Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Rattitudes and Christmas


Well, my chickadees are leaving the nest.  Mary is in the US on a scholarship.  Cinthia is registered with the University that Rosey is going to.  Sonia is going to take a LPN class (first year) with Lizzy and Estephania (second year students) in La Esperanza.  It is really exciting about all the plans that are being made for the girls.  The others have opportunities to get scholarships, but meantime they need to be studying while they are in the country.  There is no way that I would have thought all this would happen, but God is bringing everything together.

Yesterday, I brought Mary through customs and it was so easy. So many people were praying for us and we really saw the prayer in action yesterday.  Mary and I were amazed.  Her mom and her younger brother got to go with us to the airport to see her off, which was really special.  

During my twenty years here at the mission, I never promised any of the girls that they would go to the United States.  We always felt like they would study there in Honduras, and some have and some still are studying. But obviously, God has different agenda and His ways are so much better and higher than what my mind can think of.   I am thankful for everyone of you that came and helped us over the years, encouraging the girls to pray for what God had put on their hearts.  Their faith has been built and so has mine, and I clearly stand amazed.

We have several girls in the 9 grade now and we are trying to know how to proceed with them.  The covering we have been using to get the girls accredited for college is not in the area anymore.  We need your prayers to know how to continue.  They have to be registered by February.  Pray that God would help me know how to do this.  I want to do the best by the girls but He has the ultimate word.  

WE have been buying things by bulk and because sometimes the girls like to get into the 2 lb bags of sugar, boxes of cornflakes and other grocery items, the older girls and Rosa  started putting things in my room and in a trunk in my bathroom.  Well because of this action, I had a ROUS, "rodent of unusual size" running about in my room at night.  Every night I would hear him getting into something.  I would get up and put the light on and find where he had been, but I would never find him.  

This past week I finally saw him.  I reached over and cut on my bedside lamp and he was up on a ledge over my closet and scurried down the wall   I just had no idea rats could do that, and I had no idea how large he was. I was un-nerved about how huge he was and that he could locate at any point in my room including my bed.  I was trying not to let fear have control, but I slept with my light on, since that seemed to hinder his moving about.  He was destroying so many things, including bags of food, and clothing and he was costing me a good night sleep.  

I put out poison, sticky traps ( which he just promptly scraped off) and a metal trap, which was useless.  I tried peanut butter, cheese, and other tasty things, in the traps, and he would eat the little goodies I left and escape.  He got out of all the traps I had laid for him. 

A couple days before I left, I heard him in the office.  I closed the door, and Kenia and Sonia and I got in the office.  I was determined to get this situation taken care of.  He was trapped in the office, but not trapped yet.  So like the office, it is a catch all for all the nice clothes and shoes that the team sends.  WE had new girls come through, so the suitcases were in the office with the stuff the girls needed, but with all the activity around the farm, with graduations and other situations, they had not been put back.  We had to get some space to move, and so I sent out Sonia with the items.  

We closed the door and the huge rat ran over Kenia's foot.  She had on flip flops.  I sent Sonia to go get us some boots.  We got everything off of the floor and then proceeded to look behind the filing cabinets and pulled them to the middle of the room, so we could see clearly.  Then we started moving things out of the room.  WE got it taken care of and Kenia found him lodge between the middle of the wall and the bookshelf on our office desk. I got a broom and punched him down and he ran towards Kenia and she jumped, but when she came down, her boot landed on him.  He was still alive, and it was as long as her foot!!  She was getting weirded out because he was moving under her boot.  She didn't want him to escape again wounded and come at her.  She was not heavy enough to apply pressure and so I stepped on her rubber boot with my weight and it seemed to do the trick.  I think we caught him because he was exhausted.  Anyway, the ROUS (rat of unusual size, (Princess Bride) died that day. WE were grossed out, but victorious and thanking the Lord that was over.  I was so thankful for the courage of Kenia.  

I was thinking about that disgusting rat.  I thought about the areas in our lives that we need to change, are just like that bothersome rat.  I don't know why but when Christmas season get going so do the stress levels.  There has been a lot of different attitudes that have developed on the farm lately. There has been so much going on.   We have been so blessed and we even recognize that those attitudes were wrong, but still those "rattitudes", remained.

We don't realize the size of what is going on to disrupt our lives.  It destroys so much while we let it run free, and costs us our peace of mind, sleep, relationships and so much more.  Eventually, fear gets in the door, then the torment really begins.   Until we get a determination to go through and get our spiritual boots on and clear things out of the way that are blocking us finding the problem,  so we can see a situation clearly, and seriously stomp the cause of all the destruction.  Keeping our spiritual light on will deter the darkness, but we have to take action and pray and ask God to help us crush those rattitudes under His feet. i pray that as this Christmas season approaches, that we will get things cleared up and cleaned up, so that we can be a blessing to others this holiday season.  

Thanks to everyone who has helped us with this mission.  WE have our little pregnant mama, who has had a great report.  She only lacks about 6 weeks. Thanks for the prayers this year about the graduationsl  I thank you for the contributions for the girls who are going to the bilingual school.  It looks like we might have another grade open up for next year and it would be great if more  could girls could go to the Abundante Life School also.  

I am thankful for Jake Compaan and his wife Rachael.  They are the directors of the Abundant Life Schools, and they have helped us with so much these last few months.  I am so thankful for this couple who have come along side our mission. 

Thanks to Chris Briles, came all the way from Texas, just to share in the girls graduations.  It was so special having him here.  Thanks to Vonda his wife that kept their ministry running, while he was here ministering to our girls. 

Pray for my girls to be safe while I am away getting Mary Settled in the United States.  Thanks again for all your love and support towards the girls of Project Talitha Cumi.  

Blessings, the Ratittude Killing Honduran Mom.  

