Thursday, September 30, 2010


As people come and go, we see lots of different talents. We have had people visit that were magicians and did magic shows for the kids. And math teachers that worked with them on borrowing. I thought we had seen everything until last week when the group from Walnut Creek was here. Dan was a master in origami.

The kids often take their church contributions and make rings. Dan quickly showed them how to make t-shirts. Brayan liked his so much he thought about not putting it in the offering plate. He unfolded it and learned how it was done in reverse. Later in the afternoon, he showed some of the other kids and some employees as well how to make t-shirts out of paper. Everyone that folded a piece of paper into a t-shirt was quite proud of their handiwork.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The "It" Ingredient

We live in a society that praises beauty and youth and having the figure to wear a bikini at age 40 and beyond. No matter how great the figure, no one who has ever had a baby needs to be in a bikini. While those stretch marks represent a beauty all their own, they need to remain unseen. I digress and that was an unsolicited opinion. Nonetheless, it was stated and I return to my original thoughts. Even here in Honduras, a third world country, we see people wanting to be more beautiful and your youthful. All of this chasing beauty and youth is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Nothing under the sun can be gained from this chase. And, yes, I admit, to a degree, I am guilty of this chase.

On Fox News this morning, there was a teaser for a later segment. The teaser was about the "it" ingredient. The solution to make all people beautiful and young. I only heard the teaser. I did not stay around for the actual segment on what the "it" ingredient might be.

But, let me tell you about the real "it" ingredient. The "it" ingredient I am talking about is Jesus Christ. When He is your lord and savior and all troubles are cast on him, your hope and faith are placed in Him, you will be beautiful, inside and out. You will have eternal life. Not here on this earth, but you will have eternal life.

That is an "it" ingredient worth chasing.


The Rains Come Down And The Floods Come Up

Hurricane Matthew did not dump the predicted rains on Honduras. But the amount of devastation in this country is great.

Here in Santa Ana, it rained three inches Saturday, three Sunday and two yesterday. It has rained unendingly, without even a brief pause. The rain should continue today and move out tomorrow. Everything is wet. Even the air is saturated. Inside our house, our clothes, bed linens and towels feel damp as we use them. People who don't have good houses have everything they own soaking wet, not just a little damp. They are bound to be cold.

The pictures in the paper yesterday showed flooding and damage in every part of the country. Many pictures showed people in waist-deep waters trying to get their belonging out or some food in to their families. The pictures were heart-breaking.

Roads continue to worsen with huge potholes and washouts. I can't see there being enough money to every get all these roads fixed.

There is still four to six weeks of rainy season left. The entire country is weakened and vulnerable to further damage. Many crops are already ruined. Prayers are still needed for this country.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

4:30 P.M.

It is a dreary, blustery, cold day. It has rained most of the day, but so far only 1 1/2 inches, a far cry from six to ten. The electricity went out from 3:00 - 3:30. Nothing new here. That happens at least once a day. I haven't checked the forecast since I finished my shift with the children, but I am hoping it is not going to be as bad as first predicted and that we are not being lulled into a sense of false security.

For a short time this morning, it almost quit raining. I let the children go out and play before lunch. That was kind of selfish. I was thinking about how difficult naptime would be if no one had run and jumped and burnt up some of that endless energy. It worked. It was raining hard on that tin roof. It was cool. The boys laid down and went right to sleep. So did I. It felt wonderful.

Thank you for your prayers. Lets keep them going.



It is 6:00 a.m. and the heavy rains are just starting. Predictions are 6-10 inches of rain today. Please keep praying for everyone in this country.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Highway To The Danger Zone

As I have mentioned before, the heavy rains have taken a toll on roads and bridges. There is a section of road that has partially fallen near the bottom of the mountain that we have to drive down everyday. There is a lot of construction there. Maybe they are repairing or shoring up the mountain to prevent future damage or maybe they are busy down there to make us think they are taking care of the problem.

Morning traffic is not fun without a construction zone. But with the work area, traffic backs up terribly. I am leaving around 5:45 to get Rosy to school. So many people are in a huge hurry to get to work or to school or wherever busy people are going. Traffic backs up further up the mountain the later it gets and most traffic coming up the mountain is moving slowly. This is a two lane, blind curves, mountainous highway with no shoulders as we know them in the U.S. There is about a 1/2 lane on each side that are called shoulders.

