Well, I can't hardly believe I have written 100 blogs! I am thankful for everybody who made a comment or sent me an encouragement to continue to write about the life I have with the girls God has loaned me for this season in my life.
So many things are happening right now. I am so thankful for this new year and a chance to start fresh. I used to be one to make New Year's Resolutions, but as I would get into the year the memory of the resolutions I had made would grow strangely dim. So I am trying to do what the Word says and don't say what you will be doing in the next week. I realize there is sufficient evil for every day, but something I can do right away, every moment without waiting is to pray.
I have had so many things going on at the same time here. I have had two women who left our employ just because they needed the extra money they receive when they leave. They had been with us for two years. I found out that most of the Hondurans don't even follow these laws of unemployment tax. The law basically says to just pay an amount figured by the labor office when the employee leaves. While I was doing that, I found out in the last year the minimum wage has basically doubled, and they are looking for it to triple before this new year is out. So the employment tax I had to pay was doubled. Also one of the workers was pregnant. I didn't know and neither did her co-workers or my girls! . So I had to pay about $1000.00 over what I already owed her, plus the raise in the monthly minimum salary, because it is the law that she gets that much to recuperate from pregnancy. It is also against the law to fire a pregnant woman without paying huge fines. I wasn't firing her, she was quitting, so that was a help. Now it may not seem like a lot according to the States but if you look at it as being 6 months salary extra, it is a lot. WE are now looking only for older menopausal women. :) to help us here at night and our cook during the day.
With all that said, I was told by one Honduran employee that because I was a missionary that I need to just follow the rules of the country whether or not it made sense to me. I am of course going to comply, but I have asked God for wisdom and He has showed me how to handle it. I had to go to a lawyers office this week so that I could figure something out legally to have helpers here on the Farm. So that was one huge crisis out of the way.
Then we had a chicken pox breakout here at the farm. The worst was an older girl who is seventeen. She was covered up in them and the lesions were all over her face. My mom happened to send me with a fresh tube of pure Aloe vera gel and I am so thankful. While at home, my mom and I also bought lavender oil, and that seem to help with all the itching. But the last girl will go back her own house tomorrow. We have had some to have a secondary infection and had to go to the hospital for shots, and during all this, two have developed a bacteria in their stomach from something other than chicken pox. The doctors said the stomach bacteria was highly contagious and is spread by saliva and sharing food. Now we have a rule that no one can eat off each others plates etc, but they do some times. So I am giving the "talk" to the girls not to drink after or touch anybody's food or drink. Those two girls are on serious antibiotics. So the medical situations were another huge thing here at the farm
The second day of the outbreak, a the Public Defender of Children in neighboring town brought a girl that is 13, who has a two month old baby. The girl is tremendously shy and she veers away from any kind of a hug or contact of any sort. She just now has started talking a little. I had to try to keep them separate from the girls who were contagious. I couldn't send her to another house because she needed some help just learning not to stand next to a boiling kettle of water with her baby in her arms while making formula. I rarely have my TV going but it was full of videos just so the girls could get their minds off of being miserable. She hadn't seen TV at all and so she kept coming in with the baby. I reiterated "You don't need to be in here with the baby". She said, "It's okay, I have already had chicken pox." I said, "Well I don't think your baby has". Her eyes that are usually cast down, got really wide, and she said, "Ohhh!"and hurried out of the room. She is just a child herself, so that was a huge shift here at PTC.
While all of this was going on we had some girls decide they wanted to go on a holiday without permission. I have been working on this most of the week, having to make several trips into town to the various government agencies. The girls decision affected so much that is currently going on here. I had to report everything to the authorities, if not the ministry would be in trouble, but because of the infractions of some girls in the past, it has affected the decisions from the authorities made for the particular offense this time. Statements had to be made, and it just turned into something huge.
There were a host of other things happening along with the aforementioned, and I was trying to call people to explain what was going on and wasn't being able to connect with anybody. So then finally I did like Jonah when God sent a huge wind and a huge whale to swallow up Jonah and his huge problems. At that point in the belly of the whale, he didn't have anyone else to talk about his huge problems, and it says "then he prayed". I still don't understand why I have to get into that condition before I pray. I am glad I didn't get in contact with anyone. God is a HUGE God. He excels in "huge". He is an awesome God, and He reigns over a Huge Heaven and Huge EARTH. I just wish that when huge things start coming my way, that I would grab God and not the phone.
This year I want to stop, drop, and pray first, instead of my other alternatives. I didn't used to have these luxuries of cell phones and facebook and messaging on the mission field. I am still amazed at the things my Blackberry phone can do, but seriously how can I even compare a hand held phone to how amazingly awesome our God is and what He can do?
