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Reason for Jubilee!
by Julie Cramer
Posted on Monday, February 04, 2013
In Hebrew the word jubilee means a loud horn blast, a signal of something about to begin. Every 50 years the Israelites were to free slaves, give the land rest, and exonerate debt. On the Day of Atonement—when the nation feasted and celebrated God’s deliverance of them out of Egypt and his forgiveness of sins—the Hebrews were to rejoice in God’s freedom.

“Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you” (Lev. 25:10a, 12a).

One hundred and thirty children from kindergarten to third grade now know jubilee firsthand thanks to the vision of a young couple, who started the Jubilee School in La Era—a neighborhood in the Honduran capital, Tegulcigapa. Here kidnapping, extortion, and violent break-ins are as common as chicken buses that taxi travelers around the city.

Orphan Outreach has formed a new partnership with the Jubilee School that will increase its capacity to offer more children a chance to rejoice.

The school's cofounder, Emily Romero, fell in love with the country's "natural beauty, friendly people, family-centered culture, and beautiful children," as a Spanish student and later as a teacher at a Christian high school, where she met her husband, David. In February 2010 the couple opened the doors to Jubilee School after a time away pursuing their graduate degrees in the States.

“God had placed a passion in our hearts to return to Honduras to work with at-risk children,” Emily said. “Honduras is considered the most violent nation in the world, but God has been our rock and our protection in the midst of unstable and shaky times. We are grateful and excited about this new partnership with Orphan Outreach. Ever since the school began we have prayed that God would continue to open doors and allow us to grow, improve, and reach more children. We believe that Orphan Outreach is a direct answer to that prayer.”

Austin South, director of programs in Honduras, confirmed the struggles children in the country face. “La Era is a very poor, gang-ridden community,” he said. “Most people who live there are just trying to make it. A high percentage are in gangs that deal in the drug trade. It’s not safe to walk about after dark. The temptation for young people to get involved in gangs, drugs, alcohol and prostitution is very high. Most people don’t make it past sixth grade.”

Jubilee's mission is to change that ... for good.

While others may see violence, perhaps the children of Jubilee will sense a new dawn, a hope rising among the sounds of families trying to survive—the music from taxi windows, the footfalls of day laborers, the slap of wet clothes against washboards, and teachers calling their names.


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