Monday, May 16, 2016

Soup's On


My job is at Casa de Esperanza.  I rarely leave except to do Casa errands.  I do think it is good for me to see other aspects of the ministry from time to time.  Today, I decided to go to the feeding center with Matt.  It has been a really long time since I have been out there.

Matt and I arrived at 8:15.  The two women that cook were already there, working away.  Today was soup day.  Vegetables were being washed and chopped.  I was fascinated by the whole process.  There is not a lot of work space, but everything runs efficiently.






A while back, we bought eco-fogons on which to cook.  They burn less wood and are more efficient than what we had before.



The rice was being cooked there, but the soup pot is too big for the eco-fogon.  It was being cooked over a handmade fire near the ground.  When it was done, it took two people to carry it.


Moms and children begin to arrive around 10:00.  Grateful mom.  Sweet kids.  Happy kids.  Hungry kids.  Dirty kids.  Really dirty kids.

A portion of your Dump Day dollars goes to keep this feeding center open in the community of Buen Samaritano, a very poor community right outside of the dump.  These children are fed five days a week.  We are in the process of adding electricity so that we can have a refrigerator in the feeding center.

Thanks to everyone that donated to Dump Day 2016.  You are making a difference in the lives of the children in Buen Samaritano.






Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day Programs

In Honduras, Mother's Day is a big holiday.  All of the schools and all of the churches have programs.  The Casa kids are in five schools.  It was a busy weekend.

Emma's program was Wednesday.  Nicole and Paige went to that one.  I did not.

Olman's kindergarten program was Friday morning and Mercedes went to that.  Rosy's is this coming Friday and Nicole is going to that.

The franticness began on Friday afternoon.  The program at the high school was at 1:30 Friday afternoon.  There are six kids in the high school and they were all excited that Nicole and I were going. 
Baby Paige got dressed up to go, too.

We got to the high school and were walking in when Nicole went down.  She had the baby and protected her, but Nicole's ankle was not so good.  I took the baby and we got inside and sat down as quickly as possible.

The salon was nicely decorated.

There was some local entertainment and some native Honduran dancing.  I really enjoyed watching the dancing.  That is until one of the guys grabbed me to dance.  As he swung he into the number, Nicole grabbed my camera and was shooting away.






Nicole won one of the canastas.


Everyone wanted to show off Paige

Daniela kept the flies off of the cake

After the entertainment, each grade was suppose to go to different rooms for refreshments.  I did 8th grade, Nicole did 7th and 9th.  Daniela grabbed cake and chips for Nicole from the 8th grade refreshments and Jackson brought me cake from the 9th grade room.  They were really glad we were there and wanted to make sure we got our refreshments.

We got home around 3:30 and had to leave for El Faro at 5:00.

A few minutes before 5:00, we are ready to go.
 
Again, everyone wants to be with Paige.

I love El Faro.  I am glad that some of our kids have the opportunity to go there.  The teachers helped each child as needed and everyone was a star.


Any did a great job
Josue entered late and left early, but he tried.


The girls were in some cute dance numbers
 
Nicole can always be found with a lap full of kids, hurt ankle and all.

 

Saturday morning was the program at the elementary school.  We got to the school at 8:30.  It was a long wait until it began.  Nothing starts on time in Honduras, but this school always takes it to a whole new level.

The decoration were pretty.  I got to look at them for a long, long time.

Katy wanted to run around with the baby.
But, Baby got tired of all these programs


Josue's class did 2 song and dance routines.

And, this one from church yesterday.

We have had a rough time at Casa lately.  Nicole and I have wondered if we were making a difference in these kids lives.  All three programs gave us reason to think that we are.  At the high school, Ana is on the student council.  She was required to stay and clean up.  Sisi and Daniela stayed and helped as well.  That was their choice.

El Faro is 45 minutes away.  It was night.  The kids were tired and hungry.  Those kids get up at 5:00 and leave for school at 6:00.  We did not have one behavior problem that night.  That is not always the case with these kids.

At the elementary school, there are always suggestive and provocative dances.  Katy was asked to be in a dance number and she declined saying that it was not appropriate..

