When you walk onto the campus of the Children’s Village, Psalms 30:11-12 are the verses that come to mind. The Lord has made all things new! Not only did He take these children out of harm’s way and bring them to a place of love and caring, He also gave them new names. Their names were once orphan, unloved, unwanted, and victim. They were forced to wear those names and all of the shame that goes with each one of them. Today their names are Beloved Son and Daughter, loved, cherished, and overcomer. They hold their heads up high and wear their new names like a banner of the love of God over them. God has taken their shame and spoken in their defense, because that’s just how amazing our God is!
We have so many people to thank this month, I don’t even know where to begin. Let me start by telling you that great things are happening at WWH2H. Doors are opening in every direction and God is doing many new things. In early August, we were visited by two wonderful groups of people that blessed us in the best possible way that a group like us could be blessed. I don’t think that any of us would disagree that clean water is one of the most essential parts of life! It is something so basic that we in the U.S. may take it for granted, but in many cases it is a matter of life and death in the third world. Most of you may not know this, but for the last 15 years, one of the biggest battles we have fought is with our water system at the Village.
In 2000 a well was dug, but it only went down to about 40 feet. The company that dug it thought that since we were only 3 miles from the ocean, we may hit brackish water if we went down any further. The result however was very contaminated water with large amounts of silt in it.
Several years ago, Washington Overseas Missions put in a water purification system, so that our children could drink purified water. However, each day pumps would fail, lines would clog, and appliances like washers would break down due to the amount of sediment in the water. Then back in March, the situation went from bad to worse. Water only came into the girl’s and babies’ house in a trickle due to the plumbing being totally clogged, and our pump that had worked so hard for so many years had finally given up the ghost. We struggled through four long months with a very crippled water system that was threatening to completely fail at any moment.
Clean Water at the Village
Primero Agua Group is a ministry based in Missouri and is operated by the same people that put in our purification system many years ago. Jay Quattelbaum, a director for Primero Agua came to Honduras last fall to see if we would be interested in having them dig us a new well. We of course were interested! At the same time, Bethel Church of Chehalis, Washington also told us that they would install a new system for getting clean water with sufficient pressure to each house at the Village. Neither team knew each other, nor did they know when they would be coming. Bethel team had originally planned to come in June, but then had to change their dates to August. When both teams confirmed their arrival dates, they arrived at the same time the first week of August, so that they could work together on their common project!
Primero Agua dug a new well that went down to 120 feet and pumped out 50 gallons per minute! When the water was tested for impurities, it turned out to be completely bacteria free and was entirely safe for human consumption! Then Bethel Church went to work replacing the system and pumps that brought the water to the houses, and cleaned out all of the water lines. The end result is that we now have clean potable water in every faucet at the Village with enough water pressure to do all that we need to do! We will never again have to rush out to the Village, because there is no water, nor will we have to haul buckets. Our water problems have been healed. Thank you Jesus, thank you Primero Agua, and thank you Bethel Church!
Summer Program 2015—It’s a Wrap
Our Summer Program ended with a bang on August 7th with a special dinner and celebration. A local worship group was invited to lead worship and a very elegant dinner was prepared with Honduran style baked chicken, rice, vegetables, and salad. Several different groups of children had skits, dances, and songs prepared and even our Bethel Church team was there and had a group that sang. Pastor Dennis gave a wonderful message covering dating and marriage for our youth, that I had the honor of translating for our guests. In the end, it was an amazing evening for all and was a wonderful way to end our summer program! We want to thank Pastor Dennis Del Cid for his great spirit and the amazing job he did with our kids over the summer.
