Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Greetings Everyone,

Life is such a fragile thing.  Everything is looking rosy and bright and then disaster hits and you can't make sense of it.  We had a situation this week.  Someone we were all very close to, that lived here on the farm years ago, had such a tragic event  happen this week.  Her life was going great.  She has always been such a quiet and humble kind-hearted soul.  She got married a while back, and this year she had a baby.  The baby was small, but strong.  The little one had gained 4 pounds in almost 3 weeks!!  Everybody was rejoicing, until yesterday. The phone reception that we have in the mountains sometimes is almost zero, but a undesignated number kept coming up.  I tried to answer, but there was nobody answering.  Then I thought to call the number back and her husband answered.  He said their baby died in the night. I couldn't believe what he was saying, and then the call was dropped.  The baby was 1 month old exactly. She was the most loved of babies.  On one hand, you know that she was loved here even though her days were short.  Through God's promises, you know that she will be loved eternally, but the sense of loss of this sweet baby overwhelmed us all.  

Some of the older girls and I jumped in the 4x4 and rode up to their house high in the mountains.  We had to take it slow because our off roads are beyond horrible. When we arrived, they had the baby laid out wrapped in her blankets, with cotton that had been placed in her nose and mouth as they traditionally do here.  Someone had strewn flowers petals all about and a plethora of candles encircled the baby's small form on the tiny table. I was no help whatsoever.  I prayed all the way up the mountain to her house.  I was in shock I guess, but I had not cried. I kept hoping I had heard the dad wrong before our conversation was abruptly cut off.  But when I saw that precious baby and seen how much the baby had grown, I lost it.  The mom was asking me "Why?" and I had nothing to say but, "I don't know".  or "I don't understand either" while I just cried and cried.  I asked all the questions, about if she had been sick or in pain or had fever.  Each question was answered with a quiet "no" with eyes that were racing back and forth looking for an answer in the recesses of her memory that she might have missed over the last few hours. I finally just got quiet and just cried with her, just as the young women who I brought with me, were doing already.  

 I am old enough to know that I can't understand everything.  I have no idea how internet works, but I know that I am writing on a computer, that I have no idea how it operates or who designed it in the first place. I know that I will hit send and it will be sent to many people, even to people that I have never met and perhaps will never know around the world.  I have no understanding in so many areas of my life here on the missions field either except that I am called to be here.  I can't begin to understand the depth of the hurt and harm my girls have suffered in their short lives.  I have a tiny bit more understanding about somethings in my 63 years of life than I used to, but is only about couple of degrees on my thermometer of life.   

What I do know is this, God is Sovereign. I know that He cannot lie, or be anything contrary to the character and nature of who He is.  I know that God is Love.  I know He came to serve us and came to save us.  I know that His Word says that He works all things together for our good, even those things that are so hard to understand.  Please pray for this little family and for the healing process to begin in their hearts.  Pray that the eyes of our understanding be opened in His time.

Thanks to all of you who continue to help and pray for us here at our mission. Please continue to pray for the other missionaries who work alongside me at Project Talitha Cumi.  Wesley and Suzanne have 5 boys at House of Nain, and Kelsey is teaching at Abundant Life half days now and watches over our little ones.  All of us are serving with Rosa, Lina, Elbin and Berta, here at the farm. We have a host of teachers living alongside us that work for Abundant Life. Blessings to you from the Hurting Honduran Mom


   

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Always be ready...change is on the way


Greetings,

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


Greetings,

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



















Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Baby and the Bank

I know I just wrote already this week, then today happened and I just want to say I appreciate everyone of you all who pray for us.  This is what happened yesterday.


