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The tropical rainy season is drawing to a close as we move through February. One of the highlights of this month is the start of another academic year for thousands of Honduran students. Also, our Little Hands workers, who have been off work for the last two months, returned to work on February 3. We are fortunate that all 7 of our dedicated staff members returned to begin another year of work and service to our special needs children and their families. Between all of our workers we have a total of 36 years of service to the Little Hands mission. Truly we have been blessed with exceptional people in the “hands on” work of this ministry. We hope you will remember them – Yefrin, Maybelline, Mayra, Antonio, Roxana, Erika, and Norbentina in your prayers.

One of the most important service programs we are involved in is helping children who cannot afford to purchase a backpack and school supplies. The first week in February we packed 100 backpacks with school supplies that many of you collected last fall and sent to Honduras. These backpacks are filled with spiral binders, pencils, pens, markers, glue sticks, tape, scissors, erasers, crayons, rulers, and a special bookmark from Little Hands with a motivational scripture encouraging them to stay in school. In addition, each year we provide a number of needy students with school uniforms and shoes. In case you didn’t know, all students at public and private schools must be dressed in their uniforms to enter the school grounds.

We anticipate a good year at Little Hands as the preschool and sewing school open next week. We will serve 15 students in morning and afternoon sessions at the preschool and 9 mothers will be involved in the first, second, and third year classes at the sewing school which now also includes a craft class. The first quarterly family gathering will be at the end of February. These gatherings allow the parents and families of Little Hands children to join together sharing their successes and challenges in raising their special children. It is a wonderful opportunity for parents to interact and serve as a support system for one another. Yefrin and Maybelline have done a wonderful job creating an inclusive environment of fun, food, fellowship, and learning. Many times a special guest speaker provides insights for these families.

As spring arrives we anticipate our first of our mission teams coming to Trujillo. The first group will be a mixed group of 19 teens and adults from the Southwest Church in Oregon who will make their sixth visit to Little Hands. This group will serve by helping with two work projects, teaching children’s Bible classes, and interacting with our teens from the Trujillo churches. If you or your church or group would like to serve at the Little Hands mission, please contact Kelly Eldred, group coordinator by email at dreamwood2@msn.com or call her at (206) 321-0057. Most groups plan a year in advance before making their trip to Honduras.

We still need more ministry partners who will commit to contributing $25 or more each month to help support the many children and their activities. Keep Isabel in your prayers as she continues to recuperate from her eye surgery. We are working with a medical group in Memphis to put in a shunt for little Sofia. Also, Gustavo is in need of spine surgery but it will cost 70,000 lempiras ($3,500 U.S.) If you, your church, or organization would like to help these children you may contribute to the Children’s Medical Fund at LHBH or via PayPal at www.LittleHandsBigHearts-mission.org. Keep these little ones in your prayers!
Yours in Christian love, Mark and Brenda

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