Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It Is All About Thanksgiving

We have fish!!

When I got home there was so much stuff going on.  I hadn't been home for several weeks and there was a lot that I needed to attend to.  But the main thing was to attend to the girls.

Thanksgiving is the girls most favorite time of the year.  The girls made construction paper turkey's out of hand prints, and wrote Thank you notes to sponsors.  The kitchen was decorated with orange and red plastic table cloths and it looked absolutely  wonderful.  Anna Smith, Lauren Edwards and Linda Botkins were in charge of the decorating details.  We invited the workers and some of them brought families with them.  We invited a great group of folks.  The only problem was we gave them the wrong Thursday!  So we had to re-invite for a week earlier, which was less than a week's notice.  We had several people call and apologize why they couldn't come.  The girl's heart were set and so we didn't change our schedules. We found two turkeys in the market.  They were small and our group was supposed to be very large.

 One of our goats that we are raising was asked to make the ultimate sacrifice.  We moved the younger girls to the mission house to watch a Christmas movie so they wouldn't be traumatized.  I personally don't handle the slaughter side of our meat supply.  I don't like to hear the gun go off and some of our girls, older and younger, feel the same way.  I usually turn that over to the guys, who happen to be on the farm. This year it was Jerimiah Botkin and sons.  I don't mind dealing with the meat after the deed has been done.  But because I was cooking the day before on Wednesday, our older girls stepped forward and got the job handled, and the goat was ready to cook.

Linda Botkin was in charge of baking pies. She made lemon, pumpkin and pecans (I had them hidden in the ice maker that is not hooked up).   We had mustard greens growing from seeds donated from a seed store in Doerun, GA, and zucchini casserole, cornbread dressing,(not to be confused with Yankee stuffing that goes inside of a turkey, eckh!)  mashed potatoes, gravy and Angela made the yeast rolls. We had heavenly hash, and lots of real South GA sweet tea.

Even with the wrong dates we still had tons of folks, but you have to realize when the staff, workers and children get together, we are about 70 people, We had some court officials, some of our girls who have graduated from our farm, but come back for the holidays, and local people we just asked at the last minute.  I never really know how many will show up.

Who needed a football game to watch after the feast, when we could play kickball ourselves? It was a great game.  We all had such a huge day. But it was not over.  After our guest and fellow athlete's left, we got everything ready to go to the mission house to continue the festivities.

At lunch we eat Heavenly Hash.  The supper is comprised of pies and more pies.  While we are preparing to eat pies, the kids decorate the Christmas tree.  We give each child about 4 ornaments to place on the tree after Kansas and Angie Serritt got the lights up and working.  It doesn't take long when you have 33 girls with 4 ornaments.  It reminded me of the cartoon, "Charlie Brown's Christmas, when they decorated the ugly tree.  They stand around and furiously place their ornaments in a few minutes, voila' a perfectly finished tree.

Now our tree is pretty ugly.  This artificial tree has been around for a lot of years.  It is the type that used to be color coded.  The branches have lost long lost their color coded stickers on the end of the metal hanger.  The trunk, or center of the tree that the metal hangers hook on to are missing some key items.  But we strategically hide those from view and use a ton of lights.  I think the tree is just held together by wrapping extension cords and strings of lights to keep the branches of the tree in place.  The effect is quite nice.

After the tree we eat our pies, and then prepare to play secret friend.  Secret friend is so much fun for the girls.  We each get a name to buy a gift for.  The girls have to raise money by doing odd jobs around the house.  The limit is about 50 limps or $2.50 .  The girls take the secret very seriously.  I don't know why we call it secret friend because with all these girls it is hard to keep anything a secret but they really ponder over what they want to buy for their secret pal.  We all had the best time.

The Thanksgiving Party Animals

Rosey and Mary 

We had a graduations to attend in November.  Rosey graduated High School, and we had 6 other girls to graduate from the 6th grade.  WE were so proud of all of them.

WE had several Birthdays in November along with everything else that was going on.  So we decided to go for the big one.  We went to the beach for the day.  We hired a bus, and left at 4:30 in the early morning and drove to the Caribbean.  Many of the girls had never seen the ocean at all.  When they got there first face full of water, they marveled at the saltiness of the water.  They kept asking "Why is this water salty".  We ate a a local restaurant and got back on the bus, and headed for the long way home.

Finally, we got the fish for our fish pond and we are thankful!!.  David Aguilar a local farming engineer, brought us some fish to put in our cement pond.  We were all so excited.  WE will see how fast they grow off.  We were told that it would take a while because growth for fish is slow in cold water.  In the hot areas of Honduras the fish grow at an amazing speed.

I have found it to be true in my walk with God too.  We all tend to grow spiritually when the heat is turned up.  We begin to look to the only one who can bring that perfect peace when are eyes are focused on Him and we trust in Him.

I want to thank everybody that helped this month turn out to be such a successful time for the girls.  I want to thank, the members of our staff, our workers, and our board in Honduras and the board in the States who have stood beside us all the way.  We see the lives of the girls changing so fast. Thanks to all of you who have been blessing us by praying for our girls and the ministry that God has established. I want to maintain a thankful heart.

I pray you all have a blessed holiday season. The Holiday-Happening Honduran Mom

PS  We have a new girl.  She is 6 and her name is Maite.  Please be praying for her to get established here and that it will be a smooth transition.
Our Graduate

Friday, November 2, 2012

Coming Home For a Wedding

Benjamin and Charity Noethe 

The Bride and Groom

People ask me all the time, "How often do you come home?"
It seems to me that I am always at home.  I am in the United States right now and I am home. When I am in Honduras I am home.  When people ask me in Honduras "Where is home?", I say "Georgia".  When I am in the States and ask me, "When do I go home?", I know they mean Honduras.  It is kind of cool that where ever I am I am content being at home while longing to be at home.  It is just the life of a missionary  and a child of God.
If you ask a child, who is in a missionary family, where they are from they will respond with "What do you mean"? But home is where their families are.

People also ask me "How many kids do you have?"  Well I have 5 grown grown children here in the States and over forty in Honduras, that I have been mothering for  the past 18 years and that call me Mom.  Being a Mom is not something that you just turn on and off.  It is not what you do it is who you are and your calling is from God.  I also happen to be a missionary which also by definition means that you don't lay aside that calling either like so many car keys on the coffee table at the end of the day.  That calling is 24/7 and rightly so.  You shouldn't be able to take it off and say that you are a missionary or a mom between the hours of 8:00 -5:00. You are always "on", it just goes with the territory.

