Written by: Carolyn Ruttan

It’s Valentine’s week . The week for friendship and love, and if there is one thing I am thankful for while living in Honduras, it is the friendships that my children have with their peers.  It makes my heart happy.  You see, Honduras is not like Canada in that they have the freedom just to walk where they want or take a bus to the mall or a friend’s house to hang out. It simply would not be safe to do so, especially being white and young . After a while that can grate on your nerves and it can sort of feel like you are in prison. Bars on the windows, serpentine wire on the walls and you can’t go anywhere alone. You have to stay in the house where you are safe.  It’s not the kind of place where people are in the area and just stop by for no reason.  Honestly that is one thing that Dale and I miss. Unless we are expecting someone, we generally don’t answer if someone is banging on our gate outside.

Yet, my kids are a part of an amazing youth group. There are quite a few of them and they are a close knit, tight group. They get together often.  They encourage one another. Pray for one another. They are friends. They love one another and they love the Lord. One time we had about twenty of them over to our house for pizza and games, (supervised) while the parents went out to a new pizza restaurant. It was a great night for the youth and the parents who also got to enjoy friendship and camaraderie. It was needed, and for sure we will do it again sometime.

Heb 10:24

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

Our family is also part of a fellowship group with four other families that meet each Thursday night. This group is not just for adults like most home groups….it’s for the youth too. They have a voice and it is great to see them opening up and sharing their thoughts and hearing their hearts.

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Gal 6:2 Share each other’s burdens , and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Being so far from “home,” I never would have imagined that my children would have the closeness with their peers that they do here.  They could be hanging out with the wrong crowd, with people who would want to influence them in the ways of the world, but they aren’t.  It is a huge blessing from the Lord. I’m thankful they have a support system and people their age they can rely on, talk to, pray with and be themselves.

Gal 6:2 Share each other’s  burdens , and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Proverbs 12:26 The godly give good advice to their friends, the wicked lead them astray.