Monday, December 29, 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

After leaving Topeka last Sunday and wishing for warmer temperatures, that is exactly what I got. Christmas week in Texas saw temperatures climbing into the 50s and 60s. Saturday we saw, and felt, the temperature plunge back into the 30s. We also saw snow. It snowed an hour or so. I am not sure Camille had ever seen snow. We bundled her up and let her go outside for a few minutes. Of course, Nathan and I had our cameras going.

After the snow stopped, there was a nice ground cover. Camille and I went outside again and made snow angels. I think Nathan might have taken more pictures of me making a snow angel than he did Camille. We had great fun.

I was glad the snow didn't last long as we all begin traveling again. Nathan and Julia left for Little Rock yesterday. Marc and I, along with Matt, Nicole and Camille, left for Shamrock, Texas yesterday morning where Marc presented our work in the Bible class hour and preached during church. We went to Wheeler, Texas and Marc preached last night.

At both places, we were again warmly received and were able to share our love for Honduras. We enjoyed great food and great fellowship and were even able to rest a bit in between.

We appreciate all the churches that let us share our work with them and all the folks that open their homes and hearts to us.

We hit the road again this week, first to Little Rock for Camille's birthday and then to Gulfport, Mississippi.


Friday, December 26, 2008


When we would travel from Memphis, California, or Columbus for Christmas, and after the shopping was done, the presents wrapped, and the car packed as full as it could be, there was always excitement and anticipation as we headed to Texas for Christmas. For me at least that excitement and anticipation existed. I am not sure it did for the kids. I thought about that song "Home for the Holidays". Phrases of the song would run through my head all day as we made our way. Phrases like "gee the traffic is terrific" and from "Atlantic to Pacific".

When we stopped for gas or food, I enjoyed seeing other families with the cars loaded and catching small pieces of conversation here and there like "when we get to grandma's...." or "I can't wait to get there."

I felt that excitement somewhat when we left Topeka on Monday and headed for Texas. I felt it more on Tuesday night as Nathan and Julia and sweet Camille left Little Rock. And today I feel it again as Matt and Nicole are driving from Baton Rouge. I don't know if my kids felt that excitement as they traveled to be with family. I hope they did and not just the drudgery of having to drive a long way.

We are blessed to be able to spend time with both my family and Marc's family, and, of course, our kids and their families.

Whether or not your Christmas is over or you are still Christmasing like we are, I hope you take the time to enjoy the blessing of family. And if you have to travel, be safe.


Sunday, December 21, 2008


Tuesday, when we drove from Illinois back to Searcy, we were on ice all the way. It was bad and even worse in Arkansas.

Yesterday, after graduation and lunch, we left for Kansas City. It was 54 degrees when we left Searcy. It was 5 when we got to Kansas City. The wind was blowing across the flat Kansas plains. Today it got all the way to 12, but with the wind blowing it felt like minus 12. Brrrr. That is cold. In the morning when we get up, it is suppose to be minus 4 and that is without the wind chill factored in.

I am not use to that kind of weather. I have been so cold.

Marc had been asked to speak at Overland Park Church of Christ this morning and at Central Church of Christ in Topeka tonight. We have never been to Overland Park and did not know one soul. We have several friends in Topeka.

We went in Overland Park and were welcomed like everyone knew us. We received the same welcome tonight. No matter how cold it is outside, it warms the heart to be in fellowship with other Christians, both in the church building and the homes of new and old friends. And I definitely needed my heart warmed since every thing else was freezing.

My heart is warm, but I am hoping for warmer temperatures soon.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

So Long, Harding

Marc and I have had at least one child living in Searcy since 2001. And even before that, Nicole and I went to Spring Sing at Harding for several years. I think it was at Spring Sing that Nicole made up her mind in ninth or tenth grade to attend Harding.

I am glad that both Nathan and Nicole decided to go to Harding. Over the years, we have made many good memories in Searcy. When Nathan was in his first semester, once in a while, I would drive over from Columbus just to do lunch with him. The Christmas Nathan and Julia were expecting Camille we joined Julia's parents in a cabin and had a white Christmas, complete with snowmen and all. Less than a week later, sweet Camille entered this world. So many memories. I know a route to Searcy from the east and west, and north and south. I have made the drive in record time in times of emergency.

Our kids graduated in May. Today, we watched Matt graduate. It was a wonderful day. Oh yes, the cameras were snapping. After graduation, we went to the McInteer to take those precious family pictures. Matt's folks then treated everyone to a meal at the Dixie Cafe, one of my favorite places.

I know we have no reason in the near future to return to Harding. I wasn't even sad. Memories are great. Having our children through college is even better.

Matt and Nicole will soon be moving from Searcy. We may be saying goodbye to Harding, but we will not be saying goodbye to Searcy any time soon, as we have really good friends living there. We will still be making that visit every time we are in Little Rock.

Goodbye Harding and yay Matt.


Friday, December 19, 2008

The Christmas Story According to Camille

Yesterday was a fun day. Marc and I left Searcy around noon. We were going to Little Rock to get Camille and take her to see Santa Claus. We got to her school, got Camille and asked for directions to the nearest mall.

We drove to the mall and waited patiently in line for our turn to visit with Santa. After paying a small fortune for a very small package of pictures, Camille asked to ride the escalator. With her little hands safely in ours we rode escalator up one level. As we got off the escalator, there was a cookie store. Marc bought us all cookies.

We walked back to the car because we had another mission in mind, an indoor playground. We were driving along looking for a McDonald's with an indoor playground. Camille is buckled in her carseat in the backseat. She is chattering away, when suddenly she is talking about Ken Harris trying to kill a baby. Marc and I looked at each other and both of us said "who is Ken Harris?" Marc said "what baby?" Camille said the baby Jesus. We immediately realized she meant King Herod, not Ken Harris. Marc corrected her and she said it the right way and told the rest of the story. Isn't it funny how kids sometimes hear things.

We found the playground and played a while. We had a great day with our sweet granddaughter. As we were driving home, Camille says can you guys pick me up from school again tomorrow. This has been fun.

Oh, how I wished we could have picked her up again today.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Traveling With A Princess

In October while Marc and I were in Hiper Pais, the closest thing to Wal-Mart in Honduras, we saw this gorgeous 35" Disney princess doll. At the same time we both said, "yes, she needs that." Of course, everyone knows she is Camille.

