The accident and the delays.

I originally wrote this for We are his daughters but have added a little because some things have transpired since I first wrote it. So, I guess this is the extended version. 🙂

A few days ago, Dale and I had a rather busy day of running around and doing errands. For some reason doing errands takes way longer than what you would normally anticipate here in Honduras. Our first errand was at the bank, where we needed a letter, (constancia) stating how long we have had our bank account here for the house we are going to be moving to. That alone took an hour and a half. Then we had to go to Elisa’s school, the team house and we had a few other things to accomplish.
Finally after being away from home since early that morning we made our way home a little after 3 in the afternoon. Suddenly Dale exclaimed, “Oh my goodness! That truck!” I turned and looked out his window in time to see a transport truck speeding, and evidently coming right at us. But at that moment he veered to the left and sailed over the median and into the oncoming traffic. The truck hit a man on a motorbike who went flying through the air and crumbled like a rag doll on the ground before it landed in the ditch on the other side. It was horrific. I don’t know that I will ever be able to shake the memory of that day from my mind. (Since then Dale and I have been a little more on edge while in traffic. I catch myself bracing myself a lot.)
We pulled over, as did a lot of other people. All of us were in a state of shock. I couldn’t stop crying. Dale was trembling. The paper said it was mechanical failure. The breaks had failed. Two people died that day, and it is a miracle that more people were not killed. It’s a busy highway and realistically more cars or busses should have been in the path of that truck. But  Praise God, they weren’t.
Another thing is….a few seconds more and it could have been Dale and I that were taken out. He was so close to us. But at the last moment the truck flew over the median. We were going around a curve in the road and there was no way the truck could have made it. At one point Dale looked at me and said, “That could have been us.” And it’s so true. We clearly saw the Lord’s protection in that moment. It was a very close call.I am and always will be thankful for his protection and his hand upon our lives that day.
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and salvation—so why should I be afraid. The Lord is my fortress protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
We never know when our time will come. Things can happen so fast. In the blink of an eye, things can suddenly change. Unexpected things can and do happen. Certain events can change the course of our lives. Only God knows the number of our days, and when he will say our time on earth is done. It’s so important to be ready, to know where we are going should our time on earth come to a sudden and unexpected end.
A few of days ago, we were driving back from the school we were teaching at. We had not left immediately because some of our staff had stopped by to chat, so we lingered outside the school for a little while. Eventually we left and were on our way back home. We had our translator Dannyel to drop off and then our friend Rossy who teaches the Semillitas course. However There was major traffic. No one seemed to be moving. We had heard earlier that there would be paros that day and sure enough. In the distance we could see the black smoke billowing ahead and all traffic was being prevented from getting through. Some university students were protesting again by burning tires. Cars were being re-routed.

Eventually we were on our way and dropped Dannyel off, only to be held up again in more traffic. We were not able to get through to drop Rossy off at the usual drop off place. It was so stressful because we were all tired and all any of us wanted to do was to get home but we couldn’t because of all the hold ups and sitting in traffic not moving for so long.

Sometimes things happen that are out of our control. Happens a lot here.

We thought it was another protest, because often times they can be spread throughout the city, but yet we later read in the paper that a bus driver had been gunned down by someone getting onto the bus. Because of that, they shut the street down and were not letting anyone through. However had traffic been moving along at the normal pace, or if we had left the school right away instead of stopping to talk, maybe we would have heard the gun shots and been caught in the chaos and fear that must have ensued. God knew that, and while being stuck in traffic and not going anywhere is not fun and something that is super annoying, very often there is a reason.  Maybe it’s construction, maybe it’s an accident, or maybe it’s a protest, or maybe something else is going down. And maybe we will never know what that reason is.  For none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

And as my friend Linda commented on my status one day; maybe when we get to heaven God will show us how many times his hand diverted danger from our path.
James 4:14 How do you know that your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

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Unexpected things..