When I was called into the mission field I was concerned naturally about my 
"natural" children.  God assured me that if I would take care of his kids he would take care of mine.  Scripture tells that God is not a man that He should lie.  He has been faithful to His promise to me.  I now have three of my five children married to the most wonderful christian spouses here and I have girls in Honduras who have married godly men.  I have girls who have graduated from college and are attending college here and there.  I have children in Honduras who are not exactly where they want to be and kids that are struggling with a lot of things. but I stand on God'promise to me that they will all come home

Moms and Dads have the amazing task of making s child understand what "home" is.  With the holidays cranking up this month, many people are already speaking about their plans to go "home" for the Holidays.  Somebody had to create that sense  of home in their hearts.  Sometimes home is a physical place and sometimes it is just a sense of being, but we all have that longing to be home.  We have that feeling lodged in our spiritual DNA placed there by God.  Everybody has it.  

I work with girls who have come from fractured homes.  They come in to our mission and we encourage, instruct, and love on the girls, who have been placed in our care.  The hard part is that their sense of home carries pain.  It is all they have known about a place called home.  So many of our girls who have come out of dangerous situations still want to go home, because it is home.  It makes no sense why they would want to return, but the desire to have their home is ever present.  

I am thankful I got to come home for my daughter's wedding.  We had a great time with family and friends at her showers, and making plans for her big day.  She did really well getting all her arrangements made with only having a small meltdown over her limitations on invitations.  

She had a lot of wonderful help from her future mother-in-law and a group of her friends, as well as a bunch of help from the groom and his dad along with his friends.  These folks made decorations, planned showers, cooked for the multitudes, and worked like crazy to help pull everything together to make this wedding all that Charity and Ben had dreamed it would be.

One of the things I was asked to do is to help Anna Robertson, the decorator.  We went around scoping out people's yards that I knew, to be able to cut flowers and greenery to put in the arrangements for the wedding. The day came for me to start cutting.  I borrowed my mom's clippers and took the borrowed car that a great family always provides me with while I am home, and loaded it up with enormous  black trash bags that I borrowed from my Dad's shop.  

At first I was clipping nicely away at the hedges in my yard.  Then I found out I needed a lot more of everything.  So I was asking people from Moultrie to Thomasville for clippings from their yards and their neighbors.  I had no shame about it  I was walking in the woods with my boots on, ever mindful that there were snakes out and about.  I was in the roadside ditches cutting wild flowers ahead of the DOT tractors who were cutting down the grass in the ditches.  I was on a mission.  I stopped at one house of a family I used to know to ask if I could cut some of their pampas grass flowers.  I thought the young couple must be her grown-up son living in her old house.  The coupled assured me that they thought if would be fine.  I grabbed my long handled cutters and was on my way when they said, " I am sure the owners wouldn' t mind.  I got nervous about that last little comment.  I went to large houses with manicured grounds.  I went to mobile homes that had wild pyracantha growing in their overgrown hedges.  Towards the end of my clipping fiesta, I ran out of containers and bags and I was just cramming the clippings in the trunk of the car and slamming the trunk.  The last time I closed the trunk , surveying all of my labors, I wondered how all that bunch of twigs, branches, and seed pods could be arranged to look worth a flip, but I was just doing what I was asked to do by the decorator.

When I arrived with my last load of cuttings, the Master Decorator had already been at work with the stuff from the big black bags and buckets.  The arrangements she made were magical.  I just was amazed at what she had done with the what she had asked me to bring to her.  I realized at that moment is that is what God asks us to do.  He asks us to go to the hedges and the highways and sometimes in the ditches where the snakes are, to bring those things to Him that he asked for so that He can arrange them into something we could never imagine.  He is after all the Master Decorator.

So I now have a married daughter.  They ceremony was beautiful and everything was perfect, the food, the flowers, the bride, the groom.  They now will make their home together.   Every time we get participate in a wedding it should remind us of the great preparation that God is making for His bride.  He is trimming some of us and collecting others to be a part of something that will be so amazing .

I want to thank God for everybody he sent to help us with the wedding, or prayed for us before the wedding .  Thanks to Joe Reynolds, Angela Serritt and my interns for watching over my Honduran home while I was away.  Most of all I am thankful that I got to come home to be a part of something that I have prayed for a long time. Blessings, the Hedge Clipping and Snipping Honduran Mom

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Purpose Driven Life

So my mom and I are in South Carolina.  I am home in the United States to paritcipate in wedding activities for my daughter, but  I have also been asked to speak to a group of SIFE students that work and study at Anderson University.  This group of young people have come to the farm on various occasions, bringing with them the love of God and a way to help the girls learn computers, personal finances and marketing strategies.  They are a great group of young business oriented men and women.

Anyhow, so we set a time to leave at 10:00 in the morning and we don't leave until 11:00.  I am still on Honduran time.  I grab a cup of coffee, and get my mom the very first Starbucks she has ever had.  I may have created a monster, she loved it.

As we were cruising down I-75 and we couldn't help but notice this semi truck with a large silver tank that they use for transporting milk, weaving all three lanes of the interstate.  When he would hit the shoulder of the road it would wake him up from his slumber and he would whip it over to the other lane.  I told my mom I thought he was "asleep at the wheel."  I was concerned for him and the other motorist, and so I call 911.  They said they would send a patrol car.  So we cross by 4 more exits and still no police officers and now we are in an area where they have construction going on. So I call 911 back.  I told her that there has not been anyone to come to check on this man.  I told them he is literally driving over 3 lanes of traffic and that he was taking out the orange stripe barrels. "Well says, the operator, you just left this county and now you are in another so we can't send anyone right now .  She said that we will send you message to the other operator in Tift County.  Okay, so he continued to almost side swipe several automobiles in Tift county.  So I called back when he almost totally ran of the road.  They informed me that now I was in Cook Co. and they would have to contact an officer there.  I gave up.  I just road behind and prayed until a gas truck pulled up beside him.  I decided to drop back.  I continued to pray and I thought they both pulled off on an exit.  I was praying that maybe he was going to Starbucks and would order a pumpkin spice latte, before he got on the road again.  That would perk him up, but no, he did not do that, he got back on I-75 and no one ever did come and see about the sleepy driver.  I just stayed behind him and prayed for him.  He slowed down for me to pass him. I just stayed behind him praying away that he would arrive alive.  He finally turned off..

We stopped at Forsythe right after that to get gas and some chicken strips from Zaxby's.  We didn't stay long but when we pulled into I 75, the wind and rain started.  It was so overcast and the rain was blowing so hard that when someone would pass your car you could not see them in the water that was splashing up from the road, the fog that moved in and the onslaught of the rain pellets hitting your windshield.  It rained on us until we hit 475 then it was clear until we arrived in Atlanta I-675.

