Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Education Here and There

Around here school is starting, but if we were in Honduras, there would only be a couple of months left in the school year.  That's one of a few differences between Honduran schools and those in the US.

1)  School in Honduras goes from 1st Grade to to 11th Grade, rather than our system from Kindergarten to 12th Grade.  The first six years are compulsory (although some children do not go if the school is too far away or the family cannot afford the cost of supplies).

2) School only goes half a day in many schools.  In more expensive private schools classes go all day, but public schools and many private schools run their classes in the morning or afternoon.  Highschool students sometimes have the option of night classes, which helps students who work.

3) Every student wears a uniform in every school in Honduras.  The uniforms are a lot like the ones we have in the US, except that the style of shirt is a little different.

4) Many students don't go past 6th grade, and even fewer make it til 9th.  Up until sixth grade the government provides free public schools, but after that, students must pay tuition.  This combined with the fact that many families could use the income that the child could bring in means that many students don't continue. Those who do often work to pay their way through school.

Escuela El Sembrador provides an education for those who otherwise could not afford one.  An education provides hope.  And what's hope worth?  A lot.  El Sembrador teaches students about Christ.  And what's a relationship with Christ worth?  Everything.  It's priceless.  Click HERE to find out more about Escuela El Sembrador.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

James 1:27

When I first heard it, it made me wince.  When I read more about it, it brought tears to my eyes.  It's only half-way through 2014, and over 17,500 children have come to the US from Honduras.  The town I live in (Tahlequah, Oklahoma) has a population of only 16,300 people!

Their reasons for coming vary, but there are certainly themes.  Some come because they don't see economic opportunities where they live (Almost 65% of Hondurans live below the poverty line).  Others come to escape violence (Honduras has the highest homicide rate in the world).  Some come to be reunited with family members who have already made the journey.  The majority of those who come are boys between the ages of 15 and 17, but the number of girls and younger children is on the rise.  They risk a lot when they go on the 1000 mile journey.  They are vulnerable to violence.  There are deserts and other natural obstacles which pose danger to those passing through.  If the family of the child has hired a coyote (smuggler), there is a chance that the coyote will take the child, and abandon him or her hundreds of miles from home, taking the money.

What can be done?

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27 (NIV)

As the Body of Christ, we are called into action.  Needs like these present opportunities, not only for us to meet physical needs, but spiritual ones as well.

That's why Escuela El Sembrador exists.  El Sembrador not only provides educational opportunity, but plants the Word of God in the hearts of it's students.  The education they are given prepares them for leadership and provides them with more opportunities than they would otherwise have.  Many study in universities when they leave (some even earn scholarships!). Some return to El Sembrador after graduation to go to the Bible Institute and become pastors in the Honduran Holiness Church. Others get jobs or return home to family and are able to use what they learned at El Sembrador to make their families farms or businesses more profitable.

But as great as vocational and educatoinal opportunites are, they pale in comparison to what they boys are taught about Christ.  Church services, Sunday school, and Bible studies are a large part in what makes El Sembrador so special.  School administration and staff along with missionaries pray for the students, spend time with them and teach them about the love of Christ in a first-hand way. Students leave with lives changed.  They go home and tell their families about their new found hope.

How does that relate to the children who come to the US from Honduras?  They come seeking hope and opportunity.  The risks they take to leave their homeland and families and make the long, dangerous journey underscore the needs within Honduras.

Escuela El Sembrador offers hope and opportunity.  It offers an education- and Christ.  Coming from the US I have been blessed to receive a wonderful education.  More-over, I have had many opportunities to learn about the Bible and about Christ.  It's wonderful to see how many around me here in the US continue to be blessings to future generations.  It's a blessing meant to be shared.  I've been called to share my blessings in Honduras, won't you partner with me?

Ways you can partner:

1) Pray.  Join my prayer team by sending me a Facebook message and email and let me know whether you would prefer email updates or to be added to a private Facebook group where I share prayer requests every 1-2 weeks.  My email is:

2) Give.  Provide for the financial needs of the ministry through monthly, quarterly, annual or one time gifts.  Send me an email with your address to receive a prayer card and a donation form, or go to this website to donate online:

3) Connect.  Connect me with churches and people you know.  I really need your help!  I've found that the best way for me to find opportunities to share is when people like you help me connect with churches and people you know. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Trusting God with Timing

I wish I was writing a blog post about how I am all packed up and ready to leave for Honduras.  If it were up to my timing that's what I would be doing.  From my human perspective, that's what I would choose.  However, as things stand, my departure is still a ways off.  I don't know when, but know that I have quite a bit more support to raise before I get there.  Some days it gets me down as I wonder how God will provide and I feel impatient to be in Honduras.  On Saturday a little incident happened that made me think about timing.

I went to Fort Smith, Arkansas with my parents.  While my mom and I were in Kohls, my dad was outside. He discovered that the car wouldn't start, and to make matters worse my mom didn't have her cell phone on her that day.  It took him a while to find my number and even after he got a hold of us it took us a while to get checked out.   We went to the parking lot to see what we could figure out, but the situation didn't look good.  We didn't have jumper cables and our car was surrounded by empty vehicles.  If the people in those cars had the same shopping habits my mom and I do, we could be waiting there hours.  My dad decided to try starting the car once more.

Right when he did a lady came by, and asked if we needed our battery jumped.  She even asked a man walking by if he could help.  It turns out he worked for an auto parts place.  He was able to give some insight and advice.  Once we got the car started, it was only a short drive to the store where we got a new battery.

Especially for my dad who was waiting longer, it was frustrating to not solve the problem sooner.  He didn't know how he would find my mom and I.  Then there was waiting to get through a rather long line at the register.  And trying to figure out what to do.  But when it all came together, it was wonderful to see how God had put us in the right place at the right time.  We didn't even have to ask anyone.  That's how great the timing was.

So, as I continue to work to raise support, I calm my heart.  I work toward the goal and hope I am able to return to Honduras soon, but trust God with the exact timing.