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.