Monday, December 1, 2014

Missing Missionary Manners Matters

Well tis the season.  

I was catching up with the wash at the laundry room behind the kitchen.  Some of you know that I have put almost all the little girls in my house.  It is working out very well, most days.  We have some issues to address, but anyone who lives with more than one other person will always have some type of issues to deal with.  I have 12 girls in my house right now. Because of a recent arrival of a 16 year old mom and her baby and her 3 siblings, 15, 9 and 3.  Washing clothes is a never ending story.  Someone is always in the washroom trying to fold, wash, or find something.  

While I was there, one of the girls came and said someone was at the gate.  So when someone reportedly is at the gate, which happens a lot, a game of 20 questions begin.  

Do you know who it is?  Yes, Her name is ----- and she has a little boy with her. 
Have you seen her before?  No
Is she on foot? Yes
How old is the little boy?  He looks about 5
What does she want?  She wants to talk to you
Where is she from? ==== ====
Did you tell her that she needed to tell you, so you could tell me?  Yes, but she said she could only talk to you. 
Did you let her in the gate?  Yes 

My girls are going to make great reporters.  Anyway, before I even finish my questions, the skies just dumped freezing cold rain out over our farm.  I told the girls, just wait and I will go up there.  I figured she was dry and it could wait.  My attitude was not optimum for a missionary.  I was busy, and I was trying to finish up the laundry and I was so close.  But again, there is always something to do in the laundry, and when you finish, there is something waiting to be washed.  I thought while I was trapped, I would take advantage of the rains.  

When the rain let up about 45 minutes later, I walked up to the church and she was patiently waiting.  I remembered her when she used to go to the church here years ago.  She's the same little girl, in her face, only in a very tall body.  She was unusually tall for a Honduran woman.  I began by saying "Hello, nice to see you again", and then I started telling her when she comes she needs to let the girls know what she needs and that will help us to attend to her quickly and she wouldn't have to wait.  I thought she had come to get food or clothing, which we have ready to dispense to people who come and are needy.  

She said, "I am sorry, I didn't know". 

  I said, "No problem.  So what do you need?".  

She assumed I had knowledge of her situation, and started by saying, "Well, when they killed my husband 3 weeks ago,,,".  Then it hit my missionary brain, this is what my worker was telling me about.  He had to go to the funeral, because her husband was a distant family member.  Apparently there were 3 friends, and they were drinking and two got mad at the one, and they hit him with a machete, more than once.  They were caught and the two guys were in jail.  She was left with a farm and 3 children under the age of 6. It was a gruesome story to say the least. 

 I immediately felt like a failure a missionary.  I had been aggravated at being bothered, when in fact I was on a project.  I made this woman, who was already suffering, wait for me to make my arrival and ask her what she wanted, but not before I semi-scolded her for not following protocol. I grieved for her loss and for my arrogant attitude. So, I immediately asked her how I could help.  She just humbly ask me to pray for her.  

She said that the families of these men, were threatening the life of her and her children if she didn't drop the charges.  I asked her is that was even possible for her to drop the charges.  She told me that she wasn't a witness to it, and she didn't turn them in, so she didn't know how she could do anything.  She was right, the police did the investigation and outside of forgiving them, there was nothing she could do.  She wasn't angry, and she looked totally helpless about what to do.  So I decided I would give some suggestions. 

I told her that school year was almost over.  It stops in November.  November through January is harvest time in the mountains, and so the children are not in school that time of year, so they can help their parents with the harvest.  So I was concerned because she lived further back in the woods than I do, even further than my worker, which is way off in the boonies.  I told her she could bring her and her children to the Intern house and we would set them up there to live.  

She said, " I have animals to care for".

 I asked her, "How many animals?" 

She said, "I have a cow that was due to have her calf any day, and chickens, ducks and turkeys. 

"Okay," I say, "We will get our farm worker to move your animals here and you can take care of them in the back pasture, because my cows are off visiting their boyfriend. "  

She said, "Well we are harvesting our corn and beans and I have a crew of men I have to cook for until they finish".  

I say, "You can't eat the corn if you are dead".  

She said, "That is what my husband planted before he was killed, and the other men are depending on me to pay them.  I would like to finish what he started".

She just kept shooting holes in my logic, which was you can't do any of the above if you and you children are not living to do all these things.  

So , I finally asked her, "What do you want me to do".  

She said, " I felt like God told me to come and have you pray over me and my family to be safe.  I think He can keep us safe".  I just wanted you to agree with me in prayer about it. " 

Again, "Flawed Missionary" is humbled by this poor little twenty something year old widow.  I wanted to cry.  I don't know how it happens.  You are doing the work and yet you get so off course.  God sent her to me, not because she needed anything, her faith was phenomenal,  but I needed to be reminded to get back to center.  I needed to remember to focus and sit before the throne and long for His presence and direction for my life the life of the ones that He has placed around me. Was I doing anything wrong? No, I was taking care of business, but I was not preferring, His company and companionship.  I was doing my "devotions", but it was just like marking that little chore off my list. 

As I am writing this, I remembered a marriage retreat that I attended years ago, that feature Dr.Mark and Alician Rutland.  He was talking about husbands.  He said that many wives cooked three meals a day, (back in the day) and kept the wash up,  kept the kitchen floors cleaned.  "But", he said, "Really, speaking on behalf of the husbands, most husbands, don't even know what color the floor in the kitchen is and they really don't care what color the floor is."  All the men burst out laughing and shrugging their shoulders, like "I really don't know".  "Even when you have done a great job being a housewife, perfect mom, and splendid cook, at the end of the day, he just wants a wife. Someone he can be with and someone who wants to be with him."  God wants the same thing. 

So my heart's cry right now, is not to be Superwoman,( Missionary version), but to get back to where I know my heart really longs to be.  If I am in His presence, I will get everything done that I need to get done. He is in charge of the time.  Time is in His hands.  I want the girls to know how to cook and clean and be responsible students and young people, but more than that I want to show them by example, how to love God, and forsake all other endeavors, even the good things to know HIm. Those things don't surpass His goodness, kindness and love.  Out of the overflow of being with Him, we will get all the other stuff done, but with a joyful attitude.  

Please pray for the girls and me.  We have 38 girls now and we need your prayers.  Some of the girls have just graduated from 6th grade and from kindergarten.  Next year we will have more girls from the community join our little school so they can continue their education.  WE are expecting interns to come to be with us and we have the Boy's Ranch ready to go.  So many things, but we are waiting on the Lord.  Please pray that we hear from God and use His timing and not ours.  

Thanks again for all the prayers and support you send our way.  Blessings, the Flawed but Seeking HIM, Honduran Missionary MOM.  