I thought I would find it on the internet, order it and have it shipped to Nicole's house. I have searched every site I could find on the internet, sometimes way into the night when I should have been sleeping. I could not find this doll. I just knew the doll had to be somewhere so I continued to search. I finally told Marc My Best Friend Princess 35" doll is not to be found in the United States, only in Honduras. Marc says if Poppy has to carry her on the plane, then that is what Poppy will do.

I went to town to buy the doll. Fortunately, I did not wait any longer because when I returned to Hiper Pais, there was only two dolls left. I chose Aurora for two reasons. One, she really is prettier than the other one and two, she is dressed in pink and that is Camille's favorite color.

I brought her home and she has stood around in my house for a couple of weeks. She has watched as sandwiches were made for the dump and been admired by our guests. One of my friends and I wondered if we would have to buy a ticket for her to get to the states.

This morning when we checked in at Tegucigalpa, we had all kinds of comments and stares. As we cleared security, the man asked where we got it, how much it cost and could he buy her. He was calling his wife to tell her about it, when Marc said she is not for sale.

Marc was chosen to have his bags searched. He was glad they did not want to open Aurora's box. He really did not want anyone touching Camille's doll.

The plane from Tegucigalpa to Houston was not very full and she safely rode in one of the overhead bins. As we cleared customs, one man about our age just stared at Marc in disbelief. Another asked if she had her passport. In Houston she stood at our table as we ate. She watched us eating with a smile on her face.

As we boarded the plane in Houston on Continental Express, a much smaller and fuller plane than the one we were on from Tegucigalpa, we weren't sure where she would ride. At first, we thought she was going to ride in the cockpit with the pilots. They had to move her to the back of the plane.

In Little Rock, we had to wait until everyone else was off the plane so we could get to the back of the plane to get her. We had completely humanized her by this time. Poppy was completely true to his word and carried her all the way.

Nathan was waiting when we got downstairs. Camille was home in bed.

Aurora is not through with her travels. She still gets to travel to Texas by car.

Oh what fun it is going to be on Christmas morning to see Camille's face when she opens that box and sees the doll. The things we do for our grandkids.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008


We had some friends in town from San Pedro Sula and could not make things work to meet them yesterday. We decided we would meet them at Wendy's for breakfast before they left town. Marc had to take Pamela to the dentist and Andrea and I had a bunch of errands to run in town. I picked Andrea up before 7:00 and Marc left with Pamela.

We got to Wendy's and were busy visiting with our friends. I ate my hashbrowns and was kind of full. I ate a couple of bites of my egg and cheese sandwich and then rewrapped it. I handed it to Andrea and told her to be on the lookout for a hungry kid to which we could give the sandwich.

We were leaving a store a couple of blocks off of Morazon and I saw Rudy on the handlebars of a bicycle. He saw me, too. I waved and he called my name. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw him jumping off the handlebars. I stopped in the middle of the street and he walked back to my car. I rolled the window all the way down and reached out and hugged him.

Rudy was dirty and had no smile. I asked if he was hungry and gave him the sandwich. We talked a few minutes and he asked about Brayan, his brother. Last time Marc saw him he did not want to talk and would not let Marc buy him any food. He did not ask about anyone.

I could only sit in the middle of the street and talk until another car drove up behind me. I told him good-bye. As I drove off Rudy was standing eating the sandwich.

I still pray for this little guy and still wonder why he chooses to live on the streets instead of a nice home. Some things you just never understand.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Area Church

Yesterday was graduation at Baxter. Marc and I went to watch as these men who have worked hard for four years received their diplomas. Graduation was fun as some of the guys with which we have worked, received top awards. Because there was so many people in from the states for graduation, there was area church at Baxter this morning.

After graduation, Marc and I also went to the banquet. I sort of grumbled as I had to be up and dressed an hour and a half earlier than I usually have to on Sunday morning.

The churches from Santa Ana and Ojojona were going to ride a bus in. A Torch bus. Marc met our bus driver in front of the clinic at 7:30. I am not sure how early he had to leave to be here at 7:30, but, as usual, Marlon was wearing a big smile.

Marc and Marlon went to Ojojona to get the bus and the people from Ojojona. They were suppose to be back at the clinic gate at 8:00 to get the Santa Ana people. About 8:15, I was calling Marc to see where they were. He said on their way. After we all loaded on the bus, Marc said they had to stop and pick up a few people that didn't get to the church building and even had to look for a few. Welcome to Honduras.

There was between 75 and 80 of us on the bus. The only thing missing to make this a true Honduran experience was the chickens.

As we neared Baxter, we saw Timoteo driving his van full of Los Pinos people. We also saw a bus from Jovenes En Camino and one from the church in Mateo.

In true Marlon style, he backed the bus in the back gate of Baxter, backed between the bus from Jovenes and a row of cars, and found just the perfect parking place for the bus.

Worship was in the ampitheater. The singing was beautiful. There were 3 0r 4 songs in spanish and then 3 or 4 in english. I knew all of them. Communion was meaningful and the sermon was good. Both communion and the sermon was in spanish and I understood most of it.

When the children were dismissed for class, Rosita and Monica walked down the main aisle hugging every single person in the end seats. The people that received those hugs were smiling.

Thirty minutes after church was over, we were headed back up the mountain. We stopped several times in Santa Ana to let people out of the bus. This is the Honduran way. We stopped in Ojojona at the gas station. A man that lives far up in the mountains brought a little jug so he could buy kerosene. He walked down to get to the church building so he could ride the bus into town. He saw no reason to have to walk down another time to get his kerosene. After filling his jug, he got back on the bus and we rode on down the road. We stopped another few times in Ojojona.

When we got back to the church building in Ojojona, what Marlon had done at Baxter backing the bus, was nothing compared to backing it through the narrow gate at the church building. Amazing is all I have to say. I wish all of you that have been amazed at what the bus drivers do, could have been here to see that.

Worship was so beautiful and even the bus ride was fun. It was well worth getting up early.


Saturday, December 6, 2008


The bathroom
The tile

The kitchen

Plumbing being installed

The dump. People, cows, and buzzards fighting for the same food.

A little one so hungry she got her food and ripped into it immediately.

The line for gifts.

Andrea handing out the gifts.

One pleased little girl.

These are pictures of work on the cottage and the dump feeding and gift distribution on Wednesday.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas at the Dump

Some of our friends from Tupelo, Mississippis decided they wanted to provie Magi boxes for those people at the dump that exist in such a desperate situation. They had a well thought out plan. They purchased and assembled the boxes and got them to where a container was leaving.
They made plans to come this week so they could be here to personally hand them to the people at the dump.

