Tuesday, January 3, 2012

December Newsletter

Casa de Esperanza
Making a difference...one child at a time
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705

Amigos de Casa,

We hope everyone had a merry Christmas and we wish for you a blessed and happy 2012. It has been a busy two months at Casa de Esperanza.

The children finished their exams, thus finishing another school year. Most of the children did well. Maryuri needs to repeat first grade. Cindy has to go back early and retake her exams so, hopefully, she can move on to fifth grade. We are undecided about Doris and Reina's schooling next year. All the other children will move on to the next grade.

We have moved to a summer schedule, which is a bit more relaxed. We are working on reading, writing, and 'rithmetic each week. Friday is English day. Nicole is doing a special art project each week. We hope to do a special outing before school starts in February.

As we were preparing for a our big Thanksgiving feast and Karen was preparing to leave for the States to have her baby, she went into premature labor and gave birth to Korbin Xavier Guido on November 21. Congratulations to Karen and Dorian.

Karen developed a blood clot in her leg. She is in Ohio now. Please pray for Dorian, Karen and Korbin.

We continued our preparations for Thanksgiving and enjoyed a grand feast. The work group that was here that week joined us. We had over 50 people here. The kids all took part in the preparing and the eating. Some learned that the best part of preparing is sampling. Thanksgiving is not a Honduran holiday. We do not teach the American story of pilgrims and Indians, but we do try to teach the kids to be thankful for all things. Before we pray the children have to say at least one thing for which they are thankful. Meals here are prepared and served to the children. They must eat everything that is served to them or see it again for the next meal. Only on Thanksgiving day can they fill their own plates, putting on the plate what they really like, and they can fill their plates as many times as they like. It is always a day that is awaited on with eager anticipation by both the children and the staff. Perhaps, some go a little overboard, but it is only once a year.

Following Thanksgiving, we immediately had the graduations. Sixth grade graduation is a huge deal in Honduras because so few make it that far. This is our first year to have sixth graders graduating. Pamela and Brayan both graduated this year. Each sixth grader could only have 2 people with them. Marc and Byron went with Brayan and Pamela and Dorian went with Pamela. Marc took the honorees to Chili's after graduation. Both Brayan and Pamela agreed that was the best part.

A few days later, Guadalupe graduated from kindergarten. Kindergarten graduation is almost as big as sixth grade graduation. All the girls had to have lilac dresses and white sandals. Of course, we all thought Guadalupe was the prettiest little girl there. Matt was the padrino for Guadalupe. There was a dinner and a dance. Matt had to dance with Guadalupe. Only sixth grade graduates get treated to Chili's.

Congratulations to Brayan, Pamela and Guadalupe.

As we all watched the romance of Byron and Pamela develop and bloom into full blown love, we all got to participate in their wedding. We spent weeks being measured for dresses, trying on the dresses, buying white sandals and black shoes and black pants and learning a song and many other things. The wedding was beautiful, as were the children. They behaved beautifully as well. I was so proud of them.

We all wish Byron and Pamela a long and happy life together.

The kids were able to enjoy two Christmas parties this year. Banpais, a local bank came and gave a huge party, complete with candy, pinatas, and gifts. The kids had a great time. Then our staff gave the children a surprise party. The staff paid for all the food and candy. I think our children realized they can have fun without receiving presents.

We decided to have a no-toy Christmas. Thanks to many generous donations, we were able to buy each child new jeans, one shirt, and one pair of shoes. It was a wonderful Christmas for everyone.

The very best Christmas present of all was when Any and Jair arrived on December 20. We thought at that point, there was no hope of getting them before the end of the year. These two sweet ones have come from extreme poverty and lag behind their age level physically, mentally, and emotionally. There is not only adjustments for the new children, but the other children and staff as well. Please pray for all of us as we adjust.

We continue to be blessed by your continued prayers, financial support and words of encourgement. You are the best ministry partners any organization could ask for.


Terri Tindall

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