Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Always be ready...change is on the way


This has been a full month as usual.  I was explaining something to a good friend of the ministry this past week.  I was telling her how my plans were changed all day long, and she said, "And, so what is new?".  True statement. 

 I had bought tickets in March to go to the United States in July to be there for the birth of a first baby of one of my girls, who was raised here at PTC.  I had everything planned with great airline tickets.  Babies are funny little creatures.  They don't care about your plans, or your deals, or your tickets.  They do their own thing.  I found out this week that I need to change my plans to go earlier.  

To plan to go earlier, I had to get busy.  I needed to get a menu together.  Hire a few other workers. Get the girls up to speed about me leaving.   I had already planned a driver to pick up our interns that are planning to come on the 7th, so I decided to change my tickets and leave at the same time the driver left to get the interns. It would work out perfectly.  However, the tickets available on the 7th with the airline I was dealing with was to travel 2 1/2 days and 4 airports later to get to my destination, that normally would take less than 3 hours direct. So I could get a direct ticket on the 6th, but the driver would have change his plans and stay overnight to get the team the next day.  So I called my daughter, who is a whiz-bang with the computer, and she said my password to that airline had changed.  I had to walk back to the kitchen in the dark from my house to get on wifi to change my password.  But my daughter got my ticket changed.  After all that exercise over the internet, I planned to be headed home to go to bed and get rid of this crazy day.

On my way back from the kitchen however, I heard our new little one crying like crazy.  While I was in town yesterday, Rosa took our little 14 year old, who has a 6 week old baby to get her first shot.  It wasn't one shot but 3 shots, and baby was miserable, the mom was frustrated non verbal and miserable, and Jessica, our 17 year old, was helping the little mama and she had done everything she knew.  I wanted keep on walking, but I stopped and told Jessica to get the baby's bath ready and told the mom to get a shower.  We got the baby bathed and changed and the little mama did the same. I rocked the baby until she went to sleep.  Change is a good thing sometimes. 

I planned to go to the States for our 4th annual Sister's Week, in September.  Again, things changed and I am going even in a different Month!  I needed to change my residency card.  So that meant that I had to go into the Capitol, so that it would be valid date when I came back into the country.  

I planned this week to get my license.  I had gone to take the Spanish driving test last week.  Through the mercies of God, I passed the written test and the driving test, but again plans changed because the machine that printed the  driver's license was not working. They said to come back on Tuesday.  It is an 1 1/2 hours away. But when we called, on Tuesday their machine was still broken.  We called yesterday and the machine was not working.  I went to La Esperanza to hopefully talk to an official who could help us, and found out that his plans had changed because he had been on duty for the annual Wild Mushroom Festival and took time off until Monday.  In his defense, if I was an official that was in charge of the Mushroom Festival, I would have taken time off too.  

I planned to get some other paperwork done for the ministry early this week and my good friend/ our lawyer/ board member, was not feeling well, because of all the trips she had made trying to help some other missionary friends with their paperwork.  Her plans had also failed to come together because of technicalities and the trip to Tegucigalpa is strenuous, and we were both not sleeping well, so our plans changed. 

I planned to go to the bank on Friday, but my plans changed when I had to go yesterday.   I went ahead and did all of my errands on Thursday, while I was waiting not to get my license.  I thought, "I might as well be productive".  I went to the bank, and to the grocery store, and paid my bills.  However, I was supposed to carry one of our girls to visit her dad on my way to the bank today (Friday).  I had to tell the dad that my plans had changed and that I needed him to come and pick her up.  So because of me changing my plans, I have changed his plans have changed 

My missionary friends reminded me of a commitment to visit them at their facility with all my girls with their team.  Something that my girls and I have done before with this missionary couple and I knew that we all would have a great time.  I have to go to Tegucigalpa this week on that day, because we couldn't go last week.  Plans changed.  Nobody's fault, they just changed.  So I am having my small bus checked, so I can call the driver to hopefully drive my girls there next week.  I also have to call the mechanic to get it checked out because I haven't driven it in forever. 

