Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Horsts' (and Sigel's) Christmas

Christmas morning started with the cinnamon buns that Angelica made for breakfast...

...and fresh pineapple from the plant that Dwain Livengood planted a lo-o-o-ong time ago (1 1/2 yrs ago Dwain?)

Sigel is staying with us for several weeks while his parents, our friends, Beth and Tristan, are away.
After we read the story of Jesus' birth, everyone was ready to check out their Christmas stockings!

What's in yours?

Thank you Eileen for the new craft projects!!!

Don't try and look surprised Harlan, I know you found that CD earlier in the drawer where it was hidden!!!

Thank you Mohagens for the 1000 piece puzzle. When are you going to help us do it? :)

Ooh, what is it Lilian?

In the evening we had dinner with the live-in staff at the Finca.

Angel and Berta's son, Isaias.

It was a good Christmas with our family and friends. Thank you, Jesus, for all the blessings you have given us!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas at La Finca

Our family celebrated Christmas with La Finca's kids and staff Dec. 23rd

Group photo minus a few late arriving stragglers. Nice new clean clothes! A few new faces in the crowd from last year's photo.

Chimes choir. Angelica was a last minute stand-in for Eliuth. Danilo organized the practices and directed the group.

Nice sheep!

Jony finds a new talent!

The obligatory piñatas. Nobody got hurt so all was well.

Time for gifts. Peter Payson, a German/Honduran friend of La Finca, does the honors.

Even us!

Dinner time. Kentucky loves us!

Ernest and Doris Soady, founders of La Finca, still making their Christmas visits!

Obligatory "fogata" w/ marshmellows (purely gringo influence!)

Happy Javi!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Jesus, the sacrifice that you made for me by suffering and dying for my sins is greater than I will ever be able to understand here on earth, but I wonder if the greater sacrifice wasn't living here on earth-leaving perfect heaven and the side of the perfect Father to live among the imperfect, the corrupt, the sinful. Thank you, Jesus.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Recently I've heard and/or been part of various discussions that deal with bringing non-Christians (or people who do not live up to the ethical/moral standards that we hold to) into our churches and homes. Some of the concerns regard what happens to our families/marriages/children if we are all being around people who see no problem with divorce, sex outside of marriage, bad language, bad attitudes, etc...

What will happen with my children if we bring in people and their kids who are not living a Christian life and are bad examples?

We, along with our three children, have lived among kids who are considered "at risk" for the past two years (and previously for three years). The Finca kids come from many different situations and family dynamics. Some of these kids are products of incest or sexual abuse or have dealt with and seen abuse of various forms or have lived in harmful situations. All of these things can and do affect their development, their attitudes, their actions. Many people do not allow their children to play or interact with kids with such problems and attitudes because of the bad influence they would be on their own children. These Finca kids with their myriad of issues and attitudes are my children's friends. They have been their closest companions and playmates.

Do we like when our children show some of the bad attitudes or use language we don't like? No, of course not! But, do we tell them that they should reject these kids and not be friends with them anymore? No, of course not! We tell our children why that particular attitude/action/word/etc. is not acceptable to us and the consequences that it could cause. Then, we ask our children to choose to be a better example to those around them rather than just follow what everyone else is doing. That is something we all need to learn at some point or other. Isn't it better to learn it at age 7 rather than age 37?

If Jesus would have chosen to avoid people with bad attitudes, bad language, with obvious sin in their lives, because of the possibility that those people would corrupt or influence him, I would not know Jesus today.

I choose to love, accept and invite others because Jesus loves, accepts and invites me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

snaps of the house

Front gate

1st new pet...
and this should go...

Christmas cookies!

barely moved and already in school...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

colegio graduations

This year, we were padrinos for two different girls who graduated from colegio. Mirna was an afternoon student and Yaquelin was an evening student. Kelly, another girl who used to be at the Finca, also graduated this year. Being padrinos meant that we needed to attend their graduation, walk them "down the aisle", be their official witnesses and sign some papers. This year the witness signings happened the day before at the colegio or high school and the graduation ceremonies were the next day, followed by a dinner.

On Thursday we had Yaquelin's signing at 9am and Mirna's at 1pm.

Waiting in line with Yaquelin...

Waiting yet again with Mirna... :)

Kelly signing along with her padrinos, la teacher and her husband... :)

Graduation Day!
On Friday, Yaquelin's ceremony started at 4pm in the "salon" with dinner at 7pm at a local restaurant. Angelica and Ali attended the dinner in our place as we were at Mirna's graduation. Mirna's ceremony was supposed to start in the "salon" at 6pm with dinner following immediately after in the same place. We started eating after 9pm. :)

Yaquelin Carolina Padilla

Mirna Elizabeth Molina

Kelly Janeth Gonzales

Thursday, December 2, 2010

from PA to Honduras

From cold and windy to... cold and windy. :) We arrived back in Honduras on Monday after being in Pennsylvania (and 2 days in Virginia) for about a month. It's good kite weather in either place, but slightly chillier in PA. :)

We had an awesome time with friends and family and were able to see many of you. We were able to see the fall leaves, experience a very little bit of snow and celebrate Thanksgiving with family. We feel very blessed to know all of you and appreciate all that you do for us.

