It has been far too long since you have formally heard from the Madsens and we want to catch you up to date on what we have been doing in ministry in Honduras. There is never a lack of ways to minister to God’s children here at the orphanage. Mike and Karen, serving in two completely different programs, have been blessed to have the support of their congregation at Gainesville First United Methodist Church, congregational members from New Hope United Methodist Church in Gainesville, many friends, and family.
High School Teachers at Orphanage Emmanuel.
Karen has continued to work with the Youth Project on the Transition Program providing counseling information to help the youth learn about themselves and about relationship building. The Transition Team will be functioning until the end of July this year. Karla, the transition teacher and career coach, along with Carminda and Karen have been preparing the teachers to take on the Transition Classes in the five grades of High School at Emmanuel. Karla will remain until the end of the school year to facilitate a smooth transition to the new program using the awesome materials for instruction that have been developed by the Transition Team.
"Inside Out" Emotions in a new Sand Tray
With the aide of the Mission Market Place funds and donations from the Sunday School and Women’s Circle from New Hope, Karen has been able to add some much needed therapy items to her office i.e. sand trays, miniature figures for the sand trays, Spanish therapy games, craft supplies, a donated desktop computer and a new printer. God has made provisions for her office to have curtains, bookcases and filing cabinets through donations and work from the teams that come to Emmanuel to serve.
Taking a break for a snack
Through the donations of friends it was made possible for Mike and Karen to attend a Christian Alliance for Orphans conference in Orlando, Florida in May. There were many sessions to choose from but the most powerful information was shared by Back to Back Ministries who devote much of their work to helping caregivers become competent in helping children that come from hard places. All of our children at Orphanage Emmanuel come from difficult places so we were especially blessed with learning specifics about not only what we can do in our ministry but what churches in the states can do to help support and advocate for orphans. God had this conference in his plans because Karen has recently been asked to help the mothers and children in the infant and toddler houses.
One of the reading groups
After a stop and go beginning of the school year, Karen is continuing with the two reading groups begun in the past year, listening to thirty 5th graders and thirty 6th graders read in Spanish two mornings a week. While improving their reading and comprehension abilities, Karen has been improving her Spanish language acquisition and is now having conversations in Spanish. You may ask what this has to do with counseling? Through reading, children who have not had much encouragement or life experience are exposed to different ways of thinking and ways of learning. It is Mike and Karen’s hope to encourage these young learners to stay in school and participate in the new vocational program Mike will be initiating in the near future.
Site for the new building
That’s Right! Ground has been broken for the new vocational building to house the beginning of the Woodworking / Building Construction Vocational School! We are removing part of the hill, approximately an 80’ x 130’ flat area, between the existing Warehouse and the Woodworking Shop. Removal has been slow due to hard bedrock and the start of the rainy season but hopefully we are looking to complete the ground excavation and the retaining walls over the next few months. The metal building will be 50’ x 100’ and will house a classroom, tool & storage rooms, bathroom and open lab area. A benefactor from Georgia is providing the metal building for the site.
Excavating for the new vocational school building
The first year’s program will start with a Basic Hand Tool Woodworking program for the 8’th grade boys. The following year we plan to implement a new Building Construction program that will teach the boys the necessary skills in the fields of Electrical, Plumbing, Masonry, Carpentry and Cabinet Making over a 3 year certified program. Funding for ground breaking, utilities and concrete floor slab has been acquired. An additional amount will be needed for the front and back retaining walls to contain hill erosion, to complete the inside of the building for classroom, lab, tool room and to complete some exterior projects to have it ready to begin for the school year in February 2017. We all are excited to walk this journey with God on his plans for this program!
Mike has continued to help update the maintenance department of the orphanage and has been training young men to handle routine plumbing, electrical and maintenance issues. Two boys have been trained as of now with a third one starting shortly. With well over 200 toilets and sinks, 150 showers and above ground PVC tubing, prevention and routine maintenance are never ending vital tasks for the health of the orphanage. The boys are learning valuable skills that they will be able to use on the outside to provide an income for themselves and be able to support their family. The World Orphan Fund (WOF) is helping to provide more energy efficient toilets, shower heads and solar energy collectors to help offset the cost of electricity. Stay tuned for more to come.
God has been good to us and our prayer is that you have also been blessed in some way by the ministry of Journey of Trust. Every morning we start our day with devotions and prayer to the most gracious and loving father who never abandons us. He keeps his promises and we are grateful to him for placing in your heart the willingness and desire to participate in this ministry.
Praises and Prayer Requests
Praises: *For God’s generous blessings and protection as we continue the work he has set before us.
* For the gift of a patient teacher as we continue to learn the heart language of the children at Orphanage Emmanuel.
*For the encouragement God provides daily through his word, his answers to prayers and through the people he sends to work along side of us.
*For Debbie Bailey who has offered her assistance in posting news from us to our website
Requests: *For all the children to experience the love of Christ in a way that brings them into a life changing relationship with him
*For healing of wounds of the hearts of children that come from hard places
*For the necessary funding to complete the vocational school
"...be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and the perfect will of God." Romans 12:2