Sunday, September 26, 2010


Haley needed to go to the United States to renew her visa. Like a great Adminstrative Assistant, she told me that I needed to get away for a while just to get rested spiritually and physically. We have been incredibly busy, and though I thought of a zillion things I could be doing, but since I needed to carry her to the San Pedro Sula Airport anyway, I said "Sure" We planned to go to the beach which is just an hour away from the airport.

I had time to plan so I got my stuff packed, brought some board games for us to play called Clayton and Morgan, another missionary couple to come and stay with the kids, and then I was kind of getting excited about it. The day before we were to go we get a report that there is a hurricane coming. It never developed into a hurricane, Matthew was just a tropical storm, but it was coming to shore at guessed it, Tela the beachtown we were going to. Tela has some very nice hotels that are 5 star, but they are very pricey, then they have some hotels that are not that expensive at all and there food is so much better, and they have some that you wouldn't want to leave your pet that someone gave to you and you didn't ask for. We chose the mid range plan.

We heard that there was a possiblity of a hurricane, but we decided we would pray that it would dissipate.. Haley thought it had the possibility of being a huge adventure because she had never been in a hurricane before. I had been in a hurricane and given that our hotel was 20 yards away from the beach I thought maybe we needed to review our options. It has been raining almost day and night for over a month and our thinking was a little scued that how you could tell we needed a break. When you think that you can have a peaceful time in a hurricane then it is time for a rest.

I knew I had to take Haley to get to her plane, so I thought in lieu of the beach, we will go to Lake Yajoa. When we got there, the roads were already showing signs of flooding. By the time we got to the main portion of the Lake so much of the water was to the road! So we took off for San Pedro because I realized at that point, we just needed to get somewhere and hunker down until this thing blew over. Trying to keep a positive mode, I thought even though we don't like San Pedro Sula because it so incredibly hot, we could go to our favorite restaurant. We decided to go there before the storm really got started and then we planned to checked into our room. We got to the restaurant and they were closed. By that time I was not resting in my spirit.

We got to the hotel, which is nice and we always bring teams there, but it is not for a holiday. It is kind of like a stopping place for the night so you can get somewhere else that you want to be. We went to check in and the lady at the desk told us how many limperas it would be. Haley said "we will pay for three nights" and the lady at the desk quoted a price. I was brain dead at this point and she told me it would be per night and just to pay for the first night. I thought I have never in my life heard a desk clerk say it is better to just pay for one night when people were offering to pay for 3 nights. I was thinking about how my weekend was not going the way I planned while I handed the money over to the clerk who had her hair pinned a little too tight. Haley did some rapid calculations on her cell phone and then showed it the clerk. She was wrong by about 40 USD. The clerk said "No that is the number I quoted" while she was looking at Haley's cell phone calculator. Actually she said two different prices and neither was the one we were quoted on the phone when we made the reservation. So I have learned to be quiet and said that I was sorry that I heard her wrong. We went outside and we both were comparing what was said and we didn't hear incorrectly. Now the clouds were getting heavier.

I got to my room and was feeling very sorry for myself. Haley was being all sun-shiney and saying that regardless I would be forced to get some much needed rest. I am thinking there will be a problem with the electricity during the storm. She said I could read all the books I brought and we could eat at the hotel and play boards games. I am thinking I didn't pray hard enough about this trip. Since she wanted to pay for the room she made the rules to restrict any activity that resembled work, i.e. emails, blogging, phone calls etc. we were just going to have fun anyway.

As I lay there reflecting on what a wreck my great weekend get away was becoming, I poured myself a cup of water and remembered I had a Crystal Light packet that someone from one of the teams had left and it had been in my purse for awhile. I mixed it up and had just drank it down when that song we had been listening to on the way down came back to my remembrance. The the beginning of the verse is "Life gave me lemonade and I can't imagine why....thanks for the lemonade" Then I thought, I was in a dry place, my kids were safe at the farm with Clayton, Morgan and Ben, so why was I in a frump? Lemonade is good.

