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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2010-07-10 07:48:08
Subject: Catching Up

Well I'm both happy and ashamed to say that we are finally abiding by former President "Mel" Zelaya's decree to raise the minimum wage by 80%. Happy, because the people that work here are dedicated, loyal and have families to support. Ashamed, because it's taken us so long to catch up financially to be in a spot where we could pay them. We let go of one worker with a poor attitude earlier this week. We were paying more than minimum before the increase. The computer work I have right now is adequate to cover salaries, which amounts to about $310/week. That money is more than adequate to feed the five families it supports and get them to school. So I am thankful to God for all the help we receive here from people like you that enables us to help these people. Because, to be honest, a very small percentage of people in this country receive even the minimum wage. Frankly, there is not enough productivity in Honduras to pay for all the people that live here a decent wage. The economy here is mostly agricultural and much of the work done by hand.

We did have a talk with the workers this week about the increase, which they greatly appreciated. We told them that it was our pleasure and glad we could do that, BUT we could not afford to hire any more staff. We told them that we really needed each of them to be dedicated to their jobs because we needed each of them to work every day they are paid to. The work week in Honduras is typically 5.5 days/week (M-F and half Saturday). The work day is usually 8 hours including about an hour for lunch and sometimes a short break for breakfast.

Among the workers we have a couple of new faces. Kory is the daughter of our local pastor, Gustavo. She is bi-lingual and hopes to complete her degree in business administration at the local college, starting next school year. We knew that she had to leave school for financial reasons last year so she is one of the first we thought of in the void of house parents left when Jose and family departed. She is smart and helps her father, in an adminstrative capacity, with their new hen/egg venture every weekday. She cares for the boys at night and gets them started in the morning. She began work here a couple weeks ago.

The newest worker we have is a humble girl named Alicia. Alicia was raised in a home similar to ours, only much larger. Her cousin runs the other home, called "APUFRAM", about an hour south of here. APUFRAM has around 400 children and it's own school. Alicia is more or less the "nanny". She cares for the boys during the day and has been very diligent in working with them, reading to them and teaching them to read. She and Kory are both young, but educated. I honestly was shocked when Alicia asked if she could help the boys learn to read and study because we've never had anyone offer that before. Although that's what we've always wanted for the boys, we've never had the time, personel nor resources to devote to it. Paula and John have worked with Eli over the years, but both have a lot of other responsibilities.

We've pulled Fernando out of high school to try and get his mind straight. Half of his grades were well below the failing level of 60% and he is no dummy; well maybe not wise, but his aptitude is not reflected in his grades. Please pray that Fernando will be grateful for the blessings he has and get his heart right before God. We want to send him back to school when we think he is ready to study; which we hope will be next year (school year starts in February).

Paula and I both needed to be gone yesterday to receive our church family of Restoration from Euless, TX, which left Alicia to be in charge of the boys. Fernando was fighting with some of the younger boys. If that continues, we would really need to remove him and make space for someone that wants a good home, ample food and an education. We truly love Fernando or we would have let him go a long time ago.

Thank you, Restoration Church, for sending your sons and daughters to experience Honduras, the mission field and help the ministries here reach the people of Honduras.

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