If you are watching our FaceBook pages you no doubt have seen that we are busy and back to school! After a great but busy summer break we started our school year back at the beginning of last month. We have the wonderful opportunity to serve 188 students this year. Our goal, as it has been from the beginning, is to educate and equip with the Word of God.
Our heart is to expose these children to the Gospel of Jesus and the love of God daily, prayerfully asking for a harvest of souls through the children and the testimony they take home to their family. It has been such a blessing to start off this school year with a great team of teachers and volunteers. We have seen some wonderful changes since we began in this endeavour over a year ago.
We were so blessed by the time we were able to spend in the states this summer, in our hometown in Tennessee. We were able to share our testimony of God’s work in Honduras with so many. Nothing blesses us more than sharing what God has done as it builds our faith and hopefully those we were able to share with.
Our oldest daughter, Jessica, who spent the last 15 months in an internship at Wears Valley Ranch and Children’s Home, joined us in Honduras at the end of August. She has taken on the role of managing the ranch as it begins to develop and take shape for God’s intended purpose.
We most recently started a work program for our students in the 6th grade and up. These students have need for a sponsorship for their education as well as in many cases, assisting their family with additional income. Our goal is to provide these students with the ability to work for their sponsorship and in so doing encouraging a good work ethic as well as a more intense time for mentorship.
These students are often at risk of dropping out of school. As part of the work program, half of what they earn goes into their school account and the other half they can take home to spend as needed, hopefully relieving the need to drop out in order to work. These students spend three to four days a week on the ranch helping with planting, building and animal husbandry.
The biggest change in the ministry has most recently occurred and has truly brought us to a place of full-time (and I do mean full-time!) ministry. The two smiling faces you see when you opened this newsletter have become part of our household and if all continues as the Lord has been leading will become a permanent part of the Ozanne clan.
We met Dylan and Doylin pretty much within the first few days we arrived in Honduras. They are twins and turned 7 years old last month. Their open temperament and a desire for affection made for a quick friendship. They are residents in the village and students at the school.
Their homelife has been complicated. They are the youngest of six children but from a different father than the other 4. Their father has never been in their lives. Their mother has no job and will often revert to prostitution when money is needed. Unfortunately, she has not been receptive to attempts to help her develop skills and opportunities for other employment. Over the past year as their two half -brothers moved away with their father and their older sisters have moved in with boyfriends, the twins were increasingly left on their own late into the night and the wee hours of the morning often without food.
Dylan was allowed to “drop-out” of Kindergarten last year and took a job herding cows. For unknown reasons neither of the children returned to school when school started this year and were often seen wandering through the village. We had been praying about what the Lord would have us do in this situation. Calling the authorities would likely have put them in a worse situation, at least in the village they knew if they needed help or food they could come to us. It was in the Lord’s time that their mother approached us and asked to adopt them.
After prayer and seeking guidance they have been living with us for the last three weeks in a foster type situation and we are beginning the process of legal adoption. This has been a huge transition for all of us and we certainly covet your prayers and for the Lord’s continued leading and direction.
Prayer request and Praises: --Please continue to pray for our students and teachers. We give praise for the team we have this year. We are asking the Lord for a harvest of disciples that overflow into their homes and communities. Anyone who is interested in praying for a specific grade, we will be happy to send you the names of the students and teachers in order to pray for them individually.
--Pray for continued direction and vision at the school. We give praise that we have been experiencing tremendous growth and have a waiting list for Kindergarten next year. We are approached weekly with families who want their children to attend the school but at this time we do not have the space or teachers to accommodate more students.
--Pray for our community church that was started before the school as part of the Wellspring ministry. It has such a need for a Pastor that can truly provide shepherding and solid teaching. We really believe this person needs to be a Honduran and not an American missionary.
--Pray for the ranch as this part of the ministry continues to be developed we pray for God’s continued direction and guidance. We need funding for projects to get the ranch off the ground. Our goal is for this aspect of the ministry to produce an income that will help other areas of the ministry.
--Pray for us as we are learning to parent Doylin and Dylan, as this is a very different type of parenting from our first 3. Their level of English is equal to our level of Spanish so we need prayers that we can communicate effectively. Most importantly we pray that God heals their hurts and that they come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Pray for Jessie, Mollie and Abbie as they adjust as well, as they work hard at each of their jobs here and continued direction for their future.
--We give praise for the support we have through individuals and churches. We pray that God will continue to bring in monthly support to meet the school budget as well as the growth that is needed. We also need monthly missionary support, we are unique in that we are a family of five serving together but we are each full-time missionaries, as well as adding two more that we are now supporting. We give praise to God that He is so faithful to meet every need!
--We have a couple of work teams that will be coming over the next two months. Please pray for them.
Also,If you would like to donate children’s items for Doylin and Dylan we are in need of new or gently used clothing sizes 7-8, PJ’s, underwear, shoes size 3 or 4, age appropriate books, games and puzzles. We prefer to stay away from highly marketed items such a Marvel comics and Disney princess, etc. They literally came to us with only the clothes on their backs and shoes with holes. We can get you in touch with the group and they will transport the items for us.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support! We cannot be here without the Body of Christ fulfilling its role, we are truly just an extension of the Body!
Hugs and Blessings to you all!
The Ozanne Clan