Wednesday, December 28, 2016

All is Merry and Bright

After Christmas Greetings,

WE had a team at Thanksgiving and I left shortly thereafter to the United States to spend a few weeks with my family, have some ministry meetings,  and do some personal end of the year business.  We had the best of times with my family.

This year, because I am grandma from out of the country, I really don't know what my grandchildren need.  My kids have done a great job with them and I really didn't see that they needed anything at all.  My grandchildren are blessed.  So I prayed about it and decided that I would give them all the same amount of money.  They were to buy for someone else who might be in need and give it to their schools.  The kids at school wouldn't know who gave the gift and my grandkids wouldn't know who got the gifts.  They all shopped very well. They bought mainly clothes or generic gifts that could be a gift for a boy or girl.  They were excited that they saved so much money shopping the sales.  I have to admit they did a really great job and after the initial, "what are we doing again?" looks, they really got into it.  WE had a great time shopping.

This year, one of my adult children of five that I have, was the assistant directing for a play at the local  community theatre.  My merry little family group went to support her and the actors that she had worked with for these last few months.  They did a super job with a Christmas classic!  It was almost like watching the movie.  We stayed a little late and my daughter introduced us to the actors and it was a lot of fun.  The community theatre was located on such a beautiful street and I was thankful to be in a town were people could walk late at night and feel safe.  It was late, restaurants were closing and so we ran over our options for a snack, or dinner, because some of our group had not eaten. We had two of the oldest grandchildren, who of course, can eat at any moment's notice.  We opted to go to a late night burger restaurant.

My son-in-law had left earlier to get us some seats He was the first to arrive, but there was a super long line out of the door.  So he immediately decided this was not the place for us because we wouldn't be able to put our merry big group together, and he so drove out.  I drove in and knew that my family would not want to wait for the super long line and I looked for a place to turn around, when I noticed people were running towards the parking lot.  So I decided this didn't look like a good place to be.  All of a sudden a fight started somehow, about who knows what, so I decided to go "out" the "in" because the drive thru was blocked.  It was late, I was frazzled and I was ready to get home.  I used my Honduran back-road driving skills to get out of there and parked in a nearby parking lot. However, after calling 911, we looked over towards the restaurant we had abandoned, only to see the bright red tail light of car number three that held the rest of our of our family members. They pulled into the parking lot before we could find a phone that had battery power, (we had been taking photos and it was late, you understand). We all started praying that the occupants of our car number three could get out of there, when we heard a lot of shots being fired.  WE got the grandchild with us on the floor and recalled 911. We were praying for them and for whoever was in the restaurant and parking lot.  Finally, after dumping the contents of my purse in the floorboard to get my phone, that did have a charge, our other 2 cars got in touch with us and we all agreed to go home.  WE were all wired, because nothing like this had ever happened to any of us before.  It was really quite surreal what happened.  We were all so thankful that God protected us.

One of my son-in-laws remarked later that evening, while we were eating take out pizza, that we being more or less normal people, were along with so many others, that night in the parking lot, were trying to get out of harms way as fast as we could go.  On our way out of this horrible situation, we noticed the 911 facilitator had contacted the police and their cars were zooming into harms way.  It is really an amazing type of person who would go into a chaotic situation like that so that we could live in peace and safety in our communities.  I was thankful that people were in place to restore the order.

Now as bad as the situation was, I stayed in Thomasville for the rest of my visit.  I didn't decide that I would never go there again because of the violence that erupted there that night. Everyone was shocked that this violence happened in their small town.  I have had a lot of people ask me how I could serve as a missionary in a place that was supposedly, super violent.  Violence can break out anywhere, apparently.  It breaks out in homes, schools, communities, countries and the world.  We can't focus on the fear.  The Bible says that fear has torment and it does.  It also says, that God didn't give us a spirit of fear, and He doesn't.  You just need to be where God tells you to go. It is truly the safest place to be.  If it is to the neighbor across the street, or to a neighboring country, have no fear, God is with us.

While I was home in the States, listening to all that has been going on, as of late, people seem to be full of fear, about politics, finances, and the loss of freedoms.  I am thankful for my country and for the country in which I serve, as well as all the other countries in the world.  God created them all.  He came towards our chaotic situations to bring His love and forgiveness to us.  He came to bring order to our chaos.  He sent his Son so that we wouldn't have to live in fear.  That is our good news that Jesus brought to earth. Emmanuel, God with us.  I pray that your days be Merry and that you see the Bright New Year that Jesus is ushering in.

I will write about our Honduran Holy Day next.  Blessings from the Merry and Bright Honduran MOM

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Just Say "Yes" to Jesus


My dad always told me that if I didn't answer him with "Yes Sir" or "No Sir", it meant "NO".  Sometimes, you think you are doing all you can do and God asks you to do something different or special and I don't know about you, but sometimes I whine about why I can't or shouldn't and then, I don't say "yes"and I don't say 'no'.  Many times when I tell the Lord that I have a lot on my plate, He gently reminds me that He is the one who put it on the plate in the first place to give me  an opportunity to serve whatever He has placed there.  