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

United Families

This has been an amazing time with my family this month.  I usually spend about 3 weeks in the States when I come home from Honduras.  Usually 3 weeks are about all the girls can do without them getting a little antsy.  However, this time, we had Ken and Katrina Bethea stay the first week I was gone.  Mr. JOE, the granddad of the farm came also. I don't know what I would do without Mr. Joe, that steps in, when I have to step out.   We had Kelsey McHugh who helped with the girls and the director of the girl's new private school, Jake and his wife, Rachael and some of their teachers, who would fill in as needed, keeping the girls focused.

 This was the longest time I have been home to the States in years.  I was to go to my niece's wedding, and be with my mom and dad, stayed with my brothers and sisters and my kids. I got to spend a few days solid, with my grandchildren, going to the movies, picking and boiling peanuts, watching movies and having sleep overs at the family's log cabin. We stomped around the farm and went to Wild Adventures and it was pretty wild.   WE had a large time together.  I loved it and I needed it.  
The Grands
  I saw a lot of my friends and just missed seeing others, but at least I got to touch base.  I met new friends, who are planning to come down one day on a mission and checked in at my church, with Crosspointe's Missions Pastor, Deron Roberts.  I bought school shoes for the girls, who are attending the private bi-lingual school, (Abundant Life Christian School),  at Payless shoes with their by one get the other half price.  People brought in a plethora of very nice dresses and jeans, through my sister-in-law, Susan Steel.  People sent books and other things for the farm to be shipped shortly from the States to Honduras.  It was a very productive time for the ministry, but mostly to me getting to spend time with so many special caring people. 

All that was wonderful, but the best time was preparing for the wedding of my daughter Charisa.  All my girls are list oriented.  I don't know where they get that, but that was not a skill I passed down the family tree.  She and her fiancee' , Mark Lakin, had most of everything under control.  I just had some small jobs to do.  

It was a beautiful wedding to be sure. My dear life long friends, Robin and Kendall Noethe, have catered all my girl's weddings and my son's rehearsal dinner.  They out did themselves yet again. I can not say enough about the gift of service and the  heart of this couple.  Charisa's florist did an amazing job of decorating the venue, called the Peach Barn.  There were a few hiccups in the planning, but Charisa was the most even tempered bride.  She was amazing.

 I have been so blessed at each one of my children's weddings.  I have the best sons-in-laws and daughter-in-law ever.  But what made this wedding different is that it incorporated my family in the States with my family that we raised in  Honduras, with Mark's huge family.   We had two of the girls, who are now women, from Honduras that now live Stateside with their husbands, attend the wedding.  Pat Schaer, Corrie and Daniel came.  They were part of our Honduran family for years.  They played an important part in getting us started on the mission field and of the raising of our girls at PTC.  When we all were assembled along with other family members, board members, and friends of the ministry, that started the first buildings at PTC and people who are very involved in so many ways helping us get the girls raised now. 
We were the group who the Scripture tells us, "that they will know us by the love we have one for another".   It was clear, we had so much love in that room.  So we had our big family and friends united with all of Mark's big family and his friends.  I was on an emotional overload.  I was so blessed, and am still reveling in the sweetest of our time together.  It is going to be like that on a grander scale one day when Jesus gets back.  It is going to be a grand wedding and everybody will joined as a huge family.  There was no Honduran or American group, just family.
My girls and their families

After the newlyweds left, we all jumped in and got the place where the wedding was held at the Peach Barn, back in order.  Nobody was in a hurry to leave really, but we slowly started getting things cleaned up. While cleaning up, I remember yet again how God told me that if I would take care of His kids, He would take care of mine.  God is so faithful.  He has and He continues to take care of me and mine.
The morning before the wedding

The thing is that the "mine"  (which are really His) is growing.  We have a 15 year old girl who is going to have a baby in January.  Her nine year old sister came with her to Project Talitha Cumi.  We have other girls who are on the way.  WE have other interns beside Ken and Katrina that will be walking with us.  We have Suzanne and Wesley Jarrard that are bringing building teams. We have already 13 teams that have planned to come January- June in 2016, who are coming to do medical outreaches and to build house number five.  The vision for the farm has always been for 6 houses.  We wrote down the vision and others have helped us run with it. 

Mary is going to St. Louis to study for the next year and a half!  While I was home I got the tickets.  She has her visa and thanks to Jake and Mirian, Andrea Durall and her husband,  she will be in St. Louis on the 8th of December.  I am amazed at all of the blessings God is sending to our family.  Pray for Mary to adjust to the snow and to life in the States and that God will keep her safe and secure and that in this time that she will grow in Him even more. 

Estephania and Lizzy graduate the first year of the 2 year LPN course.  WE have 5 girls graduating from High School on the 4th of December.  WE have so much to be thankful for.  Thanks to all of you that have helped us get to this point in the lives of the girls.  Thank you for being faithful, by you sacrificial giving and coming to invest into the lives of these wonderful girls.  Pray for all of our new girls and the girls who will be transitioning to college.  

A scripture that I have been hearing and praying,  is that everyone that I know, will know Him, and that they be filled with the fullness of God. I pray that scripture is incorporated in your families.   Blessings, from the Totally and Thankfully Full, Honduran MOM 

Mark Lakin,husband of Charisa

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Only God, Only Prayer


WE have a girl who has her passport and her visa and an invitation to study for 2 years in St Louis!    I want to thank Andrea Durall and her husband for the invitation and I would like to thank Jake and Rachael, who walked Mary through the paperwork that is involved in getting a visa.  We are super excited that she is going to have this wonderful opportunity.  A lot of prayers went into this process.  I am so thankful to God how it came all together.  

When we went to the embassy last week, I knew I had to leave my cell phone outside, because of new rules of security procedures adopted by the embassy, however we had a few crazy things going on back at the ranch.  When you don't have your phone, you have to rely on prayer only. I had prayer only.   