When we hit I-285 and were supposed to go West and to get off on exit 33.  At exit 44 there was an accident and it said WEST, so we got off and found we were going South. I had heard horror stories of I-285, so I got off and decided to ask instructions.  I jumped out of the car and so did my mom, before we really took in our surroundings.  The gas station had bars all over the outside or pull down doors and graffiti was everywhere.  The guy who was coming out the door looked scary and a little mad. It was probably because he had his haired tied up on the top of his head so tight and his hair looked like a mop that had just tried cleaned the floor we were standing on.  The other people in the store who were tattooed to the maxium looked at us as if to say, "What are you doing here?".  There was a lady who looked like she had been on drugs for a long time,  or if not that, she had watched too many presidential campaign videos this year.  She was waltzing around inside the store was talking to herself loudly about "the rain, the rain, the rain".  I got the instructions from and lady with a very heavy accent.  She told me that I-285 was like a large compass and that if I wouldn't pay attention to EAST of NORTH WEST or SOUTH signs and stay on it until I saw my exit number I would be fine.  I told her thank you and the lady who was dancing in the store looking up for more rain told me to "Drive carefully, there is a lot of RAIN", and then she smiled her toothless grin.  It was looking pretty clear until we got on I-85 and the the buckets of rain were hitting us so hard that the windshield wipers could not keep up with the water.
I had heard of a "White Out" with snowstorms, but that is what it felt like driving.  It was the middle of the day and you could see nothing except blue light from police cars and yellow light from emergency vehicles tending to the stranded motorists. We couldn't get off the shoulder because those motorist were stuck and couldn't see to get back on, and so we kept driving slowly.  I was amazed at the people who continued to drive the 70 mile speed limit!

I started praying and was asking God after all this craziness on the road, if I had missed His leading to come in the first place.  Then I remember about Jesus and His disciples in the boat and their tremendous storm, and then when they arrived safely they were rushed by the demoniac.  Jesus through it all just kept going and took care of business. So I kept driving to my destination.  Meanwhile my sister who lives and works in the Atlanta area calls from work and tells us that there are tornados in the area.  She stayed on the phone with us until we got on I-85.  Then the storm got worse.  I was leaning so close to the dashboard that my head almost was touching the windshield.  I thought to myself, that I must look like the little old ladies who drive with the thick glasses trying to see over the steering wheel.

We drove like that for miles into SC and finally arrived at Anderson.  We got together with our co-workers in Honduras, Linda and Jerimiah Botkin and their family.  WE had a great reunion.  They have been stateside raising support for them to return to the mission field.

Our host Chase Heathersly, who is the president of the SIFE group met us at the University, and we had a luncheon with some of the Deans and Doctors of the students. They gave us a tour of the campus.  They showed us where I was going to be speaking.  They said, "Rick Warren is speaking there right now.  He will speak at 7:00 tonight and you will speak after him at 8:00." Rick WARREN!!.  The author of the best selling book, "The Purpose Driven Life", which I thought was extremely appropriate name for our trip.  I was impressed and really wanted to hear him speak but we had a dinner engagement at J Peters, a local downtown restaurant, to meet with some of the team members that had come to our farm last May.  Anderson University is a great school with scriptures written everywhere on the walls, and just a wonderful warmness all over the campus.   After that we ran to the hotel to get ready for our speaking engagement.

Well Rick Warren, the best selling author of "A Purpose Driven Life", was speaking, in another larger amphitheater there on campus and I was speaking in the small auditorium.  The college kids were offered extra credit if they attended the two meetings.  The leaders waited until Rick Warren was through speaking so that they young people they invited could come to the meeting SIFE was sponsoring.  The place was packed out and people were sitting on the floor.  I love young people, and they were wonderful to me while I spoke.  Nobody, was texting, or working on their IPADS.  I talked to them about the timing of God.  I encouraged them to finish their education, and while they were finishing their time there, to seek God and see what plans He had for their lives.  It was a time for me to know that God had called me there and He gave me the words to share with the young people.

I want to thank all those young people who work with the SIFE Group for making my mom and me feel so welcome to SC and to their school.  Mom and I had a wonderful time being with them.  We are on our way back to GA.  I had never driven anywhere except in Georgia and Florida.  It was a wonderful road trip and I am thankful God was the Pilot in this trip.  Blessings, the Road Warrior Honduran MOM.  PS  I will try to post wedding shower photos and photos from the South Carolina trip later

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Days of Our Lives

Today was a great day in that I got everything done that I didn't think I could possibly accomplish in one day. It was the 13th of September and a Thursday, two days away from the big country wide Liberation Day 

Wait a minute…. I lost my spoonful of cream cheese when my computer slipped to the floor.  It is okay and I did find my cream cheese spoon under my computer laptop thing that you use so that your laptop fan doesn't get too heated. Thankfully computer is not harmed and I located the cream cheese.  Don't judge me. :)

I woke up and got the girls going in my house.  I have several girls here living with me.  One 13 year old just turned 14 has a 10 month old baby.  She can't live with the other girls because they treat her baby like a doll, and want to carry it around and feed it anything.  Then the other has some socialization skills problems, but when she is busy with little ones she shines, the other two little girls 4 and 5 left my house after they had stayed for the normal time before I integrate them into the other houses, but they started closing down.  The 4 year old started stuttering and constantly wetting her pants.  She was potty trained, and after a doctor visit which revealed no infection problem, but a physiological one that she felt rejected having to leave my house.  :Her older sister quit talking and became a discipline problem.  The other girl is new, and so she will be placed in one of the houses soon.  

So we get up around ;here at 5 a.m.  We eat at 6:30 and have devotions at Circulo at 7:00. WE did that and had our jumping jacks, and then the staff had prayer time while the girls wait at the kitchen porch to go up to the school.  

I had to go and get cement for the workers to finish our outdoor stove.  We had a couple that came for a short time and they made a Belizian outdoor stove for us to use.  It cooks the tortillas perfectly.  The other open wood stove is to boil, and fry things.  So I got to town and got all the things I needed from the hardware store and returned.  I found out that our circulation papers were lapsed and so we had three vehicles to get re-registered, (The bus, the Toyota and Ben's motorcycle.) If I didn't go today, Saturday is their Independence Day, which is huge and everything would be closed Friday and Saturday. Our copier was broken again because the little girls in my house took their round -ended  school scissors and cut the wire to the top of the copier.    I also had to pay everyone so I needed to go to the Bank because Monday was the Day of the TEacher and the teacher's take the day off,  but so does the bank.  They have tons of holidays down here.  We just finished with Day of the Child.  Anyway, I got the paperwork, copier machine, checkbook and one of the girls for a travel companion and headed out. Also I had a 15 inch rim with a16 inch tire that I needed to get fixed for my spare tire for the Toyota.  My last blog was about the missing spare tire.

