Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pray for Marvincito and Hector

Above: Marvincito jokes around with Micah board member Chris Herbold during a Micah House dinner in June.

Even as we continue to celebrate Wilmer's accomplishments (read yesterday's blogpost, below) we ask for your prayers for Marvincito (14) and Hector (13), both of whom left the Micah House and headed back to the streets this afternoon. For both of them, it is the fourth time that they have run away this year. For a deeper background on why this happens, read the blog I wrote about Marvincto here:

It is devastating for us when the guys choose the path of destruction and darkness. We try to give them tons of examples of what can happen when they keep trusting God to move forward along the path that He has provided for them. Every one of our older guys is a living testament to that. We try to love them into a place of spiritual and emotional health. We try to provide rich and varied experiences on a daily basis so that they don't have time to dwell on their addiction.

Even so, the anxiety to consume drugs comes roaring back. Sometimes, certain things are triggers for the guys, such as seeing another street kid or smelling fumes from others solvents like yellow glue. But at other times, the triggers are deeper, more internal...urges from their past that creep back into their consciences and call them to go back to the streets and the glue. When these urges come on full force, it seems to alter the guys completely. No longer is Marvincito a happy and curious little boy who is fully engaged in all around him. He gets a different look in his eyes, a brooding and darkened one, and he wanders around as if he can't quite figure out how to settle himself down.

Marvincito has been ready to explode for a couple of days now, wandering around the house like a caged lion, picking fights with anyone near and getting in trouble in all of his activities. We tried all we could to intervene; long talks, encouragement, prayer, fun and engaging activity...but nothing seemed to settle him down. Today, he just couldn't take it any more and, instead of getting into the Micah van to head to soccer practice, he talked Hector into heading back to the streets.

Please pray for both of these little ones. And pray for wisdom for us as a staff as we decide how to re-encounter these lost sheep. In the past, we have gone after them immediately and talked them back into the house. As they spend more time with us, though, we feel that they need to begin to take more responsibility for their decisions (a tough call, though, since they will be so high on yellow glue for the next few days that decision-making becomes something of a moot point).

Pray for wisdom, love and safety for them as we make decisions in the days to come!

Muchas gracias,


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Celebrating Wilmer

Above: Wilmer unmasks his spider man costume on his 15th birthday so that he can open his presents! Below: Wilmer smiles for the camera on his birthday on June 11.

Below: Wilmer, dressed as Spiderman, takes a hit at the Spiderman piñata we got him for his birthday!

To read this post in printable form, open it at

Wilmer celebrated his 15th birthday on June 11. While that may not seem like a huge milestone for your normal teenager, it certainly is for Wilmer when you consider that it is the first time he has ever celebrated his birthday! Until last year, he had no idea what day or month he was born in; so limited was his education, in fact, that he really didn’t even understand what a month was.

Wilmer will pass another milestone in July: his second anniversary at the Micah Project. This is nothing short of a miracle when you consider that this little boy spent most of his life on the streets. Having a dad in jail and a mom with limited mental abilities left Wilmer in the dubious care of his older brother…the very person that introduced him to the addictive fumes of yellow glue when he was just nine. When we found Wilmer living with the other street kids under a bridge in the market area of Tegucigalpa, he was still just a little boy who loved to play with the toys and games that we brought to the bridge. In fact, the only difference between him and any other little boy is that he could only play the games we brought with one hand; he was unwilling to let go of the bottle of yellow glue that he clutched with his other one.

What makes the changes in Wilmer’s life so miraculous is how impossible that change seemed in the beginning. Going cold turkey off yellow glue left him with bouts of anger and great anxiety. He left the Micah House for weeks at a time during his first year with us, always going back to his bottle of yellow glue and his life on the streets. When he was in the house, his education was so painfully difficult that we wondered if the glue had permanently damaged his brain. Our patient teachers went through the ABCs with him for months, with absolutely no progress.

And then something clicked. Even as his body began to put on muscle and take the shape of a teenager, almost overnight he began to attach letters to sounds, sounds to words, and words to meaning. When he finally “got it”, he became a voracious reader, reading anything in sight. Every night before bed, he’d come into my office and read a few pages out of the children’s Bible that we had bought for him. Just a few months later, he was reading a real adult Bible in our devotional time with the other Micah boys!

Wilmer seems determined to catch up for lost time. He applies all of his energy and concentration to everything he does. He loves going to church, and has been memorizing Bible verses every week. On his soccer team, he is nick-named “the Meteor” because of his ability to run and run without getting tired. Last year, our musically-gifted Marvin Morazan helped Wilmer record a simple song about life on the streets; now Wilmer keeps asking when he can record ten more songs so that he can produce his first album!

Besides having great bursts of personal growth lately, Wilmer has also become an empathetic and caring young man. Every week, he helps his mom purchase groceries so that his toddler siblings don’t go hungry. He also goes with the other Micah boys every Tuesday to spend time with abandoned senior citizens at a nearby shelter.

Because all that has happened in Wilmer’s life lately, we wanted to make his 15th birthday a big celebration. Since we had a group of friends and supporters in from Houston, we asked them to bring lots of decorations. We hung up a Spiderman piñata, and had a raucous and fun party! Halfway through, Wilmer donned his Spiderman outfit so that he could do a better job of whacking the candy out of the Spiderman piñata! I think that’s one thing I love the most about Wilmer: even as he quickly grows into manhood, he still has the sparkle of an innocent little boy. After the chaos of the piñata, he sat un-hooded in his Spiderman outfit and eloquently thanked everyone for helping him get off the streets and changing his life. I could hear in his words the budding wisdom of a great man of God coming from the heart of this amazing fifteen year old second grader, just two years removed from the dark blankness of street life.

