November 1st 2010
This week marks the last week of Camp Hope for the school year. The children here in Copan have their summer break during the months of November and December. The kids are so excited for the end of school, but sad at the same time as the after school program with Camp Hope comes to an end. We had our last snack time, English class, art class, Bible class, and end of the school year party. In Bible class we taught a few lessons to the kids about Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. We talked about how He is still alive and living in our heart. We ended this week with a craft, cutting out ``hearts`` from colorful poster board, then colored in different sections of their hearts for different things in their lives that they loved. The kids filled the spaces with Jesus, their family, Camp Hope, school, and some of the kids even made a space in their heart for me. After three weeks of being a part of their lives, they have allowed me to become one of them, to be accepted and loved as if I were always there, and somehow, I have made an impact on their lives and have found myself a special place in their hearts.
This week I was able to spend some one-on-one time with my host mom, Brenda. I have been praying for opportunities to talk with her more and show her the love of Christ even though I can´t speak the language very well. One night I came home around 10:30 and she was sitting in the living room by herself cutting out little cars and airplanes out of poster board for her students' class the next day. She teaches kindergarten. Brenda is usually in bed by this time and she still had a lot more to do. I asked her if she wanted me to help, and she gratefully said yes. We worked together for about an hour and a half, cutting shapes for her students' projects. We talked about a lot of things, and she was so grateful for my help! I am so thankful that the Lord gave me this opportunity to share His love with her, and be a blessing to her in a small way.
The UPH staff travels to the UrbanPromise conference in Camden, NJ next week while I stay here and do some work while they are gone. When they return, we begin to take the different age groups of kids from Camp Hope on their special end of the year field trips. Many of the kids from Copan and from the Aldeas have never been outside of Copan. We plan special end of the year field trips to give the kids new and exciting learning experiences. We are taking the younger kids from grades 1 and 2 on a field trip to the Mayan ruins, grades 3 4and on a trip to the Mayan ruins and the local hot springs, and grades 5 and 6 on a weekend trip to the city of San Pedro Sula, and a weekend trip for the youth leaders to the north coast. One of my development projects is to raise some funds for these trips. I am working with the full-time staff here and our current donors to hopefully raise $4,000. You can read more about the trips on the UPH homepage at http://www.urbanpromisehonduras.org/ . These trips will give the staff more of an opportunity to work one-on-one with the kids, giving them more personal time and attention, and teaching and showing them things they have never seen or experienced before.
Thursday night we had an end of the year celebration dinner for the kids of Camp Hope and their families. We ask some of the parents to prepare food for the event, we had special music, and we celebrated the joy of our Camp Hope community. About 80 to 100 people came out for dinner and fellowship. It was such a wonderful thing to see their joyful faces and grateful hearts for the program. We celebrated each child’s participation in the program with certificates for them, and a special song and program the children put on for their families.
These families and children are so richly blessed by the programs of UPH. Most of the schools that these children attend have very few resources, teachers, and curriculum to teach and challenge the students. Some have math and English classes if they attend some of the better schools, but most children are barely challenged to learn meaningful things in their schools. UPH gives them opportunities to grow and expand their knowledge, learn about art, the Bible, English, reading, math, and so many other worthwhile life skills. We are planning to work closer with the kids' schools and teachers in order to come up with a more challenging curriculum. I pray that the development and marketing work that I do here allows UPH to grow its programs and start new sites throughout Copan, so that more children can be reached by our mission : `` UrbanPromise Honduras seeks to inspire the children and youth of Honduras to fulfill their dreams by equipping them with the skills necessary for life management, academic achievement, spiritual growth and leadership rooted in the Christian faith.``
Please Pray :
- For the funds to come in for our end of the year field trips with the kids of Camp Hope
- For my computer to continue to work – the laptop I use for my work here at UPH is only a year old. Earlier this week it would not stay on and would keep turning off about 20 seconds after I would turn it on. I dropped it off with a local computer repair man who was able to look at it and he thinks he fixed it, but can not gurantee that it continues to work... Please pray that it continues to work.
- For the staff of UPH as they travel to the conference in Camden, NJ next week. That the Lord blesses them and allows them to learn a lot and bring back some good ideas and plans for the future of UPH
- Praise that the Lord has given me opportunities to show His love to my host family and to the kids of Camp Hope.