Our biggest update is that I am now 18 weeks pregnant with a baby GIRL! The past 18 weeks have reached a whole new level of crazy as we adjust to doing all we do while growing a child. My first trimester was difficult to say the least. The common symptoms of nausea and fatigue came early (and was actually what prompted the pregnancy test). However, at nine weeks, I was put on complete bedrest after we discovered a hematoma (blood clot) in my uterus. This caused heavy bleeding and lots of sleepless nights. The issue was not completing resolved until the end of July. Praise GOD that our baby was unaffected throughout this trauma. I have a very good doctor here who has taken very good care of us no matter the hour of the night. Our baby girl is very healthy and growing strong. She is wiggling around quite a bit, which mama just loves. Also, I'm doing much better physically as all issues have cleared up and am now enjoying the "magic second trimester." Personally, this summer was a very challenging time for me. Feeling emotionally and physically weak, I was vulnerable to the many lies and fears the evil one likes to whisper in our ears. I have had to learn the hard way to trust God in a whole new way and put my life and my child's in His hands.
101 families, 138 kiddos
In July, the Honduras Education Project welcomed 43 new children into the program. These kids come from 5 different impoverished areas in Danlí. Before entering the program, Ruth (Pastor Arturo's wife and administrator of the program) and I went and visited each new child and their family in their home. You can imagine this was a lengthy process, but it is a critical part of the program as we begin a meaningful relationship with these families- offering so much more than a monetary scholarship, but also a wholistic support for their child. With this meeting we begin a long-term relationship that allows us to care for the child's educational, physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. Then seeing over 100 families gather together at our monthly scholarship meeting was an overwhelming reminder of why we do what we do and how faithful God is to reward our efforts.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal. 6:9).
Gringos invade Danlí
The beginning of July we had one of our most successful mission trips yet. 29 Texans, 2 Chicagoans, and 1 Iowan came to work to advance the Kingdom of God and care for His children. And when anyone comes here with that attitude, we sure do put them to work! Their six days here were filled from morning to night with 5 school visits, a men's and women's conference, two community outreaches with over 200 bags of food, tutoring, painting, a soccer tournament, youth outreach event and worship concert, Sunday School, a hospital visit to the maternity ward with 400 baby blankets and hats, and a medical brigade that allowed over 300 children to receive free vaccinations, a dental exam, fluoride treatment, doctor consultation and go home with needed medicines and vitamins. Yup! It was a pretty crazy week, but praise God for that crazy group of Gringos because through their hands thousands of men, women, and children living in great need were greatly blessed.
Now that's good coffee
Though Sean has had some setbacks recently in getting an export of coffee out of Honduras, an exciting outcome of his efforts here is a group of women from the Urrutia community have begun our third small business in this impoverished area of Danlí. The 7 women have been trained in the art of roasting fresh coffee beans by hand and the results have been well... delicious. The women are energized, motivated, and working hard. They have now roasted hundreds of pounds of coffee sold locally first to our very own missionaries and now in the city's markets.
The hard truth about ministry
This summer we have seen great blessing and growth in the church and its many ministries. In so many ways, we are grateful to be part of a church that truly lives up to its motto "Love in Action." Of course, the hard truth is that ministry is hard. People are hard and change is harder. The church was recently broken into a series of times and lost several instruments from the worship band storage and equipment used in services. Besides that, several of our members are struggling through some difficult personal issues that only God could break them free of. Its not easy, but when you are called to work with people, it never will be. Our hope is in our God who we have witnessed time and time again move and work in the most difficult of circumstances.
Thank you as always for your prayers and support, both for us personally and our ministries. We are well aware without the large (international) community of support God has given to us, none of this would be possible. Thank you and please continue to keep up in your prayers.