Monday, January 21, 2013

Back into the swing of things...

Greetings once again from the House of Hope.  It is good for us all to be back in our places, and getting back into a more "normal" routine after so many weeks of school vacation.  They might have gotten out late in December, but the schools sure took their time starting up again in January. 

It was a really nice vacation time though. I was traveling back in the US, and had the chance to spend Christmas and New Years with my family.  And also had the chance to visit with some friends and supporters of our ministry.  Linda held the fort down here with our budding leaders.  As I wrote before they were unable to have a Christmas program, but we were so thankful to receive the Christmas gifts before Christmas this year, and the kids received them on the 24th.  It really was a great Christmas as far as gifts go this year, and it was just perfect for the kids to have all their gifts to play with during their school vacation. 

Our faithful supporters from the Grace Baptist Church in York, PA made sure each of our kids had a special Christmas bag just for them.  Here is Valandina with her Christmas bag spread out all around her! 

Another very generous supporter in Miami made sure they each had a gift she had chosen just for them.  Most of the younger girls, like Jedline here, received dolls or play houses, the younger boys trucks.  All the older kids/youth received watches, and a few some other jewelry.  We were so blessed by everyone's generosity this year, and the kids really did feel special.  Thank you to everyone for your participation in making this special time of year very special for our kids this year.

The toys have by now lost their luster; they have been played with and passed around, and enjoyed and utilized to their max.  But now, school has started, and the toys are back in their gift bags waiting for the weekend to come.  That's right, it's back to School. 

That means, getting up at 5:00 am, getting the chores done, and getting the first group of students out of the house by 7.  The second group goes at 7:30, and then the last of the morning groups leaves at 8.  School here at the HOH with kids who can't go out to the community schools, starts at 9am.  This year a young man named Wilvens has volunteered his time to teach the younger children who stay here at the HOH for school.  Wilvens is one of the neighborhood boys from our boy's Saturday Bible Club.  How good it is to see him taking his time to teach the younger kids.  We are happy to help him as we are able to, so he can pay for his own schooling which he attends in the afternoons.  Several of our older kids go to afternoon school as well.  It actually helps us with our schedule at the HOH, with both morning and afternoon school options, we can make sure we always have some older youth here to help run the house throughout the day.

So, you might just be wondering how our kids did this last semester of school.  Well, for the most part, we were very pleased with the grades our kids brought home.  We had just a few who didn't do too well.  Some we need to discipline to try harder, others we need to give a bit more help.  But we are working out what we need to do in order to try and get these grades up where they should be.  School can be very frustrating for our students, especially those who perhaps don't learn as quickly as everyone else.  There are no programs that offer special help; if you get behind, it's your responsibility to catch up again.  We'd ask your prayers specifically for Chedlyn, Siliana, and Lovedine, John Wisly and Terrens. 

We want to thank each one of you who gave financially in the month of December.  We were blessed by many generous gifts, and will once again be able to make a payment on our debt.  Please continue to pray for more monthly donors to come alongside of us and help us with these needs.  Until next time... Blessings...

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