It was fall of 2013. I sat in the living room of my good friends Jeff and Mandy Sheldon. We had finished watching some football on a Sunday afternoon when they began showing me pictures of their recent trip to Honduras. I had no idea that these pictures of the Honduran orphans laughing and playing would make such an impression on me. But countless times after that day I would find my thoughts returning to that orphanage. Halfway through the recap, Jeff looked at me and said words that have sent my life into a fantastic and completely unexpected whirlwind. He said, “We are going back in February, do you want to come?” Without hesitation I said, “Sure!”
Three months later as we were walking up the hill of Good Shepherd Children’s Home, I felt a tug on my heart that I knew would be hard to shake. When the first little girl walked out of her Casita not even a hour into my visit, and began chatting with me in her adorable little Spanish voice, I knew it would be very difficult to say, “Adios.” And boy was it ever. I quickly came up with several very viable ways that I had in fact “lost” my passport and was unable to return home. But through tears, hugs, and my struggling Spanish, I promised them I would be back soon.
This past September the three of us returned to the Central American country. I arrived armed with about 6 month’s-worth of hugs, laughter and love and hundreds of prayers and questions as to how this place was going to be involved in my future. I knew that God had mended my heart to this country, its people, and specifically the beautiful children of GSCH. I was very unsure what that would look like. I had no clue if there even was a need in this Hispanic country for a young, white single male with no class room experience. But it only took about 24 hours and two conversations for God to say, this is it, this is what I have prepared you for.
I am so excited to tell you that I will be returning to Honduras in January of 2015 to be a LEAD teacher at Good Shepherd Christian Academy, which is located on the same property as the children's home.
I will be teaching Bible classes in both English and Spanish for grades K4-9th. I will take part in developing, launching and coaching the school’s first extracurricular sports program. This will be organized soccer and basketball. I will also be teaching PE and conducting both Bible Studies and one-on-one discipleship with the kids.
I am so thankful that God has put you in my life and that we can partner in His incredible work together. I do ask you to lift me up in prayer as I venture out into the new and unfamiliar path God has called me to walk. I am exited but also quite nervous as this will not only be my first time doing much of this but it will be in a different, culture, country and language. Pray that I will be able gain a greater understanding of the Spanish language in the next few months. Pray as I prepare to teach, coach and mentor in ways that will be completely new and different. Please pray that God will proclaim his Great and glorious name through my mouth, my hands and my feet.
I have committed to serve in this capacity for the 2015 school year. This will be from February to the end of November. In that this will be on a strictly volunteer basis, I will need to raise support to cover my stay on the BMDMI property. Upon writing this letter I have already had $1000 of the needed $10,000 committed. Please pray with me about the possibility of partnering with me in this incredible work of making His great name known to all people of every nation.
In addition to my personal financial needs to make this happen, there are ongoing needs at GSCA that I will gladly share with you. Presently, we are raising funds to build a soccer and basketball court to be used for the afterschool programs and for PE. God has graciously provided about half of our needed funds for this venture. Every penny that I receive, over my needed $10,000 ($1,000 per month), will go directly to this project. I would be happy to share other needs and opportunities to serve this incredible ministry upon request.
- Dawn Smitley
- Dawn Smitley
- Dawn Smitley
- Dawn Smitley
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