Thursday, May 31, 2012

In a Different Light

The Best Dirty Job Team Ever

We have hosted 10 teams so far this year.  This is a group from Connection Church, who had delays from everything to the airport to the rain.  They were ready to go and were so excited before they got here and they basically hurried up just to wait.  When the rain finally did subside somewhat they decided to do a week's worth of labor in one day. They were amazing!  Then the sand didn't come in.  So we went around to the other job sites and reclaimed  sand from former projects.  We went to the farm to bring the sacks of sand that we had left there.  Our truckload of sand was stuck in the mud in La Esperanza because of all the rain.  The dark clouds were rolling in and we only had a few yards of concrete left to pour.  So we closed up the project for the day, and left to eat a very late lunch.  While we were eating like it was our last supper, in rolled a pick up truck with sand, just enough to finish the fish pond that we had been working on.  They looked at each other and decided to finish up what they started.  It was amazing how hard they all worked together. They really went over the top the day we poured the pond.

Last year the team from Pennsylvania came to help build our intern house.  They made it from adobe we had made here on the farm and then we stuccoed the outside of the building.  We are going to call this duplex the Barnabus House.  We are hoping to house future missionary trainees in this new facility.  We have two new interns, Anna and Courtney who just arrived this month, who will be with us anywhere from 10 weeks to one year.  While they were raising the walls on the adobe intern duplex this same team from Pennsylvania decide to dig a fish pond also.  It was a beautiful pond but it developed leaks at the base of the pond and we tried to fix it for a year and to no avail.  We found a company from Tegucigalpa that sold fish pond liners, and so we checked that out and they gave us a price.  They said they would come and see the sight.  When they did the price was more than double, but we had the funds donated and the board said to get it, and so when I called they basically said that my project was too small and to far for them to deal with.  So then I had to investigate what to do next, and that is how we ended up with a cement pond.  Every time I say "cement pond" I feel like I am part of the Beverly Hillbillies episode. Anyway, we have the fish pond floor done and are working on the sidewalls.  It won't be but about 3 ft deep, but we will have a place that will hold water to grow talipia.  WE are thankful.  What appear to be a failed project now has taken on new life and it looks great.  I have found also when people really work hard and work really hard together, they get really close.  We all just bonded together as a group, it was great.

Angela Serritt with Jennifer and Kimberly
We had a team come years ago that was just women.  They were from Heritage Church in Moultrie GA.  They brought a cross that was made out of broken tiles pressed into some type of clay or plaster, that was hand crafted by a good friend of our daughter.  She said it represented broken lives of our girls that God puts back together again.  It was painted white but the ceramics tiles were blue and I just discovered this week that the names of all the ladies on the team were written in the base of the cross.  I found this out because our little girls here at the farm had carried the cross outside of the church and had been playing with it in the piles of pine straw that they had raked.  Angela Serritt  our newly married girl who graduated out of the farm several years ago, was here visiting and helping me with one of our teams and I asked her if she would get the cross and put it up, because I had an appointment and I didn't have time to rescue our 10+ year old cross.  I didn't want it to get broken after all these years.  I told her to put it on a flat cement beam that runs across our kitchen.  When I got home I was glad that it was put up but notice the base was rusty and the screws that held it to the base were a little unstable.  So I decided to move it.  I put it in the corner of the kitchen above the cabinets so the arms of the cross could touch the walls and stabilize it a little better.  Later that day the light was on and it looked like a different cross.  It is luminescent.  It is so beautiful!  It never looked as good as it does now. Everyone who has come inside have made a great comment about our cross. It is not that we are not special just as we are, but we need His light to shine on us and we become beautiful. It just needed to get moved and have the light shine on it.  I think with some of us we need to make a move. I know I do.  Just because that is the way I have always done things doesn't mean that a change in location can't bring a new light

With that in mind I am thinking of taking some of our older girls on a mission trip. I know you are thinking you are already on the mission field, and I am, but we are just going to move around a bit.   The girls have been visiting other areas in our community and assisting missionaries from the States while they ministered to so many around us for quite sometime.  I am just sensing we need to remove the 100 percent focus for the girls sake, off the girls and let them shine their lights on someone else besides themselves.

Pine Straw baskets
One of our last team brought in a cash gift they wanted to give each girl to go shopping.  We all decided to split each girls gift and give 1/2 to the girls and 1/2 to someone at church  who were needy.  It was a wonderful thing to see some of them use more than 1/2 and some of the girls used almost all for the other people.  Each adult staff member were exhausted before it was over, but the girls and the team were pumped up.  They ran around the church this Sunday giving out clothes, blankets, rice, for the people in need. We had enough for each family in the church.

Good times at La Hacienda
 The girls really have learned through all the teams, who have come to our ministry, how to minister to others and they are doing that here in Yamaranguila and surrounding areas.   Some of our girls have expressed a desire that they want to be full time missionaries.   I am praying the Lord will open up the door for us to let them get their feet wet in a foreign field to establish this call in their lives.  We are in the process of getting passports and we have opened up a store here at the farm for the visiting missionaries from the States to purchase certain items.  The girls are going to make crocheted bags and some will do some art work to help in raising their personal money.  They have a saying here that goes like this "If it doesn't cost you anything, it becomes a party".  In other words, if you don't contribute something, or invest anything, it really doesn't mean as much to you as someone who does invest.   I really feel like they need to contribute to their own trip.   Please be praying about where we are to go, the timing and logistics. The Lord is giving us some ideas and hopefully, we will get the passports ready so that we can go "into all the world" towards the end of the year.  The vision of this ministry from the beginning was to rescue and raise up little girls who would have a heart to minister to others.