We started listening to the weather reports, when the TV came on it had a national announcement about the storm. They were warning everyone that the storm would bring more rain and that the country was in a state of emergency. People were sending us text messages to get to higher ground. It started to rain and rained all night. The prediction was for 10 to 12 inches of rain. I knew what the bridges looked like when I came over them, so I knew with that much rain the bridges would be out by Monday. We heard that they were considering closing the airport Monday-Wednesday. Well, I knew I was not to leave Haley in a national weather crisis , even though she offered to do be there alone so I could get home to the girls before the bridges went out. Instead we called and texted people to pray..

We both woke early because the power kept going off and their generator keep shutting down. So while we were up, Haley made some phone calls and got her flight changed to that day. The storm hit early that morning, but just ran along the coast line and left. It wasn't as bad as they had anticipated. Because of the change of direction of the storm, the plane could get out and I went home to the hills. It had stopped raining that morning. It didn't start raining until I got to Yamaranguila. It has rained pretty much solidly since then. I imagine we have gotten our ten inches. It is supposed to be like this until Tuesday. If it keeps raining they will close the schools for shelters for the people who are homeless. I pray that they don't close the airport, but it was nice that Haley got safely out. God was in control of everything....again

I am thankful for those who prayed for us and for Honduras. I am thankful that I don't always have to have my way and everything still turns out nicely. I am thankful for storms, because it helps you realize how off the mark you can be and how to get back centered on Him. Also after a storm things are always so much clearer. Please continue to pray for Honduras. Blessings, The Soggy, no longer Foggy, Lemonade Drinking, Honduran MOM

PS the road in the picture is the entrance to our farm, and I will post other pictures of the trip of landslides, new waterfalls, and flooded areas, I made while driving home. Haley was right, it was an adventure.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Independence Day

A car full of girls All our girls

Off we go!

The Honduran folkloric Dresses

Ben and girls waiting on the parade

September the 15th is Independence Day here in Central America. Our bus wasn't working and so we all piled into the truck, 27 girls and 3 adults. I didn't think we could do it but we did. We didn't go to La Esperanza this year to watch the parades and the band competitions because it was to far to go with that many in our car.

We were blessed anyway by going to the local parade in Yamaranguila and watched their high school band perform. The kindergarteners through the 12th grade had a part in the parade. The Lenca High School Band performed for the crowds and they were so dynamic. They had a Carribean sound with a African flavor. They had the crowd fully entertained. It was so good, I found myself getting choked up a time or too. I hope to be able to upload a video. If you would like to see all the photos that I took, they are on facebook.

I was glad we went and supported our local community. It was good to see everybody that I hadn't seen in a while. I hope it gives our girls a sense of community also. Maybe next year we will work on a program that the girls from our school can do in the parade.

Blessings, the Civic Minded Honduran MOM

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day of the Child Part Two

We have been doing Day of the Child for 3 days! Just wanted to show you some of the photos. These two boys we saw as we were coming off the swing bridge. They were going the opposite direction of the school, so we invited them to come along. They just kind of shrugged and looked at each other as if to say "Why not?".

It had rained the night before we went down to the valley. It was very slippery going down the mountainside, but because of all the rain it was so incredibly beautiful. There were tropical plants growning besides the engorged river side. We took so many pictures of everything that we laid our eyes on. The flowers, the plants, trees, waterfalls, mini landslides
When we arrived, the whole village was there. They had a program and a large welcome for our little group. We had brought rice and a pinata and some candies. They wanted to welcome us in a grand fashion. They had prayers from the Catholic and Evangelical groups. The children did dramas, songs and poems. They had lunch prepared for us but we had to get back up the mountain before the rains came once again.
It was such a blessing to see so many of the young children that we knew so many years ago that now are grown adults with families of their own.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day of the Child

Day of the Child is September 10th. We have been getting ready for this event for the last couple of weeks. Many teachers start coming by in August to see if we could contribute something to their special day. Because of this we started shopping for candy. We have become candy officianatos. We have poured over the candy aisle to make sure we had the right stuff for this day of festivities that is totally focused on the kids.

