Sunday, February 19, 2017

Happy Birthday, Nicole

Thirty one years ago, on a cold Wednesday morning in Lubbock, Texas my only daughter was born.

I already had two little boys whom I loved with all my heart.  I just thought that number three would be a boy, too.  And, planned accordingly.  This was before the day a person could easily find out.  But, just in case, we picked out a name for girl.  We were on the way to the hospital when we chose this name.  Laura for my best friend and Nicole because it was beautiful with Laura. 

After a hard, fast, labor, much to my surprise and delight, a sweet baby girl was born.  She was beautiful.  We had this beautiful name picked out for this beautiful baby.  I wanted to use the double name; a beautiful name for a beautiful baby.  Everyone just settled in with the middle name. 

With two big brothers, she was teased mercilessly.  Most of the time, she did not handle that too well.  Regardless of that, she was always loyal to those two brothers. 

Our family has suffered a lot of tragedies.  Nicole always turned to God to get her through these tragedies. 

I am proud of the woman she has become.  She is a great mother, wife, daughter and friend.  I love getting to do ministry with her family.

I love you Nicole.  Happy birthday.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Cast Is An Humbling Experience

I have always claimed a dependency on God, family and friends.  That is a fact.  But, I am also extremely independent, or some may even say strong-willed.  I like to be able to do for myself and do it the way I want it.

Two weeks ago, I viewed this broken bone as a minor inconvenience.  A walking cast meant I could still get around.  And still do everything I needed and wanted to do.  A walking cast would not even slow me down.

Maybe that would have been true if I were 20. But, not when I am 60.

I was so wrong. This cast has slowed me down a lot.

I can get around.  I can get around easier than after my knee surgery last year.  But this cast is heavy.  I tire easily.  And, like it or not, there are some things I just cannot do. 

Baby Paigie was sick when I broke this ankle.  She had to be nebulized 10 or 12 times a day the first couple of days I was in a cast.  I felt Nicole had so much on her plate that I was not going to add anything else. 

It has been very humbling to say,  "I can't do this." or "I need help".  Or even more so to have to say, "I am just too tired to do that right now."  Or for someone to come down here for something and I am still in my shorts and t-shirt and 9:00 or 9:30 in the morning.

I am still trying to not ask Nicole too often as I know her plate is full.  She may not think that, but in my mind I think I am not asking too often.

I am learning to rest and be patient, something I needed to learn.

Be still and know that I am God.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Are We Making A Difference

Somewhere close to ten years ago, I made a decision to come live and work at Casa de Esperanza.  If I am perfectly honest, I had no idea what I was doing or getting myself into.  But, I do not regret that decision. 

I arrived to a bunch of broken, really broken, little kids. 

It has been a long journey, with many people on the journey with me. I have poured myself into these kids.  I have loved.  I have prayed.  I have wept.  I have been injured both emotionally and physically. 

Last year, 2016, was a very difficult year.  We faced a lot of problems with these kids.  I loved, I prayed, I wept some more.  I listened to the devil's lies telling me that I was not making a difference, that none of us were making a difference. 

I get to see these kids, especially the girls, at their stinkiest and their prettiest does not shine through very often. 

Tuesday, after I fell and Nicole was leaving to meet me at the hospital, she told other adults she was leaving because I had fallen.  When she got to the hospital, she said, " Mom, I think there might be a glimmer of hope for those girls.  They were genuinely concerned when they heard you fell."  I barely smiled. 

These girls have some extra work chores because of behavior and attitude.  They are working near my house.  Yesterday, some of them stopped at the door to ask how I  was doing.  Yesterday, was a really good day and I told them I would be up today either for devotional or lunch.  First thing this morning, I knew for sure that it would not be devotional. 

I started up for lunch about 10 minutes before 12:00.  The girls were just starting inside to wash their hands.  Two of them rushed down, put their arms around me, and we all walked up together.  They gave me some much needed support.

As I entered, two of the girls got two chairs, one for me and one for my leg.  One even ran and got a pillow and propped my foot up on it. 

We laughed and talked at lunch.  Then one took my dishes and carried to the kitchen for me.  Then they put my chairs away.

Two of the girls walked me back to the house.  I told them thanks and that I was really tired and I would not be back up today and maybe not tomorrow.  They said, "please don't come if it is too hard.

I was very touched by the concern the girls showed me today.

Are we making a difference in these kids lives ten years later?  I don't know if we are or not.  But, God sure is. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Humpty-Dumpty Had A Great Fall

Tuesday is my day off. 

Tomorrow the girls go back to school.  Sunday, I asked Nicole why don't we all go do something together on Tuesday.  We all agreed it sounded like a great idea.  We decided to go to Santa Lucia and the Valley of Angels.  That sounded great as long as I did not have to drive and did not have to think.

Last night, around 8:00,  the big girls came down to stay and Matt and Nicole took Baby Paige to the Emergency Room.  Nicole came down this morning and said she had to nebulize the baby every two hours.  She then said, you and Haley go on to the Valley of Angels.  Of course, Emma wanted to go, too.  She promised to be good.  I had visions of the theater, but I said yes.

I had to go to the ATM and Matt rode down to the shop where is car was being repaired.  We left Tegucigalpa about 9:30.

We were singing and laughing.  I taught the girls "Do Lord" and Haley and I taught Emma " One, Two, Three The Devil's After Me."  When we finished, Emma would say "again."  And we would sing one more time.

