Sunday, July 19, 2015

God Works In Mysterious Ways

I have always heard that you should be careful what you pray for because you might get it.  Last year we prayed for something and were shocked at the answer we received.  Just recently, God answered two prayers in a way we did not expect.  I am not comfortable sharing these publicly, but it you want to know, private message me and I will share them.

I will admit I am tired, very tired now.  I was looking forward to Randy Mcadam's group visiting Casa today.  I love for groups to visit us.  I was looking forward to showing them around and showing them how some of the kids have improved and some of the improvements we have made since they last visited us.

But, I was also hoping to squeeze in a short nap between church and their visit.

Well, I have certainly squeezed in a nap or two.  Or more.  I am sitting here in the hospital with Jackson after he had an emergency appendectomy last night (really early this morning).  I think I am sleeping more than he is and he is taking pain meds.  I am not.  And sleeping in a hospital chair is usually not easy, but I am so tired, it has not been a problem.

I am not happy that Jackson had to have emergency surgery, but I am thankful for a day or two of slowing down.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

June Newsletter

Casa de Esperanza
Making a difference, one child at a time
P. O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705

Amigos de Casa,

I am running a bit behind. That is getting to be the norm, not a norm I like, but nonetheless, the norm.

We are having an extremely dry rainy season. So far, we have had sufficient water, but who know how long that will last. Please pray that we have plenty of water and/or more for rain. I know, I know. Some of you folks would gladly send your rain our way.

May began with a trip to the beach. We had not done this is three years and some of the kids had never been to the beach. It is so much work to prepare for this trip and to clean up after we get back. Every second of the work was well worth it because everyone had so much fun. We were riding along on the bus and we start seeing the tilapia farms. Cris starts shouting, “ la playa, la playa” (the beach, the beach)

 Bathing beauties

Of course, May is full of Mother's day programs. There were seven this year. We met ourselves coming and going, but someone made every single one of them.

May and June brings the return of groups. Groups get a lot of work done for us and they bring a lot of fun.

Work on the wall has resumed.

This wall is a lot of work, but for the security it will provide for the children, it will all be worth it.

Mark Connell's group came and made cotton candy and popcorn. There were lots of smiles that day, both the Casa kids and the group.

Tim Hines' group took us to the zoo in Sabana Grande one Sunday afternoon. We had fun and this was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. We had a real Honduran experience on the way home. The bus broke down and we had to change buses. I was a nervous wreck as we had to get from one bus to the other on the highway. Everyone had to hold an adult's hand. The big kids grumbled about this, but they lived through it. I was able to breathe a big sigh of relief when we were all safe on the other bus.

The Griffiths were here in June for more sewing classes. Doug taught the boys some bicycle repair.

Book bags were made and even most of the boys joined in the sewing this time.

We are blessed to have each one of you as part of this ministry. Please, do not stop praying for the kids and the staff. There are constant battles to be fought.

Thank you for the generous one time donations that many of you made. It has helped our financial situation greatly, but we are not out of the woods. If you are interested in making a one time donation, please contact me. We still have many children who not sponsored. If you can sponsor a child on a monthly basis, please let me know. You can also remember Casa de Esperanza with memorial and honor donations.

Casa de Esperanza
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705

If you have any questions, please contact me by email any time.

Please feel free to share this newsletter with whomever you think is interested.

Again, I thank you for your generous donations and prayers.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Today is Tuesday, my suppose-to-be day off.  Nicole needed to translate in the clinic.  I took the girls.  We really had a lot of fun, which I hope will be another blog in a day or so.  We also combined a lot of fun with a lot of errands. 

I have not done errands with two small children in a long time.  It takes a long time to get Emma in and out of the car seat.  More potty breaks.  Potty breaks with those two could easily be a whole blog or a whole book.  They needed a shower after they ate ice cream.  As fun as all of this was, I was exhausted. 

We stopped at Casa before going to the Mission House.  Someone had stolen money and no one would admit it.  I was tired and frustrated.  Can no one deal with these issues but me, especially on my day off.  I definitely had the makings for a good meltdown.

We got to Ojojona and dinner was already being served.  I still had to ready the store for the night's business.

This week everyone, every where is out of school.  Matt asked Brayan to work with the group and he gladly accepted.  It is good to see him every morning and night.  He saw me down there trying get things ready.  He came down to help. 

I was in the store until devo started.  I went back up there feeling like that meltdown could happen any minute.  After a few songs where I could really praise and worship, Robert said we had a guest speaker tonight.  Brayan was going to share his story.  Meltdown time arrived.  I started crying before he said a single word.  I cried the whole time he spoke.  And, I continued to cry long after he finished. 

Robert asked him to stand in the center of the room and everyone would pray over him.  I jumped up and rushed to where he was.  He hugged me and I hugged him while someone said a prayer for Brayan. 

Thank God for a life that was changed.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bravery, Or Not So Much

I am a woman that lives by myself in a third world country.  I drive in Tegucigalpa (admittedly, not for the faint of heart).  Many people think I am brave.

Except for Kim, a few of the Casa kids and my kids, most of the people have not seen my reaction when a little mouse gets in my house.  Every time I hope that my screaming will scare it to death.  So far, that has not happened.

And, a dead one is not any better than a live one.  Perhaps a dead one is better because I can up to Casa and Josè will come down and get it out for me.

One mouse ate himself to death on one of my favorite sweaters, truly the sweater to die for.

The other day a bold little mouse was running all over my office, while I sat here working.  After my initial screams did not give it a heart attack, I sat here yelling at it to leave my stuff alone.  That did not work either.  I went to get Josè.  We looked and looked and never found it.  I think I might have seen Josè chuckle a time or two.

