06 Feb A trip to remember!!! Jan 28-Feb 1st 2013
Wow! This was a whirlwind of a trip. . . but one of the best so far. . it was a blend of “getting a lot accomplished” but also blending in with the lifestyle of Shelton, Gaby and Gabriel. It was fun to work hard during the day to shop for all of the school needs. . but to spend quality time at night hanging out. . fixing up the mission house and going and doing what my kids consider their routine.
Back to school shopping for 40 kids is an experience like no other. I still haven’ t mastered it. . but I am learning how to help make it more efficient. . totally a foreign word in Honduras. . efficiency. . I am trying to develop a system that is not too efficient where I come off as a snotty American. . but one where we can politely get everything done. . a blend of cultures, if you will. . .the “no hurry” mentality is difficult when you have so little time to get it all done. . BUT . . .there is something to be said for the relationships and conversations that are developed when you are able to enjoy the experience. . so we learn to be patient and blend. . I am sure Jesus was never in a hurry. . we want to be more like Him right? so difficult. .
The Copprome uniforms, backpacks, tennis shoes, and dress black shoes are bought, school supplies are ordered and on their way. . private school kids tuition, books and uniforms are purchased. . and we even paid for the 3 kindegardeners to go to a small private school where they will get a better start to their education experience! Last year. . we took all the kids. . 42 of them on the bus to try on uniforms and shoes. . it was tough. . so this year. . . we just took sizes thinking we could buy everything and just bring it back. . this worked well for the collared shirts, undershirts and socks. . . but for the shoes. . it was terrible. . shoes sizes vary so much with dress shoes and tennis shoes. . 25% didn’t fit. . I guess it could be worse. . but after going to several stores to try to get all the sizes. . . then going to Copprome to try them all on. . seeing that a lot didn’t fit. . .no more of that. . next year. . I told them we need to take 10 kids at a time and get them fitted and bought. . . one day. . the system surely will be more efficient and smooth each year! Education sponsors. . you rock! The kids are so excited about showing off their back to school stuff their first day!
Olivos is really looking like a thriving, working village! The wood shop is amazing. . Tino is even adding on the back for storage. . he has most of the kids desks done and even teachers desks! They are going to build a divider so there will be 2 classrooms. . the kids are so excited about school begining next week. . a special shout out to all of you who have made this school possible with your generous donations!
The wood shop is working at 100% and sweet Vanessa along with her teenage helper Anna finished 255 bracelets for 147 Million Orphans to sell!
I do have a couple of sad things to report pertaining to the village of Olivos. . . Building a village is not just about the physical buildings like the well, houses and woodshop. . it is more importantly about building relationships of nurturing and love. . I was lucky enough to see evidence of that this trip. One of our men was robbed and killed this past weekend while walking home. . . on a road we rarely travel (and we never go to Olivos at night). . he was baby Rhonda’s grandfather and Suma’s stepdad. . I saw a sweet village supporting this family and it made my heart feel so good. .
Secondly, one of the dad’s in the village left his wife and 3 small children. . . the wife is emotionally and mentally struggling. . Tino and Sister Terisita have asked if we can help fund her trip to Tegucigalpa for a mental evaluation to see how they can help her through this tough time. . I watched the women in the community support this single mom by taking turns going in and out of her house to help. . with a look of genuine compassion and concern on their sweet faces. .
yes. . we love the people in this village and we want to help them “do life”. . . through the good and the bad. . this is love. . it is not easy. . but love will always soften the way. . Ty, Shelton and I always pray that we remember. . building a village is more than the physical building. . it is the time we spend loving on each other and building these sweet people up so they understand how important they are. . we pray they are never looked down on by others again. . we want to help them build a future. . not just put bandaides on the present. . . Olivos the village is beginning to emerge!
The mission house is also in full force. . we are using it to house Shelton, Gaby, Keice and Gabriel(most of the time). Jonathan will be graduating in November and he plans to move in after that and attend the University in San Pedro Sula studying Engineering. . This is a 3 bedroom house that we are using to help transition some of the Copprome kids into adulthood after they graduate from High School. . Looks like we may have to lease a larger house in 2014!
Keice is 20 and she graduated from cosmetology school in December and has a job interview tomorrow with a friend of Gaby’s at a salon near the municipality! She would like to take classes on the weekends to get her high school certificate.
Gabriel is 16 and has 2 years of High School left. . We are trying to get him to the US for a year of High School so he can be seen by college soccer scouts and can audition at Belmont College. . because he sings like an angel!
Gaby is 19 and graduated from High School last November. . we were trying to get her to the US for college, but she was denied a VISA. . we enrolled her into the Academy of Europe today for advanced English classes. . she will be working with our mission teams this summer as an interpreter. . we are working on getting her a religious VISA so she can come to the states and work in childrens ministry while attending college. .
We still plan to adopt Gaby and Gabriel. . but the immigration attorney told us because of their ages we need to get them to the US first. . then adopt them. . you can adopt adults in the state of Tennessee. . so we are in process. .
Shelton is still loving Honduras. . he is thriving in this environment. . he never meets a stranger and has friends everywhere in all vocations. . he seems proud to introduce me, his mom, to all his friends and their families. . he is doing a great job loving on the people of Olivos and Copprome while helping them help themselves. . he is very involved with an MMA gym and has competed in several competitions. . he is also playing in a night soccer league 2 or 3 times a week. . he is fully “living” in Honduras and loving every moment. . before I left today. . we ordered jerseys and shorts for his team with Hearts2honduras.com on the back. . he was so excited. . he said their uniforms were “sick”. . while Gabriel all excited too because he is on the team. . said. . “sick, what that mean Shelton?” lots of laughter comes when hanging out with all of them!