I would like to share a little about our day today. Thanks to some help from my parents, we were able to buy several blankets to pass out in the community around us. With the nights dipping into the 40's and many of our neighbors with no way to close their windows and no doors at all, we felt the need to do something for as many neighbors as we could. Our friends the Hagermans (check out their blog here) who live and work about an hour away from us gave us the idea to pass out blankets along with the Bibles we purchased recently. They also began a family photo project with their neighbors, taking their family portrait. This was one of the best ideas I have heard of as a way to get to know your neighbors. I have started this project with our immediate neighbors.
Some of the neighbors- What beautiful children!
Because we want the children in the the children's home to learn that serving others is an important part of our Christian faith, four of the older kids walked out into the community with us to distribute the blankets and Bibles. They loved being able to help and are already asking about the next time we can go out for another project.
Lysandry, Lujan, Nilda, and Carlos carrying blankets to pass out.
We saved a few blankets back to take to specific families from the school that I have recognized in my classes as having serious needs. Hopefully tomorrow, we can pass those last blankets out. Later in the afternoon a group of women showed up asking for blankets, but we only had the few left we had set aside and we were not able to give them anything.
While Shaun and I have done a lot of driving around the community, today was really the first time we went off the main roads and out into the smaller neighborhoods. We found that the children's home is literally surrounded by homes in desperate poverty. Mario (the house parent from House 1) explained that most of the wealthier people live on the main roads, but as you branch out on the literal pig paths, there are hundreds of homes with thousands of children, nearly all living without indoor plumbing and most in homes without windows or doors. There is also a squatter village just a street over from the childrens home with about 200 houses (a guesstimate) made of scrap metal and wood. Some days the unemployment and poverty that surrounds us is daunting. We have so many resumes of people just wanting work, and even more informal requests for jobs. Please be in prayer with us that the Lord would lead us in the way that we can best reach out to our community (meanwhile teaching the children in the children's home the importance of service) and that He would open the hearts of the people to learn about the Him.
Another exciting update: Today we were visited by a government organization, SNPP, that offers help in the area of farming. The group that came included three agricultural engineers. They were excited about working with us and will be meeting on Monday to discuss sending volunteers twice a week to help us in the garden and also to teach the children how to garden. The potential of our property here is vast. We have 9 tilapia ponds that need some cleaning and maintenance to open, 6 chicken houses that can be opened after a little repair work and disinfecting, space for pigs, a growing garden, a worm colony (I am not actually sure how to talk about that in English, but something about earthworms), and space for additional cattle. I am learning so much about farming and my vocabulary is expanding daily as far as agricultural lingo is concerned. Our children's home is very blessed to have house parents and Roberto Carlos (the man in charge of the cattle and farm area) who are passionate about starting new projects and working to make the children's home a little more self-sufficient.
If you are interested in helping with either buying more blankets for the community or in aiding in one of the agricultural projects, please contact us at email@example.com. Thank you for your prayers. The Lord is blessing the children's home and we are so thankful.