Being a missionary, you get into the realm sometimes of thinking that you are doing over and above what you should be doing,  or doing more than anyone else, which is really just a religious spirit, because although we don't have to do everything, we can do all things the scriptures tell us, through Christ who strengthens us. 

I was checking my facebook  a few weeks ago and a message came up from a Facebook page called Honduras Missionaries and then disappeared.  What I could read of it was that there was a special needs girl, who was 6 months pregnant, and was 17.  I went to respond and couldn't find it and so I figured, "Must not be for me".  But God kept wheeling that invisible message around in my head.  I finally wrote the Facebook Page and asked if anyone wrote to me about a circumstance with a 17 year old.  I got an immediate response.  She told me the situation.  The missionary told me that she would take her except that she had a house hold full of boys, so she was hesitant.  I agreed with her and told her we would try.  

The girl lived a little more than two hours away and so Rosa and I went to see her and her family.  We picked up the missionary who knew her and arrived at her house.  The door to the home was open.  It was a dwelling with old rusty metal laminate, dirt floors and feed bags of old clothes stack up against the wall they used to keep the wind and rain out.  The father was gathering firewood, which he sells for a living when we arrived.  Mom does odd jobs and she wasn't at home either and so the girl we will call Wanda, was left alone a lot of the time.  ]The main problem was that Wanda has epilepsy.  Our new missionary friend couldn't figure why the door was open.  She knew the family must be close or they would have locked the door.  Finally, Wanda just appeared out of nowhere. She was very disoriented and had what looked to be a green heart drawn on her cheek.   The missionary kept saying she wasn't herself and that normally she is very sweet and not non-verbal.  When she started talking we realized by looking at the dirt all over her clothes, that she had a convulsion right before we arrived.  She told us later, that she actually had two convulsions that morning.   The green heart on her cheek was a leaf from a plant that looked like a heart that she had fallen on during the convulsion and it had stuck to her cheek.  All through this situation, I was speaking to myself, that this may be a lot bigger case than I need to handle.  I felt like the Lord said, "Really? What is your criteria?" Since I don't say those kind of things to myself, I figured I needed to pursue the matter.  But I didn't say, "Yes, Lord".  

We told the missionary we would be back in two days and pick up Wanda and get her to a doctor, so she could get some type of medical care hopefully get her on a medication to prevent seizures nd to check on her baby.  The missionary and her son went with all of us in our mini van to go back up to our mission.  The plan was to get the parents to sign that we had her temporarily to get her some medical help.  We then would get her settled in our mission and the missionary could see where she would be and let the Wanda's folks at home know that she was okay,   We only got to the first part of the plan.  We drove back home to the hospital in La Esperanza  and the doctors ended up saying that she had to go to Tegucigalpa at about 5:00 pm and they would carry her in an small Toyota ambulance.  They said because she was under age she had to have someone go with her.  I guessed that would be me.  Even though I tried to think of tons of reasons why I shouldn't be the one to go, I knew that she now was my responsibility.  So I went home, signed the workers checks, went to the bank, and bought some groceries for the mission.  I had to get Miss Marina, one of our lady workers, to stay with our 38 girls on her day off. 

I got to the hospital at 4:30 and they were ready to leave, but another pregnant girl that has epilepsy too had to wait for her person that was to accompany her.  That was four people at that point, and we would fit nicely on the bench seat.  There was an gurney in there too.  It had most of the fake leather covering that had cracked in several places and had begun to peel off in these cracked sections over the years, revealing the yellow foam cushion below that was stained with blood.  The ambulance driver assured us that it was clean, but my nose said differently.  I was just thinking I am thankful I don't have to sit on it.  About that time however, their was a little old man, and his grown son, and another couple who had just had a baby that was 4 hours old, suddenly appeared at the rear of the ambulance.  The ambulance driver told all of us that were waiting in the van, to move and he made seat assignments.  I was to move to gurney on the exposed stained                                                                   foam cushion.  Of course, my attitude again was not "Yes, Lord".  It was more of a resigned, "Fine, whatever".  The driver also told me that I had to give as much space to the new mother as possible, because her baby was on an IV that was hooked to the top.  So even though I was the tallest of all the occupants of the ambulance, I folded myself in a pretzel like position, putting my faithful backpack behind me and my sleeping bag thinking that I would protect my back in this ride of over three hours.  Nobody else but me and the driver had ever been to Tegucigalpa before.   They had no understanding how long it could take. 
After placing the backpack just so, it immediately fell between the wall and the gurney and I couldn't retrieve it.  So I placed my sleeping bag on top and my lap pillow on my back.  I was also close to a piece of rebar that came out of the side corner, where I was located right beside my right frontal lope of my head.  A person lying on the gurney wouldn't have to worry, but every bump we hit (and there were many) I connected with that piece of rebar in the side of my head.  I finally, with great effort and kindness of the other passengers, got my backpack and hung the padded straps on the vicious rebar protruding from the side wall.  So then I couldn't lean on anything, and so I rolled my tiny pillow up and made do.  

