needed to make this a reality.
A surprise visit by Deb Anderson and her friend Rob Wilson, got our wheels turning. As always, when a visitor heads our way we begin to think about those things that are missing in our lives here on the island. It is so much easier to have visitors bring us mail from home, birthday or Christmas presets and/or donations that are sitting stateside. On this occasion it was soccer equipment that was waiting to be transported rom our storage container in Grandview to Roatan. As the logistics were being hashed out, a soccer tournament was born. The “Durango Cup” made its debut on our newly created soccer field. Our field, or more appropriately, the beach, has been a work in progress with locals helping us clean the beach, plant trees and build a pavilion for protection from the sun and rain. The “Durango Cup” was not only a way to showcase the efforts of the kids but it was a way for us to share our story about a caring community in southwest Colorado. We had roughly 7o participants over the two day tournament. A dog fight mid field, occasional horses crossing and the ref taking a time out to leave the field to make out with his girlfriend made it clear that we were no longer playing in the U.S.. These events and others took nothing away from the quality soccer that was played. Two of our three finals were decided by a penalty shootout. Prizes for the event were made possible by the generous donation of Kate Stahlin and Durango Youth Soccer. It’s great to see a new infusion of Durnago clothing walking the streets and playing on the fields of Roatan. Between the activities at “the playa” and at” Mazapan”, Deb and Rob have been able to witness first hand, how your donations and prayers have made a difference in Roatan. Deb was able to spend time with her sponsored child, Alicia, participating in english class, visiting her home and meeting her family. What a difference this will make in their letter writing and relationship building!
Additionally, an English Teacher Training is currently taking place, thanks to “English for Adults & Children”, or www.eacglobal.org . Penny and Kimi, from Texas, along with Victor, from Mexico are here for over 2 weeks training locals in teaching english. Their conversational approach to teaching english, character focused curriculum, and expertise/experience is truly a gift they are sharing with us. The impact has been great, reaching over 50 teachers on the island. What a huge blessing they have been to our ministry at Mazapan, as we train up some local leaders. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time with these folks, and really hope they’ll consider returning for more training in the future!