Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Our Hip-hop Disciple

“Michael, Michael, they’re playing one of Marvin Morazán’s songs on the radio!” Wilmer came rushing down the stairs early on Monday morning, an hour before classes were to begin. Before I had a chance to get to his room to hear the song, the station had moved on…but Wilmer remained excited about it all morning. As I thought about it later in the day, I realized how much that moment encapsulates Marvin’s impact on the Micah Project: whether he is here with us or studying in Costa Rica, he continues to be a huge blessing to us!

In July, Marvin came home on a two week break from Costa Rica, where he finished his first semester at Instituto CanZion, studying music ministry. More than anybody I know, Marvin’s presence lights up a room and his faith inspires everyone around him. In the few days that he spent in Honduras, he helped our younger guys Wilmer and Cristofer record a new song, he volunteered for the Manuelito Project, he encouraged his high school classmate Pedro, he gave two of our morning devotions at the Micah House, and he recorded a new music video with his friend Brian. And this was supposed to be his vacation!

Through all this, his presence encouraged and reenergized those of us who are missionaries with the Micah Project. Our day to day life can be hard as our newest boys fight against the demons that have followed them into the Micah House from the streets. Little Marvin (14) is struggling with all his might against his addiction to yellow glue after having run away a couple of weeks ago to spend a few days with his glue bottle. Hector (13) ran away with Marvin and is still on the streets, unwilling to give up his bottle of yellow glue. One of the other younger boys, who was a part of a band of youth that assaulted people on the streets, still struggles with violent reactions when under stress. And these are just three examples; in reality, all of the guys have their share of struggles as they move towards wholeness and maturity.

All of these challenges are part of the process; and we remind ourselves daily to stay centered on our heavenly Father and His ability to transform these lives that were marked by tragedy at such a young age. We try not to focus too much on how many steps forward or backwards they take on a daily basis…and remember that God’s plan for their lives and His timing in executing that plan is always perfect.

Even so, seeing tangible results in the here-and-now recharges our batteries and reminds us to keep hoping and striving for healing in each one of the guys. Becca calls Marvin Morazán our “hijo gozoso”…our joyful son…because seeing how God is forming him truly does bring us great joy. When we remember that, before coming to the Micah Project, Marvin had to shuttle around to the houses of family members and friends without ever a real place to call home, and that he was even hospitalized at one point for severe depression, it reminds us that "with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

The music video that Marvin recorded while he was here illustrates what God is doing in his life. Part of the lyrics go like this:

You are my motivation and I know that in You
my path is sure.
With You, my mourning is finished,
although sometimes doubt invades me,
and my soul murmurs against You,
and I have thoughts that don’t help me and I lose control
and fail you again…
But I remember that the work you have begun in me,
is not finished yet…

You are my motivation, the reason that I live,
It’s because of your love that I keep singing…
You have planned my destiny, and I follow you
follow you
follow you down that path…

Although Marvin sings in a language that you probably don’t speak and in a musical style that you probably don’t like, his passion comes through in the video. I encourage to watch it at and to celebrate with us what God is doing in Marvin’s life. They filmed the video at the Leadership House, and Marvin is in the black cap. Use this as an opportunity to pray for Marvin…that God will continue to do great works through him all the days of his life.

We are honored by your continued prayers for the Micah Project, and we ask for your prayers for the country of Honduras as well in a time of great political crisis.


Michael Miller

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

June Photo Album

Honduras is an extraordinary country. It's rich and diverse natural beauty matches a culture and a people that share a strong cultural heritage. It has been my honor and deep privilege that Hondurans have allowed me (Michael) to live among them for the last eleven years. The people that have allowed me to call them my friends have been deep in faith, resilient in spirit and sacrificial in the way that they treat their friends...and even towards a stranger like me. Though I came to Honduras to dedicate my life to working with street kids, what I have learned from Hondurans and received from them far outweighs what I have given.

Despite all of its beauty, Honduras is still a poor country and has been prone to political instability throughout its history. Another round of upheaval began on June 28, when the army arrested the sitting president and removed him from the country. Since then, there have been daily protests as the powers that be are divided on the best course for the country. As I publish this (on July 8), there is as yet no solution to the political conflict. Please join me in praying for Honduras; that God's justice would reign in the hearts of her leaders and that the people, who have so much to overcome on a daily basis anyway, would experience peace rather than escalating conflict.

Above: one of many breathtaking vistas just outside of Tegucigalpa. Below: Some beautiful children from the Villa Linda Miller community smile for the camera in June.

Below: A group of friends from the First Presbyterian Church of Houston joined us for a weeklong mission's trip in June. This is the ninth year that folks have come from FPC and many on this trip have come for several years in a row. This year's trip was particularly special because three of our dedicated board members joined the trip as well. Here: they pose in front of the church in Villa Linda Miller after Sunday services. Pastor Jeony Ordonez is in the back in the blue shirt facing left.

Below: Micah board member Mary Floye gets a hug from Hector on the way to a fieldtrip with the Micah families. Behind them is Jose Daniel, a boy who lives on the streets. Mary Floye has been a longtime member of the Micah family!

Below: Tino's back!!! Tino moved back to Honduras in June after graduating from Missouri Baptist University. We are very happy to have him back! Please pray for him as he begins to look for a job and an apartment. Currently, he is living in the Leadership House while he gets re-acquainted with his country. Above: we had a welcome-back party and a graduation party for Tino when he got back!

