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Back in Honduras

We’re back in Honduras!  As many of you know, we were in the US last month dealing with some health issues for myself and Vivian, but thankfully those are resolved and I received good test results.  We've also spent the time at home to re-group as far as our mission work is concerned.


Homeschooling, Honduras-style

We will not be continuing our volunteer work with Farm of the Child/Finca del Niño, but instead will be forging our own path through the non-profit that we established last summer, Cumbre Family Missions.  It has always been our goal that at the end of our time with the Farm of the Child organization, we would continue serving in other ways under the umbrella of our own charity organization where we can determine how/where best to use our resources, skills, and God-given gifts.


When we were in language school in Guatemala last fall, we discovered that there is a unique problem that prevents impoverished children from going to school, and the same problem exists in Honduras as well.  Even though public school is free, many many children cannot attend because they can't afford the required school supplies, books, uniforms, transportation costs, and activity fees.  And when money is sent to these countries, it often never reaches these children.  It requires volunteers on the ground to actually purchase the necessary school supplies, buy backpacks and fill them, identify which children are in need (via word of mouth, churches, and other charitable organizations), and put the items into the hands of the children who need them. Enter “Operation Backpack Honduras”, an initiative created by a Canadian couple we met who've been living here in Trujillo, Honduras for the past 16 years.


Operation Backpack Honduras - some of the sponsored students

One of the projects we're focusing on with our return to Honduras is going to be helping with Operation Backpack.  But as these friends of ours have discovered since they started doing this project years ago, it really goes beyond just providing backpacks and supplies to start the school year.  Many of these students have issues with transportation as well, and they can't pay activities fees or they can't afford materials for science projects, labs, etc. So we're also going to be helping to raise funds to sponsor these students and meet their ongoing needs throughout the school year. (See our post “Where Is My Money Going”)


Another impediment to educating students in this rural area of Honduras is the fact that schools up in the mountain villages don't go past 9th grade.  In order for students to continue their education, they need to travel to the city of Trujillo, which is impossible for most families.  One solution is what one religious order has done - they host 13 teenage girls in their nearly-empty convent (3 religious sisters remain in residence).


Daughters of Charity/Hijas de Caridad

The girls live, eat, and work there throughout the school year so that they are able to attend high school in Trujillo.  These girls are fully supported (their schooling, their room and board, etc.) 100% on donations.  So we are going to be working on finding sponsors for these girls, and hopefully increasing the number of young women that we can house at the convent.  Our goal is to also provide additional services and programs to improve their quality of life - a family presence in the absence of their own families, music lessons and a choir, tutoring, art classes, spiritual mentoring, career and college counseling, cooking classes, and fun on and off-site activities for the girls, etc.  Right now, we're specifically sponsoring a girl named Adelina - more on her in a future blog post.


Lastly, we'll be putting our hospitality skills to use as we help friends at their retreat center, cooking and preparing to host short-term mission groups who come to Honduras to serve.


Our family with the Franciscan University of Steubenville mission trip

Tess and Pat cooking up breakfast for 30 people

Tess, tortilla master!

Helen making loaves of mango bread

In the midst of making 200 meatballs in preparation for a mission group arriving, here's Pat taking time to tutor one of the local Honduran teen moms in Algebra. Never a dull moment and always multitasking!

Bernadette with 3-month old baby Julian. There are many teen moms that always need a helping hand and the girls are happy to help out! #prolife ❤️👶

Tess chatting up the mission group from Steubenville

Serving the mission group the dinner we made

It's really amazing how God has shaped this year for us, leading us down a path and in directions we never could've mapped out for ourselves and evolving how we are called to serve. Letting go and allowing God to create that map and be our GPS has been life-changing.  We are so grateful for the blessings we've been given on this journey.


Bernadette playing “Uno” and practicing Spanish with her amigo Misael

Shannon and Helen working in the kitchen

So that's the update from Honduras! We'll be back in the States over the summer for our daughter Marjorie’s wedding and hope to connect with those of you we missed during our recent trip.  In the meantime, please keep us in your prayers and drop a comment below letting us know how we can pray for you! 


Please reach out with any specific questions or ways you would like to contribute or help with our efforts.


Paz y bien,

Shannon

xoxo


Sisters 💕

Beautiful Honduran sunset

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IMG_20230623_082623162_HDR-01.jpeg

Hi! We're Pat & Shannon.

We have a passion for education and a heart for service. Our goal is to make a global impact beyond our local community.

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