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Transforming Lives with Joy and Jubilee
by Katelyn McWilliams
Posted on Sunday, September 08, 2013
After Justin’s mother tragically lost her husband to gang violence, desperation set in, but she found hope in the form of her son’s education. Located in La Era, an impoverished community of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the Jubilee School actively seeks to restore joy, or jubilee, to the crime-ridden community.

David and Emily Romero began the Jubilee School four years ago with a vision to spiritually impact the lives of children and families through quality education. With this academic foundation, the now 170 students will be able to continue their studies or seek job opportunities.

Although his mom was unable to pay the five dollars to register her son, the Jubilee School helped Justin (pictured at middle right) enroll in a Kindergarten class that will daily teach him about Jesus. As the tearful mother told her painful story, David shared the gospel, and she expressed her desire to follow the One who preaches good news to the poor.

Brittany Foster (pictured at bottom right), radio personality at WCSG in Grand Rapids, MI, teamed up with Orphan Outreach in April to visit La Era. On a radio station sponsored mission trip for listeners, Foster’s group was the first that Orphan Outreach took to the school. They were able to love on the kids at the school and from the community through Vacation Bible School.

“We also helped with small projects around the school,” Foster said. “We were involved in an afterschool tutoring program as well as documenting some of the kids for the sponsorship program through Orphan Outreach.”

The concern the teachers and directors have for the Pre-K through 3rd grade students made an impact on Foster. The Christian teachers, many from La Era, are a committed group who love the Lord and are finishing or have finished their college degree. God is at tangibly at work through these adults who care for the children as their own, as there is an obvious desire for each child to grow in both practical knowledge and in the knowledge of Jesus.

“In the United States, teachers care about their kids, but the teachers at Jubilee love their students,” Foster said.

The Romero family captivated Foster as she witnessed their faithfulness to follow the pull of the Holy Spirit even amidst trials and uncertainty.

“They were being faithful to their calling,” Foster said. “It was refreshing to see their joy for the work of the Lord. David and Emily just oozed excitement and love for the school. It is a powerful thing to see a believer who is in the center of God’s will and is excited about the work they are a part of.”

Upon her return, Foster was able to tell others of the new partnership between Orphan Outreach and the Jubilee School when she aired an interview she did with Emily while in Honduras.

Emily discussed the various benefits and blessings the school has experienced through teaming up with Orphan Outreach including new friendships and financial assistance, but she emphasized it is much more than that.

“Having people walk alongside us who have done it before, who have a lot of experience, who have been called by the Lord to assist other ministries, who are working with at-risk youth and children,” Emily said. “We have so much in common in that way.”

The school resides in an area with a heavy gang presence, but God’s hand of protection has left the school with few issues of violence. Through the dreams of the directors and teachers, God is using Kingdom growth to heal a community.

“We have seen God’s mighty hand at work and his hand of provision, and I cannot emphasize that enough,” Emily said. “We live in the most violent nation in the world, and we depend on his protection and on his warring angels.”

Along with prayer, volunteers can meet specific needs. Emily sees networking, grant writing, mailings, journalism and event planning as areas that need attention.

After getting to know David and Emily and experiencing the Jubilee School for herself, a member of Foster’s mission team, Michele Yaquinto, returned from Honduras ready to tell others about the ministry. She has continued to serve the students and teachers at Jubilee School as the volunteer event coordinator for Jubilee's annual Celebration Event on November 21 in Grand Rapids. This annual event celebrates all that God has done and continues to do in and through the Jubilee School. It will be a time to share testimonies, stories, videos and pictures of the work being done at the Jubilee School. Mike Douris, Orphan Outreach President, will speak and child sponsorships will be available.

“It’s exciting how people are coming alongside the vision and are willing to give of their time and resources to make this ministry possible,” Emily said.

With the generous help of outside donors, volunteers and prayer warriors, the Jubilee School is transforming lives throughout the community, starting with children—children like Justin.


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