Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January 2010 Photo Album

¡Feliz año nuevo! The Micah boys were very excited about the dawning of 2010 and all that God will do in their lives in this new year! At the stroke of midnight, we set afire the traditional Año Viejo (old year) dummy (above). It looks innocent, but the dummy is full of fireworks (the fire got so hot that the chair the dummy was seated on disappeared completely!) After it exploded, the guys had fun jumping over the leftovers. Below, Axel tries not to catch his shoes on fire!

Brian and Natasha Wiggs moved to Honduras in November to become full time missionaries with the Micah Project. Brian's vision is to set up a technical school, where our boys and other youth from the streets can get a technical education. This year, he is setting up a workshop on the terrace of the Micah House, so that he can begin instruction when the Honduran school year starts in February. Above, he teaches Erick how to cut a piece of metal with an oxy acetylene torch.

With Brian's new tools, the boys were able to undertake some service projects during our school vacation period. In early January, they helped put a roof on a house for Jarvin and Darwin's mom Yolanda. Above: Wilmer cuts the wood joists for the roof. Below, Pedro nails them into place.

Our street ministry is set to grow exponentially in 2010! With the arrival of the Wiggs, our Friday night street kid soccer event has been transformed. Now, the kids not only arrive for soccer, but they also get a homemade meal from Natasha, free haircuts and foot washings, and a Christian message from one of our volunteers. We are blessed to have many teachers from the International School (a Christian bilingual school) every Friday night to participate in the ministry.

Above: Marvin Morazan (white hat) poses with some street youth after the Friday night ministry. Below: Jenna Miller and Megan Scheumann (a teacher at the International School) smile with street boy Kevin at the Friday night ministry.

I (Michael) don't get to participate in the street ministry as much as I would like, since I am usually busy at the Micah House. Even so, it is one of my favorite parts of my job, and I do it whenever I get the chance! In January, I was able to take Elisa Roberts, who is a teacher in Tegucigalpa, and her mom Martie (pictured above) down to the market district to meet the street youth. Below: I get a chance to catch up with some of the street boys. I pray that God will give us the chance to do greater things in their lives in 2010!

One of the most exciting aspects of the Micah Project is watching God use our own boys as missionaries in their country. Above, Wilmer sings about how God has transformed his life during a performance at an institution in Tegucigalpa that works with street kids. God has done an amazing new work in Wilmer's life this year! Below: Cristofer sings his own songs as well at the same event!

While on vacation from his school in Costa Rica in December and early January, Marvin Morazán spent almost every day in ministry! Below, he sings a song with Marvincito at the same event for street kids.

Every January, we send a team to Copan, on the Guatemalan border, to help a team from Houston run a medical clinic in the mountains. Here, our team visits the Mayan ruins of Copan.

The Micah Moms' ministry continues to flourish in 2010! These women come to the Micah House every afternoon to practice their sewing skills. This year, we hope to establish a microenterprise so that these ladies, who are some of the poorest in Tegucigalpa, can begin to create a better life for their children.

One nice thing about living in Tegucigalpa is the ability to go to the beach in December and January! The Wiggs took the Micah boys to the southern coast island of Amapala for a relaxing Saturday. Here, the boys climb onto a banana boat for a ride around the island!

And...no month would be complete without soccer, which we play at least three times a week. Above: Jason stops a ball at a recent soccer game. Below: Maycol does a sideline throw-in!

Thanks to all of you that have been a part of the Micah Project for the last ten years! We love you!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekly Prayer Requests

