Still at home...
We love our home. For some of us, it is the only home we remember, For others, it has become a refuge and a home. For still others our home has brought a stability to life; a place to build many good memories that wash away those we'd rather not keep.
So, while all these months we've been told to remain at home, for the most part we don't mind. We love our home.
True, we don't mind taking a quick trip out somewhere -- going to the market, a day at school, a trip to town and if you are lucky a trip to the city. We all look forward to these events when life is more normal. But we are always happy to arrive back home.
This past month at the HOH we've made an effort to look at the positive things about staying at home. Things like, having a great group of supporters who allow us to be a family, or like having everyone home at once, something that doesn't happen that often any more. Another positive is all the creativity, excitement and energy we can generate to make even mundane, daily tasks turn into games, contests and chances for learning and character development. Here's a look at how we've done some of that.
Several weeks ago the kids divided themselves up into 4 separate teams and gave themselves names. Meet their teams: (Clockwise from top left) Maranatha, Bethesda, Courageous, and Excellent.
Each week these teams study a Bible lesson with activities and homework to do during the week. The teams spend a lot of time not only studying the lessons, but also coming up with the best activities, skits and songs in a competition that would rival the World Cup. We've been working through some of the "one another" phrases in the Bible. We started with "Serve one another".
Most of the serving activities the teams did that week centered around cleaning. It is a full time job keeping our big, busy home clean. The Bethesda team cleaned the walls in our main gallery area, the Excellent team cleaned out Linda's office really well, the Courageous team tackled the Babies' room and the Maranatha took a different spin on serving and taught the kids the importance of washing their hands and then made sure they had the water and supplies to do so through the week.
Week two was about "Encouraging one another". While learning the importance of encouraging and edifying each other, the HOH kids wrote encouraging statements of thanks to our supporters. They shared how they have benefited from the good things our supporters do for them. These statements are being shared each day on our House of Hope Facebook page, along with prayer requests for the HOH. If you aren't already a part of that group and would like to be, follow this link here.
Week three was "Teach and learn from each other". The kids spent the week studying their own lessons to teach the other groups. Each lesson was something that they face regularly and they had to teach ways to help the kids deal with various situations that come up. Their studies were on dealing with teasing, doing your part in household chores, fighting among each other and not wasting things that God has given us, They used skits, wrote songs and taught lessons and Bible verses...
Week four was "live in harmony one with another". As they learned various was to deal with conflict in their Bible study, each team came up with a skit that used these steps to deal with a familiar conflict which might arise in our every day lives...
They have done a great job of learning and making what could be a much more difficult time into an enjoyable one. They have this week off (so we can get some other work done!) and we will start again with the lessons next week.
Normally, by this time of the year we would have put a call out for extra support in order to run our annual summer day camp with our kids and those from our local community. We held off asking because we knew so many were going through their own tough time, and also because of the uncertainties of what would happen in the months ahead. We recently had to make the difficult decision to cancel camp for this year.
It was a tough call and it is hardest for the kids in our local community as it was the event that they looked forward to every year. We love having the chance to have these kids in our home and the chance to build into their lives. But we all know these are days when flexibility is essential and we'll all have to hold off until next year for camp.
In the meantime, we will carry on at the HOH, building into the lives of the kids we are blessed to have with us everyday. We appreciate all the ways you support this ministry. Without your support, we could never do all that we do to bring hope to those God brings to our home and we appreciate it so much.
We know things are difficult still for many people out there, we are feeling that with a decrease in the amount of financial support we've received, especially this past month. Please know we appreciate everything you give us and also that we have a strong faith in our Heavenly Father's promise to provide for our needs.
We just wanted to let you know we do have some needs for extra support right now. The prices of food and supplies is extremely high and due to travel restrictions we are not able to send in supplies from Miami. This has caused us to have to purchase more and more food at inflated prices. So, if you are able to help us out with extra financial gifts at this time, it would be greatly appreciated. And If you are unable to, then please pray with us for this provision from our Father through others.