Graduation

Graduation

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Marvelous Month of May!

We can't believe it's already May! We know it's been a little while since our last update, and we just want to say how very thankful we are for each and everyone of you who are praying for us and supporting us!  It is a great comfort to us to know that we have prayer warriors like you continually approaching the throne of God on our behalf! And the truth of the matter is that without financial support we would not be here, so thank you for helping keep us here. Your obedience to pray and give is just as important as our obedience to say yes to God and go. Because of your partnership with us, the kiddos in our ministry are learning English and what the love of God looks like lived out everyday!

Let us catch you up on what else has been going on since the last time.  Our biggest and most exciting news is that we are expecting our first baby!
Little Baby V will be making his or her apparence later this year in the fall. We are very excited with this little blessing that God is giving us.

And even though it may mean that Lucy will have to share her toys, we think she'll be excited to be a big sister. Please pray that Leslie will start to feel better and the morning sickness will begin to subside. Also pray that God will continue to protect her and the baby from the very famous zika virus that is prevelant here in Central America.

We also have car news. Our one and only faithful car that we bought when we first arrived has been in the shop for the past 2 weeks. We discovered that it was a problem with the motor and it looks like the car may still be in the shop for at least another week or two. However, we work with some pretty amazing people who have been willing to let us borrow their cars or give us rides where we needed to go. Finally we decided to bite the bullet and get a second car, and with as busy as we've been getting with added responsibilities, we've really been needing to do this for a while.

Along with the responsibility of teaching English to our elementary school kiddos, we are in charge of overseeing all of the ministry's kids' education. Jeff has been working side by side with one of our Honduran workers and an FCM board member to see to it that our kids are making the most of their opportunity for an education and that we are doing everything we can to help them. We are also working on ways to make sure that all of the kids in the ministry are learning English and looking for opportunities for them to practice what they are learning.

We are still very involved with working with our elementary school on the farm. The school year started in early February, and last month we had our first field trip to a local water park called Villamar. The kids loved it!
Jonathan with his new water goggles. 
Pati (I'm pretty sure this was her first time ever at a waterpark). 
Duglas jumping in the pool.
The pools at the waterpark were a welcome relief from the heat at the farm!
Two weeks ago we celebrated Mother's Day with the kiddos in the elementary school at the farm.  
 The women workers on the farm who care for the boys everyday were invited to this presentation and everyone had fun!
 The kids sang songs, 2 of the boys quoted poems, we played games, and the girls did a creative movement piece to the song "Let it Go" from Frozen.
 Solanyi
Dany and Joel caught goofing off!

This week we kick off our summer schedule of mission teams and it is a full summer! Please remember to pray for us and the other missionaries as things get busier throughout the summer!  At the end of this month we get to find out if Baby V is a boy or girl!  We'll post here and on Facebook once we get the big news!




Saturday, December 5, 2015

Winter 2015 Update

Merry Christmas!  Well, almost.  Our first year of full-time ministry is going by so quickly.  Thank you all for the prayers as we continue the work God has called us to here!  We have a newsletter to update y'all on what's been going on.  If you think your church or Sunday school class would enjoy seeing it, we'd love for you to print it out and let them know about what's going on down here.  Just follow the link below.  We hope you enjoy it!

Winter Newsletter

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fall is Falling...

As I get on Facebook lately I've noticed more and more posts about fall weather, getting out the jeans and boots, grabbing a pumpkin spiced latte at Starbucks, the cool chill in the breeze.....Here we are coming to the end of rainy season, but it's mostly blue skies and sunny days all year long!
And we're ok with that! (ok so maybe there are a few clouds here and there....). Fall also means that we have reached the end of offical team season. We did have a short mens team here last week, and the month of October is full of teams, and then there's the Christmas team at the beginning of December, but that's it until next year!
We had a wonderful time this summer getting to make a lot of new friends on teams (and seeing old familiar ones!), meeting different kids' sponsors and getting to help deepen that relationship through letters in English that the kiddos had written for their sponsors, pics we put together for them to give to their sponsors, and helping translate conversations. It's awesome to watch sponsors love on their kiddos (and all the other kids too), not just with bringing them things they want or need, but spending time with them, eating meals together, communicating in all sorts of ways, giving "parental looks" and lots and lots of hugs!