At the end of Wilmer’s birthday party, I called out what I traditionally do: ¡un abrazo cada uno! (A hug from each one!). With that, fifty of Wilmer’s biggest fans smothered him with hugs and words of congratulations. And as we hugged him, I think most of us realized what a blessing Wilmer is to us! His life is a clear example that God can redeem anyone, no matter how much darkness has threatened to rob the image of God from them.

Please pray for Wilmer in the months and years to come. It’s easier to be a fifteen year old second grader than it is to be an 18 year old sixth grader! Pray that Wilmer will continue to be patient with God’s plan for his life even when he is not changing and advancing quite as fast as he is now. And pray that he would know how much we love him and much we are celebrating what God is doing in his life!

Muchas gracias,

Michael Miller

Monday, June 8, 2009

May Madness!

Gosh, is it June already? Sometimes ministry here in Honduras is so intense that we forget to stop and communicate what God continues to do through this ministry. May was an especially intense month of ministry, from golf tournaments in Houston to street kid soccer by the river in Tegucigalpa. Take a look at the pictures below to see all the ways that God was able to use the Micah Project in May. We so appreciate your continued support and prayers and He continues to expand our ministry!
Click on each picture to see a larger version.

Above: Axel (12)and Juan Carlos (17) joke around in the Los Dolores market while waiting for burritos to take on our street outreach.

In March, we helped Edwin's family rent a room in our neighborhood after we discovered that they were living under a bridge. Now, Edwin's younger siblings come to the Micah House daily.
Above: Cristofer (13) manages to hold onto to the triplets (3) while their older brother Manuel (7) perches above him! Although, Cristofer is not related to them, he is really gifted with younger kids!

Another recent blessing is the way our ministry to our single mom's has progressed. Most of our boys' moms come from extremely impoverished situations. Last year, thanks to project supporter Jo Bewley, we began to teach sewing skills to the moms. This year, Micah missionary Kamia Paul has organized events for the moms every Wednesday and Saturday. We have been able to hire a sewing teacher to work with them every Saturday at the Micah house. Above: Maria (Erick and Cristofer's mom in blue shirt in foreground), Telma (David and Pedro Luis' mom, black shirt in foreground), Daisy (Daniel's mom, green shirt) and Aleyda (Maycol's mom, black shirt in background) work on patterns for dresses that they will be making under the tutelage of the sewing teacher.

On May 22, we received a team from the Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston. They came for a four day "vision trip", which was a chance for them to immerse themselves in our ministries and to learn about what the Micah Project does. It was a real blessing to meet new friends and to catch up with old ones! Above: the Memorial Drive groups visits with Pedro (21) in his room at the Leadership House. Pedro is in his first year studying civil engineering at a private university in Tegucigalpa. He is enjoying all of the classes except calculus!

Below: Memorial Drive team members Anne and Melody pose with Jose Daniel (14) during street kid soccer. We have been working with Jose Daniel for almost two years in the hopes that he will joing the project! Please pray for him!

Below: Memorial Drive team member Dick takes a moment to pose with a street kid named David (13) while visiting the market district in Tegucigalpa; Howard stands in the background. We hope that David will join the Micah Project some day!

Below: International School teacher Jenna Miller takes a minute from street kid soccer to chat with a street girl named Rosita. Jenna will be joining the Micah Project full time in August. We are excited to have this wonderful addition to our staff! She also took the photos (below) of street kid soccer.

Every Friday, our street ministry coordinator Dan Paul rents a soccer field downtown by the river. Between 15 and 20 street kids and youth show up for an hour of soccer. We have also been blessed by volunteers from the International School, teachers that come on Friday after classes to play soccer with the kids. This has been a great way to develop our relationships with the street kids! Below: Jason holds tightly onto his glue bottle as he gets ready to make a shot on goal during street kid soccer.

Below: Jose Daniel holds his glue bottle while playing defense during our Friday afternoon soccer outreach.

Below: Our street ministry coordinator Dan Paul meets with the street kids to plan their teams for an afternoon of soccer.

On May 13, our supporters in Houston held the First Annual Micah Project Golf Tournament. About 85 golfers turned out, along with 20 volunteers. The tournament netted over $19,000 for the Micah Project, which is a huge blessing in a year in which our donations have been down. Tournament organizers Tina Val, Jeremy Summers and Chris Herbold did a wonderful job in getting everything ready! Micah missionaries John and Becca Bell flew up to Houston for the tournament.

Below: John Bell lines up a shot during the tournament. Many thanks to all who participated, and to those that donated their time and money to make this tournament a success!

Below: David (24) came to Honduras from Costa Rica for a few days in May on a break from his classes. He is in his third year in San Jose studying psychology at the Universidad Latina. He also teaches Sunday school at his church in San Jose!

Below: Marvin Morazan (19) continues to study music at Instituto CanZion in San Jose, Costa Rica. Recently, Marvin wrote a letter to all of the Micah guys in which he said: "I have a thousand and one reasons to be thankful to our heavenly Father and his angels. And who are those angels? All of the people that get up every morning and give the best of themselves for us! Truly, each one of us has been chosen for a purpose."

For more information about the Micah Project, check out our website at .