New girls are Maritza, 16 and baby Blanca 6 months, Ada 15, Enma 9, Rosita, 3

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Final Frontier

Space is a word that means a lot of things.  The dictionary defines space as :

1.the unlimited or incalculably great three-dimensional realm or expanse in which all material objects are located and all events occur.2.the portion or extent of this in a given instance;extent or room in three dimensions:the space occupied by a body.3.extent or area in two dimensions; a particularextent of surface:to fill out blank spaces in a document.4.Fine Arts.the designed and structured surface of a picture, the illusion of depth on a two-dimensionalsurface.5.outer space.6.deep space.7.a seat  Verb- to set some distance 5.outer space.6.deep space.7.a seat, berth, or room on a train,

Space is a lot of things, to a lot of people, but I am referring in this blog about "my space" which is not listed by Webster.

Space is not the final frontier.  My bathroom is.  I have had my bathroom to myself for a long time.  All the girls had house moms for years, and so I was on my own at night.  One time, when a two teams that came at the same time from Locust Grove, I was living by myself.    I had my house and all of the bathrooms to myself.  WE had so many people with two teams at coming down at the same time, that I had to share my bathroom.  I was so used to being in the house by myself and all of a sudden it was like living in a college dorm.  It was fun for a week and everything went back to normal.

Then I had two first time moms with two newborn babies show up and I couldn't put them with the other girls, because I feared for their infants, and so they came into my house and my space.  But I still had my own bathroom.

Some of you know, because of labor issues here in Honduras, we were having a lot of problems with my hired help monoriting the girls.  So I went to part time help.  The ladies would come at 4 pm, and then they started coming at 5 pm, and then 6 pm and so on.  This meant they were spending little to no time with the little ones or the big girls for that matter.  The girls had to wait until the ladies got there before they could get their baths. They ate their meals late, they were getting to bed late, they stayed sick.  They were also just crying all the time about little things.  I found that the ladies were not helping the little girls, brush their teeth, or get dressed, or go to bed on time.  The girls were on their own.  Some of our girls have bedwetting situations and their linens were not being changed, and neither were their personal undergarments.  They didn't send them out in the morning with coats, or socks.  Serious health issues started cropping up that I hired a Doctor to come every 15 days.  It was crazy.

So after 20 years of doing something a certain way, I changed the norm.  I changed what my space would look like in the future. This is what happened.  The ladies came in one night and said 'they didn't feel like they could continue to work under the conditions of the farm'.  However, something flipped over in me when they said that because I was thinking about how sick the girls were and I thought "I can't either".  I really didn't know what the ladies were talking about......  They had their meals, and only were working two hours at night and two in the morning, and we gave them medicines for their families, along with clothes, and food supplements and the ministry paid 5 times more than the other people around.  We are noted as an institution legally here in Honduras, like World Vision or Care, so we have to pay more to our employees.  I found out later, that they wanted me to tell one of my older girls to leave, but I didn't know to ask about it, or maybe I was just to too tired to inquire further, as I would have done normally.

I prayed about the change and started moving the little squirts into my house.  I got the beds from the other houses moved.  I moved Anastacia to house one with Neohmi who was now three.  I took their bedroom and put two bunkbeds in there.  Then I put two bunk beds in my spare bedroom.  I put two other set of bunk beds in the downstairs bedroom.  I had long wooden boxes made by some team members for them to keep their clothes.  I recieved some quilts from a container and decked their beds out with those quilts with the help of some friends from Alabama.  We painted some of the walls and we were ready to go.

Now, I knew if they hadn't brushed their teeth, or combed their hair, or done their homework, or washed their hands after leaving the bathroom.  I felt like a doctor doing her rounds at night with all the meds I had to give out for UTI's, bronchitis, warts, other fungus, stomach problems, and lice.  It took me about 45 minutes to administer everything the doctor prescribed.  But, I finally saw the girls improving.  Girls who I rarely had a conversation with in the past, outside of 'Hi', "Good Morning", "How was school", and "I love you", were talking to me about other topics, and life was good.

However, they had devoloped a lot of bad habits over this season with the temporary helpers.  They were folding their dirty clothes and wearing them again.  They were not changing their linens, not going to bed on time, not doing their homework, and a whole host of things that children do when they are not being monitored closely.  So after the honeymoon of moving them into the house, the battle was on.

I thought I would lose my mind after the first month, and slowly things started changing. One of those things, was showers.  First they broke their shower head. I mean completely off the arm.  So I had to get that repaired, while they used my shower.  They ripped down their shower curtain, and their bathroom looked like Lake Manatoba.  They set the vanity on fire with a candle.  Even with all that, we had 12 girls and myself and the bathrooms had to be shared.

I know I am a missionary and nothing I have is mine, and that it all belongs to God. However, I was hoping that my bathroom would be my sanctuary.  I don't know why I thought that, since everytime I go into the bathroom, someone has an emergency question. There is really nothing that denotes an 'inner sanctum' about a bathroom especially my bathroom which is a storehouses for meds, shampoos, bug sprays, tons of nail polish, hair care products and extra whatever, but it was my escape room. I understand about the woman Susanna Wesley, whose sons later started the Methodist church, who had so many children that she just threw her apron over her head to have her quiet time with God.   She probably didn't have her own bathroom either, or if she did it was outside, which as I think about it, might have been a good idea.

I have learned many things, about my insisting on my rights about my bathroom.  I have learned to hook the door to avoid surprises, and to have an apron handy.  I am getting it.  It boiled down to giving that area up to The Lord too.  It is not that God is demanding, He is just a realist.  Thirteen people in a house needed two bathrooms, and I don't need to have myself all whacked out because I can't get into my bathroom. I needed to give my bathroom for the greater good, which was to die to myself one more time so I could live.   Apparently, I just thought I had died to myself, but as Jimmy Keaton used to say, "If I have died to self, then why am I still wiggling".   Other people have needs that are more important than my private bathroom. Life goes on, as I continue to die to self.

I am thankful that the girls are in my space.  I am thankful that I can invest more into their lives for the short amount of time that I will have with them.  I am thankful that God allowed me to have these relationships restored, and renewed.  Because the girls are in my space the other older girls are in my house more.  We all talk more.  We do more things together.  I bake more for the girls than I used to.  I take more pictures, I laugh more, and I live more.  I am invested in them and they in me.  It is good.  Life is good, and space is irrevelant unless we get into God's space anyway. He is after all the creator and the owner of all space and time, and I don't want to waste either.

Thanks to all of you that are praying for us during this transitition time.  Thanks to all of you who write and call and support us through prayers and gifts.  Blessings from the No Necisite Mi Space Honduran Mom.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Got my goat!

Well, Fall is there where you are and winter is here where we are.  We are in full swing getting our errands list attended to and our houses repaired.  Chris Briles and his son came for a few days and helped us get all the lights in the kitchen changed out.  We now have a brilliantly lit kitchen where the girls can do their homework, even on rainy days and even when the electrical current is extremely low.  We are excited.  He and Aaron did several things, like change out head lights on our car, and worked on some plumbing puzzles at our mission.  One of the things that we did the day after they arrived in Honduras was to drive 5 hours away and picked up some dairy goats in our stock trailer.  They didn't get the memo that this was going to be a road trip a day after their huge travel day from Texas the day before, but they were up for the trip.