WE left the day before, to get some errands run before our embassy/immigration visit.  We had all of Mary's documents for the visa and my documents to renew my residency card and were packed up and ready to go. If I have a residency card, I don't have to leave every three months and I don't have to have a return tickets to the States.  My return can be to Honduras.  My card had not expired yet, but I didn't want to pay the 100 dollar fine upon my return, and have to purchase another return ticket.   I had the tires changed on our little Nissan the day before and it was driving so much better.  I stopped the day of the trip to get the blinker lights fixed and the tail lights fixed at the electricians, got the car fueled up and all the levels check, which took up the whole morning.  While I was at the electrician's, I mentioned to him that when I would go to start the car, there was a delay in the switch and then I would have to crank it again.  He told me that would have to be for another day. 

The plan was to pick up Mary's mom and that was going really well, until we realized Mary's mom wasn't going to get out exactly early like we had hoped.  It is the law in the US embassy that Mary couldn't leave the country without Mary's mom being present at the embassy for her visa interview. So I was feeling confident, with my new tires and electrical stuff fixed, and all our paperwork.  I felt prepared.  Feeling extremely organizes, I felt I could be very generous with my time and pick up the girls who were working on a project with tomatoes, that they have to do for school.  Instead of carrying this huge load of tomatoes on the bus, I picked them up and drove them back to the farm.  I figured we have plenty of time. So I gave the High School girls a ride home with their cumbersome basket of tomatoes.  

I picked up the girls, the tomatoes and I remembered I needed to sign some checks when I returned to the farm.   As I drove up to the gate the car shut off.  I could't get it to crank again.  I looked under the hood of the car, and wiggled one of the cables from the battery and it fell off in my hand.  I guess that was going to be for that "other day" that the electrician was talking about.  So now we had to unload the NIssan of the girls, tomatoes, luggage, official papers, etc.  and put them in the HILUX, that was not ready to go.  It has been raining and it was extremely muddy.  It was making a noise since the last little mechanical disaster.  I was waiting for Mr. Joe to arrive so he could check on it.  So now I am am short on time, but I can still make it.  My plan was to be in a hotel room in Tegucigalpa before night.  

WE jump in the big truck, and off we go.   I had to go by the Texaco gas station and get diesel and get the levels checked and now it is 4:00 p.m.  When I get out of the truck to pay the bill, I noticed the spare isn't in the truck.  I call the farm.  The tire was taken out of the truck on the 15th when we marched for Independence Day and our truck was the float.  So I asked Katrina, our intern for the month of September to meet us in Yamaranguila with the tire.  She has been a trooper driving the girls where ever they needed to go.  The day laborer from the farm put the tire in the back of the back seat on the SUV where it was hard to get it back out. My hands were black and I was sweaty wrestling that tire from the Patrol.  Then I noticed the smell of gasoline.  I look under the car and Mary shows me that it is leaking.  I told them to call Don Jacobal and his son to come and try to fix it at the farm.  I prayed for Rosa and Katrina to arrive safely.  I prayed the Hilux would get us to Tegucigalpa and back safely.  WE leave to go back to La Esperanza, but now I am running late.   WE asked Mary's mom to meet us in the road instead of picking her up at her work. I made a call to my friend Sandi Burgess, who has a ministry in Comayagua called Enlaces, or Bridge Ministries.  I asked her if we could spend the night because I don't like to drive in Tegucigalpa at night. The Hilux has tinted windows and I can't see anything at night.  So we spent the night there.  I woke up at about 2 a.m. and finally got to sleep at 4 a.m. however that is when Mary's mom usually gets up to get her shower.  I was up.  So Sandy made us coffee and we were off again.  

Sandy told us to take the by-pass, but there was some landslides and so instead of getting off of the bi-pass before rush hour, we were right in the traffic.  It was stop and go traffic, more stopping than going.  I was trying to make our appointment at the US embassy.  I was thinking to hail a cab and put Mary and her mother in the cab so they would be on time, when I get a phone call.  Mary was answering the calls in the back seat, because it is illegal to talk or text while driving.  I hear screaming on the other end of the phone.  I asked "Who in the world is screaming???".  "The pregnant girl", Rosa, my faithful assistant said on the other line.  She is in labor, back at the farm.   This young girl, who had just turned 15 years old a few days prior to arriving at the farm is 5 months pregnant.  She was placed at PTC prior to our departure to the capital with her 9 year old sister by DINAF, the new children service division.  She is a sweet girl, but because of the pregnancy, she has a lot of food dislikes.  She doesn't like to drink water, and she only likes cokes and flavored bottles of faux orange juice.  I told her after we went to the OB/GYN, that she was going to have to drink more water and eat more than just beans and tortillas.  People in rural areas, don't drink the contaminated water and so they get used to drinking these sodas and drinks and a lot of coffee.  Because she had not been drinking water, she went into a condition of premature labor.  So if you remember the NIssan wasn't working.  The Patrol had a gas leak from the fuel line of the gas tank.  The girls that go to the bi- lingual school were leaving that morning in the bus, the NPR's battery is dead and so we have no transport for the screaming pregnant girl.  While I was stuck in traffic, I had plenty of time to pray.  Our calls kept dropping. I talked to the girl to tell her premature pains were normal and got her to breathe with me to get her relaxed.  The call dropped.  Then I got them back on the line and told Stephani to go with Rosa and tell the older girls to settle down and not keep talking about her losing the baby out loud.  (WE KNOW DRAMA AT PTC)  When I finally got a phone call to land, I told Rosa to call anybody local and asked them to come pick them up.  All of our regulars were not anywhere close, but thankfully God provided a driver. They carried her to the hospital.  Dr. John Tucher a missionary from La Esperanza, who is helping us from time to time, is an OB/GYN called and he told them to get some water into her.  She calmed off when they finally got to the hospital.  They hooked her up to IV's and she was better. 