We got to La Esperanza and I paid my electric bill at the bank, and made my deposit, and got back in the car.  I remembered I had a card on the copier guy, and so I called their office.  He said they were in La Esperanza.  So I called his cell and he came and literally picked up the copier and walked it into a store and plugged it up and it just needed rebooted.  So I didn't have to go to Siguatepeque to drop it off, but I still had to drive the bypass of Siguat, to get to Comayagua to get to the DMV.  

WE got to Comayagua where the DMV is located with 30 minutes to spare, went by and visited Brenda Hernandez an alumni of our girls home, who has a great job and has always been a blessing.  I bought some chicken for Angela another alumni who is waiting for visa papers to be reunited with her husband in the States.  Meanwhile she is at the farm helping me with the girls and cooking. I got the spare fixed but they only had an almost bald tire.  He said, "well the last tire, had a lot of tread on it and it was a nice tire and they stole it.  Nobody is going to want to steal this tire, and it only cost 7 dollars.  It is not like you are going to drive on it forever.  You will get the other one fixed." I kept thinking of the Michilen tire commercial about how you have precious cargo in your car, but It made sense and I needed to get home before it started getting too late to go over the mountains especially without a spare. 
 We headed out of town and were almost to Siguat when I saw a sign for rabbits and ducks.  Several blogs ago, I wrote about the assassin dog that  murdered  all my rabbits, ducks and chicken on a wild spree of killing my small animal friends. 
I had mentioned this week that I would like to get them started growing them again.  

Further down the road they had some of the biggest pineapples!!!!!!.  I bought them and got a phone call about a check . I thought is was bank calling.  It was not.  I wrote to a check to the local hardware store guy, who is problematic.  He likes to talk, more than I do, and while I was writing his check, I wrote in the lettering part 800 limperas twice.  So I dropped by the grocery store to pick up diapers and met with the woman who called me about the check.  I re-issue the check to the girl from the problematic hardware store owner, who had swapped the check with her . They change checks around down here like crazy.  For example I write a check for cement and he gives my check to him to the Texaco guy for gas.  It is amazing how that works.

So when I got home, Brenda and I move the ducks and the rabbits inside.  Then the dogs charge into my house trying to get the rabbits.  They have never charged inside.  We had to lock up the dogs so that we wouldn't be after the ducks and rabbits.  

I decided while I was outside to check on the fish pond and see if it had filled.  It had and the guy forgot to turn off the water from the dam!  I told the watchmen to turn off the valve and he turns off the valve from the tanks!!!  I called back to him and no answer, so I start walking in the dark with my flashlight through the orange trees, I step in a hole and do something weird to my back.  I show him the valve and he says it is off.  The new ducks are swimming nicely, safe and sound.  

Next morning the watchman says the ducks are gone.  I see the water is gone too.  He didn't close the valve all the way and so the ducks had no water to escape from the dogs that got loose in the night,  He said "the dogs are in the pen", but the footprints were all in the soft mud.  They may have been in the pen …now  but they weren't. 

So a new day begins.  I lay back down because my back is not great, and the Human Rights people come about one of our girls, a mom comes to visit one our girls.   I am working on some clarification of job descriptions with Ben and I a up more than lying down.  I send the girls to the Dentist with Angela and they call and say they don't have the orthodontists order which shows what teeth have to be pulled so Cinthia can get her braces.  So I get up looking for that paper. Ben goes to leave and I hear the head worker ask if Ben can give him a ride.  While I am still looking for the paper, the girls come say the police are out front with Ben.  I go outside and Ben says he needs help. 

When Ben left, to his utter surprise, he saw a police operative.  There is never a police operation in front of our road because we are so remote, and so he turned around to get the renewed circulation paper I had at my house.  The police said he had a few things he did wrong. 
One :    He turned around and it look like he was running from the police
Two:     He didn't have his paperwork.
Three:  He had another MAN on the motorcycle and because of numerous       problems in the big cities, they made a new law that you can't drive with another man on the back of the motorcycle.
Four:  He didn't have a specific motorcycle license.

Because of all this they said they were impounding his motorcycle for 45 days and he would have a large fine. I talked to them and praying all the time in my mind and told them we were a non profit organization and that Ben doesn't receive a salary and that would they please help us.  The police officer with the large sunglasses, and the no nonsense lips, told us that in their country they have a saying that "Ignorance of the law is no excuse".  I started to say that we have the same law and decided against it. I said we were sorry.  He said, "put the motorcycle in the truck".  I asked "How can he get to work?"  We are helping your people and we just ask for mercy."  He said, "Okay, but he is walking until he gets his license." Thank you Lord.  He handed Ben's documents back to me, like I was his mother.  Ben was standing right there.  But I was just glad he didn't take his passport.  So 36 hours goes by  again full of the grace of God.  If I hadn't decided to go get the paperwork done the day before, we would have no motorcycle in my front yard because the paperwork would have been expired.  Monday Ben goes for his license and hopefully will be on the road again.   

 I am thankful that God is with me through all the days of my life.  I am thankful for mercy and grace and that He gives that to me even through no nonsense police officers.  I am thankful that He heals me. My back is better even though I was doing more exercise getting up to see about so many different things today..  Continue to pray for us, the Harried, Hurried, Honduran Mom

Monday, September 3, 2012

Driving Miss Crazy

I bought a HILUX.  When I buy a used car I (which is only two times :) I send it to the mechanics for them to check everything.  He was to check the filters,  cables, brakes, belts, battery, in general everything.  The mechanic called and said it was ready.  Ben had come with our group because all of us had errands in La Esperanza.   So I sent Ben to the mechanic to pick up the truck and drive it home.  I took NISSAN Patrol and went by and paid him.   The Patrol's window was busted completely.  It got off track and nobody mentioned it to me.  So when a huge torrential downpour started the day before, I noticed that someone did not close the window.  So I ran outside to close it up.  I turned the key while I was half-way hanging out the door of the car and the rain was like ice water squirting out of a fire hose saturating all my clothes.  I hit the electric button and the window  shattered all down inside the door of the car.  I ran and got a black plastic trash bag and put it over the window and closed the door. 

