Sunday, February 28, 2010

Church In The Park

This morning we had church in the park.

A few minutes after 9:00, we left here walking with all the kids. It is not a long way to the park, but further when there are 18 kids in tow. It was very pleasant to sit outdoors and worship God.

The wind was blowing, but we could still enjoyed the some of the beauty created by God.

Several people came as we sang and had communion. Before we heard the sermon, the children were dismissed for Sunday school.

I always love starting my week at church. This morning was even better; starting the week with God and outdoors.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rosy Has Braces

Rosy showing off her new braces and Ana

Rosy has some of the worst looking teeth I have ever seen. They are stacked on top of each other and behind each other and crowded in every direction. In the states, we are accustomed to seeing almost every young person with braces. But that is not the case in Honduras. No matter how badly needed, not many people have braces here and we certainly never thought that any of our kids at Casa would be wearing them.

There is a dentist that is seeing and treating our children for free. Never in our wildest imaginations, did we think she would provide braces for free. But she did.

Today Rosy had the appointment to get braces put on. I walked in a few minutes before 8:00 and she was still in her pajamas and holding a set of play clothes. All I said was "rapido" and she put herself in high gear. She was so happy and was telling everyone she was getting braces. We drove to town and she jumped out of the car and went running into the dentist's office. I had never been there before and I wasn't sure the office was. Not that I like her running off like that anyway.

Rosy is a naturally curios child and she was wanting to see everything the dentist was doing. At first, the dentist let her sit up and look at things, but if she continued to do that, it might have taken all day. The dentist made a motion to sit and she did not try to look again.

As the brackets were being put on, there was still happiness in Rosy's eyes, but as the dentist began to thread the wire through the brackets, Rosy was squirming quite a bit. That did not feel quite as good. She did not cry, but I recognized that she was uncomfortable by the look of terror on her face.

As I was talking with the dentist about care and such, Rosy was busy smiling in the mirror. When we got home, she wanted to show some people and wanted to act shy with others.

Since I had braces as an adult, I was not surprised, when tonight, everything was hurting and it was hard to go to sleep. But in a few months, or however long it takes, Rosy will have an even more beautiful smile than she already does.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Drier Earlier

The rainy season was short and not very rainy in 2009. That means we are in for a long, hot dry season. Yesterday, when I flew into Tegucigalpa, I could not help but notice things were much browner and much drier than they normally are this time of year. At Casa we have already had to buy water once. And this is only February. We have never had to buy water this early in the dry season. Marc and I had to buy water for our house, too. We have never had to buy water. At Casa, we are looking into the cost of digging a new deeper well and installing an underground cistern as well.

Our friend, Timoteo, is saying in Tegucigalpa, they are receiving their city water once about every eight days due to rationing. And this rationing extends from Tegucigalpa south to Choluteca.

There have been no fires yet and, for that, we are thankful.

My mind keeps turning to all the people in this country that have no water source as the rivers and streams are drying up. Most of those people also do not have money to buy water either.

I am praying that this dry season does not last all the way until May.


My mind just keeps to turning to all the people in this country that don

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Josue Manuel Turns Two

Today is little Josue Manuel's second birthday. He is the baby here. He was grabbing for the cake before the candles were lit. After the candles were burning, he grabbed for one of the candles. Several hands grabbed for his little hand as he grabbed for the flame. He thoroughly enjoyed his birthday cake. Eating with his hands, as most two year olds do, he would then wipe his hands on his clothes and reach for more. He had cake all over himself and his clothes. He probably needs another shower.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Change Of Plans

Shortly after I wrote my blog on Sunday night, I got sick. Really, really sick. I was having mixed emotions about returning home, but I did not want to be sick so that I could stay. Nor did I want to be sick so that I could get some rest. I thought I could go home anyway. I thought that until I got up and tried to get myself ready. When I could not hold my toothbrush, I knew I could never hold my luggage. And if I had needed the bathroom on the plane while someone else was in there, I would have been in BIG trouble.

I called Marc at 2:30 Monday morning. Any time the phone rings that time of morning it is guaranteed to scare the person on the other end. I was really too sick to think about anything, but Marc reminded me I needed to change my ticket before 6:00. So I did. I wasn't even going to try to leave before tomorrow, not knowing how would feel today. Delta does not fly to Tegucigalpa on Tuesday and Wednesday, therefore I am leaving on Thursday.