Meantime, we get to the embassy, and I am trying to talk with Rosa, and so Mary and her mom go inside the embassy, and I am getting them breakfast and talking to Rosa.  I lock my phone up in the car and go inside the embassy.  They go through my bag and pull out my book I was going to read and a usb plug and usb jumpdrive. They tell me I can't come in with these Items, or the food.  So I carry everything back to lock it up in the car.  We wait 2 hours and Mary just lacked on paper, but it looked good that she would get the visa.  So we jumped in the truck and took the bi-pass, that I swore earlier in the day, that I would never go on again, and went to immigration to get my residency card renewed.  

I got to the immigration in record time and liked our drive on the bi-pass. I left Mary and her mom in the Hilux in the underground parking at the Mall.  I get into the immigration office and they process my paperwork punch a hole in my old card, put it in my file and say for me to wait for my name to be called for my new card.  I am just praising God that it is going so well.  Then, I get a wave to the front.  They said I need another paper.  I asked them which one might that be.  They wanted another document from our board in HOnduras.  I asked the supervisor, who was in charge, and clearly she hadn't eaten lunch or had just returned from a reunion of "Furious Anonymous".  She was clearly upset with me, for my shoddy gatherings of paperwork and she wanted a paper on another letter head.  I asked her how I could make this right, when she turned to walk away, and then she gave me some instructions to call my lawyer, and she would tell her what was needed thoroughly bothered with me.  I was leaving in 2 days at this point and my old residency card had a hole punched through it and would not scan.  So I raced over and Mary brought me my stamp for the ministry from the car. I told her and her mom to be praying.   I got a SKM letterhead and went to a secretarial service in the Mall and had them do a couple of things of copy and pasting, hoping that the lady would accept one of them.  I called Rosa to send me a fax.  I raced back over a busy street from the Mall and presented my new copy, praying the whole way that God would give me favor, because I knew none of these efforts is what the lady asked for.  I arrived and the serious minded supervisor, all of a sudden, changed her countenance and looked happy to see me, and said "This will be fine.  We don't need this other documents" and smiled and gave me my card.  I was thinking, "What in the world happened to her?".  Then it hit me that God must have hit her with happiness.  I received the favor I needed and jumped into the car and headed back to the farm.  

I was so sleepy.  I prayed that God would get us home safely.  I did fall asleep at the wheel at one point and almost clipped a gray car on a mountain road.  I scared me so bad, I was wide awake then. WE arrived safe and sound at the hospital in La Esperanza. I was prepared to stay with the pregnant girl at the hospital,because Rosa had been there all day.  I figured as tired as I was, I could sleep anywhere, but they said I couldn't stay.  So Rosa, who had been waiting outside in the waiting room all day, got into the car with us and we bought our little 15 year old, bottles of water, fruits and a enchilada.   

God has been so wonderful this month with us.  Prayer does work.  We have had people to help us there at the farm, at the school, at the hospital, on the road traveling, with our legal stuff, and even now Mr. Joe Reynolds is there with our girls so I could come home to be at my daughter's wedding.  I am so incredibly thankful, for Rosa and Lina, Anastacia, Mr. Joe, Mr. Jake and Rachael, Miss Katrina and Ken, Kelsey, Sandi, and a whole host of people, who kept watch over our girls while I am not there.  Thanks to Randy and Rich for getting our container here and all the people who contributed items that were inside.  Thanks to Deron, Gabe and Dan from Crosspointe Church for visiting us this month.  I thank JC and Jonathon for helping with my transportation in the States this month.  I thank all of you for your great support and all the prayers that you send our way.  Blessings to all of you in the extreme from the Praying Without Ceasing Honduran MOM. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Someplace Good and Safe


Just read a book Called "Somewhere Safe with Someone Good", by Jan Karon.  I have read the whole series and hoped that I would be able to get her latest book.  Katrina Bethea was the "someone good", who brought it to me and I marvel at how God blesses me with good things, even those small requests that I don't even verbalize.
  The title of the book has been rolling around with me this month.  It is where I feel like I am all the time right now.  
I went to Texas and stayed with some really safe places, that had codes to get in and out of their subdivisions.  I got to stay with some really good people and met a lot of other good people and ate a lot of really good food while I was there. 

I left from there to go visit my sister, who has been a judge for many years in Las Vegas.  She had her very own Marshal assigned to her.  As I visited her courtroom where she has faithfully served the people of Nevada  and I felt extremely safe as huge bear of man with a heart of goodness and protection toward my sister and the State he represents. 

 While I was there, my sister did something very good, which was to surprise me by inviting my other two sisters to join our reunion. We laughed so much while we were together.  I felt safe with my sisters and felt good about all of our days together.   

I left from there to go to visit my other family members and friends in Georgia, who have been so supportive of Project Talitha Cumi here in Honduras. It was good to see everyone again.  So many of these good folks helped me plan and attended our 20th Anniversary at Lifespring Church. Pastor Julian and his wife, Lisa have always made me feel safe as they have prayed and watched over our ministry.  Their church and other supporting churches and individuals have been so good to us over all these years. I want to thank Robin Noethe and her family, who always been there for me and made me feel safe in their friendship towards me. 

  We had our Such is the Kingdom board meeting before the festivities.  As I looked around the table and saw my long time board members, as well as our new board members and our newly formed committee members, I felt safe with some very good people, who love our ministry and our Honduran girls.  God has enlarged the tent pegs of our hearts with one another, that we all have become an extend family. 

I returned home to some very good folks, who watched over our girls, while I was away.  Rosa, Lina, and Ana, who assist me with the day to day of the mission, along with some very sweet interns, Bekah and Kelsey who stayed in my house, Jake and Rachael were there at the duplex and Mirian and Sharon were helping out on the side lines in La Esperanza. They all made my girls feel safe and good. 

I know that the word "good" is peppered all the way through the Bible. It was in there about a 1000 times in the New American Standard Bible, when I looked it up.  Webster says it is an adjective that means of high quality, bountiful, suitable, profitable, advantageous, agreeable, pleasant, wholesome, amusing, clever, considerable, well founded, adequate, satisfactory, choice virtuous, kind and benevolent, competent, skillful,and loyal are only a few of all the words that describe the word "good".  Sounds like God to me. 