At certain points down the mountain, several people decide they are in too big of a hurry to sit in line and creep down the mountain. They jump out of line and drive on both side of the creepy line. Most of them are racing down, similar to the Indy 500. When they meet oncoming traffic, they do one of three things: 1) they try to squeeze back in and most drivers staying in line aren't welcoming the cutters back in, 2) they get off the road or drive in the 1/2 lane on the other side of the road, or 3) they stop, further backing traffic in both directions. Sometime it is unbelievable how many cars can be squeezed across those two lanes.

As cars were racing past me and driving off the road to avoid collision and stopping, "Highway to the Danger Zone" was playing in my head.

I am amazed every morning at how daring some people are. I pray there is not going to be a head-on collision. Since I stay in line, I feel sure Rosy and I are safe.

Regarding other news in Honduras: Hurrican Matthew is supposed to hit here later today. More than likely, we will be safe. Our houses are built on a solid rock. But with the devastation and the rain-soaked land, hundreds or thousands will lose houses and possessions. Some houses are already precariously balanced because of previous rains. There is always a chance of injuries and loss of life when this much more rain falls. More roads and bridges will likely wash out. The devastation will be great.

We will probably lose electricity, internet and phone service. You will hear from me when it is restored.

Please, please pray for this country.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two More Houses

Our California friends arrived Saturday and Monday. Monday they built a house in Ojojona. The house they built is for a family with three children. They had been living with the with relatives way up in the mountains. The dad of the family is a meatcutter and had been having to ride a mule down the mountain for four hours to work. At the end of the workday, he had to ride the mule back home. Obviously, that did not allow much family time. Their new home is close enough to his job that he can now walk to work. The oldest child was in school and the two youngest ones were at the job site. They were excited and wanted to help. They were much too little to help. Upon completion, the little girl did grab the broom and began to sweep up all the sawdust.

The house that was built on Tuesday was for one of the families whose house was washed away in the recent floods. It was up a steep, steep, steep slope. It was a hard site to get to. Once the lumber and tools were on the site, the house itself was not too bad. It was a rewarding day to help this family who had lost so much.

Both families were very appreciative for their new houses.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An Answered Prayer

Most Monday mornings Karen and I meet to plan the week and pray. Planning the week and knowing who does what and what kids have appointments and such is important. But the prayers we pray for the children and ourselves and the needs of this home are even more important. For over a year, maybe two, we have prayed for a counselor. These kids are abused and broken and sometimes need more than the love, structure and discipline we can give them.

I knew each time we prayed for a counselor God was hearing our prayers and that one would come. God's timing is always perfect. Then as God often does, a counselor dropped out of nowhere into our laps. Karen interviewed this young woman and had a very good feeling. There have been other interviews for other counselors before and things just weren't right. Some demand more than we can pay, or only want to work certain hours or a whole list of other things. All things worked this time and our prayers were answered.

Dalys started this morning. Of course, the children will need time to learn to trust her, but we are expecting her to be a valuable part of our staff.

Thank you, God


Monday, September 20, 2010

Tragedy In Tegucigalpa

Rain continues to fall daily and continues to drench this rain-soaked country. Roads and bridges have been washed out. A huge place on the road from here to Tegucigalpa has washed out, creating a trafflic nightmare.

This afternoon a deluge of rain fell. A huge amount of rain fell in a short amount of time, flooding many areas. The rain fell so hard and fast a wall at the national stadium collapsed, killing one taxi driver and crushing some other cars. Other people were injured. The road around the stadium was blocked and all roads leading to the stadium were closed as thousands were trying to get there to see the damage.

Rosy's school is just a couple of blocks from the national stadium. We were beside ourselves. Dorian talked to the school and learned the bus driver had left on the route. Traffic must have been horrible all over town as the bus did not arrive today until 4:00. I usually circle the stadium of a morning when I take Rosy to school. Of course, we are mapping out an alternate route to school.

I am sure there is much more damage than what we know at this time. As rains continue to fall tonight, please keep this tragic situation in your prayers.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yay For Sunshine

It has rained and rained and rained. And then it has rained some more. A day does not pass without rain. Today was no exception.

The kids go to school all morning. They then come home, eat lunch, have naps and then do homework. By the time the homework is finished, the rain has usually begun. There has not been a lot of playing outside time lately.

This morning there was sunshine. Yay. After breakfast, chores were rushed through. Some chores were rushed through a bit too much and some children had to be called back in to finish or redo chores. Then they were all called in for an hour of studying. At 10:00, there was a mad rush for the outdoors. Bicycles and jump ropes found themselves very busy this morning. The laughter of happy children filled the air.

