Five Month Update

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We Moved!

A director’s home has been under construction since we arrived in February. It has been greatly needed. The directors have always shared their residence with teams and visitors. Now they have much needed space to themselves. Though Savannah and I have never had complaints about our living arrangements, they approached us about moving into their old home. We are grateful for the support of the directors of both home and school. They have always been mindful of supporting us as a married couple. Now we not only have a bedroom and bathroom, we also have a kitchen and living room! We share the building with teams that stay on property, but have our own separate area. This allows us to help support the directors in hosting teams on property.

Bonding with the Honduran Nationals

As our time here has grown, so have our relationships with the Honduran teachers and staff at the home. We are growing in our Spanish language skills which makes it much easier to communicate. The Honduran teachers are so patient and encouraging with us in our language learning, helping to correct our mistakes so we are better speakers. The tías at the home are so kind. We are enjoying getting to know them more and building relationships with them. These women that live with and care for the children here are so special. They have tough jobs, but do it with such joy. Please pray for the tías as they have such patience and grace with all the kids.

Sports Program Success

Our first season of soccer for the sports program was a great success. We had six weeks of practices and games followed by championship games and an awards ceremony. We learned very quickly that this program will be very helpful teaching sportsmanship. More than they needed to learn how to play and win, these kids need to learn how to win AND lose well. We are excited to start a season of basketball so that the fun and learning can continue.

Savannah’s Fourth Grade Classroom

Fourth Grade is such a great age. My students are learning so much and impress me daily with their ability to learn. I love being able to joke and have fun with them as they learn. Time has been flying by! I can’t believe we have reached the third nine weeks already. As time passes, I am feeling much more comfortable in my teaching role. I feel as if my kids are responding to me well and learning. We have recently started division in Math and they are picking it up quickly. We are starting geography this month and they are SO excited and curious about this world we live in.

In the past month I have been able to have several gospel conversations with my class due to behavior issues or visitors that do not know the Lord. I have enjoyed watching my kids as they see the gospel in real ways in their lives. Please pray for each of my students as the grow, both in academics and in their faith in Jesus. Pray for me to have the grace and wisdom to teach, love, and discipline in a way that honors the Lord and brings glory to his name.

John David’s PE Class

PE has been a lot of fun. I have taught units on soccer, american football, and volleyball. I am currently teaching kickball, which they are absolutely loving. It is rewarding to watch them play all the way up to the bell and wish they could continue. Everyday I learn something new as I continue to speak and listen in Spanish. It has been a blessing to be given an avenue to have a continuous relationship with all the older grades. I care deeply for them. Pray for them with me, as I continue to invest however the Lord leads.

John David’s Social Studies Class

I have enjoyed teaching ancient history to first and second grade. I love my kids! We have class on Mondays and Fridays, but they ask me everyday if they get to have my class that day. I have noticed that as we progress into history, it has become a bit more difficult for them to grasp concepts at their level of learning. I have also noticed that a significant gap exists in their knowledge of geography and of other cultures outside of their own. I have decided that for the second half of the year, I will transition away from ancient history. The curriculum will be better suited for them when they are at a more advanced learning level. I am very excited to teach them about the world they live in. I will teach about the continents and oceans, followed by teachings on the cultures of the world. I just taught about our first country and culture: Kenya. It was so exciting to see my kids constantly engaged and fascinated by another world. They filled the entire activity time with questions while they worked.

Preaching

I (JD) have started sharing the pulpit with another teacher, Ben, for Sunday morning chapel services. I am very excited to have the opportunity further invest gospel seeds into the hearts of these kids and staff. Please pray that my migraines, or other sicknesses, will not interfere with this opportunity. Please pray that our labor will be honored by the Lord to produces fruit in the hearts of these kids.

Sickness

we were told to expect higher chances of illness at the start of rainy season. We did not expect it to hit every one of us teachers like a freight train. Each of us (even the Honduran teachers) have been in and out sickness. Please pray for our health to improve and that energy to make it through the day will be restored.

Migraines

I am suffering from an increased about of migraines because of the rainy season. Please pray that the Lord would see fit to bring relief. And if it is his will for them to continue, pray for me to find the strength to power through with patience, loving and serving the children through the pain and fatigue.

Thank You!

Thank you for supporting our ministry with your prayers and financial generosity!! You make every single day possible!

Three Month Update

Hello friends and family! We have reached the three month mark of this incredible journey! We cannot believe how fast time can fly. Sometimes we can’t believe three months are already past us. On the other hand, our days are so full and so many things have happened, its often hard to believe it has only been three months.

