My project list has been centered around getting the inside of the house ready for more kids.  Nesting without the being pregnant part.  I have been collecting children's clothes including the clothes my kids out grow for about a year now.  It was a great blessing that another missionary family received several boxes with and gave them to our family to use.  I also save all the clothes my kids outgrow.  I am collecting discarded avocado crates to organize them by gender and size.   I am also working on creating beds.  I found a great idea on a German website for stack-able beds.  At close to $500 a piece and who knows what shipping cost, I decided to  make my own.  I am starting with 8 beds.  The kids are enjoying  paint on the anti termite coating in the pictures below.  I want to pick 2 colors to paint the beds.  Love to here your suggestions, just comment below!
We have been enjoying the fruits of others labor, literally.  There are about a dozen lime trees on this property and I splurged on a citrus juicer the other day to help avoid the hand cramping from making fresh limeade daily.  There are also several banana trees heavy with growing bunches and more than I am willing to count papaya trees flowering and fruiting around the property.  We did plant some pineapple plants that were given to us and will need to wait a few months to enjoy them.
Kevin along with our friend Marcelo have been hard at work digging the trench around the property.  It is about 1,000 feet worth of digging and this is only the first step.  Next they will pour a concrete and large rock footer about 2 feet high, install a 6 ft coated chain link fence on top of the wall and then add 3 rows of barbed wire.  A large under taking but will provide safely for our family and those living with us, including all the animals. 
 
 
I want to say I am so thankful for all of you that pray for us regularly. 

I want to say thank you to all who give monthly and to all those gave to help with the move into this house.

I want to say thank you for those who came down this year to visit, to help and to serve.

Sometimes I feel so far away from you all but I do pray for you and I am thankful for all of you who support the work here!
 
 
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We have been unpacking and cleaning and dreaming.  Our first week here was quite overcast and dreary and downright cold.  It helped give me the time to get the boxes all sorted and unpack what I could.  It is amazing that this house is around 4,000 square ft and there is absolutely not a singe shelf or closet poll in the house.  We have to build everything.  I did buy a jigsaw this week and hope to be adding a circular saw in the next few weeks.  I am going to be tackling closets in 3 of the 4 bedroom and then we will be building 3 sets of triple bunk beds. 

Kevin and our friend Marcelo have been working in the yard.  First order of business is to clean up all the garbage that has been accumulation on the property for the last 5 years.  They guys built a fire pit to burn all the garbage with Annalise overseeing their progress. 

We also added a little one to our household.  She belongs to friends of our and is just settling in until they join us next month.  Her name is Princesa or Princess in English.  She is about 4 months old and shares a birthday with our Abby, July 20th.  She is quite cuddly but also quite curious. 

 
 
I realize the last post has lots of pictures of a place without the details of how we are going to be using the property.  This post will be details. 
We are signing a three year least to start November 1st. 
We will move in this coming weekend. 

There are a few immediate things that need to be done to the place :
1)  Kevin will be reworking some of the fencing and adding an iron gate to the front of the property to keep our kids and animals in and others out.  There is a river that runs right along the property which is a wonderful relaxing sound, but as a mother to 4 curios and adventurous kids with more kids being added to the mix soon, I need to know there is no way for the kids to get to the river. 
2)  Right now there is a staircase in the family room that leads to an unfinished second level.  As in just a concrete slab without anything keeping a child on the roof.   Kevin also has the job putting up a wall in the living room to keep kids in and any curious birds or creatures out.
3)  The kitchen has rough poured concrete cabinets spaces, but no counter tops or cabinets and the wall are still rough to the tough.  I love to cook for my family but I need just a little more to settle in and be able to cook for our family and friends. 

We also will be receiving a list from the Honduran organization INFA that works similar to the SRS in the US with the requirements needed to the house to qualify as a Children's Home or a Hogar de Niños.   We have yet to receive that list but we know we will be building beds and dressers and need another table and chairs for kitchen at the very least.

We are believing God that all things will be in place to begin receiving kids into our home by February 1st.  We envision our home growing by as many as 12 in the next 3 years.  After much prayer and talking with many others we have decided that our home will be accepting both girls and boys and they will be no older than 3 years of age.  We know this ministry will take more than the 2 of us.  We ask for continual prayers as we work thru the process and are open for to help in many different areas.  Here most kids removed from their homes and placed in care are not able to be replaced back with their families.  We are planning that the kids placed in out care will become ours until they reach the ago of 21, the age for legal adulthood here in Honduras.  We goal is to love and encourage them into the arms of our Father to fulfill the purposes of God for their lives. 

