Back To School

The children are back in school after winter vacation. They really enjoyed the break but were all excited about starting the new school year. Well that is, except for Danny. He is in second grade this year and is overwhelmed. There is no special education here and his teacher doesn’t even know what Aspergers or autism is. His last year teacher was really good with him. We work with him every day but the amount and type of homework is too much, too soon.

Dan, the constructor, is progressing in his extra ciricular studies (home construction) very well, however. He is building on a bigger scale now. He asks Pedro, Esperanza and Michael for help sometimes, but only if he needs laborers. They had a strike one day when Danny failed to pay them their pretend wages. It was hilarious, quite a racket ensued. Danny gave in when I reminded him of possible future needs for helpers and the limited labor pool situation. He got it!

Thank the Lord and all of our supporters, the children are all in the same private school that Danny is in. The class sizes are so outrageous in the public school that Pedro’s and Esperanza’s grades were suffering last year. In the past they always made good grades but the increase in the number of students (38-40) per class is not a good learning environment for our two most timid children. Michael is doing better as well.

The children went on some field trips during their winter break. We took them to the hot water falls at Finca Paraiso a couple of times and they all had a wonderful time. Danny likes to stand on the boulders in the river and let the hot water beat down on his back. He will befriend anyone who is using “his” spot so that he can enjoy it with them. Amazing! Michael has graduated to jumping off the boulders into the river with Pedro and Jairon. Almost all of them have worked up to going into the little cave at the foot of the waterfall to enjoy a facial steam bath.

Teresa, a cruiser who lives on her boat in Rio Dulce, has been volunteering every Saturday here at the ranch. She is such a blessing! She brings ideas, supplies, patterns, and her expertise to work with the children. She has taught them how to make jewelry out of wire and beads, beautiful! They have sewed purses, glasses cases, and wallets. We are now learning to cross-stitch. Last year we entered two arts and crafts fairs and the children sold some of their things. It was a great experience for them to learn a little about business and was very motivating. They really like having some personal spending money.

We hosted a team from Sarasota, Florida that did a great VBS for the children in the community and the younger children of the ranch. Everyone on the team was a big blessing to Mike and me as will. Our older children were able to participate by helping with the different crafts and games groups. The team was wonderful and our children were so blessed to be able to work side by side with them. So were we!

Rebekah was part of that team and she came back months later with her son Jesse and they worked with our children to teach them the order of all the books in the Bible and had daily devotions with them. I was amazed when Rebekah attained her goal of teaching the kids every single book in order. She was only here for a few days! She also brought supplies and tools and taught the kids another way to make jewelry. We had a lot of fun and even adventure when we explored a wet cave not far from the ranch.

We have Bible study three times a week and church service on Sunday. It is a lot easier to follow pastor Benito to all the reference verses now that the children know where to find everything. If I don’t know, I look to one of them for guidance. Note: I wasn’t able to make it to Rebekah’s classes, maybe next time!

We are so blessed by the children’s’ love for the Lord and their serving hearts. Angelica, Suleidy, Maria (Francisca), and Lucia still lead worship on Sunday and do a good job. Idalia (Benito’s wife) and Angelica teach Sunday school for the children. It is wonderful to see the Lord at work in their hearts through the decisions they are making and the morals they display. Some of the teenagers at their school refer to them as “Karen’s Angels”. It is meant as a put-down (like goody-two-shoes) but we take it as a complement and trust that they will continue to be beacons for Jesus Christ.

We would like to thank each and every one of you for all your prayer and financial support. And with your love, involvement, and encouragement, Rayo de Esperanza continues to be greatly blessed by God through you all in so many different ways. We are truly blessed to be a part of the Body of Christ with you. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. With Him, all things are possible. All praise and glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Be blessed and joyful in the Lord!

Love always,
Karen, Mike, Angelica, Maria, Suleidy, Lucia, Esperanza, Pedro, Danny, Michael, Vilma, Benito, Idalia, Nataly, Idania, Fabiola, Fernando, Don Oscar, Oscar, Chivete, & Anibal

Fun With Our 2011 VBS & The Sarasota Team!

Everyone did a fabulous job with this year’s VBS. Hope you enjoy the clip!

Please Note: You may have to refresh your browser to bring in the video on screen. If you are unable to view the presentation from this site, you can view it directly on YouTube by clicking here.

Summer Events 2011

Our July 2011 summer will be a busy month.

July 10-17
Sarasota Calvary Chapel will be conducting our VBS Program.

July 25-30
Group from Lubbock, TX to help with repairs and hang out with the kids.

July 27
Wheelchair Distribution with Bethal Ministries

God Leads Us Along

We are doing well and are so blessed by all of you. Karen did a great job updating you on the kids, so I will carry on in a few other areas. This project has been nothing less than a leap of faith for us for the last six years. As we attempted to be diligent to where God is leading us, he has provided everything we need along the way. On days when we feel like the ends won’t meet, he shows up, and they ALWAYS do. While it is our heart to grow the project, we also understand that He may want us to stay right were we are for the time being. However, I also want to let folks know the opportunities that are available for growth down here to expand and to serve more children in this area. From day one, God has expanded this project in that way….needs are communicated and he works through YOU.

So…. A few updates on the ministry:
It is such a blessing to have all the workers join together for Bible study 3 mornings a week. Saturday night, the youth meet at 5pm and adults at 6pm. Then we do a little more in depth study on Sunday mornings. Now and then, we enjoy a meal together afterwards. The children have their own Sunday School and everyone seems to be enjoying our Sunday morning worship format.

As most of you know, we are not a typical ministry. We don’t have a stateside organization generating funds for us. We have a board that serves us well, but we rely 100% on God working through you all to meet these tangible needs. You can find our latest requests by going to our ‘NEEDS’ tab on this site, (or click here) to review these requests.

We also ask that you pray about how you may be led to join in God’s work down here. We appreciate all of your prayers and support. Without you, this project would not be. Feel free to contact us directly for more specific information or to even schedule a trip down. We love seeing new faces at the ranch!

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