My friend Kathy blogged today about frustrating things that have been happening that are out of her control. It is something I have also been thinking about because it seems like it’s been happening a lot lately. Those unexpected things that we don’t plan for or take into account. Those things we are not prepared for. We have that word Flexi-juice here for a reason.
Here are a few unexpected things that have happened in our lives recently.
1. I went to get my eyes tested. It’s been a couple years since my last eye exam, and I knew I needed new glasses. My glasses are badly scratched, and I don’t see out of them as well as I once did. Not only that but they are glasses meant for a guy. Not that you can tell by looking at them, but I wanted something fun and pretty. The problem was, due to lots of construction going on in the area, this place was not easy to get to. It was like an obstacle course. There were lots of twists and turns, back roads and dirt alleys. Even with directions we managed to get messed up. The clinic was in a dangerous area and we didn’t know where we were. We could see the big blue building in the distance, but were very lost! It was beyond frustrating and had my blood boiling. I was stressed. Upset. I wanted the test that day because the missionaries who run the clinic were leaving to move back to the States the following week. We were ready to give up and go home but finally we made it….an hour late. I really, really dislike being late for things. I always have, ever since I was a kid. I would rather show up early for something than inconvenience someone by my lateness.  In my one eye, the prescription has drastically changed. “Not normal,” I was told. So much so that I was not given the prescription. I now have to get my blood tested for high blood sugar. Unexpected news. I haven’t gone because something always comes up and when I could have actually gone, when I actually I had time, I forgot.
2. The last night that the Evans family were in Honduras, before they moved home to Canada, we planned to go to the team house for a potluck dinner and games. I made a delicious summery chickpea salad and a chocolate swirl bundt cake. However, we never made it. Due to the taxis and buses blocking the roads to protest the increase in gas prices and other unfair taxes, we were stuck in traffic for over five hours. Unreal. Not moving. Not even a little bit. Everyone just parked their vehicle on the road and waited. Finally when they opened the roads, it was too late. We just turned around, stopped and got gas and went home. It was frustrating, annoying, and very disappointing. We didn’t get to say goodbye one last time. That made us so sad. But again, it was out of control. It didn’t do a bit of good to fly off the handle, yell at the taxi drivers, or sit there and fume about the situation, because there was literally nothing that could be done about it. Absolutely nothing. We didn’t go hungry though. We polished off the chickpea salad we had brought for the meal and had a piece of cake.
3. We were supposed to have a team arrive today. ( Sunday) However due to technical difficulties their flight was re -routed or something and now they are not arriving until tomorrow. This throws a wrench into our well organized schedule and menu. It’s a disappointment to us and especially our director Kathy, as it is her home church and she’s really excited for them to come. However, once again, it’s a situation beyond our control. There’s nothing that can be done about it. So why stress about things that we have no control over?

4. On Sundays morning I have felt kind of lost since the bilingual church we were attending and enjoyed so much decided to take a sabatical til the end of the year. I really miss going.  We were not always able to attend every Sunday but we went most of the time and as often as we could. I miss the worship and the Word. While I understand the reasoning behind it, it’s still a change we didn’t see coming.

5. We have been house hunting. We have loved and enjoyed the house we live in now.  It’s been a huge blessing to us with the most amazing view and a community across the road where I can walk in.   So many wonderful memories have been made here. But with two of our children now in Canada, we no longer need such a large home. Even though we will truly miss it. We  found a house in the neighborhood we like, close to the area we work in and the team house. It’s in a safe area. It’s about half the size of this house, but, sadly has no view. It does however have a large back yard with a fire pit. There’s room to garden…something Dale enjoys.  It’s perfect for entertaining and perfect for our little schnauzer. There were some things we asked for…a clothesline, some kind of storage space and the landlord had apparently said sure those things could be added, and the rent would not increase. So,we gave our notice here and began selling pieces of furniture that would not fit in the new place.  However, the house we thought we were going to more or less fell through.  Because the house with half the space but a big back yard went up significantly in price.  So now it’s back to house hunting. Thankfully our landlady here is letting us stay on and told Dale she was happy we were staying a little longer.

