Thursday, December 5, 2013

Haughty nor Nice

So I needed to get my residency card renewed before I left from Honduras. I asked Angie to go with me, as she had paperwork she needed to attend to and we carried Kenia and Karla. Kenia didn't get to go to Brenda's wedding because we couldn't carry the baby. It was way to hot and they couldn't be separated. She took it like a champ and she stayed with her baby. I am so proud of this young girl and her commitment to her little one.  I promised her that they could go the next time I went to Tegucigalpa.  So off we went.  We left early so that we had an option of leaving, but Angie asked some missionaries she knew in Tegucigalpa if we could overnight with them and they graciously said yes.  

We get to the Immigration office early and I knew the routine, and so I got my sheet from inside that I needed to carry to the bank and I don't know if the people inside knew the electricity was out, but by the time I went around the corner of the building to pay the bank, I noticed a long line of people, and then I was informed by a sweaty bank guard that the electricity was out and that I needed to wait 3 hours and come back.  In my brilliance and Angie's suggestion, I decided to go on foot across the major street to a Multiplaza that has several banks and a generator. I carried my old ID card and went to pay the money, and then they could process my card.  I walked three flights.  All three floors had escalators but two were not operating, so I walked to BANCO.  I will not tell you the name of this bank, but they are "the" slowest in the World.  I bet if a a bank robbery happened, it would take them an hour to get the money in the bags, even if they had guns pointed at them.  Anyway, I was feeling very clever about getting around the government officials at the immigration office by taking matters in my own hands and getting my fee paid outside and then getting in and out of the city.  

I get in line and really it wasn't  that bad that day.  It was slow, but I have seen it much worse.  I get to the window and place my green sheet of paper with the amount due to the teller.  She asked for ID and I gave it to her.  She said "I will need another verification".  She said that I wasn't registered in their bank.  I told her my bank number and assured her I had a limpera checking account and a Savings account for the girls and to please check again.  She said my ID number wasn't correct and that I needed my Passport number which I left with Angie in the car.  I wished I could say that she said this with a happy cheerful smile, but she did not. She was irritated that I did not grab a hold of her quick assessment into my financial matters.   I didn't take my Passport with me because I opened the checking account with my Honduran ID card.    So I went back 3 flights of stairs, and came to the truck were the girls were trying to beat the heat. I grabbed my paperwork and all the bank books and raced back to the Multiplaza and up the down escalator and arrived once again at my destination.  I had on a nice rayon shirt that was not holding up at all under my running about.  It was saturated, and I felt extremely wilted. 

I didn't go to the counter of the bank teller with the huge attitude when I returned to the bank. I went to the happy-faced girl.  Her line was longer, but I told myself to quit murmmering and complaining and reminded myself that I had air conditioning here in the Mall and Angie and the girls didn't.  So I waited.  The bank teller was cute as a button and very perky and processed everything quickly.  My flesh wanted to leer back up at the Ms Attitude, but I restrained,... well my eyes did float that way with a "V" for victory.  That was my undoing... Miss Perky Teller went. Hmmmmm... Then quieted conversations with the guy teller beside her.  He shrugged his shoulders, shook his head no.  She then moved to Ms. Attitude and she apparently verified what the Mr. Business Teller, told her.  She came back all perky and said, "I have to get a verification".  I said, "is something wrong?"  Oh no maam, everything is great.  She left her staion walked around to the side door, and walked among us, to the Management Door. She had a cute hair do pulled into a cutesy pony tail and a very short A Line skirt with some very fetching black high heels.  She came back and punched in some numbers, talked in low tones to the associates and again, left, saying, "I will be right back." Walked among the other weary bank folks who were getting ticked with the "gringa" (that would be me) in their line.  She came be-bopping back clicking her heels and I am thinking finally this is going to happen.  She came back and said, "WE are working on this, but would you mind sitting over there on the sofa until I can get this situation worked out.  I was not feeling victorious anymore.  I sat down and she started dealing with irate Hondurans leering at me, who had waited 45 minutes to get waited on

So I got some water, and played with my phone, texted Angie to bring the girls to the mall to get cool, and then 20 minutes later Ms Perky, waved at me with a big smile, and I asked her what the problem seemed to be.  She said for me not to worry.  It was all her fault, and for me to have a nice day.  I thought to myself, "What a loyal employee".  The thing is I have to apply every year for my number in Immigration.  Last year, they put an 01 in front of my usual number to designate that I am from the US.   So because of this change in number, the computer was registering that I had no accounts.  So I find Angie, and I am mummering and complaining at this point.  We go back and I get my card in about 35 minutes.  I ask Angie and Kenia if they were hungry, which they in turn looked at me like I was asking a trick question.  I said, "We have a parking spot, let's just walk and get something at the Mall.  Angie told me that there was parking underneath the mall, which always makes me a little nervous, but I said okay.  I warm up the glow plug in the diesel and I look behind and over and I put it in reverse, and I backed into another car.  It was a very low car and it was gray and I didn't even see it sitting in my high profile mud -bogging looking truck, but there it was, crunched.  I am ticked at myself, I am wanting to leave to go home, and not stay, even though I promised Kenia, and I just want to get it handled and get out of there and out of the heat.  I knew if we staying,  they would take days to get an estimate. So I asked how much, and they bring folks from all over the parking lot to give their opinion, until someone calls a mechanic friend and he says a number, and they add to it and voila', Angie takes a picture with her phone and I sign a paper, they sign a paper and pay the money I just took out of my personal account and handed it over to the "crunch-eed".  We left, and no one was hungry and everybody was quiet even if they were hungry they wouldn't have said so.   I thought about my attitude, with everything and I knew I needed to work on a lot of areas. I should have been so thankful that no one was hurt, that I had the money in hand, and that there was little damage done to their car and no damage to our tank of a truck.  

So I come to the US of A and I need to turn my phone on.  I charged it up the night before I traveled, because I had extra minutes in my account, I thought I would be able to call upon arrival into the States.  When I arrived, the phone wouldn't even turn on.  I thought to myself "Rats". I will have to buy minutes, tomorrow. But I didn't get to do that because we went to my first Thanksgiving Feast, the next day was Thanksgiving, where I ate my 2nd and 3rd Thanksgiving feast.  Friday, I hogged my way through Thanksgiving leftovers.  Stores that had my type of phone card, were closed and the following day was Black Friday and I have never gotten involved in that, so Saturday came around and I got my card.  I followed the instructions on the packet and and code came up in the window.  Hmmm... something is wrong. So I went to an Alltell store and they said that to turn on my phone, I would have to pay an extra charge of 25 dollars, because of the new store policy of cutting off phone service on the non contract phones if they have not been used in a few months.  I said, "Fine", I will do it to keep my number.  "Oh no," said the lady at the phone store.  Your number is gone, you have to get a new number.  Let me look in the back. " She came out and said, " I found a droid phone that you could pay 125 dollars for and then we would activate the phone for the 25 dollars...." (I guess my face showed that this wasn't acceptable, since I had already bought a 50 dollar phone card)  "Let's walk across to Radio Shack and see if we can do it differently there."  When I got in there, they shook their heads sadly and shrugged their shoulders, which made their Santa hats bob even more, and told me that they could not get my old number and that they would charge me.  She said, "but if you have a SIM card", ... and stopped and said, but you don't, but if you did, I could just turn it on."  I told her I would think on it.  I sounded like my Great Aunt Bessie Lee when she was ticked.  I went to stores that usually had my phones, but they had been cleaned out for Black Friday sales.  I went to a Dollar General and they had a flip phone, for 15 dollars, and I just needed the SIM card, so I bought it.  Sunday, I had yet another Thanksgiving Feast.  But I had a phone, that everyone let go to voice mail because it had a number that looked like a tele-marketer

Monday, I worked on my house trying to get it ready to sell, and I went to our Care group that night.  These guys are great and so encouraging to me.  They just pray for me and bless me, and are supportive of me and always make me feel great.  My mom had come with me to my care group and I was feeling like blessing someone else.  So on my way home, I call Sarah, my youngest daughter.  She had the next day off and I said "Let's do something".  She said, "What do you want to do?" and I countered with "I don't know, what do you want to do" and knowing how this conversation was going to go,  I blurted out, "Let's go to Callaway Gardens and see the lights!".  She asked what was Calloway Gardens, and I told her to Google it.  Google is a great tool for parents if they know they are right about something. Anyway, we got the tickets on line and off we went.  As we traveled, we stopped at a pumpking patch and bought random candies and strange jellies and butters.  It was great.  However, we had arrived to early for the show and it began to rain.  I am thinking, this might not be so good.  As we were walking around other older people started coming and milling about.  We bought our Christmas ornaments and decided to walk outside now that the rain had stopped.  When we went back outside their were tons of people. 

