We are the Ruttan family, and we live in Tegucigalpa Honduras. Tegucigalpa is the capital city of a beautiful, country in Central America. It’s a very long name for a city and most people when they first see it spelt, don’t know how to say it. It is pronounced ‘Tay-Goose-ee-Galpa’. The ministry we work with is called Schools of Hope, and one thing we do is teach Bible classes in public schools. The public school runs from February to November, and we are excited about classes starting up again soon. Every year we have a different theme. Our themes have been, ‘the Fruit of the Spirit’, ‘Parables’, ‘Beatitudes’ and ‘Super Heroes of the Bible’. This year our theme will be the ‘Armour of God’, and we have some super cool lessons ready to go. We can’t wait! We love that we get to talk about Jesus to the children in these schools and that the teachers welcome the gospel in their classes. We don’t take it lightly because we know that in Canada we would not be allowed to do what we do here and everyone needs Jesus!
Our children Ben and Elisa attend a private Christian school in the city. Ben is in grade twelve and will soon be graduating and heading back to Canada. Please be in prayer for him as he transitions back. Honestly, he would rather stay in Honduras and is dreading the move back. Canada is so different - and not just the colder climate. This is home now for him, but he is hoping to go to Masters College and Seminary in Peterborough, Ontario. Elisa is in the eleventh grade. Both of them are doing well in their studies.
The last part of 2017, Ben and Elisa lost a lot of school due to problems after the elections. A lot of people were not happy with the results of the election, so they took to the streets to protest. Most private schools cancelled classes because of protests in the streets, and people blocked the roads with burning tires making it impossible to get through. They did not have classes for a very long time, but it was not a break from school work because their teachers sent them assignments to be completed at home.
We were safe during these days, and never felt like we were in danger, but it was frustrating at times because there were days where we had plans but had to cancel because of the roads being taken over by people protesting. One time we went to the grocery store, and there was no bread on the shelves, or eggs, or potatoes. The shelves were empty! The trucks could not get through to restock the shelves. It was a time I will never forget, and even though it was discouraging to go through, we know that God has called us to Honduras. He never promised things would be easy but He is always with us.
Ben and Elisa also have some amazing Christian friends. These friendships are a real blessing. To be so far from Canada and to have other missionary kids who have similar struggles and emotions. Friends they can be real with and pray with and pour into each other’s lives.
Another things Schools of Hope offers is child sponsorship through ChildCARE Plus. Child sponsorship is so amazing! We all know the importance of education. A child that is sponsored has his or her uniform supplied as well as shoes, school supplies and any other fees covered. And because of sponsorship, that child has a greater chance of going beyond sixth grade. So many times, after sixth grade, kids don’t continue. They may stay home to watch the younger siblings while the mom works or maybe they work by selling things on the street corners to help provide for their family.
Can you imagine what that would be like? To be done school after sixth grade? I know a lot of kids might think that was great, especially those that don’t like school, but what sort of future would you have if you were done after grade six? What hope would you have? Child sponsorship helps to bring hope to a higher education and greater future. One child a couple of years ago had eye surgery to correct his eyes, and his sponsorship covered the cost. It is amazing to see him now, walking unassisted, without the help of his mom or friends. He is in high school now and still runs to greet and hug us if he sees us on the street.
Recently we celebrated with some of our sponsored children who just graduated high school! We had a nice sit-down dinner for them and their parents with cake and a short program. We were so proud of every one of them. They now have a chance to go beyond high school and continue to college to pursue their dreams. One young lady is going to college to study nursing, and another young man wants to be an engineer. Without sponsorship, going to college would only be a dream.
We want to thank everyone who sponsors a child here in Honduras. You are making a difference in their lives and we are blessed to witness that first-hand!