Years ago, in the initial years of the ministry, there was something that happened here in Honduras that alarmed me and I was ready to leave and come home to the United States.  While I was packing I felt like the Lord was asking me where I was going.  As I was folding the clothes that I intended to pack, I told the Lord, I was going some place safe.  He spoke quietly to my heart and said, "If I can't can't keep you safe here, I can't keep you safe anywhere. 

  I know there are a lot of alarms going up all over about finances, wars, and world matters that don't sound good and they don't sound safe, but it says "the beloved of the Lord dwells in safety and the High God surrounds him all day long and he dwells between his shoulders". "The Name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous man runs into it and and is safe."  He is our somewhere safe and God is our someone Good  

I am thankful that He is Good and that He gives good and perfect gifts to us.  I am thankful that He has placed that goodness in the hearts of so many connected with this ministry.   I am thankful that He has placed us here in Honduras in a safe place surrounded with good people.  

Blessings from a Safe Place, from the thankful Honduran Mom  

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Celebrate and Celebrations

I am in Texas right now.  I was born in Texas and am enjoying seeing this State and meeting up with some wonderful people with a spirit of hospitality as big as the state they live in.  I saw San Antonio for the first time from the air and it is a huge city!    I am meeting with so many friends, who have come to our mission in Honduras on ministry teams for the last few years.   I am meeting new friends who have an interest in the work here in Honduras.

We had our 20th anniversary celebration this past month of July.  It was super special, but at the same time, it is hard to get your mind around the fact that we have been here for 20 years.  Numbers are pretty special.  This year my mom will turn 80, I will turn 60, my daughter 30 and our ministry 20.  Time just keeps clicking along and I have so much more that I want to do.  These are the community children, who go to school with our girls. Some of these girls have been with us since last year.  They study with us Monday through Thursday to get there high school or elementary work finished.  They eat lunch with us and then help our girls clean up the kitchen.  All the girls have devotions in the morning up at the church.  We have 5 girls that attend kindergarten with our girls also.  Every girl that is attending here came here with the mind to study.  They are doing so well and I appreciate all the hard work our teachers are putting into the education of our neighborhood children. I appreciate all of you, who are helping us get these girls get their education.

These photos are by Conor McFarlane 

Neohmi and Miriam

Our girls will grades kindergarten to 4th grade will be attending The Abundant Life School.  Abundant Life is a church that is partnering with churches in the US and they are help sponsor children in Honduras in rural areas.  We have a discount for our girls who attend so they still will require sponsorships, but we are thankful for this opportunity for our girls to attend this school.  At the moment they only have up to grade four, but the plan is to get a new grade established every year until the high school building is finished.   It is a Christian bi-lingual school.  We are very excited that our girls have this opportunity to go to this school full time.  We will still have our school open for the girls from the community and for the girls in the grades that they do not have, but I have realized that they girls have been isolated and this will help them be able to interact with their own people.  We have had some of the finest people come on teams and other groups, who are a tremendous witness to the girls, but they spend more time with people from the US than they do with Hondurans.  So this school has the same format as we do of ABEKA curriculum  as well as helping them be able to compete in sports and academics activities with other schools in the Abundant Life Family.  They will also be eligible for grants to go to school here and abroad when they finish high school. The girls start school on the 18th of August.  They have teachers coming in next week for orientation from the US and England.  WE are delighted that a long term friend of our ministry is coming to live with us and to teach at this new facility.  The girls and I both are excited that Miss Kelsey will be here for 10 months!!  Kelsey had come down on a team this year with her family to do a VBS like they have done for many years. She has been coming every year since she was in high school.   The school had a meeting with the parents and I was there to ask if they could make a 4th grade for our girls.  They said they could do it, but would need a certified teacher and Kelsey (who is a certified teacher) interviewed while she was here and got the job.  She wasn't looking for a job when she got here, but she took the position.  Totally a God moment.  WE all are looking forward to a super school year.  The girls have been attending this school since January to get acclamated to get used to their system.  I have seen a huge change in our little girls.  They are excited about school and reading!!  I have to make them put up the books to bathe and do their chores.  It is a good problem to have.  I want to thank the sponsors who are helping us out with this, but ultimately we will have more girls that will come from our school and our mission who need to go to this school.  I want our whole area to have an opportunity to study at this school.  It will make a huge difference in their lives and in the lives of the community around us.

Construction Site of the new Abundant Life Christian School 

Chase Heatherly a long time friend and supporter of this our ministry from Anderson SC
is posing here in front of the new school.  It is a beautiful facility. 

WE celebrated our 20th anniversary of Such is the Kingdom Ministries Inc.   We had a great celebration!  WE had 25 people from the States including board members, friends and family. I was blessed to have my brother and his wife, my daughter and my grand daughter to be able to come and be with me to see the good things God has done.  WE also had a lot of our neighbors and officials who have helped us along the way.  WE want to thank everyone of you who has prayed and given into this ministry.  Most of you will never know the difference you have made in the lives of these girls and their families.  Please come to our Stateside celebration on the 22nd of August at LifeSpring Church in Moultrie GA. at 6 p.m.  LifeSpring is located across from Spencefield on hwy 133 going toward Valdosta, GA.  Come and celebrate what God has done through so many people that helped us run with the vision of SIKM.

Decorations by Kelly

Our Girls an Danielle made the cake
Kelly Denton Helping Us Get it Together

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Our God is So Big...

WE have had tons of rain and then nothing.  I asked the watchman if he needed rain for his corn.  
"Of course, " was his reply.  I asked him to agree with me that we needed rain and that God said that He would send what we had need of.  He looked up at the stars shining above, grinned and said, "Okay," but looked at me like I had a squirrel loose in my cabeza.  Anyway,  on a cloudless night, and 5 minutes later, it was raining like crazy.  I called our watchman on the phone and all we could do is laugh. WE rejoiced about how Good God is, and it was good.