Then, I was in the process of getting comfortable, and I decided to say "Okay, Lord", and I start talking to the couple with their first newborn baby.  The young father starts to cry and I began praying for them and I am feeling very missionary-like.  I am thinking, I am here for this reason, and I am getting to know my other occupants and I am saying the Lord's prayer over my little group, and then the little pregnant girl beside me, starts vomiting  She vomits all over her sister.  She just had a canned juice, which apparently doesn't do well on trips down the mountain, with said ambulance driver, who never slowed down, but just laid down his ambulance siren when he wanted traffic ahead to move over.  However, it is a curvy road and she wasn't doing well.  At that time, I did notice that there was no one in the front seat but him!!  I made a mental note to ask him to have the front seat on the trip back. I got out my hand wipes, and hand wash and got folks wiped up.  I had dumdum suckers that a team brought, that I dispersed and tried to encourage others, and then just started saying the Lord's prayer to myself.  I had been up since 2 am that morning.  I think I fell asleep, for a moment.  Then it started raining and the trip got a little dicier. 

WE got to Tegucigalpa around 8 pm and it was dark and raining.  I was the last to get out because I was in the corner.  My hair got entangled with the one of the many IV clip and while I was getting myself untangled from that situation, my group walks into the hospital without me.  I get to door and I am noticing about two hundred people sitting outside on cardboard, with plastic tablecloths, and on cement benches. It looked liked a homeless convention.  A church group was passing out bean sandwiches and coffee, which I thought was a very nice thing to do.  I go to walk inside the hospital and the security guard stops me.  I told them the girl I was escorting here from Intibuca, had already come in and that I have her papers.  He said that family and friends are to stay outside for the night!!!   I then did not act very missionary-like and I asked, " What was the purpose of me coming with this under age girl, if I couldn't be with her"?  I told them I am just trying to understand.  Then this tall middle aged Honduran man appears and asks if there is a problem.  I repeated my question to him and he said his name was Dr. M and he was the supervisor, and he said I could go in.  I was sure this man was part of the angelic host that have been guarding over us on this trip, and I went inside, but not before I noticed that the security guy and Dr. M were having a discussion about rules.  I just went around the corner, trying to be out of sight out of mind. Dr. M found me and told me to sit on the wooden bench along the wall and not on the chairs and don't move from that spot.  I thanked him and started praising God that I didn't have to be outside.  I still hadn't seen Wanda.  They did call for the family of Wanda and I saw her at a distance.  She looked very tired and very disoriented.  She had another seizure.  I went back to my assigned bench when I gave over my papers and the security guard with a gun and matching billy club, comes up to me and tells me to go outside.  I have never been good with names, but I remembered Dr. M's name.  I told the security guard, I appreciated that he was doing his security job, but that I was following instructions of the supervisor that told me to be here.  The different guards came back about four times with menacing stares, but I was not to be moved.  

It was getting late and I was so tired.  A nurse, looked and me and just  made a noise "Pssssttt" I was trying to be invisible, and so I didn't know she was talking to me, but she crooked her finger for me to come. I looked around to see if she was talking to me or someone else.   Across the hall were two double doors and she got me through them and said, "You can stay here tonight on this bed."  I am thinking that Florence Nightingale had nothing on this nurse.  I was so thankful, and in the bed at the end of my assigned bed, was Wanda. 

I had to leave early out of the room the next morning, before people started rounds.  I helped get Wanda into a hospital gown and get some of the examinations from Wanda that the nurses needed and went outside.  I waited about 4 hours and went back inside and asked what did I need to do.  Another shift of security guards were threatening me to go outside.  Wanda's assigned Doctor named Marianne, said that there was really nothing I could do and they would take care of her, but she said, "Bring the mom, That will help".  So I tell Wanda her parents are coming after making a call to the missionary who knows the family.  She had to go to the location, because they don't have a cell phone to tell the parents that Wanda and the doctor needed them to come.   I dropped all my dumdum suckers, and some Sweet Tart chews on their counter and I was gone.  So I left and called Mirian who knows everybody to get me a name of a taxi driver that was trustworthy.  It sometimes can be dangerous in the city getting a random cab.  The taxi driver arrived and he took me into downtown Comayaguela to get a bus back home.  I just made it to be able to get on the bus before it left.   The missionary calls back and tells me the moms not coming.  She is afraid that people will steal her stuff.  I am thinking,  "What stuff? ", but it was important to her.  I prayed for Wanda and I got home about 4 p.m.  I got some soup and went to bed and slept until 12 a.m.  

