Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pray for Our Three Missing Girls

Yesterday a Mom and her grown sister came to visit 3 of the Mom's children. She is supposed to come on Saturday or Sunday, but she hadn't been in a while and so I let her come in. She arrived about 10:00. She said she had not visited because she had moved to another town, gotten a new job and it was hard to get to our farm. She ate lunch with the girls at the central kitchen with all of our girls.

I was at the house. Apparently I did something to my back before I came to Honduras. I rested up for my trip back, but standing in line at the airport for an hour and sitting from 3 oclock in the afternoon to 3:00 am was not a good thing because it tends to aggravate a siatica problem. When I got home the next day we had ridden 4 more hours to reach the farm. I just had to lie down.
The next day we had to go to town to pay bills and I needed to sign checks and get groceries. The roads are still terrible and not so good for my back either.

We dropped one girl at the doctor's office to get her checked out. She had lost a lot of weight while I was gone. We went to the bank, and then we went to the supermarket and got all of the week's grocery shopping done. However, we went downstairs where you check out we encountered a huge line. Apparently the scanner for the check out counter had a virus. So we had to stand in line for 1 hour while the owner used a small gray hand held calculator to figure everyone's bill. We had a buggy and a half full of groceries for 27 girls for a week. It took thirty minutes to unload and calculate the purchase. By the time I got to the truck I was hurting like crazy. I went to the pharmacy and they gave me an anti -inflamatory/anti spasmotic drug . I bought a bottle of water at the pharmacy and took the medication. We didn't finish our errands because it was late and I needed to get home and find the Ben-gay and lay down.
So yesterday I was laid out trying to behave and give my back a rest, when the sisters arrived. After lunch the Mom sent one of the girls over here to ask if she could have a picture of her girls to take with her. I sent the graduation picture of Miledy and told her I didn't have one printed of the other two but I would try to get her one the next time. She and the sister started walking towards house number two which is in the opposite direction of the gate. One of our older girls followed and when they entered the house the older girl told them they couldn't go in because people from outside the farm don't have permission to go into the houses. They pretended not to hear and the older girls gently told them again that they had to leave. They left and went up the hill towards the gate with the children and were visiting with them at the church.

Normally the girls go to school a little earlier, but because lunch was late and the lady wasn't in a hurry to leave, the girls kept putting off going up to school. Finally, the mom sent one of the girls to ask me if she could walk with the smallest girl to the school. I said no because she is 3 and doesn't go to school yet. Dina our worker who looks after the little ones in the morning, took the baby and started to go back down to the kitchen when the older girl arrived with my message. The mom snatched the 3 year old and her sister grabbed the other two girls and ran out the gate and across a field with the children. A bus just happened to be passing by and she boarded the bus with the girls and left the area. When the girls came to tell us, Haley took off running.

Normally I would have gotten in the truck and chased the bus until it stopped, but Chilo had taken Mr. Joe who had been helping us while I was gone, to the bus stop so he could catch his flight in San Pedro Sula. I only had the large school bus to drive and I have only navigated it through our very narrow road once and I didn't know where Chilo kept the keys in the bodega.

So I started calling the officials. I called Chilo to ask him where he was with the car. I tried to get him to "follow that bus", but he said he would go to the police station since they weren't answering the phone. I had called the Yamaraguila police department, they were closed because they had a seminar in a neighboring town. I called the judges and they told me to call the children's defense office. They said they would stop them. However they didn't stop at the entrance of the town, they went back toward Yamaranguila and the bus passed them by.

The girls were so wired up. The older girl who delivered my message, but didn't help Dina detain the mom, felt badly because she didn't do anything. One of the middle schoolers was told by the mom that she was taking the little girls however, she then threatened our girls and told her that if she told, they both would be back to take care of her. She had heard what they were planning at the church. She felt bad because if she had of told and not been scared the girls wouldn't have been kidnapped. While at devotions, two of the girls burst into tears. One of those wanted to pray but could only cry. I told them that it was okay. I told them they are children and that fear is a normal response to something like this. I also told them not to fear when someone threatened them in the future, just come tell me and I will handle it.
When I started asking them about what happened in the kitchen apparently the ladies were very talkative and told my girls where they lived and what they did for a living. I called the officials and gave them the information. The officials checked at the sisters house and they weren't there. They found the sister today and she said she didn't know the moms' where abouts or plans. When I heard that I asked, "Why don't you arrest her until she can remember". Officials don't like suggestions from the plebians. When the police officers showed up last night for my statement, they said "Too much time has passed. Why didn't you call". I told them I went to their office and it was padlocked. "Oh yea "they said, " we were in a meeting in another town". So I suggested that they leave an officer at the police office for emergencies and not everybody leave at the same time. Again officials don't like suggestions from the stands. Later I was convicted about my tone, because it wasn't very "missionary like". I told them I appreciated their help.