I just knew rain was on the way after that, but that was it, and it hasn't rained since.  I don't know why God answers immediately and then doesn't answer the same prayer later.  Who Knows? God does.  It is His universe and He can do what he wants to do.  I am thankful, when my prayer is answered, and sometimes confused when it is not, but that doesn't keep me from praying.  I am the one who is just standing on what His Word says to do.   However, it is the rainy season.  Please pray for our country of Honduras will have the rain they need for the crops we have planted.  It is a crucial time.  Right now I am going for the "two or more as touching anything" prayer.

Well God came through huge with finding the parents for the passports.  WE had not heard anything and then all of a sudden, they wanted to find one of our girls.  We are so thankful that they had a day off and they both came to see about their daughter.  Both have passports, and we are thankful to God for the plans He has for them.


We had two girls who snuck into the kitchen to see what they could find. I had set aside two plates for our two nursing students, who come in late.  Some of my other girls saw them in the kitchen. So I called the accused into my house.  One girl got there before the other.  I asked the first girl about the report from the other girls and she said indignantly, "I did not", with a "How dare you?" look on her face. Finally her midnight snacking cohort came in and said, "I did do it".  I looked over the head of the first girl and looked over at the wailer, and with a question on my face as to her guilt.  The truth sayer just nodded "yes".  So the first girl starts getting louder in her denial of the obvious lie, continuing wailing about how she didn't do anything wrong.  When I say wailing, I mean loud wailing, and much flailing of the arms for extra dramatic flair.  I talked with her and told her I didn't care about the food, I cared about her and what was important when we do something that is wrong, and that we need to say we are sorry, otherwise it separates us from God and from the people who care about us. So I told her to go to bed and think about it. She wouldn't move. She just stayed there crying softly now. I headed to the house frustrated, but turned around and asked her if she needed to say something. As I got closer she grabbed me and she said in a normal voice level but still crying  " I did do it, and I am sorry ". I told her it doesn't matter how many times you deny the truth or how loud you get denying the obvious, it is still doesn't make it turn into something right. I hugged her, told her I loved her and prayed for her and she went quietly and peacefully off to bed, with her head held a little higher.

I thought about everything that is happening all over the world and it is just like my young person. Her denying the truth, made me sad, but I still had hope she would realize even though what she did was not right, I still loved her, but I prayed that God would heal her thinking and He did and He can do this.

 VBS  VBS !!!!  What a wonderful time with the community and with our team led by Bill and Sandy McHugh.  150 guests at our celebration of Ranch Avalanche


Our girls sing a song here in English and Spanish with large hand motions and much enthusiasm :

My God is So Big so strong and so mighty there is nothing my God cannot do. 2x's.
The mountains are His
The rivers are His
The stars are His handiwork too.
My God is big so strong and so mighty there is nothing my God can not do for You.

I heard Christine Caine say this morning on You Tube sermon, that we need to sing this song to ourselves as the body of Christ,  as a daily reminder.  I have been humming it in my head. There is nothing He Can't Do. As the body of Christ don't have to fear. He tells us in His Word, 365 times, one for everyday of the year, not to fear.  I don't know who counts these things, but it gives me comfort.  We just need not to fear to watch and pray.  We need to pray against confusion, focus on what God's Word says.  We need to learn tolerate our neighbors, who may not understand the Word, but we need to love them even more than we tolerate them.  We need to want the best for them and the best thing for them is to walk in truth.  I have heard people say that "truth is relative", but God says that He is the Truth and He will set us free.  I want Him for my relative, my heavenly relative, who lights my way when I can't see through a situation.  He makes my path clear.  

Again, I want to thank all of our supporters.  There are people we know and people we don't know that help us with this ministry.  I do want to thank Wesley and Suzanne for everything they have done, which is a lot, to help us get ready for the 20th Anniversary.  They have been amazing.  I would also like to thank our teams. We had our team Marathon, which meant we had teams back to back for months.  We have 5 days free and then our guests from the States are coming to help us celebrate 20 years of Project Talitha Cumi.  Thanks to everyone who helped us all of these years.  We appreciate all of your hard work and the investments of you heart given freely to our girls. Blessings,  The Super Blessed Honduran MOM.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

May Brings in Flowers and Teams

Newsletter June,

Time has slipped away from us so fast.  We are in the beginning of team season.  People are coming every week for the next month.  So far we have had the return of some great friends that have come every year to help us with the mission of ministering to the 40 girls we have here at PTC, and 22 extra girls from the community.  Please pray for our teams and their leaders and for our community and the girls and staff of Project Talitha Cumi to have a great year. So far we have been super blessed. 

 WE are so thankful for the Team from GA.  They have fixed cars and finished our church flooring situation.  They have painted benches at the church and painted the walls, inside an out, at the intern house. WE have the electricity run on the other side of the duplex and the bathroom is installed.  WE lack the flooring and painting the walls, installing cabinets, and the doors should arrived today.  After the team leaves they are leaving behind their team leaders for 3 months.  Wesley and Suzanne Jarrod, are going to stay with us for a while.  They are our new long term interns.  We are excited they are here and would like for you all to be praying for them.  

We are going to make some new friends tomorrow.  The girls and I are excited over a new group from the United States that are coming to serve  by building a local private school that our girls attend called Abundant Life.  Jake and Rachel, who are the directors of the new bi-lingual school, are collecting their home church tomorrow as we drop off our team from GA.  Pray for them to have safe travels to the country and after they get here.  WE will be picking up and dropping off folks for a while until August.  WE are thankful for the love of so many who come here to participate in our loving controlled chaos.  It just sort of works together for good and is powered by God, is my only explanation.

