Our newest teammate arrived Tuesday. Ahnalies Vannette will serve with us as an 11-month intern. She will turn 18 in January and is from Illinois. Ahnalies is doing a gap year internship before she enters college. Ahnalies will minister to the girls and babies at Puerta de Esperanza, our home for unwed, teenage moms.
Along with her family, Ahnalies has lived overseas and served on the mission field in France and India. She has a great heart for mercy ministry and children’s ministry. Ahnalies just completed a 12-week Spanish intensive course in Siguatepeque, Honduras.
Please be in prayer for Ahnalies as she adjusts to La Ceiba and is thrust into a very busy schedule in January.
When people talk about successful missionaries they talk about huge buildings or dozens of church plants or thousands of people impacted. Very seldom do we hear about ministries like our Puerta de Esperanza (PDE), or Door of Hope as it is called in English. Our PDE ministry does not touch thousands of people, but it is substantive and goes deep with a handful of people.
PDE invests in the lives of eight people at a time and alters their hearts. It is a messy relational ministry. It is hard and draining. But, we see great fruit from the work at PDE.
PDE is a home for single teenage moms. Four young girls and their babies live in the home. These girls are avoiding abuse, prostitution and the streets. They receive mentoring and discipleship. The girls get plugged into the local church and they participate in regular Bible studies. They receive help with job training or furthering their education. They learn about Christ and parenting and gain the skills they need to raise their babies.
Each day our missionaries Shannon and Jennifer work in conjunction with the two house moms to show the residents of PDE the true love and mercy of Jesus Christ. This is no surface level work. It involves tears and fights and attorneys and Social Services.
The work at PDE with the girls and their babies is hard, messy, painful and truly life altering. It is not a big sexy ministry that gets talked about at conferences. It touches a small number of people more deeply than any other work we have seen.
To watch a short video and to get to know the residents of PDE go HERE.
Today we welcome two-year-old Elias into our home. For the next six months our family will serve as his primary caregivers. Until January 1st, 2014 this incredible Honduran boy will be in our care and sleep in our home. We couldn’t be more excited to care for this wonderful boy.
Elias was first introduced to us when he and his mom moved into our home for single moms back in March of 2012. When he and his mom moved into Puerta de Esperanza, our teammate Shannon, with the help of many doctors, quickly learned Elias’ mom was not fit to care for him.
In October of 2012 Elias’ mom voluntarily signed over legal custody of Elias to our teammates John and Kathy Clow. However, as is the case with all MTW missionaries, the Clows must now return to the US for furlough. The US government refused to grant Elias a visa to travel to the US with the Clows. On July 2nd the Clows begin their six-month furlough and Elias will be in our home during that time. Erin and Mike will assume temporary care for Elias while the Clows are in the US.
We are thrilled to have the privilege of caring for this wonderful boy, and simultaneously sad for him and the Clows as they are separated for six months. Elias will be loved and cared for like he is our own son.
Pray for Elias and the Clows as they separate. Pray for Elias’ mom and her health. And pray we can honor God with our rusty toddler parenting skills.
Last week we moved a new girl and her baby into Puerta de Esperanza (Door of Hope), our home for teenage moms and their babies here in La Cieba. Puerta de Esperanza (PDE) is run by our teammates Shannon and Jennifer and two Honduran ladies. PDE is now full with four girls and their four babies. These are teenagers who would otherwise be involved in abuse, prostitution or living on the streets.
Our new 16-year-old mom and her six-month-old baby previously lived in Armenia Bonito, where our family serves. She has been a frequent participant in our ministry activities over the years. The mother of the teenage mom has six children and makes only $25 a week and simply can’t afford to take care of these two.
Our new girl is very inexperienced and only has a first grade education. The other girls in the home are helping her in childrearing and the leaders of PDE are tutoring her to prepare her for the second grade.
Praise God for the blessings these two will receive.
Puerta de Esperanza (or Door of Hope) is a brand new ministry offered by our team here in La Ceiba, Honduras. Under the hard work and guidance of our teammate Shannon, Puerta de Esperanza is a home for teenage mothers and their babies. The facility started operation on Wednesday by receiving its first two teenage residents.
In Honduras 50% of children are born to single parent homes. The average age for first pregnancies is 15.3 years and 80% of birth certificates do not have a father’s name. Puerta de Esperanza provides hope for girls escaping substance abuse, violence and the streets. Living with the girls in the home will be a House Mother who will mentor the girls and enforce the rules.
The name Door of Hope is derived from Hosea where God provides a door of hope through the wilderness. It is our prayer that, for these young mothers, this home will provide a glimpse of the hope, love and mercy that can only be found in Jesus Christ.
If you’d like to see a brief video of this new ministry click HERE.