So today, we went to the bank to get the bankbooks of two of our girls who graduated from the farm.  The goal of today was to get these accounts that were established 15 years ago, changed into adult accounts.  Everything was going along fine.  I looked over to one of the girls and her baby looked like she was trying everything she could not to fall asleep.  Her head was just bobbing around.  We all just laughed and continued with our project of the paperwork needed to get the deed done.  I was handed back the old bankbook by the one of the bank assistants, and they pointed me in the direction to cancel this old bankbook at the teller window.   Our older girl was going to fill out her forms for her new account after I did my part.  Rosa and I had a hundred errands and so I was thrilled that the line was not long and that I was almost to the head of the line at the bank.  Then I heard a scream.  "Mama, come and help us".  I thought to myself, "Goodness we are in a place of business, why are they hollering?" I tried to looked around the folks who were in line, and saw the baby's mom crying hysterically and waving for me to come and do something. Then Rosa, who is always composed, was screaming to come and help.   The rest was a blur. I ran over there, snatched up the baby and saw that she was listless and blue.  There was a lady to my right who was praying in a fierce way and very loud.  I praise God for this woman who was interceding for my girls and for me. I ran my finger down the baby's throat to make sure she wasn't choking.  Her eyes were closed and I turned her upside down, and hit her between her shoulders, and she breathed in.  I flipped her back around and she was with eyes open, but they were closing again.  I blew in her face, and she didn't like that.  The guy next to me snatched her from me and tried to give her mouth, but she was so listless he could keep her head from flopping around he could not.  We worked together and I blew into her mouth, not knowing if we were doing anything at all.  I finally remembered that once when my Aunt Bess who lived alone told me a story about getting choked on chips.  She flung herself on the arm of her padded sofa on her stomach and she regained her breath.  I thought at the time that was pretty intense thinking.   Well I didn't do that, but I took my finger tips and pressed in and upward on her stomach.   Then I would raise her arms, while the other guy helped me.  I kept stretching her arms up, short pushes with my fingertips and she would catch her breath.  Then I just started blowing hard in her face and she would catch her breath.  

Meanwhile, the mom had lost it.  The manager of the bank told me to go with the guard and they took us to his truck that was waiting with his driver and drove us to a clinic. When the truck stopped, I grabbed the baby, and the mom while we ran inside the clinic and told the nurse that the baby wasn't breathing well.  The young nurse rushed me to a room and they rolled in a tall oxygen tank and plugged the baby up to an oxygen mask.  Zapped her up with an IV and the doctor raced in and saw that it was me and ask if this was one of my girls.  He used to work at the public hospital, but now he has built his own little private hospital.  I said weakly said, "yes", and thought later "second generation". Then he was all business occupied with the baby and told us that the baby was having a type of seizure.  He said she had a high fever and so under his instruction the nurse, put medicine in the IV for seizures for a 9 month old and medicine to drop the baby's temperature.  Everything happened so fast.  I left my purse, my phone, everything in the bank.  I knew Rosa would get it, but I couldn't call her to tell her where we were or what was happening.  The bank manager had left the bank and came back into the emergency room with us and said "Listen if I can do anything else let me know".  I told him how grateful we were for getting us to this clinic with his driver and that we appreciated his staff and clients there at the bank being so helpful at our time of need. I asked him if he tell would tell Rosa where we were.  

The baby and the mom finally got settled down and were okay.  So many wonderful things happened during this disaster.  The first and foremost is that God showed me again just how amazing He is.  The girls who were in the bank getting their affairs in order had come to my house the day before ready to go to the bank like we had planned.   But because Rosa couldn't come that day, I postponed going to the bank yesterday and planned it for today.  The baby's mom lives way back in the woods and very far away and has no phone or transportation, except for walking.  The baby had gotten up with a with a fever the next morning, which was today.  The mom gave her teething baby some tylenol, like 98 percent of the moms out there would have done, and continued her plans to go the bank.  The baby had no cough or other symptoms and has been a healthy baby up to this point.  However, if we had gone to the bank the day before, the mom and baby would have been in their home in the woods when this happened with no phone or close neighbor. If they had gotten miffed yesterday about the change of plans, and decided not to come, they would have been home, again with the same outcome of a possible disaster.  

