Friday, January 29, 2010

The Weather Outside is Frightful

Yesterday morning as the snow began to fall.
This morning after the storm is over.

We are still in the Texas panhandle. All week the weather prediction for Thursday was the storm of the century was to hit. We left Childress at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon and it was 66 degrees. Made it hard to believe the storm of the century was on its way. We got to Wheeler and it was cooler, about 46 degrees. That is not so unusual. In the Texas Panhandle, in January, the temperature drops of an evening when the sun goes down. Even when we left Wheeler, it was some what cooler.

We woke yesterday to not much snow and freezing temperatures. It soon began to ice and then the snow began. Slowly at first, then harder and harder all day. Marc and I had no place to be. No place to speak. It was a day off. It was a perfect day for a day off. It was a perfect day for it to snow all day. I sat by the fire to warm myself for a few minutes and then would come over to the computer and work for a few minutes. I would soon be back over near the fire. It is hard to accomplish much when you only work a few minutes at a time.

The snow stopped late last night. This morning it is bitterly cold as the storm as moved on towards Oklahoma and Arkansas. It is a beautiful morning as every thing is completely snow covered.

We were suppose to leave for Oklahoma today. We are not going anywhere today. Sadly, we will not get to see some friends that we were looking forward to seeing. We will leave for Kansas tomorrow.

We can't make it to Oklahoma, but I think we can get to Wal-Mart.

It probably was not the storm of the century, but it sure shut down everything down in the Texas panhandle.


Thursday, January 28, 2010


A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day drinking iced tea and visiting with her mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilites of life, about the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter.

"Don't forget your sisters," she advised as she swirled the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. "They will be more important as you grow older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need Sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then, do things with them."

"Remember that Sisters mean ALL the women in your life... your girlfriends, your daughters, all your women relatives, too. You'll need other women. Women always do."

What a funny piece of advice, the young woman thought. Haven't I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness sake. A grown-up! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile.

But she listened to her mother. She kept contact with her Sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her mom really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, Sisters are the mainstays of her life.

I am truly blessed to have many Sisters.

Last night we were in Wheeler, Texas for church. I went to the ladies class. I could immediately tell I was among Sisters. The things they shared with each other. The way they prayed. I could tell they had done life together. I was both humbled and blessed to be among such a group. They showed the true meaning of being Sisters.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Marc and I have been visiting churches in the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma, therefore we have been criss-crossing back and forth through this part of the country. At first glance this appears to be barren, desolate land. It is treeless, mountainless, miles and miles of flat grassy plains. We can see a weather system moving across those plains, like a freight train barrelling down the tracks. The skylines of the small towns consist of cotton gins and grain elevators. It seems like a whole lot of nothing.

This land is not a whole lot of nothing. It is farmland and ranchland, valuable to its hard working owners. I would think those farmers and ranchers would absolutely have to depend on God. Depend on him to provide rain at the right time and sun at the right time. Depend on Him to provide a good crop this year. Depend on Him to know all is well when a calf freezes in the brutal winters.

And it is not a whole lot of nothing to those of us who call it home. This area has a beauty all its own. I am quite sure this is where God was when he created sunsets.

There is not a whole lot of nothing inside the churches we are visiting. Warm, wonderful people are welcoming us as we share our ministry.

Wednesday night we went to Dumas to speak to a church. A friend of ours is the preacher at that church. We haven't seen those friends in years. Our wonderful it was to see these friends again. We had so much fun. Some relatives from Sunray also came over. My grandparents lived in Dumas. So as we drove, many wonderful memories flooded over me.

This morning we were in Sentinel, Oklahoma. It was a bit further than we wanted to drive in one morning. We left yesterday and spent the night with friends in Hollis. Again, we had so much fun, playing dominoes into the night, discovering I don't play dominoes much better than I play spades. As we stepped out of the house this morning, we saw an awesome sunrise, painting the eastern sky in colors only God could create.

The folks at Sentinel have sent money for houses and food for years. We were eager to share more of what we do with these folks. This was the first time we had visited there. It was a wonderful morning, complete with potluck after church.