Oscar and Marvin drove up to Chicago in the beginning of June with Micah board member Dianne Becker (not pictured) in order to see the U.S. play Honduras in a World Cup (soccer) qualifying match. Below: Oscar and Marvin (both in blue jackets) smile with Micah board member Erin MacLean in front of her city's skyline. Above: Marvin prepares to root for his team at a packed-out Soldier's Field in Chicago. Sadly, Honduras lost to the U.S.

Below: Marvincito kicks a ball around during a Friday soccer practice. Marvincito has struggled with his addiction to yellow glue since joining the project in July 2007. On June 26, he left the Micah House to go back to the streets and to his yellow glue. Thankfully, he came back to the house a week later. Please pray for this 14 year old as he continues to fight against his addiction.

Below: The Micah Project's activities' coordinator Roger Figueroa has developed a soccer tournament at Proyecto AFE at the city dump. The boys play in an official game every Saturday and practice on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They have also invited some of their friends from the neighborhood to be on the team. The Micah boys pictured are: Back row, far left: Axel; fourth from right: Jason; third from right: Axel's brother Joel; second from right: Fabian; far right: Cristofer (goalie). Front row: far left: Wilmer, third from left, Hector (goalie), third from right: Maycol; second from right: Miguel, far right: Pedro Luis.

Below: Maycol, Jason and Wilmer pose with Megan Yarrington after dinner at the Micah House. Megan has a beautiful voice, which we found out when she sang a very soulful rendition of "Amazing Grace" at the Villa Linda Miller church for their Sunday service. She grew very close to the boys during her week here!

Below: The FPC team visits Gloria, a longtime friend of the Micah Project who owns a souvenir shop near the Micah House. Left-to-right: Susan Ray, Sonia Townsend, Gloria, Mary Floye, Jan Parks, and Luke Townsend.

Below: John Yarrington, the director of music for First Presbyterian Church, leads the children of Villa Linda Miller in a song (Dios es mi roca...) at the Villa Linda Miller church.

Above: The FPC team spends some time in the bustling market district of Tegucigalpa while on their way to visit Axel's house. Left to right, in front: Dianne Yarrington, Susan Ray, John Yarrington, and Jan Parks.

Above: One of the projects that the FPC team undertook was to begin to build the wall around the Villa Linda Miller school. They worked hard under the hot sun (and sometimes in the driving rain!) to get the wall finished. Here, from right to left, James Kearly, Bill Marshall, Becca Herbold and (at far left) Chris Herbold work on the top layer of the wall.

Above: Maycol takes a nap on the bus after a long day of ministry with the FPC group!

The last night of the FPC team, we had an open mike night at the Micah House. Above: Jose sang one of his best songs, "Dreams". Below: Danilo sings a popular praise song for the group. Danilo was home on a short break from his studies in Costa Rica.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Update on Marvincito and Hector

Above: Becca smiles with Marvincito during an outing earlier this year. Below: Marvincito and Hector share a hug during a trip to Valle de Angeles in June.

Below: Hector inhales yellow glue from a bottle after having returned to the streets last week.

This note was written by long-term Micah missionary Rebecca (Haver) Bell on June 30:

Today John, Jose, and I went looking for Marvincito and Hector in the market area... mainly just wanting to tell them again that we love them and are praying for them. We got soaked in a rainstorm, talked with a LOT of friendly street kids, but couldn't find those two. Finally, as we headed over the last bridge... there was Marvincito, standing under shelter next to a street vendor, puffing away on his yellow glue in his shirt. He stared at us, and let me hug him.

I just kept telling him that we love him, that God loves him, and that he's NOT alone. (He so quickly believes the lies that he has been abandoned once again, and is the little boy that no one wants and no one takes care of...) I had written him a letter telling him the same things, and had a Christian necklace that somone had given me for him, so I gave them to him and asked him to take care of them and read it later. He was pretty out of it, and quickly hugged us goodbye and stumbled off, staring at the letter in his hand. We left with sad and heavy hearts... praying for the boy we've loved for exactly two years now.

Then tonight at 7:30 Marvin showed up at the Micah House door... still high, still dirty, but saying he's ready to go spend a few days at Flora's house in Villa Linda Miller to show he wants to come back to Micah (that is the rule that had been set for him this time). Since there continues to be a 9:00 curfew because of political unrest, John and I grabbed some of his stuff and a mattress and raced out to VLM... as the glue wore off, he began to smile about how much math class Paty (Flora's daughter, and his math teacher) was going to give him.

PLEASE pray that he would wake up tomorrow with the desire to move toward life. That there would be a BREAKTHROUGH in these days - in his spirit and his attitude, and a marked difference in his actions. Before he comes back to Micah, we are going to need to have a very serious meeting with him, and explain that we are done playing this game, and give him some ultimatums. Pray that we would be wise, and that it would push him toward God and good choices.

Also continue to pray for Hector... the street kids say that he was with his brother and his dad today, and wasn't inhaling glue... so pray that this is true, and that they will be able to convince him to rejoin us and give us back the joyful and loving boy that we all miss so much.

Continue to pray for our beautiful country Honduras as well, that God's will would be done and that HE would be glorified in the midst of political upheaval.

Much love from Tegucigalpa,