In each of these situations, I was proud of the kids.

I can tell you for sure that the kids were not the only ones tired.  I was in bed asleep before 8:00 Saturday night.


 




 





Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

It has been less than three weeks since my mom died.  I am still raw. I miss her.  I want to talk to her again. I do not want her back in the form she was the last few days of her life.  But, I miss her terribly.

My mom was a great mom.  The best mom.  She loved God with all of her being and she wanted my sister and me to love Him also.  For both of us, our very first outing after birth was to church.

She loved my daddy more than any other person on earth.  She was the most devoted and loving wife.  And, she loved my sister and me.  Passionately.  With reckless abandon.  She was a mamma bear when it came to protecting us.  There is no doubt in my mind that she would have given her life to safe one of us.  She went to bat for us.  And, in going to bat for us or protecting us, she, at times, might not have been the nicest person on earth.  But, it was because of a mother's love.

She loved family.  Her family and my daddy's family.  Both families were equally important to her.

She cooked for all church members and neighbors when they were sick or grieving a lost family member.  She helped everyone in every way that she could.  We now know, there were many things she did for people that no one knew about but my mom and the person for whom she did it.  I think everyone of my cousins told us a story of something she had done for them when no one else knew.

She made very special memories for us.

I was blessed to be raised by her and blessed to call her mom.

In 1980, I became a mom for the first time.  My mom was so happy when I told her I was expecting a baby.  And, when Ryan was born, she was running through the hospital saying, "we got us a boy.  We got us a boy."

We were living in Amarillo when Ryan was born, an easy hour from Borger.  My first child did not like to sleep.  Ever.  He had colic.  Mom was working at T.G.& Y.  She had Thursdays off..  She drove to Amarillo on Wednesday after work and stayed Wednesday night and Thursday night with me so that I could sleep.  She drove back every Friday morning to work.  I know she must have been exhausted.  I appreciated that little sleep more than she will ever know.

I am blessed to be called Mom by Nathan and Nicole and to have been called Mom by Ryan for almost 20 years.

 Bless their hearts.  I did not have a clue what was I doing.  I made mistakes.  Big mistakes.  I was not always correct.  I was not always fair.  I was not always patient.  I think I was always tired.  I did not know what I was doing.  I did not know how to handle some situations, but I believe in a great big God.  I spent a lot of time on my knees talking to Him.

There were fun times and endearing times.  Sad times and happy times.

No matter what my shortcomings were and are, you guys always made me feel like, and still do, I could do anything, even when I could not.  We loved each other through the hard times.  And, in spite of me, in spite of my shortcomings, God took over and created beautiful adults with beautiful spouses and beautiful grandchildren.  I am proud of all of you.

I am blessed that God entrusted me to be your mom.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

You Don't Have To Be Crazy To Work Here, But It Helps

And, if you are not crazy when you get here, it won't be long until you are full blown looney tunes.

Last night at 11:30, there was a loud pop, followed immediately by a fire.  An electrical wire was on fire.  It went out quickly on its own.  Thankfully.  The power went out in Matt and Nicole's apartment, the big house and the office.

We thought there would be an electrician this morning.  And, then we thought there would be one this afternoon.  We think there will be one in the morning.

About 7:00, I heard a knock on my door, followed by a sweet "Grammy."  I went to the door and Haley said that she needed to do her homework because she could not see the words at her house.  In a few minutes Emma and Nicole came down because Emma needed something from my house.

Haley read about some animals.  I guess that was probably science.  The she said she had to read 10 minutes in English and10 minutes in Spanish.

She read about 2 minutes and there was another knock on the door.  The guard said that Doris needed me to come up.  I told Haley she would have to go with me.  I was holding her hand as we walked toward Casa.  The sidewalk really is narrow and we were having trouble both of us staying on the sidewalk.  Haley says, "we are both a bit wide.  I will walk in front.  This is a one passenger sidewalk, not a two passenger sidewalk.

It is the first of the month.  Meat and chicken have just been purchased for the month.  I made the PriceSmart run on Monday and milk and bread for two weeks came yesterday.  The freezers are full.  The power has been off for 20 hours.  Things were beginning to thaw.