Matthew 6:34 So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Proverbs 16:9 We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.

Five years…

Yesterday was our fifth anniversary in Honduras. For some reason it feels like a lot longer….a lifetime ago.  There are times I feel like I have always lived here.   I thought it would be fun to look back on my very first post written in Honduras. I wrote it exactly five years ago today when everything was brand new.  We had literally just got off the plane and jumped right into life here. I remember back then, the very things that used to drive me crazy have now become the norm.

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So much has changed in the last five years.  God has been so good. He’s been faithful. Things may change, but he never does. I am so glad that we didn’t give up or throw in the towel despite how we may have felt like it earlier on.

When we first arrived in Honduras we were a family of five. All three of our children were here. Now two of them are grown and settling into life in Canada. Ben begins Bible school in the fall.  He seems to be adjusting well. I look forward to seeing where life takes him as he strives to put God first in his life. Jake continues to work full time, plays on the worship team at his church and make music in his spare time. He is super talented and we are super proud of him! Elisa will be going into her senior year in September.

Five years ago we were in three schools..and now we are in fifteen. Ten of those schools are being taught by our amazingly talented Honduran team.  I absolutley love to see how our team has grown. God has brought us some amazing people to work alongside. They all love Jesus and have hearts to serve Him. Here is a photo of our staff….altough actually we are missing a few..Rossy, Dannyel, Julio, Beckett…

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Many of you will remember that Randy and Judy Lundrigan began this ministry. They poured their heart and souls into it, loved on people, planted the seeds and watered. And things have grown and flourished because of their faithfulness.

Kathy Mizen is now the director and she does an amazing job leading the team and has a real heart for people and especially for the children to come to know Jesus and continue their education and to succeed. She began a tutoring program this year for the sponsored kids wo are struggling in their classes and it’s going great.

 

Five years ago, SOH had 75 Child Care Plus sponsored students. We now have over 230! Thank you for sponsoring our children!

 

 

 

This past year, SOH began installing water filters into the homes in the Buena Vista area under the direction of Mike Evans.  This month, SOH will have installed 200 filters! This is amazing because our goal was to install 100 filters by the end of the year, and that goal has pretty much doubled, and it’s only July.  Now these homes will not only have clean drinking water for their family but they also hear about the Living water..Jesus.

 

 

 

Lastly, we have been honoured in our fifth year to have the Evans family from British Columbia join us.  They move back to Canada on Friday. They have been such an incredible blessing to us, to our team and to the people in the Buena Vista area. Trisha helped Kathy in the office, getting the finances in order and she also trained up one our Honduran staff to take over when she leaves.  Mike oversaw the water filtration project and other community projects. For example, the stairs outside of  Mary Flakes school. Now the children no longer have to walk down the rocky mountain side to get to school.  Both Mike and Trisha came to Honduras with a willingness to help wherever needed. They have gentle spirits and humble hearts.  Even the kids when they are not in school, will help where ever needed. They have lived very simply while they were here and didn’t buy a lot of un nessesary stuff.  Most of whatever furniture they had while they were here, Mike fashioned from pallets. It’s amazing what you can manage to live without.   I love how their three children have so quickly adusted to life here and how their little girl has really come out of her shell. We are truly going to miss them and are sad to see them go.

 

 

Believe in Faith

Here is a post written by our director Kathy about some exciting things in our ministry.

Kathy's Adventures

Most of you may know that our ministry has been successfully moving along with our water filtration project this year. For the past year, the Evans family has joined us to help make this happen. Mike, Trisha and their 3 kids moved here last August to join our Schools of Hope family.

evans.jpgMike’s main focus as Project Manager was to move our filtration project forward and train up his replacement before he left. He has successfully done this and we are excited to see how God continues to move in the communities that are in desperate need of safe, clean drinking water.
Trisha’s main focus was to help me organize our finances and train up one of our staff to assist me in managing it. She has successfully done that! Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wanted them to stay. They have been a HUGE blessing…

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The thirsty ones..

