Thursday, August 31, 2017

Changes


 Greetings,

I got back home to Honduras on the 15th of August.  When I arrived with all my bags of new school shoes for the girls. With some creative packing I didn't have to pay for another bag, but I did have to explain to the suspicious customs agent why I needed 23 pairs of children's shoes. Rosa had sent me a ministry letter to receive the shoes, but it was in my phone, and I need to get it printed off next time. Rosa came to pick me up in a rented truck that had a driver,at the San Pedro Sula airport.  It was so great to see her.  It took the whole 3 1/2 hour ride just to catch up on all the news of the girls for the 21 days I was in the United States. I really enjoyed my time in the States, but it was great to be in Honduras once more.  

The theme for my trip was about change.  I left with one of our girls Mary.  She had been in St. Louis Missouri living with her host family, the Duralls for the last two years attending and then graduating from a Christian High School.  She had come home for the summer and worked like a trojan helping me with the teams and the girls, but she was going back as a Trojan to Hannibal La Grange University in Missouri. She received a soccer and an academic scholarship to attend this wonderful school. She is going to be in a season of change with living 3 hours away from her host family and on her own at the University.  Exciting!

Our first stop was with one of my daughters that lives in Tomball, Texas, close to Houston.  Since moving from Honduras to the United States, she has been going through a lot of changes in living and working in the United States.  I had never met her new extended family and I was thankful that she lives in a lovely area out in the country. She and her husband drove us down to New Braunsfels, Texas so that I could attend a training seminar to become a commissioned missionary. I met a lot of their wonderfully dedicated staff with the World Indigenous Missions Organization.  WIM is a missionary training and church planting agency that help keep missionaries on the field. They are a huge resource for missionaries, through their love, member care programs, and continual education to help keep missionaries on the field.  I thought I was there for training and support of a fellow missionary, Kelsey McHugh, but while I was there, I learned a lot and God showed me there was going to be a changes going on with our Such Is the Kingdom Ministry also.  

I have a wonderful board here in Honduras and one in the United States.  We truly love one another and they have loved this mission, our girls and our community. 
I am thankful that they will all continue to have their hearts and continue to serve in one capacity or another.  Basically, I will still be the Director and President of the Honduran mission, Ministerio Asi Es El Reino.  I will also continue to be a board member of the "parent" ministry of SIKM INC, but I am now a part of the World Indigenous Missionary family #293. I will be sending out newsletters from WIM organization, writing about the girls and the journey that God has had us on for more than 22 years now.  I am supposed to limit myself to 400 words, which as many of you know, I have never done that in newsletters or in verbal conversation, but again, change is coming.  If you want to donate to the SIKM, great.  Send your donation to SIKM 628 DOERUN, GA 31744. If you want to donate to SIKM through WIM, great there will be an envelope. It all goes to the mission of the girls and the community as usual, outside of 10%(which we would tithe anyway) will go to WIM (unless it is a designated project or purchase related to ministry) and you will still receive a receipt of donation, either way for now. 

My next stop was Atlanta, to be with my other daughter.  She was having her second child and this time is was a girl.  I got to be with my family and extended family for this joyous time. This is the first girl for them and their times are about to change.  During this reunion, my baby girl came and picked me up and drove me all the way home to Valdosta.  We talked like we hadn't talk in forever, because we were isolated in the car for a long time with no interruptions.  It was great.  I think I might start road trips just so that I can have that personal one on one time with each family member.  I went to my grandsons birthday party in Tallahassee and got to see and be with all my grandkids.  I am blessed.

My dad is 84 now. When I come home, I come to check in with him.  I think how can he be 84? Then I remember I am 62 in two days and it becomes clearer.  He was given a different room at his care facility and I wanted to see him and make sure he was doing okay with the change. He was fine with it.  He had made new friends and I really couldn't see any change much in his accommodations.  We had some adventures together, went out to eat and visited with family. I did notice little changes though, in some areas. He shuffles a little more, and when we were on our last outing with family, he seemed anxious to be back to his familiar environment.  I am thankful that he is still a healthy older gentleman without a lot of serious health issues.  Please pray for my Dad. 

 As all these changes are coming about in my life and the life of the ministry I am amazed how God is answering so many of my questions about my life and the life of SIKM.  While I was in my church, and I wasn't even thinking about the ministry at that moment. I was listening to the sermon and God gave me a sweet reminder that "The Kingdom" is His and not mine. I just want to thank you all for so much help this year.                          
Thank you for all your prayers and support. Through buying the girls coffee, and through sponsorships, we have been able to keep the girls in a school that everyone of them love.  Because of your prayers we are working with other ministries in our area. George and Kara are leading the church and their ministry is to train indigenous pastors and plant churches.  Jake and Rachael are the directors of the bi-lingual school and they are a huge help with our girls.  We have a whole new group of teachers from the United States who also live at our mission, who are loving on our girls. Jon and Alicia Looney are also ministering mightily in our area. Wesley and Suzanne have their first boy at our boys home, House of Nain, who also attends the bi-lingual school. 
   Again so many exciting things changing in the Kingdom.  I pray that getting more of God continues to be the only thing you really need.  Blessings from the ever-changing Honduran MOM









    

                                            

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Launching Eaglets


I haven't written in a while.  We have had a super time with so many teams so far this summer.  We had some teams that over-lapped each other and that was kind of wild, but for the most part it went really well having 60 people including my 32 kids, staff, in your home.  It was very crazy cooking for this amount of people.  I have cooked for large amounts of people in the past, but it was just one meal, not breakfast, lunch and dinner.  A couple of times I just ordered a lot of Chinese rice take-out.  It worked.  

