Hello everyone!
I feel like I have so so much to talk about today, but don’t know where to start. So I’m going to start typing and see what happens…
We have had an incredibly full month. Towards the end of February we got to work with the team from Mountain Park Church in Phoenix and got to see Allison! This truly was an incredible team. Every day with them was filled with laughter, but also lots of time for deeper and more serious conversations. And I gained an eccentric senile Aunt Susan! (She told me to think of her like that. I promise.) We were so sad to see them go. The Pastor in El Progresso (city where we worked) is a man of great vision. It’s amazing to see all that he’s done in his community in about 10 years. His church has grown from 3 members to 500! And he has established a partnership with Compassion International in which about 250 kids are served. We love that we had the opportunity to get to know this Pastor and hope we get to spend a lot more time with him this year. Hopefully his vision and ability to persevere will rub off on us!

Marvellous Mountain Park Members. Hehe.

Then this week we worked with a team from Clarkston, MI in Borboton. The kids in Borboton really blew us away. It was mainly a painting project and usually you want 12 year olds to stay very far away from painting, since they aren’t awesome at paying attention to detail. There were definitely some that we had to confiscate their paint brushes, but I was amazed by this group of 5 or so boys that worked hard and well with us throughout the project. I talked with them for a while one day about school. They are all in 6th grade which, for many kids here is the last grade they attend. 4 of them had plans to attend collegio (high school), but one boy already had stopped going to school and had no interest in going back. He said he was going to be a fisherman. Can you imagine?? Being 12 years old and just deciding not to go to school anymore. I told him that in the US you could be put into Juvenile Detention if you don’t go to school. His response? I’m not in the US. True, true. The team said a very tearful goodbye yesterday to the people of Borboton. It was really neat to see the relationships that had formed this week regardless of the language barrier. The only downside of the week was that my purse with our camera in it was stolen! The director of the school and the pastor are still investigating the mysterious disappearance, but I fear that it is loooooong gone. =( So the only picture I have from this trip is a link to a picture of Mark from Clarkston and our painting boys. The boy that is not going to school is the 3rd from the left with a striped shirt. I hope sometime this year I’ll be able to report that he has changed his mind and gone back! http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?pid=901579&id=1450541440
Speaking of updates – remember the man that came to the medical clinic in January with a chainsaw wound to the leg? Well, I’m very happy to report that his leg is completely healed! A few people visited him thinking that the wound would be infected and he’d need more care – but they said that it had healed well and you could barely even tell that anything had happened. What a blessing!
Now for what has really been on our minds and hearts for the last few weeks. Heart to Honduras has recently made contact with another organization – Orphan Helpers. They work in about 8 different orphanages or juvenile detention centers in Honduras. We were incredibly privileged to receive a tour of 3 facilities in San Pedro. We left there feeling incredibly overwhelmed by the needs that we saw, and yet hopeful for what we could do this year to make a difference in their lives. The first place we visited was a home for teenage girls ages 12-19. Richard told us that about 90% of these girls have been sexually abused. There are currently around a hundred girls sleeping in 2 rooms, 4 girls to a bunk bed. Being a teenager is a time of independence and becoming your own person and to spend it sharing a twin bed with another girl with absolutely no personal belongings (they all share clothes and have no dressers, closets, tubs, anything) just seems awful. Absolutely, they are in a safer place, but not ideal. Orphan Helpers employs 3 teachers at the facility, otherwise the girls would get no education. Walking through there filled me with so much motivation to really buckle down on learning Spanish. To spend the day there just having one on one interaction with these girls would go so far. To be able to talk to them about their dreams and fears, that is reason enough to study Spanish when I don’t really feel like it. Looking into the eyes of some of these girls you could just tell they’ve still got so much fight left in them, they just need some love, some safety and some direction.
Then we went to Nueva Esperanza (New Hope). This is a home for boys and girls ranging in age from newborns to 11 year olds. This one filled us with the most sadness. They are incredibly understaffed. There is a very, very high number of special needs kids in this home, which stretches the few workers they have even thinner. Then we went to the room where they keep all the babies. The youngest one was 9 days old when we were there. Around 26 babies and 2 staff. The babies were relatively clean and fed, which is so good, but are only held when being cleaned or fed, so are severely lacking in emotional warmth and attention. My best friend, Jen, is visiting us next week and we are planning on spending at least half a day just holding babies, singing to them, praying for them. And I’m trying to convince my Mother-in-law to come for a few days or a week and just spend time with them. Come on, Edna, it would be so good for us! =) And seriously, anyone reading this who is moved by their need right now – I will help you figure out how to get down here and where to stay so you can hold these precious souls in your arms. It doesn’t take a whole lot of defined skills, just a whole lot of love!

Beautiful babies at the orphanage.

And now for the much anticipated update on our little Chamaco. He’s getting bigger!! He has a tendency to flee when we let him out to go to the bathroom. When we first got him, we would chase him down the street and carry him home. Now, that’s not so easy. He’s pretty heavy!! He is adjusting to the pampered dog life very well. Here are some recent photo

They were both asleep. Chamaco using Sean’s leg as a seat and with his nose and paws shoved between 2 sections of the couch!

Allison playing his favorite game. Chew, chew, chew, Chew. Look at them ears.

This is probably the only time that he has ever been calmly sitting next to one of us while we read. Usually he’s trying to lay on the book. A little jealous, perhaps?

Running full speed at me. Ears flopping everywhere!

We brought him with the team one day. He preferred riding on laps as opposed to on the ground.

This one’s just so dang cute.

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