Psalms 63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my souls thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

One of the highlights this week was the day we handed out Bibles to 97 teachers. It was an emotional day to say the least!  These are the schools that Dale and I are not teaching Bible classes in, but that are receiving classes from our Honduran staff. Along with the Bible they received a daily reading guide to read to their students. Inside the guide are themes and scriptures for the entire school year.  The response was absolutely overwhelming.  These teachers were so happy and so thankful! I wish you could be there to see how their faces lit up. They couldn’t stop smiling.  I know it is not really fair to compare Canada to Honduras. But it’s so different here. One cannot help but think about how different the response would be there if teachers were to be given Bibles to read to their students along with a reading plan. First of all, it wouldn’t be allowed. Here in Honduras, for now anyway, the doors are wide open. Although I have heard more than one time this week, that things are slowly shifting.

There was one teacher that was so overcome with emotion that she began to cry.  She explained to us that  before she went on maternity leave she had been reading to the children from the Bible, usually a proverb. Then she would explain the meaning, and they would write or draw pictures in their journals of what they had learned. She told us that while she was on maternity leave, the lady filling in for her did not continue what she began. She was heartbroken to discover that while she was away, the journals remained untouched, unopened.  “For forty days, my babies did not hear the Word of God!”  That day was her first day back to teaching and she was sad that she had forgotten her Bible at home. Then we showed up with a Bible for her to read in the classroom and she couldn’t stop the tears. She knew God heard the cry of her heart. She knew He cared about her and her desire for her students to learn from the Word. We watched a few  children gather around her desk as once again was able to share from the Bible.

Several teachers told how much they appreciate the Bible classes and have even said that they have seen a change in their classroom since the Bible classes began. They are making a difference.  We’ve had many schools request that we come more often but with fifteen schools that is just not financially possible at this time. These kids are hungry and thirsty for more of the Word. The children love it when their Bible teachers come! I firmly believe that the change is because God’s truth is being planted in their heart and when that happens, there can’t help but be a change.

Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

 

 

We were able to hand out the Bibles the other day because of another ministry here in Honduras called Here I am ministries. They graciously donated all of the Bibles and the guides for these teachers. I love it that we can partner with other ministries, and I love it that God’s Word is in the classrooms.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is inspired by God, and is useful to teach us what is wrong in our lives . It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

Life happenings and goodbyes

I am using much of the thoughts from our recent newsletter and adding my own thoughts at the end of this post. You will know it when things start to get emotional.:-)
Life seems to move at such a rapid speed! This spring has passed so quickly and we are still spinning with all that has been going on in our family. Here are just some highlights of what has been happening within our personal family and ministry!

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We had the opportunity to attend the General Conference of the Pentecostal Assemblies in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia early May! The theme was picturing God’s Faithfulness, multiplication, His transformational Truth, the Nations, and our future! What an incredible time of refreshing!

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As soon as the General conference ended, we headed over to Sidney on the Sea! It was exciting to be with our Global Workers family for a 4 day retreat. All the sessions ministered to our heart and soul! It was wonderful to see familiar faces again in person..not just Facebook.. We especially enjoyed the specialized breakout where we met with other families who are empty nesting! This was encouraging and we have great support in place. Sidney by the Sea was beautiful. We enjoyed walking on the waterfront every day.

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As soon as we got back from the conference and retreat, a family that we’ve known for 17 years came for a visit! Breanne has been with us three times before and it was great to see her, meet her finance Andee, and host her parents! What an incredible, fun week we had, with lots of laughs! We are looking forward to Breanne and Andee’s wedding in El Salvador in a few weeks. We will be taking the bus from here to there as it is rather inexpensive to do so.

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Another ministry in Honduras, “Here I Am Ministries,” donated Bibles to us from the Gideons to give to each teacher. Along with the Bible, the teachers  also received a schedule that allows them to read Scriptures to their students daily. We still have a few more to hand out. These Bibles are going to newer schools whose teachers did not yet receive a copy of the Bible. These teachers were so HAPPY!

