Friday, April 30, 2010

The Rains Came Down

Today was one of those day we did not know how we would be everywhere we needed to be and get done everything that needed to be done. Early in the week Karen and I formed a plan A. This morning I made a plan B, just in case.

Marc left here at 8:00 to go to Manos Felices for a meeting and Rosy's grades,which, by the way, were great. He was then going to the market and on to get the employees' green cards, which have to be picked up every month. We also thought he could do all that and be back here to take six of the kids to visitation in Sabana Grande.

Karen was taking six kids to Tegucigalpa for visitation.

It was also pay day. I was going to get that ready to hand out at 3:00. I knew I better get payroll done early, because I felt like I would be going to Sabana Grande. Marc called at 11:00 and said there was no way he would be back here at 12:00, he was still at the school. I moved myself into a higher gear.

The children are always so excited on visitation day. Leaving here with the kids, I could see the clouds forming. I prayed the rains today would not come until I got back from Sabana Grande.
The parents of the kids I had live way up on a mountain. The road follows the ridge. There has been enough rain already that the road is washing out and in pretty horrible shape. I drove slowly up the road.

These parents are so poor. They have nothing. They live in a shack that we have tried to repair. If we make it too good, the owner will take it from them because they do not own the land on which their house sits. Karen packs the six children's lunch and they have to split it eight ways, thus learning to share with the parents. Today, they insisted I come in and sit. Sit on the only seat, a couple of blankets folded up. I was hoping I could get up. The house is full of holes. Not tight at all.

It began to rain. I opened the window. The chance of this being a light rain looked pretty slim. It went from barely raining to a downpour. Not gradually, but all at once. The parents have no concept of time. They did not know we had been there an hour and 15 minutes instead of two hours. I said we have to go NOW. The father said you can't leave, it is raining hard. I am thinking that is exactly why I have to leave. I ran to the car and the kids followed me.

Many times the parents want to ride to the bottom of the mountain with me just to be with their kids a little bit longer. I was shocked when they ran out and got in the car today. I turned the car around, put it in 4 wheel drive, drove slowly and cautiously, and prayed unceasingly. My original thought was to drive as far left as I could and stay away from the ridge. The children are squealing with the delight at all the waterfalls rushing off the mountain. To see all that water rushing off the mountain was not a very comforting thought for me. All I could think about was what was rushing with the water. Rock? Mudslides? Was the road going to wash away completely?

My thought then was maybe the ridge was not so bad. We were going downhill and water was rushing down this same hill a lot faster than I was driving. My final game plan was to drive where the least amount of water was, sometimes that was near the mountain and sometimes near the ridge. I just drove slowly and all was well.

I was so glad to finally see the highway. I stopped to let the parents out, knowing they had to make that long walk back in the rain. The parents could not get out of the car and I remembered I had the child locks on. That is because Rosy rides with me and I have to contain her inside the vehicle. The parents were not behind me, but on the other side of the car. I jumped out of the car and ran around the car to open the door for them. Since we are at the bottom of the mountain, the water that is rushing down is pooling at the bottom. I was in at least four inches of water. My jeans, my shoes and my socks were soaked. For some reason, when I got out of the car, Reina started crying and yelling my name. I have no idea what she was thinking.

I was so thankful to be back on the highway. There was still many, many waterfalls and a lot of water rushing across the road. I was no longer in four wheel drive, but still drove slowly the rest of the way home.

When we drove through the gate, I breathed a big sigh of relief and said "gracias a dios."


A New Wagon

A couple of years ago a Little Tykes wagon was on a container. It was new, but one of the wheels was broken. That did not matter to these children. They have played with it and pulled each other and filled it with other things. They have played it to death, only it is not dead yet.

When Ann and Steve Toadvine were here in December, they wanted to get a new wagon. We went to Diunsa and, even after Christmas when most things were marked down, we found wagons were rather expensive. And not really what they wanted. They decided to go home, order what they wanted and have it shipped to Jacksonville, Illinois for the container leaving in February.