Best laid plans sometimes do not materialize, especially when anything in Honduras is involved. The container was not ready to ship.

They went and retrieved their boxes, repacked them into bags and put them in suitcases. Five people had their personal luggage and luggage with the gifts totaling fifteen pieces of checked luggage. I am sure that was fun checking that in and clearing customs.

We thought we would also provide a hot meal for the folks at the dump. We had the serving logistics figured out, but we did not have the cooking logistics worked out with the equipment we currently have. Especially since Marc and I were gone all day Tuesday to San Pedro Sula to get the group.

As the normal routine for feeding at the dump is making sandwiches on Wednesday, that is what we did. We provided more fruit than usual.

The people know us well enough now to know that there is always plenty of food. We made a plan to distribute the gift bags with as little chaos as possible.

Like I have already said, the best laid plans don't always work. It had to work better than if we had had no plan. More people than we have ever seen began to show up when the gifts were being distributed. It could have turned into a really bad situation.

After we cried because there were not enough boxes, it was quickly decided to have more boxes this year.

It was better that the children received something and we are sure that all the children did receive a gift bag. I saw little girls, just about our little Camille's size that were so dirty and hungry. We distributed the bags after the food was distributed. I saw little children just rip into their bags. Another little girl that was wearing plastic bags on her feet for shoes, went off by herself and opened her bag. She would take one thing out at a time and look at it and put it back into the bag before taking another item out of the bag. She was protecting her stuff. She knew if she spread it out on the ground, someone might take it from her.

While we know these gifts in no way relieved the misery of the people that live and scavenge in the dump, we hope we brought just a little joy into their lives for one day.


I know this post deserves some pictures. Right now, our internet is so slow it will not allow us to upload pictures. I will post the pictures later.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Camille Is Going To Get A Cousin

As I was frantically preparing for guests to arrive, one thing that absolutely had to be done was moving the store items from one of my bedrooms back to the store. I got Dilcia and Sandra and three of the kids to help me.

We were busy carrying armloads of things from my house to the store. My phone rang. It was Nicole. She said "Hi Mom, what are you doing?'' I said moving the store back to the store and she says can you be still a minute I have something to tell you." I was pretty sure I knew what it was because I have been praying about something for her and Matt for a long time.

I wasn't really being still. Nicole says Mom, I'm pregnant. That is not what I thought it was at all. I screamed with excitement and then hung up on her.

Sandra wanted to know why I screamed and I told her. She quickly ran up to the store and told Dilcia. Both of them ran back and hugged me.

So for those of you who don't know already, I am going to be Grammy again.


Help Is On The Way

We have been praying for help with the special education needs of Doris, Monica, and Rosita. One of our employees told us of an agency in town that could help the girls.

Yesterday, Sandra, the three girls and I headed to town to Teleton. I let the Sandra and the girls out and went to park. I was not allowed inside the building as I needed a letter with which I would be allowed to enter. Sandra had that letter and was already inside taking care of business.

Teleton will be able to tutor Monica and Doris and,hopefully, help with their education. They do this for free, our favorite price. The people at Teleton told Sandra they could not help Rosita. We needed to take her to Manos Felices, translated Happy Hands.

Without having real clear directions, we headed for Manos Felices. We finally found it. Sandra took Rosita in and I waited in the car with Doris and Monica. We will be able to register Rosita for classes in February. In the meantime, Rayner, one of the AIM students, will be working with Rosita and teaching her sign.

After leaving Manos Felices, I ended up in Comayaguela. Sandra said to me " Terri, close your window, all the way." I did. We wove around the one way streets and finally got back where we needed to be.

We are thankful for these resources. Please pray these agencies can help our girls.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Visiting Santa Katarina

A house in Santa Katarina
Some of graduates in their graduation dresses

One of the tiny school classrooms where children attend school

A shared pila with the hand pump

The site of the new feeding center

Yesterday we went to Santa Katarina. As we traveled south, I could tell the dry season was beginning already. Everything was dry and brown. What a contrast to when we last traveled that way, with it raining and flooding. We could not get to Santa Katarina in October. The people swam rivers to get to us.

We turned off the highway and the road was dry and dusty. Even as dry and dusty as it was, we had to cross water four times to get to Santa Katarina. The rivers were low enough that we could drive across. These were the same rivers that the people had to swim across in October. They were so hungry that they gladly swam the rivers just to get some food for their families.

As hard as the rainy season on these communities, the dry season is usually harder.

Our friend, Carlos, took us to the site where the feeding center will be built next summer. The people in the community have already started clearing the land.

Carlos then took us to his house. By Honduran standards, it was a fairly nice house with a concrete floor. There was only a small table inside the house. They sat us down and fed us chicken, rice, potatoes, tortillas, and coke. Hondurans are always gracious, even when they can't afford. It would have been the highest insult not to eat it, but I felt so guilty eating their food when most in Santa Katarina are starving.

There are eighty six houses in Santa Katarina, some don't look too bad and some are horrible. In these 86 houses, there are 600 people, 300 of them are children. What we saw in Santa Katarina looked like what we see on tv when organizations show pictures of starving children in Africa. Many of the children had thin, thin hair, streaked blond. Two sure signs of malnutrition. Also we saw many bloated, distended little bellies. We also more family units; mom, dad and several kids. These people are so far from town, they rarely see gringos. A lot of the children were afraid of us.

Not everyone has a pila. There a few pilas shared by all. The pilas have a hand water pump and everyone has to pump water in order to wash clothes. What a hard life. Don't we have a lot for which to be thankful.

After we ate our wonderful meal, we went to the school. It was graduation day. Fifth grade graduation. Graduation is a really big deal in Honduras. People don their finest clothes. The beginning of graduation was held until the gringos arrived. What an honor. We were in jeans and t-shirts. There were seven graduates. Seven. In a community with 300 children. How sad. None of these kids were 10 or 11 like we would expect fifth graders to be. Most were 13 or 14. There is no secondary school in Santa Katarina. For most of these young people, their education is over. The only way for any of them to continue their education is to walk for three hours and then ride a bus into Choluteca. Most parents, as much as they desire for their children to have a better life, could not afford the daily bus fare, much less the tuition, books, and uniforms.

Everyone was friendly and greeted us warmly.

I am still processing and reflecting on the things I saw yesterday. I am excited that we will be able to help this community.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

An American Holiday in a Third World Country

Thanksgiving. A totally American holiday. It is one of my favorite holidays. It is a time to for family, friends, food and football.