I have 4 daughters, and they all have very nice taste in clothes, however it is like having your own personal "fashion police" with you at all times.  I was walking and thinking about my attitude lately and then instead of changing my attitude, I start looking at the other older folks milling about, I made a comment to Sarah.  "I said, I am coming to grips with my age.  Sarah asked what I meant by that , and I shared with her some of my thoughts, like how I highlight my hair, and even if it ends up looking a racoon coat at least it is not all gray, and I said, while I was walking in my nice trendy leather boots, white skinny jeans and my very nice flowy shirt, (that covered my girth from the feasts I had been consuming),  "Well at least, I am not wearing jogging suits and tennis shoes yet, feeling oh so superior to my fellow sexagenarians.  I am not sixty, yet, but I am on a fast train that would seem determined arrive at that destination early.  We had a lovely time and I thought no more about the comment.  

The very next day, I met with a great friend in Macon, who is helping me get some of the girl's sponsorship information together.  We worked diligently on our project and left to get some lunch.  We went to eat lunch, but before we went in she said, "Hey I have a surprise for you."  She and her husband are probably the most giving couple I have ever met.  They delight in blessing other people.  "I was in this store and I saw something and I just thought about you." She pulled out of the bag a jogging suit in my favorite shade of pink and she had one in a beautiful pearl gray.  She also had jogging shoes.  Have you ever been "slammed by The Lord".  It is not a vicious thing, but you know that He firmly but lovingly is saying, "Your attitude is haughty and not nice, you better do something about it".  I was really thankful, that she had heard from The Lord, but I couldn't verbalize to her at that moment, what God was dealing with me about.  I drove home and laughed out loud about how ridiculous I had been being and at how God loves me enough to get me to stop and drop.  He does say He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  I am glad that even though He resists our prideful ways, He doesn't leave us that way.  

During this Holiday season I am thankful that I serve a God who cares about every little detail, and just doesn't let the little things slide.  I tried on my jogging suit tonight and told Sarah, "I have to show you a word I got from The Lord. "  I put on my jogging suit and tennis shoes.  It really does look fetching.... He is still working on me.  Blessings, the Hogging, Jogging, Humbled Honduran MOM



Sunday, November 3, 2013

God Is a Tattle-Tale

I love my girls here in Honduras. Their personalities are very distinct and they are a blessing. However, living here 24/7 sometimes proves to be a challenge to your sanity. The thing they love to do is to to tell on each other. Some days it can be very draining. Even the little 2 year olds with their limited vocabulary, will point and try to say the name of the guilty party. No one gets away with anything around here. Someone always sees them doing the good, the bad and the ugly and reports it to headquarters, which is where I come in.

I am the Solomon or Moses around here. Everyone comes to me with their report. Today I got a new one, "She took my clothes off the line and folded them!". I thought maybe the girl was indignant because her clothes were still wet. That was not the case, the clothes were dry. I didn't know if she was disturbed because other people were handling her things, but the reality was the other girls needed space on the clothes line to put their things. So I got all three girls in here and told the "indignant one", to say "Thank you".

This goes on a lot at our mission. It used to make me unhappy, but after I prayed about it, it is the farm's version of accountability and it helps me know at all times, exactly what is going on at all times. There are no secrets here, or at least not for very long. The truth always comes riding through.

Yesterday, one of my helpers told me that one of the girls had a stache of snickers bars in her back pack. I knew where she had gotten them. I don't eat chocolate, but sometimes people give me chocolate and I just hide it and give it out for special times, like birthdays or special prizes. I had cleverly hid the chocolate bars so well that I had forgotten that I had them in the ice maker that we have never hooked up, in my freezer. I had them wrapped in two white plastic bags so that you couldn't see the contents. It was ingenious, but not smart enough to fool the curious of heart around here. Anyway, the girl had taken some of the candy bars and eaten them in the bathroom. Everyone just thought she had some tummy trouble. She had trouble, but of the spiritual variety.

In the course of the day, it just so happened, that someone needed an ink pen, while she was in the bathroom, feeding her heart's desire and her face with Snicker bars. The girl who needed the ink pen, discovered the three remaining bars of chocolate. Well, the girl reported the sighting of snickerbars to another adult, which that person, told me. I called the girl into my room and ask her how many Snickerbars had she taken. She confessed to taking 6 snickers. I asked how many she had left. She of course, had none left. She was looking at me like, "how do you always find out about this stuff?" I told her, that God sees everything she does. Thankfully He allowed me to find a scripture in Hebrews 4:13 , That nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the one in whom we are accountable. I just love it when God rescues me with His Word. "So therefore", I told her God is a tattle-tale. He doesn't want you to think that you have gotten away with anything and regard sin in you heart, which keeps you separated from Him and the ones who love you. " She just feel across the bed as if she were dead. I thought to myself at first, "Well, that is pretty dramatic". but soon realized that she was sincerely struggling spiritually with this situation. She has been stealing things for a long time. I prayed for her, and she was better and free of her sin. I told her I personally am thankful that I know God will reveal those things that are hidden. I can repent and have fellowship with Him, when I have my heart clear. I am thankful He will shout it from the roof tops, or get someone else to do it if necessary to keep our the accounts clear so that we can be in continued fellowship with Him. I told her she could practice being alone with God and talking to The Lord, while she raked out the goat pen. She even seemed happy about that. She was free at last.

I thank you that you are praying for our girls. Please continue. They are all doing well in their studies, and passing into the next level. We have two graduating from the sixth grade next week and 4 girls who are moving into the 9th grade. They are all making wonderful grades and I am so proud of them. The new girls who haven't attended school are reading within just a few weeks time! This is a huge praise report. Our Honduran teachers are doing an amazing job, but there is more to do

I know in this time of cutbacks in the market place and the government, that it has been hard on so many families. I am praying for the country and hopefully they will get the mind of Christ and things will turn around.

I am thankful to all of you who have been sponsoring the children and our mission of Project Talitha Cumi. It has been life giving to have you sending what you could so that we could continue here in Honduras.

I wanted to submit an idea to you all. In my time at PTC, we just never asked for money. It wasn't a source of pride, it was just that we didn't want our children to have a mindset that many of them were raised with which was to beg people for money. Years ago we were explaining to our group of girls that instead of asking people for their needs, we told them that they needed to ask God for the things they need. When we shared that years ago, God immediately convicted us to do the same. I have found that to teach a principal, you have to walk in the same teaching. If I didn't want the girls asking, I didn't need to either. I have spoken in a few churches, but I have not spoken in churches asking for funds for the girls.

So here we are. We have 30 girls. Twenty-nine live here and one girl is off campus studying in college. I am asking God to help us everyday in every area and in this area of finance. The girls are praying with me everyday. I have cut back here at the farm. We are collecting wood and our pine cones, so that we can use our outside stoves and not our expensive gas stove tops. WE are monitoring long showers and we are keeping our lights off, just like so many of your families. We are growing and eating our own corn, and the girls are shelling the corn and making our daily tortillas, and we have other food sources that we are growing here on the farm. We are growing snow peas and beans and green beans, tomatoes, peppers. WE are raising fish now thanks to a project that was brought here and we have 3 pregnant cows and goats, rabbits and ducks and chickens. We are making our own silage for these animals. Our girls bought one cow with their coffee monies. We have our technical school working as a Bakery, called CUMI CAFE' to help the girls learn to work at a business and learn how to have a skill useful for the rest of their lives. It helps them to be able to interact with the community and not just with the teams that come to visit with us here at the mission. We have goal is to be self sufficient and we are getting so close.

