Dear Family and Friends,
This month has been exciting and stretching in many ways. I am so happy to report that Julia was finally discharged from the hospital and she spent her first two weeks of recuperation out at the Villa. The children loved having her there and they took turns serving her and she prayed for them. Mutual blessings! Julia is getting stronger every day and it looks as though she will be strong enough to preach at the conference in Miami that was scheduled before she went into crisis. While Julia was in the AIDS hospital, God used her to help her doctor grow in the area of prophetic ministry. Her doctor (Varinia) is a dear friend of mine and one of my disciples. Varinia has been ministering on the AIDS ward for several years and has seen quite a few of her patients healed from AIDS. While Julia was in the hospital, God knit their hearts together for ministry and so Varinia will accompany Julia to the conference in Miami. God's ways are so perfect!
On February 15th, we initiated the school year at Jericho Christian School. We had been praying diligently about increasing the number of students at the school because during one of our weeks of fasting and prayer we sensed God encouraging us to ask Him for 60 students. We had been ministering to about 30 children in the school previously. We prayed for students of His choosing who would benefit from a stable environment and a solid Christian education. We prayed for children who were at risk to enter gangs, prostitution, and / or the world of addictions. God faithfully answered our prayers with not only 60 students, but by the time it was said and done, 80 children were signed up to receive education and ministry through Jericho. It was amazing to watch God lead us to the children of His choosing. There are so many in need ..... we had to have His direction.
It was a very exciting and stretching first day! We specifically wanted to EMPHASIZE two areas of outreach ..... The "Early Learning Center" for ages 0-3 years and the Jr and Sr High School. Our Canadian staff member, Jaime, (photo at right) Seemed the perfect fit for the little ones and she speaks English to them during their time with us to jumpstart them in that language. Elvia ((photo below) Had a burden for the youth so she is heading up the Jr. High and High School. Several of the students have already given their lives to Christ under her leadership, thanks be to God. We have big dreams for these young lives and know that God is going to do miracles!
As a result of our desire to be faithful to God's dictate to reach out to the next generation, my household has increased. It's not something I actually planned ahead of time. I certainly would not have Increased our size by three all at once but God's ways are not our ways and certainly this venture falls into that category. Julio is 13 years old, is in the 5th grade, and is Maryln's younger brother. He is a quiet sort and extremely helpful like his big sister. Julio lived out at the Villa last year after he was removed from his home where he had gotten involved in unhealthy activities with his neighbors. He did super well at the Villa and we sensed that it was time for him to join our family in Teguz. We are all thrilled with this. Yoly (pronounced (Jo-lie) is 14 years old and she comes from Marlyn's neighborhood. She has a difficult family situation (gangs, addictions) but she is very motivated to study. Her Mother wanted her to quit school to care for her two year old half-sister, but when I heard about Jericho School Yoly from Marlyn, she begged her mother to let her come and live with us so that she could attend Faith Christian High School Jericho. In the short time she has lived with us, she lost one of her cousins ,who lived in her home, to gang violence. The third child, Dariana, is 6 years old, and her family was displaced by hurricane Mitch back in 1998 so they live in a settlement way outside the city. Dariana's mother is Isabella's Aunt, so she found out about our school during her visits to see Isabella (my youngest child). The school attracted her and she asked if Dariana could stay with us during the week since they live too far to come on a daily basis. Dariana is quite spirited and already on her first day with us she socked a boy who was looking at women under the dressing room stalls at the department store where Marlyn was buying school clothes for the kids. I think we are going to have our hands full!
Katie Hutjens from DePere, Wisconsin Jericho joined the family on Feb. 4. Katie grew up in a church that supported me so she grew up praying weekly for someone named Betsy Hake. Several years ago at the urging of a friend, she decided it was time to finally lay eyes on her church's missionary and to find out more about the ministry. As the Lord would have it, she came to Honduras when I was on the healing adventure in NYC and so she ended up living in my home and helping to care for my children but we never met. When Katie returned last summer, God made it clear to her that she needed to serve at JM for a longer period of time. Katie will be with us for at least two years, and we are thrilled to have Katie. She is full of energy and joy and the children just flock to her. She is teaching English at the Villa and is in charge of the boys which can be very challenging at times. Katie has a blog which you can access from this site. She has a fresh way of describing life at the Villa and we are all enjoying watching God use her to bless the children. Katie is truly an answer to prayer.
And that brings me to Fofo (Rodolfo). He is Elvia's brother-in-law and he is God's answer to our prayer for a father figure for the children living at the Villa. Fofo visited Jericho in December with his wife, Miriam, and the children started calling him Papi Fofo. Try saying that 10 times without stopping! Not only did the children take a liking to Fofo but Hae Young sensed that he could be of great help to her, especially with the boys. God began working in Fofo's heart and he understood God was calling him to help at the Villa. He is a retired merchant marine who worked as a chef so the kids love it when he gets in the kitchen. Miriam works for Continental Airlines, hence Fofo can fly whenver he desires. Fofo and Hae came up with a plan. He would come once a month and stay for a week. We thank God for Fofo and the way he has taken very seriously this call to provide paternity for our children at the Villa.
Please pray for the Jericho family, especially for the teachers, staff, volunteers, students and new, as we all adjust to the changes that growth brings. Pray that God will continue to provide for all our needs.
With love always,