As the children were lined up for lunch, they began to ask if they could eat outside. I said yes. They were estatic. They washed tables and found whatever toys they thought would make a good table.

I sat out there and ate my lunch with them. We all soaked up the sunshine. Sunshine and fresh air did everyone good. I had no trouble today getting those boys to sleep. I might have even taken a short nap myself.

After nap, they raced back outside. I watched as a couple of the kids were just running in circles. I let them run and run. It was not long until the rain was falling once again.
While it lasted, yay for the sunshine.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Exciting Things In Santa Ana

The last couple of weeks Dorian's friend, Ivan has been in Santa Ana. He is as passionate about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ as Dorian is. Ivan is doing a trial run. He is thinking about moving his family here to work with Dorian in this church full time.

Dorian and Ivan are doing a lot of visiting in the community. And results are being seen. Last night there were seven new people in worship.

This morning I left here to go to the market, pay a few bills, get a few things the kids need at school. When I returned, Karen announced there were two baptisms this morning, an older lady named Santos and a younger woman. Santos has attended church here for quite some time.

Praise God for these two new sisters.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fe, Esperanza Y Amor

Fe, esperanza y amor translates to faith, hope and love. Three beautiful words in english and spanish.

Since we started working in the dump two and a half years ago, we have had a dream that some day all children would be out of the dump. Another organization called Fe, Esperanza Y Amor has the same dream. They actually began teaching school in the dump in 2001. There weren't many children that would come to school, but it was a beginning. They later moved across the street and then were finally able to build a school building. The school is close enough to the dump that you cannot escape the horrid odor or the sight of dozens of buzzards flying over the dump in search for food, same as the people that live and work there.

As in most schools in Honduras, children are older than you would expect to see in grades 1-6. Children don't always start to school at age six because of not being able to afford it or not having transportation or living in the dump. I could not really tell how many children are currently in school, but praise God some precious little minds are being rescued. Without education, the dump would be another perpetuating cycle of hopelessness and despair.

In addition to the school, a daycare has recently been opened. Moms who work in the dump can leave their babies at the daycare. There are nine children in daycare. Nine little souls that don't have to be in that filth daily. The daycare was very clean and neat, stocked with loving workers and lots of toys. When I was there, all the babies in the daycare center were soundly sleeping. Again, praise God.

I hope soon there will be more children in the daycare center and more attending school.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


During the dump day back in May, a group from Fort Worth, Texas called Bread for a Hungry World gave a $25,000.00 donation to the dump fund. Yes, that is suppose to have three zeroes behind that 25. We had never met any of these people and had never even heard of them. The story of how they heard of us is a story for another day.

Marc met some of the folks in June and then was able to meet the whole group while we were recently in the States. They already have some work going in Honduras and were wanting to get more involved in work here. Their work is in Campamento and they approached Marc about partnering in some areas, they helping us and we helping them. There is a large church a day care center and milk program. Milk programs have always tugged at my heartstrings. The thought of small children getting a glass of milk a day just thrills my soul. Marc wanted to go see what is happening in Campamento and I easily convinced him to go today, Tuesday, my day off.

Dorian left at 6:00 this morning to take Rosy to school and called and said there were rockslides on our highway and traffic was a beast. It took him over 2 1/2 hours to get only to the airport, a normal 30-40 minute drive, maybe an hour in morning traffic. We left at 8:00, not knowing if we would get through or not. By the time, we got to the place of the rockslide, most of the rocks had been cleared off the road and traffic was moving, though be it slowly. Due to the heavy rains of late, we saw many rock and mudslide places. Fortunately, there was no rain as we drove today. I would hate to be in those rockslide areas during the rain.

Campamento is about 120 kilometers from the edge of Tegucigalpa, the edge out by the dump. The road was horrible. It has to be the worst major highway in the country. Not the worst road, but the worst major highway. Marc said I am sure it is going to get better, soon. It did. For about 1/16 of a mile. We bounced happily along on a wonderful thrill ride. Disneyland doesn't make any thing this good. My bottom feels more like I rode a horse to Campamento and back.

We saw rainbows and waterfalls and much of the beauty God created.

We all know the govenment has no money to fix roads or anything else. Is some places, individuals will set out to fix the road. They have shovels, dirt and wheelbarrows working away. They are also soliciting donations to buy more supplies with which to repair the roads. We saw several of those work crews today.

