Hello, dear friends! This is Mindi, writing again to update everyone on the goings-on from the beautiful country of Honduras! We sincerely hope that everyone’s summer is starting off happily, peacefully, and not-too-swelteringly-hotly in South Mississippi!
Here on Roatan, summers are somewhat different than in the States. It brings to mind that old Bananarama song that goes like this: “It’s a cruel, cruel summer……Leavin’ me here all alone…..” (You can tell I am a proud Gen X’er…. 80’s music forever!!!) But seriously, summers here are the most difficult time of the year, as it is low season for tourists. The number of cruise ships docking and sending visitors to Microindustry Missions Market is quite dismal for the months of May and June.
We are so incredibly proud of all our teams for their perseverance and patience this past month. By God’s grace alone, we were able to come up with enough to cover the rent for the store and continue to meet payroll, but not without a lot of faith and prayer! A couple of blessings along the way did help us meet our goals. Tuition fees for the ladies attending UTH were not required for the month of May, and an unexpected personal insurance reimbursement proved to us (again!) that God will supply all our needs! We are faithfully looking forward to August/September, when tourism historically begins to pick up again, and we can hopefully begin to save for the lean months of next summer
All is not doom and gloom here, however! One of the brightest spots currently is our ongoing English classes for several of the ladies in our mission. We are so grateful to Natalia Walsh and Kara Mejia who have been co-teaching this class for free every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at the church in Coxen Hole. The focus is on learning English to communicate with customers and vendors since most of the tourists visiting Roatan speak English. It has been amazing to see how much these ladies have learned in such a short time! Walking into the shop or the store, we are always greeted now with “Hi! How are you doing today?”, and they are beginning to understand a significant amount of English as well. (I hate to say their English has been coming along more quickly and easily than our Spanish, although we are still working diligently!)
Another bright and unexpected benefit we have noticed is a renewed interest in and focus on children’s education. As Carmen, Ingress, and Jessie continue to work on their full-time classes at the local university, we have seen them take a real interest in making sure their children attend school, do their homework, and progress satisfactorily in their studies. Of course, the COVID pandemic interrupted schooling for so many of the children on this island, but it is thrilling to see these kids finally back in real classes, determined to make up the time they missed over the last 2 years. It is absolutely humbling to see what God is doing in the lives of these families involved with TTTF. Carmen’s daughter Naomi is enrolled in a local private Christian school, and Jessie’s two boys are doing really well in their local public school! Rolando’s children are in public school and attend classes in the afternoons (which is why you see pictures of Ikar “helping” in the wood shop so often in the mornings!)
Occasionally, I get overwhelmed with the vast needs we encounter in the beautiful people we have met here. It is hard not to try and help every single person. When this happens, I always turn back to God and ask if we are doing enough. What He seems to be telling us is that even though we may not be able to help thousands of people , the people in our TTTF family are learning the importance of education, the dignity of work, and the need to share the love and grace of God with others. These are values they are also passing down their children. These multi-generational blessings may not even come to fruition during our lifetimes, but the seeds have been planted, and we believe will continue to grow in these children, and their children’s children! These folks truly have become our family here, and we are cheering their kids on to success right along with their parents.
We would humbly ask that you pray specifically for our students at university, Carmen, Ingress, and Jessie. Pray for stamina, clarity, and the organizational skills required for them to work and study, and, in the case of Jessie and Carmen, also be present for their children. Anyone who has done this knows the daunting nature of trying to squeeze more hours out of every day to get it all done well. Although these ladies have been champs at it, your continued prayers will help bolster them when they need it most! Please pray for the children in our ministry. Pray for safety and health and continued opportunities to learn and grow in their school environments. Please pray for all on the island who depend on tourism for their livelihoods, as summers are challenging for all of us!
We appreciate and love you all for the support given by your prayers and your remembrances. We are grateful that Trinity allows us the space to communicate with you all. We pray for you regularly and look forward to seeing you during our short furlough in early August!