God has blessed our ministry. I am thankful to God and I am thankful for the ones that God has touched their hearts to help us be here. WE are growing. But because we are growing, we need to look to the future. We have our boys/male intern home almost ready to go. A team from Pennsylvania is coming to paint the interior. We are moving forward with this. It will be called the House of NAIN. WE are also inviting girls in our community to join our school. We have wonderful teachers who have inspired our girls so much in their studies. The girls are doing 3 courses of studies, English, Spanish and Educar Todos for their credits for college. We want the same for those parents who can't afford to send their children to school. They are all around us. WE Can not just ignore them. What we do unto the least of these, we have done it unto God. I don't want to ignore what God is calling me to do. He says to love our neighbor as ourselves and I wanted my children to go to school and then college, so I need to want my neighbor to do the same. WE can't pretend they will prosper later with no education whatsoever, because we know unless someone CAN do something to help them, that will not happen. Our neighbor has 8 children, and one goes to school because the father can't afford to send the others. WE CAN be callous and say he and his wife needed to be more responsible and not have all those kids and that is fine, except for one thing, the kids are here. WE CAN not ignore them because Jesus tells us not to ignore them. It is in the Bible. We CAN not take that page out. The Bible says the poor we will have with us always, but I don't think as Christians we need to be okay about that. WE can't help them all but we could help ONE. That may mean we have missed some folks, but I don't want the atmosphere that is overcoming facebook and the other social media's like there is nothing we CAN do about it. WE CAN do something about this and not wait for the Honduran government or our government to send aid money that we all know they just don't have. Governments have not been able to bring the change they have wanted to make in the world. All nations are in debt, many of our children and elderly are suffering and I believe the church CAN help with this, because it lines up with the Word of God to do so. Complaining about all these situations is not helping make a change, so we need to move forward on a positive note.

So want I am proposing is for each one of us to make a change. I want your family, your Sunday School group, your mission group, your book club, your store or whatever to have an Ican and put their CHANGE in the ICAN Project. Even in Honduras, people know the Iphone and Ipad. I believe they will understand what the I CAN Project wants to accomplish. At an exchange rate of 20 limpera to one dollar, it adds up quickly. We are going to decorate an I CAN for people to put their small change. I believe I CAN make a difference. The teachers and my other staff are going to decorate their Icans with our girls. We will ask businesses here in Honduras and churches to pick from a list of needs that we have in our community. Their Ican will go to that need. Whether is is a child that needs to be schooled in Honduras, a family, a widow, or whatever we CAN all do something.
We are trying to get all of our students sponsored for a year of school. We are canvassing our area to find out what girls possibly CAN continue their education. The Honduran government offers six grades, but after that if the child has no money, he or she does not go to school. We feel like they CAN. We have wonderful teachers in place that can receive more students, because we have very small classes. Because we only have 5 teachers, we are going to accept 10 girls into this program which starts in January. Please pray for these 10 girls. They will be with us Mon-Fri. 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. They will have a uniform, shoes, and school materials and a nutritious meal and healthy snacks.

The Bible says "I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me. " We don't have to do everything, but we are responsible to do what we CAN. I am thankful that the girls in our mission have so much, but I want them to see outside of this mission to our neighbors and I want them to know that they CAN be a part of the change. We will donate a percentage from the coffee sales and Bakery to the ICAN Project. Please help us and help your community and our communities and know that I CAN make a difference in this world.
Blessings, from the ICAN Honduran MOM

Monday, October 14, 2013

Here Come the Bride and the Groom

I am blessed beyond measure. Brenda is married to Adam, and they had a beautiful wedding. We were able to attend with 14 of the girls and two of my friends and long time friends of the ministry, Nancy Grantham and Elaine Mills. It was an exciting time for us all. Thanks to Sandi and Currie Burgess of Enlaces for working so hard getting the wedding together. I thank God for all of you who prayed and encouraged Brenda during these years of preparation. She and Adam have a heart for ministry and missions in particular. I know no greater joy than to see my children serving the Lord. Thanks again to all of you who have contributed in any way to this ministry. Brenda and Adam are the fruit of your giving. Blessings, The MOM of the Honduran Bride.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Appreciation APP

Everybody has a need to be appreciated. God made us in His image and it is in our DNA to want to be appreciated. The crux of the issue is that when God is not appreciated, He still loves us. When I am not appreciated,I get bent out of shape with the ones who don't appreciate me. I have a tendency to say "Whatever!", when He says "Whosoever" and "Whatsoever". I am working on this. He is worthy to be appreciated because we receive everything, good and bad, from His hand. Everything from each breath we take, to being able to minister to some pretty awesome girls in a foriegn land. I want APPreciation to be the new app in my life. I know I really need God to download this into my brain and in my heart. Many times I don't respond in a way that would bring Glory to God, when I am not appreciated. I seriously have kept this appreciation thing out in front of my thinking this week. I want to really be appreciative of even the most simpliest acts of kindness, even to passing a napkin and not take things for granted. Knowing that we all love to be appreciated I tend to forget to do the same for others. The scripture, You Reap What You Sow, comes to mind. If you want to be appreciated, appreciate others, and do it quickly, don't think it over. It is the dynamics of the scripture, and the work just like gravity works. This week has been another crazy week, but a good week. A mom and her 14 year old son, needed some help. Her son apparently allergic to the sun and has been for some years, only know because he is older and goes to school. He needs to make good wardrobe choices, of short sleeves vs long sleeves and wearing a hat vs wearing a cap. His choices to the contrary, has turned his skin into something unreal. I really haven't ever seen anything like it. Because his skin is irritated, it has gotten super thick and it has sores and small blisters, which itches more and the beat goes on. The boy in his frustration, quit school that week because of the reponse of his school mates and that is when his mom came into the bakery looking for help. Please be praying for this young person. We sent them to Siguatepeque, to a dermatologist, and hopefully the meds will calm down the situation with his skin. But I appreciated that a specialist was available and God got them to the dermatologist the boy needed, and he is being healed slowly but surely. They were so appreciative of getting some relief for their son's condition. We had a two-man team here this week. They got so much done. I had a "things to do" list that would have overwhelmed the handiest of handimen, but thankfully these guys were up to the task. They would go to the hardware store every morning with their list. Up until the last minute they were helping us get our water problems, plumbing problems, roofing problems, car problems, road problems, transport problems, little fixit problems, and big fixit problems. I really appreciated these guys because I don't think they love to do any of the above, they just love to serve. We have had birthdays, Day of the Child Celebrations, the Independence Day Parade, and that is mixed in with a lot of other stuff that normally goes on here and some not normal things. We were able to buy new jeans for everyone for Day of the Child, but Angie got sick and she was so helpful buying the jeans and the girls and I didn't want to get the gift if she didn't get to share in their happiness. They waited for 4 days and last night, they just kept saying "Thank you" for their gift. They wore them today to the parade, and I was thankful my girls looked great. Thanks to everybody who send funds that we can have special surprises for the girls. Thanks to you who send clothes, we have made great use of them with our girls and others in the community. We appreciate you thinking about us. However, last night the girls and I were watching a movie for Movie Night that we have on Friday nights. The girls have started getting coupons for doing their chores and homework, and they can be redeemed for the goodies we bring home from the bakery. They were loving this new special treat and munching away on their snacks, while we were watching the last in a BBC series called Wives and Daughters. It had six episodes and we watched them when the lights would decide to come on. The electricity has been so sporadic around here. We have it for a few hours then off. We were getting frustrated with it, until I realized, we had days in the past with no electricity. We had an old army generator for a power plant and had 3 hours in the morning and then at 3 hours at night and that is when we could get diesel to the farm. When we lived in town we could go a week with no power. I was just being thankful for our special night with electricity. Anyway, as they were watching the last episode, I started watching the reflections of their profiles from the light of the tv in the dark room, and emotions were playing all over their faces, and they were literally on the edge of their seats. They shouted and shreiked "No!" in all the right places. I realized fresh and anew, that I only have these girls for a small amount of time. I want them to know that I appreciate the opportunity to be part of their lives. I appreciate my family Stateside not making me feel like a terrible mother and grandmother, that I can't be there in the States with them. I appreciate all the people God send our way to help, support and pray for us. I love being called here to be with these girls and the girls who are to come. As many of you know that Frances and Mariela, sisters who have been living here at PTC for more than 4 years, are being adopted by a couple from the States. In order for that to happen, there had to be a mom who wanted the best for her girls, and a a couple to receive those girls and want them to be helped in every way possible. The mom has called me everyday since the papers were signed checking to make sure the girls were okay, and to ask me how I was doing! Amazing. She has another 4 year old girl, who is full of what my Aunt Bess used to call "spit and vinegar" and a little boy, who has special needs and can't walk or talk. She told me that the doctors have diagnosed the little 3 year old boy with microcephalia, and they say he has a form of skin cancer. The mom has had a horrible life since her life began and it seems to me if I had of been her, I would be super angry and not been appreciative of the way life had happened to come my way. But God has put her in my path so I could see and learn. I am amazed at the change in this young woman. She called me yesterday to tell me that her other daughter wanted to talk to me the night before, when my charge on my phone died. She said her little girl cried herself to sleep with disappointment. She called me the next morning to let Andrea to talk to me. She wanted to know if she could have her birthday party at our farm. I told her of course, and she was happy. I am praying that the mom continue to keep her positive outlook, on her not to positive life. The neat thing about this woman is that she sincerely appreciates everything that is done for her. I appreciate her example. Pray for her. Lastly, I have a cool Bible APP called Olive Tree. As I was looking at the scriptures below this morning, the word adoption, flipped up. There a many scriptures talking about adoption, but mainly I was reading the characteristics of the Children of God. "Do everything without complaining or arguing that you may become Children of God. Be a peacemaker, love your enemies, do good to those that despitefully use you, love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." In order for this to happen, there had to be a merciful Dad who wanted more for His kids, and a Savior who wanted to make it happen. I am thankful that even when I am ungrateful to Him, He has mercy on me and receives me. Oh what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we may become the children of God. I hope as we see this year zooming by like a freight train gone wild, that we would love more and appreciate the life He has given unto us more often. The Appreciative Honduran MOM.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Get on the Bus!