We met Bob who has worked with this program for the last 15 years. He is the only American in Campemento and has no one with which to speak English. I think I would lose my mind. We visited a while and then he took us to the church and the daycare center. The church is a large church, with regular attendance of over 200.

Once upon a time, the daycare center was a children's home, that had to close several years ago. The director of the daycare center is a beautiful young woman who grew up in the children's home before it closed. She came as a little bitty girl whose stomach was bloated and distended from extreme malnutrition. She was loved, fed and taught about God. She now directs this daycare center where impoverished single moms can bring their children to a safe, loving environment while they work. The children all ran to Bob with hugs when we arrived. Some of them shared a few hugs with me, too. The children sang a few songs to us. The director was radiating God's love as she led them in the songs. We can only pray that someday we will have a success story like this, one of our own, a beautiful Christian teaching more young children about God's love.

Unfortunately, we did not get to see the milk program. Milk is distributed to 1200 kids a day in schools. It is done a lot earlier in the day than what we were able to be there.

We both left Campamento with our hearts and minds overflowing about getting to be a small part of this ministry.


Monday, September 13, 2010

You Learn Something Every Day

I have heard that little saying most of my life. Today, I learned something I never knew before.

I had a request for 25 bracelets from the store. We normally send our product with someone going to the US and have them mail it when they arrive. The main reason we do that, or so we thought, was to only have to pay US postage.

But, I do mail letters once in a while when it is going to be a while before anyone is leaving for the states and I thought I would mail the bracelets.

My friend needed these bracelets before the next person is going to the State. I packaged the bracelets in a brown envelope and put postage on it. I was fully prepared to pay a little extra than the postage that was on it in order to mail it.

What I learned today is that it is not possible to mail anything to the United Stated from Honduras unless it is documents (i.e letters, cards, bills, etc.). But I could FedEx it and he told me that was very expensive. I politely declined.

I was shocked, to say the least. It wasn't a big envelope. I felt sure I could have made it a little flatter, if that would have helped.

I am now looking for another way to get my bracelets to the States. And know that I need to be prepared to learn something every day.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tall Corn

I lived in Illinois for three years. And recently visited Nebraska. This is corn country. They know how to raise corn in those states. No matter how well they do it up there, I have never seen corn as tall as it is in the garden at Casa de Esperanza. This is corn on steroids.

I had a couple of the bigger kids stand by the corn to show a perspective of how tall the corn really is. Dennis wanted to stand by the corn, also. Of course, I did not care. There is no one here tall enough to get some of that corn. They will need a chair or a ladder.

The corn here is more like field corn. I will take that freshly picked sweet corn off of Steve Tucker's farm any day.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Making A Difference One Child At A Time

Five years ago, as the construction of Casa de Esperanza was nearing completion, we chose this as our logo. It was based on the starfish story. The needs in Honduras are overwhelming and it would be easy to despair and think we are not making a difference. But we are making a difference to the seventeen that are here.

The population of Honduras is some where near seven million people. Of those, approximately 3.466 million are children. About half. That in itself is an amazing statistic. Of that 3.466 million, it is estimated that 200,000 are orphans, a child with neither parent. Parents have died of illnesses that were not treated due to a lack of money. Or, in many cases, the parents have emigrated north to Mexico or the U. S. in an attempt to better themselves to more adequately support their children. I am thankful I have never been in a position where I had to contemplate leaving my children parentless in order to make their lives better. It is hard for me to even grasp that concept.

The 200,000 orphans do not even include children that are living in extreme poverty or extreme abuse. Of our 17 children, only two are orphans, having no parents or family to care for them. The others have been removed from the home for abuse or poverty. Most of the country lives in poverty. The state cannot remove every child that lives in poverty. The state orphanages and all private children's homes would be overwhelmed. Only the most extreme cases are removed from the home. I could not even begin to guess how many more children are living in abuse and poverty that need to be removed from the home. The needs are daunting.

Here at Casa de Esperanza, our biggest need and problem is staffing. We have been looking for house parents for the new cottage since April. Please join us in prayer as we continue to seek for the right people to care for our children so that we can make a difference in the lifes of a few more children.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Winding Down

We have been in Searcy for the last two days. Taking care of business and sharing time with friends. We leave today for Oklahoma and leave for home from Oklahoma City tomorrow.

It has been a good trip, a productive trip. I always leave Texas feeling I haven't spent enough time with my mom. While I would never wish the surgeries on my mom, we had lots of rich, sweet time together. I am glad for that time.