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The first week of June, a team from St. Thomas Pentecostal came to do ministry to 2,000 children. This was an older group with most of the team being 50 plus…but it didn’t slow them down at all. I found them inspiring. Truly. One lady was in a wheel chair at one time and was told she would never again walk. But two years ago she got out of the wheel chair has not once looked back.

The Goodbyes

Our son, Ben, graduated from grade 12 on June 13th. We are so proud of him and his accomplishments and his “Christian witness” award! He has now moved to London, ON for the summer and will be attending Masters Bible College in the fall! Please keep him in your prayers that he finds employment for the summer and that his transition continues to go well.

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I miss him so very much. The first couple days after he boarded that plane with all of his earthly belongings in an 85 pound hockey bag, I did a lot of crying. I just couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. It’s been so difficult. After the first day Dale said that he felt lost. This empty nesting thing is rough. First Jake two years ago and now Ben, and we just have one more year til Elisa “leaves the nest.”

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There have been other goodbyes too. Goodbyes are a normal part of missionary life, and even though they are “normal,” I don’t like them. And lately there have been a lot. I break down and cry when I hear that yet another missionary is leaving, packing and selling their things to move back to the States or Canada. We have recently lost two families from our fellowship group. So half the group basically. People we felt connected to, people who understood us and loved us despite our quirks.  It’s hard to be the ones left behind. I can’t really explain it or put it into words, but I am having a bit of a rough time coping and knowing how to grieve. I’m struggling with how to process it all. So. Much. Loss. I know if there are other missionaries out there reading this, they will get where I am coming from.


And the goodbyes aren’t finished. We soon will lose the Evans family who have been with Schools of Hope for a year. They are such a blessing and an integral part of our life, I can’t imagine going to the office on Fridays and them not being there and I am not quite ready to think about it just yet. And still there are more precious families leaving Honduras, while we remain and continue life as we know it without them.
I am happy for the friends who have moved on. I am excited to hear how God uses them where he has placed them in their new areas of ministry. My heart just aches because I will miss them.  It’s getting used to the new normal I guess. I know things will be fine, but it’s going to take time.

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Off to the next adventure

And just like that, he was gone… one final hug… one last goodbye.  Off to Canada to begin this next chapter in his life. All his earthly possessions in an 85 pound hockey bag, carry on and backpack.

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My eyes have been like a faucet and I have not been able to control the tears.  (Except today when we were teaching Bible classes.) My heart has been aching and all of a sudden without warning the tears start flowing again. It’s been a rough couple of days to say the least.  I miss him and his calming presence in our home.  Dale summed it up well when he said he felt lost.

The years have been flashing before me with so many memories of years gone by, like a movie playing little snippets here and there. They’ve gone by way too fast. In a way I feel like we did not have enough time. We didn’t have as many years as most parents have with their kids before they move on to college, because of the fact that our kids are adopted, and I never knew what he was like as a baby.

 

 

 

I still remember the day he walked into our home as a rambunctious almost three year old.  Blue eyes and curly blonde hair. He’s always had a sweet nature.  Compasionate, kind, and thoughtful of others. A peacemaker. A loyal friend. A sensitive soul. He feels things deeply. He has an amazing heartfelt laugh! He has kept us in stitches over the years and we have a few sayings in our family that came from him first. Things like, “How did that get there?” And “Wait…where are we going?”

He loves the Lord and has a calling on his life. He has a love for adventure, the outdoors, sports and running. Every time he would set out for a run here in Honduras I would always say “Be careful.” This is Honduras after all and he is obviously North American. He would tell me to relax or something and say that no Honduran would mess with him because he was so big compared to them.  I would say that he was no match for a gun.  And God did watch over him despite my worrying. I think Ben would have died inside if he could not be active and had to be caged inside the house all the time like a prison, and God knew that.