Karen and I decided we wanted to fix an American Thanksgiving for the kids, our staff, and, of course, ourselves. We planned a menu as close to traditional as possible. Friday, when I went to the fruit market, I bought extra potatoes, celery, onions, and bananas. The saddest, smallest celery I have ever seen. Saturday I went back to town to do the rest of the grocery shopping. Even though a lot of Americans live in Tegucigalpa and, because of that, a lot of American items are imported, this is Honduras. In my mind, I prepared to make some substitutions or possibly drop something from our menu.

Since I have no Wal-Mart, I headed to PriceSmart first, vowing to not go back to town on Saturday until after Christmas. I was fairly successful finding the items I needed. I was just a little over confident, making my next stop La Colonia which was on the way home to Santa Ana. That was pretty much a bust and I then had to back track.

After finding most of what I needed, or suitable substitutions, I stopped a couple more places looking for Durkee's french fried onions for green bean casserole. I stopped at all the places that have American food and still could not find the Durkee's. I was so tired. I finally grabbed two bags of Funyums. I like to cook and am a pretty good cook. However, I am not a creative cook. I follow recipes exactly and do not make substitutions. Substituting Funyums for Durkee's french fried onions is way out of my comfort zone. Believe it or not, it wasn't half bad. Not as good as Durkee's, but not too bad either.

I came home needing just a few fresh items which I thought I would buy Tuesday or Wednesday.

I started cooking yesterday. Started cooking in my little kitchen with no counter space. None.
I set up a table so I would have work space. I was doing all kinds of things, but when I finally got ready to cook that first time, I found my propane tank was completely empty. I sort of acted like a helpless female and gave Milton some money and my car keys and asked him to go get the propane for me. I go get propane all time. That was the first of many challenges. I definitely felt the welcome to Honduras thing. A couple of things with which I am use to having are knowing the temperature of my stove and having one of those little buzzers to tell me when to take something out of the oven. Also, the electricity was flashing on and off, on and off. Not that you need electricity to cook with propane, but eyes my age need the lights on to read the recipes.

I just kept plugging along and getting more frustrated by the minute. After I finished all my bread, I happened to think about all the places I have lived and realized I had never baked at 4000 feet elevation.

I was constantly adjusting the temperature, some things looking not so done and some looking a little too done. I was convinced nothing would be edible.

Marc showed up last night with the last few items I needed and pizza. Yay! I sure didn't want to cook or make any more of a mess in my house. Pizza. Just what I needed. After I ate, I settled down and got many more things accomplished.

This morning, as is my tradition, I started bright and early. Things went much smoother today. Other than peeling the sweet potatoes and discovering they are white in Honduras, things went well. Karen was busy in her kitchen and we had kids running back and forth, hauling stuff from her house to mine and my house to hers.

At one point, I looked around at the food and thought " I may be cooking more food today than Ginger Freeman." No way. I am pretty sure I didn't cook that much.

With things going smoothly, I began to have the kind of fun I usually have cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

As food was finished, Marc and Tracy were running it up to the kitchen in Casa. Someone should have a video camera of all the activity.

With all the food in the kitchen, it was time to eat. Our kids were so excited. But each one had to tell what they were thankful for. We chose to honor our staff and let them go first. They went through the line, filled their plates, ate, and jumped up and went right back to work. That isn't really what we had in mind.

The kids ate and ate. And ate some more. Their little bellies looked like they had eaten watermelons. There was about 40 of us. We had fun. We will be eating off of this food for the rest of the weekend.

And there is not much football here. We may get the game tonight. And we may not. It is what it is.

While my mother and Karen's mother were not here, their presence was felt in a great big way as they provided the funds for us to provide the meal. Thanks to both of you.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Work Week

When the flooding was so heavy and many homes were being lost, Marc asked anyone that wanted to come the week of Thanksgiving to come and we would build some houses and enjoy Thanksgiving together. We had two takers on that offer, our friend Tracy from Charlotte and the dad of one of the AIMers. Both arrived yesterday.

Today they built a house for a lady named Sandra and her son. The house in which they had been living was in shambles. There was nothing in it but one bed. No food. It was on a steep slope. Several people worked on the house today. Even though it looked like it might be a difficult one to build, this house went up easier than first thought.

When Marc handed Sandra one of the home boxes from Columbus, Mississippi, she wept. Not just a few happy tears, she wept. I don't think she has ever owned that many things at one time.

It is hoped, two more houses will be built this week. For various reasons, I am missing all the fun this week. I have assigned myself to administrative and domestic duties this week.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I thought Thursday was going to be a welcome to Honduras day before I ever left St. Louis. I got on the plane and went to sleep. About 30 minutes later I woke up and knew the plane was on the ground and I felt sure it was not on the ground in Miami. I thought I would for sure miss my connection. I turned on the phone to call Marc and tell him things were not very promising.

Before I got Marc's number dialed, Nicole called me. I could feel disappointment welling up from deep inside. I so wanted to be home.

When I complained to Nicole, she chastised me, saying, "Mom, don't you think God can answer the little prayers as well as the big ones." I guess she had a point. The longer we sat in St. Louis, the more I resigned myself to it is what it is. I was hoping to be home, but if I should be in a hotel in Miami, I could think of worse things. A warm bed, food and a bath tub isn't so bad.

Upon arriving in Miami, the stewardess said if you are the Tegucigalpa passenger go directly to the gate. At least there was hope. The Miami airport is not arranged in such a way that makes getting from one concourse to another an easy task. I was walking as fast as I could and carrying my laptop, which I probably should not have been carrying that soon after surgery. I walked right on the plane and found my seat. I had already figured out the plane to Tegucigalpa was delayed or I would not have been on it. It was further delayed. Many were grumbling. I was thanking God that I made my connection. And those cashews came in quite handy.

I was sure I would not see my luggage in Tegucigalpa until Friday. I was wrong again. Somehow, all of my luggage made it.

I was so happy to see Marc.

After hugging everyone at Casa de Esperanza, I came down here to my house and called it a day.

Yesterday, I took the time to notice what had been happening while I was gone. No one has ever accused Hondurans of being lazy.

The cottage has been stuccoed inside and outside. The electrical is installed. Plumbing well on its way. Part of the the flooring is in. As I walked through, the rooms are beginning to look like bedrooms. I could almost hear the happy sounds of chilren's voices filling those rooms.