I noticed that I had messages during my nap.  Another precious missionary, who lives around the Tegucigalpa area, who was helping me with Wanda's case, had written telling me that they couldn't find Wanda in the hospital!  My friend Suzy has tons of connections and so I wrote back specifically where Wanda was located.  I read that she had become violent with the nurses.  Wanda was upset at being left alone and that her parents didn't come and I couldn't help but feel that she thought like she had been dumped at the hospital by me.  I was wide awake at that point.  I prayed and asked God to help them find her.  I recognized my attitude had been far from what it needed to be through all this mess.   I finally said "Yes" to Jesus to use me in this crazy situation.  They found her about 2 in the morning, but again she was not cooperating.  

I got up and got my shower and got ready to travel back to Tegucigalpa.  I prayed and waited until I thought Wesley and Suzanne may be up.  They were going to pick up the medical team from the airport for me.  We made a plan for us to leave earlier and get me to the family of Wanda and I would endeavor to get her mom in the car.  Thankfully, everyone was home and she just peacefully said she would go.  Wesley and Suzanne (who will be running the boy's home starting in January) drove the mom and me back to the Siguatepeque and left to San Pedro Sula to get our team that was coming in from Texas.  I got on the La Esperanza bus and the owner was driving the bus.  It was a new bus with a/c and a movie.  There was no place to sit for the first 30 minutes, so I stood up with Wanda's mom trying not to watch MAD MAX on the their movie screens strategically placed all over the bus.  I felt like the driver of our bus and the driver in the movie were similar. 

I tried to call the secure taxi driver I had the day before.  I bought the mom some juice, not remembering about the ambulance ride.  While I was looking for a taxi driver, mom threw up everywhere.  After 3 hours we were almost to Tegucigalpa and I finally contacted my taxi driver and he was recuperating from a cold or recuperating from the night before.  He couldn't come.  I prayed and decided to ask the bus driver if they had secure taxi's.  He did and I loaded the mom into the cab.  She was scared to come the day before.  Not just because of losing her things, but because she couldn't read and she didn't know her numbers, and she felt like she would have gotten lost, which I totally understood.  Suzy had one of her staff who had found Wanda, waiting for us to arrive.  I get to the gate and the taxi driver won't drop me at gate six, but at gate four.  I got into gate four and asked where gate 6 was and it was back outside on the busy sidewalk.  So mom and I locate gate 6 and another security guard told me I couldn't come in  I told him because she didn't read, that I had to go with her.  He basically told me, "Not in this lifetime".  I was about to go into round 3 with the security guard and here came  Dr. Marianne running up to the gate.  I surprised myself when I remembered her name.  I said, "Hi Dr. Marianne and then she recognized me.   I introduced the mom and told her the situation and that I needed to get in.  She talked to the security guard not breaking her pace in motioning us forward.  She told him we were going with her.  Another miracle.  If I had been let off at the gate I needed, I might have missed Marianne completely as fast as she was moving. 

I met with Suzy's liaison upstairs with Wanda, and we dropped the mom off after the nurses bent our ear about how uncooperative Wanda had been.  I talked to Wanda and told her to behave, gave the mom some money for 5 days of food, and left with Suzy's staff member.  When we got to the gate Suzy's group with Lamb Ministries had another girl waiting to carry in some personal care products and a blanket.  The security guard said, "Forget it".  So we took the stuff from Isis and ran back upstairs to floor number 5 and dropped off the supplies.  Prayed, and hugged everybody and told the nurses how much we appreciated them and ran out the door.  I called my taxi driver and he came as I waited in front of the hospital.  I got to the bus station right before it was to leave.  I would have had to wait 2 hours for the next bus.  It was the same bus I came in on.  I thought I should get home at 3 o'clock

 I had a seat this time and watched Jungle book and Tarzan on the drop down movie screens in between dozing and calling back and forth to Wesley and Suzanne to see if the team had arrive. As I was calling another Doctor to see if we could et another doctor for the medical team that was on the way.  I am on my way home to La Esperanza on the bus and the bus stops, for a demonstration for over an hour.  Police were there with their riot gear, but I am too tired to care.  Further down the road there had been an accident so it was another delay.  Because of both of those delays the new tolls had a huge line of cars trying to get through.  I just thanked God for the a/c and a great trip.  I arrived at the bus stop and because of all the delays, 10 minutes later, Wesley and Suzanne drove up.  i wasn't even tired because of all the mess I saw Jesus clear away. I realized how God had worked everything out for me at each step of the way.