The girls have been working and taking turns going to the Bakery, Cumi Cafe'. Like any new business we had days that were slow and days that were better. The girls have a team of our that has been cooking early in the morning at my house and then the others go to the Bakery. It has been a joy and a delight to see these girls, who are extremely shy, start asking people, albeit very timidly if they wanted a cinnamon roll when they would come in the door, where before they would run into the only other room we had there, which was the bathroom, to escape having to talk to the clients who came in the door.
Slowly, they started coming out of their shells, when I told them to go to the schools and see if the teachers wanted to buy anything. They went reluctantly,but they saw that the teachers wanted to buy and so did the students, but still it was slow go. They were still feeling a little embarrassed about going, until one day, we saw a huge group of ladies getting off the bus with their baskets of food that they had been trying to sell in the next town. They were all exhausted and the girls took note. They came to us and asked if we could buy their products. Some of these ladies were our Basket Ladies. They hadn't sold anything all day. I pointed out to the girls that these ladies would go anywhere to sell their goods for their families needed their income for food. I told them God had provided for us that we had food and had the security of where we are living. I told them how much I admired these ladies and they agreed. I told them we were blessed that we didn't have to travel far away and that we could sell our bakery items right here in Yamaranguila. So everyday, we would pray before they started their day and things were slowly getting better. But today, one of our girls, who is fun and crazy at the farm, but extremely shy around people she doesn't know, did something radical. Our bakery is located in front of the bus stop. There are about 10 busses that come back and forth in front of Cumi Cafe'. I had mentioned early on in the first weeks of the bakery, to go and ask the bus driver if they could get on the bus, and I was met with icy stares. I didn't even need a translator for what they didn't say, which was, "Not IN THIS Lifetime!" So this girl, who normally is pretty shy and can barely get her words out, had a plate of cinnamon rolls and just jumped on the bus and sold everything on the plate! When I arrived a few minutes later they were still laughing and overjoyed at her bravado. I was there because they had sold all their baked goods and the team at home had replenished their supplies and so I made an extra trip into Yamaranguila to keep them going. The other girls wanted to do the same thing, and sell on the bus, but were too scared. Then when the next bus came, one of the other girls, grabbed her plate of pastries, and followed the first girl. They got back off the bus, with everything sold again. They were absolutely overcome with joy and laughing deliriously. They next bus came and our oldest employee, who is 28, didn't want to do this. But our brave bus vendor, needed more product on the bus, so I told the older girl, "Please go and bring her this plate. She was like "What?" I pointed at the plate and told her to hurry. She looked at the plate and looked at me and said, "What?" I said, "Get on the bus, she needs you", "Me?", she says. "Yes, you". She took up the plate and went out the door at a slow pace. They were gone for just a few minutes and came back with empty plates, laughing and back slapping, high fiving, and telling tales of the commentary of the people on the bus about their baked goods. The older one, who was so reluctant to get on the bus, was telling the younger girl, "We need to be prepared for the next bus and have everything wrapped nicely in plastic to be able to do this right". So they were on it. I had to leave them to go and carry the little girls to their Bible club meeting at a campesinos house. Meantime, as I left, people were coming in for coffee, people were out front at the tables just talking and we were all so excited that we were so busy. The oldest girl, said, "This is the first fun day we have had ever here at the bakery". She went on to say how tired she was, and the other girls concurred at the end of the day, when I went to pick them up, but they were so excited that we had such a good day and all that was left was a few cupcakes. Cumi Cafe' was a vision to give the girls an outlet to see how life is outside the farm. When they were in the farm, as they grew older, a desire to get out of the farm to see the world, was overwhelming to some and they just left. This bakery, so far, has been such a blessing to the girls and to the girls who stay at home. They get coupons from me when they have a good report at school and they have gotten all their chores done. They get to buy on Friday night, which is movie night and on Sunday. So everybody is happy. I am happy as a Mom, watching our girls grow in so many areas of life. I watched them "team work" today, and step out of their comfort zones and help one another, and come back so euphorically laughing. The vision of the bakery is also to let it be a place of ministry. Just as I see them stepping out in more confidence in the area of sales, I am praying that they will do the same in evangelizing people who come into the bakery and the people waiting on a bus. I pray for myself, that I would quit responding with "What? Me?", and I pray as the body of Christ we would just all just "Get on the Bus" and share what we have with a hungry world. Maybe as we leave off the bus, the world will see what joy we have in sharing what we have with others and want to find out the source of our joy. I want to close with this. There was a man today, who came in for coffee and a piece of cake. He bought a few more pieces of cake to carry home. He left to wait on the bus and then a few minutes later, the same man, tenderly assisted an older lady inside the bakery and sat her at the table and bought her a coffee and a piece of cake and then just left. I was so blessed to see this. Estephania, attended to her and she gave her some rice to carry home, that had been donated by Kids Against Hunger from Heritage Church, Moultrie, Ga. The girls give this rice to people that we see at the bus, who look they are having a difficult time. Sometimes they just give a piece of banana bread or a cinnamon roll. Estephania has been ministering to this lady in the past, but only from a distance and from the outside of the Bakery. Now the lady has come inside. It is coming... Blessings from the "Get on the Bus", Honduran MOM

