Thursday, May 23, 2013

A New Continual Fiesta

Many of you have seen the photos of our girls and of the children in the Community that celebrated Jesus with a wonderful week in Vacation Bible School called Fiesta. I just wanted to share the "rest of the story"  

I went to the United States to attend my daughter's graduation from Valdosta State Unversity.  I only had 10 days and 3 of those days were travel days.   It worked out great.  I was traveling on my sky miles and some sky miles of some friends that donated some of their miles to me.  So I was feeling very smart and blessed being able to fly on a free ticket.  I had never done that before.  Because it was a frequent flyer ticket, I had to stay one day in Atlanta, which worked out because I wanted to see my sister and visit with her.  Well that didn't work out like I hoped, but I had a nice room and great free breakfast and set out early the next morning on a free shuttle, to go to Valdosta.  

Charisa and Sarah (the graduate) came to get me from the airport.  I was feeling fine, but a little tired.  We went home and then we went to see my grandkids in a neighboring town.  We took Sarah's car.  She has a small cute Honda del Soiel that is a convertible.  It was a beautiful day and I haven't ridden with the top down, so we did all the way.  It was great fun and Sarah and I caught up on her plans for the next few days.  I had all sorts of plans for her graduation, but first I wanted to just visit the grands, do a few ministry things, and then make the trip all about Sarah.  She had to stay in town and so she let me use her sports car to drive back home to Valdosta.  I had the top down still and I had my praise music on and was having a great time.  

Well, I went to see my mom and dad and spent some time with them when I got back in the little red sports car.  I was afraid of the rain or dew might mess up the car so I asked my dad to help me put the top on.  My back started hurting on the way to my mom's.  I just figured I had to much travel in one day, and so I lounged around on her roomy soft sofa.  When I went to get up, it was not good.  By the time I got home that night, my back was hurting.  I thought "I will lay down and rest and have a good night's sleep and I will be better in the morning.  I wasn't better in the morning.  I was worse.  I have had back problems before like this.  Recently on my last little excursion, I came home from the States with a horrible back problem and thankfully a sweet team showed up and helped me through, but had never had pain like this.  So I prayed, looked up more healing verses and then I wanted to be able to pop back up and get back to all my well laid plans, but it didn't work out the way I had it planned.  
I stayed in bed on day 3, 4, 5. On day 6, I couldn't walk.  I was having a huge problem called sciatica, and was experiencing intense back pain and it was going all the way down my leg.  I went to a chiropractor and he did some x-rays, electrical therapy and his nurse did some therapy to my back and I got an "adjustment".  I could walk out of the office, which was good.  I went home and laid down, that was bad.  When I got up, I was hurting again.  The Dr.'s office told me to come first thing in the morning.  I was praying, putting ice packs and hot packs and looking up on You-Tube about how to get your back healed.  I was going nuts, laying around.  Most of you who know me, know that I don't lay around a lot.  I have always been that way.  Early childhood training in a large family, I guess, but I really never like laying around.  I could always think of something I would rather be doing.

Through all this, I was calling out to God, and feeling extremely sorry for myself.  I think I was doing more of the latter than the former, and so I was not getting any of the results I was praying for.  I was determined to go to Sarah's graduation, so I just went to the Chiropractor and rested.  
I got through the graduation and was feeling much better.  I had a few days that I had to get some things accomplished, but I was still limping.  I started praying that God would take my pain and pitch it in the sea.  I was improving, and I was mobile.  

My last day home, my mom wanted to go and see her brother who had been placed on Hospice care.  He has been a very special Uncle to me and I thought through all this back trouble, that I wouldn't be able to see him. But I was feeling better and I was driving my mom and dad's big older model Cadillac.  I felt like Miss Daisy was driving herself.  Those cars are really wonderful and very comfortable.  I drove about an hour to get there and then, when I thankfully got out of the car to move around a bit, my aunt asked if I could move the car.  I would have rather taken a dose of cod liver oil with soured milk, rather than to get back in the car, but I did it.  Pride is a funny thing.  If I would have just said my back was hurting, she would have told me not to bother with it.  But I said nothing.  The big black Caddy was blocking the entrance and the exit.

