Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Home in Maryland

It is great to be home, especially after all of the issues my Mom has had with her hip. I can see it has been stressful to say the least on both her and my Dad, who has taken care of her as well as my siblings and continued to work full-time. But it gives my Mom and I a chance to catch up as she can't leave the house or we go places together! It has also been so nice to meet my new nephew and spend time with him and my sister, who is off work during the next few months. I am incredibly fortunate to have my family and spend each day with them.

I am also in the process of making some changes. All good ones! God is leading me down a different road. I will no longer be working with Small Change 4 Big Change, as student sponsorships are not a program that will be offered. I will continue with the 6 students I have now who have been sponsored to go to school, but will be working separately. Lord willing, I will begin a new
education program in a town called Santa Maria de Jesus. The focus will be on education (English classes and math and literacy tutoring) as this community has very little and has the highest illiteracy rate in the department of SacatepĂ©quez. Through education, it will also be a means to reach out to these families and children and help them understand that there is a God who loves them and sees their needs and wants to be a part of their lives. Before I came home, I began looking for spaces to rent and making a "plan." As I'm home, my goal is to find the funds needed for this program. (A space to rent, desks, a large whiteboard for the classroom, English books, materials for the classroom). I believe that God has Santa Maria in mind and will be alongside these new steps!

Please join me in prayer for this new chapter and that God will specifically put the people that He wants involved in my path. I thank you always for your support and look forward to giving more details and updating everyone as time goes on!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Changes and Hardships

This is something my Dad sent me yesterday and has touched my heart during this particular time. Enjoy.
"My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers:
When we are afraid, the least we can do is pray to God.  But our Lord has a right to expect that those who name His name have an underlying confidence in Him. God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in any crisis they are the ones who are reliable.  Yet our trust is only in God up to a certain point, then we turn back to the elementary panic-stricken prayers of those people who do not even know God.  We come to our wits end, showing that we don't have even the slightest amount of confidence in Him or in His sovereign control of the world.  To us He seems to be asleep, and we can see  nothing but giant, breaking waves on the sea ahead of us.
    "...Oh you of little faith!" What a stinging pain must have shot through the disciples as they surely thought to themselves, "We have missed the mark again!"  And what a sharp pain will go through us when we suddenly realize that we could have produced complete and utter joy in the heart of Jesus by remaining absolutely confident in Him, in spite of what we were facing.
    There are times when there is no storm or crisis in our lives, and we do all that is humanly possible.  But it is when a crisis arises that we instantly reveal upon whom we rely.  If we have been learning to worship God and to place our trust in Him, the crisis will reveal that we can go to the point of breaking, yet without breaking our confidence in Him.
    We have been talking quite a lot about sanctification, but what will be the result of our lives?  It will be expressed in our lives as a peaceful resting in God, which means a total oneness with Him.  And this oneness will make us not only blameless in His sight, but also a profound joy to Him."
What does this mean to you?

Monday, March 30, 2015

CUMC Mission Team 2015

It was such a pleasure to have my home church here on a mission trip! It was a week full of installing 6 stoves, a Vacation Bible School program, and much fellowship. We even got a chance to go to the Macadamia Farm. The group was 8 wonderful people and it was an incredible week where God was clearly involved.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My Mom's Health

I want to start by thanking everyone from Maryland and specifically Catonsville United Methodist Church for their incredible support to my family. It has been most helpful and needed during this time for all of us.

My Mother was rushed to the hospital last week due to intense pain in her hip; a hip she had replaced 25 years ago. She was unable to move at all. The doctors did an x-ray and discovered that the titanium in her hip had snapped and in turn broken her femur with it. She was transported to shock trauma because they were determined to be better equipped to handle something of this magnitude. This was a very complicated case for all of them and she was in surgery for about 5 hours. In the end they were successful and able to fix her leg. They discovered while she was in surgery that she also had a fracture in her hip, from many years ago. She also does not have very much bone mass and so we are wondering if the new titanium in her hip will stick during this week.

She has made progress and is being transferred to another hospital this week for rehab and to be under observation to see if her bone is enough to grow together with the new artificial hip. We are waiting in faith and taking things day by day. My youngest sister, Haley, who is 15 years old, has been taking care of my brother. She has been an enormous help and for that reason I have decided to stay here; at least until something changes. My Dad reassured me that they are alright, even though I can imagine the pressure and concern for my Mom. All of us are just stepping out in faith as we wait and watch; knowing that He is in control.

We are so thankful that my brother has also done better than any of us could have anticipated. God has been answering each prayer along the way and truly helping in ways we couldn't expect. I thank you all so much for your prayers and offers to bring meals and help my family in any way. I speak for all of them, there are no words sometimes for the support you've given us. Please do continue to pray for my Mom's recovery and her spirit; I can imagine that for her it is a challenge to be in the hospital each day especially thinking and worrying about what the future might hold. But in the end, God is good!

Friday, February 13, 2015

English Classes

At Small Change for Big Change, we have around 100 students involved in the English program! I truly believe in education-all types. Especially learning another language. If you know English or more than one language, you are so much more likely to find work and be successful. It is also a beautiful way for the students in the community to get to know one another even more.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

School Supply Distribution 2015

The school year begins here in January. This year, we received donations to sponsor over 50 students! We had two days of distributions. This is such a blessing, as many students are not able to attend school because they cannot afford the supplies that they will need at the beginning of the year. Here are some photos.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Beginnings for the New Year

It has been almost a month since the last time I updated; I do apologize for the delay! It has been a whirlwind of a time with the transition to the new classroom and office space in Santa Catarina Barahona. The place is a huge blessing from God and has changed the dynamic of the project completely. I had a week of registration for English classes (between me and the other teacher who is from here, Emilsa) and there were about 80 students who are registered and separated into 10 different classes. We will be adding more classes in the near future. This generally will dwindle down as time goes on an as students are busy with school. On Monday of this week we begin with the official classes (we had workshops first) and the students are excited to learn! We have also begun with one of our sponsored students, Melissa, to tutor for a few hours per week. She takes time with some of the children who are struggling in their public school classes to help them along. We are thankful to have her on our team and be able to support the children in her community.

This is also the beginning of the school year for the children and teenagers in Santa Catarina; and we have raised enough funds to buy school supplies for about 50 students! This weekend and next week we will be having a school supply drive where 30 of the students and families will come to receive their supplies. We have another 20 but the lists were not handed out from the schools until late this week. We will be having another session next week. Thank you to all of you who have donated for these supplies, I promise that it will change the course of the school year for them!

As this exciting time continues, I pray God’s blessing on the project and the community. I see so much of His hand in it, as He makes things happen and puts everything into place. Please pray this along with me too.