May 2019 - Honduras Happenings
"Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!" Psalm 90:16-17
Greetings from Honduras, where this month of May has left us with rain and green mountains! Such a beautiful change from an overly long and intense dry season!
April marked one year of Two Hands gatherings in Gracias! Since then so much has changed and grown with new ministry opportunities constantly opening up, yet never enough time and resources to do it all. It's been exciting to see God bring new people into our Two Hands circle, and to see them all learn and grow.
Let's take a look at the possibilities of what a week may hold with Two Hands ministry in Graicas, Lempira...
TUESDAY: Tuesdays are typically office days. All the wonderful office work that goes along with being in full time ministry: newsletters, emails, bills, ministry plans, travel arrangements, study time, etc.
WEDNESDAY: Wednesday mornings are generally preparation time for afternoon gatherings: making plans, gathering supplies, etc. First stop of the afternoon is at the local elementary school where I meet with two of our Deaf kids. We head to an empty classroom and enjoy a time of language, laughter and learning! After school there is opportunity to for home visits. There are two families in particular I try to visit with on Wednesdays as time allows. One is the home of one of our Deaf young adults. During a visit with this family, I typically enjoy a cup of coffee and a chat with his grandmother and aunt, and perhaps some sign language time or a game with the younger cousins. The other is the home of our newest Deaf family, where I spend time working one on one with the little guy and his sister. Both are learning incredibly fast and it is a joy to be a part of their lives. Wednesday evening, I head to the local university where one of the Deaf young adults and I lead his classmates and professors in a time of learning sign language.
THURSDAY: Thursday mornings provide opportunity for more home visits. About 25 minutes outside of town, in a small village, is the home of a 7 year old Deaf boy- one of the first Deaf kids I met in this area of Honduras. Visits with his family have been off and on over the past nearly two years, but now with a car, I hope to be able to visit with them more frequently to encourage them on their language learning journey.
Thursday afternoons you will most likely find me back at the elementary school where the Deaf students and I lead a sign language time for their classmates (5th & 4th grade classrooms). This is definitely one of their favorite things and they are always asking when it will happen again - both the Deaf and hearing kids! It has also been a wonderful opportunity for the Deaf students to build confidence, step outside their comfort zone and take on some leadership responsibilities. One in particular has grown tremendously in the process.
Thursday evenings I have been asked to meet with the teachers of the Deaf kids and help them as they have a desire to learn sign language as well. So far we've only had one class, but they promise that in the upcoming weeks their schedules will be more consistent!
FRIDAY: Friday mornings another new thing will be added to the schedule - a new school! The family of our newest Deaf kid asked if I would be willing to work with his classmates and teachers at his elementary school. This will be a wonderful opportunity to step more into his world and help his community understand him better.
Friday afternoons I head back to the other elementary school to work with the two Deaf kids there. Recently we've been doing some math practice and the kids have loved having simple math concepts explained in a language they can understand. After years of copying lessons but never fully understanding, now with language accessibility they are able to learn and understand so much more.
Friday evenings the Coral Cottage is opened up to families of the Deaf to come for a time of fellowship and learning! The Deaf kids take so much joy in teaching their families what they have been learning. One of my favorite parts is watching families play games together, a game in which everyone understands and can play along.
SATURDAY: Saturday mornings are again preparation for the afternoon where the local Deaf kids and their siblings (or perhaps a cousin) come to the Coral Cottage. We spend time playing together, using language together, making things together and learning the Bible together. For kids who are so often isolated due to language barriers, I love our together time.
After returning the kids to their homes, I attempt to semi-recover the house and then take a look at the Sunday School plan for the following morning. Typically my part is to look for a craft or activity for the kiddos and make a snack! A snack without raisins that is... because these kiddos will eat about anything but raisins...!!!
SUNDAY: Sunday mornings you will find me in the village of Cenicera, just outside of Gracias, along with missionary friends as we lead Sunday School for about 25 children from the area. Over the past year, we have been walking through the Bible starting with Genesis and this past week we finally made it into the New Testament! These kids have learned a ton of Scriptural truths, as well as memorized the books of the Bible!
Sunday afternoons, my table at home is filled with coffee, snacks, Uno and Deaf young adults! One of the Deaf kids turned 15 and transitioned from the kids gathering to the Deaf young adult gathering. While the other kids miss him, it's great to see him make friends with the other Deaf young adults!
Sunday evenings, I gather with a couple missionary friends for our English-speaking, Bible study/church time. We enjoy a meal together, followed by watching a sermon in English (so thankful for technology!) and in prayer.
MONDAY: Mondays are my "day off." A time for quiet, rest and lots of cleaning from the weekend! I live on a dirt road, therefore the house gets dirty quickly, but considering all the gatherings and running about on the weekends, Monday is definitely an intense cleaning day!So there you have it - a glimpse of possibilities of what a week with Two Hands ministry may hold. Some weeks are quite filled, others a bit slower. Some weeks are exciting - witnessing growth and learning in the lives of those we minister to; other weeks are more challenging - entering into broken lives and pointing them to Jesus, the only true healer. Through the joys and challenges, I am grateful to be where the Lord has placed me for this season. To watch as He leads and guides this ministry, and brings hope and healing into the lives of the Deaf here in Western Honduras.
A FEW ANNOUNCEMENTS
- Website - We have a new/updated WEBSITE!!! If you haven't already, be sure to check outhttp://ellishacecil.wix.com/TwoHands This is a great tool to share with your friends and churches who may be interested in the ministry!
- States Visit - I will be home September/October this year for some family celebrations as well as to share about Two Hands ministry! Coffee of course will be involved (so start thinking about how many bags you would like), but also I NEED YOUR HELP! I'd love to see the calendar filled with dates this fall, to meet with people and share what God is doing with Two Hands ministry. Will you help me fill in those dates? Bible studies, small groups, coffee chats with friends, personal meetings with your pastor or church missions leader, or sharing with your church family... let's start planing!
Thank you for walking this ministry journey with me! God is using your prayers, support and financial partnership to make a difference among the Deaf in Western Honduras! Please continue to lift up the needs of the ministry to the Lord in prayer, and if you would like to get involved more, please let me know! I would love to share more with you!