Friday, January 31, 2014

Friends are Friends

I recently went home to the United States.  I flew into Gainesville FL where my daughter picked me up.  I got to go see her new work place and meet her co-workers.  She loves her job and has some wonderful new friends.  Then a dear friend of mine for years came and picked me up the next morning at her workplace.  She drove me into Moultrie where I borrowed a car from another long time friend, so that I could get around while I was home.  The next morning I went to Baxley GA where we had a super great board meeting and so many of my new friends made friends with my older friends on our board and everybody there were friends of Such is the Kingdom Ministries and our girls.  I love the friends God has put in my life, but I am working on being a friend of God.

On one of my flights, I met a woman whose husband is Honduran and he lives in Honduras.  She had two beautiful girls with her and she like to talk as much as I do.  I thought I was going to get on the plane and just sleep until I arrived, but the lady started sharing with me about her life.  She was very interesting and told me all about herself.  I was enjoying her company.  Then she said, "What do you do"?  I have been a Christian for a long time, and in my early days, I wore Christian witness t-shirts hoping the t-shirt would speak for itself.  I have witnessed to others, but not on a plane.  I have led people to the Lord, but never on a plane.  I don't know what it is about being on a plane and knowing I have a trapped audience.  I just have not taken advantage of this situation.  It is not like I am going to see this person again, or so I tell myself, so it can't be about rejection.  Maybe I look forward to just not talking, because I do talk a lot with 33 girls, staff members and phone calls that I get and that I send on a daily basis.  Whatever the reason, I just fail miserably with evangelizing on a plane.

I have realized lately, that the things that I try so hard to rationalize away are usually the things God wants me to do.  So I started talking to her about what I do, which is also what I love and so for me it is easy to talk about the girls that I am raising.  She was super easy to talk to.  She told me she had a spiritual back ground of sorts, and that was my queue!,  but I just didn't jump at the opportunity.  I am a missionary and have no problem sharing Jesus in Honduras, and to others, it is just that "plane" ministry has just not come easy to me as you would think that it should.  So after we landed she asked for my card and I got out my homemade scrunched up card that looked like it had been caught in a washer cycle and then straightened as best as possible by running it over a door jam and gave it to her.  I was telling myself maybe she will read something that I have written on my blog and it might minister Jesus to her.  She was the age I was when I  went on the mission field.  I was feeling rotten about opportunities lost.  I felt like I had not been a friend to God.  After all He tells us to go and make disciples of men.  It is not a suggestion, it is one of the last thing Jesus said before he was taken up into heaven, so it must have been pretty important for Him to mention.  So I know this and I just dropped the ball.  So as I was in the States this time, I get this email and it was from this young woman.  She told me that she had had a spiritual revival of sorts while she was in Honduras and was excited to get back to her job and to be able to change the lives of the children she works with on a daily basis. She included me in her scheme and I am delighted to pray for her vision.   I just couldn't believe it.  First, she was the only person I had ever given a card to that had actually contacted me, but just the fact that Jesus ministered to her in spite of my lack of obedience.  I was so humbled and blessed that she wrote to me, and that God showed me once again how much He loves me and everybody else.  She was a new friend and sister in the Lord at the same time.  my guilt of my boggled witness was lifted.  God does all things well in spite of my lack of skills or obedience, but my heart's desire is to obey first and let the skills come as He directs.  As I look at the friends of God, they may have had all the same thoughts of not doing what God asked them to do but they kept moving forward towards the vision God put in their hearts.  I don't think they were grousing about it in their heart, but just steadily kept focused on what God asked them to do.

My last two days in the States, I was traveling with a long time friend, who carried me to my airport in her husband huge truck that ran on propane and gasoline.  They had rented a hotel and we just enjoyed catching up on what God was doing in our lives and in the lives of our kids. I packed and unpacked my bags 5 times trying to get the bag to weigh 50 pounds.  I went up and down the elevator to borrow the hotel's baggage weigher.  Finally I just took things out of my bag and gave them to my friend to bring to Honduras when she came.  I arrived at the American Airlines on the hotel's shuttle.  It was very cold for Orlando and I looked at the long line inside of travelers, and decided to weigh my bags outside.  They don't weigh your bags outside at the Orlando American Airline desk.  They took my bags and I wheeled them over and tagged them and gave me my boarding pass. RATS!!!