I had picked them up at the airport the day before in San Pedro Sula and we got home before supper, which is saying a lot with all the stops we made buying bananas, pineapples and a run to our grocery store Nolascos.  We had a great reunion with the girls.  Chris had been many times, but this is the first time his son Aaron could come with him.   We ate and had all the girls introduce themselves and then we went to bed because we were leaving at 5:15.

I had to get up earlier to take the girls to the bakery, but I woke up at 1:30 a.m.  I know now for certain that the watchman thinks I am nuts.  I had woken up realizing that I that there was not a spare tire in the truck we were taking.  I just woke up remembering that the luggage and bananas and pineapples, and groceries we picked up along the way couldn't have ALL been in the truck.  I got the watchman and he helped me find the spare.  Someone had taken it out. and I didn't check for the spare before the ride to San Pedro Sula, which is a 4 hour trip one way, to see if it was in the back of the truck.  I am thankful God is with me when I do stuff like that.  Then I remembered that our tires to the redesigned trailer were about 15 years old.  I went out at about 2 in the morning, to check on that.  Then I wondered if we had a spare for that stock trailer, and we had a tire, but no rim.  All I could think about is that we would be aside of the road with all those goats and no spare tire.  Then I got back up at about 3 in the morning because I remember we needed ropes for the goats.  Then I got back up at about 3:30 a.m. because I wanted to get a 5 gallon bottle of water in case we needed water for the goats.  I thought we would be traveling in the middle of the day to return home and I didn't want them to get to hot.  So I got the water jug in the back of the wagon. I thought of some other things and called the watchman to call Don Elbin our farm helper to come earlier to help with what we might need.  I then fell asleep for about an hour.

After dropping the girls at the bakery, I got out at about 5:30 a.m. and so I was okay with that.  Our new road was great, but pulling that stock trailer was a little harder than I thought it would be.  The farm helpers decided to put plywood siding on the interior because we were picking up 9 goats, which most were 6 months old, and so I didn't want a problem going down the road.  However the guy who helped with the plywood used the thickest plywood that we had and it make the trailer very heavy.  So I worried about that.  But the first leg of our trip was uneventful, even with all my worrying about the roads, goats, tires, and etc.

We almost arrived at our destination and our trailer bolt came loose without our knowledge, and so the tongue of the trailer slowly slid out as we were following the guy on the motorcycle that was guiding us into the other agricultural ministry called Baptist Rural Life Ministries.  Before we could stop the moving trailer the hitch had come undone but the chains were connecting pulling the bumper with the heavy trailer.  We could have planted corn in the furrows we made in the road with our trailer hitch.  We got to the mission with a quick fix for a bolt.  Who knew where the bolt was and when it fell out?  I hopped out of the truck and in the back seat is a bolt and hinge that connect the back of the seat to the seat of the truck.  My phone was turned around in my back pocket and I heard it go "crack".  My screen broke on my phone.  Rats!! and double Rats!  I thought it probably won't work. But I didn't have time to worry about it.  The motorcycle guy rode up the road and I walked up the road for a while to see if we could find it.   We thankfully were on a dirt road that had no traffic or it would have been a scary ordeal. God protected us.

We had to come back down the mountain and get the hitch repaired.  The bumper was sitting very low and so we went to find a mechanic, in this tiny little town.  We ended up with a guy who had an air gun, a welder, electricity and an idea on how to fix our bumper.  He took it all off and just welded the hitch directly to the frame and the everlasting arms that had held the bumper on in the first place. He had to reinforce with pieces of sheet metal.  I was worried about how much he was going to charge me for all that work.  He only charged me 25 dollars.   He told me I could haul cars if I wanted to.  We left and got the goats.

We were 3 hours off our schedule and so we bought chips and drinks and took off.  I worried about us being in the dark and stormy night.  It has been raining hard here and there were clouds all about , but it didn't start raining until the moment we arrived home.  It is always fun unloading goats in the dark while it is raining, but we didn't care because we had accomplished our mission and were safely home at PTC

I am thankful that we got home with our new dairy goats, but most of all I am thankful that God is patient with me.  With all my worrying, everything worked out.  God protected us all the way down the line.  He had me with three men who knew how to pray and how to help.  He sent me a mechanic we didn't even know we would need, that charge me a super low price. We didn't have to drive in the heat of the day with the goats, and we got home before the storm started. And my phone still works although I have a pretty starburst pattern at the top.  I am so thankful for my screen protecter for holding it together.  We didn't even use the water, or the ropes, or the spares. All that great worrying for nothing.  I was exhausted.   God tell us not to worry, but I did and I do, and there really is no reason to do so.  I am a little on the spiritual learning disorder side.  I wonder if I am ever going to "get it".  I let the enemy "get my goat" one more time .

Thankfully God is so patient with me .  I need to lean on Him more and my projected thoughts on the immediate future a whole lot less.  God always surprises me how He turns my thoughts around.  I pray my thoughts continue to be on how good He is to me and how He always goes before me, and underneath are His everlasting arms.  Blessings,  The Exhausted traveling, Goat hauling, but thankful Honduran MOM

I put some older photos of the girls,  I can't believe how much they have grown!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Heels or no Heals

So the dog barked all night.  Our sweet little puppy has found his voice.  This is the third night of his barking marathon.  So I am awake at 4 a.m.  I finally dozed back off, but it is time to get up and running.  It is Sunday.  So I drink my cup of tea, and wonder how terrible it would be if I stayed at home, but I hear all my little ones getting ready, so I get up and make my bed and my face and get dressed.  I don't want to miss a blessing.

I had cleaned up my room yesterday after my Guatemala trip and I found a skirt I hadn't worn in a while, so I get the shoes that I also haven't worn in a while.  They were heels. I usually wear boots, that have flat heels, especially this time of year, but opted for the high heels to do something different. Besides, they matched my skirt.  I felt pretty perky around the house, but I knew the trek from the front door to the car was coming.

The dicey thing is getting out my door, in the rocks and the mud and getting to the bus that is parked near the kitchen.  I succeed, and am feeling pretty smart and I hop into the driver's seat on the bus and it won't crank.  So I get back out of the bus and walk cautiously back to the house in my heels and get the Hilux.   I get the truck and park it in front of the bus, open the hood, yank out the jumper cables and start connecting everything.  I remember that the negative black connection is SIN and the positive connector is the BLOOD of Jesus, so I don't blow up the battery.  I made this up so I wouldn't forget.