During the course of all the work the teams were doing for the mission, which included two medical teams, visiting schools and helping with fixing up things around here, cooking for the week, helping us with our new walkway/driveway, the girls got out of school for holiday.  It stepped up the degree of difficulty, because we had to establish a new routine for the girls to have everyday.   Our interns opened a school in the barn that we cleaned out and set up with desks for them to have a make-shift school.  They would have classes from 8:00 to 12:00 and then P.E. or dance after lunch. Many of the team members helped with games, crafts and devotions with Bible studies.  WE had other teams play Soccer and Capture the Flag  Lots of good memories were made with the girls and the team members that were helping me keep the girls occupied.

We also have started up our church again.  George and Kara Maddox are a young couple with three wonderful children  who are missionaries established here in Yamaranguila for many years.  They have a ministry of church planting and training Honduran pastors. So God put it on my heart to asked them to come and use our church for a place of training and planting a church once again.  We have had services in our church for the past 4 weeks and it has been great.  George has a desire for all of us to catch what he is teaching and preaches with an earnest hope that we will.  We did home visits with some of our teams and we had many local people to come and visit this week.  It is exciting to see some of the adults that came were the children who used to attend many  years ago.  

It is also a huge blessing to me and to the community to see ministries working together for the cause of Christ.  Wesley and Suzanne and Jonathon and Sofi are WIM missionaries who have been working here this year.  Ken and Katrina are WIM missionaries also that will start working in September.  Our interns Katheryn and Ragan have been the summer interns who have been helping me with the "littles".  That was always the vision for our church and I pray as the church grows the other ministries in the area will come alongside and contribute what God has given them for this community.    

We are in transition here at PTC.  We have girls that have come from a lot of different circumstances, but all of them come from tough situations to say the least.   However, some of the girls come from horrible situations.  Some have people and family to visit regularly, and some do not have any visitors at all.  Some of the girls had been here for 19 years and some had been here a short time.  All struggle with many of the same things as your children and other children around the world do.  Self esteem is something that is so hard to instill in these girls.  They have so many abilities and talents.  Some are very artistic, all of them are very smart, some love to dance and some love to read.  All of them can figure out the crafts the team brings and then they put their own spin on it to make it theirs.  They are all quite amazing.  

I noticed for months now that the older ones were getting a little restless.  They were studying at the university, or at a technical nursing school, or at a beautician school.  Since May we have had a couple of the girls really struggling with depression.  When you are depressed nothing is right.  I have suffered from depression years ago when I was in my twenties and it is truly a scary time, but thankfully I got saved and God restored my mind, heart and attitude.  However, with a few of the girls, it wasn't to be like that.  Sometimes, when you are depressed you are so miserable you can do nothing but find fault the lives of others or in your own life.  It becomes a cancer of sorts, that becomes viral and it eats away at the core of who you are.  I started noticing a personality change in some of my girls.  Girls who in the past who had been so incredibly sweet, kind, and helpful, became resentful, negative and sullen.  I didn't know what to do.  You look for reason in yourself.  Am I praying enough? Am I being loving enough?  Am I encouraging them enough?  Again, I know through my own testimony, that empty place can only be filled by Jesus, everything else is temporary. 

When visitors come to the farm for the first time they tell me that you can feel such a sweet spirit here.  Love is here because the Lord is the foundation of what we are doing here at Project Talitha Cumi.  God has blessed us in so many areas.  The girls who struggle with depression have gone to doctors that were recommended by the local doctors in our area.  With each Doctor the girls saw, they would say that they were depressed, but that they were in the best place they could be to get over their depression.  They would give them some things they needed to do, and they would be better for a season, and they felt assured that everything would be better.  I would agree and pray for their success. Again, it was needful, but temporary.

There is another phenomenon that I have seen at the farm, when a girl starts getting restless to leave.  It is a natural occurrence, and it affects their personality too.  I called a couple of the older girls into the office to talk with them.  I told them that life is a process, and that the feelings they are struggling with are normal.  I told them the story of how a mama eagle prepares her nest to the point that she tears out her feathers to make sure the nest will be comfortable.  But sometime she make it too comfortable for them to leave when they are old enough and she has to remove the soft plumage from the nest and the baby eaglets very uncomfortable because they are on sticks.  If the eaglets still will not fly they will pull out the sticks and let them fall or grabs them and flies high and drops them.  She circles back around and picks them up if they don't get it.   I told them for right now we were on the level of removing feathers.  Before I talked to the girls, I prayed and God showed me that some of the girls were just afraid to leave and of the unknown.  They knew how the farm operated, but they didn't know what it was like out side of the farm. I felt like they were stirring themselves up just to get upset enough to leave.  God showed me also that they really didn't have to trust Him for anything because the ministry and all the generous loving people, who love the girls and help us with this ministry were all the girls thought they needed.  They had no need of anything that the ministry didn't provide.  And even though the farm is wonderful, and we had made a great foundation for the girls of devotions morning and night and church on Sunday, they didn't have that hunger to seek God to fill that place that only He can fill in their lives.  What we provided, (outside of Love and a foundation of God's Word) is just temporary until they decided to build on their own foundation.  