We then drove to Childress, Texas. We saw one of those weather systems roaring across the plains at us, producing a few minutes of rain and then, a beautiful full rainbow. Again, this was the first time to visit Childress, but people here have been involved in the work in Honduras for about a year. We walked in and it felt like home. Marc, as always, did a wonderful job sharing what we do. Childress plans on bringing a team this year and there was much excitement there.

Tomorrow we will go to Spearman, Texas before returning to Borger.

As we drive across these plains that seem like a whole lot of nothing to some, I know this place is productive land, containing many memories, at least for me, with beautiful sunsets and sunrises and rainbows, and home to warm, loving people. Miles and miles of all types of beauty.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Birthday

We celebrate a lot of birthdays in Honduras and miss a lot of birthdays with family and friends in the states. Tonight we celebrated my father-in-law's birthday. We went to a mexican food restaurant. (And, for those of you wondering, Mexican food is not the same as Honduran food. I was ready for Mexican food, but passed on the rice.) When the wait staff came to sing happy birthday they brought this great big sombrero and placed it on my father-in-law's head. We had a good time tonight and enjoyed some great food.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Art Class

During the school year, Sunday afternoons are spent doing homework. But since school has been out, the children have had some art classes. Our friend, Nathan, has come to Casa de Esperanza and worked with the children. He divided them into two groups and did all sorts of things with them. One week he took them outside and they painted with water colors and then put salt on their paintings before they dried.

Another week, Nathan helped them make play dough. The older ones formed their play dough into stars, hoping to put them in the store to sell. One week they made paper machie.

Many times we did not know in advance what Nathan had planned, but the kids always had fun. Some of them are quite good at art. Some have a ways to go.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


When I visit my mom in Borger, we always play spades, usually every day. My mom and stepdad play cards all the time and they are good. I never win. I am too busy talking and laughing and having fun being with them. I can never remember what has been played. I always laugh and say I will redeem myself next time. It has been years since I won. No one even expects that I will redeem myself.

Today, I redeemed myself. I didn't just eke out a win, I won solidly. My mom was a hundred points behind me and my stepdad didn't even have a respectable showing. I think he said he would redeem himself tomorrow. We will see, won't we.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Back In The Good Ol' USA

Marc and I landed in New Orleans late Thursday night. Nicole and Haley Grace were waiting on us. I was so glad to see them. Once we got to Baton Rouge, every one was ready to fall in bed. We enjoyed the next day with Nicole, Haley and Matt. I love watching my baby with her baby.

Of course, I have already hit Sonic and Wal-Mart once. I need to go to Wal-Mart again and plan to do so today. I am just loving being with family and visiting churches.

It is a long way from Baton Rouge to Borger, Texas. It is 810 miles to be exact and slightly over 13 hours. That is if you don't stop very often and we did not stop very often. It was a long day on Saturday.

There are things we take for granted in the U.S. that are not available in Honduras. Here are some little things I appreciated Saturday as we drove. We drove for 13+ hours on four lane roads. That means we didn't get behind a slow vehicle going 20 miles an hour or less and be stuck there for hours because there is so much traffic in the other lane, making it impossible to pass. We could come up on that slow vehicle and pass it. We did not have to worry about dodging pot holes. In fact, I dont' think we saw even one pothole. We thought we were dreaming, driving for thirteen hours on four lane highways and not seeing potholes. A very pleasant dream.

We were not afraid to drive after dark. There were gas stations and convenience stores every few miles at which we could have stopped if we had desired. The few places we did choose to stop, we could enter with confidence that the restrooms would be not only clean, but stocked with toilet paper. And paper towels.

And how I am loving washing my hands and face in warm water. And knowing I can drink from almost and faucet.

Warm water, toilet paper, paper towels and no potholes are all wonderful things. But the things I love best about being back are hugs from family and friends and the sweet fellowship we are enjoying.


Thursday, January 14, 2010


We have celebrated a couple of birthdays recently.

Ana's ninth birthday was January 4. We celebrated and had her cake on the fifth. I told everyone on the fourth those that did not take a nap would not get cake. Only a couple of the kids did take a nap that day. One of those who did not nap was Ana. She was heartbroken and sobbing her eyes out. I was kind of sick, too, but I had to stand by what I said. Dilcia and I decided to give everyone a second chance and have the birthday cake and celebration on the fifth, about mid-morning. There were still a couple of kids that did not get birthday cake, but at least Ana did. She was more than willing to do what needed to be done on Tuesday morning. I think she might have enjoyed her cake a bit more, knowing how close she came to not getting it.