I get everything connected and wait and wait and write a post of Facebook about my predicament on my Status and ask for prayer.  The bus finally fires off, I fire off my post on FB.   I put down the hoods, and put everything where it belonged and I put it in drive because now we are pretty late.  The girls and the kids of the community were patiently waiting for us to get going.  We got out the gate and got to go over our new bridge on our new road for the first time.  It was fun to ride down the newly paved road.  I get to the intersection and I find that the road we need to take to get to the church is still being worked on, and so I have to make a big loop and park about a quarter mile away from the church.  Again I am walking in the mud.  I am thinking to myself,  "what good is it if your shoes match your skirt if you are walking in the mud and risking a twisted ankle walking through the rocky road material that is strewn all about"?  Ana is helping me get to our destination and I am stomping through the sludge and we get to the gate of the church and we have to go over a huge mound of  rocks that the road scrapers left out in front of the church gates.  I made it up and then over and then down the incline to the church with the help of Ana.  So now I am feeling pretty much like an old lady.

The special speaker was pretty late too.  He got there way after we did.  He was not wearing heels, but had to walk in also from the designated rocky obstacle course that we had gone through.   He gives a great sermon about how we are all Prince and Princesses and about our Christian lineage.  I say goodbye to everybody, shake hands with the special speaker and physc myself up to go through the rocky gauntlet again.

Thankfully I get to the vehicle and hop in and the light panel came on once and then I remembered I didn't put the jumper cables back in the bus, I had our worker put them in the Hilux where they belonged.  We were dead in the Bus.

I get out and open the hood of the bus and wiggle the cables and nothing.  I am pretty upset with myself for not getting the jumper cables.  I call Don Jacobal, who usually helps me with my bus, and there was no answer.   Cars are coming and going and I can't get the girls on the bus because I parked on the far left so that the bus wouldn't be in the way of oncoming traffic leavingYamaranguila.  It was against the wall of mud and rock that the road scraper left.  So they are standing in the road in all of the church going apparel. The girls call to me that Don Acobal is coming.  He said that he called his son and he would get us going.

While everybody is waiting patiently, the police truck comes by going way to fast for all the people in the road and splatters my skirt.  Nobody else gets splattered but me.  I swirl around and through up my hands and call out with a smile, (so not to lose my Christian witness),  "Gracias" to the police.  It wasn't what Jesus would have done, and neither was a lot of the other attitudes  I had today would he have had either.  I went from feeling pretty perky and pretty smart, to pretty late, and pretty upset with myself, even after the motivational sermon about being daughters of the King.

Anyhow, Don Jacobal's son comes down the road with the wrench we needed, and his secret delight smile knowing that he has the answers to our problems, and unhooked both batteries from each vehicle.  He takes his dad's battery and puts it in our bus and his dad cranks up our bus, then he takes his dad's battery and puts it back into his dad's truck.  (I didn't know you could do that. ) We took off for home with a dead battery.   Something started sounding pretty ragged underneath as we were leaving Yamaranguila,  but when I stopped it went away and I was too mortified to call Don Jacobal again.  We just got home and all the girls pile out of the bus like rats from a sinking ship and looking for food.  I sat writing the other part of this story in my phone.  Both posts disappeared.

So I am writing this again in hopes that I will do better about my attitudes, and my princess-ship.  I am thankful for friends who will stop and help out.  I am thankful for my girls, who didn't make me feel like a nut for leaving my cables, and I am thankful to God for sending exactly what I need when I need it, even when my attitudes are not the best.  Heal me and I will be healed. Save me and I will be saved for thou art my praise

Blessings, from the Heel-less, Humbled, Hungry,  Happy to be Home, Honduran MOM

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pesky Pests

I get up to get a check on my "Squirts", before I leave for Guatemala with Estefania in the morning. They were up and down and all around.  It was Friday night, which means movie night.  They were excited and it was hard for them to focus.  Mr. Joe had come and they were excited about that.  Everytime I have to leave our mission of 33 girls, more than not Mr. Joe Reynolds our board president makes himself available to watch over the mission while I am gone.  He has done this for years and I can't say enough about how much we appreciate his ministry.   

So I decided before I took my shower, I would check and make sure everyone was in bed for the night  so I wouldn't have to get up after I finally got into bed.  So I walked across the kitchen floor in my bare feet and I feel, sugar on the floor.  The older girls had been working, doing the baking, but they forgot to clean up.  I decided I am not going to say anything and just clean it up myself, so I will have the peaceful the night before our missions trip. So I continue to walk.  

Arriving at the first bed check, I notice trash on the floor, so I get a broom, and I come back down the steps. I hear a noise in the laundry room and someone had left the food supply cabinet open, and I opened the door wide and there is big rat looking at me, so I slammed the door in his face twice, when I open it for a third time, he leaps at me and lands on my foot, and I just know I felt a rat toenail on the top of my foot.  I scream, and absolutely nobody comes to check on me. Everyone is asleep. I wonder how they can go to sleep that fast.

I calm down and remember I have some clothes in the wash. So I decided to do some of the never ending laundry. I put on a load and start gathering towels. Some were in the kitchen, some in the bathroom and some in the living room. The girls had been taking baths, drying dishes, and just had towels everywhere. My little velvet co-habitors who had been cooking and left sugar on the floor were either gone to their houses or sound asleep. Before I can sweep, I have to get the towels up and carry them back down the steps. I put them in the pilla and come back up the steps only to realize, I am walking on ANTS!!! I rush to the cabinet under the sink to get the new can of bug spray i bought the day before. Not there. So I run to the bathroom, again not there. I check in my bathroom and the medicine cabinet, under all sinks, and in the linen cabinets. Nothing... I throw Asisten which is a disinfectant household cleaner all over the floor to slow the ants up. They are everywhere. I run back down the steps to get the mop and I start feeling stings on my shirt and down my back and on my hands so I look to the source... one of the towels, covered in tiny ants and big ants. When I had picked up the towels they had gotten in my long hair I had just taken down to get my shower. The ants must have been having a convention, snorting sugar off my kitchen floor. So I race back into the bathroom to look in the linen cabinet and I see lighter fluid... hmm... might cause a secondary problem. I zoom to the medicine cabinet. I see bezocaine spray. I read the directions and see it is for procedures when you have to wrap material around a broken bone, but I found out it's secret other use, not listed on the can, is that it is really a dynamite ant killer. I spray the ants on the towels in the pila and they all die.  Bezoncaine is great stuff.

I am feeling stings still and I am feeling grossed out with the rat connection, so I decided to get my shower, before I go to bed. Did I mention I am going to Guatemala in the morning with Estephania? Crazy night. I am laying here, trying to go to sleep, getting my travel money together and checking my passport and my imagination is in overdrive listening for rats and checking for ants. I begin to laugh at how crazy the night became in a short second.  

