Our first week of school has come to a close. We have been blessed to meet all the kids of Casa De Luz. Casa De Luz translates to House of Light and this name is perfect description of the school and court and what it means to the La Colonia community.
Let’s start with the students of Casa De Luz. They range in age from 6 to 16 and each have voluntarily chosen to attend school to better their English speaking skills. This will give them a significant advantage in landing a good job on an island where good jobs are difficult to find. Our initial introduction to each student was having them unprompted, before class even began, walk up and introduce themselves to us in English and ask our names. Our first school day ended with one of the boys thanking God for the new pencil holders we brought them, followed by us receiving hugs from every student. What a warm welcome!
After a week of observing the students it is a blessing to see the gratitude they show for small things and smiles they bring into class each day. Their smiles are contagious.
We were introduced to Juan and Hector. We quickly learned and witnessed firsthand how critical they are to ministries of C4C.
Juan is a full-time teacher at the school. He attended English classes for several years at C4C before he began working with Ron and Jamie. He works side-by-side with Jamie to plan, create and lead every day’s activities. If I was to sum up our initial impressions of Juan in a few words they would be: joyful, creative, intelligent, humble and “big hearted”. He takes great pride in coming up with fun and engaging new ways to help teach the kids. This week he came up with a Frisbee game where he taped English words to the top of a Frisbee and where ever your hand was touching when you caught it you had to say the opposite English word. The students really enjoyed it and laugh a lot when some would drop the Frisbee. Juan truly loves interacting with the kids and it is a blessing to watch him lead.
Hector leads the soccer ministry at C4C and serves as a mentor for the many of the local “court boys”. Everyday many boys and girls utilize the Care 4 Communities sports and soccer court. One of the hallmarks of the court is a requirement to act in a Christ like manner in order to use the court. Many of the locals have never had Christ like behavior modeled for them to see. This is where Hector comes in. Whether it is hangout in the stands, mentoring someone in a difficult situation, being firm to maintain a Godly environment for all, Hector leads with a huge smile and open arms for all who hang around the Casa De Luz court.
A few memorable moments this week would be…
We began preparing for Children’s Day on September 10th. Children’s Day is one of the biggest holidays of the year in Honduras. It is a day to celebrate and advocate for the wellbeing of children. Casa De Luz is planning to use the soccer court to host all our students and their siblings. We are expecting over 120 people to attend. What a great opportunity to serve the community with games, food, face painting and more.
This week Ron was hard at work finishing the piping for the septic system for the school bathroom. A trench was dugout for the piping, then attached to an existing pipe then reburied. We had a lot of assistance from Hector and Carlos. Carlos graduated from Casa de Luz last year and speaks really good English. We have more projects on the agenda for next week.
After school ends at 3pm the soccer court begins to fill up with a lot of local boys. Ron and Jamie refer to them as the “court boys”. It is a fun environment to be part of; as it is full of cheers, boys making jokes about one another and conversations in the stands. Lana, Jamie and I were enjoying watching when Hector unexpectedly asked if I wanted to play in the next game. Many of the boys who play are exceptional soccer players, so having not played soccer in almost 15 years it was a bit intimidating trying to keep up with them. After fifteen minutes and two large blisters on the bottoms of my feet I can say by the grace of God I score two goals.
Much more on Juan, Hector and the student to come in future blog posts.
Care4Communities (C4C) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), Florida-based Corporation, headquartered in Jacksonville. C4C exists to share the love of Jesus with the communities of Roatan through sports, education and construction activities as a means to develop relationships and affirm their dignity.