Monday, June 29, 2009


According to my inbox, everyone in the states has heard the news of the unrest in Honduras. You may be getting more news than we are. As of right now, we are fine and the children are fine.

Sunday morning the president of this country was removed from office. The media is portraying this as a horrible thing. But he was breaking the law and ignoring the constitution. He was going to kidnap the whole country, dissolve the congress and the supreme court. Congress did not want this to happen. One response was this should not have happened in Honduras and the democratic process should be allowed to happen. That is why he was removed from office. So the democratic process could be allowed to happen. He was about to do away with the democratic process. The whole story is not being reported.

There have been rumors and more rumors for days. Marc has been in town everyday since Thursday and I was in town both Friday and Saturday. We were not seeing some of the things that were being reported by the media.

Our employees came in this morning and said there weren't many buses but all was well. I talked to the embassy about 2:00 and there was no severe warnings. Our congress friends were saying there was nothing to worry about. Marc was in town this afternoon and said it appeared as if nothing was going on. Less than an hour later, he was calling saying there were demonstrations and he was getting out of town as fast as he good. He insisted that Reina not leave, that she spend the night here and told me to tell everyone here to go fill the vehicles with gasoline.

There is a buildup of troops at the border. Nicaraguans on the Nicaragua side, Hondurans on the Honduras side. We don't know what else might be going on.

We are safe. I am scheduled to leave on the 8th. I do not know if I will try to leave earlier or not.

Please, please pray unceasingly for this country and for God's intevention. Please pray for our continued safety.


Friday, June 26, 2009


Today was that monthly trip to town for visitation with the kids' moms. Only four were going: Cindy, Maryuri, Brayan, and Jackson. I had planned to take the kids. Yesterday, we found out Maryuri had to go to Teleton at 1:00. That did not conflict with visitation, we just had to shift a few things.

I was still going to take them to visitation. I decided I would feed them at Wendy's and then get on over to Teleton. That was workable.

The kids were all dressed up to go see their moms and were waiting by the car as I took care of details for the day. I needed to talk to Dilcia about deliveries and leave money. First one thing and then another.

Finally, we were rolling through the gate. All four were so excited. They began to sing. Some songs in spanish, some in english. Their little voices are so sweet as they sing praises to God. They try so hard to say the english songs correctly.

We got to Casitas and Brayan's mom was waiting. Cindy and Maryuri's showed up almost immediately. By 10:30, Jackson was getting a little nervous. His mom came just a few minutes later. All four were fed more food than they should eat.

At 12:00, we left. I was thinking, "what am I thinking?" I have never taken four of them in somewhere by myself. Just as we got to Wendy's, Maryuri started crying for her mom. I carried her in and tried to console her. As we walked in, most tables were full and I scanned the room for a table at which we could all sit.

I sat them down and said wait here. Brayan said we will. I gave them no choice of what to eat. I ordered 4 chicken nuggets child's meal with cokes. I got my food and had 3 orders of their fries and 2 orders of nuggets. They said they would bring the rest of my food to the table.

Brayan was so sweet. He made sure the girls got the chicken nuggets and that everyone else got the fries. I knew I was not going to eat all my fries, so I shared with Brayan until his came. The nuggets came and not the fries. We were on a fairly tight schedule and I knew I could never explain that anyway, so I let it go. The kids had eaten so much, no one was really hungry. Everyone had plenty of fries and no one but Brayan cared for the nuggets. He ate them all. Every single one of them. He was quite proud of himself.

We rushed over to Teleton with the promise of not to spill the drinks in the car. I usually do not let them have drinks in the car. They were good to their word. Not a single dropped was spilled.

I was hoping they would let me in Teleton with that many extra kids. We got in without a problem. Maryuri went to class and the other three, played in one of the grassy areas. They ran and played and chased each other, laughing all the while. They ran so hard and were so hot, that they needed to sit down and cool off for a bit.

We had a pleasant drive home. Much more subdued than the one down. Cindy, Maryuri and Jackson had missed their naps and were tired.

I am loving the opportunities I have to spend more time with the children and get to know them better. And sometimes just laugh and have fun with them.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Good Things Are Happening

The busy summer season is upon us. Gayle Davidson's group is here. They are building house, distributing food and doing medical clinics. Terry Reeves arrives with 106 people on Friday, followed by our Kansas group on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. We will continue to see groups come and go through August 8. So many good things will happen because the groups are here.