Jackson also celebrated his ninth birthday a week later on the eleventh. I sure did not want to say for those that don't take a nap, you don't get cake. I decided to have the cake after supper on Monday night. I think everyone got a piece of cake that time. Jackson's job this week is dishes. I decided to do the dishes on Monday night for him. He liked that.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sunflowers In January

Recently flowers were planted along the sidewalk from our house to Karen and Dorian's apartment. The sunflowers are full of buds and more are popping out every day. In a couple of days they should be in full bloom.

I know most of the U.S. is a deep freeze, even as far south as Memphis, Columbus, and Baton Rouge. It has been cold here but not too cold to keep the sunflowers away. I am enjoying the sunflowers in January. I will not be here to see them in full bloom.

Marc and I are leaving tomorrow. We will fly into Baton Rouge tomorrow night, hugging on that sweet Haley. We will go on to Texas and spend time with our families and visit six churches. We then will go on to Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois, visiting churches and friends along the way. We will then spend some precious time with Camille. I plan on sharing Nicole's birthday with her and giving some more Grammy hugs.

I know there will be no sunflowers blooming in January in the sunflower state, or any where else we go. Though it will be quite cold as we travel, we look forward to the warmth of being with friends and families.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Run Aways

Sunday mornings at Casa de Esperanza are a bit chaotic. We start at 7:00 and since church does not start until 9:30, that gives us plenty of time to get everything done.

The girls get up and start putting on church clothes. And then they start changing clothes. And then they change again. Some things they want to wear are too small or too big or have a hole in the knee. Some things they put on, they decide to change. And then there is all that hair that has to be done. Some of the girls can do their own hair and some can help the younger ones.

I went in at 7:00 and woke the girls. I looked in the boys' room and saw movement. I did not see all the boys, but assumed the others were in the bathroom. I was quite busy with the girls. At some point in time, I think around 7:30, it was discovered two of the boys, Brayan and Jackson, were not in the house. They had left. Everyone in the house went into full panic mode.
I just thought a typical Sunday morning was chaotic.

A neighbor called one of our employees and said two of our kids were on the bus to town with her. After a series of exchanging phone numbers and such, Marc went into action. He called Luis and told him to get to Loarque as fast as he could. He called the neighbor on the bus and told her to tell the driver to make the kids get off at Loarque. Marc left for Loarque at break neck speed. I think the kids thought they had made a clean get away and all the while several people were tag-teaming down the mountain.

Brayan and Jackson get off the bus at Loarque and there stands Luis. Oh no. Marc shows up shortly. Marc scared them to death. Marc's only intention was to bring them back to Casa, but he told them he was taking them to Casitas Kennedy. Jackson cried.

Marc was nicer than I think I would have been. He bought each one an apple. I think I would have let them miss breakfast. Some of us missed our breakfast.

I was trying to keep things inside the house as normal as possible. The kids wanted to go outside and look for Brayan and Jackson. We knew where they were. Looking for them on the property was pointless.

The girls' room looked like a tornado blew through. I told them to pick all those clothes up off the floor. Every one began to say "not my clothes." I told them I did not care whose clothes they were, they had to be picked up. Either they could do it or I would and if I did, they would become my clothes and go to my house. Daniella's eyes got as big as plates. There was a rushing and scurrying from those girls that I did not know existed. The clothes were back on hangers and in drawers quickly.

Marc returned with the run-aways. They both have a couple of bags with them. Brayan had one pair of jeans. Other than that the bags were packed with everything for a successful runaway. Toys. No food. No clothes. No money.

It has already been a long day. When Sandra left, I told her I would see her tomorrow. I wanted to say that is if I don't run away.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Heart Wrenching Cries

These kids at Casa run around calling all of us mommy. They say mommy to Karen and me and the child care staff and the housekeeping staff. At times, it is endearing. Sometimes not, like when they are tattling on each other.

