Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Success Story

Triminion laying block
Pouring concrete

Trimion's house and pulperia

Behind the house, the brick house being built

Triminion and his son

Installing plumbing

Three years ago we built a house in Mirador Oriente for a man and his family. The man had recently been burned. In Honduras, there is no health insurance and no safety net of any kind. When people cannot work, they lose their jobs. With no job and no insurance it is difficult to pay medical expenses and feed your family. The man, Triminion, was left with very limited use of his left arm and hand. We were building a house for someone that had met some hard luck. We had no idea that house would be a second chance and a new beginning.

In the years following the house being built, Trimion has added a small pulperia inside his house. He is saving his money and buying a few bricks at a time and gradually building a brick house. He plans to increase the size of the pulperia after the brick house is finished. He has been working on the women's center project in Oriente. What could a man who has limited use of one arm do on a building site? Just a few things, like lay block, pour concrete, and install plumbing.

This is an amazing story. Trimion has overcome all odds in Honduras. He has learned to work with his handicap. He has become a successful businessman and is becoming even more successful. He is a leader in the church in the community in which he lives. He is making a better life for himself and his family.

Through God's help and guidance, this is what we are trying to do, make a difference one person at a time.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Spanish Mondays

Since the AIMers arrived last week, and they don't know much spanish either, Marc decided to have spanish Mondays, meaning we have to speak only spanish to each other. At 5:45 this morning I asked Marc something about the computer. I had not had any coffee and I don't think I would have understood the answer in english. Regardless, that I had not had coffee, he began to answer me in spanish. That did a lot of good.

When we left for town, most of us rode along in silence. That was much easier than trying to speak spanish. We got to the warehouse. Marc was telling us what needed to done. All seven of us just stood there as he repeated himself over and over. I finally said, in english, if you really want us to do something, maybe just a bit of english would help. He decided to say it in english and we had the little project done in far less time than Marc stood there repeating the directions over and over. I spoke quite a bit of spanish today and learned a few new words. But after so long, my brain just turns to mush.

I had to go get some sandwich bags and Felicia, Rayner and Keith were with me. Marc called at 6:00 and said spanish Monday was over for today. All I could say was "gracias a dios".


Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Rain is Here

The rainy season is officially here. It started on Tuesday and has rained part or all of everyday since. The above picture is my house on Tuesday night. The bad news is that is not the only places it was leaking. We had pans and bowls all over the place. We had someone work on the roof Wednesday. Some of the places were fixed and some were not. And then, of course, we discovered a few new leaks. We had the roof worked on again Thursday and the same thing happened. We thought we had all of the leaks fixed except three or four. Until tonight that is.

I guess we will try something else tomorrow.

The rain is a welcome relief from the long dry and dusty weather we have been having. The leaks in our house are annoying, but we are staying dry. Hundreds of people have no place in which to stay dry. Hundreds more have little shelters in which they live and the rain rushes through, soaking both the people and the few belongings inside. I can imagine when someone is soaking wet, it is hard to sleep.

Groups begin arriving Saturday. We will be able to replace some of the leaky houses. Gracias a Dios.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

School Supplies in Mirador Oriente

A truckload of school supplies

Presenting school supplies

The children receiving supplies

Rayner and Kale unloading boxes of supplies

Some of the children unloading supplies

Yesterday the AIMers and I organized the warehouse, packed 83 backpacks, packed boxes and boxes of school supplies for Mirador Oriente, and got approximately 5000 pounds of clothing separated by size. It was, by anyone's standard, a productive day. The plan was to be in Mirador Oriente at 12:30 today to hand the school supplies to the school that was robbed.

Marc left early, as usual, to get the crew started at Oriente. There was a major accident on the highway and it took him an hour and a half just to get down the mountain. The AIMers and I were leaving around 10:00 so we could check our email since the rain yesterday knocked out our internet.

Traveling in Honduras, we regularly see policemen at the police posts. They randomly ask people to pullover and, normally ask to see a licence and a registration, and if you are nice, they usually check your documents and wave you on. I have never had a problem, but have heard some horror stories. Besides myself, all six of the AIMers were in the trooper. Near the bottom of the mountain, I was asked to stop. I immediately begin pulling out my license and registration. He then asked for id for everyone in the car. He was walking around the car looking in the windows, perhaps thinking he had found a whole carload of stupid gringos. He was talking about writing me a ticket for a infraction. I was not sure what infraction. Marc told the AIMers the other night if they ever get stopped, to play dumb. Trust me, I was dumb, but there was no playing. Every word of spanish I ever knew left me.

