Saturday, December 31, 2011


Our sweet little Katy is a fun-loving little child.  Her laughter often fills the air.  Or the house.  She is a tiny, spunky thing.  And she has no fear.  Katy being Katy was climbing somewhere she was not supposed to be and fell.  For those of you who know her, you know she is a bit of a drama princess.  Our initial thought was, "she is ok."  It quickly became apparent she was not ok.  She was crying and sobbing in a way I have never seen her cry.  It was a lot more than her being a drama princess.  Kathy and I felt for bumps and found none.  She did not stop crying and was holding her head.  She told me the light hurt her eyes.  I could not tell if her eyes were dilated or not.  Her eyes are so dark.  She said she felt nauseous and Nicole scooped her up and raced out of here.  Nicole took her to the hospital in Ojojona.  They examined her and said she needed a CT scan in Tegucgalpa.  Nicole stopped at the front gate for her purse and more money and drove to Tegucigalpa.

Nicole got to the hospital and called in tears saying she did not have enough money because a CT scan was double since it was a holiday weekend.  She also said Katy was worse and was vomiting and could not stay awake.  We usually can't get Katy to go to sleep when we want her to.  Marc and Matt were in Tegucigalpa and I called Marc to take Nicole some more money. 

When Nicole called, we were having lunch at Casa.  After I got off the phone, I told the kids that Katy was really sick and we needed to pray for her and asked Jackson to pray for her.  Jackson said a very kind prayer.  I looked up and Fernando, Katy's big brother, had his head on the table, sobbing.  I picked him up and hugged him tight, saying God would take care of Katy.  He shook his head yes, but I don't think he believed me.  I comforted him and he sat down at the table to eat.  I had two hysterical employees that were crying and loudly praying.  I got Fernando settled and saw the tears streaming down Sisi's face.  I picked her up and hugged her tightly.  I told her we had to pray.   I wish I could say I was in total control.  With Fernando crying, Sisi crying and two crying employees, I began to cry as well.  When almost everyone was through eating, Cindy starting crying.  I loved on her a while.   Sometimes, the kids act like they hate each other.  Not that I ever want someone hurt, but it was refreshing to see them so concerned.

I herded Haley, Any, Jair, Lupita and Adonis over to Mirian's house for naptime.  And waited.  I finally heard from Nicole and the CT scan was fine but they wanted a doctor to see her since she could not stay awake and had vomited twice.  At 3:00, Nicole called again and said they would dismiss Katy.  At 4:30, I heard from Nicole one more time and they were just leaving the hospital.  We have to watch Katy closely and wake her every 6 hours.  I know the routine well.  I have done it with one of my kids before.  More than once.

It has been a long day.  For everyone.

I am quite sure Katy will be ok and will soon be bouncing around again.  Until then, please pray that she recovers quickly. 


Friday, December 30, 2011


Once a month for two hours, on the last Friday of the month from 1:00-3:00, sixteen of the kids get to see their parents.  It is a tension-filled day for the kids and the staff.  Today was no exception.

The kids shower and put on their best clothes for mom.  Many of them make cards or gifts to take to mom.  Lunch is served and visitation begins.

When Karen and Nicole were leaving Casitas Kennedy at the end of visitation in September, Karen was told we could no longer have visitation there.  Karen and I discussed our options and decided the church building was the best place to have visitation beginning in October.  We no longer have to leave at noon in two cars and go two separate directions for visitation.  For that I am thankful.  We drafted a listed of rules and made the parents sign them.

Today at 10:30, Nohemy and Josue's mom showed up at the back gate asking when visitation was.  Nicole told her it was today at 1:00 and that she had to come to the front gate.  Her kids have not seen her since visitation in June.  Six months, without a word.  And really not many words today.

I walked with Nohemy and Josue to the church building.  They went running to her.  She did not hug them.  She sat near them and did not smile and said very little to them.  They finally got bored and got up played with each other.  The mom had a new baby that is not very well and she gave him all her attention.  I was not very happy, but tried to not let that show.  She could have at least hugged those kids.  They were so glad to see her.