I do want to say a special thank our supporters.  I know that the prayers and gifts you have sent has cost you something and I want you to know that we don't take that lightly.  I want you to know that this last month I was able to carry almost all the girls (the 5 little ones need to wait until they know their letters) to get their eyes checked by a real optometrist.  We discovered that one of our girls have some serious problems and had laser surgery on their eyes by a specialist in Tegucigalpa.  We discovered one had a cataract that we are watching, and several who need to wear their new glasses all the time.  Some had potential problems that were averted, and lot of our girls can read the back of an ant's credit card from 40 ft away.  We have never been able to afford to do this before for all the girls.  We had to drive to another city which is 2 and 1/2 hours away, with girls who are prone to being carsick, to find an eye doctor and glasses that are as expensive here as they are in the States.  We did find a wonderful doctor and a new friend to the ministry, Dra. Claudia Sylvia, who ministered to my spirit as well as to the girls.  She gave us discounts for her services and prayers over the girls and ministry.   The girls loved being able to have a road trip with MOM and felt very cared over.  Our next project is to get some dental work that a few of ours girls have been desperately needing.

 WE have also hired two more teachers at the school, with the plan to invite children of the community to go to our school, which includes a meal at lunch.  We have our first girl of the community attending and it is going very well.  The government guarantees 6 years of schooling.  After the six years the children here in Honduras have to find the resources to pay for the other six years and then they pay for any technical training or secondary education.  We are hoping to be involved with the promising students in the community who want to continue their education. They will be receiving a bi-lingual education that is only offered over in the next town at prices that are unattainable to almost all of the campasinos in our area. Ben Heath, who is our school director, is collaborating with the local pastor to teach adults at night, who want to finish their elementary and high school levels. We have two girls in Beautician's School, and one who is studying computers and two we have just started registering for college next year.  WE are excited at the possibilities of this outreach and WE are thankful to everyone who is helping to make all this possible.

I also want to say thank you to all the teams who have come down here to love on our girls and on our community.  We are so thankful for the new computer lab that the South Carolina SIFE group brought down and set up.  We are thankful for the rock handlers and adobe movers that helped us build the farm house for the male interns.  We are thankful for the block layers and stucco slingers, that are making the  missionary intern house a reality.  And thanks to all you rock breakers and movers that got our talipia pond closer to a reality. Thank you all so much for all the prayers and everything you do for this ministry.  Blessings, the Moving into HIs Reflection Honduran MOM.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Remanents of Easter

These are the days of spring!  THINGS ARE NEW!  

 I have an azalea in my front yard.  I have two that have lived through bikes, soccer matches, machetes and motorcycles.  They remind me of home in South GA.  The last blog that I wrote was about a month ago.  We have been incredibly busy and I sincerely haven't had time to write to anyone, really.  I open my email and answer all pertinent questions and I fall asleep, which is kind of scary because, sometimes I don't remember what I sent.  One time I sent a message that had 5 lines of dashes because my hand fell asleep on the keys.

Eggstra special washings
Let's play a matching game.  We have two girls below. They are sisters with large imaginations and are very creative.  One of the girls rescued the forks from the kitchen and stuck them in the pie (of sorts)  One of the LG's (little girls) decided to take the left over easter eggs to the school to play with them there.  She carefully put them in the bathroom where the tissue belongs, but she did have them in a Easter egg bucket.  The other sister in the photo below, decided to dump the Easter egg remanents into the school toilet!  I found them this afternoon right before lunch.  I wanted to laugh, but the LG's knew they were there and continue to use the facilities.   These LG'ers are giving me a run for my money.

This one is thinking all the time.
These two girls are sisters
We have been really busy here.  School goes on every day.  Ben Heath has done a great job with directing the school.  He left a few weeks early and then the Botkins had to leave a few weeks early to renew their visa and Natalie left on her last day of her visa.  It didn't hit me until they all started leaving that it was going to be like old times.  Me and the girls.  I am thankful that God has been faithful to the girls and me.  I am filling in for Ben up top at the school.  I miss Natalie and her Iphone writing down what I try not to forget, and the Botkins are needed for extra eyeballs and help with trig homework.  Not only do they do an amazing job here, we also just miss them.  

We got a roof on the farm house.  Walls are up on the intern house and the mixed group from around Baxley and beyond did an amazing job working on everything to construction to automotive, to gardening and preparing the soil with the tractor.  We want to thank Joe and David for the great groups that they always bring.  I am in awe of how much stuff they can get done in just a week's time.


We have been at opthomologist appointments in Siguatepeque, had a lot of birthday parties and have eaten a lot of cake, picked and shelled a lot of beans, cooked and sold a lot of coffee,  and made a lot of new friends along the way. 

I am thankful for the NEW God is bringing our way .  The old has been a blessing, but His blessings are NEW every morning. Please be praying for us.  We have several teams coming back to back and we are trying to get all the logistics worked out on picking the teams up and dropping them off.  It is going to be an exciting summer!
Our new road to La Esperanza is in the process of being widen and maybe even paved.  We are watching a daily change to the landscape.  The fences have been torn down and the old stately trees are no more.  When they removed all of them to widen the road, I now see valleys that I didn't know existed before because of the trees along fence line. I have been traveling this road for 17 years!  It had been there all along, I just didn't see it. My vision just went to the line.  We have some things that God is showing us here with the girls. He is clearing away some spiritual things in their lives to reveal some valleys.  These things have been with some of the girls for their entire lives, but God is revealing some new things and removing some old things.  A spiritual house cleaning as it were.  I am thankful He is doing the same in me.  Please be in prayer for them and for us as the staff to have wisdom on how to deal with all the "new" directions He is taking us in. Blessings, from the Spring Cleaning Honduran MOM.