Wednesday, August 17, 2011

For Good Men to Do Nothing

I went to Tegucigalpa the capital yesterday. I drove through Tegucigalpa to get to a little place known as Nuevo Esperanza, or New Hope. It is about an hour on the other side of Tegucigalpa. I left early so I could spend some time with Esmerelda, a girl who used to be in our center. It was great spending time with her. She has grown into such a beautiful girl, inside and out. Doris was my traveling companion this time and we had a wonderful lunch with Esmerelda. We started our feeding frenzy after that. I don't know why travel beckons you to eat continually without ceasing.

We spent the night with Angela Flores, one our first girls to graduate from PTC. She is now engaged and she is planning her wedding. It was good to get to be involved in some of the preparations for that great event. We were trying to plan how we are going to get the older girls to town and where they are going to stay while we are there. I know God is going to work it all out.

I also was in the Honduran capital because I needed to get my passport renewed. I had to make an appointment on line to get into the US embassy and bring photos and the exact change needed in one currency only. WEll my professional photographer in La Esperanza said he knew the correct size. He didn't. It is exactly 2 inches x 2 inches. I didn't have the exact change either, but our embassy here is wonderful and they helped me get through it all. I had never done this before. Brett always had done stuff like that before, so I was in new territory.

I had left really early from Angela's house, because I didn't know how traffic would be and I didn't want to miss my appointment. I left her and Doris sleeping. I didn't know if when I got there if I was going to have to stand in a huge line. Thankfully, traffic was good and I could go in when it was close to my appointment. Since I was so early, I went back to my car and sat and read the newspaper.

While I was reading the bad news, I heard a little boy crying and and older voice yelling at him to "walk!!!" I thought maybe the little boy was out to early, didn't get his nap out or something, but the dad was marching him up the hill as the little guy was crying all the way. The little boy had on a dark blue shirt and khaki shorts. The man was dressed in a white shirt and black pants. He looked like a successful businessman. He opened the back door of his sedan that was along the side walk. He took the little boy, who seemed to be about 3 or 4 years old and put him in the back seat. I thought he was putting him in the car seat and that they would drive off, but then I didn't see the man and I just heard the little boy crying more and the father continuing with his threatenings. Then I saw the car move like it was being shoved or pushed, and then it kept happening and I couldn't see the father but I know he was in the car beating that little boy. I was horrified when I realized what he was doing. I kept thinking it is going to stop, and it didn't. Finally, the man stood up and he saw me, with my horrified look. He immediately changed his voice tone and started cooing to his son in a syrupy sweet voice, "Okay now you are going to be a good boy, Right?" "You need to obey your Poppi". I know I did not school my next look at him, and I admit it was judgmental. I had to look away, because I know my look was screaming what I felt at that moment. The little boy got out trying to breath correctly and sniffling at the same time. The father gave him a pair of sunglasses to put on. Their side of the road was in the shade of the 30 ft wall of the Embassy. All the while the dad was talking sweetly to him that he needed to obey and be a good boy.

I just sat there. I couldn't believe I absolutely did nothing. I guess I was in shock. I thought about why I didn't take my tire iron and go over and do some damage to his very nice car. I wondered why I didn't go over and ask, "Is there a problem?" Is your son having a seizure??? ""Are you having a seizure?" You can think of so many "could have , should have, would have" solutions, but the bottom line is that I didn't do anything. I could have thought of tons of reasons, why I shouldn't have gone over to the car, but I know that I should have done something, anything, to alleviate this little boys suffering. Please be praying for that little boy, God knows who he is, and pray for his father to be a kind father and filled with the love of God, but pray for me too. There was a man who lived during the time of the Nazi take over and he said something like this. "All that it takes for evil to overcome the world is for good men to do nothing". I want to be courageous and not faint or shrink back or be fearful. Fear is a paralyzing quality to a walk with God because it is the opposite of faith. Faith says I can do all things, while fear says I can do nothing. I want to learn the secret of encouraging yourself in the Lord like David did and launch ahead with no fear of man or animals.

I know many of the children in our center had similar circumstances. I am thankful God put them here at the farm surrounded with folks that love them. But I want my legacy to the girls to be that of being strong and courageous and standing for right, and not sitting while wrong is overcoming even one of His little ones. Thanks for all the visitors that helped this month and all the work and words of encouragement to my girls and to me. BLESSINGS, the Overcoming Honduran Mom.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beaches are Good, Spare Tires are Essential

I decided to carry our Professional, Ana Williams to the beach a day before her plane whisks her off back to Valdosta, where she will be working like crazy to finish her college career and graduate in Dec. I hadn't had a lot of one on one time with her, so I thought it would be a good way to finish her trip. Plus I had tons of errands in San Pedro Sula and Comayagua and Ana is a Macbook expert and I wanted to glean from her all that I could before she left. I had not had a day off in quite sometime, and so I had the brillant thought to go to the beach.

