Nuestras Pequeñas Rosas Summer 2019 Newsletter
Summer 2019 Newsletter
Our Little Roses continues to grow in strength, recognition and quality as a five-star organization.
This is really quite extraordinary, because many nongovernmental organizations do not continue after 10-15 years, mainly because of noncompliance and lack of funding. However, through your partnership and loyal support, OLRM (Our Little Roses Ministries) will celebrate 32 years since its founding in just six more months!
Since the Home was established, we have worked diligently to meet the legal standards set forth by the government of Honduras. I would be remiss in not giving each and every one of our supporters – YOU – the credit for our overwhelming success in ministry to the community and country we serve… So, from all of us at OLRM we say, “Muchas gracias.” Without you at our side, we would be doomed to be one of the more than 4,000 institutions that were closed this past year for noncompliance. Our success would not be possible without your faithful donations and prayers. You have made it possible for us to provide the highest-quality care in education. And we have incredible statistics that prove that an excellent education is the main catalyst in preparing a child to be successful in life.
A New Arrival … A New Beginning
This past week, we welcomed into the family a precious four-year-old girl. She had been wandering in the streets, forlorn and lost. Her mother was nowhere to be found. The police found her and took her to the Child Welfare organization, but their investigation produced no results of who could possibly be her mother or any other family member. When they called to see if we could take her in, we were happy to say “YES!” Because of your support, we had a place for her in our ever-expanding family of beautiful Roses.
This precious one will now have a future. She will be brought up knowing that Jesus loves her unconditionally. She will be given an education, and health care that includes dental, medical and psychological attention. She will go to school and learn, and eat a well-balanced and nourishing diet that will prepare her to be another “Rose” who will make a difference in Honduras and for her own children in the future. She will never go back to those days of abject poverty, suffering from lack of all of the essential elements to sustain life.
Yes, we say thank you, Lord, and THANK YOU, our supporters, for allowing us to continue to make a difference in this place that God has given us to serve.
How the Art of Wood Carving Provides Therapy While Empowering Our Girls
In 2003, one of our visitors who came for a summer mission introduced our girls to the art of woodworking. Through her generosity, we were able to open a fully functional woodworking shop on campus.
Honduras has an extraordinary carving tradition, from the Mayan stonework to work in local mahogany. This is the tradition that is fostered at our woodworking shop. We are able to augment that with European carving techniques and styles. Together with the artistic ability of the girls and their eagerness to learn, the program can produce fine carvers. More importantly, it can show the girls that they are capable of succeeding at a skill not always available to women.
This beautiful art form is one of the most effective forms of art therapy and is extremely helpful for trauma survivors. Just think of the extensive work that goes into every piece of art created. You are not only creating something new from scratch; you are performing every step. You must plan the project, measure it properly, cut out your pieces, fit them together, sand, stain and even paint your art. It engages multiple aspects of your brain and challenges you to think outside the box.
The result is a great sense of accomplishment when a project is complete; that feeling helps to alleviate negative feelings and emotions and instill a sense of self-worth. That’s what art therapy is all about: creating a new sense of positivity in a individual’s life.
It is so powerful to watch one of our girls draw her plan, choose the raw piece of wood, then chisel by hand, sand and paint something so beautiful that many of our visitors ask to buy it!
See how some of our donors have been touched by the beautifully crafted wood works of our girls!
Caps Off to Our Recent Grads!
Through your support, education continues to be a priority for equipping our girls with the tools necessary to enable them to become productive members of society. Embraced in a loving, nurturing community, the girls are urged to do their very best. There is help and encouragement to overcome struggles and enthusiastic approval when goals are reached.
We are so very proud of our graduates this past year. In December of 2018, Elizabeth, Sharol, Kathy C, Guadalupe, Daysy and Cindy Murga all graduated from the public high school, and in June of this year, Ricci and Mauda graduated from Holy Family Bilingual School.
We need sponsors for our girls’ education. These scholarships are what set this ministry apart. They are the most important gift that you can give to one of our girls. I encourage you to consider being an advocate for education that will TRANSFORM the life of a deserving child into a world of success!
Meet the Amazing Staff Whom YOU Support
Heroes on the Front Lines at Our Little Roses
Our Little Roses would not be able to function properly without a talented and committed staff who care for the girls as if they were their own daughters. These superheroes (as some of you might have recently seen on our Facebook or Instagram) are the backbone of this incredible loving, nurturing and caring Home for girls.
Leading these dedicated women is Francis Guzman. With her calm voice and confident leadership style, she coordinates the activities and sees to the educational needs of each child. She has brought an insight that only she could offer as one of our own.
Francis came to Our Little Roses at the age of two. She was raised and educated here and graduated from the Teacher’s University with a master’s degree in school psychology. Francis brings with her an abundance of skills that have made us even more successful in our work.
Supporting Francis is Katty Kawas, our afternoon and evening supervisor. Like Francis, Katty is one of our own, a super product of Our Little Roses. Wise and always full of energy, Katty has an extraordinary ability to recall the size of each girl, not to mention their likes and dislikes. She’s also an avid hiker, loves to barbecue and organizes EVERYTHING! Katty holds an undergraduate degree in Pre-School Education from the Teacher’s University and also teaches at our Holy Family Bilingual School in pre-first grade.