We are currently still teaching English classes at school. The school year here goes from February to November, so we've almost made it through our first full year of teaching English! We've been very encouraged to hear from team members that the kids are speaking more English to them and not being shy about trying to talk in English. We're very proud of the progress they're making!


Also we feel that our relationships with the boys are continuing to grow (along with our comprehension and speaking Spanish). We were talking about nicknames one day at lunch and Carlos Daniel asked if we had any. Jeff's was Bubba (thanks Aunt Belinda!) and mine was Augie (thanks brother! lol). Then he told us his nickname was Chote. I thought I'd pretend like I misheard him and said "Chayote"? (which is the Spanish word for squash). He started laughing and to this day he calls me Augie and I call him Chayote. Then little Joel started calling him Chayote and he (Carlos Daniel) told me it was all my fault. 

Carlos Daniel aka Chayote
baby Joel and his chocolate milk


Prayer requests:
- we are still in process for our residency here in Honduras
- continued growth in our relationships with the boys
- that our Spanish would continue to improve
- continued safety driving in this country
- for the boys who don't know Christ to come to know Him, and for those that do to be an example for the others
- that in the busyness of doing missions we would not neglect our own relationship with the Father

Thank ya'll for your continual prayers! We'd love to hear from you! Send us an email at jeffandlesliev@gmail.com or send us a message on Facebook!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Today as Joel was happily sitting in my lap chattering away about something in Spanish, I thought back to when we first arrived here in Honduras......4 months ago! I can't believe it's been 4 months!
When we first arrived Joel was shy.



Then he saw us playing tag with some of the other boys and decided he wanted to join in, but really he just wanted someone running after him. To be pursued.

Isn't that what we all want? What our hearts desire? To be pursued by the One who loves us as we are.

He would run and squeal as I chased him.
Once I caught him, I'd pick him up, swing him around and tickle him. Or some combination of that. But being caught wasn't what caused those delightful squeals. It was being pursued. I would put him down and so the game would begin anew.

And now? Now he comes up to me with his arms outstretched. Wanting to be held. Held where he is safe and loved. Sometimes he comes up and puts his little hand in mine and just walks beside me. Not caring where we're going and usually rattling off 4 year old sentences in Spanish that are adorable and sometimes incomphrensible. I just smile as we walk.




Sometimes we just want Him to hold us. Hold us where we know we are safe and loved. Sometimes we have a lot to say and He just smiles and holds our hand as we walk with Him. Not caring where we're going, as long as it's with Him. Where we are safe and loved.

Sometimes he comes running, if the older boys are picking on him. He runs up, wraps his tiny arms around my legs and buries his face. As if they can't see him when he can't see them.

When trouble comes, we know where to go. And we go. Running. If I sit and he is nearby, you can know that he will crawl into my lap to sit. Happy and content. Safe and loved. And he knows it.

The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.
 Jeremiah 31:3

He pursues us with an everlasting love and draws us to Himself. So that we may walk with Him for the rest of our days. He is our safehaven. Our place of rest. Our refuge. This love. His everlasting love. Is the love that we must show the world.

How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Printable Update from Honduras

Many of you who read our blog and keep up with our adventures here in Honduras have asked for something printable to share with your churches.  Below is our first printable newsletter!  Just click the link below to open a pdf that has recent news about what God is doing in our lives here as we begin ministering to the children with Forgotten Children Ministries, as well as prayer requests and praises as we go forward.  We'll send these out periodically to those on our email list, and also post them here on the website.  If you'd like to be added to our email list, please send us an email at JeffandLeslieV@gmail.com.  Blessings from Honduras!