So in this month we have had several girls who were 18 and older to move out of the center.  One girl moved in with her mom whose health is failing rapidly.  We have girls who are in college and will not be home as much as they used too with their increasing responsibilities of study at their universities.  It has been a strange thing not having them here, but again, I have to keep reminding myself  the time they are to be here is only a window and temporary. The goal is to get them out there with the tools to help them live successful lives.  Empty nests affects the mama eagle too.  They have gotten jobs, moved in with family members. ( Some younger girls just left because they felt like they were part of the older girls even though there was at least 4 years difference. That is another story) They all seem to be doing well in their new locations, but they are missed.  You feel good that you accomplished what God asked you to do, but you think of so many things, that you wanted to finish up with them, but then temporary is over and now they need to rely on permanence of God. 

I want to thank all of you who have supported, loved and prayed for our girls over the years to get them to this point.  I know God will send more, but for now I am content with the 21 girls that remain and the challenges they bring to the table.  Please continue to pray for our mission and the young women who are now living outside the farm.  The good news is the ones who have phones, call and check in on the news from home. One girl visits every Sunday on her day off.   In getting them ready to launch out, the other part of the vision is that they always have a home to come back to visit.  Pray for me for the adjustment of having mostly middle schoolers as our oldest girls.  Pray that I will reconcile the feeling of loss that mom's feel when a child leaves the home. Blessings, from the Honduran MOM.  











Monday, March 27, 2017

Life is Electric


Greetings,

We had to go to Tegucigalpa again to re-register for an electrical project.  Honduras has recently had a company from Columbia to take over the payment part of their electric company that has always been called, ENEE.  ENEE still have the original guys, who have yellow helmets, ladders and work trucks, but this new branch EEH (Electric Energy of Honduras) is like a bank.  They receive all payments, for projects or monthly electric bills.  We were trying to get the House of Nain (our new boy's home) electricity.  We initially were with an electrical project from ENEE last year with our neighbors in the area, before the new electric company came to town. That project was being funded by a private non- profit organization.  The transformer was supposed to be placed on our farm, but while I was in the United States, the powers that be, place the two transformers on opposite ends of our farm, in which the two transformers were so far from each other it left us with no current.  Meantime, the new electric company came into power,  and so we had to start another electrical project of our own to get electricity to our new boy's center.  This entailed buying a transformer and a large electrical pole, hiring an electrical engineer, and other costly purchases such as wire, and a trip to Tegucigalpa.  We also had to go to the Toyota dealership in Tegucigalpa to discuss a defective clutch on our van. We were going to try to get it all done in one trip. :)



WE had gone to Tegucigalpa the capital, the week before and carried some friends, who also had errands to run in Tegucigalpa.  I had to carry the Toyota mini van for its every 3000 kilometer check up.  These check-ups were getting costly, having to go back and forth to Tegucigalpa, but I wanted to make sure that the warranty was honored if anything happened to the new van.  We needed to get our new project going.  Our destination into google maps and it took us to a place that was closed.  Right name, but nobody home.  It was all closed up, like a governmental building at 4:00 on Friday afternoon. (some things are universal).  We then asked where to get to the new electric company.  It was across town.  We got there and they said we needed to go and get a project number from ENEE, the electrical company here.  We told them it was locked up.  They said, "No it isn't", and we said "Yes, it was", and it went on from there.  So we asked our taxi driver to carry us where they would pay for an electrical project.  He carried us to the new EEH, Electrical Energia Honduras.  They are basically the bank for the Electric Company, which we had found out about that morning.   Across town we went again, and it was not the right place either.  We waited an hour for our taxi driver, it was the noon hour and I was watching our fellow team members blood sugar start to get a little on the low side.  :)  Omar came on the opposite side of the 6 lane busy highway and waved us over.  I thought to myself that the Omar, the taxi driver, has lost his mind since I saw him last.  He wanted us to cross over an insanely busy highway.  Dangerous, but we did it. We were too tired and hungry to care.  Meantime, our friends were eating at the Chinese restaurant.  Omar carried us to yet another agency.  I like to chat with the taxi drivers to find out how long they have been driving a cab.  Then I ask about their family and then if they are Christians. Sometimes, politics come up.   After the general questions, I try to deduce my life expectancy riding with them.  There are more taxi drivers than other regular car owners.  