 Today, the baby is fine. She is taking medicine and sees the doctor on Tuesday and this precious little family decided to  spend the night with me.  I really voted for them to stay the night in the hospital, but we settled on a night at mom's, who is close to the hospital than the wilds of Santa Cruz de Rosario.  God made a way.  I have cried, laughed, almost collapsed one time and generally have been through the wringer with this day.  But what I have found yet again, that God continues to overwhelm me with His goodness.  I have been amazed at how things are set into place by God for our good. I had told the doctor I was too old to still be doing all this, but apparently I am not. He knows where I am supposed to be.  Please to continue to pray for baby and the mom.  Life is so tremendously fragile.  Like this precious baby, a genuine replica of her mom, teething and toddling one moment, and the next holding on to life like a transparent silken thread.  God showed me once again today, how He is so totally in charge of this world and orchestrates this wild band of humans to make the sound of life a little sweeter today.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

April Showers Bring Bugs and Not Enough Water


Rainy season is cranking up.  Everyone is excited and thankful that we
have had few early showers.  The birds are singing every morning and
evening.  One bird sounds like a water pipe.  Grasshoppers are flying,
and those crazy flying beetles are everywhere at night. You here them hitting 

your house at night. They are in your hair, your covers, and circling any light source.  Thankfully it is not like our fellow missionary, who was wrestling last night with
46 beetles in her room!!!  She counted them.  I used to get all whacked 

about them.  Now I just grab them out of my hair and throw them on the tile 
floor. Life with bugs changes you.  It really has been very dry here in Honduras.
Other areas of the country had been getting some rains, but we were
not getting anything here in our little corner of the world.  Even though the 

rains we have gotten have birthed the beetles, we are thankful for what we have received,

We have discovered that even though electricity is very nice, water is
necessary for life.  I know, being from the States, that it is hard to
think about not having electricity.  We just call the electric
company, and they come quickly and turn it back on.  We have
discovered that we can live without electricity, but water is mandatory.

Three of our PTC girls are going to the public school now.
 
There are about 100 children at the school, including the
kindergarten and preschool.  This week, when we sat down to lunch,
our girl from public school told us that the teacher
asked them to bring a coke bottle of water to school.  There is no
water for them except for the rationed 3 gallons the households get
daily from the community water project early in the morning.  With
those three gallons families have to wash their kids, wash their
clothes and have drinking water and water to cook with. This is not
even enough.  Today, I was washing my clothes by hand.  It took me two
large rubber-made trashcan tubs to get my weekly clothes clean .

Rosa and Lina told me a month ago that the water situation in our
community was bad,  but now it is getting critical.  I decided to get
the workers to dig a connection spigot from our church to the gate at
the fence, so people could get drinking water from our well.
Also this week we took a 5 gallon water jug with the dispenser that
was in our mission house to the little public school.  When I arrived I saw

the coke bottles and they had water in them but it wasn't even clear at all. It broke my heart to know that I have water and the children of the community are drinking this water.
We will keep the blue water jugs changed everyday.  Please pray about how we can
get more water here for this community. There has to be an answer to this situation.

 There were 7 families including ours 23 years ago and water was an issue then.  At that time in our mission life,  we were catching water from the roof for my
cooking water.  Now, there are almost  200 families here.  They have
had various water projects, but the projects can't keep up with the
growth in our community.  They need a well.

The girls and I were talking last night in devotions.  Our community
needs a lot of things, but the main need is to have Jesus.   He is the
most necessary thing we need for life. They need Jesus so they will
never thirst again. He knows what we need, knows what our community
needs.  Please continue to pray for a solution for El Obispo and a revival for this mountain.

House number 5 is now open for business.  Crosspointe Church in Valdosta, has helped us with this project.  We have 4 of our little girls in there as of this week.  Kelsey McHugh is in charge of them.  I don't know who is having a better time, the girls or Kelsey.  She was telling me tonight how they just started a memorized prayer at bedtime and they all wanted to pray in English, except of course our new little one.  Kelsey was so moved by their prayers that she was near tears telling me about it.  Pray for Kelsey.  The girls she has are great, but they are little and it is a huge undertaking for this young missionary.  So proud of her.