Angie picked me up from the airport, and we drove home to the mountains.  The next morning I took 5 girls to the orthodontist and 3 girls to the eye doctor.  We had just gotten out of Yamaranguila with the dump truck driver working on the road flags me down and tell me I have something dragging.  It was my bright yellow shock absorber.  I got out the trusty bungee strap when I couldn't find my cresent wrench that I had left in my problematic 4x4 SUV.  The dump truck driver got out of his cab and got the bungee cord and wrapped the shock absorber to the wheel base of the back tire.  I got to the mechanic in La Esperanza and I ask them what would happen if I didn't have a shock absorber on one side.  He said it would be bumpy, and I thought, that is what I have lived with for years, not a problem. I told him to take it off, I would fix it later.   Then as we were getting our gas to leave town, the window wouldn't roll back up.  It was very cold and threatening rain, so I turned in at the electrical guy's shop and a very young man took apart the door while I called the awaiting Dr.s with the news of my tardiness.  He took out the electrical device that operates the window and carried it to his oil soaked work table and got some random wire that was laying about and stripped it and tied it to the exisiting wires and he just fixed it, popped the door back in and we were off again.

 An hour and a half later I dropped the first 5 girls at the orthodontist and went to the eye doctor next.  One girl of the girls had her eyes dilated and we had to wait so, I ran and got the other girls at the dentist, ran in to the big supermarket to get 4 gallons of shampoo, and pizza for the girl's lunch.  Then we ran buy and picked up the girls at the eye doctor.  We stopped and got gas and banana soda for the girls, and a message from Angie turns up that the bank needed my signature and I had to be there at 3:00 exactly to deposit a check.  So I race back up the mountain.  The Patrol kept losing power. I figured it was the dust filled filters, but I kept shifting gears around and got it back over the two mountain ranges to arrive in La Esperanza.  I  ran into the bank with 5 minutes to spare and asked to see my balance.  It was a dollar and 2 cents. Angie had done a good job with the money I had left before I left to the United States.  I got the deposit/transfer in the bank, received the paperwork for our new debit card and talked to our lawyer about contracts for our workers she made while I was away.  We proceeded to the grocery store where we bought all the groceries we needed for the week. The young boys boxed up my huge quantity of groceries on the rack on top of the Patrol SUV.  They hoisted and lowered the boxes until they got them just right. They made a weave of a thin plastic cord over our boxes to secure them onto the rack.   I tightened down the knobs on the bottom of the rack and drove off.  As I drove out of the driveway, that had small potholes, the looks on the girls faces and the noise overhead, signaled that we were going to have trouble losing our groceries going over our Yamaranguilan roads.   We had been trying to contact Angie but her phone was dead.  Then miraculously Angie calls at the last moment and asks if we are still in town. She had plugged her phone in the truck and had power.   She came by in the HILUX and the girls and I transferred the heavy boxes to the bed of the HILUX, and just left a few boxes remaining above that one of my 15 year old girls crawled above and secured the remaining boxes with a small cord.

I got home and I was tired and had a hacky cough from all the dust I had consumed on the roads the last 24 hours.  I woke up at 11:45 p.m.  and couldn't sleep.  I turned to You Tube to watch my first MacGyver TV show.   His mysterious bossman/friend shows up with an impossible assignment and tells him that he doesn't have to do it if he doesn't want to.  As McGyver  agrees to take the impossible assignment with a face set like flint and looks into the camera like"I was born to do the impossible".  All the way through the show the degree of difficulty goes up on his impossible mission.  He never says "Thanks for not giving me all the information" to his bossman. He just keeps going.  He carries this ugly mustard green backpack, that he slings stuff into that he finds on the ground to help him with the next problem he might face, and he just keeps moving, even though the missile countdown is in the single digits.  Who knew that the chemical compound for chocolate Hershey bars and sulfuric acid would make a glue like substance to stop a horrendous leak in an unsuspecting major aquafor that would poison millions of people? He just keeps moving (kind of slowly, if you ask me), but he is moving confidently towards the ultimate goal, until he conquers what the bossman asked him to do. Then he goes home to play basketball with a neighborhood boy like nothing ever happened.

I realized that I live a MacGyver life-style among MacGyver-like people!!  I have an black back pack instead of a purse, that has a battery powered cable that will charge my cell phone, ipad, and kindle when the power goes out.  I don't leave home without my bungee straps or plastic cords or canvas. I save plastic bags tied together to tie propane tanks in the back of the truck or to keep my gate on the truck closed.  I travel with water for our cars, and have a device that will pump car tires and has a flood light from the cigarette lighter!  I clean my batteries on the car with coke and a toothbrush!  I am taking a cough medicine right now that I mixed from a facebook page of vinegar, cayenne pepper, and honey.  hmmm..