In addition to the groups, other great things are happening as well. The relocation project by the city has begun. Four families have already been moved out of Reparto. The new houses were built and the city went in and moved the families and their belongings and demolished the old houses the same day. The lady with the boulder in her house was weeping for joy as she was moved.

The rice shipment, for which we have been waiting, finally arrived. This rice is vitamin fortified. There are 300,000 servings of rice. Most of this will be used in the new feeding center in Santa Katarina. But some of it will go other places as well. There are plenty of hungry people here, so it will all be put to good use.

We also have a shipment of soup and a shipment of beans on its way. Again, this will be used to feed some of the hungriest in Honduras.

Thanks to all who had a part in shipping the food containers or are part of a group this summer. You are making a difference in Honduras this summer.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Girls In Town

Pamela before the haircut
The blow dry and style

Pamela and Linda after the haircut

In the mall

Today is Pamela's birthday. We received a couple of checks for her to spend as she wished. Karen talked to Pamela and she decided just how she wanted to spend that money. We buy everyone a birthday cake. Just a white cake with icing. Pamela wanted a bigger cake. Chocolate with chocolate icing. She also wanted to go to Tegucigalpa and get her cut in a beauty shop. Complete with a blow dry. And then a new pair of shoes.

We decided yesterday afternoon would be the perfect time for this outing. As it neared 3:00, Pamela began to ask if Linda could go, too. I didn't care. I wasn't sure how much fun Linda would have watching Pamela get her hair cut and buy shoes. The girls climbed in the back seat, making we look like the chauffer. They giggled and talked all the way.

Pamela kept smiling at Linda while she got her hair cut and Linda smiled back. All Linda had to say when Pamela was through was now her hair looke ugly. Not true. But you don't convince pre-teen girls of that.

Next it was on to the mall. Pamela quickly picked out shoes and sunglasses. She still has a little money left, but did not want to look for anything else yesterday.

Pamela and Linda thought that was the end of the outing. We headed toward the food court where Marc and Jonathan were waiting on us. The girls sat down at the table next to ours and continued their girl talk. Marc bought them a pizza and cokes. How perfect is that? Having pizza and coke with a friend.

That still was not the end of the adventure. Jonathan bought each girl a snowcone after they finished the pizza.

Thanks to the people that sent money for Pamela's birthday. She thoroughly enjoyed it.


Thursday, June 18, 2009


Anita goes to our church and is a very friendly, loving person. She also cooks the beans and rice for us on the days we serve hot food at the dump. One day last week, Marc took the big pots over to Anita's house so she could cook the beans and rice the next day. As Marc arrived, Anita was finishing building another wood burning stove. She was packing that mud and forming it just the way she wanted it. She told Marc she was building the second stove so she could cook the beans and rice at the same time.

In the picture above, the stove with the pot on it is the new one. That is not our pot. The pots in which Anita cooks beans and rice for us are much larger than that. The days we serve beans and rice at the dump, Anita starts cooking at 3:00 in the morning. Ugh! We are able to pick up the food at 9:30. At least she doesn't try to cook beans in one hour like someone we all know and love.

She starts cooking when it is still dark. She cooks about 45 pounds of beans and 45 pounds of rice. She stands over hot wood burning stoves for hours and we pay her 300 lempira or about $15.00. And she says that is too much. I can assure you that is not too much.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Relocation Begins Tomorrow

This is a portion that has slid somewhere else in previous rains.

The front of the house
The boulder in the back part of the house

One of the children. I hate it when little children don't smile.

Where the mom washes clothes.

The higher up house that Marc visited.

A house below the one we visited. Something has already gone through the roof here, too.

After we fed hot food at the dump today, we had another meeting with some of the mayor's people. The city has secured thirty lots and are ready to go. Our friend Gayle Davidson has a group here and they will build the first two houses tomorrow.

After a brief meeting, they were ready to show us the first community from which people will be relocated. And we were ready to go. We all got in a car and I was shocked beyond words as we started up El Hatillo. El Hatillo is one of the rich parts of town. It is also where the mission house is so we drive by this village every time the buses come and go.

We saw some really well built houses and some that looked pretty upscale. But appearances are so deceiving, especially here in Honduras. We soon learned that this village called Reparto had at one time been a village where some of the wealthy lived. As they moved on, extremely poor people moved into these nice houses. Most of them don't know how they will feed their kids today. There are 496 homes in this village and all the people will be eventually relocated.