Update on Maddie Green
I think you will remember in the last newsletter I welcomed Maddie Green to our team of volunteer teachers for school year 2015/16. Maddie is an 18 year old EMT from Woodland WA that came to teach 3rd grade. Maddie arrived on a Friday and by Saturday morning was not feeling well. As the heat in Honduras can very harsh, we thought that perhaps it was a case of acclamation to the heat. By Monday however, Maddie’s health had deteriorated and she was brought to the hospital for some exams. Although the exams showed no problems, Maddie’s health did not improve. Luckily we had our medical team in town during that time and they began to treat her. They put her on antibiotics as well as a 24-hour IV. Maddie’s parents immediately arranged for her return to the U.S., and she flew back exactly 11 days after her arrival. Upon her return to the U.S., Maddie was admitted to the hospital and was one step down from the ICU. By the second day her appendix was removed and she returned home the next day. Throughout the entire process, Maddie’s attitude was amazing! As sick as she was, Maddie was always smiling and even used her EMT skills in the midst of it all to attend to one of our girls that fainted from heat exhaustion. We continue to pray for Maddie’s full recovery and hope that she is able to join us again soon.
Heart to Heart Geek Squad
We must also say a very special thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Greg Crary, Sue Barfknecht and Nick Witmer. This was a small but mighty team that came from Spokane, WA to update all of our ministry computers to Windows 10, a marvelous donation made by the wonderful folks of Microsoft thanks to our longtime friend Dave Fester. Greg and the team also updated all of our annual photos of the children, collected video for our banquet presentation, and fixed our security camera systems throughout the school. Thank you so much “Techno Team”, you surely have left us a better place!
Thankful for Good Coffee and Great Friends
We were also joined this month by David Spooner of Spokane, WA and Merari Valdes of Veracruz, Mexico. David is a very old friend of Oscar’s from their days working together in Spokane. David was also on one of our very first mission teams ever back in 1998. Oscar and David had lost contact with each other over the years, but were reconnected when they ran into each other at a Perspectives class while we were visiting Greg Crary, our “Techno Guy”. David invited us to present the ministry at his church that weekend and is now in Honduras on an investigative trip to evaluate the possibility of bringing teams in the future. Joining David is Merari, who is a former student of David’s that joined him as part of his investigation team. She is from Mexico and would like to stay throughout the school year as a volunteer. David has also been helping with the last details of the “Techno Team”, as well as assisting in the high school classes.
Over the last 12 months, WWH2H has been working very hard to increase our ability to help more children. To that end, Oscar and I were in the United States speaking with many churches and groups. In addition, we have a farm high in the mountains of Santa Barbara, Honduras where we have a coffee plantation. One way that we hope to help the children in the future is to support the village through coffee sales. So while we were in the U.S., through a mutual friend, we met Peggy Thomson, the owner of Hood River Coffee Roasters. Peggy had been to Honduras several years prior through USAID to teach coffee roasting to local farmers. She has visited over the years and has had a program for assisting a small coffee community. Peggy and her daughter Ellen came to Honduras this past month to hold a coffee roasting conference in the communities of Concepcion Del Sur, as well as in La Fe. Oscar and I had the great honor of translating for such a cool event. I have never been at a coffee cupping teaching, but it was so much fun! A blessing from Peggy’s visit was that she put us in touch with the heads of the coffee industry here in Honduras, so that we can begin the process of setting up for export to the US. We want to thank Peggy and Ellen for inviting us to be part of the amazing world of coffee, and for opening the doors to meet the new connections that we now have.
Give Thanks to Our Amazing, Glorious Creator!
And alas, it is once again time for Oscar and I to head to the U.S. We will be leaving mid-September and will begin our fundraising season in Washington D.C. Our amazing friends at Trinity Methodist have set up a fundraising event for their area and then we head to the Northwest once again. We will be in the Washington/Oregon area all of October and the first week of November. If you would like to arrange for us to visit or present WWH2H at your church, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Above all I would like to give thanks to our amazing, glorious Creator! Only He could come up with this beautiful dream of rescuing, raising, and restoring the broken children of Honduras. In this mission that He has given us, we will never relent nor fold our hands and rest. There are more children out there that need our help, but we need you to help us help them. We will only take in as many children as we can responsibly care for, which means the next child that comes to us may be turned away. Please help us to make sure that NEVER happens! If you currently do not sponsor a child, we strongly encourage you to prayerfully consider a one year sponsorship with WWH2H. It is quick and easy and can be done online.