What arrived on that container from the Toadvines was a brand new shiny red Radio Flyer. The best. And oh what fun the children are having with that wagon. They pull each other. The first day even Pamela got in it and was pulled around for a while. They go up and down the hill to the middle gate and around the bike path. They pull their dolls and toys in it.

It is also useful for many other things. On Tuesdays, they load the rice and beans and the two big pots and pull it down to Anita's house. I saw Antonio loading the wet laundry in it to take out to the line to hang.

Thanks to the Toadvine family for this new wagon. They will probably play this wagon to death, too.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I am spending more and more of my time here at Casa de Esperanza. I am not complaining; I love these children and know I was made for this. But as I spend more time here, I spend less time with other things in which we are involved. I haven't been to the dump a single time this year and Marc goes every week. I went this morning. I just need to be reminded every once in a while.

It has been raining almost every day. As bad as the stench is, it is always worse after the rains. My shoes are covered in poo mud. The smell penetrated the car. No matter how unpleasant it was at the dump, these people still need to be fed.

I jumped in the back of the truck and started serving beans. As I neared the bottom of the pot, Marc told me to let Luis finish the beans and get my camera out of the car. He led me over to a family living in a deplorable situation. A pregnant mom, a dad, and a little girl are living in a small shelter made out of tires. There was one filthy mattress thrown on the ground. We guessed the little girl, whose name is Sisia, to be about 18 months old. Both the mother and the little girl had the ground-in, caked-on filth we so often see at the dump. Both standing there with bare feet. We also guess the mom is due in three weeks or so.

Marc took beans and rice and tortillas for all three to them. As I approached, I was trying to talk to Sisia. I think she thought I was coming for her food because she brought that bowl close to her tiny body and hugged it tightly. She ate ravenously. Her hair had red highlights, signs of malnutrition.

Marc said they were there last week, too. Some of the other ladies who also have babies but don't bring them to the dump, are trying to talk the mother into getting Sisia out of there. She can't live long in those conditions. And that baby. When I think how we sterilized Baby Haley's pacifier every time it was dropped and how we put germ-x on our hands before we picked her up, I cannot even begin to imagine a new born baby living in a disease-infested dump.

I got in the car and wept. I will be haunted by the sight of that poor little girl way into the night tonight.

We cannot see a situation such as this and not do something.

We are in a place where we try to figure out what happens next. We are looking at property for a health center and a church. We will be sharing the good news with those that have no hope on this earth. Things move slow in Honduras. We know that and we have to roll with the flow. But some things need immediate attention.

One week from today, my friend, Trey Morgan, will be hosting the 2nd anual dump fundraiser. Please visit Trey's blog at Also, join us next week in prayer and fasting for this event that will raise enough money to continue to feed the hungry and homeless at the dump for another year and to take this ministry where God is leading.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Home Improvement

In the summer of 2004, my second trip to Honduras, the group Marc and I led was able to build 30 houses. There was some where around 83 people that came that year. As every summer is, it was an awesome summer. On the very last day we built two houses in the Valley of Angels. The houses were side by side and one was called the old guy house. The builders included Don White, Wally Swedenburg, Larry Allen. To name a few. Maybe Rick Willis. I don't remember. Of course, those guys finished first. The team leader on the other house was Nicole. Marc let her be crew leader because she raised enough money to buy a house over and above the cost of her trip. Some of the members on that team were Sara Bennett, Pearley Freeman, Earl and Beverly. I was there. I am getting too old to remember who worked on that house.

The bus could not get to these sites and some of us rode the lumber truck up to the house sites. It was a busy day. In addition to two houses, there was a food distribution. Marc brought those people distributing food up in a pickup truck.

When the guys finished, they came over to help us finish. We always say a prayer in every house after we finish building. After we prayed with the families, Marc began to shuttle every one down to the bus. The lumber truck had long gone and that was the only way to get all of us back to the bus.