We went in a couple of stores and then walked through the plaza to Espresso Americano for granitas.  After we finished granitas, we were going in some more stores and then find a place to eat.  We were walking and talking.  Everything is really uneven.  I stepped out of my shoe and off the curb at the same time and ended up on my bottom on the street.  Both girls were screaming.  Quite loudly.  I was sure I was okay.  The screaming attracted a lot of attention and lot of people running in my direction.  Two people helped me up.  One kind soul let me put my foot up in his restaurant.  He offered us water and anything we wanted. 

I really thought my foot was better and we left.  I knew not to remove my shoe and I did not. 

We went walking slowly down the street.  With each step, my foot hurt more.  We went into a couple of more stores.  There is a high curb to step onto and most of the stores had a couple of big steps down into the store and I just could not negotiate the steps.  We slowly headed back to the first store where we had picked out a few things to purchase later. 

The girls were so concerned and held my hands as we even more slowly walked.  We made our purchases and somehow, I got to the car.

I called Nicole and asked her to call the hospital and see if she could make me an appointment with Dr. Ham.  She called back in a few minutes and said he would see me.  She said he just sat down to lunch.  He had taken his kids out to eat before they start back to school tomorrow.

I had to drive from the Valley of Angels and the girls needed to eat.  We stopped at Burger King near the hospital and ate.  Every time I got in and out of the car, my foot hurt more. 

The hospital parking lot was full and I had to park  more than a block away.  I hobbled up the hill with the girls holding my hands.

Matt and Nicole were on their way to get the girls.

Nicole was going to stay and drive me home.  I think I could have made, but I was really glad she was there.  The girls did not want to leave Grammy.

I had an x-ray.  I have a small fracture on my ankle.  By this time, I am being transported in a wheelchair and Emma is holding my hand all the way.

Unlike Humpty-Dumpty, Dr. Ham could put me together again with a  walking cast for four weeks and no surgery required.   I am very thankful for no surgery and very thankful that Dr. Ham gave up some time with his kids.  He just brought them to the hospital with him.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

End of Year Newsletter

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

Dear Friends of Casa de Esperanza,

It has been a while since I have done a newsletter.  I made three quick trips to Texas in the first four months of this year to be with my mother as she was dying.  I also had knee surgery in February.  I just never got back into a rhythm, if there ever was a rhythm around here.

I think most people and most organizations can claim that are victories and defeats, highs and lows in every year.  That would definitely be the case this year at Casa de Esperanza.

As the year began, we were busy raising money for four of the kids to go to special needs school.  We successfully raised that money.  The children that went to this school benefitted greatly and improved socially, emotionally, and educationally.   Our desire is to keep these kids in this school.  As we began the year, we end the year trying to raise money for educational needs.

In January, Nicole had just become interim director.   She has done a great job and I have loved having my family here on campus.  Nicole’s heart is truly with Honduras Hope.  She will soon be returning to work with that ministry as we have finally found a director for Casa de Esperanza. 

We will welcome Guadalupe Villatoro as our new director.  Her passion for these children, her desire to make this home better and the skills she brings with her will be huge assets to us all.  She will be able to remove a huge burden from me.

Sewing classes have continued.  The girls have started to learn making jewelry as well.  All of the older kids are learning to cut hair.  The three older boys have had a woodworking class.  My desire is for everyone to leave here knowing how to do something.  Thanks to all the people that have skills and are willing to share them with the kids.

Everyone was in school in 2016.  We had five different school schedules.  We also hired a driver.  Jackson did very well in school this year and finished 9th grade.  That is a huge accomplishment in this country.  Sisi did pretty well in school.  Making the transition from elementary school to high school has been hard on all of our kids, but she did exceptionally well with that transition.  Katy and Nohemy finished 6th grade and will be going to high school in February.  Of course, there were celebrations for these graduations and for all making good grades.  Some of the children did not have great years and will be repeating a grade next year.

We did three service projects in December.  We visited the nursing home, the women’s prison and the dump.  I hope the kids learned about serving others from these outings.  Some of the outings were fun and some were gut-wrenching for us all.

This year, 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of Casa de Esperanza and making a difference in these kids’ lives.  It also marked the time to replace some windows and doors and make other improvements.  Having this many kids is hard on living space. 

I wish I could fill this newsletter with all great and wonderful things.  But everything that happened at Casa this year was not great and wonderful.

Two of the kids are no longer with us.  One child had to be removed for everyone else’s safety and one decided that she was 17 our rules were stupid.  We love these kids and we pour ourselves into them.  We have wept and prayed, and prayed and wept over these two dear ones. 

Some employees did not make it this year either.  While some needed to leave, it is always difficult on the children to have another person leave them. 

I think the future for Casa de Esperanza is hopeful.  We plan on taking a few more children in 2017.  I have a very good staff in place right now.  We have some new ideas and new perspectives. 

It is not too late to make a year-end donation to Casa de Esperanza.  Or, if you wish to sponsor a child, help with the cost of education for the special needs children or any other need we have, you can send a check to:
Casa de Esperanza
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705

Or, you can go online and make a one- time donation or set up recurring monthly payments at  Another option is and go to the Casa tab.

We appreciate you our friends, our prayer warriors, our financial supporters and our emotional encouragers.  Thank you for partnering with us.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact me at


Terri Tindall