He is our child who in the beginning did not want to come to Honduras and in the end did not want to leave, even though he has so much to look forward to in Canada. Things like Bible college, Starbucks and a special friendship.

 

I am so very, very proud of him. Dale and I love him so very much.  Yet being a mom, I am struggling with letting go and worrying about whether he will find a job this summer to have money to buy food and other necessities.  I worry about how he will transition in a culture so dfferent from Honduras, the place he has called home for the past five years.

 

 

I still remember the heartbreak of when Jacob transitioned and how hard it was to send him off on his own when he too didn’t want to leave and I remember watching him struggle from a far and being helpless to do anything. I know I need to fret less and pray more.

And yet at the same time, I am excited for Ben as he begins the next chapter in life and pursues what God has called him to do.  I look forward to seeing how God works out his plan for his life as he heads to Bible College in the fall. Who knows. Maybe one day he will find himself back in Honduras, a country close to his heart.

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Words…

Luke 6:45 “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Words. The things that we say. It’s been a recurring theme lately in my life. Especially in the last week or so. It’s an area where the Lord is dealing with my heart. How many times when we have been hurt have we lashed out and said something in return just as hurtful? I think that this is especially true if it’s someone we are close to. Maybe it is a friend. Perhaps it’s our child or our spouse. I think it is human nature to want to defend ourselves. But then we end up causing more hurt, more pain. And the thing is…once those words are spoken out loud, they can’t be taken back. We can’t just shove them back in our mouths like we never said them. They are forever engraved upon the heart of the person they were spoken to.

 
Our words can bring life or death. They can heal or destroy. Tear down or restore. Bless or curse. I am sure all of us can think back to a time where someone said something damaging to us and years later we still remember. It can shape who we are, and who we become. I remember things said to me by some bullies in the classroom when I was twelve years old. Thirty five years later. Because words have a way of sticking.
We learn in the book of James that if we could control our tongue we would be perfect and would be able to control all the other areas our lives.

 
James 3: 2 (Msg ) We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person in perfect control of life.

 
Proverbs 17:27,28
A truly wise person uses few words. A person with understanding is even tempered. Even fools are thought to be wise when they keep silent. With their mouths shut they seem intelligent.( I love that last part!)

 
Recently, I am ashamed to say that I failed miserably in that area. I was on the receiving end of someone’s frustration, and when I was attacked and treated unjustly, I reacted. When the words spoken to me were mean and hateful, I responded out of emotion. I blurted out what I was feeling in that moment because I was deeply hurt. Then I ran off and cried my heart out in the laundry room. I cried over the things spoken to me, but especially the things I said in return.

 
I think at times it is better just to be silent. Zip the lip and not say anything in return. Even though on the inside we are hurt or angry, or feel unjustly treated. When we in turn respond in anger, things will get worse, emotions will escalate and get out of hand. There is a saying I heard in our small group some time ago that I reminded of. “Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two lefts do.” Pastor Andy Smith,

 
Perhaps the best thing to do is walk away.

 
1 Thessalonians 5:15
See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to be good to each other and to all people.

I was thinking about Jesus.  Is he not the greatest example of this?  When the leading pastors and elders of his time made their accusations against him, what did he do? He remained silent. He didn’t try to justify himself or prove his innocence. Would we be able to do the same if we were misunderstood or under attack from our Pastors and those in authority? Jesus knew when to be quiet.

 

Matthew 27:12-14 But when the leading priests and elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. “Don’t you hear all these charges against you?” Pilate demanded. But Jesus made no response to the charges much to the governor’s surprise.

 

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

 

In life there are going to be times when people say things to us that we will want to respond to. Maybe there is someone intentionally trying to get us riled up to get a reaction from us. What should our response be? What does the bible say about this?

 

2 Timothy 2:23 Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.

 

Life and death are in the tongue. Oh that we would choose life!