  Dear Friends and Family,

This week, instead of our usual prayer requests (which are frequently being posted late due to our currently hectic vacation schedule), I wish to draw your attention and prayer to Marvin Coban, one of our young men. Marvin is a brilliant and funny young man with deep emotional scars and a much darker side to his normal cheerful personality.  Over the course of this past year, he has continued to struggle with his anger issues, drug addiction, and psychological trauma.  It is difficult for us to watch Marvin struggle and to feel him pushing us away, even as we try to aid him in his "dark nights of the soul."
  Many of Marvin's struggles stem from his time on the streets and his life before the streets. Marvin grew up in a poor home here in Tegucigalpa. At some point during his childhood (no one is sure exactly when), Marvin left for the streets in order to spend time with friends and to enjoy the "fun" of the streets (and, although he has never verbalized it, it is also likely that he left to escape the poverty of his crowded, small childhood home). Additionally, few years ago, around 2005, Marvin's mother left for Guatemala. She returned to visit a few times, but eventually vanished. Her current location and status remains a mystery. As a result, Marvin's "family" here in the city is his aunt and cousins, who also shelter his younger siblings. However,  Marvin's chronic addiction to glue and street life led his aunt to bar him from her home shortly after his mother's disappearance. When we met him in 2007, Marvin was a angry, wary street child.
However, once he was in Micah, another side of Marvin has emerged.  He has shown incredible intelligence, recently graduating from the sixth grade after two years of formal schooling. His happy laugh would be frequently heard in Micah house. However, even as he has grown, he continues to battle the demons of his past.  He has frequent outbursts of violent anger against staff members and other boys in the house and still struggles with the temptation of his addictions.
We can feel the warfare over Marvin. We know that he has incredible potential and we love this young man dearly and want him to succeed. However, as Michael once put it, "It just seems that we can't love this young man into wholeness." There just seems to be walls of anger, trauma, and darkness shielding Marvin's heart from us. Therefore, we are asking you, our supporters and prayer team, to set this week aside for prayer for Marvin. Pray that his heart is softened and that he can begin to understand God's love for him.  Pray that he gains the desire to fight against his own sinful impulses. Pray that Christ moves into and establishes sovereignty over Marvin's heart. Pray that he starts thinking about his future and begins looking to realize his potential. This will be an ongoing fight for this young man's future, but we want to take the offensive and hit back at the dark powers which are seeking to consume him. We beg you to please join us in this process of reclaiming Marvin from the darkness. Thank you all very much.

Lord Have Mercy,
David Hawthorne

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Weekly Prayer Requests

 Dear Friends and Family,

My apologies for running late for this week's prayer requests! We here at Micah are doing well, pushing ahead with strategic planning, and buckling down for the "home stretch" of school vacation. As always, we are looking to the Lord to provide us with wisdom, strength, and compassion to meet the challenges of this coming week. As we bow ourselves before our almighty God, please join us in praying for:

* Micah's five-year strategic plan
Now that the holidays and their insanity are behind us, we are now looking forward to the future! Please be praying for wisdom for the Micah staff, and for Michael especially, as we start a period of intensive planning for and practical evaluation of the next few years.

* Hannah Rogers
Hannah, a young lady from the Wiggs' church, has safely arrived and is planning to spend a few months with the the Wiggs family, working and learning. Please pray that she is able to adjust quickly to life in Honduras and that the Lord uses this time in her life for personal growth.

* Safe travels and good school years for the older Micah guys
It has been our delight and blessing to have our older, college-aged guys back with us over Christmas and New Year's Eve. As they travel back to their respective colleges and universities, please pray for safety for them. Also, please keep them in your prayers as they start another semester of learning, stress, and personal growth. Please especially keep Oscar Amaya in your prayers as he will be taking the Testing of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam in the next few days and needs to get a score of 95 or higher in order to keep pursuing his dream of attending Wheaton College. We are excited to see where the Lord takes the lives of these older guys in this coming year!

* The last month of "summer" vacation
We follow the Honduran school calendar, which means that our guys have classes from Febuary through November and use the winter months as vacation time. This means that, right now, we are on vacation. While the guys enjoy being able to sleep in and not have class, it also means that they have a lot more free time that needs filling. Also, their normal routine disappears, throwing their lives into scheduling chaos. As a result, our hands tend to be a lot fuller, trying to find activities, settling squabbles, and working later hours while the guys stay up late. Please pray for sanity, wisdom, energy, and for a continuing spirit of love from us. Also, please pray that the guys use their free time productively and avoid the temptation to bother each other out of boredom.

* The coming year.
We are embarking on another year of ministry! It's exciting to be part of Micah's work ten years after it's founding and as we look to expanding our ministry in several exciting ways. Please pray that the Lord continues to bless our ministry and that the Holy Spirit continues to work in the hearts of our guys.

* And, to give praise to our awesome God!!
- For the opportunity for the older Micah to visit us. We are always excited to see how the Lord has been working in their hearts! We also always welcome the opportunity for them to share with our younger guys!
- For an enjoyable and problem-free time spent celebrating the holidays. When we have over fifty people celebrating both Christmas and New Year's with us, things can get a little hectic! Praise God that everything went well and that we all had fun!!
- That the Wiggs' first weekend covering the Micah house went smoothly. With a packed weekend, including a road trip to the Southern coast, there were a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong. However, everything went well and the Wiggs successfully handled all challenges! Praise God!!
- Jonathan Rogers' visit and Hannah's safe arrival. It is always a blessing to meet new friends and the Wiggs are very grateful for Hannah's help in their budding ministry.

We cannot express the debt that we owe to all of you for the prayer and other support that you have given us over the past ten years. Thank you, each and every one of you, and please continue to walk this sometimes difficult, sometimes exhilarating path with us!

  David Hawthorne