As Marc took as many people as he could cram in the pickup, it began to rain. The rest of us waited inside Nicole's house. As we waited, it began to rain harder and harder. A real downpour. We stood in that house we had just finished and watched water rush in one side, through the house, and out the other side. I remember the man was still happy he had a house. He said he would dig a trench and divert some of the water. He was under no illusion he could divert it all. I was crying, thinking if he had had any of his stuff in the house, it would have been soaked. Pearley went outside in the pouring rain and tried to fill in the gaps so the water would not rush through. We were all stunned. That incident forever changed how we build houses. By the next summer we had figured out how to put a wooden floor in a house so the water rushes under the house, not through it. Perhaps there was a reason we caught in a rainstorm on a mountain inside a house we had just finished building.

I will never forget that house and that experience as long as I live.

Friday, Marc took our friends sightseeing. They went to the typical places: Santa Lucia, shopping in the Valley of Angels, etc. Marc then drove them up that mountain and on the ridge simply because the views are so breath-taking.

It gives me great pleasure to report that the man has spent the last six years improving his home. It is no longer a wooden Torch house, but adobe. The people who try to improve their homes have to do so gradually. They do not have the resources to do so all at once. He bought or made a few adobe blocks at a time, as his finances allowed. When he had enough blocks, he would start laying them. He would save and buy a few more blocks at a time and continue this process until the house was complete. He has not only improved his house, but enlarged it as well. You can see the dark line right past the door where the adobe is a slightly different color, that is where the original wooden house was and he has added the rest of it.

While that house changed the way we build houses, and changed me as well, I am so happy that we built it for someone that just needed a little help getting started and was able to improve and expand it.


Sunday, April 25, 2010


Last night, Cindy started saying she felt bad. My first thought was she did not want to help with the dishes. But I reached up and felt her forehead and she did have fever. She put a cool rag on her head and played it up pretty good.

This morning in church she had her head in Karen's lap and Karen said she still had fever. Karen asked her if she wanted to go back to the house and she said no. I told Karen to ask her if she wanted to go back to the house if I went with her. I saw Karen talking to Cindy and she reached over and took my hand and we walked down here together.

We walked in the house and sat on one of the sofas and Cindy put her head in my lap and went to sleep. I rubbed her back. She slept restlessly, but slept. And then began to drink glass after glass of water. She looked at some books and played with small things on the sofa, all nice quiet activites.

I know she didn't feel well, I could feel how hot she was. But with 17 children, sometimes none of them get the individual attention they want and need. Cindy does. She acts out doing and saying things that demand our attention. But to have that undivided attention when she was not getting in trouble. Priceless. I think we both enjoyed that special time this morning.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday Night Game Night

Every Friday night, after supper and chores, the kids play games. It is always a fun family time. Sometimes they play toss across and that gets pretty wild. But since the new games came from Jacksonville, we have opened a couple of new ones each week. I have pictures from "Break the Ice" and "Cootie". Last night we opened "Connect Four" and a Sesame Street game that was very much like Candy Land. Brayan and Jackson played that game for an hour. It did not matter that on the box was written for 3-5 years. They played and had more fun.

I have to read instructions and teach the kids how to play each game. Last night got a little challenging, but we worked through it all. On games such as Cootie, I have to watch pretty closely. The kids like to win so much that they will cheat. They like to take the die and find the number they need and set it down with that number showing, not roll it.

Ana and Brayan are pretty smart at lining up their checkers in Connect Four.
Thanks again for these new games. The children are enjoying them. New games make Friday nights more fun.

Friday, April 23, 2010

We Are In The Chicken Business

As of Wednesday night, we have chickens. Thirty one chickens. We bought laying chickens. Soon we will have eggs. None of us know anything about chickens. Won't this be fun. Right now the children are excited about feeding them and can't wait for eggs. I am sure they won't be so excited when it comes time to clean the coop.

