An unusal day….

Monday was a bizarre day.  Certain things happened that were out of our control, that made for a not so typical day. First of all traffic was worse than normal, even for a Monday. We were headed up to teach at one of the schools and were quite late picking up Dannyel our translator because of the traffic being so congested. When we picked him up we were so late, he asked us “what happened?”

Then we got to the road that the school is on and discover it was closed. Turns out they are paving the road. Anyone who has come on a team and has traveled to the schools know that this is a very good thing! The roads in that area are so rough and bumpy and full of pot holes and very hard on a vehicle . It causes a lot of wear and tear that wouldn’t happened just driving around the city.  This meant we had to get to the school from another direction.

Of course, due to the road being closed and being re routed, we arrived later than we planned. The entire school was outside on the covered pavement having civica. They were middle of singing the national anthem. They sung ALL the verses, which takes about fifteen minutes. It’s a very long song! Then they did some other activities. Eventually while we were waiting for them to finish so we could teach, we were informed that due to part of the road being closed, they would be dismissing school at 10:30. That gave us roughly an hour to teach five classes. All of them except for the fifth graders. (The grade 5’s are taught the Semitas course by Rosie and Iris.)

Usually we teach class to class, but now our only option if we wanted to get them all in was to do one general session. That is always a challenge with so many children. More so that day however because they had already been standing for a very long time and were antsy. So the teachers had them sit. However, although the pavement is covered, we have had a ton of rain lately with blowing winds, so the ground was wet in places. Some of the kids kind of squatted to avoid getting wet bottoms and others found a place that was dry around the outside edges.  There was a of talking going on while we were trying to teach the story of Joseph, and it seemed  most of them didn’t listen. Yet, I know when we return the next time they will know the answers to the review questions.  That’s always how it goes

After the morning session, we had two and a half hours before we had to return for afternoon classes.  We sure didn’t want to sit around and do nothing for that length of time. So we headed over to the near by Mall Premier for a while. It’s a very nice mall and one of the newer ones in the city.  The stores have good prices. I’ve only been there a handful of times. Unlike the other malls, I have never seen any other gringos there.  The mall itself is safe as there is a ton of security everywhere.  It is just located across from a not so great neighbourhood called Villa Cristina.  I have been told regarding that particular neighborhood that if you don’t have business in that area, that you don’t set foot in it. You will get stopped by the gangs as to why you are in their territory.  It’s dangerous. But they have schools in that neighbourhood with lots of kids. And it ran through my mind that those kids need Jesus too. Also when I asked one of my co-workers about it, she said it was really not any more dangerous than the areas that we are already in, and we are fully aware of the gang presence there, and fully aware it is dangerous territory.  We’ve never had any issues. So, who knows…perhaps one day the Lord will open the doors for us to be in schools in that neighbourhood too.  And if he does He will go with us. Because he isn’t going to call us somewhere and abandon us or make us go on our own.

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Afterwards we headed back to the school to teach our afternoon classes, while Rosie and Iris taught the grade five’s Semitas. We were a bit baffled as to why they would allow the kids to go home so early in the morning and then still have classes in the afternoon.  It didn’t make sense to us. They explained it was because of the construction but all that was still going on when we returned after our mall excursion and will be for weeks to come I am sure.

After we were finished with the afternoon classes we began to make our way back down the mountain to the city.  We saw something very unusual on the street and something I have never seen here before.  I so wished I had my camera ready. You know how you see dogs after they have had surgery with one of those cones of shame? Well we saw a large dog, a Rottweiler with a clothes hanger around his neck!  It looked so funny, but I have to wonder, what in the world?? And just how exactly did he manage to get it stuck there? He looked so silly!  I was tempted to get out of the car and help the poor dog out. But that probably would not have been a good idea to be messing with a street dog!

So that was our unusual Monday.  I guess we should always be prepared to expect the unexpected. Things don’t always go as planned.

 

The blessing of friendship..

If there is one thing I am thankful for while living in Honduras, it is the friendships that my children have with their peers.  It makes my heart happy.  You see, Honduras is not like Canada in that they have the freedom just to walk or take a bus to the mall or a friend’s house to hang out. It simply would not be safe to do so, especially being white and young . After a while that can grate on your nerves and it can sort of feel like you are in prison. Bars on the windows, serpentine wire on the walls and you can’t go anywhere. You have to stay in the house where you are safe.  It’s not the kind of place where people are in the area and just stop by for no reason, to chat or stop by for coffee.  Honestly that is one thing that Dale and I miss. Unless we are expecting someone, we generally don’t answer if someone is banging on our gate outside.

