Saturday, August 30, 2014

If you build it, they will play

Steve wanted to have one of his favorite puzzle games in the rec room. So, rather than buying it, he built it!


Last Sunday after church, I noticed one of our students was very upset and looking on the verge of tears. Later that afternoon, he moped around the rec room looking sad and dejected. So I asked him about it. It took a little while, but eventually he started to open up.

Marlon is one of our younger students. At just twelve years old, it was probably pretty difficult for him to leave his family to come live at the school. He told me they lived in Los Pinos. Steve and I know this area and I understood the problem immediately. It is a particularly poverty-stricken neighborhood in the capital city that is notorious for its brutal violence and harsh living conditions. Marlon wasn't sad, he said. He was worried. Here at El Sembrador, he is safe and well-fed. The same cannot be said for those he's left at home. This little boy wasn't worried about his grade on his math test or if he'd get picked to be on the soccer team. He was terrified to the point of tears that his family might die in Los Pinos.

So I did the one thing I knew I could do to help. I asked Marlon to play a game of checkers with me.

In the midst of the poverty, violence, pain and suffering in Honduras, an entire generation is growing up way too fast. Marlon, and other kids like him, carry the weight of the world on their shoulders at times. El Sembrador gives them hope for a better future. And I believe our ministry in the rec room gives them a chance to be kids again—even if it's just long enough to finish a game of checkers.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Afternoon Refreshments

Yesterday, Steve snapped some photos of some of our students taking a break from their afternoon chores to drink from some coconuts grown here on campus.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Need for Speed

Today we held a MarioKart Championship in the rec room. Sixteen students competed to win the coveted title of Mushroom Cup Winner (and a 3-liter of Pepsi!).

Everyone gathered around to watch the four heat races, followed by the championship race.

The competition was fierce.

Thankfully, our champion decided to share his prize.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Little Puzzling

This afternoon at the rec room, we got out one of the 500-piece puzzles. Several of the kids (and, of course, Steve) worked for hours to get all done before closing time. Probably the biggest victory was discovering that the puzzle still had all its least it did after a diligent search of the floor turned up the final one!

What makes you smile?

This week in the rec room, we put up a poster and asked the students to write on it what makes them smile.

Here are some of our favorite responses:
  • My mom's cooking
  • Being with my best friends
  • Playing soccer
  • To see the smiles of kids with dreams
  • To see everyone at El Sembrador smiling
  • Joking with Nick
  • Listening to reggae music
  • Eating
  • Hugging someone I love
  • A crazy chicken
We want to know what makes you smile! Tell us in the comments below!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Puppy Love

When the students ask for Uno at the rec room, they usually aren't talking about the card game. 

Uno is getting used the routine of heading to the rec room to play with all his friends after his supper. And he's a big hit with all the students. Afterall, who couldn't use a hug from an adorable puppy after a long day of studying and working?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Figuring It Out

Thank goodness Steve has taken a little time away from all his projects to help Nick and I with homeschooling this week. Nick has his first Pre-Calculus test tomorrow. So the boys have taken over the kitchen table and have already spent hours debating and arguing the finer points of parabolas and functions. And I think they might actually be enjoying figuring this stuff out together!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Who wants to play a game?

Who would've ever guessed that our passion for board games would turn out to be our ministry? Today we had a grand re-opening of the rec room for the students of El Sembrador. We think it was a great success. And we're really excited at the opportunity to get to know and minister to the students.

You'll hear more about this ministry in our next update. Don't get our ministry update e-mails? Click here!

Jenga anyone?

Most popular Wii game? FIFA Soccer of course!

Nick and VIA, Molly, had an epic Checkers battle.

Steve was challenged to a game of Battleship.

This guy had a talent for Jenga!

Dominoes with Honduran rules...we haven't figured it out just yet.

We put up a poster board and asked the kids: "What makes you smile?"

Saturday, August 16, 2014

How does our garden grow?

I don't have much of a green thumb, but we wanted to add a little color to our front porch. Omar to the rescue! He's had a team of students working all week to prepare a little flower garden area in front of our house. Today we went to town to buy flowers. And the team had them in the ground just in time for good afternoon shower rolled in to water them.

Omar planned the garden and instructed the students how to plant them.

The students spaced the different varieties of flowers apart.

Earlier this week, a stone border was added to the garden area.

The guys had to work fast as an afternoon thunderstorm was quickly approaching.

The best thing about a garden in Honduras? Flowers are always in bloom!

I asked for a "small" flower bed. I ended up with a beautiful garden in front of the house.

I had to wait until the rain stopped this evening to get good photos.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Where's Waldo?...and Wanda?

Check out this photo and see if you can spot the critters hanging around outside the El Sembrador office today.

Can you find Waldo and Wanda in this photo?

Here's a closer look at the same photo. See 'em now?

Monday, August 11, 2014

All Grown Up

Today was Nick's last first day of school. So far Mom is holding it together well. But on the inside I'm ugly crying.

Rocking the senior tee!

Too cool for school...almost.

Nick with his favorite teacher.

The whole family

And a random Omar pic.