From a novel I recently read, I think it is better to go into the coop and say hello girls than trying to shoo them off theirs nests to collect the eggs. I can't picture me walking in and saying hello girls. I will not say I will never gather eggs or mess with the chickens. From a person who said I will not move to Honduras and I will not drive a stick shift on these mountains, I know better than to say "I will never".

The chickens will be a wonderful learning experience for us all. We want to thank Marie Polk's first and second grade Sunday school class from the Columbus Church of Christ for raising the money to buy these chickens.

This morning, when I took the pictures all was well and all the girls were calm. Some were eating and some were on their nests.

There will be more chicken and egg stories to follow.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Galloper

The Galloper is one of the trucks we have. It is not a U.S. made car. Like most of the vehicle here, it runs on diesel and is a standard. I much prefer to drive the trooper because it is automatic, but it also runs on gasoline, which is much more expensive than diesel.

Don't get me wrong. I know how to drive a standard. But I learned to drive a standard in Lubbock, Texas. Think flat. I am sure the neighbors are still laughing at me as I went hopping up 76th Street. I am still laughing. Our Saturn is a standard and drive when I am in the states. In Little Rock, Baton Rouge, St. Louis, Borger. We are still talking flat. With Honduras being a mountainous country, I have not attempted to drive up and down these hill, except once when Nicole was here.

Last night Marc and I went a short way down the mountain in the Galloper. It is probably about time that I learn to drive these cars on mountains. I asked Marc if I could drive back home. He is wanting me to start driving one of the diesels, so, of course, he said yes.

I backed out of the parking place. No problem. I put it in first and realized I was on a large hill. I knew I was going to roll backward. I saw a couple of cars coming so I just sat there until they passed me. Probably not the smartest thing, but it worked. I killed the car one time and that was on one of the tumulos.

I really did pretty well going up and down the hills. I told Marc it was still going to be a long time before I felt comfortable enough driving one of the standards to take Rosy to school and back. Marc thought I did fine and would be taking Rosy in no time. We will see.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Today a young boy came to the gate and asked to talk to the white girl. Since the other white girl, Karen, speaks a lot better spanish than this white girl, it was pretty obvious he meant her. He told Karen his mother left some months back for Mexico and had not returned. He lived by himself and had nothing to eat. Could he come here, to Casa de Esperanza? His name is Carlos and he is nine years old. He said he didn't steal and that he was a good boy. He probably is.

Yes, there is a chance he is trying to pull one over on us. But, in Honduras, there is an even greater chance that he is not trying to pull one over on us. There are literally thousands of kids in that situation.

We cannot take one off the street, no matter how hungry he is, without the proper paperwork and authorities involved. It is called kidnapping and they would shut us down in a heartbeat.

Karen said he has got to have someone to love him.

We cannot ignore this child. Whatever we do, we cannot ignore him. We told him to come back this evening and talk to Marc. Marc said he would go to the judge and see what needed to be done.

Please pray for all the Carlos's of the world. Those little children that are living alone, trying to make their way in a cruel, ugly world and have no one to love them.


Sunday, April 18, 2010


Rosy had exams last week. We will find out how she did in a couple of weeks. All of the other children start exams tomorrow. Please pray for the children this week. Every adult in the place has studied with the kids. I worked with Fernando for an hour tonight on the holidays in Honduras. I hope he was playing with me because he did not know any of them, not even Christmas. As much as Fernando loves Christmas, I cannot believe he would not know the date. Some of those holidays I really don't think he was playing though. He does not know anything. I was sure Ana would know hers and she didn't know as many as I thought she would. Many prayers are needed this week. For the children and the adults as we try to prepare them for this week.


Saturday, April 17, 2010


Chiminique is an interactive science museum in Tegucigalpa. A group from a local bank invited our children to go there today with them.

Last night they were busy getting their "town clothes and shoes" ready. And were they ever the most beautiful and handsome bunch this morning, wear nice clothes and big smiles.

