Tuesday, March 27, 2012

10 weeks to go

Ten weeks.  That is our time left here in Honduras.

Boy, it has been a long time since I made a post and I sure do have a lot to report.  So, let’s dive in:

Micah Tech – Most of you know that November saw the first 5 guys graduate from Micah Tech.  After a short break, most of which was spent building out the kitchen for Mama Jo’s, Franklyn and Edwin got started on their first year of being “the guys”, the director and lead instructor for the school.  Brian helped them develop the curriculum for the year and plan out projects, adding two new components to the school – mechanical drawing and electrical.  Mornings are spent in class and working on projects with the 18 students enrolled (some Micah guys, some from the barrio), and afternoons are spent working on for profit projects and beginning to put a plan together to turn the school into a for profit venture.  A few weeks back someone commented that “Brian Wiggs had worked himself out of a job” and I just smiled.  That was the point, after all.  Time to decrease so they can increase.
Mama Jo’s – After the tech guys did a fantabulous job building out the commercial kitchen in Villa Linda Miller, Mama Jo’s officially opened for business January 16th.  Just a little more than 2 months later we have several regular clients including school cafeterias, coffee shops, and the Chamber of Commerce.  We are generating approximately 1/3 of the needed revenue to be self supported.  A large client is in the works with only pricing approval pending from the purchasing department, and we will be meeting soon with the owner of the largest chain of coffee shops in Tegucigalpa to begin carrying our products in their stores.  There have bumps in the road, for sure, and every day brings a new challenge.  It is exhausting at times, but we press on because we believe this business is not only viable, but has the potential to expand and grow into other cities in Honduras.  Nine people are now employed and on their way to financial independence! 

Family – Brian went to the states for 24 days in February and March to speak at all of our supporting churches and outline what is coming down the pike in 2012.  His calendar became filled up very quickly with coffee, lunch, dinner, and meetings.  He was pleased to hear how receptive and positive everyone is about the move back to the states and came back encouraged and felt confirmation that we are going in the right direction.  He continues to work with Franklyn and Edwin in the tech school, lead short term missions teams, and minister to those in the market district.  He is praying about employment options when we return to Portland and is very interested in finding a small space to rent to do auto repair, allowing him some time flexibility to travel back and forth to Teguc over the next 3 years as needed. 

Natasha – Got the opening of Mama Jo’s kicked off in January and work with the moms and Karen to make adjustments and changes as needed.  Anyone who has started a business knows that the beginning is a nightmare and you have to be in constant tweak mode.  That is flying by the seat of your pants to allow for all the little unexpected, unknown, unplanned things that bombard you on a daily basis.  BUT, wow, I’m so proud of my moms.  They have stepped up to the plate, sometimes coming in at 1 am to make sure the products are baked in time for 7 am deliveries.  They are learning how to resolve interpersonal conflicts an put the business first, and they are all very happy to be receiving a paycheck twice a month.  This is going to grow, and grow big. 
In addition to starting a business in January and being mother to 4 kids and wife to Brian, I decided to go back to school signing up for a full load with PCC’s distance education program.  Math, medical terminology, and cultural anthropology, and I got straight A’s!  It feels so good to be studying again, my brain is alive!  And now, I can actually help Michael with his algebra because we’re studying at the same level.  Yes, I’m doing 8th grade math all over again.  *sigh*

Jake – Jake has been wrestling with the Honduran National team since November and had the opportunity to go to Panama to compete in a tournament.  He has gained 25 lbs of muscle since arriving, has gotten his life back on a good path, and is also taking a full load at PCC with his goal being to transfer to Oregon State and earn a degree in athletic training.  He has added a wonderful dynamic to the family with his fun and witty personality, and Brian and Michael love having their big brother here.
Michael – Michael is also now wrestling with the Honduran team, learning the basics, and in the weight room 3 days a week.  He is getting good grades this year and is on the year book committee.  He is looking forward to moving back to Oregon, though, putting mental tick marks on his wall counting down the days.

Brian James – Brian is the 3rd Wiggs boy working out with the Honduras wrestling team.  Can I just tell you how funny all that white looks in the middle of all that dark?  Don’t go sending me any comments about being racist, okay, because seriously, my kids need some sun.  And we have it every day, it’s just not making a difference.  They glow out there on the mat.  Anyway, the work outs are just what Brian needs to burn off the unbelievable amount of energy he has.  He loves being part of it, with his brothers.  It really is kind of cool to see the 3 of them out there.  Brian is doing well in school, getting good grades, and spends time with his friend Diego.  He is also looking forward to moving back to Oregon.
Nohelia – the daughter I never expected.  Nohelia and her 2 younger brothers changed schools this year and it has turned out to be a positive move for them all.  They fit in well with the demographic and have made a lot of friends.  She has grown by leaps and bounds in her faith and attends a Spanish speaking church every Sunday as well as participating in youth activities.  She would like to come to the states with us when we return, and that is our hearts desire as well.  We have applied to the intensive English program at PCC and are awaiting their approval.  If she is accepted we will need to apply for a student Visa before we have the definitive yes we’re hoping for.  So far the process is going incredibly smooth, but we would appreciate your prayers for the doors to fling wide open along the way. 

The MOVE – As time winds down some of the things that stress me out the most, are things that have to wait until last to take care of…like finding a rental house, or selling the stuff we have here.  We would appreciate your prayers for the right house, a 5 bedroom, in our price range, to come available mid to late May. 
We will be giving most of our furniture and household items to Ana whose house in Villa Linda Miller will be completed about the time we leave.  We have a prospective buyer for our car.  And now just to find a shipping company to send our 30 boxes of clothing, photos, and a few other things.  Again, please be praying as this seems to be our biggest obstacle at this time.  All of the cargo carriers we have contacted are not accepting domestic household shipments from Honduras.  I assume this is because of the narcotrafficking problem, but am not sure. 

We also need to find a good home for our German Shepherd and 2 cats, so prayers for that would be welcome too. 
Whew.  I guess that is what happens when you put 2 months between posts.  Thank you all for your support and encouragement through all of this.  We look forward to seeing y’all in just a little while. 


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