Those changes in plans, were just the highlights.  There seemed to be an onslaught of changes.  During this week, with lack of sleep and all these changes, I was contemplating having a nice little melt down.  It seemed a right thing to do.  However, God reminded me that He was in control and He never changes.  I was wondering why I was getting so upset, (outside of having a frozen coffee that the barista laced with chocolate, the stress was lasting longer than the effects of the caffeine that was in my frozen beverage).   As a child of God, I was supposed to put my trust in God.  I am supposed to know that He works everything together for my good.  The deal is  that I had to ask myself, "Do I really believe that or not"?  Sometimes, God allows you to get to a point to review in your own heart about what you really believe. 

I have had some girls that left the ministry last year, return to the ministry this week.  Things have changed for them.  Things didn't work out like they had planned. Life wasn't so kind to them as they had hoped. So now I am praying that God will send a mentor to these older girls.  I have made a special plan for them while I am away and when I return.  They have changed. Life may not have been kind to them, but God continues to be the essence of kindness to all.  

 On a brighter note, some of my little girls have changed for the good this week.  As I was praying for them to change, God asked me if I wanted them to change or did I want to change?  I thought, "I am ok, why do I need to change?  It is the kids who need to get a grip and obey.  If they would change, and listen to what I say, my world would be so much better."  So today, I started thinking about all the things that have been changing around here. I realized that I don't always listen to what God tells me to do.  I need to give grace and I will receive grace in my time of need.  So I changed the way I was praying for my little girls and my girls who are returning.  God grace, mercy and love is there for all.  He doesn't change.  He desires us to be more like Him.  Our plans may change, life always has another idea.  But, if we really have our face set like flint, seeking HIM above all else, nothing else really is higher to consider.  

Thanks from all of us to all of you who have been praying for us this month.  I appreciate every prayer and everything you do for this ministry.  We have a new girl and her baby.  We have a lot of new situations and we have needed every prayer.  Please pray for my staff when I leave to go to the United States, that God will continue to encourage them in every way.  Blessings, from the Harried, Hurried, Plan Changing, Prayer Changing, Grace Changing, Face Changing, Honduran MOM

Monday, June 4, 2018


This past week, I went to Tegucigalpa with Mirian, my dear friend and board member of our Honduran side of our ministry.  She is a great lawyer with a huge heart.  I am so thankful for all of her knowledge and kindness towards the girls and me. It was a long drive and we were both very tired from getting up so early to travel.  I was reading and she was napping.  I finished a book on the trip and began to start another, when I realized that we were supposed to get off at this stop!!!  I woke up Mirian and we literally ran off the bus, and got into a cab.  I had to get my residency card renewed at the immigration office, a title for a car, and some hard to find welding wire for Wesley to finish gates and fences we are building around the boy's home and around the mission house
Everything went quickly for me and my residency card and Mirian was getting the new residency cards of Wesley and Suzanne.  We left there quickly and went to our next destination, which was basically to the tag office.  I had lost a title to a vehicle we owned.  We spent two weeks getting everything checked in our police station which includes statements.  Then we had to go to the capital to get the other part of the process completed.  There were tons of people there!!!  We would have been the last out of about 75 people. However, I am what they call the "3rd age". It sounds softer than "elderly".  I love this country!  So because of that "3rd age" status, I was able to go to the front of the line of three very long lines!  I got the paperwork to get the new title, and we were off to the remote small store that carried limited, hard to find items of hardware which included a special kind of welding wire. Driving around Tegucigalpa is really complicated these days.  The capital city is getting a new transit system and new roads.  However, all the old road signs are down.  Our taxi driver was even a little confused.  We got to our destination and the owner of the store told us that the wire had just gotten there that morning.  We were able to get all of our errands done and return to our home at the mission before dark.  God prepared the way and every step we took for us to get everything we needed.  

We are in a rainy season!!!  Our area needed a lot of water.  We are so thankful for the rains that have been coming every day.  We are planning to transplant 3000 coffee trees!  Last year we had to cut down a lot of our trees on our farm because they were infected with tiny beetles.  I cried when I saw those trees come down, but today is a new day.  Now we are planting new coffee trees in this area of former destruction.  It is looking really great.  