 So when we went to town to pick up the truck that was in the shop, Ben was driving us into town in the rain in the car with the busted window.  He was holding on to one end of the plastic bag while one of the team members in the back seat, was holding on to the other end.   It was a little loud with it flapping everywhere, but we got there. WE did our errands and Ben took the repaired truck filled with groceries to the house.   I was hoping to put a piece of plexi-glass in the Patrol but we couldn't find anything.   Before I left town,  I ran by and paid the mechanic  I found out that I needed to go the next day to Tegucigalpa the capital, to get Rosey's 2nd enrollment form at college. 

 I had to appointments in town the next morning before I could get Rosey and I was in the truck that supposedly was fixed.  While I was in town, I noticed  that while at the mechanics, somebody cut the cable that holds the spare tire.  I went by and asked them where was my tire and they said it probably fell off in the road while driving.  I called Ben, because he had driven it home the day before, and he said he felt nothing.  The tire wouldn't have just dropped off like a chicken depositing an egg on the ground. I told them I had to get to the capital and the mechanic said, 'You don't need to go without a spare.  What if something happened?"  I told him I was going to call him for road side assistance.  He thought I was kidding but in my heart I was not.   I had asked him to fix the emergency and I told him that it wasn't working.  He said "You are not pulling it hard enough.  You need to be stronger." " Ummhmmm". I said.  The thought jetted though my mind, "I'll show you strong, and move his nose to another position on his face"but Jesus is in my heart and I have self control. :) I didn't act on it.  But I just said, Ummhmmm.  I guess "ummmhmmm" can be a spiritual word that brings peace to the one who speaks it and it carries with it some punch .  I think God says it all the time when we are offering up our lame excuses.  It works it any language like, "Hallelujah".   He didn't fix that or the lights on the dash board, the emergency and he lost my tire.  He had my money and I had a long drive to work on forgiveness.  

I looked for a rim all over town to get a spare before I left and nobody had anything.  They told me I would have to go to Tegucigalpa to get one.  I was without a window in one car and without a spare in the other.  I really didn't know if he really fixed anything on the truck with no spare.  I thought about taking the bus with Rosey, but at this point it would be late and we would get into the city at night, so I decided against public transport. I thought about taking the Patrol which is reliable, but had no window.  I pictured myself, driving down the road in my hot pink polka dotted raincoat that a team member left last year with my arm out the broken window.  If it rained on me no problem, but in the end I decided against that too, even though the thoughts of it made me laugh out loud.  I finally made a decision for the truck with no spare, and prayer.   Angela, one of our alumni from PTC, will get her visa in October to join her husband in the States.  She knew I needed help and offered to come help with the girls while I was away later on this month for my daughter's wedding. She was going to come early so everybody would have their position they were supposed to do.  So I was going to take the truck and pick up some of her larger stuff.  
So okay, I had to get moving.  I got home early to the farm to get everybody established about where they were to be.  I went to get in the truck and realized the groceries from the day before hadn't been unloaded.  So we unloaded the mountain of groceries.  I was running late at this point but not bad.  Then I jumped back in the truck it wouldn't crank.  The mechanic didn't change the cables or check the terminals to the battery. Everything was so loose I could moves it with my hands. I was thankful it happened at the farm and not on the road.  Some of the men on the team came down, in the rain, and got it going again.  One guy went to clean the terminals with a very nice lime green box blade knife, but he cut himself.  At this point, I am re-evaluating to see if God is trying to tell me something.  Then it starts raining like crazy.  So after looking for cables, which were in the bus at the mission house, we got it cranked.  The team members said to go get a new battery.  I went by the mechanics to check the battery and the meter read that it was fine, and I just put it in gear and left.  It rained the whole way to Comayagua.  I stopped there because it is about half way, and  Brenda our other alumni works at a Enlaces Ministry there and I could visit with her and my good friend Sandy Burgess.  

WE got to the university the next morning on time.   There was a long line but not like the first time.  We carried all the paperwork from last time and the new receipts this time.  Rosey was standing in line and a volunteer came and looked at her paperwork and said that she couldn't register today because she didn't have her original birth certificate.  Rosey came over and was almost in tears and told me the news.   I asked the young man if I could speak to the supervisor.  She was a lawyer for the school and very professional and very adamant about following the rules that were posted on the website.  Our internet has been down and we didn't know the rules changed. She said we could register tomorrow in Copan which is about the same distance from  the farm toTegucigalpa.  I explained we came a long way and she said she was sorry about that but that we needed to follow the rules.  I told her that I was sorry I didn't check on the new rules myself,  and that I wasn't trying to make her job harder, but if she could please make an exception.  She said "No" and then said, "okay, just this once".  She brought us into the building where the others were waiting outside and Rosey got her photo and identity that she needed to register for the second test.  WE were second in line instead of at the back of the line.  I just sat and tears came rolling down my face thinking about how faithful God is and how He moves people on behalf of our girls.   The lady was so nice, so I thanked her for her kindness.  Angela's brother went with me to pick up a window in the center of Tegucigalpa auto parts district, and he told me he would plan to buy a rim for me and drop the rim and Angela the next day. So we ate and left and celebrated the goodness of God all the way home.   

The next morning we needed lumber to finish the job and stuff from the hardware store,a but there was a semi truck on our dirt road that had jackknifed his trailer across the road and no one could pass. The huge tractor trailer get stuck on our road this week.  The roads are in pretty good shape but the novice driver decided to go up one of the hills and misjudged what gear he should have used.  So he backed down the hill.  He did this so many times that he burned out his clutch, radiator, and transmission and his tires. The last time he backed down the hill the trailer jack knifed across the road with the cab in the ditch.   I got ready to go to town and discover that the only driver that can get through was a small motorcycle. 
 Usually they get one of the large road scrapers that have been in our area and move it out of the way.  It just didn't happen  So I got the wood, and dropped it off and then went to the off road to get to the hardware store.  I took 3 women and a guy team member, just in case I had any problems.  I still didn't have my spare.  So we took the Yampanpooqui road.  They said with your Toyota Hilux you can get in and out.  So I put it in four wheel drive in the middle of the trip and start hearing this "click click click" noise.  The mechanic didn't fix that either.  So we drove on an extremely washed out road with mudholes and ravines.  
We looked like we were on a mission from National Geographic, or a commercial for Toyota.  WE got through and so I bought our tile and fill up the back with groceries and other things.  I just knew the truck that blocked the road would be removed.  It was not. I was concerned about all our tile.  On those horrible roads I did want to show up with chips of tiles. So we prayed that not one tile would break.   So we went the only other way left to us, and it was as rough as the road we took out but it was straight up.  When we got almost to the top of the road which would tee into the Yampanpooqui road, a small panel truck filled with tomatoes had flipped over on it's side.  The road was so rough that it was thrown over in the middle of the road and another panel truck was behind the wrecked truck.  They told me to come around, and I couldn't see that we had any room to come around. I went ahead and came around, drove up a side of a slick area, and got back on the road.  