We are wanting to use the land in each and every way to provide for the people that will be calling here home. 
1)  We desire fruit trees.  There is already banana, papaya, lime, lemon, nancie and guava trees.  I would like to add mango, avocado, moringa, and plantains at the start.
2)  We desire chickens for eggs and for meat.
3)  We desire a tilapia pond with hydroponic vegetables...tomatoes and salad green.
4)  We desire a garden will all different yummy foods growing to be eaten fresh or canned for the future.


Please add your faith to ours that God will

 
 
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We are soooo excited!  God is faithful to provide exceedingly abundantly more than we imagined! 

We received a call from a lawyer friend how had a lawyer friend that just acquired a large house he was looking to rent.   A few days later we were standing amazed at the house that was right in our town, just hidden behind a grove of trees.  It has 4 large bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths inside the main house,  A large area right outside the bedrooms that I believe will work as a school/play area.  There is a large living room and dining room connected by a half wall and a decent size kitchen.  The kitchen does need counter tops, cabinets and paint but the owner is providing all the materials to finish the job.  There is also a small house and a few out buildings.  There is also plenty of room for chickens = fresh eggs and space for a tilapia setup with hydroponic vegetables.

We have already had the house inspected by the Ministrio Pubilco and they gave up a great big thumbs up and offered to bring us 10 kids the next day!  Ok, so we are not ready to take on 10 kids on day one but we are praying to have everything in place to start receiving kids February 1st.

We are in need of $2,400 to make the move.  We have received $500 and pledges for a few hund If you are willing to help us, please send all donations to AIM at 1607 E Brendonwood, Derby, KS 67037 and shoot me an email at melissa.goodwin1@gmail.com when you do!

 
 
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Life has been moving rapidly along, going as fast as ever -minus- decent access to internet.  So now I am going to take this opportunity and try to fill you in on the past two months about what God has been doing with our family.

In the first part of August, we said adios to Ma (Kevin's mom from Kansas) after she spent three weeks here, and we immediately started packing up everything in order to move our household into a studio apartment and then  depart for Intibuca, Honduras (the next state over).  We stayed approx. 4 weeks in El Obispo, Yamaranguilla, Intibuca at a girls ranch helping out where we could.


It was a great experience to get to know the 34 girls living there and observe how their lives have changed for the better.   I have to admit it was crazy and tiring.  And the staff seem to lead tireless and determined lives 24/7.  But, I was able to start picturing our near future and that is totally exciting!


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During our time at the ranch, we finally received the call that it was time to make the long trip to the capital to complete our Residency progress.  Praise God!  The trip went well and we were only in the government building 2 hours for all 6 of us.  That has to be a new record for accomplishing anything here!  Of course, we still have to wait for the actual ID cards to be ready (but that seems like the easy part).  No more need to leave the country or have the hassles of renewing our Visas every 90 days.

We also have the blessing of having Naomi Rider here.  Naomi came down from her home in upstate New York to hang with our family for 3 months.  She contacted us thru a ministry called Missionary Nannies and has taken off a semester from college to come be a blessing to our family.  The kids welcomed her immediately.  :-)


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We decided that with Naomi arriving it was a great time to head to the beach for some family time and to get to know one another.  As many of you know, 4 of the 6 of us have birthdays in September.  So, we we able to rent a small, finished apartment right on the beach for 1 month at the same cost as a hotel for 1 week.  Guess what we picked?  Kevin also spent a little time at another ministry that has 19 children where the oldest is just 8.  And we spent quality time with another missionary family that is called by God to start a child rescue center in Copan (the next department NW from Lempira).  It was great getting to know them and hear what God is impressing upon them to do and share the same about our family with them.  We will be neighbors after all!  It was encouraging.

 While on the coast, we visited a brand new church plant.  Many of you who know us well have met us in different parts of the USA while church planting.  We can attest first hand to how much work goes into the process and the hours that you must bathe the work in prayer.  The young pastor, Jeronimo, is totally doing it right by just loving on all the people in the area.  Even before the 'church meetings' ever started, Jeronimo spent time literally walking around the village of El Cacao, going house to house, hut to hut, meeting each family and individual....getting to know them and talking with them about the love of God.  If they did not have a church home, they were encouraged then to meet together with he and his wife.  They also started a feeding kitchen for the children in the area 2x per week.  On our 1st week visiting, there had to be at least 60 kids and some 35 adults and the numbers we simply increasing from week to week.  We truly enjoyed being able to worship with them.  We thank God for their lives and dedication to the Lord

 
 
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  • One big change for me is my Abby is 6 and she now has her ears pierced!  She loves wearing sparkly earrings and this picture was my attempt at a rainbow Hello Kitty cake she requested.  She is growing up so fast.  She has been enjoying dancing and drawing and she is pestering me about starting school...she is ready.  