And I am just glad to be home.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Great News

I know, and believe that God is in control of all situations. But, waiting on biopsy results breeds anxiety. I could not have been more anxious this morning if I had tried. I woke at 4:45 ( my standard getting up time at home) and I was anxious. I prayed and cried and quoted scripture to myself, and I was still anxious.

I wanted to believe everything was ok, but just in case, I took a friend with me to the doctor. I didn't mind getting good news by myself, but I did not want to get bad news by myself.

For everyone that hasn't already heard, all is clear. Gracias a Dios. Thanks to God.

And, it was great to not be by myself to get good news. I thanked God and cried tears of relief and celebration. I hugged my friend. I stood in the main entrance to the hospital and made phone calls. I hugged my friend and cried some more.

To everyone that sent cards and emails and called me, you don't know how much I appreciate it. To those who held my hand and hugged me, you are the best. For the tears shed, both from concern and relief I am grateful. For everyone in Illinois that just tried to keep my mind occupied for a week, thank you is inadequate. And most of all, for every prayer that was said in my behalf, thank you. Prayer works.

It has been a great day in Illinois. I continue to cry those tears of relief. I continue to shed tears of gratitude for each one of you that God has placed in my life. That love me everyday and have carried me and supported me through yet another trial. Thanks to everyone of you.

I will be on the 6:00 a.m. flight out of St. Louis in the morning.

I love you all.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Last week Matt and Nicole asked me to go back to Searcy with them after surgery. I really, really wanted to do that. My doctors advised against that. While I was disappointed, I quickly knew that it was best for me not to make that trip. The thought of being in the states this long and not seeing Julia, Nathan and Camille was crushing.

Nathan informed me late last week he would be in St. Louis this week. It brought a bit of joy to my step to think I might spend some time with him. My phone rang at 7:30 yesterday morning and Nathan said he was at the St Louis airport and did not have his first meeting until 2:00.

I had a fresh burst of energy as I mapquested and made plans to get to St. Louis. There was definitely a spring in my step that had not been there in several days. I got to St. Louis and Nathan and I ate mexican food. I so enjoyed spending that hour with my son and wished I could have seen Julia and Camille as well. Of course, Grammy had a few things to spend to Camille via her dad.

Going to St. Louis was more than I have done in a week and I was exhausted, but it was an exhaustion that was well worth it. To spend one hour with my son was indeed a bonus for me and I thank God for that blessing.

Today, I hope you get at least one bonus on which you were not counting.


Saturday, November 15, 2008


Dependence. We usually have bad feelings when we say or hear that word. We don't want to be drug dependent or alcohol dependent. We don't want our adult kids being dependent on us still. Most of us do not want to be dependent on anyone or anything.

Basically, I am a pretty independent person. I can do for myself, and in most instances, would prefer to do so.

I know I was tired and needed some rest. I really was going to slow down and get some rest. Maybe when I got home from Illinois. Maybe after Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. Or maybe before the groups start arriving next summer. But I was going to slow down and rest. But it wasn't going to be this week, because I had to much to do.

Because I have had no choice, I have slowed down and rested this week. It wasn't my plan, but that is the way it happened. Now that I am feeling a little better, I am going crazy as Marc tells me about the progress on the cottage. The electricity was been wired in the cottage and in my store. Well, there is not too much I can do about that right now. I have no pictures of the wiring going in. The floor is being installed. I was suppose to get to pick out the flooring. I may not even get home in time to paint. Those things I was bound and determined to do.

As I have rested, I have reflected. I have reflected on how badly I needed rest and why didn't I choose to slow and rest rather than being forced to rest. I have reflected on the fact that I don't really like being dependent. Dependent on someone else to take care of me. Don't get me wrong, I am being taken care of as if I was royalty.

But dependent is just what God wants us to be. Dependent on Him for our every need, for our every breath. How many times have I not been dependent on Him as I rush through things that need to be done. Not slowing down and depending on Him to give me an opportunity to share His love to someone. Not taking the time to rest, physically and spiritually, being dependent on Him to provide that rest and peace I so desperately need.

I hope it does not take minor surgery and waiting on results to slow you down, make you rest and become dependent. I hope you all just start being dependent on the God of all peace and rest.

Have a restful and dependent weekend.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Still in Illinois

I am still in Illinois.

I had minor outpatient surgery on Wednesday afternoon. Matt and Nicole drove up from Searcy to be with me. I appreciated that. I am with friends and I am being taken care of very nicely. My incision is small. I am moving quite slowly still. Getting a lot of reading done, something I have not done much of in the past few weeks.

I appreciate all prayers offered so far. I will have results onWednesday. Please keep those prayers going. I want a good report on Wednesday and be on a plane home on Thursday.

Thanks for your support and encouragement.


Monday, November 10, 2008

I Am In Illinois

Last Tuesday, November 4, I flew into St. Louis. I had been planning and anticipating this trip for many months. As the time drew nearer, I became more and more excited. I was coming to lead a ladies retreat and spend time with friends and our sponsoring congregation. I scheduled all those routine doctor's appointments.

I was so glad to see fall was still here. The golds and oranges and rusts were everywhere. I love fall and it is one thing I really miss in Honduras. I also am getting to feel a blast of winter. I only thought it was cold in Honduras last week. I forget what cold really feels like. Being with friends warms the soul and the cold is easily forgotten.

It was a good retreat and, like always when I am in the states, I have been blessed and encouraged.

Right now, I should be in the Miami airport waiting for my flight back to Tegucigalpa. I am still in Belleville. All those routine appointments turned out not to be so routine. I will be here until at least next week.

I am so thankful for my many friends and my church that are taking care of me while I am so far from home and so far from Marc.


Monday, November 3, 2008


After, the rains stopped, the wind began. The cold, howling wind. Maybe I was just being prepared for Illinois, but the wind was cold and biting.

I have a fairly tight house. I have a bed and blankets (plural). And I have been so cold. I just can't imagine how cold other people must have been. Those whose houses are made of paper or sticks that are full of holes. Those who have no blankets or sleep on the floor. We were in one of the houses last week. The people told us they never get warm. And those people at the dump. I don't think I can even imagine that much cold.

Today was a sunshiny day. A beautiful sunshiny day. The wind still blew some, but how blessed we were to see sunshine. I hope some people warmed up for just a while.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

College Football

Marc and I enjoy watching football on tv. We don't get much of it down here. What we do get is in spanish. There is something really wrong with American football in spanish. But, on the other hand, it is fun. The announcers are neutral and cheer for both teams.