We stopped so we could have a good look at the density of the houses. Packed so tightly on this mountain prone to landslides when the heavy rains began. It appeared to me if one went, they would all go.

We then visited some of the families that will be among the first to move. The people from the city explained what they were doing. Building houses and relocating people to a better, safer place. When asked, everyone said yes to moving.

The first house in which we entered had a dirt floor. A mom and six kids live there. One bed. Little or no food. And a boulder sitting in the back of the house. During recent rains, the boulder fell from someplace higher. It is too big for the lady to move, so it just sits there. The roof and the back wall have separated because of this boulder.

My thought: surely this is the most urgent case and they will be moved first. I was wrong. As desperate as this case is, it is not the most urgent. This mom and her kids will be among the first six families, though. The mother was almost weeping when she was told.

I walk around outside and saw she had no pila to wash clothes. She had a barrel with a piece of plywood on top and one small jug of water. I can't even begin to imagine washing clothes for six kids like that. But I can't even imagine using the pila either. I am sure those kids do not have the same amount of clothes my kids had.

Marc walked higher to another house and found 11 people living in a little house in similar deplorable conditions.

As the city helps to relocate these families, they plan to tear down the old houses. It would not do much good to leave them standing. Another poor family would move in.

I am still a big cry baby. Every time I see these things, I leave crying. But at least many of these have a hope for better living conditions.

Please pray for this project and for the TORCH groups that will be building these new houses.


Sunday, June 14, 2009


Today was a great day in Santa Ana. Mark Connell's group came out for church. The singing was beautiful. We sang in both spanish and english. Dorian preached a great sermon. At the end of the service, Dorian announced there was a lady that wanted to be baptized. Praise God.

Carmen said her life was a mess and that there were many problems in her family. She said she was ready to give everything to God. Carmen has attended church with us for months. She came to Dorian months ago asking for help for her niece. Her niece is Gabriela, the young lady that had been in a motorcycle accident and was in danger of losing her leg. God provided the financial help for Gabriela to have the surgery she needed and she did not lose her leg.

It was indeed a great day as this lovely lady decided to accept Christ and be baptized.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Buckets of Bucks

In Honduras, or at least in Tegucigalpa, approved organizations can raise money by walking busy intersections with a five gallon water botter in the hands of volunteers. A volunteer has to walk up to the car while the light is red. Guess what Manos Felices, Rosy's school, did today? Walked the street raising money? Guess who were the volunteers were for this project? Marc and I and three of the kids, Brayan, Fitto, and Linda. The kids wanted to go with us.

We left here at 6:00, which is way too early on Saturday morning. Marc stopped at Dunkin Donuts on the way. That always helps. We got to Manos Felices and waited our assignment. When we got our empty water bottles, we had the area in front of the U. S. embassy. Otherwise known as Wendy's Texaco. We were excited about our assignment as there are several Torch groups here, all staying at the mission house. We thought they would be coming through that way and we would get a lot of bucks.

When we got there, Marc decided to put Brayan and Fitto together, he and Linda together and me by mself. I wasn't very happy with that decision. At first. I could see Fitto and Brayan the whole time. In the beginning, they wanted to run over and show me everytime they got money.

They quickly learned how to approach the cars when the light was red and stay out of the street when the light was green. The employees at the Wendy's Texaco took a liking to them and let them approach the cars that were buying gas.

A lady selling newspapers wanted Linda to be with her. Marc work the fourth part of the intersection where he could see Linda the whole time.

Marc took good care, making sure we all plenty of water.

My first walk through I did not get a single donation. I was sure it was going to be a long morning. After a couple of times, I gained my confidence and was approaching each car with a smile. After all, I do believe in Manos Felices and what they are doing for Rosy is amazing. Hondurans are very generous. I saw many families with five or six children in barely-running, beat up old cars pull out a limpira and stick in the bucket. Some would hand it to one of the children to give. By far, the taxi drivers were the most generous. That has certainly changed my attitude about them.

The road is full of pot holes and other uneven surfaces. I managed to step in one and fall. Now that would have been the picture. A middle-aged gringa in the middle of the road with a water bottle. Marc said you mean no one helped you. I said I jumped up so fast, I didn't give any one time to help me. I walked until the light turned green before I even looked down. I got over to the side of the road and saw my last pair of jeans is minus the knee and my knee was badly scraped. And hurt, but not bleeding badly. Yay for the stupid kid. I will be at Nicole's in a little over three weeks and will have new jeans then.