One day at the hospital we accidentally met the police commissioner. After explaining what we did, he took Marc's phone and entered his number and said if you ever need anything, just give me a call. The commissioner's number was not in my phone. I called Marc and told him what was happening and then he talked to the policeman, telling him about knowing the commissioner. Marc then told me if I had many more problems to call him back and he would call the commissioner. The policeman again told me he was writing a ticket. As I picked up the phone and began to dial Marc again, as rapidly as he could, he handed my license back to me and waved me on. My only thought was that he thought I was calling the commissioner. He picked the wrong car of stupid gringos to harass.

Without further incident, we checked our email and arrived at Oriente in plenty of time. The patronanado was there as were many other people. It was very moving to watch the reaction of the people in the community as they received school supplies to replace the ones that had been stolen. Many of the students helped carry the boxes into the school. Every single time we do any kind of distribution, we see grateful people.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Welcome to Honduras AIMers

Yesterday our AIM team arrived. These young folks have spent eight months in Lubbock, Texas preparing to come to a mission field, the last two have been spent preparing for a specific mission field. We were in a McDonald's in Shamrock, Texas when we found out we had been assigned an AIM team. There has been much eager anticipation for our team to get here, both from Marc and I and the team. There are three guys and three girls. They are fresh, excited, and enthuastic. For the next eighteen months, the AIMers are going to benefit the work here in Honduras.

They were welcomed to Honduras in the best possible. Shortly after arriving at our house, the electricity went out for three hours. While the electricity was off, it began to rain. And rain and rain and rain. In spite of all the work that has been done on our roof, we have several leaks. Our interesting it was to try to get pans and bowls in the right place so that as much water as possible could be caught.

Most of the team traveled all day yesterday, arriving on the 4:30 flight. I am sure they are still tired, but all of us hit the ground running this morning. We will be packing backpacks, sorting clothes and some will be in Mirador Oriente with Marc.

Welcome Rayner, Felicia, Andrea, Steve Kale and Keith. We are glad you are here.


Monday, May 19, 2008

What is Happening in Mirador Oriente

The burnt mountainside at Mirador Oriente

Charred remains of a child's bicycle

Henry's house site

The red tile floor in the bottom floor

One of the bathrooms

The second floor being built

Yesterday, after we got off the plane, got through immigration and customs, we immediately headed for Mirador Oriente. Marc just could not wait to see what was done while we were gone. It had been a week and a half since Marc had been there and it had been two weeks since I had been there. We were both amazed at what had been done. The second floor is not too far from being complete. The downstairs floor has tile in it, the plumbing is being installed in the bathrooms, the stairs have been poured. It was exciting. The new women's center will definitely be finished next week and there is a chance it will be finished this week.

This morning we left for Mirador Oriente at 6:15 so we could get the crew started. It took us over an hour and a half to finally get there. Traffic was worse than usual. There were wrecks blocking lanes and first one thing and then another. We were also trying to buy bags of concrete. Since we have been gone, the price of concrete has risen again and it is in short supply. Some places would only let us buy five bags. Not five bags at a time, five per day. We had to stop more than one place to get enough concrete for today. Marc wants to have enough to get started in the morning as well.

As excited as we are about the progress of the new women's center, shortly after arriving in Mirador Oriente, we learned several sad things had happened there while we were gone. Both the feeding center and the school and been broken into. All the food and the school supplies were stolen. The feeding center operates on a very tight budget, but fortunately the food had been replaced and they were open today, preparing food so they could serve 250 hungry children lunch. We still need to talk to the school, but we now know another place some of those school supplies will be going.

Also a huge raging fire swept the mountainside. One of the men who has been working on the women's center lost his home. Henry is a very hard worker, one of the hardest on this site. I have seen him carry four buckets of concrete at once. And, he runs with them, dumps them and runs back to fill four more. He and his family had gone to Choluteca because his grandmother is very ill. They lost everything. The other workers on the job site helped fight the fire, but could not stop the fire from consuming Henry's house. We know we will rebuild that house. Not sure when, but we know it will be rebuilt. Please pray for this family that had so little and now has nothing.