To maintain a family-centered environment for the girls, our staff, including teachers, nurses and caretakers, are all called “Tía” (that’s “Auntie” in English). Our daytime staff, Tía Francis, Tía Wendy and Tía Vicky, bring their nursing and teaching talents to the girls. Meanwhile, Tía Gladys teaches manual arts. In the late afternoon and evening, Tía Reina, Tía Carolina, Tía Dunia and Tía Katty make sure the girls are ready for school the next day and that prayers are said before turning out the lights.
We are also blessed with two great weekend staff members, Tía Nelsy (a nurse) and Tía Jessica (an educator). Working to support them are two girls in the University and Technical degree program, R.E.S.T. (Residency for Higher Education and Technical Degrees), Jasmin (MariTía) and Sharol. Weekends are never dull, and lots of activities make for a great time. Each one of these amazing Tías has a heart of gold, a love of the Lord and a sense of motherly love to help pick up the pieces, to heal the pain of abandonment and abuse. They are always there to dry the tears, mend the scrapes, help with homework and show by example how to perform the daily chores; yes, these women are, without a doubt, the superheroes of Our Little Roses. While the Tías are a guiding force in the lives of the girls, support staffers also make our Home special. That includes Miriam and Lucy in the kitchen; Danilo, who takes care of purchasing and transportation with the help of Raul; our guards, Don Hector, Daniel and Anibar; and Jose in the carpentry shop, with ex-alumna Anita helping out. Tía Isabel and Tía Judy keep the clothes washed, pressed and put away. Everyone is an integral part of this wonderful, amazing place we call Our Little Roses!
You, too, are always welcome here, in San Pedro Sula, at Our Little Roses!
A Beautiful Legacy Gift in Celebration of a Beloved Sister
Someday, our legacies will tell about the impact we’ve made during our time on Earth. It will demonstrate what we cared about and where we invested our time and resources. Future generations will be better off because of our actions today. Here’s how one group of siblings honored their departed sister through a special legacy gift to Our Little Roses…
John Master and his sister, Susan, had been longtime supporters of Our Little Roses. In 2012, John started a sponsorship of one our girls, Sandy, in honor of his siblings in lieu of Christmas presents. That sponsorship continues… however, in January of last year, the family was struck by tragedy when Susan, the fifth of six siblings, was improperly diagnosed and succumbed to a bilateral pulmonary embolism.
John wanted to find a way to celebrate his sister’s life. Susan was a servant – to her friends, to her family, but most importantly, to the youth in her life. She was industrious – always the first to contribute time and energy to a project. She was sentimental – caring for her older relatives and even their friends. But most of all, she was devoted to serving and helping others, including the girls at Our Little Roses.
Susan had served as head of the math department at Sunnyside High School in Tucson, Arizona. She was much loved by all who knew her. Susan is remembered for her unwavering faith in Jesus, her sunny disposition and smile, her love of her family and friends, and her dedication to education of young minds.
Susan loved Our Little Roses and was a faithful supporter. We shared the same mission of transforming lives through education and love. John and his siblings decided to have Susan’s passion live on through a legacy gift to Our Little Roses. At first, they considered a brick-and-mortar tribute to their sister, such as building a structure on our campus at the Home. But what they decided to do instead has so much more impact, as they have provided many girls with the lasting gift of education. Their gift not only has helped our girls reach their educational goals but also was used as a matching gift challenge, and so the impact was doubled.
For information on our Ángeles de Nuestras Pequeñas Rosas (Angels of Our Little Roses) Legacy Gift Program, please contact Wendy at Wendy.Bourgault@OurLittleRoses.org or call us at 305-603-9758.
Supporter Spotlight – Pamela Sullivan
My first visit to Our Little Roses was last July, but my journey began a few years before that. Each year, when I read the information in the church bulletin at Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, I would tell my husband that “Next year I’m going to join the group.” Each year, I pushed it back to the next year; I was too busy, had travel plans, etc.
About 18 months ago, the same information was published in the bulletin, and I thought this should be the year I dive in. I had just gotten my yoga teacher certification and felt that I had something to offer that that the girls at Our Little Roses could use for the rest of their lives. I didn’t know anyone involved with Our Little Roses or the ladies of the group who have been going to Honduras for countless years, but speaking with them, I soon learned that Our Little Roses was a part of their family. They would beam with love when they spoke of the girls. So I signed up, made sure my vaccines were up to date, and joined the ladies on what would be one of the most meaningful journeys of my life.
When I met the girls at Our Little Roses, what struck me was how happy they were. I knew that in the past, many of them had been abused or abandoned. There was no visible sign of any of this. I found that there was a love and nurturing among the girls that was beautiful to watch. They ran up to me and took my hand as if they had been waiting for my visit. Someone warned me that I would cry on the last day when we said goodbye for now. I actually found myself tearing up several times over the course of the week. One of the ladies (by now my friend) shared that someone told her that’s what happens when you look into the face of God. I truly believe that to be true.
My husband and I agreed to sponsor one girl of my choosing when I got to know them. I knew right away who I wanted to help. A few days later, I told him we would be sponsoring two. By the end of my stay, we had sponsored three beautiful little girls.
My journey to Our Little Roses began as something I could do to help the girls. Unexpectedly, the girls brought me so much more than I brought them. I plan to make Our Little Roses a yearly pilgrimage.