We started walking at 8:30. At 10:00 I wasn't sure I could make it until 1:00. At 11:00, I was over half way, but two hours still looked a long way to go. Shortly after that one of the people from Manos Felices came by and told us to come back at 12:00. Best news I had ever heard.

I did see one of the Torch buses. I went running down the street, passing other vehicles. Marlon was driving and was stopped at the light. I jumped on that bus said help me with money, told what we were doing. Marlon was telling everyone to send their money up. They were on their way to the dump and had no money. Mark Connell came driving by and gave a nice donation.

A few times, I got left out in the center of the street when the light turned green and could not get back to the edge. I did not like that. Lots of people were gracious. Some said thanks for what we were doing. A few were rude. I was being very careful and still nearly got hit a couple of times and propositioned once.

One story was especially touching to me. I was in the middle of two lanes of traffic, working both lanes at the same time. One car rolled down the window, which always meant a donation was on its way. An elderly man sat in the passenger seat and, perhaps, his son in the driver's seat. I said buenos dias as both men reached for their wallets. The elderly man said he could not hear me. That he was deaf and wanted to help the children that were also deaf. I nearly cried as I smiled a bigger smile and said muchas gracias.

When it was time to quit, I was ready. I got back over to the Wendy's Texaco. All five of us sat our bottles down side by side. The bills came higher in the bottles on mine and Linda's. Way to go girls. That doesn't mean we really raised more. The bills might be bigger in some of the others. I don't think so, but maybe.

Marc bought us all a gatorade. And we headed back to the school. We all agreed it was very hard work, harder than we expected. But the kids said for donuts and gatorade they would not mind doing it again.

Lunch was to be served at the school. We got back and found lunch was not going to be served until 2:00. No way could our kids wait that long. So we went to McDonald's. There were certainly three smiling faces.

I know one thing for sure. I will always have some small bills with me and never ever pass another group that has bottles trying to raise money.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Casa Store

The Casa Store

When I moved to Honduras in 2007, I had a dream to open a store at Casa de Esperanza. The profit when this store was to be used entirely for the children. Karen had much the same dream. She had purchased t-shirts and few other items and sold them out of the hallway. Even in that setting, we saw profit.

Karen and I both were excited about having a real store. We cleaned out a little room in which our guards had kept their stuff. We painted and bought a few shelves and opened La Tienda de Esperanza. We knew we had a lot to learn about running a store. Even with buying shelves and paint and getting started, we realized a profit the first year. Enough to make payroll to our Honduran employees for one month.

We wanted to learn from our mistakes and make the second year even better than the first. We added Lenca and pewter and candles. Things Americans like to buy. We have worked with the artesians and created some very special Casa de Esperanza pieces. We fully expect to see more profit this year than we did last.

We have pondered ways to help the store make more profit so that the children benefit more. Thus, the idea of the Casa Store online was born. Please check out new Casa Store at

Take a few minutes and browse through those things being sold online.

As with any new venture, there are always a few kinks that need to be worked out. Please be patient with us as we go and grow through this process.

Your support of Casa de Esperanza is always appreciated.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Meeting With The Mayor

This afternoon Marc had a meeting with the mayor of Tegucigalpa. I am not usually involved in these kinds of things. But since Tuesday is my day off from Casa de Esperanza, I was in town with Marc. I had no idea for what purpose this meeting had been called. I soon realized I was glad it was my day off and I just happened to be along for the ride.

The city has identified 3000 families that are living in such poverty that it is unsafe. In addition, to the poverty they are living in areas of high probability of landslides when the heavy rains start in the fall. For the time being, the city has priotized 3 areas that have the highest need. This involves about 500 families. They want to find property in more suitable area and relocate the people. They can find the property, but the city does not have the money nor the manpower to construct new houses. They were asking TORCH Missions to help with this project. Beginning June 29, we made a commitment for 20 houses. These houses will all be constructed in Nueva Oriental/ Mirador Oriente, a community in which we already work.

I don't know how long this project will take, but I am glad TORCH gets to be a part of it.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Santa Ana Youth Group

Last night we took the youth group from the church here in Santa Ana to Santa Lucia for devo with Mark Connell's group. I, personally, love the devos at Santa Lucia and was looking forward to the worship in english.

