May 26, 2017
Makes getting to and from classes very interesting!
May 25, 2017
Today is Joseph Rahm’s birthday and the ladies sang a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday in English and Spanish this morning at devotionals. Joseph must be very careful today, one birthday tradition involves cracking an egg over the head of the person celebrating for good luck.
Each quarter the student body of TLC performs a community service project either in one of the students home communities or locally. Past projects have included a water purification system, a recycling center and seminars on community organization.
This quarter the students decided to honor the women in the neighboring community of Los Valles with a day of pampering. The Salon (our largest room) was decorated and prepared with various stations for hair dressing, manicures, foot washing, pedicures and massages. Childcare was provided. Refreshments were served. About 50 women attended with about 60 children and the event was a great success.
Heart to Heart Visit
Also, last Saturday, we had a visit from friends Oscar and Amy Serrano and Mary and Lyle Frenter of Heart to Heart Ministries. They came to visit Sarah who is now a first-year student at TLC. They are looking forward to the upcoming visit from a team of Trinity UMC to the Children’s Village in June.
Classes continue. We are in week 5 and the English students now have a basic vocabulary to draw from. They can tell you what they do for fun, what time it is and are writing a small story about their families. They are such a joy.
Thanks to all for your support of this ministry.
With love from TLC,
El Tio Great Falls (9835 Georgetown Pike)
10% of all purchases will be donated to the Heart to Heart Children’s Village in Honduras. Your purchase will help fund our trip to the Village as we travel to play games, do crafts, and build relationships with the 100+ children living in the orphanage.
Please join us for dinner on June 6 and help make the world a better place!
May 17, 2017
Buenas Tardes Amigos y Familia,
It’s late afternoon here, it looks like we may be in for another hard rain soon.
As we enter rainy season over the last few weeks, we have been getting a couple hours of rain most every day or night. It’s all manageable, but it does bring out the insects. The palomilla (small and annoying) come out after the afternoon rains. They hatch, come inside the casita or classrooms, drop their wings and then crawl everywhere. Next morning they are pretty much gone, except their wings! But it’s all good news for the frogs – they are getting bigger!
Rain makes the drive to and from campus challenging. There are three stream or creek crossings to get to our rural campus, and the rains really swell those crossings as their depth gets difficult. Ask Jose, Bill and Jim about their drive back to campus last Friday from an errand in Zambrano!
On the Tres Amigos’ last night on campus (Friday), the students had a great bonfire and celebration for them. Dances, skits, songs and some very fun games were enjoyed by all. I will tell you they made some of us gringos look pretty silly with the balloon games!
The Virginia team headed to the airport the next morning after many hugs and heartfelt goodbyes on campus. And yes, we did get all six new benches made for the comedor! The students so appreciated the team’s week on campus and many fond memories were made!
One of the great things that has happened this week, is one of the second year students who had decided not to come back after last break, has returned. Evelin had some family issues at home and her family wanted her to quit school and go to work now. A very promising student with lots of potential, she felt she should probably stay home and work. We let her stay home the first couple weeks to think hard about it and talk with her family about the short term versus long term trade-offs. Ninety percent of our 2016 TLC graduates are working in good jobs, teaching or managing their business. We hoped her family could see that opportunity for Evelin as very valuable. Evelin came back to classes this week, in part after talking a long time with her sponsor, Jose, who encouraged her and helped her.
In addition to teaching, Chris has been working with the girls in the craft room. All four sewing machines are functioning and there is a lot of activity, particularly on the weekends. The third year students are sewing pillow cases and embroidering them (whatever that is) and Chris has promised each a new pillow to go with their beautiful cases. (Will soon have to find a Bed Bath and Beyond).
Dayana preached in church on Sunday. Dayana is a graduate from last year who has been working as a part-time student director for two quarters. Her message, from Hebrews, chapter 10, was about perseverance and encouraging each other in faith and in all we do.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,”
Dayana was recently selected by the Capitol Area Girl Scouts to be a summer camp leader in Virginia for eight weeks this summer. She just got her visa last week and is so excited and happy! When she returns to Honduras in late August, she plans to start a Medicine Supply Business in Puerto Cortes.
My business classes are going well. Entrepreneurship and Marketing are more interesting to the students than Accounting and Finance. I have taken to providing chocolates in Accounting Class – it’s helping some! But the girls are trying. Even the half of them that really struggle – they do want to learn. After four hours of classes each day, they often seek me out for another hour of help.
We continue to be amazed each day by these young women. Their personal stories are challenging and they so appreciate the opportunity to be here at TLC.
We are appreciative of your support and the opportunity to be in service and partnership with you here!
Blessings from Honduras,
Dear Friends and Family,
It’s early Thursday morning, almost at the end of our third week here at TLC.
The weather has been interesting over the last week. Several evenings and nights with torrential downpours which make quite an explosive noise on our metal roofs. The rain has brought out some interesting insects and many rana (frogs) even a few land crabs! My garden in front of our casita is beginning to be pretty wet.
It’s been terrific to have our good friends (tres amigos) here from Virginia this week – Jose, Jim and Bill.