There are 4 boys in the House of Nain.  Three of them are in the bi-lingual school and Wesley and Suzanne are the caretakers of these boys.  The smallest one will run for president this next year. Wesley ran inside the hardware store to get some supplies.  The little 3 year old slipped into the front seat and grabbed the keys to the ignition to turn them.  Wesley said, "No, don't touch", in Spanish.   A phrase he had to learn first off with this boy.   Wesley in earnest, started explaining in English why he wasn't to touch the keys. The 3 year old looked at him and said in Spanish, "Well don't cry about it".  He is hysterical and very attached to Mr. Wesley.  

Ken and Katrina are back for the next 6 weeks.  They are a huge help with the girls, and a wonderful help to me running errands so I don't have to.  

We are planting coffee plants again.  We are planning to have about 6000 planted on our farm and House of Nain.  It is so wonderful to watch this process begin.  A local coffee shop located at different locations in South GA called RED OWL will begin to feature our coffee.  I will send photos.  Exciting times.


Please Pray for Rain and for sufficient water,
Pray for permanent water solutions, and everlasting spiritual water from the well that never runs dry.  
Pray for a revival here on this mountain.
Pray for our girls and our staff to be aware of our community and pray accordingly
Pray for our girls, who are practicing for more 5 K races this summer.
They are excited to be able to attend these races. Pray for the teachers 
who are helping train our girls. 
Pray for the teachers that are teaching our girls after school dance, baton 
twirling, and tumbling.  

Thanks for all the prayers and gifts.  Thanks to all of our teams who have worked liked Trojans this year.  Pray for us to be more aware of our neighbors. Blessings, from the Extremely Thankful Honduran MOM 




Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Busy


Greetings,

Happy New Year and Happy Valentines Day,

I have been out of pocket. I had planned to stay the full month of December here in Honduras, but we had a tragic death in the family.  Thanks for all the prayers for our family.   I returned shortly afterward to Honduras to do Christmas with the girls at PTC. 

Last year, I was invited by my girls to take my first real vacation in years.  We had such a good time, that I was invited by my girls to take another vacation with them this year.  So this is a real treat for me to be able to be with my family on our second annual Mother-Daughter vacation! We packed Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, and any other holiday we missed through the year into this vacation. 
My daughters, are extremely thrifty and they organized every aspect of the holiday.  One of my daughters is brilliant about finding travel deals. She found the one last year, and found that if we travel on "off season" it is crazy affordable.  The instructions for this groupon was not to try to see everything, but they don't know my girls.  Last year, I termed a phrase of "extreme tourism" being with my girls for 5 days.  It was our own version of the Amazing Race.  We try to do everything and see everything, and eat everything in a small period of time and we succeed.  Depending on whose pedometer was correct, we walk 6 to 7 miles each day, and that is not including the miles that we put on our passes for the public transport system.  I thought because the deal was so inexpensive, that the accommodations for hotel and food, might be a little under par, but this was not the case.  Everything was so amazing and I am so thankful that God made a way for us to have these memories together.   

We only had a couple of snafus. One was that we took a lot of metros.  These trains are like you find at the biggest airports, only they don't give you a warning about the doors closing.  The train have vacuum doors and move faster than my girls at the farm, when I announce that I have ice cream.  The trains schedules were very complicated and so 3 months ago we agreed on the daughter who needed to be in charge of that particular job of transport.  She was amazing with her phone apps. Because of the speed of closing doors, she would look at all of us and instruct us, "If for whatever reason, we get separated, just stay at the station you are at and we will come back and get you".  I don't know if it was just me, but I thought my girls were always looking at me during her announcement.  They would say repeatedly, "Mama we are going to get off in 2 stops, then, In one stop, and then, Mom are you ready?" and we would  disembark.  I was glad really, that they were keeping me on my toes. 

 One time, though our fearless leader, stepped back around to grab her water bottle and the door closed.  She put both hands on the window with a look of her phone Emojis  "OH NO!!".   WE thought, " OK, she has the phone, the app, and the directions.  We have an appointment at 11:00 a.m. for my youngest's birthday celebration".  I said, "OK we will wait".  My oldest said, "I am going down and meet her on the landing".  Which I said with my Mama Knows Best Voice and Look, "No, we are to stay together".  She looked at me with her, "Mama, I Am a Grown Woman Look", and I realized, she is right, she is smart and had been watching her sister and learned how to use this transit system too.  So I acquiesced and knew she was right.  It is a very cool thing to see your kids grown, able to process whatever life hands them.  My girls are fearless!  Fifteen minutes later, my runaway daughter, jumped onto the station platform, arms extend with a "TADA" announcement, rewarding us with her huge signature smile.  All was forgotten and we all started walking to continued our journey and made our appointment to the High Tea Birthday Party.  