We are grateful for a safe and fairly uneventful trip back to Honduras. Six of our suitcases did not arrive with us, but we thank God that they did arrive the next day.

We have started the process of moving out of the Finca and into a newly rented house. We have been busy packing up and moving what we can. We were grateful for the help of Aaron and Louise Weaver, who traveled down with us. We hope to be finished moving by Saturday evening.

Please continue to pray for our family as we transition to a new home, for El Camino Adelante as it moves forward in becoming a legally recognized entity and for the young people who will be a part of the new ministry. Please also pray for our Finca family as some members move on to other homes and new members are added.

As we move closer to the time when we celebrate Christ's birth, may you truly seek his peace, love and joy in your own life and your relationships with others!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Just a short update... we are now in Lititz, PA and we will be here until November 29th. We flew out of Honduras on October 26th. We've been busy visiting family and friends, getting paperwork together and working on many different things concerning the new ministry. It's always wonderful to visit and it's been great to see fall leaves for the first time in a couple of years. We were able to visit friends in Virginia and we had beautiful scenery the whole way. The highways were awesome, as well! Anyone who complains about the condition of PA roads should come travel around Honduras with us for awhile! :) We appreciate your prayers as we try to remember everything we need to do here in PA and work at further developing the plans and visions for El Camino Adelante!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Following you will find a letter that we have sent out to everyone on our mailing list. It's easier to just copy and paste than to come up with something different... :)

Greetings from Valle de Angeles, Honduras. You may already know of our desire to respond to the call that God has been laying on our hearts for some time. Our vision continues to be that of starting a transition program for young people leaving institutional living, primarily from La Finca de Los Niños, where we have been serving. As our official time of serving La Finca draws to a close, we want to update you, our friends and supporters, on how plans have been progressing and how we see ourselves ministering in Honduras beyond Oct. First, we would like to express again how blessed we have been by your support. We would not even be considering these plans without the solid base of support you provide for our family.

The following includes the best overview of details we can give to date: Our plans continue to be that of moving in the direction of establishing a separate ministry, while maintaining working partnerships with other important parties such as La Finca. To that end, we have brought together several people, Hondurans and North Americans, that we feel are well qualified to form the core of a future board of directors. We recently had our first meeting together as a group. These are the folks who will give primary guidance to this new and developing effort. We also plan to pursue legal status for a nonprofit organization here in Honduras when we have the key requirements in place. This is necessary for liability reasons and clear financial accounting among other things. The name we have chosen for this ministry is El Camino Adelante (The Way Forward).

A timeline for our plans: Upon completing our term of service at La Finca at the end of Oct., we plan to go to PA for a month to refresh, re-energize, introduce and gather support for our new ministry. Within two weeks of returning to Honduras at the end of Nov., our family hopes to move out of La Finca and into a home here in Valle. December will be a time of settling in and preparing for the start of the transition program in the new year.

A brief look at how we envision the mission/ministry program at this point: We have spoken previously of a “transition house”. We are now looking at it more in terms of a “transition program”. Among other types of support, we would provide full financial assistance for basic living needs for a participant's first 4 months in the program. By then, the goal will be for most of them to have obtained a job capable of supporting their basic needs. Education opportunities would be provided by scholarship if they meet certain requirements. Other important aspects of our mission would include teachings, trainings, and counseling in the areas of life skills, emotional and spiritual development as we desire to see them enter into a healthy adult life. We would love to give you more program details but many are still being refined.

We do not anticipate a large number of people moving through the program at any one time. We may begin with only 2- 4 people. If time permits and all parties agree, we will continue to provide assistance at La Finca on a part time basis. Our hearts, in many ways, will remain with La Finca and the kids we have come to know so well at this place.

While our new ministry, El Camino Adelante, will have its own financial requirements, we are not asking those of you who have provided for our personal budget to give toward the financial support of the ministry itself. Rather, we hope you will see the value of our new direction, take a step of faith with us and continue to faithfully provide the personal support our family needs as we continue to serve as missionaries in Honduras. Most of all, we ask you to surround our family with your prayers as we enter into another time of transition. Stress levels can be high, but we know God is walking with us as well as all of you who have provided the strong foundation needed for us to move in God's will.

We will provide you with updates as we move forward and plans further develop. Again, we want to express our gratitude for your support and pray God's blessing upon you as you serve Him where you are.

Harlan, Janelle, Angelica, Ali, and Zack Horst