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Marcy's Journal / Pictures
2009: Nov / Dec / 2010: Jan / Feb / Mar /Apr
Family Night (see pictures)
Last Friday night was Family Night at Discovery School. Each class had to create a family event or game in their room. Kjell’s homeroom ( 11th graders) came up with ‘Pie the Teacher,’ starring their very own teachers as targets. Kjell went first and the frozen egg beaten mixture was drippy. Students missed time and time again, and Kjell taunted them. Eventually, Kjell ended up with a face full.
In Mikayla’s classroom, they created a spa – complete with massage, nails, makeup, and hair stations. There were some short drama presentations from Spanish class and then the choir sang (which Mikayla is in). The kids bought some popcorn and Jeremiah enjoyed a cotton candy that was bigger than his head!
Missionaries can be people who travel to another country to tell people about Jesus, minister, and start churches, etc. However, are you aware that there are families - not necessarily Christian - who move from country to country (and often know two or three languages) because of their work? Workplace ministry is just as important as church ministry. In fact, there is no difference, because if God lives in you, you will bring God where ever you go and to whom ever you see.
Do you have any idea what type of person is needed where I live, in Zambrano, Honduras, Central America? We need music teachers, physical education teachers, mechanics, and carpenters. To do what? Bring what you know to people who don’t have it. This could be a program that teaches as well as trains people to take over doing what you do when you leave (i.e. music lessons, swim classes, run the carpentry shop, and train other mechanics).
What would it take?
If you are interested in bringing your gifts and talents to another country, I am willing to work with you the first year (after your year of language school) to help get you started. The music and physical education are very strong on my heart because I believe these children deserve an opportunity to learn. It has been proven that music and sports develop discipline, help with learning the other disciplines (regular school work), teach teamwork, and provide pathways for success.
The benefits conveyed by music education can be grouped in four categories:
There are benefits for Physical Education as well:
Benefits from moderate participation: improved strength and endurance, healthier bones and muscles, weight control, reduced anxiety and increased self-esteem, and, often, improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health (1996), Healthy People 2000 (1990), and the CDC's Guidelines for School and Community Programs (1997).
Change lives through what you already know how to do! Be a positive role model, and at the same time you will show the love of Jesus in a practical way. There will also be plenty of opportunities all around you for ministry.
Women’s Retreat (see pictures)
About three or four months ago a missionary friend, Val (Eternity Matters), wanted to have a weekend Women’s Retreat. Her target group was to be women she had weekly contact with, or who were in great need (spiritually or physically). The women fell into one or more of the following categories: women living in abject poverty (some without the basics of water or electricity), women living in situations of domestic violence, women with great fear or little hope, women raising families on their own without a spouse, unsaved women, or women in need of encouragement to go beyond ritual to relationship.
Since most Honduran women do everything in the home (cooking, cleaning, and washing – which is by hand, taking care of the kids, etc.) due to machismo – macho-ism, we did not think a weekend would work, but possibly an overnighter. After taking a survey among the women, the longest they could be away from home would possibly be 1 day. So, Val started planning a day-long retreat for May 2nd (8am – 5/6pm). Even still, some women were not allowed to come (their husband’s would not allow it). Val contacted churches and individuals from the US who would want to ‘sponsor’ a woman ($20 for them to attend the event) (for the use of the property, all the food for the day (coffee, snacks, and lunch).
A lot was going on in the spiritual realm. A week before the retreat, one woman who was invited (and her husband) were murdered in a robbery. She was only 23 years old. The night before the retreat, a man trying to steal some bikes opened fire on two women, who were nearby talking. None of the bullets touched them. Some women did not show up and we do not know their story. Some came and were fighting off sickness and disease. There was a battle going on and we won!
Last Friday, Bonnie (a medical missionary who lives in San Francisco) and the kids and I went to Val’s house to wrap or put together gifts for the conference. Val had a lot of presents to give away as door prizes from items teams in the past had brought down (mostly construction teams). She had Spanish bibles, blankets, stuffed animals, lotions, etc. Val was not sure what the gift as women entered would be. However, when she was in the city, a woman from her church asked what was going on in Zambrano. When she shared the upcoming retreat, this woman asked if she needed anything and for how many women because she had deodorants, Q-tips, nail polish, combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. She gave Val 40 of each item. Our job was to get them into gift bags! While we did that, Katarina put candy in little cups and bags that would also be given away. By the time we were done, each woman would receive their notebook and pencil and two gift bags when they entered. Then, there were enough door prizes for each woman to receive something, three baskets for the speakers/ministers, and their bag of candy on the way out. We ended up having enough bags (some hand-made) for them to carry everything in as well! God is good and wants to bless His people (and in this case, His daughters!).
That Sunday was the retreat. I invited a woman from my English class and she came (the primary mission of the English classes is relationships!). There was praise and worship throughout the day, two main sessions, one break out session (splitting the group in two), individual ministry time, and alone time. The alone time was where they could find a place on the property to sit and hear from God for themselves. Bonnie, Jennifer, and I were there to help (registration tables, greeting, little things throughout the day), but our main focus was to pray during the sessions. We would help and participate in worship and then the first session we prayed together in one of the rooms they would have a session in later. In the next sessions, we divided up to pray in different sessions occurring and then walked around the property. We saturated the event, but also the women and their families for when they return home.
We, the white, North Americans, could have been the speakers or ministers, but Val invited three Hondurans she knew from the city. Why was this so awesome? Because it is not about us. We are not there to make people dependent upon us. By having three Honduran women: Gloria (a pastor’s wife, director of Center of Life for kids, and worker with Compassion International), Cecilia (teacher at a Christian school), and Estela (director of a Bilingual School), the women could see that if God changed their lives (women who come from the same background as them), then God could change their lives too. God used them in a wonderful, mighty, and powerful way. I would love to hear a report of how the day affected them as well.
There were two women who received Jesus as Lord for the first time. Another woman got an invitation given to her from someone’s mother who was could not attend. Her children and her had been sleeping in an empty day care building to be protected from the husband/father. She enjoyed the day immensely. And as Val drove a couple of the women home, this is what she heard from the backseat:
“I have never had a day when it was just me and God without someone telling me what to do, without my kids needing me, without interruptions.”
“I have never experienced a day like this where I felt such peace – all day.”
This experience has planted many seeds, but especially the seed of their personal time and relationship with God. Yeah God!