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



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