I try to be thankful for the pests in life.  I struggle in that area.  We all have those 4 and 6 legged critters, but sometimes we have the 2 footed pests that we can't understand .  They just kind of appear out of nowhere.  I don't understand their motivation, but God commands us to pray for those guys.  I just want to slam the door and run or spray Benzocaine on them and let them be gone, but God has another way of dealing with them and with me.  Apparently it is hard to love your enemies if they never show up.  So God in His wisdom has all sorts of pests to challenge us to come up a bit higher.  We are to pray for our enemies.  Pray for me to be up for the challenge, to excercise wisdom, and praise The Lord through it all.  
Blessings, the Asistin slinging, Benzocaine spraying, but peace loving Honduran MOM

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fired UP

Jelsey and Paola
I think historically this has to be the driest season ever.  We haven't had hardly any rain this year.  The farmers were saying if we don't get some rain in 10 days, the crops will be lost.  Please pray for our area and for the country of Honduras.  People here are blaming the lack of water on El Nino, but I heard Dr. Mark Rutland say it is more a problem with El Padre.  El Padre controls El Nino.  If my people will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and heal their land.

Yesterday, I was headed out to go pick up the girls from the Thursday, computer class in La Esperanza.  I was leaving a little early so I could get some errands done.  I had to get everything done because I was picking up a team the next day.  I went to the truck, and notice the smoke.  Our new neighbors had been burning trash on the ground.  I just wandered over to House 4 and saw the motor taxi of the people who were working this farm.  I thought they were home,  but realized that they weren't home.  The fire was in full swing with the parched ground we have been experiencing.  Normally we have problems with a glut of water this time of year.  It is dry.  The wind picked up and it sounded like we were cooking popcorn when the fire hit the ferns and weeds and pine straw.

I called my guys from their construction job on the intern apartment.  They grabbed the rakes and shovels.  I had Rosa call the school and send our junior girls, because the big girls were at the computer school.  The girls hooked up the water hose and got more rakes, and buckets for the water.  They worked like the Army Corp of Engineers.  I was so proud of them.  While they were racing about,  I was crawling under barbed wire, being assaulted by the neighbors new puppy, who was licking my hair and face in appreciation, as I was trying to go to the other side of the fire.

I saw a young man standing with a hoe. Actually he was leaning on it.   I asked him to rake around the fence posts so that they would not catch on fire.  His dad was the one who is in charge of the property, the overseer.  The young man looked at me and said, "No, the fire is too hot".  We were trying to save their house and motor taxi and he was dead serious.  I said, as I reach for his hoe, "Fine, give me the hoe and I will give you my rake."  I can't say that I was thinking about what would Jesus say.  He gave it to me and I just joined my girls again putting out the fire.  The young man reminded me of the story in the Bible of the hired servant, who was out of there, when there was a problem.  His heart was not on his responsibility.  He just was concerned about his own life and not on what he was hired to do.  He was not faithful.

The thing I love about our girls is that they are faithful, even to our neighbors.  They also make whatever they are doing fun. Even in a serious situation of a forest fire, they had to put their signature on the operation.   The girls were lifting our buckets over the fence.  They dumped more on themselves than on the fire, laughing the whole town.  We had the fire close to put out, and so I let them play for a while.  They are the best girls ever, and never afraid of work.  I got the opportunity to talk to the neighbors about prayer and how God is in control of the weather as well as everything else.  They were in agreement, as we walked away.

 Estephania has a passport!  Earlier this year, Steph was invited to go on a mission trip with Grace Spell.   She had heard Stephanie telling her that she wanted to be a missionary, and so Grace is giving her that opportunity.  However, we needed a passport for her.  I started with paperwork, and went up into the mountains, where Stephani's family lives to find her mom.  We got some of the paperwork started.  Then we got Mirian Aguilar, a lawyer and a great friend to help me get all the authenticas we needed before we came to the judges to ask permission for her to get her passport.  I am her legal guardian, but apparently we had to get permissions from 3 judges and her mom.

We got our first batch of certified papers back, but we had to go back and get another paper that had the word "passport", on it.  We got the others pretty fast too.  Then we had to go to Tegucigalpa this week.   I was dropping a team off in San Pedro Sula, but didn't go all the way to the airport.  The bus dropped us off with another team member, Jeff Evans.  He was scheduled to go to the capital after his team left and ride in with a dear friend from when he and Nancy were missionaries to Honduras.  We hitched a 3 hour ride with them.

They dropped us off at immigration. We had our paperwork together, and we went to the front of the line to talk to the Immigration officer guarding the door.  I told him what we hope to accomplish in a day.  He looked sceptical and asked if we had an appointment.  My heart sank, I knew about that, but it had been so long, I had forgotten about the appointment.

Here you have to go pay for your appointment at a bank.  I went to the bank next door and called Mirian to keep her updated, as I walked towards the long line to the bank.  She told me to ask for any emergency passport because we were going to be traveling in about 30 days.  As I stood in line, I heard everyone in line asking the same thing about an emergency passport, and the clerk was telling them that there were no openings.  Now the people in line were from every strata of life.  They were wealthy people, and poor people, and middle class people.  All of them were receiving the same answers.  "There are no openings for an emergency appointment.  They are all gone."  One by one all those people filed out of the long line, without paying for an appointment.  I asked the same thing, because Mirian told me too, but I got the same answer.  The quickest appointment was in 25 days.  That would only give us a small window before the trip and I didn't want to plan a trip without the passport.  However, I paid for the passport appointment.

New Knitted Hats from PA
Stephani and her documents!!
I called Mirian to give her the good and the bad news,  She was glad we got the appointment, but told me to ask one more time inside of the immigration office.  I asked the guard if I could speak to a clerk to see if I had all the papers I needed when I did return and I showed him my appointment card.  I told him I wanted to make sure I didn't need anything else before I came back.  He told me that it was fine to check with the lady at the desk.  The lady at the desk said she would look over the papers and check and make sure that we had everything we needed.  Then she gave me another bank sheet and told me to go pay it at the bank and come come.  So Stephani and I went back to the bank and paid for the passport, and then we came back and they told us to sit down and wait until they called.  There were probably 70 people waiting to get their passports.  I still wasn't sure we would get one, but we kept praying.  It took about an hour and I had a great conversation with a lady from Choloteca named Londa.  She told me all about her life and I told her about what I have been doing in Honduras for the last 20 years.

The line of people moved very swiftly.  I was so impressed about how they do things in immigration now.  We got into the office and the lady looked over the paperwork, and then took Stephani's photo and told us to come back in 2 hours to pick up the passport.  We were so excited about how God had given us favor in a situation that looked pretty bleak.  We got back home right at dark and the girls were waiting on us.  They were so excited for Stephani.  Again, I have the best girls ever.
Stephani and her passport

I am so thankful for the opportunity that God has given me to be here at Project Talitha Cumi.  I miss my family, but I know I am supposed to be here.  The girls are amazing, the teams this year have been phenomenal, and our community is getting closer.  We have our boys home ready to go.  The last team from Pennsylvania knocked out the apartment,  it just lacks detailing.  The farms and the farm animals are looking great.  We are learning to make cheese and butter with the milk from our cows.  We are also using our farm as an experimental station for the World Vision to show the people a better way to farm.

The newest development in our community, is that the county is now a "dry" county.  No more cantina's!  If they disobey this ordinance, they will be fined 750 dollars USD.  This will change so much for the families around here.