I told Doris that everything would have to be moved to the dorm first and then, when that was full, to my house.  Normally, I help with these things, but I said, "sorry I can't help this time.  Haley has to finish her homework."  She gets up at 5:00 every morning.  She did need to finish her homework and get to bed.

The girls started moving all the things.  Haley and I walked back down the one passenger sidewalk.

Haley and I sat down and she began reading again.  I could hear the girls yelling and screaming and laughing.  They were having so much fun moving things from one freezer to the other in the dark.

Poor Haley was about to fall asleep before she finished reading.  But she got it done.

This is our life.  Craziness.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Dump Day 2016

Tomorrow, May 4 is Dump Day.  That is what we call our annual fundraiser that raises money so that we can feed a hot meal every Wednesday to the people that live and/or work in the Tegucigalpa dump.  It also helps us feed 200 children 5 days a week in a community called Buen Samaritano, just outside of the dump.  Most of the these children's parents work in the dump. 

We have been feeding people in the dump since 2008.  Once in a while, we feed more than once a week.  Rarely, do we not go on Wednesday.  One Wednesday, Matt got rear ended on the way to the dump.  It rained beans and rice.  No one made it to the dump that day.  There have been 2 or 3 other times someone did not make it to the dump to feed.

The feeding center has been open for 2 1/2 years.  Matt and Luis do an outstanding job taking care of the feeding center.

None of this would be possible without donations.  If you are interested in making a donation, you can mail your check to:
 Honduras Hope
 P.O. Box 9222
 Columbus, MS 39705 and write dump in the memo line or you can use this link to donate online 

http://www.easytithe.com/dl/?uid=hondpo256
 
 


These people were actually living in this house of tires inside the dump.  That little girl was really glad to get the beans and rice we gave her.  Most of us, thankfully, do not know this kind of desperation.  Please consider making a donation.
 
 
 

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Battle Is Raging

Nicole and I have been reading a lot of books on spiritual warfare.  I believe in this.  I believe that most Christians are in this battle because satan is not content to let God have us. 

Without going into all the gory details suffice it to say, we are engaged in battle here at Casa de Esperanza.  We are battling for these kids' souls.  This is a difficult battle and the enemy has a lot of weapons at his disposal.  My weapons are prayer and knowing that I have great big God that is more powerful than the enemy.  Even though God is more powerful, the enemy has engaged us in a fierce battle.  And, I am not going to lie, I am battle weary.

I beg you to please join us in daily prayer as the battle rages on.  Doris, Reina, Rosy, Cindy, Daniela, Ana, Nohemy, Katy, Sisi, Any, Maryuri, Guadalupe, Jackson, Fernando, Jose, Josue, Cris, Yair, Olman and Josue are definitely worth any prayer you say for them.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

No Indoor Plumbing

I imagine most of us cannot even comprehend sending our little children to elementary school without running water and indoor plumbing.  I started to school in the early 60's and we had running water and indoor plumbing.  Even then.

I can promise you that I would not have allowed my children to go to a school without running water.

The Casa kids that are in elementary school go to school in Santa Ana, but right next door to us, Ojojona, the elementary school has no running water.  This is a large school.  They have both morning and afternoon sessions.  They have latrines. 

This weekend, the city and school are raising money for running water and toilets.  It was required for every parent to help raise money for this.  Not optional.  Required. 

Last week our church, which is in Ojojona, voted unanimously to give this week's contribution to that effort.  The contribution this morning was over 1600 lempiras, which is larger than a normal week's contribution. 

When we left church, there were little children in their uniforms and parents every where with the big water bottles.  We ate with the group and then Nicole had to go back to the mission house.  We were stopped at the entrance to Ojojona as there was a donation station there.  We both gave a little more.  While we were at the mission house, people came on the property and asked us to give.  We explained that we had already given.  They were very grateful and thanked us.  As we left, we saw the same people going on to another property to ask. 

No one we saw seemed to mind that they were required to be spending their Sunday in this manner.  Most seemed happy to be helping.

I hope the money needed is raised for this project. 

Sending our children to school with no running water and no toilets is something our American minds cannot even begin to understand.