WE got home from that rough road and Angela calls. She has arrived from Tegucigalpa and has gotten to the semi truck in the road.  It is dark by now and starting to mist.  I took the Toyota and back it down the hill, really close to the semi. Then Mireya and Kevin started helping the folks in Angela's truck to move the furniture passed the broken down semi and load it on my truck.  I had to keep my foot on the brake because it was so slick and I still didn't have an emergency brake. My foot started cramping but then it started to rain.  Angela put her full length mirror in the back seat.  It started pouring down rain, so she jumped in the front and Mireya jumped in the back breaking the mirror all in the back seat.  WE are laughing at this point about how the mirror made it all the way until the very end of the trip, and we are driving through the rain and the pot holes and I cannot see anything about what is behind me.  We got to the clinic where she is going to be her home for a few weeks when she realized she had dropped several things.  WE jumped back in the car to retrieve them.  Even in the pouring rain people we walking towards her packing tubs with thoughts of possession is 9/10 of the law.  We scooped them up and got home.  The plastic had kept things from falling off but wasn't tied on, so her mattress took on a lot of water , and all of us who helping were saturated.    She found out later that she had lost many of her clothes, my birthday present, and her husbands tuxedo from their wedding.  I think we were all sadder about the tuxedo than the rest of the stuff.  Her husband was really sweet to her about the whole thing.  

I want to thank everybody who came this month and who have been praying for us.  I am amazed at how many people read our facebook page and this blog.  I know they are praying for us or we couldn't do days like we have had this last week.  

So this week, as I have been dealing with teams, trucks, turkey mechanics, and tons of driving.  Please continue to pray for us.  God is giving us favor and God is for us.  Thanks again for standing in the gap for us.  Blessings, the Road Weary Honduran MOM                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Trucks, Bus, Plane, Bus, Cars, and a Break-in = A Happy Birthday

This is how my week went.

When I got up at three in the morning on the 9th of August to take this  quick trip to the United States. I had high hopes of surprising my daughter a day before her birthday.  I had some important paperwork situations to sign and some ministry stuff to do while I was there.  That was the main reason for the trip but I felt it would be fun if I could pull off this surprise. I had a window of about a week before we had to prepare for our next group that was coming to help us finish up our intern house.  I never get to see Charity on her birthday because usually teams are here and August is a month that is blacked out by the airlines because of most the mission teams are trying to get home for school and it is also a good month for diving around Roaton and a lot of divers flood into Honduras.  

It stormed and rained all night and I was supposed to take the new Toyota Hilux that had the high profile tires and 4 wheel drive.  It was not a new truck but it was new to me. My husband and I have only owned one new car in our life.  We pretty much just bought used cars and drove them for a long time until they were dead.  Here in Honduras you can buy a new car, but it will cost you about 3000 to 4000 USD each year for the first 5 years to get it matriculated annually.  So if you bought a 20,000 dollar truck, it would cost you about 15,000 more dollars.  So now your 20,000 truck cost you 35,000 with the taxes over the first 5 years.  Then the annual fee to drive your truck goes down drastically.  So I buy gently used vehicles until they expire on our bad roads.  I really do try to use the money God sends our way as wisely as possible.

I had gone down to the coast on August 3rd, which was a Friday to pick up the used truck and had planned to drive it back to the farm on the next day, because the drive is about 6 hours.    By the time I dropped off the team, and chose unknowingly the  slow bus to China, But the owner and I  just didn't seem to be able to get it together with our paperwork.  it was too late in the US to make a money transfer.  NOTE to Self:  "don't do any money transfers on Friday".  The banks stateside quit wiring money at 2:00 pm. their time.  I had carried two of the girls from Project Talita Cumi, so I would have company and because they had been so wonderful to help me during the teams and had been excelling in school.  They went with me to take the long bus ride after we dropped our last of the "marathon teams" . I really enjoyed them being with me.  It is hard to spend any quality time with just one girl.   WE ended up enjoying our stay in the hotel catching our breath and getting to visit with Lisa, our new missionary friend, who was selling her truck to us.
 While we were traveling on the bus to get to the coast, I got a call from Ben to tell me that one of our older girls was suffering severe pain in her shoulder and that there appeared to be a lump that was causing the problem.  I told him to carry her to the private hospital and get an xray.  He did that , and called back to say the doctor said there was a suspicious tumor and it needed to have a CAT scan done on the area.  So while we were there in La Cieba, the girls and I checked into a hotel and swam at the hotel and ate at the fancy restaurant in the La Quinta INN. It is hotter than hot in La Cieba.  I was rejoicing that I was called to the mountains.  Then we got up at 4 am the next morning to go back on the public bus to La Esperanza  without our truck.  WE got back on Saturday the 4th and we still had some sickies at the farm crop back up from the virus that swept through the week before when the team was there, so I didn't got to church on Sunday and stayed home with them.  

Monday, the 6th one of our older girls decided to take a "jolly little holiday without permission."  This is not the first time she has done this and so I was so frustrated with her.  She had just taken her college entrance exam and she jeopardized the whole possiblility of her going to college.  I carried her and her co conspiritors and took them to the Public Defender for Children the next day on Tuesday.  These girls had been giving me and the other staff members a run for our money.  I don't know if it was hormonal or intentional, but there was some issues about some boys they had recently met on the bus on the way to school, and they were all of a sudden ready to be out on their own. WE were to return the next day for them to tell us what to do.  Wednesday, the girls were finishing up their statements to he officials. while I sent Anna next door with two of our little girls to the dentist office for their scheduled appointments.  While that was going on Lisa came with her three foster boys to deliver the truck.  I signed the papers, called to get the money transferred in the States and Mirian, our lawyer who was there at the Public Defenders Office representing our ministry checked out the paperwork.  So right after I signed the girls were through with their dental appointment, and Anna carried Lisa and her boys to the bus station and Mirian back to her place of business in the faithful Nissan truck.   I put the girls who were in trouble, and the girl who needed the CAT scan in the new / used truck with me to go and get her CAT scan done, 3 hours away.  I had enough time to go to Comayagua and get this accomplished and I didn't want to leave disgruntled girls for the dwindling staff to monitor.  

