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Deaf Church

Cultural Adjustment Talk

Independence Day

Transition Talks

Teacher Training

Mikayla's Quinceañera

Deaf Church (pictures)

Beverly (who does ministry to the deaf in rural areas, teaches the sign class Mikayla and I attend every other Monday, and is now our tenant) invited us to the Deaf Church Sunday school one week.  Normally, the church (New Life) has worship (signing their own songs) and a message, but the second Sunday of the month, they break up into different bible study groups.  Beverly brings the deaf girl, Karen, who we think is 21 years old, from Zion’s Gate Ministries.  There is also a school there, Happy Hands.

     The day we went, they were also celebrating Dia del Niño (Children’s Day) and praying over a new couple that would be part of the leadership team.  The service was so peaceful.  No one was distracted when we walked in, when Beverly translated for us (from the signing), or by the active children.  Mikayla and I were able to pick up quite a few words and even signed our names for the bible study class.  We realized how hard it is to teach someone abstract concepts through sign.  God, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit, 3 in 1, was complicated.  Imagine if someone had to teach you about the trinity and you had never heard of it?

     Did you know that most children born to two deaf parents or one deaf and one hearing parent, will be hearing? 

Cultural Adjustment Talk (pictures)

I had no sooner attended the ‘talks’ (Transition and Cultural Adjustment) when missionaries were asking for the information and classes.  I began to post survey questions of the best day of the week and times missionaries were available to meet.

     Tony, of Zion’s Gate Ministries, asked me to present Cultural Adjustment for the 57 short term missionaries on his property (AIM Immersions – here for 3 months).  Three full-time missionaries were also there.  They were learning and helping me with examples (but only examples of what they had learned to appreciate in the culture, not the frustrations!). 

  • One missionary recently had a rough re-entry and was set free from three major frustrations with the culture just by understanding the differences.  Additionally, she was set free by the three major skills needed to adjust to a culture and realized because of unrealistic re-entry expectations she had placed on herself (having worked here for 10 years), were unrealistic and that what she was feeling was completely normal.  
  • Another missionary let me know that she has started rephrasing questions when ministering to Hondurans (from the definite versus indefinite communication). 

Independence Day (pictures)

We have been in Santa Lucia 2 ½ years, but had always gone to the Independence Day parade in Valley of Angels because of my connection with the kids I taught at Nashville School.  We would have to get up early and drive 25 minutes to Valley to get a parking spot before the road was full of parade participants.  We also would meet up with missionary friends for lunch in town.  With the kids in the school changing over the years and our friends no longer living in Valley, we needed a change. 

     This year, we decided to stay home and watch the Santa Lucia parade.  We were told it passed right in front of our house, so this was very convenient!  We watched people gather for an hour or so and then when we heard the bands and saw the movement, we went right outside our front gate.  With our tea, coffee, and chocolate milk in hand(s), we tried to get some pictures.  Honduran parades are a little different.  You don’t find a spot to watch the parade.  Parents and family members follow their child in the parade, so there is a constant flow of people walking down the road (even cutting across the road) during the parade!

     Some people said ‘hi’ to us and others just stared.   

Transition Talk (pictures)

I set a Transition Talk for new missionaries (here a year or less), however it interested many others either because they were currently going through a ministry/job transition and/or part of their ministry is also helping new missionaries.  The first meeting was held in a hotel lobby (for 7 missionaries).  Missionaries were able to compare last year’s roles, responsibilities and relationships to this year; locate where they are on the transition chart (social status, social posture, and psychological experience); and identify if they left their last location or job/ministry well.

    It was amazing that this material is used with many foreign exchange students as well as foreign governmental and non-profit organizations.  I can see how it would benefit even a family moving to a new state, or help children who change schools or go off to college.

    Many missionaries were relieved to know what they are going through and what they are feeling is normal, but they were also challenged to move forward to transition, entering, and re-involvement.  It’s amazing how you can face the world again once you know that nothing is wrong with you, what you are feeling is completely normal. 


Teacher Training (pictures)

A year ago, I attended Project Honduras which is a conference held every year for non-profit ministries in the country.  I made some connections and ‘offered’ Kjell’s teacher trainings for free.   Just a few months ago, someone actually contacted him for one of the trainings.  Kjell decided to take the bus so he did not have to think about driving (and it was probably cheaper too considering gas prices).  I dropped him off on Friday, he had the training on Saturday, and I picked him up on Sunday.

