June 2012

The summer season is fully upon us as the days are not only hot, but humid. The fifteen minute walk to the Mazapan often times leaves us either drenched in sweat or covered with sand flea bites.  Upon walking home, we usually find ourselves exhausted, exhilerated, or somewhere in between.  Rarely, do we feel nothing.  It is a life we have become accustomed to and I believe, seek out.  That feeling of giving of oneself is like no other.  It is truly a blessing to have lived this life here!  Thank you for allowing us to dedicate the past 2 and a half years to reaching out to others.  It is through you all and through Him, that we have been able to accomplish so much in so little time.

That being said, the needs of our family at this time in our life, will have us returning to Durango early this August.  As our own children are our most important disciples, we feel that it is in the best interest not only for our family, but in the interest of Care4Communities that we return stateside.  We are happy to say that the timing of this event actually bodes well for both our family and our ministry here on the island.  Our season as leaders on Roatan is nearly complete.  Relationships and programs have been initiated and staff in place to carry out its’ goals.

For the sponsored kids, the school year is in full swing and all are doing well.  Much of this can be attributed to Desmy, the lead Honduran teacher, and her passion for the program.  Her connection with the kids has allowed for a pleasant working environment while developing a deeper relationship with the children. Her bilingual abilities has also had a positive and immediate effect on the works being done by Jamie Rich-McDonald.  With Desmy’s assistance, Jamie has had the ability to share her love of crafting while participating in some of the english classes.  As we begin a new season at Mazapan, it is critical that we have not only local participation but “gringo” help as well. With our departure, Jamie will be overseeing operations within the Mazapan classrooms.

The Mazapan Sports Court is now also coming into its own, as leagues have been formed and kids are getting to use it on a regular basis.  Currently, we have two leagues running that include nearly 125 kids.  The court director role is being filled by two locals.  Their role will be to coach and mentor the youth who come to play on the court.  Jamie’s husband, Ron, will coordinate the daily and mission team schedules while overseeing Juergen and Sabino, the 2 locals.  It is our goal to use the court as a tool that allows us to grow a relationship between a player and coach to one of friend and spiritual mentor.

The arrival of mission teams from Florida, Oklahoma, and Durango (Harald and Emily  Jordan) all within the week of June 11-15 was a critical test for our ministry.  It was an opportunity to integrate short term teams with our focus of ESL and sports ministry.  As planned, Chet’s Creek did triple duty participating in ESL, building an equipment shed and participating in sports ministry. They took the lead on the equipment shed while including Oklahoma in order to meet our need for a place to store our growing collection  of sports equipment.  Additionally, the shed includes an area that provides cover from the rain and sun.  The ESL material brought by Chet’s Creek allowed their team members to actively get involved with our children while providing training for Desmy and Jamie.  This approach of utilizing the passions of visiting teams allows for a more satisfying experience for team members while giving the long term staff additional tools to improve our existing programs.

It has been interesting thinking about what we wanted to achieve when we first arrived on Roatan over 2 years ago.  Our desire was to get to know the locals and to start up programs which might help them.  The hardest part by far was being willing to take that first leap of faith and make the move.  From there, it has been our continued faith in God that has kept us going.  To put one foot in front of the other, without seeing the full scene as to where we were going, is a discipline that continues to take much practice.  We continue to practice it daily, as our days never go as we had anticipated.  We have moved from trusting Him to guide our steps to actually being thankful we are not in control.  We find ourselves truly in awe of all that has been accomplished.

In order to continue the good works being done in Roatan, Care4Communities is in the process of becoming an official nonprofit 501(c-3) organization, complete with a six member board.  While our Paypal site and blog will be changing in format, the mission to share God’s love through education and sports remains, with more accountability and feedback built in, to better serve donors and recipients.  We remain committed to this cause, and look forward to sharing with you, in person, the needs of this island community, as well as “tales of adventure living as missionaries in Roatan, Honduras!”  Thank you for your compassion!

Mike & Kerry & Luke & Lilly & Levi