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We also had a big change in our house with Gisselle moving out.  Shortly after turning 15 she decided she was ready to go off on her own and find work.  The hardest part was she did it quickly and without warning.  We have reason to believe she found work about an hour from here working for a teacher but she has not contacted us and her friends are keeping quiet . 
   We have also moved Doris and Cristhan into a new apartment in town.  They are getting settled in this week as we finished moving their belonging yesterday.  They have more privacy with the pila (washing sink), Hornilla (outdoor wood burning stove), and their clotheslines behind a wall.  Doris seems to really like it and was excited to have more neighbors close by for socializing. 

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Ok, so we have been in our house since April 7th of last year, almost a record for us, and an easy 2nd place at least.  So this next change should not surprise many of you that know us well.
  We are moving....we have the amazing opportunity to help out at a girls ranch for the next 10 weeks or so.  They currently have 36 girls ranging form 8 months to 19 years old. 
  We are packing all our belongings into a small apartment as I type this and we will head over this Wednesday to  El Obispo, Yamaranguila, Intibuca.  It is 43 miles from Gracias and the trip take under 2 hours. 

 
 
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   We have officially submitted the last part of the paperwork and payment for our Special Residency Permit.   Now, we are just waiting for the call to go to Tegucigalpa, the capital, to pick up our ID cards.  We are expecting the process to be complete by September.

   We are now in operation under our own ministry name Ascend International Ministries, Inc.  or  AIM.  Over the next several months we will be registering this ministry with the Honduran Government and when that part is complete, we will be able to open our home for the little ones that have no home.

We are working on a website and a Facebook page that we will be launching in July.   Please send your offerings to AIM, Inc. at the same address.   If you would like to send a gift electronically, contact either Kevin or I for the information.

    We are already hard at work seeking how to best put the land to use to further God's Kingdom asap!  As soon as the issues of the paperwork side of acquiring the land are complete, Kevin has plans to get a drive cut from the public road to our property.  We are also researching how to drill a deep water well thru the rocky conditions of mountain living.  Thirdly - Power - we have to run a power line to the property.

Road to the land God has given us:                  ~$2.000
Fence around the land                                         ~$3,000
Cost of water well for unlimited clean water    ~$5,000
Bring power to the land                                      ~$10,000
Developing land for the Glory of God              Priceless

Please pray about how to partner with us!  We need the resources and the manpower to complete the work!


 
 
So....where to start.   First, I will explain the above picture.   It is the view from our land....yes, OUR land!   Our God is amazing and answered one of our earnest prayers that we have been praying for since we knew about the things He was speaking to us in His plans.  Our ministry was given about 4 1/2 acres of land with the specific blessing to use it for however it will help the ministry.   We have been researching about digging water wells, bring power to the property, planting fruit bearing trees, and most importantly getting a road to the land.   We would love for you to partner with us to see the vision of the child rescue center be built on the land....please pray, please give, please come and sweat with us.  We are so excited about how God is moving and we are just ready to be receiving the little ones into our home.

Here are some recent pictures of the children's outreach and feeding station in Pinalito.   Following are some pictures of our car port filling back up with the Kids Against Hunger boxes.

 
 
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So much so I did not have the time to take pictures once the kids arrived.
Ok...backing up...as you all know we have been hosting a feeding station in Pinalito since February each Saturday at 11 am.  We had found a family that was willing to let us use their home to cook and serve the food.  It was working ok as a feeding station as the need for the food was definite, but it was not able to move beyond the food to reach the greater need.
We had been praying on how to move it forward, and God answered as He always does.  I have been building a friendship with a woman by the name Yeni (Jenny) as I purchase freshly hand made flour tortillas each week.  Her husband Alfredo and Yeni are pastors.  He works for World Vision during the weeks and they have been working for a year planting a church in Bella Vista which is divided by one street from Pinalito.  After more praying and meeting with them, starting last week (pictured above)  we have combined the feeding outreach with their children's Bible outreach.  We knew of a few kids that overlapped the two groups, but of the 15-20 kids then had and the around 25-30 we had, we now have ourselves a full blown church of children.  The first week we had 26 kids at the Bible outreach and 40 by the time we finished giving the food out.  Yesterday we had 27 for the bible lesson 43 received the meal offered.  
Just keep praying! 
We are using a section of land right off the soccer field, a heavily used area where ever there is a field!  We have made a tent out of PVC pipes and tarps.  We are going to purchase a very large pot this week and we are working on the best way to be cooking the Kids Against Hunger rice on site.  We are praying about being able to purchase or rent a place to make things more permanent for the kids and their families as we move forward. 


Next post:  Update on the Mommy Project!