WE arrived at our new location.  We walked up four flights of stairs to tell them that we needed a project number. I was huffing and puffing by the time I got to the office where we needed to be.  They said we should go to ENEE, and we told them that was our first stop.  They assured us that they were not closed, but that the office is not where the office doors are, but they are down two doors behind an ugly black painted garage door over to the right.  This nice young guy drove us over in his car across town.   This young engineer arrived at the black hand painted, poorly welded gate and stood his ground and showed his official ENEE badge to a guard and he argued his way into the inter sanctum of the Electrical Company. WE were so thankful that God had sent him to us.  

He guided us through three different offices, and the last office was finally our destination.  WE had to wait an hour because the boss just stepped out for lunch. (It was lunch time after all)  WE were determined to see it through, even though some team members were starving.  WE had wifi and so my fellow team members and I just sat there and caught up on our mail and Facebook.  WE were ushered to yet another office where we got our project number.  WE gave them our copies that were required, but we didn't know that WE needed the "required 2 copies", one for ENEE and one for the other new arm of the Electrical company EEH.  WE also needed to give them a check for over $1500 US dollars.  So we ask them if we could come back and give them the check next week, and they said when the EEH received the receipt that we have paid the ENEE, they would initiate a work order to turn on the electricity at the House of Nain.  Earlier in the week, I had put money in the bank for this project.  The new amount was more than I was told initially.  I left his desk and went out the door.  We were closer, but I felt like if I had just put a check in the bank the previous day, and if I had just made two copies, we could have our electricity.  I felt defeated and inept. We went and gathered our weary group of travelers, ate chinese, picked up our Toyota vehicle, paid for the revision of said minivan and went home to the hills.  

Two days later, we were carrying 14 people in our less than a year old minivan and the clutch just went out.  WE had two vehicles to drop the team at a bus stop and then we were to go and pick up another team at the airport.  The team of college students, who had worked so hard that week, were headed to the beach for a day.  When I realized the clutch was not working properly, I stopped immediately, but had to find a telephone signal to call the dealership.  I had to walk back up the mountain along the busy highway to find a phone signal.  Since we had just left the dealership two days before with a clean bill of health on the minivan prior to this mishap, I wanted to know what to do exactly to not have a problem with my guarantee.  The team got out of the minivan and I told them I would call the bus line and be waiting to catch a public bus into Siguatepeque. The team members were being so helpful scurrying up and down the mountain from the broken down vehicle, carrying paperwork from the van and delivering messages from the other part of our team who were further up the road.

  I figured the team could catch a bus along the side of the road to take them to their next destination.  They had some Spanish speakers with them they would be fine.  The mechanic I called told me to call another number, which was the insurance agent.  She told me to get a tow truck. She told me that I would have to pay $150 and they would pay the rest.  I thought that is reasonable, to go all the way to capital from La Esperanza.  The phone kept going out and the insurance agent only had a one way phone. She could call me back, but I couldn't get her, because my number I was calling was a central switch board.  I called the mechanic back, and he said everything would be covered if there was no "mal uso" (which means the driver messed up the clutch).  They asked me if anyone else had driven the vehicle.  I told them "Yes", but just a few times.  The van only has 10,000 miles on it.  I told them that Wesley had a heavy equipment license and I was sure that he knew how to drive a vehicle with a clutch.  They said, "Of course" they said, "So then it couldn't be him that messed up the clutch", which indicated me.  Did I mention that a cold front was blowing on the side of the mountain and the young team members were freezing and we kept losing the phone signal and then it started misting rain.  I got the team on the bus to the next town, and waited on my mechanic that I have had for the last 4 years.  He told me to drive in 2nd gear until we got to the repair shop.  He drove behind me with his motorcycle with emergency lights flashing.  He called the mechanic from the Toyota dealership when we arrived at his shop.  The person on the other end told him to fix the clutch and to send me with the burned up clutch in a box and they would review it.  Manuelito fixed the clutch, and I got it back the following Monday. 

Call upon the Name of the Lord

The next week we arrived at the Toyota dealership at the capital, another 4 hour drive, on Tuesday.   I had my paperwork of how much it cost to fix the clutch. Manuel wrote a note to the company as they had requested, stating exactly what he did to the van.  I had the clutch that was burned up in the back of the van and I asked to speak to the mechanic, who knew me from all my check ups on the van.  He asked me, "Why did the mechanic fix the minivan"?  I told him because someone from this company told him to fix it.  They said well he shouldn't have fixed so much.  He just needed to basically patch it to get it here.  "Hmmm", I thought with three mountain ranges to cross, it was wisdom on the part of the mechanic to fix it.  It is a kit and you have to change out the kit for it to work properly.  However, because my mechanic was not a licensed Toyota mechanic, they couldn't guarantee his work.  I thought, "Okay", but can we establish that the clutch is defective"?  They said they had never had a faulty clutch on a minivan ever.  Hmmm.. In the history of minivanism, they have never had a faulty clutch??I told him that after having 4 different vehicles at our mission that have had a standard shift for over the last 22 years, I have replaced a lot of things, but my mechanic has never had to replace a faulty clutch.  If I had a habit of riding the clutch, I think that would have been established before now.  He did see the logic in that and consented to finally take a look at the defective clutch.  He took pictures of the clutch and said he would investigate.  