 Our kindergarden and our outreach to some of the older girls in the community, is doing great.  WE are excited about the girls who are studying.  The children of the community are doing so well in their studies.  WE hope to have more girls to attend our school next year.  Our own girls are reaching out to the girls who come here to study, and are helping them with their English.

God is on the move here. Please continue to pray for our mission.  The next team is going to usher in our Saturday Sunday School, with their vacation Bible School, as our outreach to the community.  I hope the community kids will want to go to church with our family in Yamaranguila. Thanks to all of you who are sponsoring our girls and the girls of the community.  With you help, we are making a difference.  The boys are the next on the list.  Pray that God send the boys he wants at our boy's home.

This month I will be 59.  I feel such an urgency to get all our projects finished.  The only problem is that I have so much more I feel like we need to do here.  Pray for me to know the order of the things God has planned here.
Blessing to all of you who continue to pray and support our mission.  Together we are making a difference. God bless, from the Happy, Fire Fighting, Fun Loving, Honduran MOM.  Pray for me to be faithful in all things, He has called me to do.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Where Your Treasure Is.

blog june

These last two weeks have been really great.  We have had a team that were able to stay for two weeks instead of one.  I didn't know how this would work out, because we have never had a whole team stay longer than 10 days, but it has been a huge blessing!  The people who came, have been ministering in so many ways.  They have been doing the checkups on our cars, like changing the oil and fixing headlights and broken horns.  They have been changing tile on my countertops that have been broken, painting fences, repairing showers, wiring in the houses, doing crafts with the girls almost everyday, leading devotions at night, ministering to local schools and even building a new pen for our animals.  They have hauled lumber, eaten leftovers, and walked in a lot of mud, but they have not complained.  They just keep looking for something else they can do before they go back home.  

We have had so many teams come to help us with this mission and love on our girls.  We have had construction teams, and evangelistic teams, medical teams, and teams who have just come to bless the schools and communities in anyway they could.  They bring supplies for school, send rice supplements for the communities, clothes for the girls and all sorts of supplies through containers that are sent from the States.  We have had teams come and bring finances to build large buildings, hire the locals to give them an opportunity to work, and replenish our tool shed.  Teams have come just to encourage the girls and me.  

There is a new book out right now about short term missions.  I haven't read it, but apparently it is not a positive book on this subject.  I was told it was the author thought that the monies for short term missions, like plane tickets, transportation in country and living expenses while the teams are here would be better spent helping local communities, or just sending the monies to the missionary.  Through all these teams and iteneraries the main theme has not been about the money, it has been about relationships that will never fade away.  

If the author contends that we should just stay where we are and minister in that immediate area, Jesus would have never left Nazareth.  He would have made his finances in carpentry and sent money to the local Rabbi to help the widows and orphans.  The excitement that was felt when he served the masses loaves and fishes wouldn't' have happened.  His miracles wouldn't have happen if He hadn't made an effort to make a move in different areas.  He didn't call attention to what He did, if fact He told the recipients quite the opposite.  However the people who followed Him and learned from HIm, did the same thing.  They obeyed and went into all the world to preach the gospel cast out demons, healed the sick, and told them that "The Kingdom of God has come unto you."  They were told to preach everywhere, not in just there neighborhood.  Jesus left a mandate to preach the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and in the uttermost parts.  I heard a pastor say to "Preach the Word, and when necessary, use words".  Many short term missionaries are not pastors.  They are people with a heart to serve and to help and establish the missionary that is living on the field. 

The people who come here, are kind and loving and love with abandon whether it is using the supplies they brought for our mission or our community,  The team that is here now is doing that.  They have encouraged me and my girls and the Honduran workers who labor with me. It is exciting to see how much they have done to bless our mission.  

I wrote to a pastor the other day about how exciting it was that he and his team came down to bless our mission a few years back. They were totally prepared financially to accomplish what they set out to do.  It gave me great joy at the way they came and spent everything they had  in abandon for the One they came to serve.  It wasn't a prideful thing it was a loving thing the way they blessed us.   My girls and our community felt cared over. It wasn't the money, it was their heart.  The Bible says where your treasure is your heart will be also.  If we focus on the money, and not the heart behind it, we will not prosper, because people are not engaged.  To be engaged you have to have relationship. 

WE have teams who do not have a lot of finances. they sold chicken  dinners, auctioned cakes, sold personal things on eBay, and did whatever they could to arrive here on the mission field to do what God called them to do.  Because they worked so hard to get here, it blessed us in the extreme also. Either way God is glorified and the people get blessed.  

Bottom line, short term mission is my heart even though I am here full time.  My family wouldn't have gone into full time missions if we hadn't have gone on short-term mission trips.  Short-term missions help some of us to put feet on our Christian walk.  

I am called to the girls here, but also to the people who come on short-term missions.  God called all of us to go, some just stay longer than others.  WE are supposed to encourage each other daily and however that looks like to the ones who are hearing to go, we should encourage them do it. 

If we, as a family, had stayed in our comfort zone, in our hometown in the house we built with our own hands, we would have never been as blessed as we have been.  We would have made more money, we could have sent more money of course.  WE were making money when we were living in Doerun, Georgia, surrounded by our family and friends, but we would have missed an understanding about obedience to God and all the relationships and a life that He has allowed us to participate in these last 20 years.  He told us if we left family, and homes He has supplied for all of us and will continue to do so.

Verily I say unto you, there is no man who has left houses, brethen, or sister or father, or mother or wife or children, or lands for my sake an the gospel's But that he shall receive an hundredfold lands, brethren, sisters, mothers, children and lands, with persecutions, in this life and the one to come.  Matthew  10:29, 30... All the above has been fullfilled in my life here in this life.  

Blessing from the Short-term, Long-term Honduran MOM

Monday, June 2, 2014

Raining and Reigning

Greetings from down South, 

We have expectantly been waiting on "the rains".  Normally they cranked up in the middle of April.  They haven't this year.  Finally, the daily rains are common here again.  However, we have no electricity or wifi when it rains hard.  The up-side is that the farm looks great! Everything is green and gorgeous.  The dust has settled and the mud is here, but everything is blooming and growing in every way here at Project Talitha Cumi.  We have been planting seeds in every spot we can clear. (thanks to Tim and Ana, and Dean)  Next week I am receiving a lot of banana trees.  I am on a campaign of never having to buy bananas for my banana loving girls. 

The girls are growing so fast.  I made a decision a while back to put two girls in my house from the other girls houses each month.  I am doing this in an effort to "Not Miss a Thing".  They are growing up so fast.  We have some girls who are really shy, and I don't want to miss their growing up years.  We have the girls who are all out there and they always get attention in one way or another for their good or bad behavior.  However, the ones  who are quiet, are harder to read, and they seem like they have everything they need and are content, but most of the time that is not true.  So I am trying to bond with them a little more by having them in my house.  I started out having them here for a month, but I am going to be at this for 3 years at that rate, because we have so many girls now.  The girls will now stay for two weeks. 

