I remember, over two years ago, I sat down to write my second blog post. My first blog post had been posted only a few days before, so I felt then that I needed to quickly clarify that although I write about stories from my life and our family, I am in no way calling myself a writer. I set out to clarify then and I restate it again now, “I am a math teacher.” In my line of work, after I get everybody quiet and focused, it is my sole purpose, as deemed by the State of Georgia and Valdosta State University, to teach children how to find answers. Despite the skill we are learning or the standard I am reviewing, I am constantly on the lookout for the right answer. I am not a writer; I am a math teacher.
Answers. I guess you could say that I like them. Knowing I am at the end of a problem, and I have successfully followed all the necessary steps. It gives a feeling of accomplishment to know that all of my hard work resulted in a final solution. I did not set out to become a teacher. As a matter of fact, I absolutely hated math in school. When I was in college someone suggested that I become a teacher, I scoffed and thought, “Not me!” Lesson learned…don’t ever scoff at a future job possibility, or you may just become that very thing when you grow up!!
As I sit and compare how life is today compared to when I wrote that second blog over two years ago, I realize that I still have far more questions in my life than answers. Just about the only thing I am sure of is that I am not sure of anything! I still pray for God to reveal answers to me about the future and allow me to have patience for understanding events from the past. I still miss Holt every single day and my homesickness to see him grows with every passing minute. I think that is about the best way for me to put it into words. The way you feel when you are on a long trip and you deeply miss seeing the ones you love the most. You can’t wait to get home and walk through the door just to get your hands on them, to sit and spend time together with them again. I have that kind of feeling, homesick for Holt.
Before people message me to say, “Hey, Kim, you are not supposed to have all the answers.” I want you to know that I do know that. I am actually getting pretty good at not knowing all the answers in life. I think there is a word for that….it’s called “trusting.” I am learning to do what I have written about and that is, “Trust in the Lord.” It’s not easy to completely trust what you cannot see, but I do know that God has a plan and without Him I will never find the right answers. So, despite the fact that two years later I still have lots of questions, I want to write a little today to inform you of just a few answers that I can give.
What is Holt’s House of Hope all about? It’s a ministry to help provide refuge for the boys on the streets of Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic. The boys range in age from pre-adolescents to older teens. Some have been kicked out of their homes and orphaned or forced out to try to earn money for food. They wash windshields at a busy red light to make money and pretty much live on the beach. When talked to about the Bible, these boys are eager to listen and learn. A different reaction from many adolescents in the United States who may take learning about Jesus for granted. Many of these boys do not know how to read because they work to make money rather than going to school. The have little hope for a better future because they lack skills for the workforce. They lack hope for eternity because they do not know Jesus made a way. Our foundation in conjunction with The Bridge Church in Lawrenceville, Bridge Community in Blackshear, Dominican Republic-FCA, and Locking Arms Men’s Ministry hopes to provide a way to help these boys in the present and the future.
What is going on right now with that ministry? We are working to get non-profit status for Holt’s House of Hope in the DR so we can legally pay two Dominican men to work with these boys. We will start by building relationships so we can better understand how to help them. We already have two men praying about working for us in this ministry. They both have a heart for these boys already, so that means God has been working on this ministry longer than we realized. In addition to the two Dominican men, we would love to have an American missionary who feels led to oversee this ministry and live in Boca Chica. Again, someone with a God-given love for these boys who desires to be part of helping restore and disciple them. Once we get the non-profit status and better understand how to meet the needs of the boys, we will build a facility that will provide shelter, food, showers, classroom, rest, and discipleship. I am not exactly sure how this will look. Whether it will be like a boys’ shelter or home, but I know once again that God has those answers, and when the time is right to know, he will show us.
Is it easy to have so many unanswered questions about a ministry so far away? Not easy at all, especially for me, but that is the amazing part. When you have to trust God to reveal all of the answers in His time it can be frightening, but when this ministry is accomplished, it will totally be God who made it a reality. There is no way this can happen without Him.
What is going on with this book you said you were going to write? Yes, I am still writing a book. I worked diligently all summer on it and then school started back and my math teacher hat went back on. After 40 plus chapters, I am close to being finished, but in October I realized that God is still writing some parts of the book for me. Things in life that I have experienced just in the last few months need to be in that book. Things that I have planned in the next few months need to be in there too. Holt’s House of Hope needed to be part of my book for sure. Hopefully this summer I can put the final chapters together and begin the next process; that is my new goal. My mom may be the only one who buys a copy, but I promise I am going to write and publish this book.
What about the jewelry fundraiser for Holt’s House? Yes, we make the necklaces and stamp the charms for our Spring jewelry fundraiser. Yes, we make it and don’t just buy it. It takes a lot of my time, which is why blogging has decreased, but it was a good fundraiser for the foundation last year, so we are trying it again through Spring. 100% of the money we make is used toward the ministries of The Holt Rowland Foundation and Holt’s House of Hope. Recently, we have given money to the “End It Movement” to help reduce and end human trafficking, bought a case of Bibles for FCA, and helped sponsor a mission trip to Honduras. Our Spring fundraiser will be used to raise funds for the purchase of land in Boca Chica to build the facility for the boys when the time is right and we know what they need. Thank you to everyone who has helped us out with purchasing items last year and so far this year. We thank you so much!
Over Spring Break Dave, Hunter, and I will travel to the DR for a few days to visit with our missionary friends, Mike and Jodi Shaheen. It will be an opportunity for us to see the area, make some decisions regarding Holt’s House, and allow me to go the DR for the first time. Money raised for Holt’s House of Hope and the foundation is NOT being used for our family to travel to the DR. This trip is an investment that our family wants to make in this ministry because we believe God has a purpose for The Holt Rowland Foundation in the Dominican. God knew it before Holt ever took his first mission trip there. Pray that God will help us make the right decisions regarding Holt’s House of Hope. Pray that God will show us all the answers we need to get this ministry started.
Why in the world do you watch “The Walking Dead?” I watch that crazy show because, believe it or not, there is a well-written plot that makes you want to keep watching. Despite the blood and graphic scenes, it is a deep show with a combination of characters from all walks of life. I like that it is filmed in North Georgia. My shopping buddy, Stacy, and I went to Senoia, Georgia to shop once, and I heard people talking about the show. Pretty much all of the show has been filmed in or near there. At that time I thought the show was ridiculous; I wanted nothing to do with watching a show that had the word “dead ” in the title. Back then I was offended even when I turned the channel and caught a glimpse of a zombie. During one New Year’s marathon of the show, I decided that I was going to make myself watch just one episode to see what it was all about since I had recently been to Senoia. I sat there with one hand over my eyes just in case something scary happened. As the plot unfolded in that one episode, I was more intrigued than scared by the end, and I wanted to watch the next episode just to see what was going to happen to the characters. When Dave came in and saw what I was watching he thought I was crazy but now he is hooked too. My friend Stacy still thinks I am crazy!
Another reason I watch it is because every character on there is dealing with the loss of family members. Each character has either lost a child, a spouse, parents, siblings, other family members, or friends. The characters wake up each day with death on their minds feeling homesick for those loved ones, and they live with that sense of loss every minute just like I do. Death is a part of their life, so I can relate to how they must feel. Weird, I know, but I am just being honest.
Would you ever consider being a zombie on the show? Whenever I have a bad day trying to teach my students how to find the correct answers in my math class, I will not lie; I have considered it! 😉