Nuestras Pequeñas Rosas 2020 Summer Newsletter
Summer/Fall 2020 Newsletter
Our Little Roses in a Time of Quarantine
By Dr. Diana Frade, Founder
Since the end of March, Our Little Roses has been under strict bio-security measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our Home and School. With approximately 75 individuals, including staff and girls, total, it has been an arduous task and one that has only been made possible through the prayers and support of our faithful supporters.
But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that our 12 university girls and technical degree students have played a vital part in our success of keeping the girls engaged in their studies and uploading their homework. Your support of these older girls gave us the auxiliary staff that we needed during this time to keep the younger girls entertained and occupied, literally from sunup to sundown. I am so proud of each of them for stepping up at a time of crisis. A big thanks to them – and to you – for your educational support. THANK YOU!
With our committed staff and R.E.S.T. (Residential Program for University and Technical Degree Students), we have been able to stave off infection from the virus. In part, this has been possible because all schools in Honduras were closed and classes were given virtually through a Zoom platform, challenging both educators and parents to help their children with homework and studies.
Martial law was declared, keeping everyone in their homes and few vehicles on the streets with the exception of essential workers. Public schools provided classes on television and ensured all of the children were given the materials they needed to do their classwork.
What are the lessons learned from this pandemic as a whole from the OLR perspective? We have all learned a lot about how to control a highly infectious disease. We have learned to be more responsible about how we care for each other and ourselves. The girls have learned to be more responsible and disciplined. While extremely difficult, this lockdown has been an invaluable experience. We have also learned to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, casting all our anxieties on Him and knowing that He cares.
We have learned more than ever before how incredible it is to be able to say that we have a large, loving and caring extended family that has helped keep us safe and protected.
May God’s blessings be with you always,
Summer Mission Teams Thrive During Covid-19 Crisis
This summer at Our Little Roses is going to be quite different!
Usually our teams from across the country – Florida to California, would be buying plane tickets and planning days full of games, adventures, food and fun. Summer is something the girls look forward to all year – they LOVE spending time with their American friends.
Covid-19 has changed that and so we are thinking “outside the box.” Our mission team leaders are working hard with Mayra, Diana, and Wendy so that they can still be “with” the girls.
We are planning virtual events that include yoga, Zumba, Escape Rooms, story time, Bingo and more. It will be different, and we will miss being able to be together, but we are happy that we can utilize technology to bridge the gap for now and pray that we will be together again soon.
Check out our latest Blog on How Our Honduras Mission Trips Are Going Virtual This Year!
Caring Couple Empowers Next Generation of little ‘Roses’ Through Education
By Wendy Bourgault, Executive Director
Around Christmas time, in 2018, as our office was bustling with holiday preparation and end-of-year issues, we received an amazing blessing! I received a call from a law firm asking some questions so it could finalize a client’s estate. The firm couldn’t share much information with me, so I asked if they could give my information to the family.
Shortly after, I received a call from Kirsten, whose parents, The Rev. Rudolph “Rudy” and Marguerite Johnson, were the folks responsible for the gift. I asked Kirsten to tell me a little about her parents and how they became part of the Our Little Roses extended family. I was so happy to learn their story and now share it with you – a story that continues today through their
Mom & Dad’s Our Little Roses Story…
“Education was extremely important to Mom and Dad. They actually met while both were getting their master’s degrees in education, and my father later got an Ed.D. My mother taught for many years, mostly for the Children’s Hospital at Stanford, where her students were long-term patients who needed to continue their education while hospitalized for treatment; she also taught handicapped students at a local high school. Eventually, she got into real estate, but after retiring, she tutored immigrant women in reading and writing English. My father briefly worked for the Palo Alto School District but eventually became an Episcopal priest, which is where his real passion lay. He served several different parishes and was well-loved and respected by all.
In fact, I’m sure it is through a church that my parents first learned about Our Little Roses. They visited Our Little Roses in the early 1990s; since they were very adventurous and always traveling, my brother and I could hardly keep track of where they were at that time in their lives.
I do know that to the end of their lives, Our Little Roses was extremely important to them. Even when my mother was confused about so many things, she was clear about OLR, and she kept all the pictures, letters and gifts from the girls. I fondly remember her showing me photos of the girls as they grew, and she was proud of the role she could play in their lives.
My parents would have been so happy to know that their gift is helping Our Little Roses educate underprivileged girls while keeping them safe.”
The Johnsons sponsored many girls over the years as basic and educational sponsors. Beginning with Belkis in 1998 and continuing with Wendolin and then Frances. When Rudy passed on in 2015, Marguerite continued as a sponsor until Frances graduated from the program. At that point, she continued to support our work through general gifts.
Today, the legacy of Marguerite and Rudy lives on at Our Little Roses. Through their generous gift, we have been able to make many improvements to our education program. Rudy and Marguerite – you are truly Angels de Nuestras Pequeñas Rosas!
Dr. Marcia King’s special bond with Dayana
I met Dayana Alonso in February 2009 when visiting Our Little Roses with the St. George’s, Nashville, missionary group. At age five, Dayana was a ball of fire: energetic, funny and loving. She would dance and play, then sit and chat with me for hours, contently sucking her thumb and holding my hand. I loved her immediately and began sponsoring her.
The next year, when our St. George’s group returned to OLR, I wondered if Dayana would remember me. Standing in the storeroom, I saw her at a distance. She saw me too…and ran into my waiting arms. Just when I thought I could not love her more, my heart expanded.
As far as I am concerned, Dayana is part of my family. She knows the names of my husband, children and cats. There are pictures of her on the wall with my grandchildren, and her picture is on my bedroom mirror. I have even left money for Our Little Roses in Dayana’s name in my will so that I may help sow the seeds for another young lady like Dayana in the future.
But more than all of this, there is a special relationship. I have watched Dayana grow from a charming little clown into a mature beautiful young woman. Through the years, I have corrected her on her (now fluent) English, and now, she corrects me on my (very limited) Spanish. We are comfortable together, we have grown together, and together we are family.
Knowing Dayana is one of the joys of my life, and I look forward to continuing the relationship in the years to come.
The Reverend Dr. Marcia King
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Fernandina Beach, FL