Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Launching Eaglets

I haven't written in a while.  We have had a super time with so many teams so far this summer.  We had some teams that over-lapped each other and that was kind of wild, but for the most part it went really well having 60 people including my 32 kids, staff, in your home.  It was very crazy cooking for this amount of people.  I have cooked for large amounts of people in the past, but it was just one meal, not breakfast, lunch and dinner.  A couple of times I just ordered a lot of Chinese rice take-out.  It worked.  

During the course of all the work the teams were doing for the mission, which included two medical teams, visiting schools and helping with fixing up things around here, cooking for the week, helping us with our new walkway/driveway, the girls got out of school for holiday.  It stepped up the degree of difficulty, because we had to establish a new routine for the girls to have everyday.   Our interns opened a school in the barn that we cleaned out and set up with desks for them to have a make-shift school.  They would have classes from 8:00 to 12:00 and then P.E. or dance after lunch. Many of the team members helped with games, crafts and devotions with Bible studies.  WE had other teams play Soccer and Capture the Flag  Lots of good memories were made with the girls and the team members that were helping me keep the girls occupied.

We also have started up our church again.  George and Kara Maddox are a young couple with three wonderful children  who are missionaries established here in Yamaranguila for many years.  They have a ministry of church planting and training Honduran pastors. So God put it on my heart to asked them to come and use our church for a place of training and planting a church once again.  We have had services in our church for the past 4 weeks and it has been great.  George has a desire for all of us to catch what he is teaching and preaches with an earnest hope that we will.  We did home visits with some of our teams and we had many local people to come and visit this week.  It is exciting to see some of the adults that came were the children who used to attend many  years ago.  

It is also a huge blessing to me and to the community to see ministries working together for the cause of Christ.  Wesley and Suzanne and Jonathon and Sofi are WIM missionaries who have been working here this year.  Ken and Katrina are WIM missionaries also that will start working in September.  Our interns Katheryn and Ragan have been the summer interns who have been helping me with the "littles".  That was always the vision for our church and I pray as the church grows the other ministries in the area will come alongside and contribute what God has given them for this community.    

We are in transition here at PTC.  We have girls that have come from a lot of different circumstances, but all of them come from tough situations to say the least.   However, some of the girls come from horrible situations.  Some have people and family to visit regularly, and some do not have any visitors at all.  Some of the girls had been here for 19 years and some had been here a short time.  All struggle with many of the same things as your children and other children around the world do.  Self esteem is something that is so hard to instill in these girls.  They have so many abilities and talents.  Some are very artistic, all of them are very smart, some love to dance and some love to read.  All of them can figure out the crafts the team brings and then they put their own spin on it to make it theirs.  They are all quite amazing.  

I noticed for months now that the older ones were getting a little restless.  They were studying at the university, or at a technical nursing school, or at a beautician school.  Since May we have had a couple of the girls really struggling with depression.  When you are depressed nothing is right.  I have suffered from depression years ago when I was in my twenties and it is truly a scary time, but thankfully I got saved and God restored my mind, heart and attitude.  However, with a few of the girls, it wasn't to be like that.  Sometimes, when you are depressed you are so miserable you can do nothing but find fault the lives of others or in your own life.  It becomes a cancer of sorts, that becomes viral and it eats away at the core of who you are.  I started noticing a personality change in some of my girls.  Girls who in the past who had been so incredibly sweet, kind, and helpful, became resentful, negative and sullen.  I didn't know what to do.  You look for reason in yourself.  Am I praying enough? Am I being loving enough?  Am I encouraging them enough?  Again, I know through my own testimony, that empty place can only be filled by Jesus, everything else is temporary. 

When visitors come to the farm for the first time they tell me that you can feel such a sweet spirit here.  Love is here because the Lord is the foundation of what we are doing here at Project Talitha Cumi.  God has blessed us in so many areas.  The girls who struggle with depression have gone to doctors that were recommended by the local doctors in our area.  With each Doctor the girls saw, they would say that they were depressed, but that they were in the best place they could be to get over their depression.  They would give them some things they needed to do, and they would be better for a season, and they felt assured that everything would be better.  I would agree and pray for their success. Again, it was needful, but temporary.

There is another phenomenon that I have seen at the farm, when a girl starts getting restless to leave.  It is a natural occurrence, and it affects their personality too.  I called a couple of the older girls into the office to talk with them.  I told them that life is a process, and that the feelings they are struggling with are normal.  I told them the story of how a mama eagle prepares her nest to the point that she tears out her feathers to make sure the nest will be comfortable.  But sometime she make it too comfortable for them to leave when they are old enough and she has to remove the soft plumage from the nest and the baby eaglets very uncomfortable because they are on sticks.  If the eaglets still will not fly they will pull out the sticks and let them fall or grabs them and flies high and drops them.  She circles back around and picks them up if they don't get it.   I told them for right now we were on the level of removing feathers.  Before I talked to the girls, I prayed and God showed me that some of the girls were just afraid to leave and of the unknown.  They knew how the farm operated, but they didn't know what it was like out side of the farm. I felt like they were stirring themselves up just to get upset enough to leave.  God showed me also that they really didn't have to trust Him for anything because the ministry and all the generous loving people, who love the girls and help us with this ministry were all the girls thought they needed.  They had no need of anything that the ministry didn't provide.  And even though the farm is wonderful, and we had made a great foundation for the girls of devotions morning and night and church on Sunday, they didn't have that hunger to seek God to fill that place that only He can fill in their lives.  What we provided, (outside of Love and a foundation of God's Word) is just temporary until they decided to build on their own foundation.  

So in this month we have had several girls who were 18 and older to move out of the center.  One girl moved in with her mom whose health is failing rapidly.  We have girls who are in college and will not be home as much as they used too with their increasing responsibilities of study at their universities.  It has been a strange thing not having them here, but again, I have to keep reminding myself  the time they are to be here is only a window and temporary. The goal is to get them out there with the tools to help them live successful lives.  Empty nests affects the mama eagle too.  They have gotten jobs, moved in with family members. ( Some younger girls just left because they felt like they were part of the older girls even though there was at least 4 years difference. That is another story) They all seem to be doing well in their new locations, but they are missed.  You feel good that you accomplished what God asked you to do, but you think of so many things, that you wanted to finish up with them, but then temporary is over and now they need to rely on permanence of God. 

I want to thank all of you who have supported, loved and prayed for our girls over the years to get them to this point.  I know God will send more, but for now I am content with the 21 girls that remain and the challenges they bring to the table.  Please continue to pray for our mission and the young women who are now living outside the farm.  The good news is the ones who have phones, call and check in on the news from home. One girl visits every Sunday on her day off.   In getting them ready to launch out, the other part of the vision is that they always have a home to come back to visit.  Pray for me for the adjustment of having mostly middle schoolers as our oldest girls.  Pray that I will reconcile the feeling of loss that mom's feel when a child leaves the home. Blessings, from the Honduran MOM.