I want to say that you to Suzy McCall and her staff that say "Yes" to God everyday.  I am thankful to network with a mission agency of their caliber.  I want to thank the Doctors and Nurses that worked at Hospital Escuela, who said "Yes" to their calling, and to help strange North American missionaries who are trying to be obedient  I want to say Thanks to my staff and Associates, who said "Yes" to be here in Yamaraguila helping Ministerio Asi Es El Reino.  I also am thankful to God for challenging me everyday, to say "Yes" to HIm so that others might do likewise, from my example. Finally, a great big thanks to all of you who come to serve and be a part of the lives of the girls at Project Talitha Cumi, through your visits, prayers, gifts and encouragements to all of us.  WE love you all.  Blessings from the "Yes" saying Honduran MOM

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Life is FULL


Life is full.  It doesn't matter if you are full of joy, or full of problems, life is full.  Right now we are full of joy.  Joy is not dependent on your circumstances. It is something deep within that know that God is on your side, and that He is in you and working through you, and for you. Even when things don't work out like you planned, or when you planned, He is still working on your behalf.  I used to say if things didn't work out like I planned, it must have been my idea and that if it worked out that it was God's idea.  Now I think that God is not on anybody's timetable and maybe my timetable is not on His clock.  He is the owner of space and time anyway. He can give us a vision of what He wants us to work toward but it doesn't guarantee that we will get to see the end of it.  One plants, one waters, but God brings the increase. 

I was reading in the Bible, where King David was getting everything ready to build the temple of God and God put the brakes on him.  He told David that the temple was going to be built , but  he wasn't the one to build it.  We have been doing a lot of praying, planning, and meeting together with different organizations about a specific thing God laid on my heart.  I thought we would start on the first of October,  but it didn't happen on my time frame.  Our team has peace about the whole project.  God knows what is in my heart and I pray that we will be able to see it come to pass.    

 The girls are in school learning so much.  They love their school and we are thankful.  The new teachers have been a great blessing for the girls and even though they miss the teachers from last year, we still have Kelsey still from last year!  The girls are enjoying all the new teachers that have come to Abundant Life School.  We all appreciate the leadership of Jake and Rachael Compaan.  When you ask your child, "What did you learn in school today" and they tell you in detail, you know it is going to be a good year. 

We are in harvest time right now.  Our beans and corn have done excellently!  We have a great crop and will put corn in our silo for the first time in years.  The girls have been helping getting all the crops picked and shelled.  WE have had a great time just sitting around and talking, while we are shelling a lot of beans.  Harvest time is such a blessing anywhere you are, but this year it is very special because last year we had a hard year for the lack of the annual rainfall.  This year there is a sense of rejoicing in our whole community.  Everybody has a good crop, and so we are all feeling pretty blessed.  

Wesley and Suzanne are back!.  They are trying to get everything ready to move into the Boy's Home called, Casa Nain.  Wesley is soldering gates and doors and Suzanne is painting like crazy.  We hope to have the Casa de Nain ready to go in January.  Again my family and I thought we would have the boy's home up and running in 2005, but it just didn't come together.  I thought perhaps we hadn't heard from the Lord, but I am thankful that God is going to show us what He has in store for these boys and that I will get to see it.   

House of Nain is getting a face lift and a makeover.  A water well was installed this past summer.  Wesley and Suzanne are working like Trojans trying to finish up the boy's home before they leave in November.  The main gate posts are up and they are making cement posts.  Wesley also, has installed the electric switch boxes and outlets.  They have some of their appliances, but won't move them over until they return at the first of the year.  Suzanne also is helping with the kindergarten at Abundant Life School along with her painting duties.

WE already have three boys here at PTC that have families.  One is Rosa and Francis's boy, then we have the nephew of Lina and Rosa, who is with us most days, he is two.  Then we have a little boy we will call Harry.  He is 6 years old and he weighs about 13 pounds.  He is a special needs boy and has convulsions from time to time.  He is has light colored eyes that are enormous, and hair that his mama keeps a butch hair-do with occasionally putting gel in it to make it stand straight up.  He is a sweetie. He smiles at everyone and he just jets joy to all. We love this little boy.  He is a big blessing to all who get to know him and his mom.  The mom has another child, who is living here with us. She has had a very hard life, but she is here to help her daughter and she is helping us.  She laughs a lot and laughs loudly.  I personally like loud laughers, and so I enjoy her being around. She makes me smile.  A huge perk is that she is also an amazing cook.  WE are thankful that she is here, and that God is giving us joy and grace for each other.  

On a personal note, I was trying to get tickets to go home in December.  I come back to Honduras on the 20th or 21st to make Christmas for the girls at PTC.  No tickets were to be found that weren't "off the chart" expensive.  People were looking for me and it was expensive with 12 to 22 hours layover, or an extra trip to Bogata.  Although I would love to see Bogata, I didn't want to just see it from the air and turn around and go back to Miami just to kill 24 hours.  So, then I prayed if I was supposed to stay in Honduras and not go home for the holidays, it was okay.  Next morning at the doctors office with one of our teachers, and I was using my cell phone and found tickets with 2 hour layovers, and they were only $480.00.  I was so excited and was so joyful, that I know that God heard me. 