So I got the CAT scan done and visited with Brenda, one of our older girls, who works as an accountant for Enlaces Ministries in Comayagua, until the  CAT scan was ready.  We arrived back in La Esperanza and went grocery shopping so that they would have plenty of groceries while I was away. WE picked up the cement tile the workers needed to work on the intern house the next day.  We got back to Yamaranguila to get the cement and realized that they people loading the tile, took off a box of groceries and left them at their store.  I called them and they said they would send them with the next load.  I slung some jeans in a suitcase and some hot sauce for my son and son in law and coffee for my caffiene addicted family members and friends and the giant CAT scan x-rays for the doctors in the United States to look at.  I woke at 3 a.m. the following morning and drove myself into La Esperanza and got on the bus for the airport on Thursday.   

 Like any car you have to work with it to figure out how everything goes.  The roads were very muddy because of all the rain.  So I decided to take the Patrol to the bus stop because I knew how it worked and it was loaded with clothes of one of the girls , who was involved in the runaway situation.  She had left last year and I gave her an opportunity to come back continue to study during the week and then she had to go home to her folks on the weekends.  Our lawyer, Mirian drew up a formal contract which the girl signed and her grandmother signed with her fingerprint, because the grandmother never learned to write.  She broke the contract we made several times and so with the recent infraction we had to send her back to her grandmother, and I had to get her clothes to her.  I got about half way to my destination that early morning, when I realized I was almost out of gas.  I had to make the 5 o'clock bus to get the plane that I needed to take.  I prayed my way through.  I keep telling myself that I am not going to travel alone, yet here I was again driving alone.  I don't want to put anyone out by them having to get up early in the morning,  but the reality and the security of everything is that on the mission field, we should move about in pairs, just because Jesus says we must and that it is just a smart thing to do as well as spiritually. So I didn't get the clothes dropped off because the aunt of the girl said that it was too early for them to get up.   Ben was to drop them later that day.

I got to the bus station and to the 5:30 bus. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to get to the bus station.  Then you change to a taxi to get to the airport.   I got to the airport early and they said It looked pretty full, but because I was the first on to come bearing a buddy pass I would get priority.  The day before there were 38 open seats.  I felt like I was going to travel and so I prayed about it and felt confident that it was going to happen.  

I had worked to get everybody were they needed to be and we got Angela, one of our married alumni from Tegucigalpa, to come and fill in for me.  It was a great plan. I went and got my favorite yogurt drink and waited calmly for the flight.  On a buddy pass it is standyby status.  Well unknown to me their were 5 others waiting, and they were Delta employees and they would be priority.  They had enough seats but the plane's weight limit was at the maximum and so none of us were able to fly.  The Delta staff tried to help us find an alternate plan,  They were very helpful.  

So I could have gotten back in the taxi and gone to the bus station in San Pedro Sula to return to the farm, or as a helpful Delta official told me that I could get a one way flight to Miami and continue in Miami on the buddy pass.  So I bought the ticket, and literally ran to get the American flight to Miami.  When I got to Miami the flight was full, and the attendant had had a bad day, you just kind of sensed it.  So I decided to rent a car which was in another terminal in the Miami airport.  You had to walk through a huge construction project take a tram and go to the area reserved for car rentals.  I went to the first place and they asked if I had a reservation, and I told them I didn't .  I explained the flight was full and I needed a car to get home.  They said without a reservation you can't have a car.  I did find one car rental place and they didn't need a reservation but they only had a 16 passenger van or a Large SUV. I had only had my yogurt drink and was to tired to drive and I decided to go back to the terminal.  I talked to the information desk to figure out my dwindling options.  I tried to call home, but nobody has quarters in the US airport and when I asked for change from the stores I had to make purchases for them to open a cash register.  One police officer felt sorry for me and just gave me the change. I have made other observations: 

1, Nobody in the US answers their phones when they don't know the number on the screen.  I called a pastor on our board, who does take calls from unknown numbers and told him I was going to take a Greyhound bus that was to leave in two hours.  I wanted someone to know where I was.  It took twelve hours, from Miami to Tallahassee, but I "left the driving to them", and tried to sleep.  It was air conditioned and clean and I was thankful.

2. I have a IPhone.  It has Wifi.  My observation is how the Apple Organization with all the brilliant minds on the planet and unlimited funding, made a charger cord that is two foot long.  If your phone dies, and you need to make a skype call it is difficult to find an outlet in the airport in the first place and when you borrow one from the airport maintenance guy who is finished with the buffer, you have to stand close to the wall in an inverted position..  Also, I don't have that many apps on my phone.  My young interns showed me how to save my battery from the apps draining the power.  Why is it that they can't make a battery to support a few apps for more than a few hours of use?  I am thankful for my phone, but these are things you think about when stranded in a large airport and no one knows where you are.  

Well, my dad picked me up from Tallahassee, Friday morning at 11:45 and I borrowed a car from dear friends who always help me get around when I am home.  I got to my daughters house and she is a night shift RN at Phoebe and she was sleeping in the day.  It was now the 10th, her birthday.  I had to break in sort of and not disturb the tall clay pots sitting in the entrance table, and went upstairs and started singing a Spanish Birthday song.  She became alarmed because I was so tired I forgot the words of the song and was kind of humming/ singing and she didn't recongize any of it, and I thought to myself, she has firearms and machetes, (early childhood missionary training)  wouldn't it be bad to make it all this way and have a bad ending to a  potentially special birthday?  I stepped in the door and she thought I was her sister.  I was blessed.  Then she saw it was me and it was just like I planned.  Blessings, the Riding, Running, Resting, Rejoicing, Honduran MOM

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Grasshoppers are Flying .....it is a sure sign of rain

How long does a 24 hour virus last when you have 36 girls, 5 staff members and 18 team members?  We don't know the answer to that question yet because we had somebody starting to feel poorly earlier this evening.  So we are still dealing with this bug, and are still counting right now how many days it takes to get through this bug.  Thankfully we have had a whole day without the vomiting.  One of our girls , who is prone to have a weak constitution, and who even before this adventure in illness, was lovingly called "the Vomit Queen", has suffered the worse.  She has a time with motion sickness, or with smells, or she can get ill even if someone says something about vomit, or if she sees someone getting sick she does too. When she first came, if she didn't like something you did she would vomit on a personal item of the one she was upset with, like for example, my backpack .  She is better and is not doing the retaliation vomiting anymore.  The other day she was helping water the strawberries, and she threw up at the side of the field, and kept on watering the strawberries like nothing happened.