Newsletter link:  May 2015 Printable Update

Jeff and Leslie

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"I don't understand. It makes no sense."

"I don't understand. It makes no sense."
This is a phrase we find ourselves repeating multiple times a day!! As we adjust to a new culture, a new way of living, we often find ourselves shaking our heads and repeating this phrase.

When we're out driving and someone is stopped, blocking a whole lane, laying under their car (obvious car problems.....no need to pull off to the side of the road) with their legs sticking into the only remaining lane.....I don't understand. It makes no sense.

When we realize that our normal size shower curtain liner (from the US) isn't long enough to fit our normal looking shower......I don't understand. It makes no sense.

When a bus stops to pick up or let off pasengers and blocks a whole lane of traffic and there is an empty pull-off just 20 yards ahead put there just for them.....I don't understand. It makes no sense.

When people decide to cross a busy street carry babies or running with small children and there is a pedestrian bridge just a few feet away that would take them safely over the road.....I don't understand. It makes no sense.

When they tell us our stove will be in by a certain day and a week after that date, it isn't (so we go to the store only to learn that the one they were going to deliver to us has a dent in it and thus, they can't send it to us.). And when there seems to only exist 1 stove of that model in the whole country......I don't understand. It makes no sense.

Why our neighbors' friends like to park infront of our driveway when they have a party (even though we've had a car for over 2 weeks, and there is room to park where there are no driveways)......I don't understand. It makes no sense.

Why they feel the need to burn the hillsides in the middle of dry season......I don't understand. It makes no sense.

When electrical outlets in the house are upside down or sideways.....I don't understand. It makes no sense.

Sometimes the police feel the need to direct traffic (even though the traffic light is working fine) and seem to make the traffic worse......I don't understand. It makes no sense.

They sell gas grills in every store but there is only one place in the whole city where you can get your propane tank filled.......I don't understand. It makes no sense.

Notice most of our examples have to do with traffic! We spend a lot of time laughing....
But as we were driving today a song came on the radio. Here are the words to that song.

To know You gave the world
Your only son for us
To know Your name
To live within the Saviors love

And He took my place
Knowing He'd be crucified
And You loved, You loved
A people undeserving

"A people undeserving"......it makes no sense. 

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1 Corinthians 1:25



Saturday, March 7, 2015

We Made It!!!

These past 3 (almost 4 weeks) have just flown by! We still can't believe we're here! It has been a whirlwind of shopping for a house to rent, a car and house stuff and then starting to teach English class at our school on the farm! Every day we come home from the farm completely exhausted, but happy to finally be here.
God has blessed us tremendously throughout this whole process. We were able to find a house in the same safe neighborhood as our fellow missionaries. We finally found and bought a car just last week. We had a mechanic check it out and the car salesman actually gave us a pretty good deal on it. (Please pray for us as we are now driving, and the rules of the road are totally different here.....as in, there are NO RULES!!) I like to call it "Honduran Geometry", they see a tiny space between two cars and think "yep, my car will fit in there" and then they just go for it!
We got to experience what the Hondurans mean when they say "maƱana" (tomorrow) when it came to waiting on our appliances to arrive. We've also gotten to practice a ton of Spanish. We've been so blessed by our fellow missionaries' willingness to drive us wherever (to look at houses, cars, appliances, etc) and letting us stay with them while we were waiting on things to arrive.

Yesterday we completed our 1st full week of school and have taught English class three times. The first day we did review to find out what they know and where to begin. Then we started with a few of the basics (days of the week, months of the year, etc). We're so excited that they have this opportunity to learn English (and to be teaching them) and they are excited about it too.
We are thoroughly enjoying our time helping out at the school in whatever way is needed, and this next week we are looking forward to meeting with the shelter boys and beginning some discipleship.
Thank you all so much for your prayers, support and encouraging words! We look forward to sharing with you all that God is doing here in Honduras!