When We Work Together...

I wrote the first part of this post back in February... somehow, I never pressed that 'Publish' button properly.   Even today, after these months, when the words spill out, letter-following-letter, I'm once-again in AWE of the way these events unfolded.

This story begins while we were in language school in La Ceiba.   Our last 2 weeks, 3 missionaries from the interior of Honduras (6-8 hours away from La Ceiba) came to study a bit of Spanish.  One of the missionaries was Marcy, also a mom to 4, who has served God in a small town, Zambrano, for 3 years now.  She is a prayer warrior and a woman who gives God glory in all things.

We had some good talks and exchanged e-mail and Facebook information.   Over the past months, she has been a huge supporter of Reach Out Honduras... always with an encouraging word and often forwarding information about our ministry to her friends.  I find her to be a breath of fresh air in a world where missionaries often compete with one another and often find a hard time developing close friendships.

If this was where the story ended, it would be nice, but not extraordinary.

In our quest for low-cost university-level education for students from La Moskitia, a friend forwarded me a link for the Leadership University.   Art for Humanity, in the US, started this pilot University... free to young women from poor areas.  The result will be a bilingual student with a degree in Business Administration, plus the skills of running a coffee business from the ground up.    We were hesitant about recommending students the first year.  In fact, we had decided that we probably wouldn't even consider it until it had a year under its belt.

And then I realized that the school is outside of Zambrano... where my friend, Marcy, lives!    Of thousands of small towns, this very school 'happens to be' close to where one of my only Honduran missionary friends lives!   So, I fired off a quick e-mail asking her about it.  She hadn't heard of it, but was curious.  Turns out she had the opportunity to meet with the founder the next week and ask all of her questions and mine.  She was excited and I was encouraged to start spreading the word.

In February, we submitted 3 interested candidates.  We talked through all of the details of the school with the girls and gathered paperwork.   The recommendations were sent off on the very last possible day.   And we waited to see if any of them would be asked to interview ...

There is one enormous difference between applicants from the interior of Honduras and applicants from La Moskitia.  La Moskitia is completely disconnected from the interior of Honduras.  There are no roads through the rainforest.   Girls from La Moskitia must pay for an airplane ticket and take a long bus ride to even interview!  This is without any promise that they will be accepted.

This was a larger hurdle than expected because the news that they were asked to interview only came the evening BEFORE they had to get on a plane at 7:00 a.m.    The girls begged family and ultimately we felt led to contribute to their travel fund.

My friend, Marcy, agreed to wait for them at the bus stop in Zambrano and I printed off a picture of Marcy for the girls and gave them specific instructions on how to contact Marcy.     And they were off...

Marcy met them at the stop, escorted them to their hotel and met them for the interview the next morning.  She ended up translating for the interviews, treating the girls to lunch AND inviting them to stay at their house Saturday night.  I just love her!

We were all giddy with the news that of 15 girls chosen for the inaugural class of Leadership University, 3 girls were from La Moskitia - the Land of the Forgotten People.   When we travel in Honduras and tell people where we live, people literally curl up their noses and ask... 'why do you live in that place... where those people don't care about education and so on.'   We are always intrigued by people who perceive La Moskitia in such a way when they've never met a person from the region. 

Irony, indeed, that 20% of the class is made up of girls from this region.   Congratulations, ladies!  And may you be the first of many more young women who change the face of the future of Honduras.

***We heard last week that all 3 of these young women are doing very, very well in the program.    It is thrilling to hear that these 3 are taking full advantage of the opportunity given to them!   Because of their hard work, the school is eager to receive applications from other girls from La Moskitia for the class beginning in September.  

Next week, the young lady below, Yamileth, will interview for the next class starting in September.   Pray for her interview.  When I called to tell her she gets to interview, she literally squealed in the phone.  It made me cry. 

Wednesday she will travel to the interior of Honduras and then on to Zambrano to spend the weekend interviewing and visiting with the girls already in the program.  Praying for her success.  She is a shining star.    She just left my house, delivering a gift of 6 platanos for our family to enjoy.    I'm blessed.

This is what happens when people share information and work together for the benefit of other people... this is not about one ministry or one missionary... it is about using our contacts to allow others to reach their God-given potential.   Plain and simple... that's the way it is supposed to work. 


Denise said…
What an amazing story and reminder of the fact that God had "got it"! These girls are all just beautiful but Yamileth is breathtaking! I can't wait to hear her story and it progresses.

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