But once in a while, one of them begin to cry and call for mommy and it is not us they are wanting. The cries come from the deepest places within their little souls. And they want Mommy. Their mommy. No matter how severe the abuse might have been or how deplorable the living conditions, everyone loves their mommy.

I try to comfort and console, but there is really nothing that can be done when a little one misses mommy so desparately. At that moment, there is no substitute.

Please pray daily for these kids. And for us, that we can console those heart-wrenching cries.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

School Uniforms

School normally starts in February. We just found out this year it will start January 15. Next week. I know that is Friday and doesn't make much sense. Sandra and I clapped when we found out this news. Some of the kids weren't quite as happy.

Dilcia and I pulled out the trunks of uniforms and shoes. Everyone was excited about trying on uniforms even if they are not excited about returning to school. We finally had everyone go outside and Dilcia patiently worked with one child at a time. They were nuts. Every single one of them was nuts over these uniforms. You would have thought it was Christmas again so soon.

Most everyone ended up with a uniform to fit except the older kids and that is because they have grown. Shoes were another story. There was a whole trunk of shoes and not many fit our kids. Some of the girls were pushing and shoving over the shoes. I explained that any one who did not have shoes to fit them, we would buy some. Nohemy was clapping and jumping and saying new shoes. Daniela was crying because there were none to fit her, in spite of the promise of new ones. There will need to be a bunch of new school shoes purchased. El Rey, here I come.

We usually serve supper at 6:30. It was almost 7:00 before we could get them in the showers and calm enough to eat. As crazy as things were last night, I was ready to send them off to school immediately.

Please remember to pray for the kids as the begin a new school year.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Son, The CPA

Yesterday was my day off. Marc and I left here around 8:30 and went to town for breakfast. His car needed the oil changed and a few other things. We went to the mall while we waited. We were having Cinnabons and checking our email and enjoying being away from everything for a brief while. Marc's phone rang. All I heard Marc say was "tell me about it." I did not know to whom Marc was talking, but those words could mean just about anything.

When Marc finished the phone call he told me it was Nathan and he had just received the grade on the fourth part of the CPA exam. He made 85 on the fourth part. He has passed each part on the first attempt, a feat not many accomplish. Needless to say, Marc and I are very proud of our son, the now CPA.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Year in Retrospect

Christmas has come and gone. 2009 has come and gone at an unbelievable speed. And what a year it has been.

Personally, 2009 was the year our second granddaughter was born. A precious one she is, indeed. I was fortunate to be there and witness her birth and help Matt and Nicole both before and after. It was a blessing. Our family has experienced some extreme sadness as well.

In Honduras, we experienced one roller coaster ride of a year. And God has blessed it all.

The teams Marc and I led built 45 houses. Other Torch teams built about 30. Seventy five families now have a warm place from the wind and rain. And this was without any teams in July due to the political situation.

Nine containers arrived, four filled with medical supplies, four with food. Two of those were filled with beans, one with soup mix, and one with rice meals. This would make about 2. 3 million servings. At least. The way people stretch food here, it might serve more. Praise God. In a country were seventy per cent of the people live in poverty, what a blessing this is. The other container was full of school supplies and health and beauty items for Casa de Esperanza ( shampoo, lotion, soap). Each item on each container has been delivered to someone in need and in the name of Jesus.

The dump ministry was greatly expanded after Trey Morgan raised over $12,000.00 in one day on his blog. The Campus church in Atlanta and churches in Tupelo have raised large amounts of money for the dump feeding as well. Combined efforts raised over $22,000 for the dump. We are now feeding a hot meal every week at the dump. We are also helping some of the young ladies that work there with milk for their babies with a promise that they never bring their babies into the dump.

A Jesus banquet was held at the dump this year. A sit down meal with tables and chairs. A meal catered by Carnitas with meat, beans, rice, tortillas and avocados. And soda. Most of the people that were served had never seen a meal like this. Everyone could eat until they could eat no more. We hope to make this a yearly tradition, improving and making it better each year. We are thankful for the relationships that have been formed in the dump. We are looking to God to show us what the next level is at the dump.

In addition to the food that arrived on containers, and the dump feedings, hundreds of people have been fed by the groups. Food was purchased and distributed. There was also many times our groups worked in the feeding centers to feed hungry children.