IMG_2386Savannah and I want to send you all an update, because we are so thankful for your prayers and support. There are SO MANY moments each day that we wish we could capture to share with all of you. We have grown close to these kids so quickly we already can’t imagine how we could say goodbye. No amount of pictures or videos can capture the beauty of what God has called us to participate in every single day. Yes, days are long and indescribably exhausting. Yes there are frustrations, even heartache. Yes it can be hard living in the third world. Yes there are hard days when teaching doesn’t go as you planned. But every day God sprinkles in reminders of why were are here. They come with every smile and every hug. Every time we here our names yelled from the casitas as we walk through the gates. Every time our students grasp what we are teaching, and enjoy themselves along the way. When we see a rise in a student’s motivation to learn. Even those times when we get to turn discipline into a teaching moment. They make it all worth it.

Our Ministry Opportunities

Are you wondering what a day in our life looks like? Have you checked out our page that describes what each of us do daily? Check it out by clicking here! Even if you have see it before, there is an UPDATE today!

Sports ProgramJD ref

This week was the very beginning of a new journey for the children’s home and school. We started a season of soccer that takes place after school. Never before have the kids had an on-property organized sports program. They are SO excited!! There are eight teams: three teams for 1st-2nd graders, two teams for 3rd-4th graders, and three teams for 5th-9th graders. We will practice once a week and play games once a week. Savannah is coaching a 3rd/4th grade team, and John David is coaching a 5th-9th grade team.

Sav CoachSavannah and I hope to take more pictures, and update more frequently. We have so many moments each day that make what we do all worth it. We want to say a huge THANK YOU to our friends and family. Thank you for making this all possible.

Be sure to keep up with our Facebook accounts (John and Savannah), where we can more easily share moments as they happen. Love you all!

Three Months!!

Three Week Update!!

school

Friends!

We can’t believe that just three weeks ago, we were settling in to our new home here. SO MUCH has happened in these past three weeks, and we are so excited to finally get a chance to catch you up!
The Team
We are so happy to be a part of this team of missionary teachers. They have quickly become friends and partners in ministry. When our nerves start to get the best of us, thereturning teachers have been swift to encourage us. It has been exciting to be a part of a team that spurs one another on towards ministry.
first day school running
School
For the first week and a half, we spent our entire days in the school preparing for the approaching school year. Meeting to learn about schedules and procedures. Writing long range lesson plans. Organizing and decorating classrooms. We figured that we would have plenty of time, but we learned quickly that we needed every minute of it!
As of right now, we are in the middle of our second week of school! As you can imagine, we both entered into the first week of school with some anxiety. Having no professional teaching experience, a LOT of firsts for us happened all at once! Every day since has gotten a little easier as we learn ourselves, our kids, and establish a routine.
We both LOVE what we are doing. Stay tuned for a seperate post that details each of our roles and our experiences thus far. It has been so cool to grow closer and closer to the kids. This much is clear: There is no doubt that God has placed us right where we are to show his love and to call our kids to the highest calling: to trust and follow Jesus.
Support
We have been BLOWN AWAY by the shear amount of support we have received by you, our family and friends! We can both tell that our daily lives are covered in prayer. It is hard to describe waking up each day for a task you know you can’t accomplish on your own strength. Our dependency on God has never changed, but it is felt on a whole new level here. Our faith is being stretched and growing more resiliant each day.
I can imagine you may be wondering how we are doing financially. We have been absolutely amazed, and humbled, by the provision of God and the generosity of YOU, our friends and family. Because of your generosity we were able to see half our total budget in our account before we even left for Honduras! We could have never anticipated this! We have funding through June before we even consider those of you who have committed to giving on a monthly basis! We are also excited to share that because of your scheduled monthly gifts we are on track to ALMOST meet our entire budget!! We are so close! We will be creating a separate page on this site where we will put figures to show our progress, once we receive the next report.
Thank you SO MUCH for your support. Every single one of your contributions has made our ministry possible. Our ministry is your ministry. We can already see that God has much in store this year. We are simply overwhelmed with gratitude: for the chance to be used by God, for your generosity both with financial support and also consistent prayers and encouragements. We love you all more than we can express.
Stay tuned for more updates and stories 🙂

One Week Away!

Friends,

A week from the very moment I type this, we will be launching off the runway on our connecting flight from Atlanta to Tegucigalpa!! Here’s a quick update on how we are doing. We are very sorry for delaying this update. If you can imagine, our lives have been a bit crazy.

“See Ya Later”
We learned a lot from our goodbyes over the past month. We learned that its a lot easier if we think of them as “see ya later’s”. We found out that all our belongings fit in a 9′ x 14′ box. We found out that saying goodbye to our home was way harder than we ever anticipated. We’ve always known our family and friends are truly incredible, but we discovered that we didn’t know the half of it. We have been daily reminded how blessed we are (more on that coming soon).