We had a great trip down and it was full of talking about the future of the ministry and the girls at the farm. Ana lived in house #2 and she was already missing the girls. We got into the hotel at about 4 o'clock and went to the beach and then went to the pool that is on the roof of this tiny hotel. We had a great supper of coconut shrimp with a lime and club soda slushy and went to bed. Her flight didn't leave until Thursday morning. I was thinking two days at the beach, leave early for the airport, which is a little over an hour away, a that was my plan, but God kept nudging me to change the plan to go to San Pedro today. I didn't want to do that. I don't like San Pedro Sula that well, and I wanted to stay at the beach, but I decided that I would go ahead and make a reservation in SPS and just obey.

We have been talking to the girls in our nightly devotions about how obedience in God's economy and in His Word shows that you have "great faith". I am working on that myself. Most of the time, I am not focused on hearing from God because so much other stuff is going on, I just miss it. We have discovered that we need to not only to obey, but to obey quickly and not to murmur and complain as you are obeying. Well, I didn't murmur much, :) and I just called the San Pedro Sula hotel, where we normally stay and made a reservation. I canceled the second day at the beach and got ready to go.

While I was paying out at the front desk, one of the hotel employees at the little beach hotel, said "Did you know you have a problem with your tire?" I assured him I didn't know it and so he led me out to the parking lot waving his finger at me to continue to follow him. I looked and he was correct. The tire was as bald as an onion and I had just ridden from Yamaranguila down 3 mountain ranges and over temporary bridges and rough terrain, with a tire that you could see the air on the inside. Well upon further inspection, the bald tire was the spare tire and it was bigger than the other tires. So I looked up under the bed of the truck to see if the other tire was under there. No, it was not. So not only did we have a bad tire, but we had no spare tire either. Who knows where the spare went? I should have checked before we left, but we had just bought a spare not just a few weeks back. A tire went flat and a couple of interns went to town to get the spare fixed. They made a few stops before the tire shop. They stopped at one last place when a thief on a bicycle loaded it up on the handle bars and drove away never to be seen again. We bought one to replace the stolen spare tire right after that, so I know one was under the truck where it belonged. So after we established that there was no spare, we got instructions from the tire repairmen on how to find rims in junk yards.

We got a quote from the first tire guy and we checked out the other establishments. I had to make a decision go to the bank to get money to pay for the tires. I had to get two tires, because the other front tire had a place on it that looked ripped. I was going to put that tire on another rim and retire the spare. We checked with some really sketchy tire repair shops looking for rims, and I decided if we were going to get out of there before dark we would get the tires we needed and go up the road. It was amazing how many tire repair shops have owners/workers with gold teeth, no shirts and large tums, incorrect information /directions, and a ..... gleam. They seemed happy in their work.

I got to the bank and left Ana in the car to watch our belongings. She had her luggage for travel and I had my plastic carry tote for the beach stuffed with the essentials of beach living and a nice laptop. Did I mention that is was hotter than South GA in August? I went into the bank at about 11:45 and there was a line, but not as bad as I suspected there would be before lunch. The next moment, 50 or more people came in the door. I was thankful I got there when I did. It took about 30 minutes but I got the money and went back to the tire store to get the tires changed.
The older gentlemen, who worked on the car, looked like he was on his last leg. When I went to pay out, they were telling me how this old guy had nobody and he was sick with fever and infection. I don't know how anybody knows if one has a fever when it is so hot, but he was not doing well, and the store owner, just opened up about his elderly employee's medical problems and I hadn't even asked. I felt bad about it because he worked like a trojan on changing our tires to get us on our way. We gave the older worker a tip and continued up the road.

Now we didn't get to do everything we planned to do and we didn't even get to do the things we wanted to do, but through obeying, we arrived safely at our destination. If I had of not paid attention and stayed where I wanted to be, we would have found the tire problem the next morning, and we may have missed the plane. I like God. I love it better when I obey and see the reason. God says it is even better when we haven't seen the reason but just do it anyway, trusting that He has our good in mind all the time. My dad used to say, "Do what I tell you to do, when I tell you to do it". I used to hate it when he said that, but it was good practice on how to listen to authority and to obey quickly.