We get Monday night football and sometimes that is all. Last week we got one college football game. It was Notre Dame and Washington. Marc was excited because at least it was football. It was not a big enough deal to me to quit what I was doing.

Tonight our team, Texas Tech, was playing a big game against Texas. Marc was getting his computer ready so he could watch the highlights, when all of a sudden there rose such a clatter. Marc was saying, almost unintelligibly, Texas Tech and pointing. I thought he was a lost cause until I realized what he was trying to say. Our only game this week was Texas Tech and Texas.

What a game. What fun for two Texas Tech fans in Honduras. To be perfectly honest, I thought it was all over. We have seen Tech snatch defeat from the jaws of victory too many times. What an absolute perfect ending.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

A House for Doris

The old house
Everything that was in the house except for two beds which were put somewhere else during construction

Bottles filled with rainwater, all the water they had

A baby girl and her mommy will sleep warm tonight and have food in their stomachs

Happy kids. They have a new house

The new house

One of my friends in Mississippi sent money for us to build a house in memory of her Aunt Doris. After the last group leaves in August, the needs still continue, but we don't always have the manpower to get things done.

Julie has waited patiently since sending her money.

Today we were able to build that house. We left here at 6:15 this morning. It was cold, windy, and foggy. Praise God it was not raining. We met the lumber truck at 8:00 and he followed us into a village called Diez Y Siete de Septiembe (The 17th of September). It is not a village we would want to be in after dark.

Marc had been there Saturday and looked at the site and told the family we would be back today. As Marc bounded up the hill, I could hear squeals of excitement. The rest of us walked up the hill and saw an awful house. It was so tiny and eight people were living there. One wall was not much more than paper. We were going to have to do a teardown, but we were sure it would not take long as there was not much there and it wasn't very stable.

We also had to move everything out of the house before the teardown could begin. We began to move things out of the house. There were 2 beds on which 8 people sleep every night. There was essentially no food, less than a cup of sugar, less than a cup of rice and some coffee. There were no dishes and a couple of small tables. One was so rickety I was not sure I could not pick it up and move it and it remain intact. The only kind of cooking utensil I saw was a kettle and I think coffee had been fmade in that. There was a hot plate on which to cook, but it had not been used this morning.

There was no running water and we carried out some bottles of water, which we were careful not to spill any. They have to catch rain water from the roof. This becomes their drinking water, washing water, cooking water.

It did not take long to empty this house and pile the stuff in the yard.

The roof was in fairly good shape and it was decided to try to move it intact and reuse some of the tin. Maria, the lady of the house decided she wanted to use it to put over her kitchen. The house came down, the roof saved and moved, and the lot cleared of the debris.

Two of the corner posts were easy and two were rock. We were grateful for the two easy ones. The last house we had to dig through rock to set all four corner posts.

As the house went up, and we had a chance to visit with the family, we found out it never gets warm where they live. They are always cold. Always. How miserable that might be. I pulled my sweatshirt off while we were working, but certainly needed it when things came to a standstill.

The house went up quickly, but we were really tired today when we finished.

A friend of Maria's was present all day. She held Maria's 10 month old baby girl often. She was so happy that the baby would have a warm place to sleep tonight and when we begin to carry food into the house, she was so thankful the baby girl would have food in her tummy tonight as well.

We all went to eat pizza when we finished building the house. As we came out of the Pizza Hut, it was starting to rain. I was so thankful that those eight people would be sleeping dry tonight.

I opened an email from Julie this evening and it said I think Aunt Doris is dancing with the angels tonight. I could not agree more.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rosita's Testing

Rosita had her testing this morning. She had to be kept awake all night. Karen and Dorian had a slumber party with her last night. She could not eat or drink anything after 3:00 a.m. So, she ate until 3:00.

At 3:00, she was ready to get dressed and at 5:00 she was ready to come down here. We were up. No problem. Her appointment was at 7:00 and she and Marc left here at 5:30. Not that it really takes that long to get to town. But she kept pointing at the door and finally wore Marc down.

These results are very conclusive. She has no hearing in her left hear and only at 110 decibels in her right. That is rock concert level. It is not correctible.

Now we go to plan B and we all learn sign language.

Please keep this precious little girl in your prayers.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Raising the Roof

The roof beams have been here and painted, waiting for the tin so that the roof could be put on the new cottage. Yesterday, Nettie came rolling in around 2:00 with 36 feet long tin. Having tin that long means less seams which means the roof is less likely to leak.
Today most of the roof was put on. That job will be finished on Monday.
That cottage of block and mortar is looking more like a home for kids all time, isn't it?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Making a Difference, One Surgery at a Time

Dr. White and I. The team graciously let me observe at the head of the table with the doctor. After just a few minutes, without being asked, I moved to the foot of the table and stayed out of the way.
The skillful hands of a surgeon performing his magic

A job well done.

Because of the great need here in Honduras, it is sometimes difficult to feel we are making a difference. We have to stop and remember we do make a difference to the ones we help and that one at a time is the best we can do.

This week a team of ear, nose and throat specialists, anesthesiologists and nurses are here to do cleft lip and cleft pallate surgeries. Long term malnutrition and little to no prenatal care causes a much higher rate of these types of birth defects that we see in the states. And when it does happen in the states, most of us have some type of insurance to cover the expense of fixing cleft lips and cleft pallates.

In Honduras, people not only do not have the money to fix their child's lip or pallate, the person
more than likely will become an outcast in this society, unable to find a job. There is a man here in Santa Ana that has both a cleft pallate and cleft lip. He doesn't have a job and he drinks all the time. It is a sad existence.

When doctors come and provide this surgery for those that can least afford it, it makes a huge difference in the life of the child and the family. People come from long distances to have this surgery performed on their child. Sunday was pre-op day. The doctors assessed those that had come and decided which day each child would have his surgery. Some people had come so far there was no way to return home until after the surgery was complete. We were going to let them sleep on mattresses at the bodega and fix food for them every night. One of the congressman arranged for them to stay in a hotel and be fed every night instead. For free, of course.

Yesterday morning, Marc and I left here with Veronica, a member of our church, and her sweet daughter Jaime. Jaime was born with a cleft lip and a cleft pallate. Some where the lip had been repaired, leaving the more complicated surgery of repairing the pallate. Both Jaime and Veronica were quite anxious.

When we got there, the first two surgeries were already in progress, one lip and one palate. I was fortunate enough to be able to observe one. I had to put on scrubs and cover my hair and my feet. I wasn't actually doing anything but observing, so that is all I had to do.