  I have some girls who are permanently  here in my house and I don't see that changing anytime soon.  These are moms with little ones.  So I am trying to keep them here, and not worry about where their little shavers are.  The other ones that can talk, tell on each other so I am safe.  Right now I have our 5 year old and 7 year old here.  They have been really pouty lately and just need some extra attention and some extra hugs to grow in the right direction.  They are the babies in the other houses and here they will be the older sister to the little ones here.  Already I can see a difference.  It helps me too. They make me laugh.  Sometimes things get stressful around here with all the activity of girls and the drama that can happen over nothing.  We all need to laugh to grow right.  The joy of theLord is our strength. 

Last night the girls went with Miss Nicole, our new intern from TEXAS,  to the "vijilia" at the church.  It is an all night long church service.  The girls did their "One World" choreography, for the little round church, Brazos Abiertas (open arms)  in Yamarangula , where we attend. Our long time friend, Pastor Jesus from Santa Cruz was there with his church members.  HIs church played musical instrumentals and sang.   It had been raining hard and the roads and the small bus that sat low to the ground was not a good option, and I couldn't drive the big bus.  I decided that I couldn't  carry all the girls from the farm in the two trucks that could plow through the mud.  I stayed home with the little ones and let the girls that were older go to the church with Miss Nicole.  I knew that the little ones were used to going to bed at 8:00 and they would be asleep before the service got going good. ( and maybe I would have been asleep too right afterward they nodded off. ) I told Nicole that I would come help her drive them back if was raining, because we had about 9 girls in the back of the truck, when they left. They couldn't take the patrol because you can put more girls in the back of the truck than you can get in the patrol altogether   I am planning to sell or trade the patrol and get a diesel mini van.  The patrol was wonderful when we had 17 girls, and we needed a the 4x4 to take us through the worst roads in our area, but now we have 34 girls, and so we have to look for something that will seat more girls.  They are almost through paving our main road close to the farm.  That will help the longevity of our vehicles.   I had to go help pick them up in our HIlux 4-wheel drive because it was raining hard when it was time to leave. It felt weird driving at night.  I had not driven at night this whole year, that I could remember.  WE are usually in the house by dark.  But I had to go because the girls would have been drenched in the rain sitting in the back of the truck.  

When they got home,  around 10:00 p.m. , they were all talking and laughing all at the same time.  I was trying to follow their conversations.  One of our girls, had noticed a young man from another church, who were visiting our church.  He had worked for us off and on for a while.  She said "I just thought he had old ripped clothes, but he was all dressed up and singing church songs and playing a keyboard.  I didn't know he could play a musical instrument! ".  I asked them what kind of clothes do they wear to pick coffee and work on the farm.  And they responded, "Our worst", and then the lights went off about judgements.  They are growing up.  After that comment started another discourse on some of the other people they saw at church. Apparently, one of the town's problematic men decided to go to church.  He had been drinking and the girls were alarmed about him being in church.  The pastor told them not to worry, that they had locked the gate, so he had to behave.  The fact that they were locked in with this guy, who was acting bizarre did not fill them with peace.   I told them it was the best place he could be.  They said he started crying during the service and they knew that God was touching his heart.  They are very observant and they are growing up in so many ways.  

They prayed for some of the people there at church and they introduced themselves, which is huge.  It is another thing I am trying to do.  Usually at church they would beat me back to the bus. WE would practice about how to meet people at devotions.  Each Sunday I asked them if they met anybody new and the response was always the same, "No", I am shy.  So one Sunday, I told them that I was going to sit in the bus after church until they went back and met one person.  The other shocking thing they told me about their night away from MOM was that they told the congregation of a blended church with people that they didn't know that their dance was about Christian unity in the body of Christ.  They didn't practice that speech, but they did it.  I am super proud of these girls. 

WE are experiencing a lot of growth in our ministry.  We have double the amount of girls  that live here with us 24/7 in the past year.  WE have an extra 9 girls from our community attending our school that are here for just a day. If the girls stay on course we will have 5 girls ready to go to college, with the other one who is already studying at the university.   We have bakery, and now our Boys Home is built.   We have 4 cows, 2 calves, 13 goats, rabbits, 4 ponds of fish, corn, beans, vegetables of every sort, and house 5 is on the horizon this year, and an addition to the school we hope for next year. We have two doctors who are coming once a week.  One ministers to the girls on our farm, every two weeks  and the other just Doctor will ministers to the community starting next Saturday for a day every other Saturday.  Just this past week,  we have had a couple who I have known for a while.  They are moving to Yamaranguila and they want to help us by getting  other Hondurans to assist us in helping their Honduran Girls. 

  God is really moving here in Honduras.  I thank you for participating with us in this season of Such is the Kingdom Ministeries.  These children are part of the future of this country and for His Kingdom.  That is why we are here.  Thank you for helping us remain here.  

These last few days without communication allows one to reflect on all the people who have invested in these girls and some of the girls in our community. 

  Sometimes we have wonderful soaking rains of people who come and saturate the girls with their love and counsel.  Sometimes they stay for a short time, but sometimes they stay longer. WE have heavy rains that last for days, almost a monsoon season, but they wash away anything that is not important and leave the ground clean, fresh and green, everything is filled.   Then we have the rains that are storms, where crazy things happen, lightening, thunder, winds blow, trees fall, fear comes and sometimes people get hurt, but we still grow in forgiveness and strength in HIm.  For months things completely dry up.  This was the worst year of dry season, and our water table was so low, it would take the pump sometime to recuperate each day. We just banded together, got water from the rivers, and we held on to the hope that the blessing of rain was on the way.   Sometimes we have clouds and mists here on this mountain.  If you stay outside you will get wet, but you can barely feel the moisture on you, but it is there, saturating you without you knowing it.  Those are the people that call and send their love, or a birthday wish through Skype or Facetime, but the water sustains us, through dry times.  I am thankful for all the seasons of life giving rain to our girls.  They are thriving because of all of you who continue soak them in prayer.  Thanks for blessing Him, through blessing us!!!  

Thanks from the community girls.  You are helping provide for their uniforms and and shoes, and education.  Their names are: Sarah, Marcela, Noehmi, Diana, Nicole, Lucy, Andrea, Siniada, Sammi,

 (our girls) Sonia, Lizzy, Angela, Nancy, Gabby Roxana, Yency, Darlin, Miledy, Alexa, Alicia, Cinthia, Carmen, Paola, Jeimy, Carina, Stephani, Lucy, Eva, Maite, Jennifer, Kimberly, Anna, Elida, Nicole, Genisis, Belkis, Jelsey , Estrella, Mary, Noehmi, Karla, Kenia,  Rosey.

