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Honduras May Update

Greetings all from Blistering Honduras,
I trust this finds you well and enjoying the beauty and wonder that is Spring in North America. We don’t have Spring in Honduras we have heat waves, blistering, incessant, inescapable heat waves – they’re not nearly as beauteous or wondrous, let me assure you. That little weather tidbit aside though life here in Honduras has quickly gotten back to normal – it’s been a little over a month now that I’ve been back after a 4 month break and I’ve been surprised and relieved at how smooth the transition has been. This then is my May update relating the events of the previous month, specifically as it relates to the transition back into life and ministry here.
The Big Move Out
A lot has changed from last year, principally my living situation - I no longer live in Los Laureles but rather am back living in the apartment I was in for my first 3 years in Honduras. This has been a truly mixed-bag of emotions; we (EMM) still have the home in Los Laureles and I do spend a goodly portion of my week there, tidying up, sitting on the front porch and entertaining people. Blas and Santos still live there, though they now care for themselves, and very often I will spend my Saturday nights there so that I can wake up in the community on Sunday morning and get our group of kids around for church. I don't want to disparage the year that I lived in Los Laureles - I really do miss it in fact, but the act of living there limited the amount of time I actually truly visited other people in their homes. People instead visited me and did so around my schedule. It limited my time for activities with the youth of the community, as much of my life was occupied by maintaining my home, caring for the guys living with me and searching for water. And it limited the amount of quiet, alone time I had - the only time I had to myself was either early in the morning or late at night. Now though that I'm back living where I was prior to life in Laureles I'm finding that the rest of my life is finding balance as well; I'm spending my days in people's homes, my focus when I'm in the community is on the kids, their needs and our different activities and I have much more time to myself for rest and reflection. It's hard sometimes, in fact it doesn't feel quite right when I have to leave the community in the evening; I love that place and everything in me wants to stay - wants to have my place, my home be there in Laureles. I very often miss just sitting on the front porch late at night and watching the stars, I miss being part of the community in a deeper way. I'm seeing the good in not living there though and the balance I feel in my life tells me that I'm living right where God wants me right now.
One More Meeting
This also has been a month of meetings and if my calendar serves me well, this next month will hold more of the same. Much of my time has been spent in support-style meetings and studies, things that I longed for and missed out on for the first 4 years of my experience here. I now have a regular mentor that I can physically meet with as opposed to having to meet over the internet; I’ve known him for almost 5 years now and am so happy to have him speaking wisdom and encouragement into my life, even if he is a Presbyterian. For the first time in a long time I’m also working in a larger EMM-team setting, with 5 Eby’s and 3 YES Team members we could open up an old-fashioned mission compound. We all meet together twice a week, once for Bible study and once for team planning and ministry coordination. Of course they all cut out of here in July and I think I’m really going to miss the input and support once they’re gone, but for now I really appreciate their presence and help here.
Finally, just about 2 weeks ago we formed an oversight board made up of members of the two main Anabaptist churches in Honduras and to eventually include a few members of the Los Laureles community. Andrew Eby sat in on the meeting as he’s been handling the administration of the school scholarship program this year and I think we were both very encouraged by the tone and optimism of the board members. We received a lot of affirmations but also a lot of suggestions and vision for the future, especially with regards to the School Scholarship program. I came away encouraged and energized; a lot of their ideas were things I had been ruminating on even from the beginning but in being one person, had felt overwhelmed to implement. I never knew where to start. With this board I feel like there is support for my work, a group to help discern the vision and future and people to help me implement the needed changes. In a lot of ways, I feel like a weight of guilt has been lifted – guilt for not being able to run the program as well as I might like; with this new group I have real hope for the quality of the project.

New Ministry Direction and Prayer Request

This past week I began a discipleship program with 4 youth that I have been close with since my time here in Los Laureles began. These are 4 guys, leaders amongst their peers, on distinct paths (career/education-wise) and in varying relationship with Jesus (some closer than others). I will be meeting separately with each one so as to be able to tailor our time to their specific needs. Be in prayer for each one of them: Duke, Cristian, Chihua and Checho. Please pray especially for Checho – I have spent many, many hours sometimes whole days with him, counseling him, encouraging him, simply trying to be a support to him. He’s 17, in 8th grade, works by day and studies at night. He has to support himself because his father has essentially disowned him and his younger brother Lauro. The weight of that responsibility has weighed on him recently and he’s been very discouraged. He doesn’t see much hope in the future, is not sure that this education thing is any guarantee of a better life – and I think he kind of feels sorry for himself; his mother ran away when he was 11, his father disowned him, if he doesn’t work, he doesn’t eat. Life’s not easy right now, pray for encouragement, for support and for wisdom in speaking into his life.
That’s all for now – thanks for taking the time to read through this and once again thank you all for your continued support and prayers. I felt them as much as ever in the 4 months that I was home and rarely a day goes by that I don’t realize that were it not for you all and your faithfulness, I would not be here and this work and ministry in Los Laureles could not exist. Thank you and Blessings to you.
Matt Keiser
P.S. – Remember too to subscribe to my weekly, sometimes daily, blog:
Los Laureles Life
April 2012

“'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.” – Zechariah 4:6


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