It has been almost a year since the last time we served breakfast in Colonia Progreso here in Gracias, but we are still fruit of the relationships we made with those kids. Whenever we are in town it is most common to hear boys yelling "KEVIN!" as we walk or drive around.
In the past several weeks, we have had the pleasure of several of the older girls coming by our house and the visits are getting more frequent. They act quite shy but they come and sit on our porch and just spend time for a hour or more at a time. Janet just turned 17 with her daughter Helen now 6 months, Myra is 16, Chelly is 15, and Delmy who is 12.
We invited them over the other night to introduce them to s'mores. It was a little mess but was enjoyed by all..
Also pictured is Paquita, the young girl who lives with us and help me with the household chores and Kelsey who has joined us thought the beginning of July via the mission minded agency www.missionnannys.org. She going to be working with our kids on several skills; writing, spelling and Spanish as well as going through the parables of Jesus. They kids love them both and they are enjoying the extra attention.
We also have the privilege of having Johanna, a young Honduran woman, join us this month to help with the planning, preparing and planting of several garden areas to add to house hold and the number of people grows this year. Johanna graduated with a BA in agriculture here in Honduras and was able to spend 18 months finishing the degree at the North Carolina State.
Johanna is seen here with Abby on her lap and Paquita has Jaelle.
Here is the work we have been putting in this month.
So I enjoy reading other missionaries' blogs. It is uplifting to hear about others joys and fruit and be able to relate with the unique challenges that come from living in another culture than the one someone was raised in. ! have actually always been fascinated by missionaries. I was always willing listen to those who came through my childhood church. I even committed to support one for a whole year as a high school freshman. $20 a month for a family in Russia. I was so excited to support a real missionary that I was often able to convinced one of both sisters to chip in $5 a month towards the monthly gift.
One blog I enjoy for time to time is this one who calls herself the worst missionary ever. And recently I read the following entry and it was very easy to relate too. She is quite blunt and to the point about life and for any sensitive readers, it might be offensive to you. But is fact for her and many others of us. You may read if you want by following the link below, but I will tell you summarized form because I hate the asking part too, I just want to pray and have God tell people to give and I can just be doing what God is asking and money just shows up in the account for those things.
But the truth is God does provide and He does link people in the kingdom together for His purposes. I am feeling the weight of everything changing with both immense excitement and fear...like right before getting married, or have a baby. You know it is going to be awesome and hard and a lot of work, but totally worth everything that needs to be put into the new part of life.
God has been answering our prayers for help in the means of other people. I have had 2 young ladies join us April 1st. One for the month of April and one is open ended. There is another young girl coming down for 3 months starting April 17th and another young lady May 3rd. We have received a few other requests of others that would like to look into coming.
We are one final step away from taking in kids....the fence is going up and the shipment of donated items to fill in the holes of needed items arrived the first week of April. We are officially on the top of the call list with the Attorney General's office for Lempira for the children that need a home that meet our requirement of being 3 years old and younger. We have one more meeting set up with Hondurans agency IHNFA, which is the SRS type agency and we will be added to their placement list after they do a home visit. We feel ready one minute and like Whoa the next for this. But God planned and orchestrated, here we go!
Ok, back to the part I do not like, but I know God is already working on. Here is the link to the original post I am using:
I've been meaning to ask you something... ...Oops... I meant to say, "I've been meaning to ask you FOR something."
Ok. I can't believe I'm about to do this. So, first, here are the prerequisites to anything having to do with asking for money:
1. If you're new here, feel free to ignore this.
2. If you're old here, feel free to ignore this.
3. Please be aware that this is my least favorite part of being a missionary.
4. Know that I wouldn't be writing this post at all if I didn't feel like this is something I was supposed to have written months ago but didn't, and now every time I hit post on something new this little voice inside of me (or possibly outside of me) is asking when I'm going to stop putting it off.
5. I mentioned this not being enjoyable, right? But I really hope you understand deep, deep down that this is the woooooorst part of the whole gig for me.
Ok. So you know I'm a missionary - and one of the things about being a missionary is that you have to do this thing where you go around asking every single person you've ever met if they would like to give you money. It is exactly as awful as it sounds, and goes something like this:
"Excuse me, sir-in-the-grocery-store. Didn't I see you at the coffee counter at church last week? Well, isn't that a coincidence! I just stopped you - of course to say hello - but also, to let you know that my husband and I are missionaries, about to embark on the great adventure of being and making disciples in the faraway land of Honduras..... and I was wondering if you might be interested in helping us along the way.....ya know..... maybe..... somehow......"
It's kinda like selling girl scout cookies. But not. And instead of promising a box full of delicious goodies in exchange for a few bucks, we're offering a highly intangible nice feeling and, perhaps, a tax write off. I know, it hardly seems like a good deal.
But it is. I honestly believe that.
I believe in what we're doing here. And I truly believe that the people who support us financially should hold tightly to that "nice feeling" because the gifts that they give so that we can be here are changing peoples lives for the better. I know this to be true. I've seen it with my own eyes, I've touched it. It's not intangible to me. It's real. And it's worthy of every dollar spent to make it happen. (Also, I know I've been ambiguous about what it is, exactly, that we do. That's intentional, but it is by no means a secret. If you want the low-down on what we do and how we do it, I'd be more than happy to share the details of our ministry with you, just hit me up at email@example.com or find me on Skype, and I'll spill.)
All of that, to say this: We need financial help.
If we lived in the states I would have taken on a part-time job at Starbucks or Walmart or whatever, months ago. We just aren't cutting it and the reasons are plentiful:
1. A budget.We arrived here 2 years ago with a hypothetical budget. Turns out our hypothesis were incorrect and our budget was just stupid. Housing, gas, food, and incidentals are ALL way higher than we anticipated.
2. Rising costs. In addition to having a stupid budget, costs have been soaring.
3. New/Unexpected Ministries. But we are doing these things, believing that these are opportunities to share our love for Jesus, and, more importantly, His love for us, out in the community. And that costs money, too.
So, I'm just gonna throw this out there and hope that we're all still friends afterward:
Would you please consider making a donation to our lives and ministries here in Honduras?
There's an easy to use, friendly PayPal account linked to me through my email at firstname.lastname@example.org
But. If you'd like that tax write off for giving to a charitable organization, you can give through Ascend International Ministries Inc or just AIM Inc by sending a check to our Kansas address or through your banks electronic checking feature.
A HUGE thank you to anyone who read this whole post til the end. You're the bees knees.
Ugh! I feel like a schmuck...
Have you ever had to ask for money? Isn't it the worst?!
Not gonna lie - Raising support sucks. But we happen to be "Support-based missionaries" so it's kinda part of the deal. Our paycheck is a conglomeration of donations from a bunch of individuals. This means that every month we live through the pure angst and sheer Joy that comes with knowing that we are wholly dependent on the provision of God. It also means that some months we wonder how we'll eat (but I guess that's why God invented rice and beans).
Monthly financial support for meeting the basic needs of our multi-family house and operating the projects we are working on is $3,000 per month. We are currently short $1,225 \from our goal for monthly budget. Our monthly committed sponsors are $1,775 per month
Ok, now for some pictures! The next blog post will be tons of the pictures of what we have been working on and who we have been working with for the past few months.