We bought 7 pinatas. Some looked like Cifford the Big Red Dog, while others were soccer balls, doll heads and a donkey. We have bought chickens for their afternoon meal to be mixed with the donated rice from CHILDREN AGAINST HUNGER So far we have dropped of supplies to 9 schools for them to have a lunch for their children. Our 2 man team from Texas brought those toys that make noises like whistling lips, kazoos, as well as glow in the dark lizards and small rubber balls. Great kids stuff.

Today we loaded up our little Nissan with the boxes of rice, 9 grown girls, 2 gringos, Haley, and a new volunteer, Ben, me, Don Chilo, pinatas, snacks for the girls and gospel tracks to boot. That means we had 14 people and supplies in our little car. We left at 8 am so that we could get to all the schools before 1:00 pm when school is dismissed. We went to a local school first. The roads were so bad because of the wild rainy season we have had that we had to get out of the truck just to get it through the mud and up the road to our destination.
Most of the schools we deal with are schools and have licensed teachers, but they are not public schools, they are Proyeco schools. A Proyeco schools means that they get partial pay from the government and partial pay from the community. The community finds a house or builds a school for the children to attend. Their teachers do not have pensions and other benefits like normal public school teachers. The first group of teachers we talked to haven't been paid in 5 months!! They still come to teach the children with their limited school supplies, super muddy roads, and rain soaked classrooms.

We visted 5 schools today. The next to the last one was Sacate Blanco, they are 7500 ft above sea level, an is the highest mountain in our area with a scenic view that is fantastic. We have been bringing supplies up to this school for the last few months. We love the children and the community. When you step off the bus ,the little ones greet you extending both of their hands, fingertips pressed together and they bow their heads and say "Good Morning". They are precious kids.

While our girls from PTC were doing the program for the school, my phone rang. The inspector of the Ministry of Finances was arriving in La Esperanza to inspect our farm! They decide whether we can maintain our tax-exempt status. Thankfully we had already delivered the supplies to the director and had ministered to the other classrooms when the call came through. The girls were singing to the last group of children. We sang through our last song rapidly, and basically rushed out the door and hopped in the truck. How was I going to get to her in La Esperanza when we had no room to put anybody else in our car? I couldn't drive back to El Obispo to drop off the girls because we would be very late and we had one more school to distribute our supplies.

As I was going down the hill, I was formulating a plan. I think I changed it several times before we finally hit upon a workable solution. We dropped the girls off at a restaurant with Ben. Haley and the 2 man team needed to change money and Chilo and I set off to pick up the lady. When we accomplished all that we went to eat a typical Honduran restaurant with the Lady from the Ministry of Finances and our girls and Ben. She interview me all through lunch. After lunch we carried her with us to the last school, Lodos Negros and then sent Haley and the gringos on the bus to our farm, and it all just turned out right. She enjoyed seeing our farm, the girls and the ministry. After the inspection was over, I drove her back to La Esperanza.

When I arrived home at the farm at 6 pm, Don Chilo called and asked, "Are you coming for the care group at my house?" I had forgotten! I jumped back in the car with our team and we watch the sweetest service with a youth group who attended church our church years ago. They are on fire for the Lord and are evangelizing the area. We returned to the farm to have devotions with the girls and a late supper.

It has been a super busy day, but we were able to minister to so many children. We probably saw about 400 children altogether. We have two schools left tomorrow, two on Saturday in Yasi and then we minister to our children here at the farm on Sunday. Our kids will have their pinata and special meal on that day. They are all excited about the activities. Our girls blessed the children today with a song that they taught to each of the schools. I am really proud of them! It was a good day.