The unplanned trip back to Canada and God’s provision…

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On March the 4th of this year we were in the lobby of the church when Dale received a phone call that his dad had passed away. It’s the kind of phone call that no one ever wants to receive, but it was one that we were expecting at some point, because he had not been doing well.  We just didn’t know when.

When we arrived home that night Dale immidiatley went online to look for airline tickets for the two of us. This meant leaving our kids home on their own while we were gone…something that stressed me out somewhat. It would be the longest time leaving them on their own. And yet while we were gone, the Lord provided for us and our kids in so many ways. I am going to try and share about all those ways without forgetting something and hopefully it won’t sound disjointed.

The day after the phone call I took the day off from teaching to cook meals and a couple snacks, so the kids wouldn’t starve while we were away.  Pizza, chicken pot pie, beany burittos, mac and cheese, banana bread and chocolate chip cookies. In the end they didn’t even eat it all because there were a few times that people either brought them to their house for a meal or took them out for pizza.

After Dale found the tickets…something amazing happened. Word began to spread about our sudden need to fly back to Canada and the money for our flights began to come in. This was a trip not budgeted for and within 12 hours our flights were covered. God is so good…that was such a blessing and huge stress reliever.

I was totally not prepared for how cold it was in Canada! Our first morning there I planned to go for a half hour walk but after five minutes in, I had to turn around and head back to Jacob’s apartment, where we were staying. I felt like such a wimp…but on the other hand it’s not like I have a lot of cold weather clothing anymore.

Jacob is a minimalist…that I know.  He doesn’t want or like a lot of stuff. But I have to say that my  Momma’s heart broke a little when I saw his empty fridge and the lone carton of eggs. Not to mention the basics he was living without….like pots and pans, a kettle, a toaster. Sheets. He didn’t even have a bed. All this time living in that apartment had been sleeping on an air mattress. His apartment is nice,  but tiny and the rent is high. It takes most of his salary…so between pay cheques food is sparce. I kept thinking and perhaps I voiced it. “This is not ok.”

Jacob did not really have the basics let alone extra linins and someone in his church graciously lent us all the bedding we needed and addition beautiful brand new towels that they said Jacob was to keep when we were finished with them. Such a sweet and generous gesture and truly made us and Jacob cared for by God.

I had commented on Jacob’s doing without stuff and minimalism to Ruthie, a lady at  Jacob’s church (KGT)  who treated us to Dale’s favorite restaurant, Swiss Chalet one day. After our conversation Ruthie  made a few phone calls and after the funeral, Jacob was given a brand new toaster, kettle, utensils, and dishcloths. He was so excited, claiming it was such a blessing and just like Christmas!

And speaking of the funeral, the ladies of KGT lovingly prepared a luncheon. It was so thoughtful. We hadn’t asked for it. We really were not prepared for the amount of people that came to give their condolences…around 175. We were not anticipating more than 40. All of the left overs were sent home with Jake, who now had a stocked fridge along with the food that we had went out and bought him. There was a lot of  goodies and frozen fruit that we froze  because there was no way to eat it all before it went bad..

Our time in Canada was so brief but yet jam packed. Even though we went back for a sad reason, it was a good week. We did see my family too and we stayed there one night and had atleast a couple meals there. My mom is an amazing cook so it’s always a treat. She made roast beef for Dale one night, and she made my favorite…apple crisp!

I was also able to meet my friend Kathy for coffee and spend a couple hours with my dear cousin Gwen…two things that were good for my soul. I didn’t know if it work out to see them as our schedule was crammed but I am so glad it did because I needed that time.

We had lunch one afternoon with the staff from our formal church in Stratford. They treates us to Swiss Chalet…of course! Also we had dinner with Dale’s aunt and uncle, who made Dale’s grandma’s delicious macaroni and cheese recipe. A favorite of Dale’s since he was a kid, and now I have a copy of the recipe!

In closing, we took an afternoon and cleaned out Dale’s dad’s room at the nursing home. Kind of sad actually that is what life comes down to at the end when we are gone. Just a pile of stuff that doesn’t really mean anything to anyone else and no one really wants..other than photos, so it was either donated or cast aside in a dumpster. Maybe being a minimalist is not such a bad thing afterall.  It reminded me of a few verses in Matthew..