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mariela and Frances

Life does not always turn oout like you think. Four years ago we accepted two little girls into our center, one was 4 and the other almost 2. They had some horribleness in their lives and the judges assigned me to be the guardian over these two sweet girls. We took them and loved on them. One couldn't speak, but had a great set of lungs. When she would scream you could hear her all around the farm and you thought she was being attacked by perana, but it was just that her sister left her to go to school. This went on everyday for months. She finally settled down and we had to work with her. She had some nutritional crisis and other things, but she couldn't crawl or move about. She was stationary. The girls started praying for her everyday that she would walk and talk. I don't think they have missed a day. When she was little it was easy to just carry her where ever she needed to go, but she was recuperating rapidly with her new diet. I told the girls they couldn't carry her about all the time and that she had to learn to crawl before she could walk. She was making progress. She started whispering. We had a wonderful intern, Haley Harris that came to the Mission after the girls had been there for a while. She wasn't a physical therapist, but she studied up on what to do, after some specialists from the United States came on a team. They told us that she needed strenghten her hips first. So Haley brought a huge ball to the project and worked with her almost every day. She did the strengthening excercises she needed to do with little girl. She got everybody involved and all the girls were praying harder. She started crawling, and said "MaMa" a lot, and "Hola" but no long conversations. Yet she could get her point across, with point and gestures, about what was going on with her world. During that season Wes Robertson came down on a team. He was a great young person and just loved Mariela, and it just blessed everyone how he was so tender and careful with her while he was here that week. When he went home he told his mom and dad about his time with Mariela and told them they needed to adopt her. They knew all the hoops and complications with foreign adoptions, and even though they loved her though WES's eyes, they had to pray. God sent the Robertson's down to meet Mariela, and then the "love process' began. Normally we do not encourage adoption her because it is hard on the kids who are not being adopted as well as the ones who will be. But I was just open to whatever God wanted to do. I knew that Mariela needed special therapy that was not available here. Even though she had made tremendous strides, she was getting bigger and heavier, and it was harder for the girls of the farm to move her about. I was getting older also and my back just couldn't do the things I used to do, which was picking up feed sacks and carrying children.When Haley left, Ben Heathe took over where she left off. He was her "big brother" and she was crawling very well at that point and Ben provided muscles to move her about and our girls from PTC helped with her everyday, taking turns to help her out in what ever she needed. Her speech was improving and last year she just said, AVOCADO in Spanish, which was very difficult. We all just shouted. The ministry got Dona Francisca this past year to come and help. She was a lady in her 50's and strong,but she was a sweet as anything and she was who God had for Mariela. She looked like a Honduran version of the Pillsbury Dough Boy's wife. She and Mariela loved each other. The adoption process continued. Mirian Aguilar, who was on our board, helped get so much paperwork done for the Robertson's. She was amazing. She is a lawyer, but had no experience in adoptions, but she helped out so much by moving the process that was bottled-necked so much of the time. God always made available a doctor that would tell us the next step to take with her. She continued to improve. She moved to a walker, and it was slow go, but then she got faster since the beginning of the year. He speech picked up. At each little landmark, we celebrated. Later on we continued to have other doctors continue to check her out. Everyone seemed optimistic. We carried her to specialist in La Esperanza who came from the city during the weekend. This past year we got a physcologist from Tegucigalpa, the capital, to come and minister to her and all the girls. The adoption waa close, but knowing that made us all anxious. The Robertson's were anxious to get their new children home, but the farm took on another course. We knew Mariela was going to need the help we couldn't give her, but we loved her and didn't want her or Frances her sister to leave. Frances and Mariela started having strong personality glitches. We called in a physcologist and she said that was normal, that they knew what their life was here and even though the loved the Robertsons she said that they were anxious about the unknown in the States. So we continued, and the adoption process just happened and papers were signed, phone calls were made to come get the children, and it happened faster than we thought it would. I am so thankful for the Robertson family. I don't know anyone who would take a child who has the challenges that Mariela has into their home. They have two kids in middle school still at home with all their extra curricular activities, that kids of tweens have, that are not going to disappear. They will have to deal with her mobility situations. I had 20 girls to help me, and they did a wonderful superhuman job of helping with Mariela over these past 4 years. But now the Robertson's have stepped up to the plate as a family and determined that they would physically, spiritually, and emotinally get her and Frances need to be. Through all of our joint efforts here at the farm, she was not potty trained, yet. The Robertson's knew that also. It is one thing to clean up a baby and a totally different story to clean up a soon to be 7 year old child. Yet they have taken that into account and they, as a family decided, that their lives as they knew it, were going to be permanently altered. O what manner of Love the Father has given unto us that we may be called the children of God. They are going to shine like lights about the Father's love. So we had a sweet time with the girls the day before I had to drop them off, and all of our girls got an opportunity to express how much they loved them and how much we would miss them. Some just bawled and left the room. The next day I thought I was prepared to drop them off. I couldn't hardly function when I left from leaving them at the Hotel, realizing I was not MOM anymore. We all agreed that this was the best, and we knew we would miss them, but the scripture of I must decrease and they must increase, was screaming in my ears while I was driving down the road. Grief, loss, bitterness, and the feeling of ineptness, swept over me. We watched God bring Mariela back to life, and Frances came in emotionally scared and scared and left smarter and more confident that most adults. Were the girls and I happy for Mariela and Frances, and that God heard our prayers? We were. But when I got back to the farm, the girls, were grieving also. The smaller ones have been very clinging and even the older girls were being much more affectionate. I have just been weepy. So we are all in a process. I want to thank everyone who helped with these girls at PTC. WE had team members who invested, interns who loved on these girls, Mr. Joe, of course who was Grandad, and others that I will never meet who prayed over their lives and over this adoption. Thank you, each and everyone for what you did for Frances and Mariela I know that God looks at us in our helpless state and places people in our lives to cheer us on to the finish line. I know we have passed the baton to the Robertsons and we pray that as they go around the corner and we can't see how the race is going with Mariela and Frances, that God will go before them and clear the way and send other encouragers to them to help them until the race is done. As far as me and my family here in Honduras, we continue to pray daily as we always have that Mariela will walk and talk. WE miss Frances and her pixie little ways and her big chiclets smile and her hugs that she gave out liberally. There has never been a sister better than Frances has been to Mariela. This has been harder than we thought, but it has been good, to know that God is with us, all of us, and that really we are all one family and that hopefully we will stay connected across the miles. Blessing the Hurting Honduran MOM . The

Sunday, August 4, 2013

OUR PTC Store is Receiving ORDERS!!

This is getting exciting! There was a lot of work put into the webpage for the store and we were blessed to see it up and running, but now we are getting orders for the Basket Ladies' baskets and for the girls coffee. Please click the link on the lower right of the page. Our vision for this PTC WEB Store, is to help the people here by getting these products out there, to make folks like you, more aware of wonderful people of Honduras. Our mission has been here for over 18 years ministering to "at risk" girls. So many people have come through this country by way of Project Talitha Cumi. They have been a huge blessing in so many ways. We are hoping to expand our school to the community to include the children who cannot afford to go beyond the 6th grade. When you purchasse these products, it gives the women who make them, a sense of dignity that they are providing for their families and are able to make a difference in the lives of their children and for the community also. Normally they scurry about from one place to another trying to sell their baskets, but now they are working together in a co-op that they organized, to work together and not apart. They call themselves "Women United". Please Help us with this project. I know many of you have come and some of you have not been able to come right now, or you have come and want to come back soon, but all of you have a heart to help. Many mission team members buy baskets here, not only because they see how hard these people work,and want to help, but they love the ladies' baskets and the girls' coffee too. The girls' harvest the coffee, and process it from start to the finish product that is cooked over an open fire,cooled, and bagged. Our girls receive a percentage of the coffee proceeds that are in their bank accounts, so that when they get old enough to leave the mission, they will have an understanding of work ethic, but also will have a little nest egg to get their lives started outside of the project. Please continue to pray for our mission here in Honduras and for the Lenca people here in Intibuca where we serve. Blessings, The Web Page Helping Honduran MOM