I left at 8:00 with Ana and Rosy headed to the dentist. Ana had a horribly rotten tooth pulled and Rosy had more brackets put on. Marc left with the other children at 9:00. When Rosy, Ana and I finally arrived at Chiminique, it was almost 11:00. Marc immediately left in the trooper and went to the airport to get some friends. Thank goodness for the bank people.

They became quick pals with the children. We were served a small meal in a train car. Then, as a group we visited several of the stations. This place was huge and in the three hours we were there, it would have been impossible to visit all the stations. There were space stations, digestive tract stations, water, river, bridge and dam stations, energy stations, lever and pulley stations, machinery stations. Those were some we visited. A person talked to the kids for a few minutes and then they could play and test things.

In the energy station, they rode bikes to power the lights. In the digestive tract they slid down the digestive tract. They heard heartbeats and removed bones in a giant game of Operation. By far, their favorite was the machinery station. They drove cranes, climbed on a dump truck, got to ride in the bag the crane was raising and lowering. It was a wonderful day for everyone.

I have never driven the van with all eighteen kids in it until today. I usually drive the van back and forth to school and have only driven it from town once. Well, I have driven it from town twice now. It wasn't the slowest trip in history, but it wasn't the fastest either.

It was after 2:00 when we arrrived home. I did not even try to do naps today. It sure made bedtime much easier tonight.

A big thanks to the bank for treating our children to a wonderful outing.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Playing Funeral

In Honduras, when someone dies, there are few funeral homes and most people could not afford to pay one any way. Most people have to arrange to have their loved ones buried the same day. The friends and family carry the casket to the church and then on the the cemetery. If a family has a pickup truck, or know someone that does they will use that. Many times as I bring Rosy home or after a long day of errands in Tegucigalpa, I have been behind a funeral procession where the casket is being carried and everyone else is walking behind the people carrying the casket. I try to show the same respect we do in the States, but I am usually trying to find a way around without being too disrespectful.

Today the children found a large flat box with a bottom and a top. Four of them were carrying the box and one was inside. They were walking with this box saying muerto, muerto, muerto which means dead. They all took turns carrying the box and being in the box. The longer they did this, the more the bottom of the box began to loose its shape and it took more people to hold the bottom. As you can see in the picture above, Jackson is just about to fall out of the box, or the casket. I do hope my pallbearers are a bit more careful with me.

I do not know where they came up with this. Funerals are not funny, but watching them this morning sure was funny.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Date Night

Marc and I get so busy, usually in different directions, that we sometimes don't spend much time with each other. We always eat supper together, but sometimes it is 8:00 when I get off. I had to go buy groceries tonight and I had to pay the electricity bill for Casa. We talked about meeting somewhere for supper. Marc cleared his schedule and we actually went to town together. How pleasant that was, as we rode along visiting and listening to some great Christian CDs.

We got to PriceSmart and I went to stand in line in the bank and get the bills paid. I got all of them paid but one. I have to go to another bank for that one. Marc started buying the groceries and was nearly through by the time I finished at the bank. I was very thankful that I did not have to stand in line at the bank and then buy the groceries. We paid for the groceries and walked over to the snack bar in PriceSmart and ordered. That was our big, exciting date.

Actually, it was quite wonderful. We just sat there, enjoying our food and enjoying each other's company. And I felt rejuvenated and had perked up a little by the time we finished eating. To extend the time, we drove home slowly.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We Resorted To Bribery

Homework with eighteen children is grueling. There is no other word to describe it. Yesterday the first graders had twenty pages. Sisi worked as hard as could from 3:00 until after 5:30, took a quick shower and then finished it. Reina worked hard from 3:00 until almost 6:00, took a not so quick shower and began working again. By 7:00, she was in tears and did not wanted to work anymore. I think she stayed up until 9:00 and was hard at it by 6:00 this morning. Katty played around and didn't get near as much as Reina did. She was also up late last night and early this morning. They both managed to finally get it done.