Our thanks to Jean Brown for blessing us with the rice supplement that we were able to donate to these children to make their day a special one. Thanks to our guys from Texas Jim Rowan and Jared Mitchell, who brought the toys to bless all those children. They also made it a special day for our older girls. They love getting to go out to eat at a nice restaurant! We are thankful for our safety up and down the mountains and to be able to minister the gospel all over this area. Thanks to all of you that continue to pray for our girls and for this mission.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Car Mechanics and Bathroom Assistants

Today Haley and I got up and out to go to San Pedro Sula to pick up a small team in our little Nissan truck. I got the truck checked the day before to see if the oil was okay and to make sure that everything under the body was still holding together. We have had horrible road conditions and those things that could be shaken have been shaken. The day before I went to Tegucigalpa the car made a strange noise and I was determined to get it seen about, but it started raining and there are no indoor garage's here and so I didn't get it checked that day. I promised myself that I would get it checked when I got back.

Well it did need the oil changed and about 5 other major problems, having to do with something called the differential and something about gaskets that held the wheels in place, the shocks of course were gone, and the brake pads looked like large toasted frito chips. I don't know everything that was wrong, but by the serious looks on the mechanics faces, and total strangers that were passing by listening to the tale of my car's woes, they looked suitably shocked that I had been driving it all over the creation. One of my friends told her grown son how brave I was to drive to Tegucigalpa in my truck. I am thankful God has been watching over me and my ignorance of cars.

So we got up early to pick up our team. We got about half way down the mountain and we got stopped because they were working on the roads. High above was a bulldozer on the top of the mountain pushing loose rocks to the roads below. I saw the others go when they were flagged. When it came to my turn the guy with the red flag looked like he was having a low blood sugar day. I could't tell if he was waving the flag for me to go on or just couldn't hold the flag up anymore. Anyway, I cautiously went ahead. Haley was helping me watch when the dozer was going to send some more rocks down. Two Honduran men came up to the truck and told me to take off like a bullet and the rocks wouldn't get me. I thought to myself, "Then why aren't you in your trucks right behind me?". They said , "Go ahead and go". I hesitated and I am thankful that I did because rocks the size of basketball came down the mountain side and kept going across the highway on to the other side. I would have been nailed and had a large dent in the car. I finally took off like a bullet and went down the road.

We arrived early even with our delays. We went to the bathroom and it was crowded. There was this tiny little bathroom monitor. She had on a little red uniform and she wore large framed glasses She was wiping down the bathroom sinks. At first I thought she was a child, but she was a grown woman.

I was patiently waiting my turn. Haley came out of the restroom simulaneously with someone at the next stall. Haley told me that there was no more toilet paper in the stall that she had just departed from. I don't know how but the little bathroom assistant knew what we talking about use. The lady who had entered the adjoining stall seemed to be in a hurry, but this little 4 ft lady walked into the stall with her and told her she needed some tissue. The larger lady was in a hurry and so she rolled off some tissue and went to hand it to the clerk. The littler woman said "No that is not enough ". So the lady, who now was in a great hurry, was just snatching the roll with great fervor just to get this small fiesty attendant out of her stall. Tissue was all in her hand and splilling all over the floor. The little attendant took on a military type voice and said "Okay that is good" and she turned around to me with a big smile on her face and handed over this wad of toliet tissue for me to use.

I appreciated her work ethic and the fact that she was trying to be helpful, but I would have preferred to handle my own tissue instead of two other folks handling it prior to me touching it, and I didn't care to use the part that went sprawlng all over the tile floor. I told her thank you and took the tissue that was offered. I made sure I noted where the lady held the tissue and the longer draping tissue that was on the floor to make sure that I didn't use that part of the tissue offering.
One of the first lessons in mission work is that you carry your own tissue, black ink pen and a bottle of water. I guess I have been on the field too long and I am getting sloppy about remembering the simple things about mission life. I need to be thankful for an attendant that wanted to come to my aide and to be able to use a clean bathroom. I need to be thankful that there was a bathroom!
I am thankful for trucks that are repaired, safe trips and energetic bathroom attendants. I want to remember to give thanks in all things. Blessings from the Thankful Honduran Mom