I hate it when someone loses their home and belongings to fire. It is much worse when it is someone you know and with whom you have worked.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Busy Season Begins

After spending the last week with our little granddaughter and the last two days with the kids, I thought it might be a little hard to leave today. I was a little emotional last night, but by this morning, I was fine. I was ready to get home and get busy.

And busy we will be. The Oriente project will be finished in two more weeks. There are backpacks to be packed and distributed. Our AIM team comes Tuesday. Matt, Nicole and one intern arrive on the 28th, the other interns arrive on the 30th. The first group arrives on May 31st, followed by one group after another. While it almost makes me tired to think about it, many homeless people will receive homes, the hungry will be fed, the sick will receive medicine and the lost will have a chance to hear the good news of Jesus Christ and the eternal life He offers. It will be exhausting, but it will also be exciting. I love watching the groups bond and work together to accomplish much more than they thought possible. Through the summer, about one hundred houses will be built, literally tons of food will be distributed and hundreds will be seen in clinics.

Please keep the groups and us in your prayers.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hot Water and Lay's Potato Chips

I am still enjoying our time at the lake and still thinking everything that Camille does is the cutest, sweetest, smartest thing that anyone ever did. The weather has been cool and we haven't been in the water. We have spent lots of time in the park and have taken several walks everyday. Yesterday, we played miniature golf. Camille got a hole in one on every hole, even without using a putter. She walked to the hole and dropped her ball in. We would not have had it any other way. She would have been dangerous with a putter in her hands. On the first hole, Marc hit his ball and Camille ran to it, picked it up, and brought it back to him. She did this several times. On one hole, there was a slight slope. Don hit his ball and it did not make it all the way up the slope. Camille picked up his ball and threw it the rest of the way. She certainly made miniature golf a lot more fun and interesting.

How I am enjoying hot water. Hot baths, hot showers, washing my clothes. I roll with the flow, but since hot water is available, and without an extra charge, I am immensely enjoying it. Sometimes feeling a bit guilty about how much water I am wasting.

In Honduras I have just about given up eating chips, except for the ones Marc makes. I have not eaten any chips that taste really good, therefore, I do not eat them. Marc bought me a bag of Wavy Lay's Potato chips, my favorite. I have eaten them for almost every meal. Sometimes, that is all I have eaten for a meal. I have savored them and thought about hiding them so no one else could eat my chips. I did not really do that, I just thought about it. I may buy another bag before we leave for Honduras on Sunday. I will have to do extra walking next week after having that many potato chips, but extra walking will be worth having Wavy Lay's potato chips.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Relaxing in Hot Springs Village

We arrived safely in Little Rock on Thursday night. Both flights were uneventful, thankfully. Friday, I bought some groceries and began to prepare food for our celebration on Saturday. I also got a much needed haircut.

Friday night, the College of Bible and Religion had a blessing ceremony for their graduates. One of the professors read a blessing for each of the graduates. It was a very sweet, very meaningful ceremony.

Saturday was a grand day. It was better than I could have imagined. To see both of our kids walk across that stage and hear their names called as they each received their college diplomas. Happy does not even begin to describe how I felt. In addition to Marc and I, the kids had their spouses, their in-laws, grandparents and aunts and uncles. There were seventeen of us at graduation. After I took all the pictures the kids would tolerate, we moved our celebrating out to Skip and Susan Grace's house, where some of the kids friends joined the family. We ate and enjoyed visiting with family and friends on this wonderful occasion.

Sunday afternoon we came to Hot Springs Village for a few days of relaxing. Sweet Camille and Marc's parents are with us. We are enjoying this wonderful time with our granddaughter. She is such a delight.

I knew I was tired. I had no idea how exhausted I really was. Today is the first day I have even begun to feel normal. I have sat around, unable to anything. Not read, not blog, not anything.

This morning I walked out by the lake. The lake was clear and glassy. I saw many different birds and listened as they squawked at each other. My father-in-law and Camille are throwing bread off the balcony and watching as the squirrels below quickly grab the bread and nibble on it.

We are enjoying this time of relaxation.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Leaving for Little Rock

When the Continental Airlines flight leaves at 12:30 tomorrow, Marc and I plan to be on it. We will be in Little Rock before 10:00 tomorrow night and then go on to Searcy. Not only will we be spending some good family time, but on Saturday morning, we get to watch both of our kids graduate from Harding University. How exciting. I can't wait.