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

His Banner Over Me

We opened our Bakery, Cumi CAFE. The morning before it started as a horrible day for me, that I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and say, "No Way". I was sick and dizzy with vertigo and I just started praying. One of our girls studies once a week in La Esperanza. I was going to bail and let Angie take the helm, when she wrote and said she was to sick to come in. Angie has been helping us for months and she has been living with us waiting on her spousal visa. Angie was raised here at PTC and married a North American. There has been many new developments with visas from the US that she is still awaiting her appointment. She has been such a huge blessing having her here. Anyway, I got my shower, and kept praying. I took an allergy pill, and a tylenol. Don't do that when you need to drive. I don't know what I was thinking. I was so incredibly sleepy The whole trip to La Esperanza, I just kept on the edge of slipping out to dreamland. I finally got to the school, let our girl out and said "Have a nice day, and study hard" and put the car in park, and slept for 40 minutes. I woke up and when I was headed out to do a ton of errands. I saw one of our girls, who had left two years ago. I stopped the car and asked if she needed a ride. She said "No", but it was so good seeing her. She looked great I was thankful, that I got to see her and speak with her. I started running errands, bank, groceries, and then I started finding the things for Cumi Cafe's grand opening, that I didn't think I could find here in La Esperanza. I bought some plastic white round tables, some red stools, and I got some typical plaid table covers, an espresso machine, and a coffee grinder. I was still not feeling well, but I continued to pray and drink my water. Mary got through with school and we left to get home, so we could start baking. We cooked cupcakes, and banana bread, tres leches, cinnamon rolls, decorated a cake, and made loaves of breads and rolls, and I went to bed and slept like a stone. We got the job done and we were ready to open the next day at 12:00. WE brought all the girls down to the bakery on the big yellow school bus and gave them some banana bread, and took pictures of our grand opening. Pastor Bery prayed for our Cumi Cafe' and the ministry that will take place there. We plan to give away rice from children against hunger. We play Christian music and we give away Bible tracts and our cupcakes to folks by the bus stop that look like they need a hug or something to eat. The other motive for this bakery is that it will be a technical school training for the older girls that have come to us as young adults and have had no formal schooling or girls who are not leaning towards college. It is also going to be a place where our girls can be away from the farm and learn how to deal with the public and learn to become good employees. The farm is such a protected environment that they needed a jumping off place too help them learn to interact with their own Honduran society, before it waa time for them to leave the mission.
I had to leave early that first day of instruction of "how to run a bakery", with the older girls to take our "11 and under", crowd to a birthday party. Our cook, invited our girls to come to her home. Because we have so many girls, we don't get a lot of social invitations. Our cook was our first cake sale actually, and she wanted the girls to be there. I loaded up the girls and I headed out in the general direction. She said to call when I got to the school at Tablon. There was an older gentlemen, who was waiting at the school. It was the cook's father. He said you can't get in there without a 4x4. I told him that this was a 4x4, and he said "Well it is a little wide, but you probably can make it, but I don't know". The cook's 11 year old nephew met us and got in the car to direct us in. WE started driving down a red clay road that was as slippery as any wet clay road in Georgia. Then we turned into the woods, and turned around at a "W" in the road. I asked the nephew, "Which way". He said, "straight". When I started to take the middle road he said "No", the other road. I was getting a little anxious about his directions. We came upon a lagoon in the road, and he said "Straight". I didn't know if there were fish in that pond across the road, but I went straight through. This continued with the twists and turns, and the ponds across the roads and we were going higher. I was wondering how I was going to turn around and how was I going to find my way back. It was now 5:00. We arrived and my cook, Raquel, was walking in pretty black sandals through the wet wooded area. The girls and I had on our rain boots and we were stomping through like paratroopers who had just landed.. She was walking like a wood nymph through the underbrush just chatting away, and I was looking for snakes in the vines that we were crushing with our small team of girls. We were way back in the woods. When we arrived we heard singing. Our hostess, told us it was her religion's youth group. They had the meeting first, and then the party. We arrived at the house, and poor Roxanna was toting our little one who is not walking yet. She is now six and weighs a lot. She is walking with her walker at the farm, and we are delighted with her progress, but she was not able to walk this forest hike. I was so thankful for Roxanna. When we enter with our little entourage of about 9 girls. The first thing I noticed, when I walked through their adobe house, was all the photos of Jesus, Mother Mary and all the graduation pictures, framed and posted on the walls hung near the ceiling. There were benches full of young people and children, as well as older adults guiding the program. I remembered years ago, that these were the homes we ministered in when we first came to Honduras. I loved it. The people are so sweet and humble and we enjoyed ourselves being in their group, but it was getting darker.
The service concluded about after 40 minutes and then the food was served, which consisted of the best nacatamales in the world, and cake and candy bags, were passed out. It was dark thirty and time to go home. Our cook walked us up the hill and back to the path our car was located. She pointed below at what looked to be the abyss and said, "You can turn around down there". Did I mention that the fog had rolled in? She also told the girls not to get in the car, but wait until I could turn around. I wasn't to confident when she didn't want the girls to go with me. Two people ran down the hill to guide me down and I got turned around and gave them a ride back up to the top, got my girls and two young people from the youth group. The young people were going to be my guides, but when I came back through, I kind of knew where I was going, without asking. I had some landmarks on the way up and so it was okay. We got back to the farm and the electricity was out. It was so black you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. The little girls were animated about being invited to the party and that they were able to go without all the big girls that it didn't even bother them. They were lighted up about their excursion that they didn't need lights. They were happy.
Now after my day was done, and I lay there in the dark, I was reflecting, that I didn't want to cook for the bakery because I felt terrible, and I didn't want to drive to La Esperanza to drop our student at the school, because I was feeling so tired, and I didn't want to go to the birthday party because it was rainy and nasty and I didn't know where I was but God enabled me to do everything, in every activity, because I was forced to rely on Him. I received such a huge blessing of a mission accomplished, because I know that I couldn't have done it on my own power. I find I don't do everything without murmuring and complaining, but I want to and I am trying to let my words be few. The fewer the words the bigger the blessing, mainly because the more words I say that are negative, I don't see the blessing because I am focused on the negative and not on Him. My Daddy used to sing crazy little ditties to us when I was a child from when he was a kid. One of the songs went like this: "Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the Negative, Latch on to the affirmative, look out for Mr. In Between". Godly words if there ever were. I pray HIs Banner that would shine over me, would be of love, and that my words and my motives would be loving first, and not last. I pray for myself and for all my girls that we will do everything without murmuring or complaining, that we may become blameless and pure children of God, that in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, that we would shine like lights. I pray that for you and yours that we would let our lights shine. Blessings, the Banner Flying High, Honduran MOM

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The President's Visit to Yamaranguila

