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.