Saturday, March 14, 2009

Micah Project and Jerico

For the past 3 weeks we've been at our first ministry site. Shaun and Leo were at the Micah Project and Gina and Jenny were at Jerico Ministries. The Micah Project is a ministry that was started in 2000 by a gentleman named Michael from Missouri. He takes homeless boys off of the street and gives them a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear, and even gives them an education. Most of these boys are found on the street addicted to sniffing glue non-stop (the common, cheap drug used among many young people here). Some of the boys have used other drugs as well and even get involved in robberies and assault.

15 of the 16 boys who entered the program initially, have graduated from the Micah school and most of them are now in college, some in the US and some in other parts of Central America. We took one day and went to visit some of the other homeless boys on the street who have not chosen to enter the Micah Project. When you compare their lives to the lives of the boys who have gone through the program, the change in their lives is astounding.
Currently, there are about 15-20 guys living at the Micah House. Leo and I spent most of our time teaching English classes. We also taught a few classes on family values. The Micah Project also sponsors a poor colony near by. In this colony, they have built a school and help families build houses and find food to eat. Leo and I had the opportunity to spend some time sanding and painting a couple of the school rooms. It has really been neat to get to know the guys at the Micah House. While Michael is a Christian and even gives Bible classes, the majority of the Micah boys are not Christians. It gave Leo and I an opportunity to share with these boys what God has done in our lives.

Jerico Ministries started out as a ministry to help prostitutes. They would go out at night and share Jesus with the women trying to support their families (mainly their children) by selling their bodies. They bought a place for the women to stay and even helped them to start a sewing business to make money as an alternative way to support their families.
Now this ministry mainly works with the children of prostitutes. They have a school in the city and they also have a home out in the country for the more troubled children. Many of the teachers at the school have adopted these children as their own.
At the school, the children have devotions every morning before class. Class runs from 8-12 with a half hour break from 9:30-10. They get fed lunch at the school before their parents pick them up. Gina and Jenny taught English to a group of 7-9th graders every morning for 4 hours. We had between 3-4 well-behaved students. We had to teach in English which was sometimes a little difficult for the students. As my first experience teaching English, I think the students really learned a lot and enjoyed most of class. They really hated it when I made them write paragraphs!!! Overall, it was a great experience and I got to know some really great kids!

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