In addition to Nohemy's mom, at 1:00, Doris, Katy, Reina, and Fernando's mom and Jose and Ana's dad were there. At 1:20, Adonis and Guadalupe's mom came.  The other kids are waiting at Casa and it was a long wait.  Adonis's dad showed up later and wanted to bring every relative he had.  Nicole told him visitation was only for parents.  In the meantime, there were kids all over the property.  Not our kids.  They have to stay inside the church building.  Some claiming to be Adonis's relatives.  We asked them to leave.   My stress levels were off the charts. 

At 2:45, Jackson's mother and Any and Jair's mother showed up.  Cindy and Maryuri's mom and Brayan's mom never did show.  Matt was at Casa during the long wait.  Of course, there were tears.  Kids were all dressed up with presents they made for mom.  Waiting and waiting.  And mom doesn't show.

Sisi cries every month because there is no one to visit her.  I don't like visitation for the ones who have it and the ones who don't.    I have already warned the evening staff, there may be more tears and bad behavior tonight.  I would cry and act out too, if my mom didn't show.

Please, please pray for these little ones whose hearts are hurting so badly right now.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Blockmakers Are Here

Today the container from Fairview Heights was finally unloaded.  It has only been in the country since November 4.  The people that release containers can think of all kinds of reasons to keep containers from being released, thus accumulating a lot of demurage and fines.  I think the reasons to not release are so demurage and fines will accumulate.  We have promised every day for almost two weeks that the container for sure would be released today and when today ends, they say first thing tomorrow.  Well, today was finally the day.

The two blockmakers were on that container, meaning we will soon be building block houses.  There were lots of backpacks.  School will be starting in about six weeks and those loaded backpacks will come in handy.  There was lots and lots of things for Casa de Esperanza and for Manos Felices and the daycare in Moaloa.

It was a really good container.  Thank you Fairview Heights Church of Christ.  There was a lot of hard work that went into packing and loading the container.  Your hard work is appreciated and you will make a difference in the lives of lot of people.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Service

Since I had let my whole staff off for Christmas, I was a bit worried about having Christmas, breakfast, chores, and getting 21 kids ready for church by 9:30.  It was a huge relief to me to find out church would be at 4:00, followed by a program and dinner.

Nearly all of the kids were in a skit.  There has been practice several days.  I am always glad the church building is on the property.  When our  kids participate in something, they are so excited.  After lunch, the big kids hurried through their chores and did a very thorough job with them.  Then they started showering.  They fixed each other's hair and tried to ready themselves.  Cindy changed clothes three times. 

Nothing ever starts on time in Honduras.  Even so, if 21 kids and the adults we need a lot of seats.  I like to leave about 15 minutes early.  And off we went with everyone in their new Christmas clothes.
It was a packed house.
There were several skits and songs.  Some people that I would have never dreamed would get up in front of the whole church and sing, did.
Karol was smart enough not to give any of our little kids a real candle.

Jackson was the good Samaritan

And Adonis was the guy that got beat up.  Adonis enjoyed his role way too much.

Pamela and Kelin

Brayan was the devil, a part he played too well.

At 8:00, there had been no supper.  Our kids eat at 6:00 and go to bed at 8:00.  All of the little kids were falling asleep in our laps.  We had to leave.  We fed our kids macaroni and cheese and tortillas.  Everyone was happy with that.

Even though we did not stay until supper was served, we had a great evening.  I love watching the kids perform.  I am thankful for those that took the time to work with the children.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas At Casa De Esperanza

Weeks ago, I decided to let the whole staff off the afternoon of Christmas Eve and the morning of Christmas, with one exception, the night guard.  With nineteen kids, I questioned my judgement, and my sanity, more than once.  With the arrival of the two new babies earlier in the week, I was sure I had lost my mind.  One employee had not spent Christmas with her family in 15 years because she never had time off.  I just could not do that to my employees.  We started early Saturday morning being short-staffed.  By 2:00, it was just us. 

