Youth Retreat in La Ceiba!!

The days are flying by as I count down my last two weeks here in Copan.  Things have been very busy with trips and special end of the year events with the youth and children.  Thank you for all of your prayers over the past week.  I am fully recovered from my sickness and am feeling so much better.  I am so thankful for the return of my health as there are a lot of things that I need to accomplish over my last two weeks.

Since I last wrote I was not sure if I would be able to join the youth leaders from our program on their end of the year youth retreat. Our youth leaders are paid staff members of UrbanPromise Honduras.  They work in our after school programs and summer camps with the children that we serve, planning and teaching classes, mentoring kids in homework, teaching Bible lessons, acting out skits, and simply loving the children and the community we serve.  The youth are also poured into by our staff and given leadership training, help with high school and possibly college prep, fellowship opportunities, and much more.  The youth leaders are a significant and important part of our organization and truly make a difference in the lives of the children we serve.

Since I was feeling better last week I was able to join the retreat in which we traveled 9 hours to the town of La Ceiba, a little coastal town.  We spent our first night in the house of ministry friends who run their own nonprofit organization for the deaf in La Ceiba called Signs of Love.  They were so gracious to us and let us pile our group of 17 into their office space as a place to stay.  They lent us their 15 passenger van for us to use as transportation and joined us in a few of our activities.  The second day we traveled to the Jungle River Lodge in a national park in La Seiba.  The lodge was right along a river, with a breathtaking view of the rushing river below, large rocks and bolders, and beautiful trees all around.  We jumped off rocks into the rushing water, swam, and went white water rafting.  The youth had the time of their lives, full of fun, fellowship, training, and debriefing.

The retreat was intended to be a time of reflection on the past year, evaluation, and self- reflection and rejuvenation for the youth.  The theme was puzzle pieces, and how each one of the youth is so significant in God’s eyes, each one fulfilling a significant role in the lives of the children that we serve and in our staff.  The youth leaders truly were so blessed by this retreat.  They were able to fellowship with one other in the love of Christ, search within themselves to find out more about who they are and who they want to be, and reflect upon the amazing things that the Lord has done in their lives over the past year.  It was such a unique and wonderful thing to be a part of, to help them process a lot of these things and encourage them as they look towards their future.

These next two weeks will be filled with lots of administrative and office work for me.  I am hoping to finish the two brochures that I have been working on this week which will include information about UPH programs and will be used as promotional materials both here in Honduras and in the United States.  I need to finish them this week so we can translate them into Spanish and send them to print before I leave.  I will also continue to work on details for a potential “Promise Partner” program forUrbanPromise International and will be brainstorming and putting together more details as the ideas for this program unfold.

This coming weekend we look forward to a two day staff retreat in which we will reflect on this past year, evaluate our programs, and look and plan for the coming year of UPH.  This will be a very crucial time for the staff here.  We will work very hard and hopefully come out of the retreat with a rejuvenated vision for the coming year of UPH.

Please Pray :

-          For details to come together for my time of service in Malawi.  I am still in the process of working out all the details for this time and need prayer for discernment and ease of details to come into place

- For these next to weeks to be very productive as I finish up my projects here and prepare to leave

- For our staff retreat coming up this weekend.  We will be taking time to reflect on the year and to plan and pray together for the future of UrbanPromise Honduras

-  For Luis as he continues to study and prepare for his upcoming exam on December 5th