Matthew 6:19-21 Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy and thieves do no break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, the desires of your heart will also be. 

1 Thessalonians 4:17,18 Then we who are alive will join them, transported together in the clouds to have an encounter with the Lord in the air, and we will be forever joined with the Lord. So encourage each other with these truths.

 

A long over due update..

I was thinking a while back that I really need to write an update on things here in Honduras. I realize it has been a long while and I’ve kind of slacked off a little in keeping people up to date.

There has been new growth in the ministry of Schools of Hope in the areas of new programs that we are excited about. To find out more…keep reading for a few of the recent highlights.

Bible Classes:

Already we have been teaching our third lesson in the schools. I can’t beleive how fast time just zooms by.  Our theme this year is the Armour of God and we are  incorporating that theme into the Bible stories. So far this school year we have taught how Jesus calmed the storm, the tempations of Jesus and at this time are telling the story found in 2 Kings 6:8-23  on how Elisha traps the Arameans.  It’s a great story and not one that is not all that well known…so I encourage you to read it when you have the time.

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Most of you are aware that Randy and Judy Lundrigan founded Schools of Hope.  Several years ago Judy took us to meet Norma, the regional director of District 8, where all the schools we minister in are located. Over the years under Norma’s guidance were were able to take on ten other schools in addition to the five we were already in. This year we decided to take on Norma’s school.  In this large school, there are 628 students and 25 classes. Remember, we go class to class to teach the Bible. In this new school, it takes 3 teams two days to complete the Bible lessons.  The classes are going great so far and the children love them!  The teachers too are so appreciative of them, telling us how they are so needed in their neighbourhood that is riddled with crime and violence.  And check out the exterior wall to the this classroom!

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Tutoring Program:

Last year God put something on the heart of our director, Kathy Mizen. That was to help the children that are a part of the Child Care plus sponsor program who are struggling in certain classes to get the help that they need, so that they didn’t fail and have to repeat the grade.

Here are some statistics that Kathy recently posted..

  • 26% of Honduran children do not complete the 5th grade
  • 57% of male children don’t continue past the 6th grade
  • 48% of female students don’t continue past the 6th grade
  • 68% of elementary students must repeat at least one grade before the 6th grade

On March 13 a tutoring program began in two of our schools. One of the Child Care plus graduates is now assisting as a leader helping the grade 5 and 6 students with their learning. She is also on our Bible teaching staff. It is so amazing to see her paying it forward so to speak and giving back into the program she received from for years. We are so very proud of her!

 

Child Sponsorship Program:

At the moment we have 230 students that are sponsored monthly. Sponsorship enables children to have to opportunity for education. It provides them with their uniform and costly schools supplies.  We have twelve children on the Erdo website at the moment. Many of them have been waiting for months for sponsorship. The cost is $41 a month. If anyone would like to consider changing the life of a child through sponsorship, click on the link and you will be directed to the page. It truly is life changing and gives these children a hope and a future.

https://www.erdo.ca/sponsor-now?Search=True&Country=Honduras

 

 

Fresh Water Program:

Schools of Hope has a partnership with the community President in Buena Vista and a decision was made to install bio-sand filters, after the attept to dig a well failed. This community does have access to water through the trucks that come up and down the mountain everyday, however the water is not drinkable. These filtration systems will bring CLEAN drinking water into the homes.

For the past couple of months, Mike Evans from Langley BC and his Honduran team have been installing these fiters. Schools of Hope has the desire to install 300 over the next three years.

 

The Nutrition Program:

We have been approved by ERDO ( Emergency Relief and Development Overseas) to start our nutritional program in 2 Kinders and 2 preschools next week. More details will follow at a later date, but we are so excited about this.

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More updates to follow soon on our brief trip back to Canada, Semana Santa and other thoughts..