When I woke up last Saturday morning, I only had a few things planned. One was to pay for some eggs I had put on credit the day before with a local vendor in Yamaranguila. We also were going to look at a store front to put a bakery. The Cumi Cafe' Bakery Store is going to be an effort to help the girls who are not going to college to understand how to run a micro-empresas, or a small business. The girls will sell their baked items and they will be selling their art work, crafts and the art work of some of the local artesanos of the community. We had no idea how our morning was going to turn out. As we approached Yamaraguila, I saw a large hot orange streamer flying from a pole at one end of the local soccer field. There were only a few people standing around and I thought that it looked a little strange, but I had other fish to fry and so I had my mind otherwise occupied. I went inside the store to pay my bill and to retrieve the key, when we found out that the key for the other store front was not there. I was with my interns, and they ran up the street to get the key to the store, while I finished my business with the grocer. I heard a helicopter and a large group of boys running, then more boys and then more boys. I said only the boys in the community are interested in a helicopter. I asked the owner of the store, "Who is Coming? He said the President of Honduras. Finally, I connected the dots. The interns returned and said that the owner had the key and he was in La Esperanza. I said, "No problem, let's call the farm and tell the girls to get ready to come and see the President." I also jokingly said, "I have some things I want to discuss with him." So we got to the farm, hopped out and got the girls wearing their PTC shirts, to jump into the bus. We had a the house moms and Pastor Bery, and the Robertson family, who were visiting, so we took another car. We had to get back because we had a church service at 2:00 p.m. We first ran by where the helicopter was parked at the soccer field. I went up to the military guys guarding it and asked if we could have our picture made in front of the helicopter. They said hesitantly, "Sure", then all the girls got out of the bus. It was a great photo. Michael Robertson and his son were acting like the Paparazzi had come to town and all the photos here in this blog is a result of their brilliance and boldness to just "take the picture". When we arrived the mayor's office was packed, and so I asked someone who looked official if I could go in, and they said, "Yes". It was like walking into a sea of people. You just kind of got sucked in when you walked through the door way. On the stage were the dignitaries, the President, the Ambassador of Peru, the local Mayor, Governor of the State, and the other officials of education. They were there to give the local families, a grant of money to allow their children to finish the school year. The secret service wore Central American white button up business shirts, that have big pockets on the bottom of the shirt. On one of the big pockets, was a large gold seal of their office. They had very starched white pants, and even a white ear phones. There was a guy who looked like he had a white navy uniform with his hat that stood directly behind the president. There were many people from the press there and we were all waiting for the program to start. The girls were waiting outside. After I had been there a while listening to the speeches, I got Pastor Bery to start bringing the girls through the door, so they could see the President. I stepped out and asked one of the secret service guys if we could get a picture with the President. He just nodded officially. I pursued conversation with him. I asked when could we do this. He said, in a very official voice, "I will give you the signal". So I confidently waited outside with the girls for the "signal". It took a while, the girls were getting hungry and the sun was getting very hot on our black-haired girls. My confidence began to wain, as I watched the girls, and I kept reminding myself we did have the church service to get to, but I got a word to "tarry". So since I don't use words like "tarry", I hoped I was hearing from The Lord. While we were waiting some people with the group, dressed very casually, came up and asked who we were. I told them and told them that the girls pray for the President and for the government officials. We chatted for a while and the guy with the grey v-neck t-shirt took the girls photos and then they got them printed and place them in a sleeved postcard with the President'd name and logo of the day, "El Futuro Es lo Primero". I thought OK maybe I was waiting for this. I would get some copies and give them to the girls as a remembrance of the day. But again, I got "Wait for it, though it tarries". OK. I was in. The President came out with his secret service the white SUV's cranked up and I thought this will be a quick photo. I was looking for the secret service guys. Our secret service guy, gave me a nod. I stood confidently with the girls, even though we were being pushed towards his motorcade. Finally one of our housemom's turned and said, "Listen, we are going to have our picture made with the President. If you would just move to the side and as she was saying that she was ushering them away from the girls and the President walks up. All the things I would have said, left me. He asked who we were, and I told him and the secret service guy said something along with the casually dressed guy, and President moved behind us and got the photo with the girls. I had stepped aside and so he talked to the guy in the white marine looking suit and he waved me up to speak with the President. The President asked me my name and asked me about the ministry. I told him a Reader's Digest version about out ministry and how long we had been here. He then asked me. "What things hinder your work here, that I could help you with?". I drew a blank and then I started sharing with him somethings. He responded to my questions and concerns, and then he asked the girls, "What can your President give to you today?". Stephani who was standing at his right hand said, "Just give us a hug". He said "Clearly I can do this". Then he looked at me and asked what did I need. I thought to myself, "I have so much, I really don't need anything". I said, "Whatever you would like to give us". He thought about uniforms, changed his mind when he saw they had uniforms, and then he said, "How about a tv with a blue ray player?" Stephani said, "Blue is my favorite color". I don't think she knew what the difference between a DVD player or a blue ray. I thanked him and told him that would be something we could use at the school with our ABEKA program. The staff had talked about it just the weeks before. The President asked me for my card, or anything with my name on it. I had a ministry envelope and Pastor Bery gave him the ministry business card that I had given to him a few days prior. The guy who in the Black shirt who was walking behind the President with the briefcase, popped it open and he wrote us a check for 10,000 limperas, or $500 USD and handed it to me. The President said "Thank you for what you are doing for the people of Honduras". I told him, "Thank you for what you are doing for the people of Honduras. You have encouraged them greatly by your visit here today. I hope you come back and next time we hope you can come and had a meal with us at our Ministry". He smiled, said goodbye and the girls hugged him and off he went. I was so excited that the girls got to meet their President. I want them to know about their political system here and if I could get them excited about it at an early age, that was a blessing, because I feel like they will help change their nation. The girls were wired, and we were all blessed as we walked back to the bus. Pastor Bery went with the grey t-shirt guy, and he gave him a bunch of photos of the girls with the President of Hondurans. While Pastor Bery was there, he talked to the Minister of Education, who offered his services also to our ministry. God had gone before us and gotten us everything we had need of. I thought about how "off the chart" excited I was. I had just been joking with the interns, about talking with the President and then there I was, talking with the President, through no effort of mine except to show up where I knew he would be. I felt like God was laughing at me, and reminded me that "Your words are powerful". We ran home and I gave all the girls and the staff and the Pastor a banana, and we walked up to the church and had service. Later we invited the congregation to come and eat a wonderful meal that had been prepared by Tim Carey's team. It was a blessed day. The waiting was long, and hot, and we doubted that we were supposed to wait at all, but we tarried and God brought it to pass. We need to be waiting for Him with that same patience. We knows what we need. He asks us all the time, "What can I do for you", and we either don't wait, or don't communicate. I pray that we all practice to pray, stay and tarry with God and communicate with Him. Blessings, the Honduran Mom who talked with the Honduran President." imageanchor="1" >

