The door is open, but whether or not I will be able to walk through it is still up in the air.
I currently have an opportunity to work at a different school that is in the works by a missionary friend of mine. They have a sponsorship program in a poor community where they get kids into schools that wouldn't otherwise have a chance to go. They now have so many kids enrolled in the public schools that the schools are refusing to take more of these sponsored kids, so they have decided to open their own school.
When they approached me about it, I had already been seriously considering a move to another amazing ministry far outside of the city. There, I would be primarily in charge of the animals and help create a sustainability program with the local community, and would also be able to help with the trade school where women make jewelry among other things.
I visited them over Easter break and LOVED it because it was a lot of working with my hands and the animals and great people, but something just didn't quite feel right about it. I honestly can't explain it, but I just didn't have an absolute peace about going there. But I was still thinking about it and wrestling with my decision when J offered me a teaching position at their school.
Of course I then spent several weeks going back and forth and not being completely sure about either, and frequently joked about just tossing a coin to decide. As it would turn out, there were a couple of seemingly minor events that confirmed my direction.
One night, I did actually pull out a coin and flipped it. While it was in the air, I knew I wanted it to land on the school, on staying here in San Pedro Sula and working with the kids that I love, the ones that don't have another chance to go to school, the ones that I've already been working with on the street.
There's a large Coca Cola sign on the side of the mountain that can be seen from a number of places around San Pedro, and there's also a trail that goes up the mountain so that you can go behind the sign. My roomie and I conquered said mountain trail one Saturday morning and as I took in the breath-taking view of the city beneath me, the thought that bubbled up along with a strong sense of belonging was: "This is my city."
I've never considered myself a city girl, despite the fact that I spent the majority of my life in the suburbs of Detroit, but there's something about this city that just makes it feel like my city. My heart is here. I don't know how this big city stole my heart, and I certainly don't know when, but somewhere along the way, it happened.
And so... If all goes well with the paperwork process involved in starting a school here, I will be taking a teaching position starting in February. The school year here goes from February to November, although a lot of bilingual schools are on the American schedule of September to June.
Here's the catch: I will be teaching Spanish reading and writing.
This is slightly terrifying. In a recent blog post, I talk about Corner School, where I have been teaching the street kids Spanish reading and writing. So, I know it's something I can do, but on the street corner with 2 - 3 kids that have no expectations and are not going to be tested on anything is a heck of a lot different from being in a class of 10+ kids that do have to learn everything and will be tested on it. And it's something I will be getting paid for and have to prepare for and all that jazz.
So, after I head up to Michigan to visit family and friends for the summer, I will be returning in August to begin one-on-one Spanish tutoring. My original plan was to attend a Spanish school, but after much asking around, I found a friend who is a great Spanish tutor (she's tutored several missionary friends of mine who all recommend her) who's going to charge me less than half that I would pay in an actual school.
So, since I won't be getting paid (except in online work if I can keep getting it) during that time, I'm looking for donations and any assistance that I can. Here is a breakdown of my anticipated expenses during that time. I don't yet know where I'll be living, so that is estimated, but here is my budget during that time:
Tutoring - $6.50/hour for 10 hours/week - $65/week - $260/month
Housing/Utilities - $150/month
Food/Etc. - $100/month
Misc. - $100/month
For 3 months: $1830
If you are interested in helping, here are some ways that you can help:
Donate directly to me though PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate through my GoFundMe campaign: www.gofundme.com/melodyjoyfunds
Buy some of the jewelry I have for sale: melodyjoyfundraising.blogspot.com/
Hire me over the summer!
- Yard work / Gardening
- House Sitting / Pet Watching (possibly my house with pets)
- Summer tutoring
- Spanish lessons
- House / Garage cleaning (I'll even haul away the junk you don't want.)
- Pretty much anything else you could possibly need help with!
More than anything, though, please continue to pray for me as I step out in faith every day and try to follow God's plan for my life. Pray for the legal process involved in starting the school, that they would have favor and that everything would fall into place. Pray for me as I transition to being back in the States for longer than I've been in over a year and for transition back to Honduras after that. Pray for every student that God has already planned on placing in the school that they would get sponsors and be able to come and learn and be loved.