I have truly appreciated all the people who have made themselves available to me for counsel and encouragement, but sometimes I tend to lean to them instead of the One I am supposed to lean on. I am going to continue to call and update our status and look for counsel, but not until I pray first. I want to think of prayer first and prayer second, and then pray better. If I took all these huge problems that have come at me this past week and calculate the time I have rolled it around in my mind, I could have had time to do some huge praying. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make you request be known unto God and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and minds through Christ Jesus. Instead of a V-8 I could have had peace! "Perfect prayer is only another name for love" Fenelon. Luther said, " If you pray better you live better and love better. Perfect love casts out all fear, I want to pray better this year. Thanks for all the prayers that have been sent our way, we have absolutely needed them and we are very grateful. Blessings, from the Huge Praying, Honduran MOM
Sunday, January 8, 2012
I was determined to read a book that my daughter bought me for Christmas. I have been running hard since I got back from the graduation of my daughter from the University. We had Christmas, a team, New Years, labor union meetings etc and so I just felt like I needed some down time. The series is called "The Mitford Series" by Jan Karon. I have read the book series twice, but had loaned the girls the first book in the series and it went missing. I asked my daughter to replace my missing book when she asked me what I wanted for Christmas and looked forward to reading it again. I decided this Saturday was to be my "day off".
I woke up at my normal time at 5 a.m. Prayed and did my devotions. Then afterward, I got out my book and then the night workers came to the door at 6 a.m. to be paid. So I got on my scurfy white bedroom shoes and my fuzzy white housecoat, checkbook , receipt book, and black ink pen to take care our laborers who had work diligently this week and needed their pay.
I heated up some old coffee from the day before after the workers left, and when back to my bed a now I was freezing, so I put on my heating pad to get warmed back up. I got my book and read a chapter and the girls came to get the breakfast ingredients from my house. I would love to keep all of the groceries in the kitchen pantry, and not have to go through the ritual of "What do we cook for Breakfast routine" but in the 17 years here we have not been able to do that. Main ingredients to the next meal go missing and it is hard to keep a hold on what was in the bodega. So I got that attended to.
I got back to my room determined to grab up my book. Then I got up when the girls came in asking for lasagna and rolls and so I made showed the girls how to make each item and we made enough for 35 girls along with 2 apple cobblers. While I had gone into the kitchen to show them how to make rolls and lasagna, I saw a box of apples that a local store where I shop each week needed to be used quickly, so I cut up the apples and showed the girls how to make cobblers.
Then the new worker was refusing to make tortillas because she didn't have any wood for the outside cook stove. So I got into the flatbed and rounded up the girls who were not cooking in the kitchen, drove to the back of the farm, and loaded up to the very top of the cab a load of limbs and sticks and brought it back to the outside kitchen. I went back to my room and picked up my book. I told the girls they could come into my house and finish a movie they were watching the night before. The lights had gone off last night and so they were unable to finish their movie Matilda. I thought if they were busy, I might could get after reading my book.
Then a lady who needed a job came up and so I interviewed her for a position of housemom at night. She left and I went back in to my book. The girls came in after their movie and said the new day worker, who was pretty young, but I was trying it out because her sister works for us during the week and does a great job, had asked me to give her a chance as a weekend worker. Even after getting the wood she needed she didn't cook the tortillas. I cooked the lunch with the girls and so really all she did all morning was make a salad and cooked a pot of beans. She asked if I wanted her to come the next day, I told them to tell her "I thought not". Then the girls came in and said the Hardware Store Guy was here to deliver cement. I just grabbed the checkbook on my bed from where I left it from the morning payroll incident and gave them a check and a receipt to get him to sign. They brought back the receipt.
I went back to my book… Then the girls came and said one of the goats had her babies and they were premature. So I went out to the back field and checked on the goat and ended up with the girls cleaning up the goat pen and cutting and chopping some more johnson grass and sugar cane for the 12 goats that we now have. I had a goat earlier in the week, that birthed two baby goats and she lost them because she had no milk or colostrum. So I have lost 4 baby goats this week. I was going to make cornbread before the goat incident happened. I was frustrated with the loss of the goats and not getting the cornbread on, but we moved on. I got back to the kitchen and the girls were eating their tortilla-less soup, but the silver lining was that the apple cobbler was ready.
I put a new Shirley Temple movie on and went to my book, then I needed to counsel with one girl who came and sat on my bed. She had been taking things from the other girls and so we talked about what abuse was and how it can take different forms. She had been abused one way but her taking personal things from the girls was abuse too. She cried, we prayed and she went to go watch the movie. When she left another girl came to my bedside and shared about a serious situation she was going through, and then another comes and talks about her headaches she has been having and then I had to go to another girl who was struggling with so many things, and spent an hour in her room, with tears and hugs we resolved some of the issues she was dealing with. I confessed my feelings of inadequacy and she later came and brightly said that "I was the best mom ever" as she was telling me good night. I laid my neglected book to the side, turned out my light, laid my head on my pillow and thank the Lord for my day. It wasn't to restful but it was blessed. Blessings the Sporadic Book Reading/Resting Honduran MOM