I lost yesterday completely. Can't tell you one single thing about it. I have felt much better today, but I am still going to call it a day and head for bed.

If I continue to feel as much better tomorrow as I did today, I will feel wonderful to enjoy Baby Haley one more day.

Again, I ask for prayers as I travel.


Sunday, February 21, 2010


Tomorrow I go home. We have to leave here at 3;30 a.m. I should be in bed,or at least finishing my packing, but I am mesmerized by the couples ice dancing.

It has been quite a productive trip. Marc has spoken at 11 churches and 5 rotary clubs. I have spoken twice. We have visited with friends and family. Played dominoes and spades and Go Fish. Cups of coffee and meals with friends. Seen excitement generated about the work in Honduras. Made new friends. Spent precious time with the kids and the granddaughters. Been to Disney World. Seen snow in every single state in which we have been. Travelled over 7500 miles. Oh my aching backside.

I stayed four extra days in order to share my daughter's birthday with her. How much fun we had. I baked a milky way cake for her. Sinful. We shoe shopped and shopped for baby Haley.

I am ready to be home. Ready to be in my bed. Ready to get back to work. I am sad to leave. I have wept rivers today. I have hugged on Haley and talked to Camille. I have talked to friends and family. I have used many of our rollover minutes today. Yet, I leave without talking to several people. Several I wanted to talk to.

I am excited. I am happy. I am sad. I arrived tired and am leaving tired. Ready to go back. Needing a few more hugs from the kids and grandkids.

Pray for me as I travel and as I go back to work.


Thursday, February 18, 2010


I am loving being at Matt and Nicole's. Baby Haley is so sweet and so precious. Most of the time she is as happy as can be. Her smile can brighten any room and her laugh is music to my ears.

She is just a baby and can't do anything. She is dependent on her mommy and daddy for everything; to feed her, to keep her warm, to entertain her, to ease her hurts and protect her. As I study her innocent little face, I realize that is exactly what God wants from me. From all of us. Total dependence on Him. He wants us to trust Him completely. To crawl up in His lap and take it easy, not worry about anything in this world. Not our food, not our shelter, not anything.

I want to remember more often to be totally dependent on God, just as Haley is totally dependent.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Homeless Shelter

Every Tuesday Matt and Nicole, and some friends of ours, Kin and Donna Ellis, and sometimes another person or two from their church go to a homeless shleter to feed. Nicole and Donna take turns preparing the meal. Tonight Marc and I were able to go with them.

There are usually thirty two people that are fed. There were a couple of people being checked in as we arrived. Some of the people have jobs and leave during the day. Some don't. Everyone has to help keep the facility clean and has some responsibility. In the shelter, there were three rows of mattresses or sleeping bags. Everyone's belongings were neatly stacked at the foot of their bed. There is a bathroom and a shower with hot water.

Matt, Nicole, Kin and Donna are forming relationships with these people. And Haley is always welcomed warmly. Everyone loves Haley and looks forward to seeing her every week.

As we served, everyone was was grateful and said thank you. Some wanted to know about Honduras and what we did. Others did not know what or where Honduras is.

We see poverty and hardship and homeless people every day in Honduras and sometimes forget these things exist in the USA. While the people we saw tonight were not as desparate as those in Honduras, it was a needed gentle reminder for me there are needs here that need to be met as well. And thankfully, there are people wanting to help those less fortunate than themselves.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Prayer Requests At Casa De Esperanza

While we are finishing our visit in the States, there are needs at Casa that need to be covered in prayer.

The children have started back to school. Pray that they all have a good year. And then there are homework issues. Some just do not like to do it which can cause some stressful afternoons.

Jackson is having quite a hard time right now. He is acting out and doing several things he should not. He needs everyone's prayers as do we so that we will have the wisdom to handle this correctly.

Rosy is starting school today. Manos Felices, Rosy's school, is having severe financial problems and may not be able to stay open even the remainder of this year. This school has done a tremendous amount for Rosy and for other children that are deaf. Please pray that Manos Felices finds the resources to remain open.

And last but not least, two of our housekeeping staff are quitting. Please pray that we quickly find staff to replace them and that they will be loving and compassionate with our children.

We covet your daily prayers for all of us at Casa and thank you for doing so.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Disney World

It is a long, long way from Little Rock, Arkansas to Disney World. And it is a longer way back, especially in the short time we had. But it was so worth to spend this week with our precious Camille.