Also, we have a girl here that has been dealing with depression for weeks.  Some of our girls have been through so much, it is incredible they have any sense of joy whatsoever,  She rejected any encouragement or counsel.  She is very smart and I felt that she would excel in school, which she has.  But this week, she just said "I quit" school, friends, life.  I thought about just telling her to get on the bus and that be the end of it,  She has the most amazing smile. After not having any alternatives, I finally prayed and asked God to give her joy back. She came in the next morning, all helpful, smiling and got on the bus for school.  It made me so happy I purely skipped to the house.  Then I asked myself, why does it take so long to do what is obvious.  I am talking to her and encouraging her, scolding her when she is being mean to the other girls, or getting in my face with her rebellious issues, hugging her when she cried and tells me she misses her mom.  All the while, God is ready and able to fix this situation. The embarrassing thing is that these two things happened in 24 hours of each other.  I know I will get better at prayer one day.  

Meanwhile, back at the ranch we have 26 people getting on bus every morning to get to the Abundant Life bi-lingual school.  I decided to hire a bus to pick up the girls because we have been having problems with our buses and finding parts.  The two busses are both still with problems. I was worried that the kids we were picking up from the community might not have a ride if the service was too expensive. . I found a wonderful lady who has a new bus service, and she included the kids of the community in her quote.  So in order to do this we needed to finish breakfast and clean up by 6:00 a.m. and do our circlo devotions and get to the main road by 6:30.  The girls were having to struggle to get up earlier and earlier and the food at breakfast was getting less and less tasty.  So since I wasn't getting my devotions done anyway, because of all the questions and back and forth what was for breakfast and the tattling about who wasn't coming to help and lateness of the girls doing the bus marathon to the road, I decided to start cooking for the masses in the morning at 4:00 a.m..  I have each house help me on their day to cook and they come at 4:30 a.m.  It gives them time to do their chores and get dressed before coming to help with breakfast.  It seems to have worked out.  I am not shouting into the wind for the girls to hurry and get their sweaters, bookbags, snacks, water bottles. It is almost humane every morning.  We sit down, instead of eating on the run.  My girls get a good breakfast and not have to guess about what they are eating and they walk to the bus.   WE talk to each other and we have our devotions and it has been a blessing for all of us.    

I always thought my morning time was for me.  It still is in a different way.  I am still blessed and have time after they walk up the hill to get my decaf and my Bible.  Life is full.  Blessings from the filled up Honduran MOM


Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Thankfully Full Honduran Heart


Today, I have been thinking about how much God has blessed my life and the life of this girls in Project Talitha Cumi here in the mountains of Honduras.

WE have received a new Toyota van, from a lady I don't know and have never met.  Yet we have a brand new van that the girls and I are rejoicing over.  WE used to put girls in the back of the truck, but that was a little problematic in rainy season.  So we would go in the Patrol, and everybody had to sit on top of everybody else.  They were always good sports about it.  I would tell them what my Daddy used to tell his 8 children in a Studebaker (spelling)? which was the first of the SUV's years ago.  He would say  "It is going to be a little uncomfortable"  But yesterday with 17 passengers in our 15 passenger van, the girls said, "Wow, we can get a lot more people in here".  They have vision to enlarge the ministry.   I have great girls and I am thankful.

Next we have our boys home project called House of Nain starting up in January with a new couple, Suzanne and Wesly Jarrard.  WE needed a well, because the house was already built and there was no potable water available in the community of Las Harenas..  Mr. Chris Knippa from Texas, happened  to have a conversation with a Honduran man randomly at the airport, during one of his travels, who knew people who dug wells in Honduras.  I recently found out that Chris and his church have been sponsoring water well drilling projects all over the world.  Chris wrote to me, but I didn't know he was coming until about a week and a half before they came.  I thought their team was coming in August with another team from Texas from the same denomination. They were not listed to come on our schedule in June.   I have had teams every week for a while this year, and when I found out they were coming, I was amazed that their dates were right in the middle of  two other teams.  One was leaving the day the Texas team arrived and the other was arriving the day the Texas team left.  God worked everything  out.  We got the well and the water.  We also got to work with so many dedicated Christians who worked like slaves, in the rain, late at night, to get this water project going.  The rest of the group, who had a lot of wonderful activities for the girls, met with schools and passed out food and school supplies.  It was a huge blessing, and one that will continue to bless for a long time.