The girls are doing so well in their studies.  I am amazed at the turn around of almost all of girls.  Our new teachers are doing a great job.  We are more than half way through the school season and the girls are still excited about going to school.  We have 13 girls going to the private school, who are in grades 1-4.  Then we have 10 kindergartners.  WE rest of our girls along with the 16 older girls from the community are doing well in their classes and in their relationships with each other.   I am very thankful to our girls who have reached out to minister to the girls of the community.  We have chapel services every Monday through Thursday.  WE have gone through the book of Mark and now we are on the book of John.  Many of the girls and the teachers have never read a complete book of the Bible.  WE are teaching them Bible verses and songs in English and Spanish.  WE are all growing in the Word and in the relationships God is creating at our David Wilson School for Girls. 

This week we were at the judges getting paperwork finished so that two of our girls can get passports to the United States.  One girl has been invited to go to St. Louis and the other to GA to continue their studies after they graduate this November from High School.  WE are so excited at the opportunities for these girls.  They both have sponsors and that also is a huge blessing.  We have been amazed at how God has worked all the details.  Here in Honduras, you have to have the parents sign a document that they are giving permission to their child to go outside the country.  The problem is most of the girls don't know their absentee fathers. Some do not know their mothers or fathers.  We have no way of knowing if they are alive, or if they are alive, where they might be living.  WE found the mom of one of the girls, though a neighbor, who knew the grandparents, and he got her phone number from them.  WE had not heard from the mother for 5 years.  The father had only been one time to our mission to visit and that was 11 years ago. 

 It seemed impossible, but God brought it altogether through a group in St Louis, who have been praying for both of the girls.  I would get a message from the leader and tell her our problem, a door would open.  WE would get another message and a totally closed door would open.  Finally, we found the dad and he came and gave his permission for his daughter to go to the United States. I was torn about the two of them seeing each other.  I didn't know what type of man he had become.  I didn't know what he might say to hurt her.  But, I didn't want fear to be our guide, so I carried him to her school.  It was a bittersweet time for me to watch this dad, at a loss of words and a face full of regret as he saw his daughter the first time in 11 years.  He was very awkward and they just made small talk. He was amazed at how much she had grown. Our girl looked shy and I thought her being a really sensitive girl that she would cry, but she absolutely had nothing going on.  It was like meeting a stranger.  I took a picture of them together, and she went back to class and he walked back to the truck crying.  I asked him if he had other children and he said that he now has a 5 year old boy and a year old son also.  I encouraged him to turn his life over to the Lord and that God would work out the details of a job and how he would provide for his new family.  I told him that God had so loved his daughter that He has taken great care of her and now she is going to be studying in the States.  I told him that he had a second chance to be a part of his daughter's life, and to do differently with his sons. WE got the paperwork today from the judges.  It was a good week. 

We are in the process of purchasing some land that joins ours.  It is farm land and we are getting it planted right now.  Even though we don't own it yet, we have a down payment on the property.  Our community is growing like crazy and I felt to protect our boundaries as well as use the land to grow the corn we need for our girls and for our animals.  Anyway, when I was in town the other day, I had been to our lawyer's office checking on the paperwork for the land, and I had gone to the bank. I was waiting for one of our girls to make copies at the store.  I was standing in the door of my truck, talking on the phone as I waited for our college student to get her papers copied.  I saw out of my peripheral 
someone go behind me and beside the truck I was parked beside on my left.  I didn't think anything about it.  While I am still talking, I see a police man walking briskly around the front of my truck, and when I looked up a man wearing a huge pewter star about the size of a man's palm, hanging around his neck on a thick chain.  My first thought was his jewelry was a little over the top, but turns out, he was the sheriff in plain clothes.  They had captured one of the three guys, who were wanted for assault on bank customers in the past.  One of the bank guards remembered them from a wanted poster and called the police. These particular criminals would stand around in the bank and watch who took out large sums of money.  I always use checks or a check card and so I don't walk around with cash.  I was oblivious to what was going on, talking away on the phone, until our college girl walked to the truck and said, "We need to leave because of the situation going on in the bank". I felt like a nut, but I just rejoiced at how God is so good to us.  Even when we are not paying attention, He has us covered.

This next month we celebrate our 20th Anniversary in Honduras.  We are getting everything prepared for our board from the United States and our board here to reunite, along with some very special people who have helped us over the years.  Please be praying we get everything together and I will send updates. 

Blessings from the Team Running, But Paying More Attention, Honduran Mom.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Happiest of Mother's DAY to you and me.

At the end of our school's Mother's Day Celebration, a lady came up to me. She is a lady that I have known for years.  I have seen her have 4 girls in succession, and these girls are grown now.  I wanted to grab them when they were little, to protect them from their hard little lives.  These babies would look at me as if to say, "Help me".  I prayed for them that they live and not die. 
The mom's life has been super hard and she is a bit of a rascal.  She is married to a hard core alcholic, and she does what she needs to do, including begging and  bamboozling unknowing missionaries over the years.  Like selling me Johnson grass for sugar cane, and selling me green passion fruits for ripened fruits.  
I have been cautious with her after a few dealings, and sometimes my heart towards her was a kind of "Oh no, she is at the gate and she wants something".  God so convicted me about that type of attitude towards this lady.  He reminded me that she still comes and that there is still an opportunity to witness Christ one more time to her.  
Well this year she asked if her daughter could come to our school.  I love her kids. They were beautiful kids to me, even though outwardly they had nothing and were always sick.  They just were special to me.  I told her "sure".  Over the last year, there has been a shift in our relationship from her trying to trick me to give her something, to just being friends. She will come when she needs prayer for whatever is going on in her world.  

After the Mother's DAY event, she walked up to me and said, "I want to wish you a Happy Mother's Day".  I said, "Thanks".  She then she said, "I want to wish you a Happy Mother's Day as proxy for my mom." My mom has been dead and I need a Mom to wish Happy Mother's DAY."  She said that she appreciated me being there for her over the years.  I was blessed, convicted, challenged and had such a sweet hurting for this woman all at the same time. She has had all the horribleness that life could offer and even though she is a frail in stature has a sadness in her demenor, but she is an overcomer.  She has taken many hits in life, but she still is going forward. 