The team was gracious about me being in the operating room. They were also very kind to explain things. One of the nurses took a few pictures with my camera. Different team members were also taking pictures. I would have thought that was a no-no.

Dr. White was operating on a 4 year old little boy who had also been born with both a cleft lip and a cleft pallate. It was hard to see the work on the pallate. Since the surgery had started before I entered, I did not get to see the what the child looked like before the surgery. Later I did get to see a before picture. Poor little guy. As the doctor was completing the lip, he said this nose is in awful shape and I don't think I can do too much for it. But he cut some cartiledge and made some awesome repairs.
I was grateful for the experience of getting to observe.
Jaime was one of the next patients. Her surgery was quite complicated and was to last 3 to
3 1/2 hours. They called Jaime. Jaime was scared. Veronica was scared and crying. Any of us mothers would be scared when our child is going into surgery. Then add to that that most Hondurans aren't as familiar with doctors and hospitals as we are. Anyone would be scared under those conditions. I went to Veronica and hugged her. She hugged back and started crying harder. I continued to hug her. The doctors routinely say a prayer with the patient and family before surgery. I held Veronica's hand during the prayers. She hugged Jaime and Jaime was gone.
Thinking like an American, I asked Veronica if she would like me to get her something to eat. I forget Hondurans have to get up, prepare their food, and bring it with them before leaving to spend a long day in the hospital. They might not get to eat all day long if they did not take their food with them. I hugged Veronica again and told her Jaime was in God's hands. She nodded.
Marc and I left for a short bit. When we got back, I checked on Veronica. She was doing remarkably well. We asked one of the nurses to check on Jaime and Jaime was doing fine. We relayed that to Veronica.
We stayed until Jaime was out of surgery. Jaime and Veronica were staying in the hospital last night.
Marc left early this morning to go get Jaime and Veronica. There was another surgery patient in the room with Jaime. The girl had never had nasal passages. The doctors were able to construct some during surgery. When the packing was removed this morning, both mother and daughter were thrilled beyond words. The girl could smell for the first time in her whole life.
During the week, the doctors will be able to perform 30 -35 surgeries, making a huge difference. I am so thankful for these doctors' and nurses' willingness to come and perform surgeries at no cost to the patient's family.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Flood Pictures

This was a "hotel" that charges by the hour. They also exploited young girls. When the highway fell, this is where it landed. No one was killed. I am glad that a business that does such detestable things is gone.

This is where the highway fell onto the "hotel" pictured above. Where the highway fell is almost to the entrance of Nueva Oriental. Nueva Oriental is intact, praise God. I walked in to get the pictures. Many Hondurans were standing on the edge. While I do crazy things to get a picture, I was not getting to the edge of that. I don't think the mountain is through falling. That is why I hava zoom lens.
A community near San Pedro Sula

A common sight. People trying to save their kids and their few posessions.

Villeda Morales. We have done some work in this community and will be doing a church plant next summer.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Devastation and Destruction

The continuing rains have wreaked havoc on this country. The papers are saying this is the biggest nightmare since Hurricane Mitch. The country has been declared a national disaster and many parts of the country are on red alert as the rain will continue for at least another day. Many people have been killed. And when you know where and how some of these houses are built, it is a wonder more have not been killed.

That road to Danli, the one on which we drove on Friday, that was sinking has now sunk. A huge portion broke off. The road to Valley of Angels broke. A portion of a mountain more or less shifted near Nueva Oriental. We have not seen how bad the damage is; we just read about it in the paper. This is a poor area as it is.

I cannot even begin to imagine how bad the village near Choluteca is now.

There is devastation and destruction in so many villages here in Tegucigalpa and across the country.

We pray the rain will stop soon. We pray we know how to help people.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Manic Monday

This morning I arose early, earlier than normal. I spent precious time with God and then exercised. Had a cup of coffee and thought I was ready to take on a new day and a new week. I should never get comfortable with anything.

Marc was taking the kids to school this morning. He left the house, but in just a couple of minutes there was pounding on the door. Since whoever it was, just kept knocking, I guessed it was Marc. It was two of the kids needing some money for school.

Marc had no more than left when my phone rang. It was Karen. Dilcia and Reina had just called and said they had to get off the bus at Loarque, that nothing was getting through. They said they were walking. Loarque is at the bottom of this mountain and about 25-30 kilometers from here. I cannot imagine walking up the hill for that far. They might have been here in time to get off this afternoon. I told Karen I would call Marc and he could head down for them from the school. I dialed Marc's number and heard his phone ringing behind me. So much for that idea. He would have to go find Dilcia and Reina after returning from the school.

Marc returned from the school and I told him he needed to leave again. I asked if he had Dilcia and Reina's numbers. He said he would stop by Karen's and get them. In just a few minutes Marc's phone rings. Some Mondays are just like that.

Marc's phone was ringing every few minutes. Marc's phone rings like that all day, every day. I thought I would answer his phone and take messages. Some people were telling Marc he would not get to town this morning. Some were saying they could not get to Santa Ana. Then my phone started ringing as well. Since the teachers ride the same bus as Dilcia and Reina, the teachers could not get to school. I don't guess they were not trying to walk. I went to get the kids at school.

Traffic was backed up as there was a strike at Santa Rosa. I don't know yet who was striking, but no one was getting past Santa Rosa from either side. Along the way, Marc stopped and picked up Sandra. When he could get no further, he got out of the car and walked looking for Dilcia and Reina. There were hundreds of folks walking in both directions, trying to get where they needed to be. Dilcia had said that if they stopped and stood in one place Marc would never find them because so many were walking.

Marc finally found them and everyone got here safely, a bit tired, but safely.

Since we were not going anywhere today, Marc and I both sat down at our computers to do some much needed work. Almost immediately, the power went out. Another blackout. We have not had one of those in a while and we were becoming a little complacent.

After lunch, with the power still out and the strike still in progress, it seemed the only logical thing to do was take a nap. I did.

Obviously, the power is back on. The strike is over, at least for today, and Marc has taken Rosita to the doctor. I am trying to work now since I lounged around all day.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Rains Come Down and The Floods Come Up

The heavy rain continues to fall all over the country. The rivers continue to rise flooding many homes. Roads and homes are being washed away. Everyday the newspapers tell about more people without homes. There are pictures of people in agony as they sit among total devastation.

Yesterday the papers told of the severe flooding in Choluteca where we had been the day before. We knew they were telling the truth. Today the pictures were from communities in Tegucigalpa.