For a five year old, the magic kingdom is about the most magical place on earth. And for Poppy and Grammy, watching her expressions and listening to her excitement is the most magical thing on earth.

I questioned the sanity of parents and grandparents (ours included) who would be at Disney World as cold as it was. But after you pay that much, I guess most people are determined to get their money's worth, no matter how cold it is. There were thousands of people there in the cold. It is amusing at times to listen to people in the middle of the afternoon when they are dragging little kids around that are not only cold, but probably needing a nap as they say, "you better quit whining and enjoy this." We were fortunate; Camille only got cranky once and that was one morning before we left and she soon was over that.

Camille got to do everything she wanted to do except see Jasmine. We never did figure out where Jasmine was. While she enjoyed the rides, seeing the princesses was far more impressive to her. Seeing Goofy and Donald Duck was Marc's favorite thing.

We had a great time with Jim and Donna as well. And that time came to an end too soon.

We took two days to come back to Little Rock instead of one. That just made two long days. Camille is a good little traveler, which made that long ride more pleasant. Her songs and giggles will echo in my head for some time to come.

There is never enough time with Camille and there may be a tearful goodbye tomorrow. At least on Grammy's part. The consoling thing, though, is we will head to Baton Rouge to spend a few more days with Nicole, Matt and Haley.

As short as it was, we consider ourselves blessed to have spent this wonderful week with Camille.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow Snow Every Where

Every where we have gone, we have seen snow. And driven in snow and ice. Here we are ready to leave Daytona Beach. Thankfully, we are not driving all the way back to Little Rock today. Our plan is to get to Mississippi. We don't know how far in Mississippi, just Mississippi. We hope that happens. Snow is predicted in Pensacola and Moblie. Of course, we are going through those towns. This is a crazy winter.

Marc will be back in Honduras on February 18 and I will return on the 22nd. Expect the snow to leave then.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Few Days Off

Sunday we were with our home church in Fairview Heights. In spite of the cold and the snow, which seems to be following us, it was wonderful to be in Illinois for church. We spent a wonderful week there. We had Krispy Kremes and fried ravioli and other good things, visited with friends over a meal or a cup of coffee. I had a couple of chatterfests with friends, as we tried to catch up with each other's lives.

After one more lunch with good friends, we left for Little Rock Sunday afternoon. It was time to see Camille and how ready we were. Our plans were to leave for Florida early early Monday morning. As we prepared to leave by 5:00 a.m., we rose to find four inches of snow on the ground and more falling. And the snow continues to follow us. We left and slowly drove south and were not so soon below the freeze line, where it was only raining.

Camille is a good traveler, but after 17 hours in the car, we were all exhausted. We are with Jim and Donna in Daytona Beach. Today we walked on the beach. Camille hunted shells and chased the gulls and squealed and giggled. It was her first time to see the ocean.

I have inhaled the sea air, listened to the waves, enjoyed Camille and good friends. What a blessing today has been.

In the morning we plan to meet Arial and the other princesses. Our little princess is just as excited as she can be. Treating her to this experience is wonderful for us. Her hugs and kisses and "I love you Grammy" are pretty wonderful, too.


Saturday, February 6, 2010


I love surprises; and it makes no difference whether I am the surprisee or the surprisor. I just love surprises.

Three years ago I re-entered the work force after not working for five years. I was a bit apprehensive about going back to work. Not only did I like my job, I became fast friends with the gals with whom I worked. I did not work this job very long because after six months is when we left for Honduras. But I remained friends with those women. We have emailed and chatted online, sometimes way into the night.

One of those women, Rosemary, retired February 1. I have known for a long time I was going to be in Illinois this week. I was very careful not to tell her, though. I had checked with Sandy in the office to see if there was going to be a retirement party and found out there was. Last week, before we left Texas, and I knew Rosemary would still be at work, I called her husband and got the details. I have been aware of what I blogged and when this week. I even chatted with Rosemary earlier in the week and I was hoping she would not ask me where we were. As the week went on, I tried to not show that I was available to chat.

Tonight was the party. I walked in a few minutes after it started. Rosemary saw me immediately and came walking toward me. We hugged and she said, "how did you find out? All I said was I have my ways. As she introduced me to her children, they both said, "oh, I knew she was coming." A couple of times as she or her husband introduced me to their friends and family, one would say, "she came all the way from Honduras for this."