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Yet, my kids are a part of an amazing youth group. There are quite a few of them and they are a close knit, tight group. They get together often.  They encourage one another. Pray for one another. They are friends. They love one another and they love the Lord. One time we had about twenty of them over to our house for pizza and games, (supervised) while the parents went out to a new pizza restaurant. It was a great night for the youth and the parents who also got to enjoy friendship and camaraderie. It was needed, and for sure we will do it again sometime.

The other day Dale and I went with another family and about ten of the youth on a hike. We’ve had a ton of rain lately and the trail up the mountain and around the water was treacherous.  A few of the guys had to find a way for everyone to cross the river, because it wasn’t possible to continue. So the guys moved a tree limb and placed it so that we had a bridge from one end to other. God knew we would need that limb because it just happened to be there and was just the right size . It took team work!  My son Ben helped everyone cross the log to get to the other side.  The hike ended at a gushing waterfall.  It. Was. Amazing. And, I’m proud to say that although Dale and I are “old”, we kept up with the youth.

Our family is also part of a fellowship group with three other families that meet each Thursday night. This group is not just for adults like most home groups….it’s for the youth too. They have a voice and it is great to see them opening up and sharing their thoughts and hearing their hearts.

Ben and Elisa have wonderful friends here and that makes me happy. Being so far from”home” I never would have imagined that they would have the closeness with their peers that they do here. It is a huge blessing from the Lord. I’m thankful they have a support system and people their age they can rely on, talk to, pray with and be themselves.

Heb 10:24

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

 

 

 

 

Day of the child….

I love that I live in a country that sees children as important and to be celebrated. Honduras sets a side a holiday just for children. Today, September 10th, is Day of the Child. All week long many of the schools we are in have been celebrating. So, really it isn’t just a day for children but an entire week or two. Many of the schools we are have had atleast one day of celebrating the Day of the Child with class parties and what not.  There is always cake and piñatas, and often the children are gifted with things. One school this week, a class each recieved a t shirt, another class were given stuffed animals and another class were given happy face cups full of candies.  I think the school must save up all year for Day of the child. It’s bigger than Christmas in my opinion. Actually the celebrating continues into next week where there is really only one day available for us to teach Bible classes because either school is cancelled or they are busy partying.

Schools of hope was asked to come with a program and cakes and juice for two schools, for a total of four programs and about 500 in each school. Now, to be completely honest, I actually dread this kind of thing.  I know, I know….it sounds like a terrible thing to say. But the reason is that it is very chaotic and stressful.  We have fair like games set up where the kids line up and are suppose to wait for their turn to play.  There is so much excitement and energy. Often ,but not always there is no order, even though we try. I clearly remember last year being in tears because the kids at my booth were pushing and shoving and not listening to instructions. I remember asking the teaching in that particular room for help and I remember how he walked away. It wasn’t that he misunderstood me, because I said it correctly.  This year, I wanted to go…I did, even though I think Dale thought I didn’t . My only request was  that I not be on a game alone because in high stress situations, I don’t function so well.  Anyway, I ended up helping in the cake room, folding napkins and wrapping little pieces of cake for each child. I enjoy that kind of thing . It’s quiet and it’s not so stressful and yet still a way to serve and fulfill a need, even if it’s kind of behind the scenes.

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Today there is a big parade that is literally hours long. I opted not to go this year.  All of the public schools in the district we work in will have a part in it. In the years past when we have gone, the kids recognize us and come running out of their formation to give us hugs. There will be drums and xylophones and lots of noise and excitement in the air. The costumes are incredibly beautiful. I can’t imagine the sacrifice it must be for the families  just so their children can have a costume made to be a part of the parade.  It isn’t like they use them from one year to the next. No. They are new and different each year.  And I imagine they would be expensive.

 

Like I said earlier, I love that Honduras values its children. I think Jesus felt the same way. Children were special and valuable to him.

Mark 9:36, 37

Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arem, he said the them, “Anyone, who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf, weclomes me, and anyone who wecomes me, welcomes not only em but also my Father in Heaven.

Mark 10:13-16

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus, so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, ” Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For Kingdom of GOd belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, that anyoe who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it. Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on his head and blessed them.