Fundraising Progress
I’m sure many of you are eagerly awaiting an update on how our support has been progressing. I am happy to finally have some information to share! As of right now, just from your generous one-time contributions, we just reached the half-way point! This is far beyond what we ever anticipated to see before we even left! We have yet to even see what will come from those who have decided to support us with monthly contributions. We will definitely be updating again soon once we know. Your contributions so far are an incredible blessing, because now we have a huge window of time to see if we are falling short and ask for additional support. Thank you SOO much for making all of this possible! We are so humbled by your generosity!

Prayer Requests
That our house will quickly find a renter. The process has been a longer and harder than we ever anticipated. We are eager to find someone, since a mortgage is difficult to afford when you have no income! We are blessed with a great team that is managing the property. Pray that they find someone who will care for our home soon and for the process to be smooth. Also pray for our hearts to be at peace, resting in faith that our sovereign God has it all in his hands.

We both deeply want to be really great at teaching and we want to be used by God to make a lasting impact on our kids eternity. Pray for God to go before us into the hearts of every child and bless our efforts to engage their minds and show them the love of God that can transform their hearts.

Thanks for taking the time to catch up with all that’s going on with us! More from us coming soon as we get on the ground and adjust to our new home!

Christmas Season Update

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The Christmas season has officially begun in the Root home. For a moment, we thought the sensible thing to do was to forgo decorating for Christmas this year, since we will soon be packing EVERYTHING and moving to Honduras. Maybe we were right; but we did it anyway and it was so worth it! The moment we began adorning our tree with a fire crackling and popping in the fireplace, we knew we had made a good decision. A blessing came that night by way of reminder, when we unpacked our very first ornament purchased as a married couple. I remember us walking through the store, knowing that we wanted this first ornament to be special, one worthy of being our first. When we saw this globe ornament, we knew it was the right one for us. Looking at it hanging on our tree two years later, it brings us a comforting reminder: God has brought us together, shaped our hearts, and ordained our past, present, and future. It’s hard to believe that two years later, we are preparing for this adventure.

The past month has certainly been a whirlwind for us. The fast approaching move has become all too real. Here’s a snapshot of our progress so you know how you can be praying for us:

1. House for rent – with several interested parties and scheduled showings. Its crazy to think about packing up everything we own. We will miss this home we have made with all our heart. Please pray that we find a renter quickly, and that they are people who will respect and care for our home.

2. Spoke at Savannah’s home church – This was an incredible blessing. We were overwhelmed by the love and support we found there. Pray with us that God has placed it on the hearts of families there to support our ministry.

3. Orientation – After Thanksgiving with family, we made the long drive down to Hattisburg, Mississippi for our much anticipated orientation. We got to meet the incredible team of fellow teachers and missionaries that we will be serving along side everyday. We got to talk about what this school year will look like, goals, expectations, etc. We were so encouraged to get answers  to our questions and clarity as to how our jobs and our days will go. It was a huge answer of prayer to discover how great our team will be. Seeing just a glimpse of their hearts over two days was a huge encouragement. We are so excited!

4. Spoke at John’s home church – This was also a huge blessing. The week we spoke happened to be the same week that their Honduras mission team was scheduled to give an update on their most recent trip. It was another reminder that God has orchestrated our past, present, and future. It’s all in his capable hands. Again, please pray for God to raise up the support we need from this church family.

5. Fundraising – Many of our friends and family have asked where we stand on raising support. Unfortunately that is not an easy answer to give. We are still waiting for the account to send us a report on what has already been given. We have many people who have verbally confirmed that they would like to give on a monthly basis throughout the entirety of our trip. This is awesome! The giving website even has an incredibly easy way to set up automatic, scheduled contributions! The only problem is that we cannot clearly see just how much has been pledged until their first contributions hit our account. We CAN however say that through the verbal commitments we have received, we know that we are well on our way. But we still have a ways to go and we need your help!! If you are still considering how God may be leading you to contribute to our ministry, here is a brief explanation of our needs.

We need funds in the month of January in order to cover airfare and related travel expenses (shipping needed classroom supplies is a steep up-front cost). We also need to be showing one month’s worth of support in our account in order for the organization to approve our arrival into the country. If you have decided to gift through monthly contributions, we ask you to consider starting your support in the month of January. Also, if you feel led to contribute with a one-time gift, you would be meeting an incredible need by doing so before the end of January.

We have been deeply humbled by this fundraising process, because of the overwhelming love and encouragement our friends and family have been. Thank you so much for being a part of this crazy thing God has called us to. Your sacrifice honors God, and it has deeply moved us.

Thank you so much for taking the time to catch up on what God has been up to in this crazy season. We deeply appreciate your prayers and your support. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!