Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Learning to Play

When we gather around our table for family meals, we have a rather unusual tradition. We always play a card or board game together as we eat. It started as a way to connect with a moody pre-teen several years ago and has become a daily tradition. A few weeks ago, we sat down to lunch in our home with a friend and invited her to join in a game. She politely refused and then she explained, "I never learned to play." I told her we could find an easy game to learn together. "No," she said. "You don't understand. I mean I never learned to play at all. Ever." Those words have stuck with me ever since. In Honduras, there are generations of people who have had to grow up way too fast and have carried the weight of the world on their shoulders for far too long.

Last week we celebrated Day of the Child here in Honduras. We're told it's the most anticipated day for the year for most children—even more than Christmas morning, if you can believe that. The sounds of kids laughing and singing wafted through our open windows and I couldn't help but smile. The day was filled with parties complete with food, games and colorful piñatas. Steve and I even took a bag of candy to give out at the rec room. While there were a couple of half-hearted protests about being labeled a "child", I did notice that none of the students turned down the candy.

Kids are a blessing. But so is being a kid. This year we learned that Day of the Child is more than an excuse to lavish children with treats. It's a celebration of the gift of childhood. And for all of us in Honduras, it's a chance to learn to play.

Steve and I took Uno over to visit a church celebration in a nearby village.

The church uses the holiday as an opportunity for outreach and invited over 200 local children to join in the fun.

Kids don't usually see adults acting silly. That's why they laughed and cheered when Steve and a few of the parents took part in an egg race. (Steve won!)

Some of the Bible Institute students helped with El Sembrador's celebration. They taught songs and played games with the children of employees who live here on campus.

Academic Director, Cindy, taught the kids how to play a new game.

The highlight of every Day of the Child party is the piñata.

Kids collected the piñata goodies once it finally burst.

He's still a kid at heart. El Sembrador Director, Enoc, put the broken piñata over his head and entertained the kids.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Birthday Honduras!

193 years ago today, Honduras won its independence from Spain. That makes today a day of celebration here in Honduras. But it's also a special day for our family. Today we are honored have the opportunity to celebrate the rich culture and people we have grown to cherish. For us, today's parade in Catacamas was more than an independence day celebration in a foreign land. It was a reminder of the passion God has put into each our hearts for a nation that He deeply loves.

Today we praise God for this country and its people! Will you join us as we commend Honduras into His hands? May His glory and blessing rain down on this tiny little part of Creation that we now call home!

Parades in Honduras are mostly made up of students from area schools who prepare presentations for weeks in advance.

This float celebrates the country's Mayan roots.

Wearing a native dress celebrating the department of Francisco Morazan, this young lady was part of a group of women representing each of the country's unique departments (or states).

For girls, this is their chance to be princess for a day. And there were no shortage of ball gowns and crowns in this parade!

This little guy was all smiles as he watched all the commotion around him.

Kids lined both sides of the street to get the best view. Aren't they beautiful?

Guess who was the star of the parade? We couldn't walk more than a few steps without being stopped for oohing and awing. He must have thought all this celebration was a social event planned just for him! 

Monday, September 08, 2014

A New Science Lab

This morning Escuela El Sembrador got one step closer to being an institution of academic excellence and opportunity. It was a joy to be a part of the inauguration of the brand new, modern science laboratory. Director, Enoch Ulloa, touted this facility as the only one of its kind in the department of Olancho. It will give our students a unique opportunity to receive a top-notch science education in the classroom and practice what they learn in the lab.

The dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony was a touching reminder of God's faithfulness and His provision. We are excited to see the world's future scientists and engineers get their start here at El Sembrador.

The General Director of Escuela El Sembrador, Enoch, and his wife, Cindy, the Director of Education

With the two science teachers standing by, Cindy cut the ribbon to open the new science lab.

Students get their first look around the completed science lab.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Foosball Fun

Foosball tournament this weekend in the rec room!

16 teams signed up to be a part of the tournament.

Steve was the official referee for each game.

These guys take their foozball almost as seriously as they do their soccer!

Each game was played to 5 points with the winner moving on in the bracket.

Our winning team each got a bag full of Dum-Dum suckers. But the real prize was getting their photo hung on the wall!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Unexpected Surprises!

I love getting mail. Unfortunately, it's rare to get any here in Honduras. But today a special birthday care package arrived. Thanks Aunt Tracy and GrandNita!

Monday, September 01, 2014

What is one of your talents?

This week we asked the students to tell us about their talents. Here are some of our favorite responses:

  • My talent is drawing and imagining what I'm going to make.
  • Playing the drums
  • My talent is building things.
  • My talent is being handsome.
  • Getting to know people and making lots of friends
  • Doing puzzles
  • My talent is singing.
  • Drawing what I feel.
  • Getting into trouble and being punished every Saturday.

God has given us each unique gifts and talents. Take a few moments that thank Him for your special talents. Then tell us about them in the comments below!