I have never been around this youth group except in church on Sunday mornings. As is the case with youth groups, the kids are completely different than when they are in church on Sunday morning. They laughed and sang and played games in the van, bringing back fond memories of youth group trips with my kids' youth group.

There was a malfunction in communications and the devo to which we were going, got changed until tonight. No one complained. Marc wanted to salvage something of the evening and we went to KFC. Chik-Fil-A and Krispy Kremes are what is supposed to happen on youth group trips. But when in Honduras, do as the Hondurans do. KFC.

Two years ago Dorian started working this youth group. There was maybe five. Every week Dorian works hard with these kids. There were 16 that went last night. Dorian has a good relationship with the kids and interacts well.

In case you don't know, Dorian is doing a great job as the preacher in Santa Ana. May God be praised.


Friday, June 5, 2009


There are some things to which my Americanized, computerized mind will never adjust.

We provide health insurance for our employees. We wanted to do that, but it is a law and we have no choice. I have no problem with providing health insurance for employees. But the system works me up every month. What happened this week was worse than most.

Every single month, someone hand delivers our paper work to the front gate. This usually happens on or around the 10th of the month. I have to take the paperwork and go stand in line at the bank and pay our health insurance. I have to pay in cash and it has to be done before the 19th. We then have to take our paid receipt and go to the insurance office and stand in another long line to get our employees' green cards. This usually can't be done until after the 26th of each month. Sometimes later. That office is a long way from Santa Ana. The green cards are hardly ever ready when we go, thus, forcing a return trip. Imagine every employer doing this every month.

In May, we went FOUR times before we got the green cards. It was May 17 and they expired May 31. Our employees cannot see a doctor without their green cards.

We had a group here and I was sick and we did not even get down to try to get the green cards. They are never ready on time anyway. One of our employees, Reina, had to take two sick children and herself to the doctor. One of the kids had dinghey, was very sick and needed to be treated. Of course, the employees have to wait in long lines as well. Reina was called out. Her green card taken and xed all over with a black pen and told she could leave. Since she had an expired green card that meant she had not paid for June. Of course, she was humiliated and upset. Who would not have been?

I felt awful when I heard this. We should have tried harder to get those green cards.

I had already put getting those green cards on Marc's list for yesterday. Even before I heard what happened to Reina. I was outraged when Marc called and said he had been to the office once and the cards weren't ready. Yesterday was June 4. I had paid the bill before the 19th. In fact, I made a special trip to town to do it before the 19th. Marc had to wait around and do other stuff and return to that office yesterday afternoon and finally got home after 7:00 last night. Oh yes! He had green cards in hand. I was so upset about those green cards Marc might have tried to print them himself rather than return without them. Uhmmm. I wonder if he did print them himself.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Down And Out

One of the few reasons I stay away from my blog for very long is when my internet is down. As far as I know, my internet has not been down. But I have been.

Friday afternoon I started not feeling so good. Friday evening, I went to bed early, an almost unheard of event for me. By about 12:30 Saturday morning, an all out war had infested itself in my body. I have very little recollection of Saturday, Sunday and most of Monday. I really hated not getting to be with the group the last couple of days they were here.

I do not remember the last time I have been that sick. I could think of a couple that, perhaps, came close. But since I was living this one at the moment, I am sure it was, by far, the worst. Nothing I took seem to ease anything.

This is not the diet plan I would have chosen for myself.

Yesterday, Marc took me to the ER. At Vierra, not Hospital Escuela. I might have been turning the corner toward recovery, but I was not wanting to take any chances. I knew they were going to do blood work. On the way to the hospital, I thought about how bad that needle was going to hurt going into my dehyrdrated veins. It hurt more than I could have ever imagined.

We spent six hours in the ER. I was given two liters of fluid, antibiotics, anti-nausea, and pain medications. At least, I had a nice nap. When we left, I had prescriptions for pain, anti-bacterial infections, anti-nausea, anti-parasites and I am not sure what else. Oh, if you have never had to take meds for parasites, well, that certainly has some interesting side effects.

I am better today, but a long way from 100%. Marc is taking great care of me. Today, he is trying to make me drink gatorade and eat toast. Gatorade was successful. Not so much on the toast.

I have dozens of emails to answers. Yes, some are urgent regarding your trips. I will be working through those.

Please pray that I continue to recover and am better every day.