When we got home from school today, Katty told Elvia she had a lot of homework again and started crying before she even started on the homework. We began to check book bags and discovered the first graders had 23 pages. The second graders also had a lot of homework. All the staff discussed this and we just decided no naps. No one was excited about no naps; most were pretty somber.

We were well into homework by 2:00. Sisi had done a lot of hers at school and it didn't take long for her to finish. Reina worked hard for five pages and began to tire. Katty played around. Again. Two hours later, Katty had finished two pages. Do the math, you can see this is going to take all night and into tomorrow.

Someone else was working with the second and third graders. She was not having any better luck than I was. Dilma came on duty at 3:30 and began working with some of the kids. By 4:00, we were resorting to bribery. When you finish 5 pages, you get a piece of gum. When you finish two more pages, you get a piece of gum. It was different for each child. The promise of a piece of gum after five pages excited Katty for about a page and a half. That put us to 3 1/2 pages at 4:30. I was supposed to get off at 5:00 and I wanted to stay with Katty until she got her gum. I was holding it in front of her face. When she finished the fourth page, she shut down. I left at 5:15 and she still had over half of that fifth page. I left the gum with Dilma. It is going to be a long night for those on duty.

I had planned to go to the grocery store when I got off. I walked down here, took three advil and a coke and put on my house shoes. I wasn't going anywhere.

I am already wondering what we can bribe them with tomorrow afternoon.


Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm In

Last year on May 5th, our good friend, Trey Morgan, decided to raise money for the dump on his blog. He was hoping to raise $2500.00. Had he raised that amount, it would have been wonderful. I prayed and prayed that that much would come. Now, we all admit that none of us had much faith. On May 5th, 2009 over $12,500.00 was raised to buy food for the people that live at the Tegucigalpa city dump. I, and others, were amazed.

We began to serve hot meals to those folks. We continue to serve food at the dump every single Wednesday. Even when we are not in Honduras, we have someone serve the food. The people know us and trust us.

On May 5th again this year, Trey will raise money to buy food for those living in the dump. He will do this through his blog again. See

This year Trey has challenged us to fast for 30 hours beginning Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday evening. Count me in on this fast. I live in a country were thousands are starving every day. And I have never been truly hungry. Yes, I will fast for 30 hours as money is raised so that hungry people, made in the same image of God as you and I can be fed for another year.

Will you join me in that fast?


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rosy And The Dentist

This past week Rosy pulled a couple of her braces off. I was pretty frustrated with her and so was Karen. I took her to the dentist this morning, thinking the dentist would repair everything and send us on our way. The dentist was so angry and frustrated with her she refused to fix them and told me to bring her back next week. Perhaps she thought she might accidentally poke a dental tool in Rosy's gum. We decided if Rosy could see some before and after pictures of people who had had braces that maybe she would take better care of them.

The internet was really slow this morningas we waited for the pictures Rixa wanted Rosy to see. Not so unusual.

The dentist makes beautiful jewelry and has given me a couple of pieces. I am guessing she makes jewelry to relieve stress. While we waited for the internet, the dentist began to make jewelry. She made me a new bracelet, but let Rosy know in no uncertain terms she was not getting any thing today since she pulled some of her braces off. We then spent a fairly long time talking about my niece's wedding, what I was going to wear, and maybe her making me a new necklace. I want to pay her and she wants to give it to me. She makes me speak in spanish. She is helping me a lot with my spanish. While the dentist worked on jewelry, and her whole staff looked for certain colors of beads, the waiting room is getting more full. I can imagine the reaction in the United States if the dentist was making jewelry and discussing a wedding while we waited. I would not be happy.

Today, I was kind of chuckling under my breath because Rixa is not the least bit concerned of a waiting room full of patients. Rosy and I are usually in and out of her office in ten or fifteen minutes, never more than 30. Today we were almost two hours. And she did nothing to Rosy's teeth or braces. But I left with a new bracelet and the plans for a new necklace for the wedding. Don't tell those people in the waiting room, though.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Jacksonville Container

Wednesday afternoon the container from Jacksonville, Illinois was unloaded. Yes, the one that left Jacksonville February 15. I am not sure what took so long, but anyway it is here now.

