It's when we most need your prayers and input that it is most difficult to find the time to get information into your email baskets! We are busy busy busy, but that is when we need God's outpouring more than ever, His love through you. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers and thoughts, even when I haven't written in awhile.
Some of you already know that Betsy Hake, the missionary with whom I shared a home for ten years, is ill. She has been diagnosed with amyloidosis, and is undergoing chemotherapy in NYC. If you would like to call her, she is staying at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan. Her friend, Dr. Elvia, is with her. Please keep her in your prayers.
We are well into the 2008 school year at God's Littlest Lambs in Flor del Campo, and God's LIttlest Lambs in San Buenaventura. Now that we have TWO schools, along with everything else, we are trying to do a better job of coordinating what comes down in suitcases with our visitors. Julie Hoffman (firstname.lastname@example.org), from Clinton UMC, is working with Valerie to make lists and spread sheets so that all of our programs receive support in this way. We are thankful for Julie's help. Please feel free to get in touch with her if you are planning to come down, or want to send something.
Our ministry was recently involved in a peaceful demonstration against government corruption. About thirty people (no one from our ministry) were on a hunger strike in front of the congressional building, and we helped with latrines, spiritual support, singing from our children, and by marching in the accompanying demonstrations. As a result of the strike and demonstrations, a new law was enacted which makes it possible for state attorneys to be prosecuted for corruption during their administration. Also, several files of high-ranking officials were re-opened for prosecution. The people leading the strike have suspended the demonstrations for ten days to give the government an opportunity to demonstrate good faith. If that does not happen, the strike will begin again. We can be thankful that the process has been completely non-violent. In fact, the organizers called the demonstrations, "A March for Peace." We feel that Christians should join the struggle for justice, and will continue to support this movement. We appreciate your prayers for the country of Honduras.
Food prices have escalated tremendous during the past few months, and of course the poor are always hit the hardest. Since we work in a poor neighborhood, people come to us for help. Our food bank has not been able to meet the demand. St. David's Episcopal Church in Atlanta has begun a drive called "Put the Beans Back in the Bag," and have raised several thousand dollars for food for our folks. Thank you, St. David's!
Obeying the Law, Trusting Jesus
Each year during June and December, all Hondurans, by LAW, receive double salaries, a full month's pay. Since we are subject to Honduran law, we pay these bonuses. It is really a wonderful thing, as many many people here, including our own employees, work for little pay. Everyone looks forward to these two months. June is upon us, and frankly, we don't have what we need to pay double salaries. The Lord has always provided, and we are trusting Him to provide this time as well. Please join us in prayer for this immediate financial need, and if you feel led to help, thank you. As I pointed out in the previous paragraph, the economic situation here is grim, and the needs great.
Our Beautiful Children
How can I not mention our beautiful children? When I walk through our schoolrooms in Flor, visit the children's home in SBV, and just sit around my own house, I am struck by the beauty and character of our children! Joyful, well-behaved, intelligent -- well, we have a GREAT GROUP, and we love them all so much. Many of you have visited our children this year, and I'm sure you agree with all that I am saying. Thank you for helping us teach, love and disciple these children -- more than 200 of them!
In my master's program, we are doing a class called "Healing and Wholeness." First we read two books about physical healing. Now we are reading two books about inner healing. We are praying for people, and we are taking a close look at our own lives in order to receive healing ourselves. This week we are doing a "Healing Prayer Inventory" for ourselves. We have already done genograms on our families to look for patterns which need healing. This master's program has now left being practical, and has gotten downright personal! Thanks be to God. We all need healing, and I am no exception. I thank the Lord for this opportunity, albeit required, to invite the Holy Spirit to do some serious work in my soul and spirit.
Thank you for all that you do for LAMB. Thank you for your prayers for Betsy, for the children, the construction, the double salaries, the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of our staff (including me!), and our precious country, Honduras. May the Lord continue to speak to us His plans, and may we be found faithful in working towards their completion.