Outside of our day to day ministries in Santiago, all of our staff serve as foster families. This includes four foster parents and even a foster aunt! We help children in their time of need, no matter how long or short that may be, and give them all the love and support that we can. We also serve as advocates for fostering in our area. Fostering is still a relatively new idea in rural Honduras, but guided by The Spirit, we are working to shed light.
Ministerio de Mujeres Ejemplares comes from Proverbs 31 meaning Ministry of Exemplary Women. This women’s ministry consists of a weekly bible study in which the women in our community dive deeper in the Word together. We also have a weekly sewing clinic for women to learn a trade and potentially provide for their families. Women from years past teach the current ladies to sew, and also teach 5th and 6th grade students in the local public school how to sew. The more advanced women also join the leaders in weekly home visits of women in the community, joining in a time of love, discipleship, and prayer.
Like most rural areas, illiteracy is common among adults in Santiago. Therefore, parents struggle to help their children with schoolwork. Recently, we have opened up a community library for local kid that offers tutoring, homework help, reading time, and typing classes. This precious ministry also includes read-alouds in the local public schools to help cultivate the passion for reading at a young age.
The best way to engage young boys in Honduras is with soccer. That is why we have a soccer field right on our property! We offer our field to boys of all ages in our community and then hold bible studies and community events to introduce them to Jesus.
Since we landed in Santiago, we have been engaged in ministering to the local public schools. From teams holding Vacation Bible Schools, field days, and medical brigades to teaching english, sewing, tutoring, and reading, we have a very close bond with the children in our community.
Starting in 2020, our staff in Santiago will be able to offer a 6 month entrepreneurship course to many in our community. After being trained by the Street Business School, our staff is excited about helping our community learn how to successfully provide for their family and break the cycle of poverty that plagues our rural community.
Ivan & Oneyda have a long history with Sparrow Village, dating back long before God even brought us to this property. Ivan’s mom and uncle both worked for the previous owners, and Ivan actually grew up living here. As a teen, he had moved away. But years later, after Sparrow started in Santiago, God brought him full circle, as he called Ivan and his wife, Oneyda, back to this very property. Oneyda is one of the main leaders of Ministerio de Mujeres Ejemplares and leader of the sewing clinic. Ivan works maintaining the large property God has gifted us and also heads up the soccer ministry. They live in one of our cabanas as foster parents. Both of them were baptized by our staff, and they were married on our property in 2018.
Leah Gruneisen is our resident foster aunt, Tia Leah! She loves on all of our kiddos and helps add that extra aspect of family to our community. Not only is she Tia Leah to the children at Sparrow Village, but to all the kids in Santiago. Leah is the daughter of a librarian, and God put into her heart the desire to start a library ministry at Sparrow Village. Before joining our staff in 2018, Leah taught for 2 years at an international school in the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. Now she is able to use her skills and knowledge of being a teacher and her love for books on a daily basis with tutoring, read- alouds, typing classes, and library time.
Silvia Reyes is one of the leaders of Ministerio de Mujeres Ejemplares. She is also the sister in law of Ivan & Oneyda! Silvia, together with Ivan and Oneyda, was baptized by our staff. She is a proud mother, loving wife, and daughter of Christ. Silvia is the leader of our sewing program with the 5th & 6th graders in the local public school. It has been amazing to see God use Silvia’s natural talents to teach and bless others in her community.