I am thankful for my friends who help me get to where I need to be.  I thank the Lord for His patience with me.  I am thankful for the resources of people and angels that He has around me. I am thankful that He gives me a clear mind to be able to fix problems that arrive on and off our mission.  But most of all I thank Him for His love for me and even though I fail at somethings.  It is wonderful to know that in Him we can do impossible things. But it is the best to know His love for me is not dependent on how well I perform, but that I just keep going towards goal of the One who knows my name.  Blessings, the Honduran MacGyver MOM.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Spring Up O WELL

Graduation Day

Carmen's Birthday

New Website

More Birthday Girls

Quincenera Girls

Barbie CAKE

Saying Good-bye to the Old Man

This is Alexa and she looks like we all felt.

Maria, one of three born on Christmas Day
Well our New Year came in with a bang!  Here in Honduras they take old clothes and stuff it full of pinestraw and firecrackers and make it look like a life sized image of an Old Man, representing the old year.   Ana, seen here in the photo helped create this master piece and she was a little sad at his future of being flung on the bonfire at 12 o'clock midnight. I hated to see this year depart too. 2013 has been such a blessing.  The girls have been great.  Our staff has been phenomenal.  They help us have birthday celebrations, Quincenera celebrations, graduations, a Bakery, a new website, where we sell baskets from moms here in Yamaranguila.  We have more farm animals, fish, and a water project at our other farm, where we can grow anything anytime.  WE have received several new girls this year, that is always an adventure.  2013 was truly a wonderful year!

New Year's Eve we ate sausage dogs cooked over the fire and marshmallows and cinnamon rolls.  A gastric nightmare for sure, but it seemed right at the time.  We had a team of 15 from Statesboro and we had the best time.  We were celebrating the New Year even though we didn't have water to wash, or electricity, and then it started raining.  WE celebrated anyway.  We are so looking forward to the future of this upcoming year of 2014.

However, we did have to solve a problem.  No water in the houses for 4 days.  I was with the team in town on Monday, when the call came through from Rosa to announce the bad news.  I figured I would get the house and reboot the electric pump like I have done so many times again.  This time I was mistaken and I had 31 girls, and 15 team members with no water to bath, drink, to cook with, or to flush toilets.  I prayed about it that night and I went back out to the pump super early in the morning.  I kept doing combinations of things, and finally discovered that I could cut the pump on and open the small faucet located by the larger valve next to it. It would run water and we filled up containers and carried them to the houses, all day long.  We use lots of water around here apparently.  The second day we were taking bucket showers, trying to cook for 60 people and therefore we were moving lots of water.  I called electricians and plumbers, but it was the holidays and everyone had gone home to be with their families and couldn't help us at all.  Our team were great sports about the whole thing.  The girls and I  have been without water before, but I don't think we ever had a team that has gone without water for that long.

I had folks come by to give me advice and tell me my well was dry, and that I would have to dig a new well.  I had them share other thoughts about how long we would be without water, and shake their heads in pity at our dry situation.  I kept saying to my well meaning advisors,  that if water was coming out of the spigot, it would indicate to me that we had water coming from somewhere.  They just walked away. shaking their head at my uninformed state of mind.  The plumber that came finally said it was an electrical problem, but he would be back later that day, but we didn't see him for 2 days,  after the team had left this morning.

Thursday afternoon came along and with it our electrician guy and his faithful assistant.  While they walked to the well to ascertain what was happening, Cindy, one of team members asked if I had laid hands on the well and prayed over it.  I was so frustrated at no water, it hadn't crossed my mind. I walked to the pump house and did the obvious thing I should have done in the beginning.  I prayed for the electricians to have wisdom and understanding about what the problem was and that they would fix it.    These guys have been before.  The head guy has a super high squeaky voice, weighs about 90 lbs and his whispers a lot, and has a nervous cough, but he is a genius at figuring things out!