I am winding down, preparing myself to be home. To get busy again. Of course, it is a different kind of busy. Lots of new things will be happening.

As far as the groups, the fall is never as busy as the summer, but we do have some groups coming. Next week, our friends from Walnut Creek, California are coming. This is always a fun group and we expect big things from this little group. Thanksgiving build week will happen again this year. As the rains continue in Honduras, houses, roads and bridges are being washed out daily. There is plenty to build and rebuild. So far, the build week has been another great week in Honduras. Then to continue a new tradition, the Jesus banquet will be held again this year. December 8 is the day many of the people that live and work in the dump will be fed at a sit-down banquet.

Please feel free to join any or all of these groups.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Yesterday was a day full of tears. I cry a lot. I guess most of you know that. I always cry when I say good-bye to my kids and grandgirls.

Camille left yesterday. I cried and cried. Thankfully, she did not cry. I cry more when she starts crying. Oh what fun we had. Grammy was not quite ready for it to end.

Then we drove to Hot Springs to see our good friends David and Gayla. We have known David and Gayla since we moved to Californin in 1992. We all became fast friends. Our kids were the same ages and became fast friends. It would be quite easy to take another stroll down memory lane. Gayla is in inpatient hospice. No one knows how much longer she will live on this earth, but not too much longer.

Gayla is a person who loves live and lived it to the fullest at all times. So full of fun and laughter and joy. It is very difficult to see someone in the condition Gayla is in. I don't think Gayla knew we were there, but we stayed with David and Kim a couple of hours. It was bittersweet fellowship.

We all prayed together before we left. And we all cried together. I know I will not see Gayla on this earth again. I know the tears I shed were my selfish tears. There is no doubt Gayla will soon be in heaven and she will be laughing and living life to the fullest once again. But I did shed those selfish tears. A lot of them. I cried most of the way back to Little Rock.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Cooking With Camille

Last week was Nathan's birthday. He was in Los Angeles. We were in Texas and my mom was barely out of the hospital. I called Nathan early to wish him happy birthday and promised we would do something special when we got to Little Rock.

Early this week, Camille and I began to make plans for a special birthday dinner for her daddy. She said she wanted the cake to have orange and blue on it. Interesting, to say the least. I could figure out the orange since Nathan's favorite team is Tennessee.

This morning Camille and I went to the grocery store to buy what we needed for this special birthday dinner. I had taken inventory at Nathan's house of not only groceries but necessary utensils as well. As I reached for a cake pan, Camille said lets make cupmakes. Since I had to buy a pan anyway, it didn't make any difference to me what me made. We put a muffin tin in the basket and went on to other things. By the time we got to the checkout, we had a full basket of goodies, including just a few special treats for Camille. What are Grammies for? Right?

After arriving home, we immediately began to work on the cupcakes. Camille helped every step of the way From putting the cupcake liners in to mixing the ingredients to filling the pan to licking the bowl and the beaters. After the cupcakes had cooked and cooled, we made icing, half of it was blue and half of it was orange. We frosted the cupcakes and then Camille worked for a long time getting the sprinkles on each cupcake. She then got 26 candles in 23 cupcakes.

We then started on supper. Camille helped with the potatoes and helped batter the meat. Grammy would not let her place the meat in the hot grease. We had a wonderful supper of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits and green beans and finished it off with orange and blue cupcakes and bluebell icecream.

Since there was not a red plate here, Camille and I decided for Nathan to have a different colored plate from the rest of us, indicating it was his special day.

Camille spent this entire day thinking of ways to make this day special for her daddy. Nathan came in and oohed and aahed over the cupcakes and all the ways Camille had worked to make this day special. Camille was pleased. And no matter what else happened today, being with Camille and then Nathan tonight, made this day special.

Three more days of this fun. Lucky us. Tomorrow Marc and Nathan are playing golf and we girls have some girl stuff planned.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Heading East

Today we left Borger. Tomorrow, between 3:30 and 4:00, we will be hugging on Camille. That brings a smile to Grammy's face just thinking about seeing that sweet girl. We will have a long, fun weekend with Nathan and Camille.

My mom saw both of her doctors yesterday and today. She had good reports from both doctors. I was leaving today so that I could see Camille tomorrow, but I left this afternoon feeling a lot more comfortable knowing she was doing well.

Tonight history was made in the Tindall household. Marc wanted to stop before I did. That never happens. I always want to stop before he is ready. I wanted to be that much closer to Memphis. He was the driver, therefore, we stopped when he wanted.