*This article was written by Kathy DeJong, the Jubilee US Board Chair. Kathy and her husband Jeff are Teachers and Teacher Trainers and have spent many weeks on countless visits to Jubilee. These are some of Kathy’s reflections after her past visit in late January 2019.
As I made my way out of the Toncontín Airport customs area and pushed a couple suitcases around a passageway I was unexpectedly greeted by Anthony and Eli Romero! Their smiles filled me with joy! The boys quick helping hands reached out for my tumbling suitcases! It was wonderful to arrive in Honduras to warm hugs and greetings of “Bienvenida” from brothers and sisters in Christ!
Monday morning as we drove down to Tegucigalpa for the first day of teacher workshops, we prayed together as is custom when you travel with the Romeros. It is also a tradition to begin the school year with worship and listening to God in stations. This year a focal point was who is God and who He says we are. With some colorful artistic flair, we wrote some of the names of God on a large sheet. Later on, we returned to this station to add words describing who we are in God.
After a day of workshop on Monday evening, it was a privilege to attend a Jubilee Honduran Board meeting. As a board member in the U.S., I was interested in meeting and learning from our Honduran brothers and sisters. Immediately I was impressed by their hearts commitment for Jubilee kids and their families. They desire that Jubilee kids know Jesus and receive an excellent Christian Education! Jubilee is very blessed to have committed Christian professionals with many years of experience as lawyers, bankers, and working with NGOs. Please pray for the JCI Honduras and US boards as we seek to strengthen and grow this ministry together.
Jubilee Christian School is growing in excellence with the help of many quality Christian leaders, including the school principal, Mrs. Yeni Osorio. She is a dynamic leader who demonstrates a heart for the Lord and professionalism in her leadership roles. This year, the 4th through 6th grade teachers are going to teach the subjects that are their strengths and share responsibilities for the students in these grades. This will be helpful for the students and staff as we pray and anticipate the blessing of a Middle School a year from now. Pray for Mrs. Osorio and the teachers as they work with this new strategy. I was not only grateful to the Lord to witness the growth in the Jubilee teaching staff, but was also blessed to retreat with them.
Many Hondurans never get to travel and enjoy the beauty of the mountains, the countless birds, and diverse plant life. Twenty-two staff comfortably shared a small bus. We sang, talked, snapped photos, slept. We made stops to enjoy Honduran cookies, a corn drink called Atol, as well as fresh guayabas, papaya, and honey. Later, we played like kids on swing sets and enjoyed freshly caught Tilapia as we gazed out at the beautiful Lake Yojoa. After our filling meal, we headed for White River and a spectacular waterfall. There we waded, swam, and some of us bravely climbed behind the Pulhapanzak Waterfalls. We were glad to have guides, helmets, and life vests for this spectacular challenge!
After a goodnight sleep in our cabins hidden in a small tropical forest, we enjoyed the beauty of hummingbirds, ginger flowers, and the tranquility of this place. Before breakfast, we gathered to pray for each other and the school year. In a bamboo garden along a crystal clear stream, we prayed for blessing, healing, joy, and wisdom. Birds joined us in songs of praise as we circled around in gratitud for this retreat. We had completed the circle like some stories in literature. The week had begun in worship and prayer at Jubilee School and was concluding in prayer and worship along a river. Praise God for Jubilee school and staff! Join me in prayer for blessings of joy as they begin their 10th year this week!