There is clothes and toys and blankets and hospital beds and tons of good stuff. Many boxes of things came to Casa. As always with a container, we had some pleasant surprises. There was boxes and boxes of garbage bags, something of which we use tons. Several reams of copy paper, another thing we use. There was one box marked games. Karen and I opened that one, thinking someone had cleaned out their closets and we were getting some games with pieces missing and such. Imagine our suprise and delight when we discovered brand new games. Cootie, Don't Spill the Beans, Ants In Your Pants and many more. We plan on bringing out a new game or two on Friday night games nights for a while. The kids will be excited when they see those, too. Karen got those put away before any one got home from school. We could only envision the scene if all the kids saw all those games at one time. There were black school shoes and nayv gym pants and things we always need with eighteen growing kids.

Many people in this country will benefit from this container. A great big thanks Jacksonville, especially to Maria Phillips.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Brayan's Flag

Today was a brutal day with homework. The first graders had 15 pages. The fifth graders had a lot, too. I don't know what all the fifth graders had, but I do know they had to make flags. Brayan had the United States Flag and Pamela had the Honduras flag, which is, by far, easier to make.

Brayan lined everything off and colored the red stripes. Sandra and I both took turns drawing the fifty stars. We did not exactly get them spaced evenly, but there is fifty. Then Brayan colored the blue around the stars. He had a book that showed the 1818 flag that only had 20 stars. He asked why he couldn't do that one instead of one with fifty. I explained what the star and stripes meant and that in 1818 there were not as many states in the United States. Then he and Sandra explained to me what the Honduras flag meant. We all learned something tonight.

Brayan was very pleased with himself when he finished that flag.


Monday, April 5, 2010

I Did Battle With A Scorpion

Friday night was one of those nights we had no power. And due to the holidays and reduced staff, Marc was sleeping at Casa de Esperanza. I had my lantern and read a few minutes before dropping off to sleep. I woke around 12:00 and felt something crawling down my arm. I jerked my arm and then rubbed my arm and hand on the bed to get it off. I immediately felt a sting and thought I had caught my hand on the staple in the magazine I had been reading. I grabbed the lantern and ran to the bathroom. I guess the lantern in the dark bathroom shed more light than the lantern in the dark bedroom. There was no blood and no staple wound, but my hand continued to hurt.

I went back to bed and tossed and turned, trying to find that right position. I grabbed one of the pillows on the bed and hugged it tight, like it was my teddy bear. I was drifting off to sleep again when I felt a horrible sting on my arm. Having had an encounter with a scorpion before, I knew exactly what not only the second sting was, but the first one as well. Again, I grabbed the lantern and ran for the bathroom. The point of sting was red and beginning to swell. I ran back to the bedroom. I was holding that lantern and begin to yank covers and look for the nasty little guy. I turned the pillow over, the one I had been hugging, and there he was. All curled up. I thought he was dead, but I wasn't going to touch him to find out. I grabbed the pillow and returned to the bathroom. My plan was to find something and knock him into the trash. When I did, that he began to move and squirm and landed on the floor. I grabbed a shoe and relentlessly began to beat him to death.

I went back to bed. There was no way to go back to sleep. If one scoprion had been in my bed, there might be another one. Or two. I read by the light of the lantern and finally went back to sleep.

I am pretty paranoid about checking my bed and my shoes and all kinds of places.

Mr. Scorpion might be dead, but after looking at my arm two days later, I don't think I can really claim victory.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

I Am A Spoiled American

I knew when I lived in America that I was a spoiled American. But since I sold everything and moved to Honduras, I want to think that I am no longer that way. I conserve water and electricity. I try to be culturally sensitive. I think about hungry people and share my food. But trust me, I am still a spoiled American.