But how can this be? How can they be graduating from college? Where has all the time gone? I promise, it feels like last month Nicole and I were getting ready for prom, presentations, and high school graduation. I think a couple of months before that, they were in seventh and eighth grade. Between football, basketball, cross country, and band we were at the school or on the road almost every night. Those were fun times. I thought I would miss all of that, but I haven't.

Maybe six months ago, they were in kindergarten and first grade. After a busy week the week they got out of school for Christmas break, I thought we would all sleep in, maybe until 7:00. I did. They didn't. At 6:30 in the morning, Nathan decided to sell his Christmas candy that he received at the school party the day before. He convinced Nicole to go with him. He did the talking and she had on her pjs, a bedhead and a smile. While I might be laughing about it now, I was horrified back then when I found out.

So many memories of them growing up together. Too many to share here. Watching them experience tragedy and triumph, victory and defeat, struggling through many difficult things, sometimes together and sometimes independently.

I have rejoiced at their baptisms and marriages, wept with them over the hurts they have experienced. I am proud of the partners they have chosen for the rest of their lives. I beam with pride that they finally became friends and no longer rivals.

Today, they both took their last final. Even from here, I thought I heard them joyfully shouting.
I am proud of them and the people they have become and are becoming. I am their mother and I have every right to be proud.

Saturday will be a great day in the Tindall household as we watch both of our children receive their college diplomas. I still don't know where all the time is gone. I hope I made good use of it.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The First 100 Backpacks

When we unloaded the container last week, we just unloaded it and didn't try to organize the boxes. In a perfect world, I would go to the warehouse and organize everything before we gave anything out. We do not live in perfect world. Yesterday Marc told me we needed a 100 backpacks by Wednesday morning. This would be an almost perfect world. My plan was to run a few errands and get to the warehouse and organize a little, pack backpacks, and organize some more. On the way to town, Marc called and said I needed the backpacks by 4:30. Welcome to Honduras. My errands were those that could not wait.

I got to the warehouse before 11:30. I organized a little and began to pack. How fun this was. With every box of crayons I packed, I remembered my friend Kathy writing, "remember how fun it was to open a brand new box of crayons." Some of these kids that received backpacks today have never had a brand new box of crayons. Think how fun that must have been. When I got hot, I thought of my friends that loaded that truck on a horribly cold day in February. Things went smoothly and I was having a great deal of fun.

Marc was going to meet me at the warehouse at 4:00 and we were going to load the truck and leave for Central Park. Literally, as I was zipping the 100th backpack, my phone rang. It was Marc. I looked at my watch. It was 3:00. Thinking I had an hour to organize before the next packing session, I breathed a sigh of relief. But, not to be. Marc had locked his keys in his car at Mirador Oriente. I jumped in the car and drove out there. No small distance. We all got back at exactly 4:00.

We quickly loaded the backpacks in the back of the truck. We were giving the backpacks, filled with school supplies to the children of the shoe shiners. The shoe shiners work from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m in Central Park. They charge twenty limpera for each pair of shoes they shine. That is about a dollar. Compared to many, they actually make decent money. But for most of them, it still is not enough to buy school supplies for their children.

The shoe shiners helped us unload the truck. No one thought of trying to a take a backpack before they were told. Some of the shoeshiners had their children with them in the park and some did not. We got to meet some of the shoe shiners. They were all nice and all grateful for what we were doing. These are hardworking people.

When it was time to start handing out the backpacks, everyone waited patiently. There was no pushing or shoving. The men who did not have their children took exactly the number of backpacks as they had children. The children that were there, were unzipping those backpacks and squealing with delight.

I am always in awe how grateful people are. Many of the kids and the parents came to us, shook our hands and said gracias.

I am so tired, but it is a really good tired.


Monday, May 5, 2008

On A Sad Note

We do have electricity today, and, not knowing how long it will last, I am frantically scrambling to get as much done as possible. Trying to do to much multi-tasking means not much is being accomplished.

Different people saw Rudy on two different days over the weekend. The sad news is he is once again living on the streets of Tegucigalpa. He was dirty and probably hungry. He refused to acknowledge any of the people that saw him. I am sure, as much as we are in town, we will eventually see him. He may not acknowledge us either.

It is so difficult for us to understand that an eleven year old child would give up warmth, food, bed, clothing, education, and love to live on the streets. Once this lifestyle gets in their blood, it is so hard for them to turn away from it. Now we pray some more for Rudy. Not only that he will be fed and be warm and have a bed at night, but that this young, hard heart, will eventually be softened.