The girls are finishing up the school year.  They have been running in some 5K runs this year.  Jake and Rachael, the directors of the school that my girls attend, and some of the other teachers from Abundant Life School have been coaching the girls on how to compete in these marathons.  It has been a wonderful opportunity for the girls to be participating in these activities. It has helped them in their confidence as well as their physical stamina.  Before, in our school here at the mission, the girls were somewhat isolated.  It was hard for our girls to interact with the children of the community being a part of a community of English speakers.   But now they are going on excursions with Honduran and North American groups to further their education on every level.  It is a new day. 

I have settled into the former mission house and all the teams have been doing great staying at my house.  I guess it is my version of the game "Fruit Basket Turn Over".  I have enlarged the kitchen area by extending the back porch. The sink at the former mission house was way to high for the girls to help wash dishes.  Wesley Jarrard, director of our boy's home, Casa de Nain, made us some beautiful new cabinets and sink area.  The girls take turns by houses every day helping me cook in the morning for breakfast.  They come very early in the morning at 4:15 a.m. back to "Mom's" house. Then, at lunch, we have a smaller group to prepare food for, because the girls eat lunch at school.  The girls and I, who work at breakfast, prepare a lunch for the girls to take to school.  We make a snack as well as breakfast for the girls.  There have been some new changes in the way we operate the farm, but they are good changes.  

Wesley and Suzanne Jarrard, have 4 boys at Casa de Nain.   They have worked like slaves getting the place fixed up to be ready for the boys.  Wesley set up a workshop to work on beds and cabinets for the boys.  They both have done a tremendous job.  They have been doing a lot of farming and they are now planting more coffee too. They are putting up new fences around the farm where the live.  Their boys are sponsored to go to the Abundant Life Bi-lingual School.  The four boys are there Monday-Friday and then they go home to their families on the week-ends.  They also spend time at family's home during school holidays.  We are so excited by this new development of how we attend to children of Honduras.  We had a baptismal service the other day at the river, and one of the first boys from Casa de Nain was baptized. A new beginning. 

We are thankful for our new house, number 5, that my church in Valdosta helped to build.  Other teams worked on the painting and installing the electricity.  Kelsey McHugh is in charge of house five and has the "Littles".  She will have a new position here and at the Abundant Life School.  She will be teaching math classes for half days and then working with our mission for the other part of the day.  She has been a great resource for me and a tremendous help with the little girls. Also, Kelsey has been helping motivate me to finish two books, I have been writing forever.  One is a children's book, that I wrote in a few hours. Years ago I was going to post it to my blog, but felt like it wasn't the time to do so.   The other is an on going book about how the ministry got started.  Kelsey has been my cheerleader to continue writing, along with Mary Langston and Rachael Compaan.  All of them are editing along the way with my constant rewrites.  They are very kind.  :)

I guess we all love new things.  Sometimes we all like to learn new things, if we can get beyond the old things in our lives.  Even though the mission house is 20 years old, it is new to me.  Our fences are new, House five is new, we have a new greenhouse, new coffee plants, three new girls and 4 new boys.  I heard one time that new changes in life are meant for us to grow.  If that is the case, we are all growing like crazy around here.  We are thankful that the mercies of the Lord are new every morning.  Everyday here brings something new to us.  I am constantly amazed at all the newI am thankful for the new growth that I am seeing in our mission in the girls and in me.  I am thankful for the new teams that are coming this year, and for our regulars, who have become part of our Such is the Kingdom family for so many years.  So many have prayed to get us this far. 

Thanks to Ken and Katrina, who took breakfast detail Monday-Thursday, in the 3rd watch of the night.  They were here and cooked, painted, picked-up and dropped off people and things.  I appreciate all the work they did for the 7 weeks they were here.  Everything looks so much better with a new coat of paint.

Thanks to all of you who continue to pray and support our Such in the Kingdom mission of Project Talitha Cumi and Project Casa de Nain.  We are all so blessed.  We have another baby in the house.  Her name is Irma, and her mom is extremely young.  Please be praying for both mom and baby.  Blessings from All the girls of SIKM and the New Every Morning, Honduran MOM