Usually, at the beginning of the year, I pray towards what God wants me to accomplish and set some goals for the year.  Even with all our activity and my travels, God showed me so many things about myself, our ministry here in Honduras and Stateside while I was touring around with my girls.  During our time of our public transport, I observed how everyone knew everyone else even though though their transport system went miles around the city.  I marveled at how the people were warm, kind and extremely helpful to us.  The people had community on their bus and train systems with each other and with strangers.  They would be laughing and talking to each other everyday as each traveler would enter the vacuum sealed doors.  Even though they didn't live in the same community, they interacted with each other during their ride.  There were a few young people who had the proverbial head phones on, but they seemed aware of who was around them and what was transpiring.    The  bus and train became a  different kind of mobile community.  

Contrasting this way of transportation with the system in the United States, we get into our own cars, and turn on our own personal music playlist and arrive at a destination. On my ride to Atlanta, there were only a few vehicles that were in the "Ride Share" lane.  I got a phrase "immunity of community" come into my mind.  We need to get to work, do our jobs, and race to the house to tend to our own full lives.  Maybe we'll see each other at church, but many watch podcasts, or go at the 11:00 service and miss the folks they know because they went to the 9:45 service.  Our children have friends at school, but because of the diversity of schools and the demise of the local schools, they won't see a neighborhood child at school, nor their parents. They might see each other at a game for their children. Our culture out of necessity, have both parents working and the community is not connecting.  
Missionaries visiting their families while on furlough, traditionally have a hard time connecting with their family and friends. Everyone's lives are so busy.  It is hard to jump in and find a time to visit. Everyone has so many commitments.

 It seems crazy with all the personal cell phones, Facebook, instagram, twitter, and chat rooms on our personal computers, that we should making huge strides in connecting with each other.  It should be easier to be up close and personal, but it seems, we are more estranged than ever.  I was told that many people don't even know who their neighbors are or if they do know their neighbors, they just throw their hand up and wave, but really don't have that close connection with the people who have lived steps away from their own house for years.

Now lest you think I am judging, as a missionary, I find myself doing the same thing here at the mission.  I am "busy" with our girls, our staff, the farm and the teams who come to minister to us.  I throw up my hand to wave at my neighbors, but I am not entering into a relationship or praying for the "unity of community" with them. The girls and I have done visitations, which we all love doing, put we have to be purposeful to do so. Even in our tiny rural community we have been bitten by the "busy" bug too.  
Last year, I started off doing better about staying on point with my prayer time, my family and friends, but I find that I get too busy.   "Busy" is a very small word, but it keeps us worlds apart. Busy: having a great deal to do, concentrating on a particular activity or object of attention. Full of activity, being very occupied. None of those definitions sounds like where God is with us nor where He wants me to be. I heard a statement years ago from a pastor, "If the enemy can't get you to take your foot off the gas pedal, he will press it gas pedal to the floor.", both have the same result.  I want the object of my attention to be the Lord.

So for this year, my desire is to put my attention more towards God not be too "busy" to see what direction He is pointing.   I pray that I can know more about Him first and then my neighbor this year.  I pray He will do the same for our girls here at PTC. This morning at devotions, one of the teachers said, "You never know how much a kind word or a purposed visit might mean to someone."  

Thanks to all of you who continue to pray for us .  I am refreshedly exhausted, but blessed seeing so much of the God inspired beauty this world has been given.  Thanks to all of you who continue to pray for our ministry here in Honduras.  Our boys home, Casa de Nain, run by Wesley and Suzanne Jarrard, now has three boys.  God is continuing to complete His vision for the ministry. 

Blessings to all of you from the Thankful For the Time with My Family, Recuperating from her Vacation,Honduran MOM