The past year we saw the Thanksgiving work week expanded. Last year two people came and three houses were built. This year twenty eight people came and built 11 houses. In addition, to building houses all week, our guests were treated to a traditional Thanksgiving meal. I think each person sat down, reflecting on the week, and could easily find many things for which to be thankful. We hope this Thanksgiving work week will also become an ever-growing tradition.

In Santa Ana we saw twelve precious souls accept Jesus. I don't know how many people were baptized in Los Pinos, but several. Both churches continue to show steady growth and reach out into their respective communities.

At Casa de Esperanza, the new Bill Brumley cottage was completed, inspected and dedicated. A new house parent was hired. We received four new children, two of whom were placed in the new house. A water purification system was installed. We were able to enroll Rosy in the school for the deaf in Tegucigalpa. Reina and Doris were able to start classes at Teleton. God answered many, many prayers at Casa de Esperanza in 2009.

On June 28, the president was removed from office. We think this was the right thing to do and was done according to the constitution. However, it struck fear in many and sent individuals and groups fleeing back to the United States. There was a lot of uncertainty. There were protests, both in support of the decision and against it. Businesses were burnt. Everything was grafittied. Missions teams from all organizations, all over the country had to be canceled for the month of July. With mission groups not coming, many more people went hungry and unhoused. Their medical needs were unmet, as well as their spiritual one. Businesses that depend on these mission groups for their income had to close their doors. Some will never reopen. The overall results of this political unrest for the people of Honduras were horrible.

Because of the unrest and the proximity to the Nicaraguan border, the planned feeding center in Santa Katarina was not started until November. We hope to see this project become reality in 2010.

We are only the instruments being used, or try to be. You are the backbone of our ministry. You support us personally and the work in which we are involved. Your prayers and encouragement keep me going. All the things you do for us, both big and small, are appreciated. From milky way bars to french vanilla for my coffee to yeast for bread to black-eyed peas for New Year's day to french fried onion rings to those boxes put on containers that say Tindall -Personal to cards, letters, and em-mails of encouragement and everything else. It is appreciated. I can't even begin to mention the people that do so much for us. I would surely leave someone out. But, I do want to say a great big thank you to our church. Fairview Heights, you are wonderful.

What about this year? We don't really know for sure. Only God can answer that.

Our good friends, Lowell and Robin White will be joining our team, as they plan to move to Honduras on January 20. What an awesome way to start a new year.

We hope to see the feeding center completed. We want to do more at the dump. We want to fill the new house at Casa de Esperanza. We are ready to hire a new employee at Casa. And I hope that happens real soon. We will continue to educate the children and teach them of God's love.

Fourteen teams have already signed up to come in 2010. People will be fed and housed. Their medical needs will be provided. And their spiritual ones. If you want to be a part of one of these teams and see what God has planned in Honduras in 2010, please let us know. We will put you on a team and then put you work.

May God richly bless your 2010. Please keep praying for the work in Honduras. Each prayer makes a difference.


Writing On The Wall

A couple of mornings each week, the kids have a period of reading and/or studying. Some of the kids can't read and other activities are found for them. Most practice on their handwriting. Nohemy cannot read or write. I have been spending time with her, teaching her to write the letter A, both big and small. I write the big A first and then the small a. She writes the small a first and then the big A. She also has a unique way of writing the small a. She draws the circle and instead of putting the line on the right side, she puts it underneath. Depending on the placement, it looks more like a p or a q. I have been real encouraging, telling her how good they are and she needs more practice.

Yesterday afternoon Dilma and I discovered she had been practicing writing her a's, both small and big. The only problem is she has been practicing on the outside wall of the new cottage. And she has done it orange crayon.

Dilma came to get me to show me. Nohemy said Katty did it. Katty said Maryuri did it. Maryuri nearly cried and said she did not do it. Dilma and I had just about decided it could not have been Nohemy because she can't write. I looked a little closer and what I thought was PAPAPA, was Nohemy's unique little a's. I told Dilma I had been working with Nohemy on her A's and that was the way she wrote her small a's. OOPS! Busted.

Miss Nohemy will be spending this morning washing the wall.