It was sort of funny, my third-year entrepreneurs class, recognizing an opportunity, made cheeseburgers after Church on Sunday afternoon and targeted gringo sales prospects. For 30 lempira (about $1.40) they provided very tasty and somewhat American cuisine as an alternative to rice and beans. They sold over 50 burgers, here on campus and at Los Valles, the small community about 2 miles down the road! Profit margins of 60% were reported!
This week my eight business students presented the results of their home community market studies. Each gave a power point presentation of their local market and a couple business possibilities. Ideas from needs in their communities generated a possible Kinder-care, bodegas, internet services, eggs and poultry business and a butcher shop.
We will try and see what makes sense over the next month or two.
Bill and Jim have been working with my business class this week in class and out of class. Bill has been doing a lot of accounting tutoring (some late nights) as the class anxiously prepares for their first test tomorrow.
Jim has led a couple discussions including a class yesterday on NGOs and service organizations. That topic is particularly interesting since several of the girls want to start organizations to provide social services in their communities. Abigail is focused on young people with Down’s syndrome particularly and wants to create vocational opportunities for them. She explains that in their class-based society these people are seen at the very margins and that by providing employment opportunities she can help them and also help her community see their worth. Pretty remarkable and a bit humbling to see a young woman with so little herself, be so concerned about others.
Jose has also been leading the four of us guys in a project this week. We are making benches for the comedor. The Honduran workers tell us we will not get our workshop diploma if we don’t complete 6 benches by tomorrow. (two are complete, but we have the wood cut for the other four – might be close depending on hardware constraints!)
Dinner last night was a bit modest, beans, cabbage and corn tortillas. But the students surprised us with pineapple pastalitos for dessert. Very tasty!
Chris has begun coaching four of the students who are going to serve in July medical brigade from the states. This is a team of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who come and serve in very rural areas for several weeks. Our students, with their excellent English, serve as translators and assistants on the teams. Chris is teaching them medical terms and a bit about general principals of health care.
We will all be sorry to see our team leave Saturday. The students just love having teams here. But I am happy for them to get back to more food choices and their families!
Saturday morning many of the students will leave TLC to celebrate Mother’s Day at home. Those who within three – four hours of campus, will head home for Sunday time with family.
Blessings from Honduras!
Dan and Chris
May 3, 2017
Dear Friends and Family,
We have been very busy so far this week.
Our days begin when the sun comes up, about 6. First we hear the sheep and then the birds. (Roosters on and off all night). Coffee at 6:30, breakfast at 7. Daily devotionals at 7:20 and the girls work for an hour and a half beginning at 7:30. Showers and clean up at 9 and classes begin at 9:30.
The new class of 18 young women is getting into the swing of things with 4 English classes each day. They are benefiting (I hope) from hearing 3 distinct English accents; American, Australian, and English with a slight French accent. First test is Friday.
Dan’s eight third-year business students are showing some level of anxiety about accounting class and he is trying to find ways to keep them interested and awake in class.
The sewing/craft room opened last Saturday with 18 students making hair accessories. They had such fun and will be introduced to sewing this Saturday as we attempt to make 18 travel pillows. Dan is on call for all sewing machine repairs.
We had a lovely surprise visit from TLC graduate Roxana at lunch today. She is continuing her smoothie/snack shop business at orphanage Emmanuel where she grew up. Roxana is saving money to hopefully attend nursing school someday.
Nice break from the rain today.
Looking forward to a visit Saturday from friends Jose Rivera, Bill Goodman and Jim Wilson.
Headed to Wednesday night bible study now. We feel blessed to be here and thank you for all your prayers and loving support of this ministry.
Dan and Chris
April 27, 2017
Dear Friends and Family,
We met the new class on the way in from Zambrano -18 smiling and apprehensive young women from all over Honduras – our largest class in our 6-year history. They – along with 16 upper class women – mostly bussed to Zambrano and we all piled into the three TLC vehicles to make the 45-minute, dusty ride to campus. (one flat tire – not too bad)
The arrival on campus was a sweet reunion – many hugs and stories to share.
Chris and I settled into our little casita on the far end of campus – unpacking 8 bags (including much that many of you sent for the school).
We are pretty near the pigs and sheep – so a lot of wonderful sounds and aromas on occasion (a lot).
The weather is hot and sunny – near 90 most days, but cools to 55-ish here on the mountain at night.
We had a wonderful orientation session on Saturday – team building games and exercises. Sunday a beautiful worship service with over 40 of us attending and singing praise songs (in Spanish)
TLC is English immersion but with 18 first year students (most with no English) we are doing morning devotionals, daily work assignments and so on in both Spanish and English for a while.
We are very busy teaching each day. Chris is teaching ESL with first years and math class for second years. I have 8 third year business students – and am teaching them 4 hours a day- general business, entrepreneurship and accounting/ finance. (their heads are spinning – mine too)
Chris can almost name all 18 of her first-year students, I am a little fuzzy on most at this point. They change the names they wish to called often, it seems to me. Not sure why, other than to confuse us.
Thanks for all your support and prayers for these very deserving and precious young women.
In my class today, I asked each student to talk about the needs and concerns in their home communities.
It was hard to listen without great emotion. Crime and corruption takes a huge toll on people – in many ways. As one example, 5 of 8 girls mentioned that there were no decent public health clinics in or close to their communities. What we are attempting to do at TLC is educate these young women to make the changes they need for themselves, their communities and their country.
Blessings from Honduras,