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.