Yesterday we were headed to Danli. We were out by Nueva Oriental and part of the highway was splitting. There was a sign that said zona de hundimento. I asked someone to look up that word since I was driving. It meant sinking. And they weren't joking. One lane was several inches lower than the other lane.

It is sad to see people lose their homes and everything they own. It is sad to know they are starving. The paper said people are so hungry that the hunger overrides any danger in which they might be putting themselves to get to food. That was certainly true as we saw people swimming a river to get to food.

I hope this tropical depression moves out soon.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Santa Katarina

Four of the five baskets in the checkout line
Basket 5

A large grocery bill

The swollen river, meaning the end of the road

People waiting for food

Swimming across the river

The food line

Going back into the river

And coming out

A few weeks ago Marc went south with Timoteo. Timoteo took Marc to a village that desparately needs some help. So remote. So poor. Maybe not the worst we have seen, but close to it. Marc can never see that much need and not do something about it. We have prayed and prayed about what can be done. Along with a couple of the AIMers, it seems as if God is leading us to build a feeding center and a church plant. The feeding center will be patterned after the one in Nuevo Oriental, feeding kids five days a week.

We decided to go to Choluteca and do a feeding. Ten of us, in two cars, left Santa Ana yesterday at 4:30. A little bit late to be leaving, but nontheless, that is when we left. In all directions, the further away from Tegucigalpa you go, the worse the roads go. Going south toward Choluteca was no exception. There was no center stripe and no line to show the edge on the road and it was full of volkswagon sized potholes. So we bounced our way to Choluteca. I was thankful I was not driving.

This morning we woke to a pouring rain which continued all day. We headed to the grocery store to buy groceries. Marc assigned teams. Barb and I had to get 100 bags of rice and 100 bags of beans. Other teams got coffee, salt, sugar, lard, soup, spaghetti and sauce. Five baskets full of groceries. One man in the grocery story thanked us for helping people. It is always fun to buy groceries so we can feed hungry people, but Timoteo was the most excited of us all. Our bill was 12,809.00 limpiras or $677.90. Not bad to feed 100 families.

We had to drive another 40 kilometers to get to Santa Katarina. Word had been sent to them that food was on its way and we were told we could not get all the way to the village as the river had risen to high over the road. We so wanted to get all the way to the village and as we drove discussed ways we might get there.

It has rained so much that the streams have become raging rivers and the rivers are so enlarged that their contents are spilling over everywhere. Acres and acres of land are underwater. The road to Santa Katarina was more or less a river. A boat would have probably been better than a car.

All of a sudden we could go no further because of water. And on the other side were people waiting on the food to arrive. When they saw us, they rushed in and swam across. And then more swam across and then some more.

We unloaded the food and let the folks receiving food let up help pack the bags. After all the bags were packed, the village president said one bag for family and that is what they did. We stood there wondering how they were going to get across the river with the food. Hungry, starving people knew just what to do to get their food across. And there were many smiles as they went back into the river.

I jumped in the car and cried.

Marc and John were going to put on their shorts, swim across, and help anyone that needed help with their food and walk on into the village. They were told after the river, there was some walking, another river, more walking, and then the biggest, deepest river and some more walking. It would take two hours to get to the village. They did not go; but only because eight other people would have been left waiting for four hours. We will just have to see the village another time. Soon I hope.

We found out the river had been like that for 10 days and the people had nothing to eat but tortillas. Tortillas because corn season is just over and they ground their own.

I would have loved to have taken more pictures, but there was just too much work to do.

As we drove home (I was driving this time), we talked about being wet and how the village folks would be so wet from being in the rain and swimming the rivers. How they would go into their homes that are also wet from the rain and they may not be dry and warm again for days. Literally. But they have food to eat tonight. However foolish it might have been to be driving last night, it was well worth it to be able to feed people that were so hungry they would walk and swim for two hours to get just a little bit of food and then turn around and repeat the process. It did me good to stay in my wet clothes as we drove home and to think those that won't be dry for days.

Some things are still foreign to my American mind.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stuccoing the Cottage

One of the bedroom walls
A partially stuccoed wall

Slinging stucco

The old bodega now living room

Stuccoing what was once the window of the store

Progress continues to be made daily on the new Bill Brumley cottage. Most of the walls, both inside and outside now have stucco. The Hondurans sift the sand and mix it with concrete and water. All of this is done by hand. The stucco is put in a flat box. With trowels, the stucco is slung onto the walls. The stucco is allowed to completely dry before anything else is done to it.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Feeding Hungry Kids

Rolling tortillas

The children eating

Sorting beans

Today we worked at the feeding center in Nuevo Oriental. Monday through Friday, every single week, 230 hungry kids are fed lunch. Three ladies start every morning at 8:30 preparing this hot meal. They cook over a woodburning stove and it gets hot in that kitchen. Two hundred and thirty kids are fed five days a week on a $250.00 a week budget. Throughout the week, the meals are pretty balanced. For most of these children, the meals they receive at the feeding center are the only meals they receive all week. It is amazing what is done in this feeding center each week.

In this community school is held in the afternoon. The reason is so that the children can go to school with their stomachs full. When school was held in the morning, too many children were coming to school hungry or not coming at all.

I cannot imagine how long these ladies have to work each day when no one comes in to help. There were six of us and we left a little after one and most of the dishes were done and we had helped serve as well.

We arrived around 9:30 and went right to work. The next day's beans have to be sorted. It is one of those things that doesn't make sense to the American mind. We did not ask questions; we just down and started sorting beans. Any bean that is flat or deformed in any way or is too light has to be removed. While some of us were sorting beans, one rolled the tortillas and one pressed them in the tortilla maker. I was on the bean sorting crew. We laughed and fellowshipped and had a great time sorting beans.

When the children began to arrive at 11:30, some were in the kitchen filling the plates, one person served the meals, one the drinks, and one the tortillas. I was the tortilla server. I quickly learned I could not serve the tortilla until their plate had been served.

Some of the children ate ravenously and some ate more slowly. Several were dirty. One little girl I clearly remember was dressed for school. Her white uniform blouse was at least two sizes too big and hung off her shoulders. Her skirt was dirty. Her shoes were worn out and too small for her. Her feet were crammed ino them. And her socks had no elastic left and drooped around her ankles.

As I served tortillas, I spoke in spanish to most of the children. I received many smiles.

I don't have a picture and I need one to prove it, but I actually saw Marc washing dishes.

We left happy, feeling like we had really contributed something today, and knowing it was another great day in Honduras.