Then it was on to ENEE to pay the check.   When we arrived there was another couple before us.  Not to bad, we would wait our turn.  WE gave them our paperwork that we brought, but they couldn't find our file from the week before.  We were there about 45 minutes, and Suzanne and I were praying that "whatever was hidden would be revealed, and whatever was lost would be found",  It was a new guy because everything is a new procedure, so we had grace on them.  Thankfully, a secretary came in from an early lunch and she found it.  We paid our money, and went next door and got our receipt, joyfully explaining our project for girls and boys as we went along.  



WE went to eat with our travel buddies, who also had to return the following week with us for their paperwork situations with Immigration.  WE ate and ran back over to present our receipt and our other copies to EEH. We also ran off some more copies for good measure at the copy store. The attendant, who was so thorough, like the "all knowing OZ", kept being interrupted by her supervisor, who was not "all knowing" and constantly needed her immediate help.  That combined with a lunch break, phone calls and finally her leg went to sleep from sitting in the same position for a super long time.  Being a missionary, full of compassion and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I told her to stand up and walk around.  She did as I suggested, but she walked out to the next office, but she didn't return for a while.  She finally came back, highlighting the copies, and being extremely diligent.  She asked me "What is the meter serial number of your closest neighbor"?  Now, I really hadn't thought of that, nor was it on the list of required resources.  Stunned,  I told her I did not have that piece of information.  Then, I remembered I had my neighbors number in my phone from last years electrical project.  I called.  He was in an important meeting at the mayor's office, but he would call his wife to go out to his meter base at his house and send it to him and he would call me back.  The attendant looked at me, I looked at her and she called out the next red blinking number on the large digital read for the next customer.  I left the desk to await my phone call.  Meanwhile, a member of our team was starting to look like he had a twitch.  

We got the phone call, but we had to wait for her to finish the person that she was attending.  I went back to the desk, and gave her the number.   She said, "Okay, you have everything in order.  Now we just need the receipt for the digital electric meter to be installed."  I told her that the first project had issued me a digital electric meter.  She asked me, "Do you have the receipt with you?".  I did not, nor had I ever seen the receipt, since it was issued to the project chairman last year.  She said, I can't send a work order without the receipt for the meter.  Mirian, who is brilliant, was with us, asked could we buy one right now and bring back a receipt.  The beautiful attendant, who really looked like a young Wonder Woman with her big black framed glasses and black haired pony tail,(maybe that's why she kept disappearing for large amounts of time)  beamed and said, "Surely, this is a possibility".  Mirian asked, "What time do you close"?  She said in three hours.  Our fellow team member, erupted with a primordial call for the goodness of God.  I couldn't look at the attendant's response, because I was afraid she would have a stamp that said "cancelado" .  She then mentioned the store, which was on the other side of town by the Toyota dealership.  WE got into a cab and hot footed it across town to get the new electronic digital meter.  WE asked the cab driver to wait.  WE were on a mission and though it was getting late and the sun was getting lower, we were going to get our permissions. Then we just started laughing. 

WE got the digital meter paid for and raced back to the other side of town during rush hour traffic to the EEH office.  The room was filled with the people who had been there since this morning.  I had a "thought", that I now know was from the Lord when I stepped out of the cab.  There was a KFC chicken restaurant right next door.  I had a random thought of getting a bucket of chicken. I wasn't hungry.  I had already eaten, so I reasoned it away.  I should have acted on the mention of KFC.  The office, that we had been visiting, have elevator doors that open to a very small room filled with chairs.  There is a red meter to take a number, and a desk of 4 people, a couple of phones, and a copier machine.  The room looked like an afterthought. WE stopped and got new copies of the receipt at the copy store just to be sure.
  
When we got off the elevator and entered the room, you could feel that there was a level of hostility towards the two of the 4 people, who were at their post behind the desk.  Strong comments were being hurled.  Our fellow missionary, arms crossed, bobbing his head up and down in assent, and was looking like he was bonding with his new found Honduran patriots, who felt like he felt.  Wonder Woman disappeared again.  I thought about if I had of brought the bucket of chicken to have a sort of picnic, it would have taken the edge off the situation. I think Jesus used to have the same thoughts with baskets of fish.  Some people had been there as long as we had. Low blood sugar can make people mean. They were just as tired as we were and had to get home just like we needed to get home.  Even though it was pretty tense, we began to get our joy back. We started joking around with each other and with the people and the small staff that was there.  Then, after about 45 minutes, our attendant returned and took our receipt out of my hand for the meter and waved us on.  I threw her kisses, hoping that receipt would find our pile of paperwork and said "thank you" and forgot to ask how long before the electricity would be connected.  However, Mirian our faithful board member asked her.  WE had gingerly stepped into the elevator, glad that we had accomplished both missions.  Mirian then said, "I asked how long before the electricity was cut on".  The rest of us looked to her, feeling like we missed our opportunity in the office, but at the same time were glad that she had the foresight to ask.  The elevator doors closed as she said, "A month and a half".  WE  looked towards heaven, called on the name of the Lord and just laughed and got our other weary travelers from the Mall where we left them, and rode safely home singing silly songs with Mirian's 4-year old daughter all the way home in the dark.  

