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