I have a girl at the farm that repeats all my questions. For example, I say, "Will take out the trash?" She counters with "You want me to take out the trash?" I respond, "Yes, take out the trash". She says, "Take the trash out"? I say incredulously, "Yes! the trash". She replies, "The trash right?" By that time I want to say "Do you need to go to an audiologists and get your hearing checked??" But I don't because I am a missionary, and I am sensitive and I am filled with the peace and fullness of God,:)( but I am thinking it )

Sometimes we have selective hearing, sometimes we are hard of hearing. We will whistle a tune and pretend no one is speaking and sometimes we just put our fingers in out ears and refuse to hear what God is saying to us. We need to be so ready to hear what God is saying. He will speak to us in a still small voice and He will say loudly for all to hear "This is my Son, hear Him!

Jesus says for those who have ears to hear let them hear. That must be an important principal because He repeats it a lot. I started underlining the word "hear" in the Bible . It is in there a lot. It is even mentioned a few times in the Old Testament. The letters in the word "hear" are the first part of the word "heart" There is a hearing with your ears and hearing with your heart. I am praying I will be practicing doing both.

I am glad I was listening today. I didn't move as quickly as I needed to, and I didn't do it as joyfully as I needed to, but I really rejoiced when I knew that I had heard from Him and that I didn't miss what He was trying to show me. I am thankful He kept us safe....again Blessings, the Hearing Honduran MOM

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Telephone Blues

This week has been kind of special with my telephone woes. I have a Tigo phone which is a privately owned phone company, and a Hondutel phone that is in my house which is my land-line. I am thankful for any phone service because I have lived here with no service and so I am thrilled to have a phone.

However, my Tigo phone service started calling and telling me to pay my bill. I had paid it on the 4th of every month. They started sending text message saying it was time to pay the bill on the 17th of last month. I would text back telling them that I had paid the bill, and that seem to be fine, for a day or two and then they would start again. So finally they cut my service on first of August. I went to the bank, where you pay your utilities and they said I owed 10 dollars. I was glad it wasn't more but I didn't understand why I owed 10 dollars because my bill wasn't due for 3 more days, but whatever.

I tried to use my Hondutel phone the other day, and the phone just cut off. I thought maybe something with their satellite. I waited and checked later still no service. After a week I week by the local phone office in Yamaranguila where Don Caesar has faithfully served for years. He used to walk to my house in Yamaranguila to tell me I had a call years ago. It is just a super small building, and the lines would always be down when it was about time for him to go to lunch. Anyway, I stopped by there and told him my service has been out for a week. He said wait a minute and I followed him to his little office and he plugged up a cord. He said, "It should work now". I stood there looking a little perplexed and he said, "I wasn't here last week and someone must have unplugged the cord. Sorry". I wanted to laugh out loud but I didn't. I now have phone service...

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Professionals

We finished our teams for the summer season. Those are the teams we had that we back to back. I quit counting how many teams there have been this year so far. I just know that God has blessed us with so many wonderful people and the churches that helped send them out. All the Girls and the Staff would like to thank all of you that helped make these summer missions possible.

One of our interns, Ben Heath came back early and declared that he felt like God was calling him to missions on a full time basis. Ben returned early because he wanted to come down with his home church Locust Grove Baptist Church, who had back to back work teams this month. Normally, Ben was going home and working like crazy to make enough money to come back and stay the 3 month period before he had to leave again to get his visa renewed. Ben is a graduate of a college in Middle GA and he now is our school director. He is doing a fabulous job with the girls and with new Honduran teachers we have hired this week. When Ben got back, he shared that he didn't want to be an intern any more. He felt like the word "intern" had a negative conotation that meant that the intern didn't know exactly what he was doing. He said that while he was at home, the thought came to him that the interns at Project Talitha Cumi needed to be call was "The Professionals" At first it really sound like a TV mini series to me, but everybody agreed that they were professionals and graduates from universities and their chosen profession and confession is to be a full time missionary. Yesterday while I was at the Secretary of Education with Ben getting some books and documents, the head of the department we were in said we needed to be certified to give classes. She said our "professionals" all need to come to a continuing education class to get this certification. I looked at Ben and told him, "This must be catching on". Please pray for Ben, and all of our other full time missionaries and part time missionaries that they would have the funding they need to stay on the mission field where God has called them to be.