I went in to see my uncle.  I was expecting to see a guy that had gray skin and or coughing a lot, or in a lot of pain.  He had none of that.  He had color and was very chatty after he got stirred around about the visit.  I was glad to see him and he was "proud to see me"  It is amazing how a cheery word from someone can make you feel rejuvenated.  He looked great.  (I heard through the grapevine later that he went outside on his own to look at some tomato plants my brother planted for him.  God is good)  Anyway, we had to say good bye because I had to get to my daughter's house to say good-by to the grandkids.  e told me about how he wasn't ready to leave, and I told him that I believed that he had struggled so long with this illness, that I believed God would let him get ready before he went to on to the other side.  We got to talk about heaven and special memories and got to laugh together and I was so glad to have the opportunity to see him again.  I told him I would see him next time, and then it was time to go.  (I heard through the grapevine later that he went outside on his own to look at some tomato plants my brother planted for him.  God is good)  Anyway, we had to say good bye because I had to get to my daughter's house to say good-by to the grandkids.

I was supposed to meet my grandkids when they got off the bus, but then I got behind some DOT trucks that were removing hedges along the side of the road.  They were using a excavator to remove the limbs of the bushes and they were being so slow.  I was thinking if I had a machete, I could take care of this hedge in a snap.  I finally turned around knowing this was going to take a while.  Then because of the hour, we got behind school busses.  I was thankful I stopped for them because in Honduras you just go around the busses and in the States you get arrested for doing that. So I couldn't go see my grandkids before I left, because I had one last dr. appointment, and we were still in Moultrie an hour away.  I called my daughter and she said she would come to Valdosta, but wouldn't have the kids.  I talked to them on the phone, but that is not how I had it planned.  I got to the doctor appointment very late and I was glad to get a pain shot.  I had never had a pain shot before either. 

 As I was sitting in the doctor's office, I realized that this trip had been accomplishing a reverse type of bucket list vacation.  I did things I had never done, but never wanted to do them either and all the things that I had planned (outside of showing up at the graduation) had not worked out the way I had planned.  I had never been to a Chiropractor, and never got pain shots, never drove a huge cadillac and never was crippled enough to use my neck pillow to sit on.  I realized sitting there, that I had so much to be thankful for.  I had care and a car and I could walk, even if it was a little painful.  I got to see my girl graduate and flew there for free.  I got to see my kids and grandkids and my uncle and I was blessed. 

The flights were good and I made my connections the next morning, but when I arrived in San Pedro Sula, I sat in a van and didn't stretch out like I needed too. The driver was driving like he was listening to a song and trying to keep the beat with the accelerator. We all got nauseated, and so I went to sleep before I had more problems. I woke up and we were close to home, and I got out, picked up my car at the mechanics and realized that the car had almost a full tank but was on empty. hmmm...  So then I dropped off Rosa and Lina to shop, because I was not feeling well from my travels and then I got extremely sick in my car.  Thankfully I had a small plastic bag in the car. I went to put the trash bag in another trash bag so I could throw it away and the bigger bag had no seam in the bottom, and so I dropped all the contents everywhere. I finally opened the door and dropped the bags out on the grounds and was on the verge of tears looking at the mess I was sitting in and needed to clean up.  I called Lina, who was shopping inside, and told her to bring me paper towels and trash bags. While on the phone, I caught some movement and a dog stole the bag I had discarded.  I didn't know whether to be sick again or laugh. My back started hurting again, from all my prior activities.  I got the mess cleaned up before they came with the groceries, and I got home, but couldn't hug the girls because I had to shower first. 

The team was coming in two days.  We had to go to the bank and do all that type of errands the next day.  The McHugh's team were running like crazy trying to get the spanish cd for the program for VBS in the States and finally everything came together.  We were to pick them up early at the airport.  It started raining hard that night.  In all the teams we have had over the years, we never have not been there to pick up a team. Somebody from the staff would meet the team.  However, this time there were big semi trucks that were stuck in the ditches barring the way for anyone to get out.  So we called the bus guy and sent him a text on his phone with the names of the people he needed to pick up. He spoke no English and they spoke no Spanish.  I told the bus driver to look for a tall blonde gringo family and a pretty redheaded young woman.  The bus driver arrived and approached the group, but they thought he wanted them to exchange money, and they kept telling him "No, thank you".  Finally he whips out his phone and they see their names on the phone, and since they weren't seeing me, they went with him.  I called and talked to the driver and they got here.  Meantime, at the farm, there was no water and no electricity and the generator would not work and it kept raining so that we couldn't the generator out to get fixed.  