(teachers) Miss Dariela, Miss Bessy, Miss Alicia, Miss Daisy, Miss Waldina, Miss Angelina, (house moms) Miss Teresa, Miss Lucia, Miss Avi, Miss Manuela,

 (Watchman and workers) Mr. Pedro, Mr. Pedro B, Mr. Adrian, Mr. Elbin, Mr. Armando, Mr. Ever, (Bakery) Cruz, Miss Rosa, Miss Anastacia, Miss Lina, Dra. Paola, Dr. Javier. 

We may never know how many people are being blessed by your  prayers and generosity, but He does. These are only a few of the people that I see every day being blessed and blessing others.   Please continue to pray for us all.   WE have the very best staff in all the world.  Blessings from the Raining/Reigning  and Growing with Him Honduran MOM and Associates. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

April Showers

Greetings to all,

So much is happening all the time around here. When you have a family the size of mine, that is the norm.   We have finally come out of a long drought and it is raining… a lot, but we are okay with that.  Everyone was having trouble in keeping  basic needs for water attended too.  Our conductor on our deep well had burned up, and then the electrical float valve did likewise.  With the lack of water in  El Cahon Dam,  we were suffering with power outages.  We would have brown outs, where we had electricity, but not enough to run a fan.  When that happened we had to start shutting down our major appliances lest it burn up also.  Then when the power would come back on it would be so strong it would burn up the light bulbs and our hot water douches.  It has been feast or famine with the electricity here.
We had a irrigation project at the other farm in Las Harenas, where hopefully is the site for the future boys home.  The reservoir that is nearby  has never run dry, but it dried up completely!  Everyone around was shocked!  We had 5,000 onions planted, along with corn and beans.  I remember a pump that a lady from Doerun, donated years ago.  We wiped the dust off of it and plugged in our local river, that was extremely low.  It saved the crop there at the farm. 
Trying to keep enough water more that 40 people a day, is huge.  When there is no electricity, we can adapt, but when there is no water, it is a huge mess.  Usually, the girls bathe in the morning and in the evening, but because our deep well and local aquifers were at an all new low, we had to wait for the levels to recuperate, before we could turn on the pump. We had to change our mode of operations and just the babies got the morning and night bath.  That brought some more problems, such as some girls wanting to skip bathing all together, but we are now with water and we are back on schedule.  Even though it is extremely muddy, the construction on the roads has come to a screeching halt, we are all thankful for the rains. 
The girls are doing so well at school.  We have a total of 40 students.  (33 girls are ours from Project TAlitha Cumi, and 7 girls are from our local community)  We have our ICANS here in La Esperanza and one in our Bakery.  The ICANS are to help with this education program for the girls who are not registered in the local school system.  Zuri, our director of the school, has been the biggest help to us.  She has gotten all the paperwork for the school registered, and all the new girls who have transferred in to our ministry from other schools.  She has been a liaison with the community and school officials also.  She has been magnificent in her work with the girls, and in leading the other teachers.  However, she got married last year to a wonderful young man.  He had received a promotion and because of that he will have to go back to school either here or abroad and Zuri will have to go with him.  So I started praying for a replacement.  I couldn't tell the girls because Zuri didn't want them to know until everything was final. 
So I called in some big  guns, missionaries I have known, who have ministered to the Honduran people for years.  I told them I needed a bi-lingual teacher,  who wanted to work in an all girls home in the hills of Honduras, and this person needed to be a graduate from college and have some teaching background, with great interpersonal skills to deal with the community and the officials.  She needed to be able to teach our ABEKA program and be able to lead our girls as well as our teaching staff, and do it all for the amount that is less that the cities pay.  Many of the people,  who have graduate from college, go to the cities to study.  They normally don't go back to the hills.  One dear friend, who was trying to think of someone she might know who could fill the bill and she said "You are asking  for something that is really big".  I know what I was asking was almost impossible, but we serve a big God.
 Last week after the girls 15th Quincenera celebration, and secretary from the local Jusdicial office came by to bring the gifts she had bought for the girls.  She was unable to attend because she didn't get her invitation.  She said she had a sister that spoke English.  I have known Ms. Merlin for a long time and I never knew she had a sister.  She is bi-lingual, worked in the US under a scholarship, and afterwards.  She had worked in Haiti and she had taught in the local private schools, and had taught ABEKA!  She had graduated from College and had studied on other courses of study over the years.  She starts Monday.  Zuri will have time to show her what she needs to do and so we are really excited that everything has worked out in time before Zuri had to leave.   WE are going to miss Zuri like crazy around here.  WE are thankful for Skype and What's UP, but her presence will be missed sorely.  I do rejoice that God heard my prayers and answered everyone of them in just the right time.  We do serve a big God!
We have had several teams already this year.  Each team had a goal to meet.  The girls have learned to do so many things, from business courses, to  painting, creating jewelry, and making some new friends.  Some short term missionaries have come to minister to the community, build, plant, paint, create, here at PTC with our girls,  but all have come to continue build relationships with the girls and see how much God can stretch them while they are here. 
We have had teams to have to cancel.  Even that was God's timing.  We were so tired and He knew it.  So now we have been getting the barn, the farm  and the houses and the school whipped back into shape. We are making compost piles, for fertilizing the two farms. We have been picking beans and tomatoes, corn, and peppers.  We have been preparing the soil to plant the seeds we have been blessed with.  We have been raking grand quantities of pine straw so that we can have straw for the animals beds during this rainy season. With the straw off the ground the grass has popped out and the animals are enjoying that also. We have gathered pine cones, split wood for the cook stoves and for the fireplaces.   We do this work all together and it makes the work go by faster. 

I was reading to the girls in the devotions last night.  There is a season for everything: Planting, Harvesting, weeping, dancing, loving, hating, a time to break down and a time to build up. People coming, and people going.   I am thankful God brings everything to us in His time.  I am thankful He directs  a time for the ones who come to bless us by so many strong Christian examples to our girls here at the ministry. We are blessed and we know it.   We have a new intern coming in a few days. WE have a new house going up to hold more girls.  WE are all excited about a new beginning. 

Thanks to all of you who have continued to pray and support us. WE are thankful for the ones who are helping us Stateside.  WE are thankful for the containers, electrical parts, KAH rice for the community, Easter clothes for the girls and all the other blessings that have been sent our way.  We are thankful for all the plans being made on behalf of the girls and the community that we are blessed to live in.  So in turn we send our blessings from, House #1 :  Sonia, Yency, Lizzy, Roxana, Gabby Angela, Nancy.  House #2 : Alicia, Darlin, Paola, Carmen, Alexa, Meladi, Cinthia, House #3 :  Carina, Lucy, Eva, Kimbo, Jennifer, Maite, Cruz, Estephania,  House #4  Ana, Mary, Elida, Jelsey, Belkis, Estrella, Nicole, Genisis,  Mom's House: Naomi, Anastacia, Kenia, Karla, Yeimy  Rosey,  who is in college studying law, and their Honduran MOM . 

PS  We all miss Angie very much. We are thankful she is with her husband in the USA, but the lack of her presence here has been sorely felt.