Sometimes, life is full of little and big electric situations.  Sometimes, on the mission field it is just a little trickier to figure out the solution.  Sometimes, you can get pretty stressed, and your attitude can go south.  However, Jesus loves to travel with us on that southbound lane and get us Home. He can get us to his desired location and He can give us joy in our journey, if we are looking full in His wonderful face.  

Thanks to all of you that pray for us and bless our ministry with your encouraging words and gifts.  I am thankful that I am doing life with Suzanne and Wesley, Mirian, Sharon, Jonathon and Sofi, Kelsey, Carlie, Jake and Rachael, all of our girls and a host of other missionaries.  Thanks to all the teams who have come so far this year!!  Thanks for all the planning and hard work.  Thanks for the great blessings you brought with you and for the kitchen shopping spree.  Blessings, from the Sometimes Electric Honduran MOM  













Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Day for a Fiesta

Greetings,




Noehmi and Karla



Well, when I got back from Canada, it was time for the Fiesta Tipica at the Abundant Life School. The kids were beyond excited and had practiced their flute playing, folkloric dances, and their songs...a lot. I was ready for this day also. Kelsey and Karly helped us get all the dresses in order with name tags and we also put names on the sandals and tights the girls were to wear. Now if you can just think how chaotic it is to get your little ones to a church program, multiply that times 25. WE did get a call from the school to see if we were on our way, and thankfully we were pulling out of the gate. When you have 25 girls, in different grade levels, you can't exactly start the show without them. Even with the best of preparation, sandals were lost and tights were missing, and we had to do the hair of each girl. Anastacia, and Sofie (wife of Jonathon, our new intern couple). It was quite the “crazy” at my house before we got them in the bus to leave.




I was amazed at the production that the Abundant Life School had done for the community and parents. They had booths of food and drink, and even a horse ride. It looked like they had about 1000 people, who showed up for the festivities. Celebrations are fun, but there is so much work that goes into these types of events that are behind the scenes. The directors, the teachers, the staff, and even the parents. Some of the parents who have scholarships for their children, came and faithfully served and set up booths and made food and helped in anyway they could. The whole program was to raise money to support the children who would received grants next year. The school is growing and Jake Compaan is in the States right now interviewing potential new teachers for next year. WE are very thankful for this school and how much they have helped our girls. Because we have so many children who attend, we get a discounted rate, which we are entirely thankful for their help in this area.  Many of you have asked how you can help with sponsoring the children to go to this school directly.  I have finally found a solution.  Just send an email to Rachel Compaan at rsubylong89@gmail.com with the name of the girl you would like to sponsor.  She will give you more information about how to sponsor using PayPal or by sending checks directly to SIKM.  She will also send you photos of the girls each school year as well as updates.

              

 It would be a tremendous help to their school and the girls will continue to be in this wonderful school.  The girls love the teachers and the other students.  It has helped them not to be so isolated from other Hondurans and they are making life time friends as well as receiving a marvelous bi-lingual Christian education which has been the goal all along. 

These are the Kindergartners

Our PTC girls at their school presentation. 
The girls had these dresses made with the money they made selling coffee



I want to thank everyone who are helping us continue here at this mission.  I appreciate you all so much for giving our girls the opportunity to grow in the Lord and to get a quality education.  WE love you all and thank you very much.  Blessings from the Celebrating, Fiesta Attending, Honduran MOM









 


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Suddenly


Greetings,

I had a great time with all my girls(but one) in January. They told me that they were going to Canada in October. We didn't have any teams so I thought that might be a good time to go, but then because of some scheduling problems, they moved the trip to January/Feb. I later found out that they not only were going to Canada, but that they also decided that we would be driving at the coldest time in the year to go to see Washington DC and explore New York City and go to Canada to see Niagra Falls and return to GA in 5 days ! Impossible? You don't know my girls.


The first time they mentioned it, I thought they were flying. When they told me they were driving, I thought they were driving straight there and back, and I thought about my physical back and decided that trip was not going to be for me. I told them thank you for including me, but no thanks.

So then I get a phone call and I was told my trip to the States was paid if I wanted to go with the girls. But if I wanted to take them up on the offer, it had to be a surprise and the girls couldn't know. I have been really busy with coffee picking season, school getting started again, getting kids registered, teams and a whole host of stuff to do. However, that week was open. Every objection I had was countered by this couple offering the trip, with a solution. So I decided to pray about it. The dynamics of the trip were crazy, but the Lord reminded me that it was going to fall on the 1st anniversary of my mom's death. He reminded me in my prayer time, that I had been trying to get my mom to go on a trip with me for years, but there was always a reason why she couldn't go. Then it hit me, I was being my Mom. I knew how frustrated I was trying to get my mom to go places, and now I was doing the same thing. So I agreed to go.

