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