We had the weekend, and I was nursing my back, and it was improving greatly.  We went to church at our mission, where Sandy proclaimed that it wasn't going to rain for VBS.  That is 5 straight days in the beginning of rainy season.  It didn't rain for 5 days..  Praise Jesus!

The first day of VBS, we had a nice turn out and we were all talking as the kids were leaving.  One little boy wanted a ballon from our walls we decorated and I told the mom that maybe tomorrow.  She said, "but he wants one now" before I could tell Ana to get him one of of the cement beam she jumped on a stool, stood one foot on the wall and put the other foot on the back of the bench, where her foot slipped through was tangled in the two back planks of the bench and she fell as in slow motion backward, as the whole bench fell with her.  When she hit, the top part of the 7 ft bench broke off.  She hit her head on the cement and the back part of the rail was centered on her back.  I wondered where the nail was.  There was no nail!  We started praying like crazy and she should have been as broken as the bench, but she was not even scratched.  She was sore, but not broken.  We carried her to get x-rays but the doctor said it was all muscular soreness. Only God could have saved her from this potentially horrible accident.

Then  on the second day of VBS, the leader made a call home and his mom had emergency surgery.  He needed to get home, because at the moment she was not doing well.  So we headed out the next morning and we got another driver, who didn't sing in his head with his drivers' foot, but of course this driver arrived in a Ford pick up truck with a jump seat in the back.  Rosa was with us and so Rosa and I climbed in the back on the two fold down seats.  I was praying that my back would hold up to the 3 and half hour trip.  I told the guy to drive fast because we needed to make a flight that had seats still remaining.  The later flight had only one seat.  We were about 15 minutes away from the airport and the police operativo stopped us.  Someone was not wearing a seat belt and then when they checked the registration it had expired and even with pleading to let us go he was determined to send us backwards to the little town we had just come from.  We gave him a sort of tip and we were on our way again.  I had never done that before either.  We got to the airport and the flight had departed.  Now we only had a small window of being able to get the last ticket on the 5:45 flight.  

When we finally got to ask the ticket agent about the last ticket that was available.  He said the flight was full and that it would have to be tomorrow.  We asked if he could look again and when he did he found more seats, and even asked if we wanted an aisle or a window seat.  He left and got home safely to be with his mom.  

Back at the ranch, we had more children than ever at Bible School.  The director of the team and the director of the mission was not there, but oh well, God was there, and He received 50 or more children into the Kingdom of God.  The next day, more people showed up and we had a spaghetti supper on the grounds.  Everybody was emotional, as God showed us what He can do even with all types of hinderances.  

We left early Saturday, and the guys loaded the Patrol and the luggage rack.  They didn't know to tighten down the screws after they loaded the luggage, so as we were leaving to catch our bus back to San Pedro Sula, and our whole luggage rack with all the luggage flips off the Patrol onto the side of the road.  That has never happened either.  We made it to the airport in plenty of time and got our team off.  

On the way back home again, I was thinking what a back and forth battle it was this past week.  Even with all that was happening, God was still in control, peace was reigning here, and the battle is truly his and not ours.  I am thankful for the blessings that took place this week in my heart and within the heart of our girls.  With Christ there is a continual Fiesta. 

I want to thank the team, my girls, and all of you who were praying for this week.  It was a wonderful week and we are all blessed by God to even be a part of what He is doing in the earth. Blessings, the Happy, Hurting, Harried, Hurried, Honduran MOM

It is Springtime

My baby Graduated with Honors

Our life time friend Corrie Schaer came to see her protege

Part of Our Wonderful Staff

The girl's are serving our community

Fiesta Bible School

Game Station

WE turned right and so did our luggage rack!

Sweet Carla

Dinner on the grounds

It is Springtime

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