The last two days we have been without electricity more than we have had it. It went out around 7:30 Friday night and came back at 1:30 Saturday afternoon. It was on for seven hours before we lost it again. It was out for 13 hours before it came back.

I have whined and complained. I like my light. I like my computer. I like my cold water to drink. I like my hot water in which to shower. I do not like to be without these things. And I have been without all of them.

This morning I had my hair and makeup done when the power returned at 9:25, just a few minutes before church began. Marc wasn't sure if I would come on to church or whether I would get in the shower. It had been a long time since I had had one. I went to church. But when church was over, I came racing down here as fast as I could to get in the shower.

I whine and complain because I do not have light and computer, hot water and cold water. But most of the people in Honduras do without these things on a daily basis. I have tried to think what it would be like to live without these things forever. My spoiled mind cannot even comprehend those things.

I hate do without these luxuries which have have become necessities. But I pray as we continue to face these power outages, that I become more compassionate and sensitive to those that live without these things and that I become less spoiled and more dependent on God.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

An Awesome Journey

Many times I have read my Bible through in one year. Sometimes that is challenging, but doable. At the beginning of 2007, I decided to do something different. I decided to use a good commentary and read one chapter a day. Spend more time studying that one chapter and, hopefully, know it better when I finished.

The commentary I chose is huge. I have lugged it back and forth to the states in my suitcase. When I started this, if I had known I would be moving to Honduras before 2007 was over, I might not have chosen to do it. I am so glad I chose this journey. It has been good for me. There was, and still is, so much for me to learn. The Old Testament is rich. As I neared the end of the Old Testament, I was excited about getting into the Gospels. The commentary is huge, double-columned, single-spaced in a tiny print. Most of the Gospels were eight pages per chapter. While I did learn a lot and see things I had never seen, some mornings it was tedious to work through eight pages. Then three weeks ago, I was excited to start Revelation. I was going to learn things that had been hard for me to understand. Maybe it was hard for the author of the commentary as well, because most chapters had one column, shorter than the chapter in the Bible

I have learned a lot on this journey that has taken me 1,189 days to complete. I am sure, if I ever choose to read my Bible through this way again, I will learn a lot more. But right now, the commentary is resting as I start a new study in the morning.


Sand Art

Every year in Tegucigalpa there is a huge sand art display near Central Park. The street is shut down for blocks as the sand paintings are done on the street. Marc and I have never been down there before, but decided to go yesterday.

There is a big church in the park. There were vendors selling right in front of the church. As we walked through the park to get to the sand art, all I could think of was Jesus clearing the temple of the money changers.

The art was beautiful and some of it was quite intricate. Big, bold, beautiful colors. It looked like the plushest of carpets laid end to end. For someone like me that has an accountant mind and everything has to fit neatly in the box, I was amazed.

Many families were out strolling, looking at the art just like we were.

We have heard there is a big parade on Friday night and that the parade goes down the street where the sand art is, thus getting rid of the paintings. We did not stay to see if that is what happens. We enjoyed looking and then we went to get a frosty and came home.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Holy Week

It is Holy Week this week. The children are out of school. That means no 6:00 runs to town with Rosy. It means a slightly relaxed schedule this week. Devo begins at 7:00 instead of 6:00. Some have homework, but it is not that grueling 3:00-5:00 (or later) slot of trying to get homework done.

The whole country in on vacation this week. Everything is shut down. Everything. Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the holidays. It doesn't make sense to me why Sunday is not also a holiday, but no one asked me. We have trimmed our staff as low as we can for these three days. The buses and taxis aren't running either. I am the bus for the staff this week. I don't mind. While we were trimming the staff for the holidays, we also had to plan it where we made the least number of trips to get them and take them home. Yesterday Sandra said the road was mine. I liked being the only one on the road.

I hope everyone has a happy Easter, that you remember our resurrected Lord and enjoy that special family time.