I had a good time tonight, visiting with friends and wishing Rosemary a happy retirement. And I loved being part of this surprise.


Friday, February 5, 2010


Tuesday of this week a container was unloaded in Tegucigalpa. This container had over 800,000 servings of rice meals. These meals are vitamin fortified providing a whole day's worth of vitamins for the children that eat them. The organization that sent this container specified that at least 80% of these meals go to hungry children and that the children that receive the meals be taught about Jesus. We can do that.

This container has an amazing story. The container was offered back in December. All we had to do was pay the shipping. We usually don't have an extra $4500.00 sitting around, but we said we would take the container any way. Twenty hours later the entire $4500.00 was on its way. God wants His hungry children fed.

The next container will leave Jacksonville on February 15. This container is full of clothing, blankets, diapers, medical supplies and all kinds of good stuff. Most of the medical supplies came from a place in Jacksonville called In His Service. In His Service is a warehouse that receives donations of medical supplies and other things to be used only in mission work. It is a well organized, well run facility. We were amazed by the efficiency.

Another organization in Jacksonville is called Elm City Center. This organization is run by the Kiwanis club and has been in Jacksonville for 50 years. That in itself is pretty amazing. It is a place that trains adults that are mentally impaired some job skills. All of these people are living alone or in a group home and pay rent and utilities and buy their groceries and clothing. Some in this group did a lot of the sorting and folding and packing. From what I understood, they sorted, folded and packed a lot of the blankets and clothing.

Marc talked to the people at Elm City Center this morning about some of the things we do in Honduras. Marc did an awesome job scaling down to their level. He showed pictures of some of the houses in which people live. Most of them considered themselves lucky when they saw where people live in Honduras. When Marc showed the picture of the wooden 16' by 16' house we build to replace those houses, some clapped and cheered. As Marc was telling about people in the dump, scavenging with the buzzards to find a few morsels to eat, many were sad. A few wanted to keep talking about how sad that was. They were very touched by the words Marc spoke this morning. He also told them they were partnered with us to help the folks in Honduras and they were helping to bring hope to so many.

I am grateful for places like In His Service and Elm City Center that are helping supply medical supplies to missionaries and teaching job skills.

Our next container will be shipping out of Overland Park, Kansas in May. I am also grateful for people that realize in a poverty-filled nation like Honduras we have to take care of physical needs before we take care of spiritual needs. People need to see Jesus, not just hear Jesus. People like Kara Vick, Maria Phillips, and Linda Smith take on a huge job when they say they want to do a container.

Thanks to all the people who supply things for these containers, do paperwork, inventory, load and unload, all the behind-the-scenes things that have to be done. You are Jesus in action to everyone that receives these goods and hears the good news.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Terrible Thing To Waste

Several years ago there was a commercial on TV about going to college. I do not remember all the specifics, but I do remember someone saying, "a mind, a terrible thing to waste." I agree with that statement.

In Honduras, there are thousands of children who never have the opportunity to go to school because of the extreme poverty in which they live. Many, many families do not have the funds to send their children to school. And due to the conditions in which they live, many children are malnourished. If a child does not receive the proper nutrition, especially in the first two years of life, their ability to learn may be stunted forever. Therefore, many children do not have the opportunity or the ability to go to school.

Some of the children at Casa de Esperanza have been so malnourished that their ability to learn is very limited and they will not advance very far. On the other hand, there are some that have been rescued from abject poverty that are pretty sharp.

Ana is brilliant. She will be starting second grade in a couple of weeks. She can read and write and is good at math. She speaks good english. She always wants to learn something new. She made excellent grades in first grade. And little Nohemy that came to Casa de Esperanza in November, came not knowing how to hold a pencil or say her ABC's or count. She is five and will be starting kindergarten and had had no instruction of any kind. She seems to be learning quickly. She is very pleased with herself when she grasps something new. She is also a little untamed and strong-willed. I hope when kindergarten starts, she goes to school and wants to learn because she is certainly capable.

And to think, that if these two had not been rescued from the poverty and uneducated places in which they formerly lived, these two minds would be going to waste. There would be not even a slight chance of a better life.

These are examples of only two sharp minds not going to waste. There are more examples in Casa de Esperanza and, I am sure, every children's home in Honduras has examples, too.

I pray in 2010 that more children are rescued from poverty and given the chance to not let a brilliant mind go to waste.