We have water

Our corn is up and our beans are planted.  The girls worked so hard helping to hoe our farm. If you don't get the grass out with all these rains, your crop is history.  One of the girls said that she thought she could not possibly do all that work, but later she said, "I did it!!". She was just beaming with the sense of accomplishment.   The girls are out on break for school, but we work on the farm in the mornings, before the rains and then we have school in the barn in the afternoon. As I was driving out one morning, I noticed what a super job the girls did on our corn and I drove down the lane to go to La Esperanza on errands and notice our neighbor lady's corn.  Her husband died recently.  I noticed her corn crop was going to be lost if she didn't so something soon.  Then I felt like the Lord said, So..hmmm.?  So I asked the girls that night if they felt up to helping the widow up the lane and explained to them about how God feels about widows.  They were all in.  They did it all in one day, which was amazing because her corn was wrapped up in grass.  They were sunburned and tired and full of muscle aches, but again, "they did it".  I was ready to quit and I only worked a little while in the afternoon.  I had been getting materials for the other farm together and hauling things back and forth in the truck before I could stop to help them.  The girls informed me politely that was not an option because the fertilizer was already down on the ground. So we continued to work.  Finally, after a burst of energy on the last row, we finished and prayed with the widow and prayed for rain. Last night while I was dispensing Motrin, BioFreeze, and rubbing Aloe Vera gel on the girl's sunburns, it started raining.  God again heard our prayers and as tired as we all were, when we heard it starting to rain, we all smiled.   
We also have a project that waltzed onto our boy's farm at the House of Nain (HON) .  It is an irrigation system.  It is the Honduran government project  that is being funded by the Japan and Germany.  They are building a drip irrigation system next week on our farm.  The system includes a large cement tank, and all the pipes and hose needed to have the system in working order.  All we have to provide is the sand and gravel and one extra man to help the engineer build the tank.  God has things coming at us that we weren't even aware were on the way. 
Our girls needed a new original birth certificate that are issued by the Honduran Government.  They needed the documents to matriculate them into school, and Mary needed one of the documents to leave the country to go back to school in St. Louis.  The problem was that the paper that they process the birth certificates with had run out.  There were no official papers for these documents in the whole country.   Then with the help of Jake Compaan and some connections, we have the birth certificates. Again another huge blessing and an answer to prayer. 
We needed tickets to get Mary and myself to the States.  The internet wasn't working and the rains sometimes affected the internet when it was working.  Then the electricity would shut down right in the middle of me trying to get tickets. It was getting closer to the time we had to leave and the prices were going up.    I don't like shopping for tickets.  I am always nervous that I will make a mistake on the dates or short connections, or that I didn't get the best price etc.  Then a man from one of our recent teams used to be a pilot, and he wanted to help.  He is getting the tickets and is setting all that up for us. So this is another blessing that has overtaken us. (The internet is also fixed)  
I can't begin to say how blessed we all feel.  We are so thankful for all of His great works to His children when we call out to Him.  He hears us and He knows our name.  WE are full in everyway and it is because He takes care of all of our needs.  We had dirty clothes, but we have a soap and a place and water to wash them.  We have dirty dishes, but food was on those plates and we have a place to get them clean and we are full. I am tired of all the driving I have done this week, but I am thankful that I have transportation.   I want to always be thankful for the things that I sometimes take for granted.
I want to thank everyone who have made it possible for us to be here through your prayers and gifts and your kindness towards us.  We are blessed.
Blessings from the Fully Thankful Honduran MOM

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Come Away

This is a post I wrote a while back.  I couldn't get my blog to work and posted it on another blog.  I am trying to get back on my blog, but life has a way of interupting your plans.  Blessings,