When I got on the bus station at 12:00 to start my trip they were leaving early and apparently I was late. I had some other last minute things to do before I left town, but I just got on the bus. I was still telling myself that this was the craziest thing I have done in a while. As we were driving down the mountain, I realized that we were going extremely slow. I was thankful my flight was for the next day, because at the rate we were going, I would have missed my flight. I changed my seat, (which I never do) to the front seat when it became unoccupied. We were going so slow, I didn't think we would arrive in San Pedro Sula before dark. Normally it is a 3 ½ hour trip. I was getting worked into a negative mood as the trip kept stretching on, until finally when an older woman got on the bus and took her seat beside me. Then the bus driver threw it into high gear and we were zooming down the road. I found out that the driver can't sit and wait for anybody, but he was doing a kind thing in picking up this lady, who had just left the hospital, and transporting her for free about 20 miles up the road closer to her home. She talked faster than anyone I have ever met. Basically she had diabetes and she had complication with ulcers on her legs, and she was alone. She said she had family, but no one ever came to see her and that her kids never did anything with her or never wanted to be with her. I was sorry for her and thankful that my kids wanted to be with me. I asked the Lord to forgive me for my attitude towards the bus driver, who was doing his best to be kind to this woman who had so many problems in her life. I encouraged her when I could get a word in edge wise. She thanked me for listening to her got off the bus and told me to come see her one day.

We drove down the road about 10 miles and a young woman stood up with her little daughter letting the driver know that she needed to get off. The woman had a hard look about her for her young years, but her little girl was a doll. She was about 2 years old with her little hair done in two pony tails on the top of her head. She had on a red t-shirt and a blue jean mini dress. She was “cuteness in the extreme”.

She walked off of the bus and her little girl followed behind. I was watching her walk along the side of the bus. The mom was getting her stuff under the belly of the the big Mercedes bus. The little girl unattended was dancing freely in the grass to a tune she had in her head, excited to be off of the bus. I was thinking about how excited I would be to off the bus myself. Then something caught her attention at the head of the bus. She speed up her walk as little ones will do, alongside the bus and was headed to the road, and the bus driver hadn't come to a complete stop. He was just rolling very slowly along. I had my metal water bottle in my hand, and no shoes on my feet. I lept over the older woman sitting beside me on the my seat. She didn't see the little girl. I stomped down the bus steps like a crazy lady and slung my metal water bottle against the dash so I could guide myself down the steps. I jumped out of the bus and got to the head of the bus and I don't know if slinging the water bottle against the window, but as I hopped off the bus she had turned from the busy interstate highway. I saw her cute little face poked around the right side of the bus, and she saw a wild looking gringa. She looked at me and I looked at her and I took a small step toward her, hoping she wouldn't run in front of the bus to the highway, but thankfully, she walked towards the grass looking suspiciously at me the whole time, but now she was looking for her mom. The lady saw the last little bit of what transpired and she started yelling at the little girl to come to her. I felt like Superman, with my hands on my hips, hair blowing in the breeze of the passing semi-trucks thinking, “My job is finished here”, and stepped back on the bus, with people congratulating me about saving the little girl. I heard various comments about how fast I moved in my socks, which was pretty funny. The bus driver said thank you and I just felt empowered, until I heard that the mom had a belt in the crate she had retrieved and was using it on the little girl, and the bus pulled away.

I arrived at the bus terminal and I had gotten my shoes on and in my haste to finally get off the bus, I left a bag of personal items on the bus. When I realized it, I didn't even care, I didn't go back. My ride was there and we arrived at the missionary hotel. As they were bringing my luggage in, they said, “We need to go to a funeral of a little boy tonight. I think you know him.” I told her, “I don't think so”. Then suddenly she was giving me the information of another missionary family that I know that was helping this young woman adopt a little boy with special needs. I did know this little boy and I couldn't believe he had died. This young woman was soon to be married and because the adoption had not taken place at that time, she ran to the States to have her wedding shower. This excited “bride to be” had to exchange her joy for a place of such sadness as a grieving mom and deal with the loss of her son. So I put my bags in my room and went with the missionary couple to the funeral downtown.

After I got back to the hotel, I was reflecting on my day and my week. A few days prior, I wasn't planning on going anywhere, and suddenly I had a destination to Canada and a plane ticket to do something that was totally crazy sounding. I had gotten out of our truck, and suddenly the bus was leaving and I was there at the bus station, just in time. The fact that we waited for the woman who needed a ride and an encouraging word, in the timing of the Lord, and then suddenly there was a baby to rescue, and then suddenly there was a funeral of another sweet little child. I remembered the book of Mark, where the disciples were hanging out with Jesus, suddenly ministering to folks, getting on a boat suddenly, and suddenly ministering to a man with demons. Mark says the word “suddenly” a lot. When you are moving and living, “suddenly” is a great adverb and the phrase “just in time”, become normal. I wished I could be that in tuned and sensitive to God everyday, that I would see Him using me every where I turn and wouldn't miss a thing. I was thankful that I was where I was supposed to be that day. I was confident that I was supposed to be on this crazy trip, where before I was just hoping I hadn't missed God. God gave me that “blessed assurance” that He is always right where I need to be.

  

I had a wonderful trip with my girls.  We went to Washington D.C. for the first night, New York City the second night, Niagra Falls,
Canada the third and forth night and drove all the way home to Georgia on the 5th day.  We called it "Extreme Tourism".  I hope that you see so many of God's special plans that God has for you today. Blessings from the Suddenly but Just in Time, Honduran Mom.

