Because in the past, the problems with the pump were always electrical I assumed it would be this time especially when the plumber said that it was electrical.  The Electrician just kept running scenarios back and forth try to decide why the pump would keep shutting off. They looked like they were struggling to figure it out.  He really has a teacher's heart.  He wanted me to understand why it was not the electricity, or maybe he wanted me to be quiet.  I was trying to be helpful.  I kept running after items that he needed from the barn.  He had tried so many things trying to track down the problem.  He kept working and we got just a little dribble coming into the tanks.  I was satisfied, but he was not.  Finally, he said, "It can only be the problem with the plumbing." I was disheartened because he was an electrician and not a plumber.  The plumber had said it was electrical.  He then said "Bring me the biggest wrench you have."  I was thinking to myself, a little water is better than no water.  The girls and needed to take a bucket bath in a few minutes.  The team would be leaving the next day and I wanted them to have a little water to be able to clean up with too.  Clearly, this guy was not a plumber.  But then I remembered what I had prayed that God would give them wisdom and understanding on how to fix the problem.   So I went and got what he had asked for.  I have a wrench here that is bright yellow, and is as long as my arm and about as wide. I don't know who donated it and I don't think I have ever used it, but  I passed it to him like a nurse would pass the scalpel to a doctor, only with a little bit more muscle because that wrench was heavy!

The guys leaned over the valve and adjusted the mondo wrench around the metal value.  They both pulled on the valve with all their might.  It finally open and gieser water went everywhere, and I was seeing my hopes drenched.  But the little Electrician, was excited as he played with the valve he had removed like it was a Christmas toy.  Then he wanted me to understand what was happening.  I didn't want to understand.  I wanted water in my pipes in the houses for us to take a real shower and wash our hair and flush our toilets.  So I tried to be interested in his explanation, but I wasn't seeing the water flowing through the pvc.  I was watching it slowly diminish from geiser status, to a small bubbling mound of water.

He asked me if I understood.  I must have had that "foggy - boggy" kind of look on my face, but I made the mistake of trying to recap what he told me.  Because I was thinking my own thoughts, I got part of it wrong.  So he patiently described the process again. using the door jam of the pump house as his visual aid.  He said there are three capacitors in the well. He moved his arm up to the top of the door jam and then to the bottom of the door.  When the well is full the electricity to the pump shuts off because it is full, but as we use the water it passes back down the other two sensors and when it passes the last sensor it turns the pump back on signaling to draw more water to the top. The valve he removed had been blocking the water on one side and the air pressure was blocking the valve from the other side, from entering the well and that is why the well was shutting off and on because the sensors were saying there was no water and it would cut the pump on, but to no avail because the air was locking up the other side of the valve. The pump was working but the valve was not.  The valve was frozen, stuck, immovable, locked up, nothing was flowing.   He took the faulty valve and removed the center where the water could flow all the time.  He put the metal disk about the size of a 50 cent coin out of the valve in his pocket and said "You need a new valve, but for now the water will not be hindered."

As I was finally listening to what he was saying, I thought about how this pump was like my spiritual life lately.  I would get full, and then get busy and get dry and run to my Word and get full only to get absolutely dry and busy and from frustration,  I cry out for the water that I have to have to live.  I was content to haul the water to the destination, but it surely takes a toll on your flesh, or someone else's flesh, hauling your water in 5 gallon buckets, when life could be much easier having the water flow right to where you need it.

 I have been doing this a lot.  I read my Once a Day Devotional Bible, thinking that would be enough but I really wasn't seeking His face.  So because of my on/off, flip floppy ways, my valve has been stuck as of late.  The water pressure was there, but my air pressure was fighting it on the other side.  It could be that I was having too much going on, or not using my time wisely, or pure out disobedience to get in my Word like I know I need to do.  God is always ready to fill us up and keep us filled.  He has installed sensors in all of us to the point that we know where to go when we are low.  I am up and down.  He patiently will tell us what our spiritual problem is if we really want to know, but sometimes, we just "yeah, yeah, yeah" God's counsel, not really paying attention,  we just go through the motions of listening, so that we can get on with what we want.  I don't want to be clicking on and off all my life.  It is a very aggravating condition that gets on your nerves after a while.    I am glad He is the Well that never runs dry and that He is ready, whenever I am.  I pray I take out the errant valve that shuts off what I desperately need from Him.  I pray God installs a new valve, but until then I pray He puts that broken piece in His pocket and that this year, I will have an "open flow policy" with Him.

I want to thank all of you who sent gifts to the girls for Christmas.  I want to give thanks to the team that brought gifts to our community and carried our girls on a shopping spree to buy things for themselves and for others here in our community.  Thanks for all your prayers in 2013.  Thanks for all your encouraging words.  You guys have been a blessing to so many.

Have a blessed NEW YEAR and Blessings from the Washed, Cleaned, Filled and Flowing Honduran MOM