Come Away

It has been a long time since I have posted anything.  As I just started writing this post our electricity went out.  I am so thankful when we have electricity.  Electricity in Honduras is a blessing when it works and we have learned to function when it does not.  I have found that as nice as electricity is, having water is better.  Water is life. Electricity is a convenience.  Water is a necessity.  I love clean water the best of all. We have been on the community water in the past, and were thankful to have it, but when we got clean water, we rejoiced.
Last month the electricity went out and our generator wouldn’t work and so we asked for the community water to be cut on until we could get the generator going.  I told the girls, don’t drink the water and then I forgot and promptly chugged a big gulp of the community water.  I panicked when I when my taste buds were alerting me to a rancid flavor in my mouth and I thought “What in the world?”, as I swallowed the bacteria infused flavored water.  I don’t know why I didn’t spit it out.  I started praying over my stomach and wondered at how my neighbors had been fairing over the last years.  Did they have water? They did. Do they have pure water? They don’t.  They have become accustomed to the water.  The water they have is adequate and they are thankful, but it is not the best.
I think about how Jesus changed my life.  Did I have life? I did. Did I have a good life?  I did, but it wasn’t the best until Jesus stepped in and clean up areas I had grown accustomed to having life.  Oswald Chambers says, “The good is the enemy of the best”.  I pray the best overtakes me, and the girls from this Ministry.
January we had a baby arrive at the farm.  Our little 15 year old had a beautiful baby girl named Alondra.  She is the best baby in all the world.  We are so thankful that she arrived healthy and the mother has recuperated totally from her surgery.
In January the girls were registered for school.  We have kids in the bi-lingual Abundant Life Christian School and we have a kindergarteners temporarily in the public school down the road and our girls and the girls from our community that used to go to our school, are going to the Lenca Public High School.  There have been huge transitions, just getting everyone where they are supposed to be in the mornings.  The High Schoolers have to be at school at 7 and leave at 12:00 and on alternate days at 1:00 pm.  The Jr. High girls go in at 7 and leave at 1:00 and on other days 1:30 or at 1:55, dependent.  Then our Abundant Life girls go in at 8:00 and leave at 3:00. The little girls get out at 12:00and the 1st grader gets out at 1:30.  I had to make a flow chart just to be able to tell Don Chilo the bus driver how he needed to pick everyone up.  Mix in the fact that we are carrying lunches to the Abundant Life girls and the Jr. High Girls, it is pretty lively around here. I couldn’t figure how to even have our devotions (Circulo) in the morning, because the girls were leaving at 6:30.  I felt like our whole life had been flipped over.
While we were trying to figure all this out, my mom died on the 8th of February.  I was in town with Rosa getting things together for her wedding.  Because we got a late start that day, I didn’t think we would get anything done, but we ended up getting everything that we needed for the next week and for Rosa’s wedding.  I was waiting for a guy with a hundred pound sack of  potatoes to show up when my phone rang.  God knew I need to get everything accomplished that day.
I received the call from my oldest daughter, and immediately I tried to start remembering the last conversation I had with my mom a few days before, and the last time I saw her and what we talked about.  When I got to the mission the girls were eating and I headed straight for my room.  I was thankful, that I had a moment to myself to process, the grief and the arrangements you have to make when something like that happens.  I left the next morning for the States.  I thought I would go and get right back for Rosa’s wedding, but I didn’t.
Thankfully, Wesley and Suzanne Jarrard and Katrina Bethea decided to come early before their team arrived.  I had no idea they were coming or that I would need them to be here, so that I could go, but God knew.  .  We had gotten most of the wedding stuff done on February 8th, when I got the call about my sweet Mom.  After I left the mission, we had Rosa’s wedding and teams, back to back.  Chris Briles came to perform the wedding. Rosa had Mr. Tim give her away.   Rosa's dad came and that was a healing thing.  I kept telling the Lord that I needed to get back, but He knew. every area was covered. He was taking care of the ones I loved and He was doing it with other people.  He is faithful on every level.  The girls and the teams did fine and I was thankful that God sent his best.  WE were covered by His grace in every area.
God has been confirming so many things lately.  One is that I need to stop more and come away.  There is a lot of activity around here.  With two infants and 35 girls there is always something to do or is waiting to be done.  However, somehow, I need get off from that never ending trail and come aside.  Moses came aside, the Bible says and he was able to move and lead a million and a half people through a desert.  I only have around 40 folks in a beautiful mountainous area, and I am scrambling all the time.  I have to stop long enough at a filling station to get filled up.  I can’t just drive by and hope that I have enough gas to get me through.  I have to stop and pay the price to get my spiritual tank filled up.  I can’t just continue to drive by the source of fuel and hope that it gets in there somehow.
Thankfully here in Honduras, they check your oil and water and all the levels in your car when you stop to fill up.  But there are areas in our lives that we need to let the Lord to check on. My tank was extremely low.  I had been asking the Lord to help me find a time to go and get refreshed, but there just didn’t seem to be a time.  Then when my mom died, I thought, “This is not what I meant”.
I was thankful that I was able to be with my siblings and family members to walk through our grief together.  In times past, while on the mission field, I would hear about a family member passing after the funeral. I was so thankful to have the opportunity to be with my family.
The last few days, home in the US, I was invited to come to a reunion of a group of ladies that used to meet for Bible study 30 years ago.  Our Bible teacher, Sylvia Evans, was there, and it was so good to see all of my “older prayer partners”. It was even better as the Lord went through the room and ministered to all of us.  I was transported back with my love of God and the Love of his Word.  I will forever thankful for this strong group of believer’s who took me under their wing, so many years ago, and showed me how to study the Bible and point me to Christ.
I got home in the middle of a team from Wesley and Suzanne’s church.  It was the first time their pastor, Rusty, came here to PTC for a visit.   His wife Denise had come to the mission a few years before.  They ministered to the girls and our community.  On the last night, I asked them if they could talk with me and they said, “Yes”. We walked down from the church in the pitch blackness and I stopped at our bus and said, “Come into my new office”  I knew I had to get creative to be able to come aside and pray without interruptions.
I think God is calling all of us to get creative about how we find time with Him. Suzanne Wesley, the mother of the founders of Methodist Church, would throw her apron over her head and the children and her God knew that was her time with Him Our country and our families need us to do this, but I want to make it my priority, and not just squeezed time with the Lover of My Soul into my hectic schedule  I pray that God continue to help us find a way to Come Away with Him.
Blessings from the” I AM Going to Come Away” Honduran MoM.