Everything went wrong for me, and everything went right for the person who was doing wrong. I couldn't even pray. Haley and I have been grieving for the girls. They left with no coats or clothes. The mom is pregnant again and has a job that only pays her 1/4 of the minimum wage here which is not even close to what she will have to spend just on food for the 3 girls. She will not be able to work soon, so clearly the mother was not thinking things through.

I know it is a sin to worry because it says 365 times in scriptures not to fret, not to worry, fear not (somebody else counted, not me). Fear absolutely does have the power to torment you. So I am trying not to worry, cast all my cares over on Him, because He cares for me and cares for the 3 missing girls, but meanwhile I have a miriad of emotions jetting around. It is not that I don't trust in the Lord, I do. I know He can do whatever he pleases. I just am heart broken and sad that this has happened and confused as to why the Lord will let it happen even though I know the scripture about "all things working for good for those who love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose. But bottom line, the girls are not here and I am, and I feel such loss and helpless. I know prayer is the best thing I can do, but it has been difficult. I don't know what or how to pray. I know I should pray in the spirit as the Word says, but it is hard to wade through the emotions.

When Jesus was in the garden, I know He knew the plan of resurrection, and He knew the outcome of everything, but he still wrestled with His emotions to the point that he sweated drops of blood over the impending arrest and crucifixcian. I have come to the conclusion then that it is okay to have emotions when situations call for it. Not to spiral out of control of course, but to feel is okay. It is not a lack of faith or weakness if you have emotions. God created us in His image and the Bible tells us that He has emotions. Please pray for us here at the farm. This situation has affected every child, every worker, and the leadership here. I know God is able to do exceedingly abundantly more that we could ever think or hope, and my thought and my hope right now is that they will find the children and bring them home. I want to thank everyone for their prayers and outpouring of concern over the girls who are missing and the ones who are here at the farm. It has helped all of us to know that we are not standing alone in this situation. Blessings, the Emotional Honduran MOM

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Our Graduates !

Graduation Time!!

Well I had a great time in the United States with all of my family. We had a Thanksgiving Day together and a Thanksgiving/Christmas the following Saturday. I got so much accomplished and got to spend a lot of quality time with my Mom and Dad too. I want to say a special thanks to our other missisonaries, Joe Reynolds, Haley Harris, Ben Heath, and Clayton and Morgan Kendricks. If it hadn't been for them coming and caring for the girls, I wouldn't have been able to go home at all. The girls were in great hands.
I left Tuesday and I got home to Honduras on Friday. Graduation Day for my 4 of our girls, was on Saturday at nine o'clock in the morning. Two girls Ana, and Roxanna graduated from 6th grade and Milady and Frances graduated from Kindergarten. I had been to other graduations, but I forgot that as the MOM I was supposed to give each of the Padrines a cake and a liter of coke as well as a flower to pin on their labels designating them as Padrines. Haley contends that I was supposed to give each Padrino a chicken, but I had not heard that custom before.

Each of the girls picked a Padrina and Madrina which is like a godparent/friend. The Padrines buy a gift for the girl and walk them down the aisle to receive their diploma. They have to sign a legal document as witnesses to the graduation. The government of Honduras guarantee 6 grades of education, but after that the girls need to have funds for a private school education. So when a child graduates from the 6th grade it is equal to a high school graduation in the States.

The girls were so excited about their new dresses and nervous about the program that they had to perform for the community. When the last of the diplomas were given out, the Father of the community went outside and lit rockets to announce to everyone that the graduation was completed. I am including a video of Frances dancing a jig right before the ceremony. I was just taking candid shots and the music started and I was flabbergasted at her spontaneous little dance. It looks like she is trying out to be a flaminco dancer. I also have shots of them saluting the flag and of their Padrinos.

We have three groups coming this December to help us celebrate Christmas with the Children of PTC and with our community. Pray that all transport and events that are planned will go through without a hitch. Thanks for your continued prayers and support of our ministery. Blessings, the Jet Lagged Honduran MOM