Friday, June 14, 2013

Owe no one except to love them

Yesterday we were in town. We had to go there and wait to hear from Dona Francisca's family. They were going to call about whether they were discharging her from the hospital. Dona Francisca is Mariela's caretaker. She had a severe case of gallstones and she needed surgery but because of her age, 54 (????) they felt there would be complications that they didn't have the technology to handle so we went to 4 different hospitals. They all had reason why they couldn't do the surgery. In the end, we went to a private clinic. They did the surgery and it was an amazing success because so many people were praying for her healing. While we were in town, I needed to take care of some people that I owed money to. One guy lost his check that I wrote him, and so I had to cancel the check and re-write a new one. One was the electric bill, one was a bill I didn't know I owed, and then I had to pay for some shirts and books for the school. I was busy the whole morning getting my debts paid. We finally got the call. They said for us to come and get her. It was 1 o'clock. It was going to take about 2 and 1/2 hours. WE had to get back before dark. Angie and I had to pick up Mary from School and then we got on down the mountain. I started getting sleepy going up the 2nd mountain and so Angie took the wheel. We got there before 4 o'clock but we had to get her discharge papers and pay the hospital what we owed them for their services. I went down to pay the bill, and to pay for the fistful of prescriptions that they gave me to fill. That took some time trying to get all that straight. Meanwhile, upstairs on the 2nd floor, Dona Francisca was ready to go home, and knew that it was getting darker. What we both didn't know was that there was a terrible storm preparing to unleash itself on unsuspecting missionaries. She started to walk down but the nurse told her to go back to her room and she would bring a wheel chair. Standard procedure everywhere. By the time she came down, so did the rain. They wheeled her out the door it was raining. By the time Angie got the umbrella from the car it was pouring, and by the time I grabbed a raincoat to cover her, I was soaked through to the bone. We got her to the car and her son had the umbrella directly over her head, not his. He is tall. Because she was short the rain was sheeting off the top of the umbrella into the truck, saturating the cloth seats. She crawled into the back seat, and then flipped around and stretched her feet between the two front seats. We didn't know the son had his girlfriend with him. He was tall and thin, Dona Francisca his mom, was short and hefty, and girlfriend was solid, and Mary is tiny. With all the varying sizes in the back that all squeezed in back there, it looked like a construction man's hands in a lady's leather glove. It was a huge storm system. I thought we would ride through it, but it followed us home. The rain was literally coming down in sheets. Water was running everywhere. We were all soaked to the skin. The roads were very dangerous. We got to the Sigatepeque and we still had time to get home before dark. We got to the second mountain range and my windshield wiper blade just stopped, on my side. So I was sitting sideways, leaning over, trying to see through Angela's windshield. I finally gave up, until rocks that were in the road started showing up. They weren't there when we came down the mountain, but with the quantity of rain, it had washed them onto the road. Then there were boulders as big as the cab of the truck I was driving. Then the fog came in, and I couldn't see anything at the point. I came around a sharp curve and a huge semi with a black tarp and mud flaps that had large reflectors on them that made the design of a dice with the number 5 on it. I told Angie. "Arrive alive with 55". I started to pass them but decided against it. Angie pointed out that at least I could see the mud flaps and the big black tarp. So I just followed him up the mountain at a snail's pace. When we hit La Esperanza we were told it was raining at El Obisbo where we live. I had to stop and get the wipers fixed. They couldn't fix the wipers, but just put one wiper blade in the middle. We took off, because by now it was dark. and the roads were super horrible. I put the truck in 4 wheel drive and locked the front wheels. Dona Francisca said nothing about the rough ride. She kept saying she was fine. I was going super slow, but the potholes you can't avoid. She has the best nature. She lived outside of Yamaranguila and walks that far everyday to work with Mariela. We let her out and she came up to my window to say thanks. She said, "that she owed us everything and that she could never repay us for what we did for her and her family". At the beginning of this blog, I was talking about people that I owed. I need to pay for goods and services. Not the same thing here. We all love Dona Francisca, she is the sweetest most patient person in the world. She is a huge blessing. We were just blessed enough to be able to help her in her time of need. We stepped up, because we love her and wanted her whole and well. We wanted to do what was necessary to get her better. The cool thing is that God did everything and gave everything, just so people, who were not the sweetest people in the world could live. I wonder if I would have been as animated and insistant about helping someone who was not a good person. I am thankful God didn't have to review whether He would or not. He just did it for all. I have found that helping someone is never convenient. It usually cost you emotionally, physically and spiritiually. When they were saying she may die, I was calling out to God for sure. I am thankful to all of you who help us in so many ways, allowing us to be able to help others that God has sent us here to help. I know it is not convenient and I know it costs you. I know that it cost Christ everything to accomplish what His Father sent Him to do. He wanted to do whatever it took to get us in a better condition eternally. I appreciate all the prayers lifted on her behalf and all the notes of encouragement to keep us going until Dona Francisca got to her home. We love you guys, and thanks for your service to Such is the Kingdom. Blessings, The Middle of the Road Hugging, Boulder Dodging, Honduran MOM.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Popular Poplar Springs into Action

We have had a wonderful visit from the folks in Dublin GA, 

Our teams that we have had so far this year have been amazing!  They have worked until they couldn't.  This last team from Poplar Springs Church from Dublin.  They brought 19 people on their team.  Some of them had been to our girl's mission last year.  The rest of the team consisted of the veteran's Sunday School group of young people.  

The group help with arts and crafts, a building project to finish our washroom for the kitchen.  They recovered chairs for my kitchen table, they tiled the Church bathroom.  They played games with the girls, they lead praise and worship, cleaned out our big barn with all the carpentry tools.  They loaded, painted, and stained wood.  They encouraged and loved on everyone here at the farm, which was a huge blessing.  They shared everything they had and even started a fund for the pastor to purchase a motorcycle.

I met Pastor Barry last year.  His wife, who is a doctor of psychology,  started ministering to our girls last year.  She comes once a month on the weekend and ministers to the girls.  She has been a huge blessing, but her husband was just traveling with her.  The both of them have a huge heart for the PTC ministry.  

The doctor has her own ministry in Tegucigalpa, and their youngest son is studying medicine in the capital.  Pastor Bery will be staying here for 4-5 days out of the week visiting the community and working where God calls him and returning to his family for the remainder of the week.  Since he traveled a lot with his day job of administrative help to Non Profit Corporations here in Honduras, his schedule will not change very much.  He has a plan to start the church back up her at the farm to minister to the girls of course and he also wants to be involved,  not only as a pastor, in the community helping them in a capacity of an agricultural engineer.  He wants to help them first on a spiritual plane and the next is to show them how to maximize their resources to make the crops that they have to increase.  He will also be visiting the schools and continuing our evangelism course with the materials from the Mailbox Club out of Valdosta GA.  

The fund for the motorcycle grew out of a desire to help the Pastor, get his show on the road, so to speak. We already have almost half of what we need to get him mobile.  He has his motorcycle license as well as his CDL, so he will be able to drive the bus also.  He is taking the group to the bus station today and accompanying them to San Pedro Sula to drop them at the airport.  He is a handy man and has operated in the function of a mechanic.  He brings devotions at night for the girls, and it just an all around blessing.  Pray that everything work together for God's plans and purposes.  

The girls have been working hard on their coffee.  They have sold a lot and will finish selling to the teams who are coming in these next months.  Next year we should have a much bigger crop if God provides.  WE have two interns from SC coming to help us with marketing.  We will be preparing for this increase. We will be making a website for our coffee, getting coffee bags designed and tweaking all the strategies for this project.  WE are excited about these two interns coming this summer.

The fun news is that we have our fish ready to harvest.  I wanted the girls to go fishing and since they never had fished before.  They were undecided if they would like that or not.  While the group was cleaning out the barn, they found an old tackle box.  Most of the tackle was for salt water fish.  The hooks were kind of large, but I remembered how to string up a pole and the girls had found some earthworms when they were harvesting the potatoes this week.  I had told them to put them in dirt in a dark cool place.  They did and when I got the tackle on the 4 poles that we had, they walked down to the cement pond with their coconut shell of worms. 

 I was on my way, but was delayed by some questions from the Pastor.  I heard screaming like nobody's business, down at the pond.  They had caught a fish and they had caught Carman too.  She was running around and slipped into the pond!  The fish pond is not very deep, but Carman is not very tall,  They fished her out and then scooted her to the house to change before I got down there.  I didn't find out until later.  

They had a blast fishing!  I always heard that talapia wouldn't bite at a hook and had to be netted, but these guys do and the girls, can hardly wait to go fishing again.  They asked me so many times during this week.  They weren't able to because of the rain, and because of all the other activities that we had with the team, that we needed to accomplish. Our fishing trips also have been delayed because we also have been harvesting our crops this week. 

We have been picking our tomatoes, and our squash, and we harvested 7 feed sacks of potatoes.  The girls have been involved with the harvest and the cleaning of the coffee as well.  I am so proud of our girls.  They really know how to work!  They have been a huge blessing with all their help around the farm. 

I read a scripture today in Phillipians, that said to don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything, tell God you needs not to forget to thank God when He answers your prayers.  I just want to say how thankful we are for Mariela, walking and talking.  She still using her walker, but she is getting faster and more independent everyday. Her speech is getting clearer, and we all love it when she prays.  We have been praying so long about it, that when she stood on her own, or said her first hard word, (avocado in spanish) we were in shock.  I am thankful, very thankful for God hearing so many prayers on Mariela's behalf.  I want to thank all of you have been praying for her and for our ministry.  God is blessing us in so many ways, we stand amazed.  

I also want to thank God for having the church here on the farm opened again for ministry.  It has been very emotional, watching ministry with praise and worship music and the Word being brought forth, to the community and not just our girls.  I am blessed and I am thankful. 

I also want to thank the folks who worked on the fish pond.  It has brought a lot of joy to the girls and it is going to be a great source of meat around here.  I think there is only two girls who don't care for fish, but I am sure it will be like the grits they didn't use to like.  They will be thankful.  

Thanks again for all the love and support and prayers to Such is the Kingdom and Project Talitha Cumi. The Happy, Thankful, Fishing Honduran MOM.  

I will send photos of our fishergirls and our harvest.