                            

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Full to Over Flowing


Greetings,

So much has been going on since I last wrote. We had a small team that came from my church to be with us at Christmas. They were wonderful and helped us get all the gifts and things ready to go. I don't know what I would have done without them.  They arrived a day earlier than I did and I got here to the mission the next afternoon and we jumped on getting all the gifts together. I was so tired after riding on my red eye flight on Spirit Airlines. However, this is the first time that they didn't have their normal luggage nazi working at the counter. It was a great flight and even though in times past, I said I would never fly with them, but I believe I probably will.

 
 
 I had a hotel shuttle pick me up and I went to bed about 3 a.m. We apparently waited an hour at the airport for another traveler to arrive. They never did arrive and by the time I checked in at the hotel, and gave them my information, it was late. I slept for 3 hours and I was off againat 6:30 to catch a bus. Because it was"officially" the Christmas season in Honduras  The bus was full to overflowing.  People were stuffed in the aisles, packed in like a huge Christmas present going to La Esperanza.
 
 It was the 22nd when I finally arrived and we had little time to spare to get a Christmas ready for 35 girls and other of our grown Honduran Girls who brought their children. We also had a supper for our workers and the community on Christmas Eve. The team and I had to get the girls to town to buy their secret friend gift and the team took the girls, who were divided into two shopping teams, out to Dom Pollo on their day of frienzied shopping. The girls had a great time, loaded up on Chicken and Fries, and lots of coke. I had to go to the bank before it closed for the holidays to get enough money to pay our workers and their end of year monies, buy groceries and extra gifts for the extra folks we always seem to have show up.   

The team from Crosspointe Church out of Valdosta Georgia, had received so many generous donations, from clothes to coloring books, shoes for school and tennis shoes, candies and two huge 20 lb spiral Honey Cut hams. I don't know how they got them through customs, and I didn't ask questions, but they did and it was a huge blessing. The girls here had never had a spiral cut ham and didn't know what it was, but we had plenty of meat and the girls ate like it was their last meal. We had two turkeys that I bought here in Honduras. One was a Butterball that I paid entirely too much for and the other was a more economical Honduran turkey. The Honduran turkey was hands down the best of the two and it didn't have all the additives of the other national brand. The girls made nacatamales for the day before Christmas which is the 24th, the traditional day they celebrate Christmas. WE were full to over flowing  We go to the mission house and have our secret friend party first and then we open gifts. I believe it was the craziest Christmas ever.

Harold
After the team left, we started picking our coffee.  Here you pick the ripest coffee beans every 15 days.  We all worked hard and we try to fix a big meal, so that the girls will look at it as harvest time and look forward to the food as well as the work.  All the while we are doing paperwork for the beginning of the year that is required for non-profits here in Honduras. We are also getting prepared for our season of teams.  We are going to be super busy, it appears, but teams have become a way of life of us and even though it is a lot of work on both sides, in the States and here at Project Talitha Cumi, we wouldn't have it any other way.

Wesley and Suzanne got back and they have the House of Nain up and running.  House of Nain is the new project that Such of the Kingdom Ministries have been working on since 2013.  It looks great!  We have fresh water and the fencing is up.  We hope to be able to get the boys of the families who have been disrupted for one reason or another. Normally we get the girls, but the boys are usually abandoned to work in other homes.  They don't go to school, they just work for the host family.  With this new home the children will be able to see each other at school and at church and at holidays.  Our hope is that emotionally they will be more settled and stable knowing their siblings are close by.

So we are having water problems again.  The tank is not holding water.  We thought we found the problem.  One of our little girls, whose name I will withhold to protect the guilty party.  I know if you have ever been here, there are 4 girls that pop into your mind that might could have pulled this off.  They are full of mischief. They all have kind of a Denis the Menace air about them.  Whoever was the first girl that popped into your mind, you are probably right.  They were supposed to be raking and then this girl with the amazing ability to get into trouble, started touching and turning valves.  We have two tanks with a float valve and it is complicated as plumbing can be, but we started losing water, somewhere.  We just couldn't find the large amount of water was going.  Our water was running into the tanks, but not filling up.  Later this afternoon we figured she had opened the irrigation tanks to be filled with our fresh water.  The fish needed some good water because those tanks hemorraged into the fish pond.  Be praying that the tanks hold water tonight and don't escape into another pipe that I have no knowledge of.  WATER is source of life. 

As I was walking all over the farm, trying to find a leak, I got to thinking about those tanks.  We have a storage facility, where the water is pumped.  We use it to sustain life.  But sometimes we open a valve that are not meant to be open and our source leaks out to parts unknown.  My anger valve drains my tank, my disobedience valve drains my tank. My pride valve drains my tank dry, and then I am wondering why God isn't keeping me filled up. Water is flowing in, so He is doing his part.  I just need to investigate where certain valves are draining the the life giving flow that God is putting into my tank.  No good thing will He withhold to those who walk uprightly.  Water is a good thing.  He is faithful.  Blessings from the water seeking, valve closing, Honduran MOM