I can handle many things, but please not another little mouse in my house. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Adventures In The Sand

Nicole and I read an article about Punta Sal.  It sounded lovely and we decided we would take the girls.  The article said it was very easy to get there if you had your own vehicle.   I guess all articles do not tell the truth.  And, omit important details like needing four wheel drive.

Nicole had located a place with Dr Peppers so we stopped there first.  There was only one Dr Pepper left. 

We were following directions, seeing beautiful scenery, and having a great time.  Nicole even commented, "for a dirt road this is not bad at all."  One would think we would learn not to make these kinds of statements.  Even when the dirt road turned to sand, it was packed sand.  We were creeping along, laughing and talking, with the windows down.  I needed to take pictures, you know.

Then all of a sudden, we came upon some soft sand and we went no further.  I got out of the car to assess the situation.  Haley got out, too.  The right rear tire was completely buried in sand. 

I was wearing a skirt.  I got on my knees and begin to dig out with a teeny tiny sand toy, not much bigger than a serving spoon.  Haley got down beside me and started digging with her hands.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, as the case might be, Nicole did not capture this Kodak moment. 

Haley and I unburied the tire and Nicole was able to back up a little, but not enough to get us going forward again.  Some ladies had been watching us for a while.  After we got the tire unburied, they brought 2 boards and put them in right of the front tires.  They and I all pushed the car and we were out of the sand. 

We drove a few hundred yards and asked some men how far we had to go to get where we wanted  to be.  They said 15 minutes.  I have heard "15 minutes" in this country before.  Rarely, is it just 15 minutes.  They also said we would need four wheel drive.  And, then we would have to park and take a boat.

Nicole drove forward for about 2 minutes.  And, we saw another soft sand pit and beyond that more and more soft sand.  We turned around.  We got to the first soft sand, she drove real fast and we made it through.

We then found a place to park the car on some firmly packed sand and got out and played. 

It was not exactly what we started out to do, but we still had a great time this morning.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Water Water Every Where And I Hope There Is Enough Left In Which To Shower

I am learning and reading about endurance.  Sometimes, I don't want to endure anything else.  Nothing is as bad as last year, but it just keeps coming.

A week ago on Friday, I left here at 8:00 to run errands.  I got to Ojojona about 5:30 to unload some things into the store. The refrigerator was leaking and there was quite a bit of water.  At that moment, I thought it was a huge amount of water.  I would later learn what a huge amount of water really was.  I moved things and cleaned things and took some t-shirts home to hang on the line.  I was mildly irritated and hugely exhausted.

Yesterday, I tried to leave for the mission house at 5:00.  It was about 5:30 before I left.  Daniela, Karol and Kelin were with me.  I stopped at Lupe's house to buy internet time.  That is a very short distance from the mission house.  Matt called and said there was water running out the door of the store.  I said I would be there in just a minute.  I thought I needed to finish discussing with Lupe the correct amount of change that I was owed.  Matt called right back and said he could hear something rushing inside the store.

I drove up and there was water coming out from under the door and filling the breezeway.  I ran to unlock the door and immediately learned what a huge amount of water was.  The water in the sink had been left running. 

Did I rejoice in my trials?  No. Did I pray?  No.  I did a very mature thing and cried.  I don't mean a few little tears.  I mean I was doubled over sobbing.  I turned the water off and began hauling things outside.  The group rushed in to help me.  I mean lots of things had to be hauled out. 

Things were stack and hanging everywhere.

The store is the single biggest fundraiser for Casa de Esperanza and we are not in the financial position to lose a single piece of product.   I could not get myself together.  I guess being tired did not help much either.

Two brooms, a mop, a shop vac and 45 minutes later, most of the water was out of the store.   And, I was quite a bit calmer.  Things could always be worse.  None of my lenca or leather products were wet.  It would not have been much longer until they would have been, but they were not.  It did not involve money to get it fixed.  I am almost laughing about the situation this morning.

All of a sudden, it dawned on me that we had 21 guests in the mission house and the cistern might have been drained after the water ran all day and there might not be water for showers.  Water is so valuable here.  I hated that so much was wasted.

When Nicole and the girls got there, Haley came into the store and said, "I am sorry, Grammy.  I left the water on."  I hugged that sweet girl and told her I loved her and that I was not mad at her and that everything was okay.  She tried to tear up.  I told her to not even cry.  I knew I would start again.

I got most things back into the store before I left last night.  I left everything in a mess.  A big mess.  It is two weeks before the next group comes.  I will have time to clean up.  Or I will be over there in 2 weeks scrambling to get it done. 

There are dozens of t shirts hanging on the line this morning.  Some of the dark ones faded on the light ones, but it really is not a big deal.

If I ever complain of being bored, remind me that boring is nice.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Trip To The Zoo

Today after church and lunch, Tim's group took the kids to the zoo.  It is a small zoo about 30 miles south of here.  We all rode the bus with the group.  The time on the bus each way is as fun as the event.

There were some monkeys, ostriches and other birds, and some big cats. We also saw raccoons,

foxes, and coyotes. This girl has seen those plenty of times, but the children were very excited to see these animal.

There was also lots of pretty plants and flowers.

Everyone loved the animals and the flowers and plants, but the hit of the day was the ride.  It was an old ski lift without the cable.  It was pulled around the zoo by  the riding lawn mower.

Almost everyone rode it.

Josue thought he wanted to ride, but changed his mind before it started.  Olman rode it and laughed the whole time, a vast improvement.

The anxious moment was on the way home when the bus had a radiator problem.  We had to change buses.  Because of an infestation of ants, we had to go out the back door of the bus and walk on the highway to the other bus.  Great care was taken to see that each child was with an adult and that they went one at a time.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief when everyone was on the bus and we were once again on our way. 

It was a great day and a big thanks to Tim's group for the trip to the zoo.