Using the gift God has given us…
When it rains in Honduras it pours. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, it was rare to see it rain like it rains here. I tell you this because our New Year’s Eve plans got kiboshed due to the weather. We had plans to have a campfire and make s’mores, do a fireworks show, a movie, a slideshow of pictures, and have a church service to finish out the year strong and start the new one off right. When I saw that those things were not going to be possible, I was a little bit upset. It is our desire as a team here to make these holidays very memorable and full of traditions that one day the children will share with their own families. Not to mention when planning a party for over 100 people, changing plans is a lot of work. So, we went to Plan B, the rain plan.
One of the beautiful things about our kids here, is that they are pretty flexible. We started our evening with a short church service. It is a beautiful thing to worship with all our kids, crowded in one space. Alana spoke to us, sharing that each day we are given a gift from God, 86,400 seconds. She asked us what we would do if we were given 86,400 Lempiras every day. Of course, that got everyone thinking. As we start the New Year, we feel challenged to make use of the seconds, minutes, and days that God gives us. They are not intended to be wasted. Especially with the older kids, we continually talk about being more intentional with our time. It has been awesome to watch them take this challenge seriously. At our Discipleship Houses the kids have decided to have a day free of electronics once a week, which has already yielded some fun times to simply be together.
As the evening continued, we recapped the year with the traditional picture slideshow, which is always enjoyed by all. What a gift to have such a rich pictorial history to remember the many blessings that God has given us throughout the year. We set a movie up for all kids to watch, and despite not being able to hear it very well due to the rain dumping on the tin roof, the kids enjoyed it. During the movie, we borrowed some big kids and got creative about making s’mores. We formed an assembly line and in no time whipped out over 200 s’mores, using the stove. I think I will remember the crazy chaos for years to come. Believe it or not, after the movie, several kids came to me asking when they could go to bed.
Apparently, they were still recovering from the Christmas festivities. We did a toast to the New Year, and the girls were ready to go back home. It was about 9:30 PM. The parties continued; the boys watched more movies; the girls played soccer in the mud. However, I am pretty certain almost everyone was sleeping by 12:30. What party animals we are!
This was a momentous month for four of our youth as they graduated from a “two year in one” high school program. Felipe, Luis, Miriam and Katherine all completed this program, and we know it is just the beginning of the bright futures awaiting them. They had a beautiful graduation ceremony. We brought a large crowd to their graduation. As they called the names of each graduate, the crowd applauded, but when it came time for our four to walk across the stage, applause was not enough. We screamed and cheered, and for the first time in the program, the stoic man who was saying all the names, smiled. Katherine and Miriam have already started at the Catholic University in San Pedro Sula. Felipe is taking evening university classes in Puerto Cortes, and working for the ministry during the day. Luis is working hard on his English, and God willing will be in the States come September studying at a community college. We are so proud of all the hard work they have done, and the wonderful example that they are setting for our younger kids.
It has been another month full of blessings. As you start this New Year, may you too be challenged, to use the gift, the 86,400 seconds, which God gives us every day. I am certain that if we take this gift and use it as God intends, our cups surely will overflow.