Sunday, May 4, 2008


As I mentioned not long ago, the price of diesel is continuing to rise. Right now, there are diesel shortages all over the country. A large number of buses cannot find diesel and, therefore, are not running. All of our employees were late to work yesterday. Some of our vehicles run on gasoline and I filled the trooper on Friday afternoon. I took the employees home yesterday afternoon. There is no telling how long it would have taken for them to get home if i had not taken them. What we are hearing is there won't be any more diesel in the country until Wednesday. All buses and trucks and most cars in Honduras run on diesel.

This morning I was checking my email and right in the middle of replying to one, the electricity went off. This happens frequently and I thought it would be back in just a few minutes. It did not come back on this morning. It did not come back on until just a few mintues ago. With water so precious right now, I do not shower everyday, but always on Sunday morning. With no hot water, I chose not to shower this morning. I certainly would have conserved water had I got in that ice cold shower. I conserved even more by not turning on the water. Good choice or bad choice I am not sure.

We found out at church that our electricity may be blacked out during the day every day. It will be on a short while of a morning and a short while in the evening. If this is so, our electricity will probably go out at 10:00 tonight, or even sooner. This, of course, will pose challenges for everyone. I don't know when and if I will have email or be able to blog. I don't know how often I will shower or wash my clothes. As inconvenient as this may be for me, it is nothing compared to what it does to the Hondurans. If buses cannot get diesel and aren't running, how can someone get to work? If they do not work, they will not earn $5.00 for that day. Without electricity, people that own the pulperias can't keep their coolers running so they can sell water for ten cents or cokes for 50 cents. I would guess if there is no electricity, the kids will not go to school tomorrow and they have not been since Wednesday.

We have heard there may be strikes over these situations. I hope not. I also hope, there is a solution to all of this soon.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Container Pictures

Here are some pictures of the container that go with the blog below.

Por Fin, Por Fin (At Last, At Last)

I am thinking that you people that bought school supplies are wondering what happened to them. Am I ever going to mention them again? Several of you have emailed me asking me "what about the school supplies?" I had no answer. I did not know.

Last week, the container finally arrived in the country, not here in Tegucigalpa, but in the country. After all the paperwork was complete with all i's dotted and all t's crossed, we had a firm time to unload the container. Tuesday at noon. I was on my way to the warehouse, and Marc called and said hold that thought, the container has been delayed. Just at the moment the container was to be released and on its way to our warehouse, someone asked about another fee that had not been paid. A brand new fee that the government has put in place. No one knew about this fee, not our lawyer that prepares the paperwork for release, not anyone. Welcome to Honduras.

Yesterday morning Marc went to the office where the container was and it was opened and inspected on site. Containers are usually inspected when we open them at the warehouse. Marc called at 12:30 and said it would be ready to unload at 2:00. Marc and I were at the warehouse at 2:00, but no container. No surprise here. It showed up a little after 3:00. Not too bad for Honduras.

A few Hondurans that needed work were there to help us unload. I have unloaded several containers since I have been here. We did not have that many helpers and this was, by far, the easiest container to unload. We were through in just over two hours. Amazing.

The workers we had were amazing. There were three women and two men our friend Gina Larios asked to help. Each one took a dolly and, once it was loaded with boxes, would run back to the storeroom, leave the boxes and run back. Thinking of other containers that took several hours to unload, I was hoping they would slow down and not tire themselves. They pretty much kept that pace for the whole time.

I have been asked, since school has started will be able to distribute the school supplies. The answer is definitely, yes. With the rising food prices, the arrival of school supplies will help some families keep their children in school for the remainder of the school year. There are many places we will be taking school supplies. I will keep you updated.

To everyone that bought school supplies and sent them to Illinois, I thank you. To those that sent money, I thank you. To my friends in Illinois that took the money and purchased more supplies, inventoried, repacked and prepared everything for shipping, I thank you. And forgetting this was being done in the United States, not Honduras, plans changed. The container had to be shipped from Nashville, not Illinois. A big thanks to all those people that loaded a truck on bitterly cold and windy February afternoon. And thanks to Ron Ashby and Jerry Carter for driving that truck to Nashville. Thanks to everyone of you for your part in this shipment, for the heart that wants to see these children here in Honduras have a chance at an education. This shipment could not have been done without each and every one of you.

Now, I am ready to get back to the warehouse and get these school supplies out of there and into the hands of those that truly need them.