I guess we all have a person like that in our life. It takes God a while to show us how to love those special folks, even when we don't see any change.  But we aren't called to see results.  God always is working under the surface of our lives and everyone else's.  But it is cool sometimes, when you see a glimpse of what He is doing pop up in you and the other person.  Reach out and touch someone today.  If you touch them in His love, there will be a response, even if you can't see it, He does. Have a blessed day

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hurting and Healing

Birthday girls
We have another busy birthday month.  Anastacia and Alan are not posted in this photo.  When you have 40 girls almost every week, somebody has a birthday.  We let the girls dress up, they get their hair fixed, we have a special meal, we invite people over and then we eat a lot of cake.  I have always taken pictures and now the girls have found out how to take pictures without entering my password.  They take so many photos, they blow up my limit on megapixels.  I have to go back and cull through all the photos they make, but we have a great time pouring through the photo extravaganza.  We always have a great time.  It is wonderful when the girls make their appearance into the kitchen.  The other girls Oooh and Aaah over their make overs.  They feel quite special and are full of smiles and laughter.
I have watched these girls grow up and they get more beautiful every year.  Not just externally, but their hearts have been softening.  It is my pleasure and blessing to be living here with these girls.  

                                                        Sometimes we have set backs.  WE have all been together for so long that when we have a girl leave unexpectedly, it throws us all for a loop.  One of our older girls left this week.  She was to graduate in about 5 month from High School.  She had a scholarship to go to college from a precious couple who loved her like a daughter.  The scenario of her leaving is all too familiar.  Someone contacts them, and starts making promises.  This time it was from the cyber world.  The girls had to get an email account for school assignments.  Over the years folks have written notes to the girls and have left their addresses.  This girl contacted a couple. Long story short she is gone and we are all devastated.  She is working with her family now at a mechanic shop and or selling bread.  I talked to the mom and she said that she was going to have to work.  I asked her if she could please finish high school, because it was already paid for the year.  The mom said she could but she wasn't going to insist on her going.  So the girls saw her this weekend at the school they attend and she was talking about going to the States "wet".  That just means she is thinking about going with a group illegally, which upset the girls that are here and of course it upset me because I know more of the dangers of this kind of trip more than the girls do.   Hopefully that is all there is to it, but even though she is gone, she still has the power to affect our lives.  We want the best for her because even though she is gone from PTC, we still love and care about her.

Please pray for all of us here to be able to adjust without this girl.  When a girls leaves to go to the university or if she marries,  we celebrate and send them off in a high fashion  and there is closure for all of us.  When this type of things happens, there is a dread of what is going to happen.  This is not the first time this has happened.  Unfortunately, it hasn't always turned out to well in the past. When the well meaning people that make the promises can't fulfill what the girl thought was going to happen.       

So they in turn feel betrayed 

and can't quite get their lives together afterward.  I need prayer because I just get mad.  I get to see the girls that are left behind crying and trying bravely to go on without knowing what will happen to their sister, who was with us day and night for years.  I see the girls who leave facebook posts and they post that they are depressed, or feeling rejected, or sad.  Or when you see them on the street and they are clearly not prospering.  Or when they call you and tell you that they are so sorry that they left, and ask forgiveness, and even though it forgiveness is extended, it never is the same, and they don't come and visit even though you tell them to come.  As a mom to these girls, who has cared over them while they were sick, bandaged their cuts, helped them with homework and laughed and cried with them over the years is quite heart breaking to be pulled away from us.  Then I have to pray over my heart, my fears, my hurt, and my attitude, because it is not going to help me or the girls.  But what is the worst, is to watch what happens with the girls.  It is so very hard for the girls, who have been sisters for so long, who have bonded together, told their secrets and played together, danced together, went to school together, defended each other, prayed for each other, to watch this situation pan out.  

The girl had a sweet quiet nature about her.  She started doing things that were just not in character at all over the last few months.  I thought it was "senioritis" but then she started doing things that were taking all of us by surprise.  I would ask her what was going on, and she would just be silent.  I called her mom and she came and talked with her and again, she would say nothing,  This last girl shared nothing about the emails with anyone.  She just said she was leaving.  I told her nothing about this was making sense.  She finally told me when I went to the States the last time, she contacted this couple.  They wrote back and forth and the couple told her if she was ready to leave the mission they had a place for her.  I told her that maybe she misunderstood and asked if I could see the messages.  She told me she couldn't because the person got her email password and erased all of the messages thoroughly from her account.   WE are all hoping for the best and we continue to pray everyday for the girl who left unexpectedly, but there is a huge hole in our celebrations, and in our lives not knowing what is happening with this girl.  Well meaning people, who may feel like they are helping, don't have to hear the all my girls cry over the loss of the presence of that girl, or that sibling, that goes on for days and weeks, and months afterward.  Today at the celebration, one of the birthday girls breaks into tears.  I asked what was wrong and she said she was just missing her sister.  Her sister left years ago on a promise.  We miss them and it hits us hard, and that voice that taunts all of us is ever present to tell us that maybe we could have said or done something differently and she wouldn't have left.  

So I tell myself and the girls who remain, that  we will pray for the girls and trust Jesus to keep them safe from all harm.  That Jesus will take away the fear from our minds and that He will fill the empty place that has been left in our hearts.  He is faithful, but it is a process.  Process takes time.  Healing takes time.  I know God feels that way over us. I think He gets mad too, when someone walks away from Him that have heard promises from another.  I know He hurts when He sees us make decisions that He knows are going to affect us for the rest of our lives.  I am thankful He loves us anyway, and He is our example of how to continue to love, even when we hurt Him.  He forgives.  He hates the situation, but He loves the people involved.  I am getting there with His help.   Pray for all of us. We are hurting here in Honduras.  Blessings, the Hurting Honduran MOM