The last team that came from Georgetown, got to participate in our 24 hour bug.  They were such great sports about it, but I hated it so bad.  The ones who were the closest to the children got the bug… now that I think about it, nearly all the team went through it.  They were so great with the girls.  I am thankful that it was only a 24 hour bug, but hated that they got so sick, while they were here.The good news is that they were a medical team and had a doctor a PA and a nurse.  They had gone into several schools and examine kids who were really needing some special care.  We want to say a special thanks to Dr. Jack and Noni for their work in the dental side of the team.  I have never been involved with a dental team that the children didn't cry or anticipate pain.  Dr. Jack did a marvelous job in keeping the kids calm while he ministered to these elementary school children.  We also want to thank Wanda Moody for all of her hard work


We have some new girls.  Estrella is two and Jayme is 5.  They both are pistols and used to doing things their way.  They are very independent I guess because they have had to be, but they keep us hopping.  If Estrella wants to go to the car she justs walks of to the parking lot.  When you can her to come back she runs in the opposite direction of your voice.  She is too cute for her own good.  Her sister is a live wire also, but they are really learning fast that people do care about them.  They have really settled in and are a blessing.  Elida is also one of our new girls.  She is thirteen which is older than we usually allow to enter the farm.  WE have found that when a girl is a teenager when she comes in, it is harder for her to settle in with the rest of the girls who have been here since they were little.  Be praying for the transition for all the girls. 

WE survived our team blitz which lasted from March to the last week in July.  We have had 17 teams since January.  We only have a few more this year, but the summer was super busy with back to back teams.  We are so thankful to all the people who sent stuff, made stuff, and blessed all the stuff that was sent our way for our girls and for the people of the department of Intibuca 

Our Medical Team Ministered to the children of Secate Blanco
The children and the team were amazing

We Have Skype!

We have internet in our house once more.  It has been a huge blessing!  Everybody has been calling home on Skype and we are so excited at the possibilities of people who want to stay in contact with the girls.  We just need you to send us your skype number and a time when we will be hovering around the computer and we will see what we can do.  We will be glad to herd everybody into the office and let them talk with you guys.  Let us know and send your contact number to my email, pamdemott@yahoo.com

WE have been in the middle of a drought.  Normally it is raining everyday this time of year, but it has been dry for a solid week.  WE started praying for rain Sunday.  It is a crucial time for the corn crop here on our farm but also to our neighbors because they use that crop for their tortillas for their main food source for the rest of the year.  

Ben and I went to a water meeting that USAID is sponsoring so that the people in the Las Arenas area can have water during the dry season.  The house that the male interns will be living in is located in that community.  USAID supply the technicians and directions and the community they are trying to serve provide the raw materials to accomplish the task.  We we holding a meeting about the water project under construction site  that had only a tin roof to keep us out of the broiling sunshine.  One of the neighbors mentioned something about the drought.  There were little or no clouds against the blue sky.  Then all of a sudden about 15 to 20 small brown grasshopper/locust looking insects flew by and one of the local campasino women who had just been elected secretary to the board of the water committee,  said "It is going to rain".  Everybody just nodded their heads and I asked why.  They pointed at the little brown flying insects said it was because seeing the locust flying about are a sign of rain.   I looked about and didn't see any sign of rain, but I figured I would believe with them, and said "Well okay then".   Before the water meeting was over which was about an hour long, clouds had started to gather all around us.  We got home, and Ben jumped on his motorcycle to get home before the storm started, and he didn't make it.
I wonder how many times we miss signs that the Lord sends to us.  It wasn't a superstitious thing that happened, like when your grandma used to tell you if you drop a fork you are going to get a visit from a friend,  it was a known fact here about the animal kingdom because the people pay attention to the happenings in nature that surrounds them.  I can honestly say, I have never seen locust flying about, or if I did I don't remember and that it is probably because nobody ever pointed out to me that those were locust that just flew by.  I just wouldn't have paid it any attention. I remember my Great Aunt Bessie telling me about when you hear a rain frog or crickets at night that meant rain was on the way and I studied on what she said and listened I found out that she was entirely correct.  It happened every time.

We all stay so busy but Jesus tells us to watch for the signs of the times. The Bible usually mentions the words "signs" and "wonders" and "happenings"together.  He tells us to look to the fig tree when it blooms and you can know that summer is near.  He tells us to look at the red sky at night that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow, but when we see a red sky in the morning, that means we will have a stormy day.  He tells us to be careful and not to let our hearts get weighed down with goofing around the anxieties of life that we end up missing the signs and wonders He will be sending to us. Then He tells us to always be on the watch and always be praying so that we can escape all that is going to happen.  

Dealing with 36 girls you have a lot of drama of a sorts every day.  Running a ministry with so many teams that have come to help us and staff members coming and going that sometimes I am weighed down by all the things I need to do for the ministry to function like it needs to. On that day, I went to the bank, went to the lawyers, went to the public defender's office, went to the phycologist office,went to the mechanic, went to the hospital with one of the girls, went to the grocery store, went to the hardware store, went and paid an employee, went and had a meeting with one of the board members, went to the water meeting, went back to the farm at the river and went home to have some supper and have devotions and Skyped someone about a situation I was having with a couple of the girls here at the farm. That doesn't even cover the phones calls I made back to the farm and to the internet guy and to the States.   But I need to do as Jesus tells me to do and stay alert and not get so overwhelmed with how to run a ministry, maintain relationships with the girls and staff, teams, officials and with the neighbors that surround us.  I want to focus on being the friend of Jesus.  He says because he calls us his friend he will tell us everything that the Father tells him.   He tells us to call upon him and he will show us great and marvelous things that we knoweth not. I know friends tell each other their deepest secrets when they get to spend a lot of time together and I want to be a friend of Jesus that He would feel comfortable telling me the secrets that He has for me and that I knoweth not. As I was sitting on the plastic chair under the tin roof watching the locust zoom by, it hit me that once again I have let the things of the world capture my attention with being so busy that I could have missed out on the cool things He was trying to show me.  I pray that God slows us all down to pay attention to Him and his great signs and wonders that He has provided for us and that are happening all around us.

I want to thank all of the teams that came this summer to help us in so many ways.  I want to thank their families for praying and keeping things running while the other team members were helping us.  I thank everyone for their support and all the love they have shown us.  There is no way to repay all they have done for us.  I want to thank Natalie Martinez and Courtney Bradford for coming back to help us get through the team marathon.  We are going to miss them terribly and will be praying for what the Lord has prepared for them and that they don't miss it.  Thanks to the mission board here, and in the States for all the assistance they send our way. Thanks to my family who are helping take care of things in the States.  And finally thanks to Jesus for calling me here to be part of something that shows me wonderful happenings He has prepared for me.  I work with wonderful people, have wonderful kids and live an abundant life.  Blessings from the Wonderfully Blessed and Always Watching Honduran MOM