     Kjell presented a full day (6 hour) workshop for teachers entitled “Creating Student Growth” which highlighted educational concepts such as prior knowledge, intake modes, and learning styles.  The 40 teachers were a mix of English- and Spanish-speakers, and the majority were not trained teachers, but participants in a teach-abroad program.  The weather in Cofradia, just outside San Pedro Sula, was swelteringly hot, but the mountains were beautiful. 

Mikayla’s Quinceañera (pictures)

When we lived in Zambrano, we attended 3 quinceañeras in a matter of a year and a half.  A quinceañera is a 15th birthday party where a girl goes from being a child to an adult.  The ceremonies vary – from as fancy as a wedding (with a type of bridesmaid with groomsmen with matching dresses and cummerbunds) to something simple in the home.  Most of the traditions include a ceremony (message), the tiara, and cake.  We have adapted it to:  an hour of games (due to the nature of people showing up an hour later), having Jeremiah walk his sister down the ‘aisle’ at our home (which has the furniture removed and borrowed chairs set up); Kjell giving a message, daughter giving her testimony; me placing the tiara on daughter’s head; a toast; father/daughter dance; fun dances; eating American sandwiches, hors d'eouvres, and chips; more games; and cupcakes (claro qu si – of course!).

     Mikayla’s theme was ‘Alice in Wonderland.’  We had a combination of school friends and youth group (church) friends.  To enter Wonderland, friends had to shoot a dart at a target which was posted on a large cardboard cutout of a tree (to fall down the rabbit hole); stop at the doorknob (to pick up a key and their name spelled backwards on a name tag); and play croquet.  Anyone that called someone by their real name, had their key taken away.  It started to rain, so Kjell had another game for them on the porch – cotton ball run: move 3 cotton balls from one place to another using a spoon. Kjell preached on ‘Real Joy’ which included some great church bulletin mess-ups as well as cheesy pick up lines that created great laughs.  Then he explained the difference between happiness and joy.      

     Mikayla’s testimony was on religion verses relationship.  For our fun after-dinner game, besides silly dances such as the Hokey Pokey and Chicken Dance, we played a live checker game.  We made the floor the board and the guests were the pieces as Alice (Mikayla) played against the Queen of Hearts (Katarina).  Since it was not actually Mikayla’s birthday day, we played ‘Happy UnBirthday’ before we sang Happy Birthday.  Many of the kids thanked us for the party, some said our parties are the best, and others said it was the best party they had ever been too!  EVER?  Yup.  May they see that God is not dead; He is alive and FUN!

Deaf Church

New Life Church for the Deaf and Happy Hands School

Celebrating Dia del Nino (Children's Day)

Prayer in sign language

Teacher for Sunday School class

Pray-er closes their eyes, but everyone else has to 'watch' the prayer

Beverly brings Karen 1-2X a month to church

Cultural Adjustment Talk  

2nd day in country for Passport group

Going through the 6 major cultural value differences

Using different examples they can use to help them while in country

These longer term missionaries work to guess the 3 most needed skills for adjusting well culturally

Passport team members make a guess too

Second activity on listing emotions

Trying to be done first

Working through the cultural adjustment curve to realize the need to appreciate the new culture and fit in

Independence Day  

Parade was literally right outside our house

Hard to get pictures without parents in them

Five flags for five Central American countries

The amount of tiaras seen in the parade showed me why I could not find a plastic one for Mik's quinceanera!

Representing the indigenous Hondurans


Parents actually follow their child in the parade, so many people passed by


Drums can be heard for weeks before the parade, a skill mastered in a short time


The white may have been used years ago among the indigenous. 

Now, the colored outfits are used for those who perform the folk/traditional dances

Transition Talk  

Working on the stress inventory questionnaire

And roles, responsibilities, and relationships comparison

Teacher Training  

The bus would only go so far, then teachers (and Kjell) had to pile in trucks that drove the rest of the way

Amigos de Jesus

Home for Children

School that is part of children's home

Benches for seminar - the chapel area

Mikayla's Quinceañera  

Rabbit watches as guests throw a dart to fall in the hole in the tree

Stop a doorknob to get a key


A little flamingo croquet?

Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, Rabbit, and Cheshire Cat

Alice (Mikayla)

Jeremiah walks Mikayla in

'Real Joy'




Father/Daughter Dance


Crazy candle for a crazy kid

Friends from school

Friends from youth group


Answer the Call Ministries

ATC Ministries

Answer the Call




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Summary Report 2008