We just dropped the Botkin family off at the bus station. They threw us a big pizza party at the Kios Pizza and Car Wach (it means car wash) facility. The pizza was great and we had every table filled except one small booth. The Botkins are on their way home for a few months. They have been a tremendous source of support and encouragement to me personally, to the girls, and to the other members of the staff. Linda is a homemaker and homeschooler of their 4 children ranging in age of 15 to 3. She cooked the entire time while we had all the teams visit us for the summer. She did a tremendous job keeping everything in the kitchen going. Jeremiah kept repairs going, drove the bus for the team, tutored the girls in trigonometry, built bunk beds, cabinets and fixed toilets. He is a carpenter by trade and they are both missionaries by the calling of God. Please pray for us because we already miss them and their children. Their children pitched in and helped with the all the day to day chores that the girls had which included washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen, feeding hogs, keeping the grounds cleaned, sweeping the church, etc. The children's attitudes were great and reminded me of my girls on the mission field as they used to remind me that they were missionaries too. Pray for the Botkin family, that they will get all the necessary plans and paperwork ready for them to be able to stay here at PTC in the near future. Pray for them to raise the necessary support to be able to stay here long term.

Natalie, our other professional, is in charge of the evangelism here in our community and the other small aldeas that we live close to. She is using a program called the Mailbox Club that orginates in Valdosta, Ga. Natalie is a member of Crosspointe Church. She is bi-lingual and has been a huge asset in going to the different schools to minister to the children the foundations of salvation and about how to read their Bibles. Natalie has commited to be with us for a year and will be with us if the Lord permits until March! We are so thankful for the time she has been here helping us. Pray for her also as she is seeking direction for her life after her year' commitment is up.

Anna Williams, also a resident of Valdosta has been with us this past 6 weeks. She has been helping with the school. Anna is a student at VSU and goes to Northside Baptist church. She has been strong when the situation called for strength even though she is quiet soul. I have been amazed at how the Lord has used her here at our mission. She is kind of the quiet super hero that nobody knows is a super hero until the need arises. She is there with strength and faith to battle whatever comes. She has spent her summer break with us and has to go back to college, but we are praying that she will return to us.

Meanwhile, the girls are doing great. They are being successful at school and even though discipline is sometimes the order of the day their attitudes to that discipline has been wonderful. We have been doing our devotions on the book of John and 1st John. Love of course is the answer to everything that comes our way, because Jesus is Love and He is the answer. We have reviewed "teamwork", in loving others more than ourselves and the word "remain". Jesus repeats it a lot to remain in His love because really we are all a little slow in that arena. We all want to bolt when things don't go our way, but he repeats over and over and over again to remain in His love.

Well last night we were talking about the calling of God. It was our pastor's sermon this week and so we review what the Pastor spoke on the next time we have devotions. During our church services we have a little old lady that always wear a typical hand woven kerchief in her hair and everytime the pastor makes a good point, she says "Santos", which just means "Holy, Holy". Well we had come to the point in the review of the pastor's sermon to ask how do we receive the call God has for our lives. We started talking about how we pray. I told them that most of the time I pray on my bed laying down, and sometimes I stand and sometimes I sit, but I told them that God has shown me that if I am really serious with God I get on my knees because it is not a comfortable position and I take care of business rapidly in that position. I also don't do it lest anyone come through and call me a fanatic. They all agreed that they would be embarrassed if someone saw them on their knees praying. So I told everybody in the room "Let's get on our knees and see if that is true". Well on of our 13 year olds got on her knees along with the rest of us, and she called out "Santos". Not because the Lord touched her spiritutally but because her knees felt the pressure immediately. It was hysterical, and we all broke out laughing because we were feeling the same pressure, but we closed out our devotions by all of us getting on our knees and praying for the needs of our farm and the girls and the families they represent.

It is strange how we let opinion of others affect our devotion to our God in how we pray, in the things we say and do. We have learned this week that perfect love casts out all fear. I pray that He will help us to overcome whatever hinders us from Him.

Thanks for all the wonderful he that we have had this summer! My girls and I have met some of the strongest Christian people. They have been a wonderful example of living for Christ. We have had some of our children baptized, some of them have recieved their salvation and some did both all because of the people who heard the Lord say "Go". They really didn't know what they were going to be doing, they just knew they were supposed to go. I am thankful that they heard from God and obeyed. Some shopped till they dropped for our 23 girls, some taught them songs, dances, dramas. The girls are better people because you came.

Thanks for all of you that have heard from God and supported us whatever way God has shown you to do. I pray that God multiply all the help you have sent our way, back to you . I thank the ones of you who are supporting our missionaries on the field. They are making a huge difference in the lives of the girls, the community and to the lives of the teams that come and see their dedication. Thank you all so much. Blessings, the Knee-Praying Honduran MOM