Nicole cooked chili for supper.  Not traditional Honduran Christmas food.  The big kids liked it.  The little kids didn't.  We had cokes and cookies and watched Christmas movies.  Our plan was to start putting kids to bed around 10:00.  They got pretty obnoxious and we sent to bed a bit sooner.  Nicole slept in Miran's house with four kids and I slept in the big house with 17.  I didn't sleep.  I stayed in the big house.  After I was fairly sure everyone was asleep,  Matt and I carried the presents in and placed under the tree and got the stocking stuffers.  Most of the stocking stuff was already bagged and that was easy. 

It was really late when we finished.  I should have gone to bed.  But I was reading a really good book and sat down in the playroom to unwind and read a while.  Before long, I heard a door open and saw Jackson in the hall.  I got up and he ran.  I didn't catch him, but I caught Fernando.  When I walked Fernando back to his bed, Jackson was pretending to be asleep.  Then I heard them again in an hour.  After that, I heard every little noise.  With the wind blowing hard, there were lots of little noises. 

We decided we would start at 6:00.  I barely spoke buenos dias, when kids were hopping out of bed at record speeds.  Everyone stampeded from the bedrooms at the same time.  They were so excited with the stockings.

Then we got down to serious business.  The presents under the tree.  

Everyone got a new shirt,
new jeans, and new shoes.
Some of the girls got Converse and some of the boys got soccer shoes.
Brayan had asked for black cowboy boots.  And what it took to find those boots would be a blogworthy story all its own.  I had Matt put that box aside where no one could see it.  All the gifts were open and I said, "oops we forgot one and it has Brayan's name on it.  All the kids cheered.  He is so proud of those boots.

Church and dinner was at 4:00 this afternoon.  All the kids knew, without a doubt, what they were wearing to church.  There were some fine-looking kids at church. 

It was a wonderful day.  The kids had fun.  I am really glad I let my employees off.  I am exhausted.  I kind of feel like I have been torn to shreds.
I will definitely be ready for Tuesday.


Thursday, December 22, 2011


Having two new little ones is a time of adjustments for everyone.  Josue's world has been rocked.  He has been the baby for over two years.  This morning, Any grabbed me and said, "hola, mommy."  Josue came running toward me saying, "my mommy."  Josue never runs toward me for a hug.  Haley's world has been rocked as well.  All the girls were chasing her and in her face wanting to hold her and play like she was a baby doll.  No one is in her face now.  They are all in Any's face.  When Haley asked Daniela to sit by her, she said no and headed Any's way. 

Jair fell asleep mid-morning.  It has been a long time since we have had a morning napper.  Mirian had to go inside with him, leaving us a bit short-staffed for a while.  Any and Jair take far more supervision than anyone else right now.  Jair is still sad, confused, and scared.  A little bit more food has to be prepared.  A little bit more laundry has to be done.

I am beginning to wonder why I let the entire staff off for Christmas eve night and a good portion of Christmas day. 

Every time there are new kids, there are adjustments for everyone.  These things are small compared to knowing these children have a home.  This, too, shall pass.  In the meantime, prayers appreciated.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Surprise Christmas Party

 Saturday afternoon, two of my staff called my aside and wanted to talk to me.  I never know what to expect.  I usually expect the worst possible thing.  This time, they told me they wanted to do a surprise Christmas party for the kids and were asking my permission.  Of course, I said yes. 

They planned everything down to the last detail and provided soda, cake, chips and candy bags.  They paid for all of this.  None of them make a huge amount of money.  I was very touched.  And, they managed to keep it a surprise.  Kathy came to work at noon, carrying a cake.  Everything was orchestrated this morning so that she could hide it without anyone seeing it. 

At 6:00, when the party was suppose to start, I went to Miran's house.  Mirian was busy tying and hanging balloons and Dilma was making candy bags.  After everything was just so, the Christmas music was started.  I have to laugh when I hear "I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas" in Honduras.  With the music playing loudly, Kathy led the kids into the house. 

 First, the girls sang a song.  The girls get to clapping and dancing.  They are fun to watch.  Then, the boys sang a song.  The boys sang "The Little Drummer Boy."  They were far more serious than the girls.  It was obvious both groups had rehearsed these songs.
 Josue does not know he is not as big as everyone else.

The furniture was cleared and the living room became a dance floor.

One of my kids had to read "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever."  That same year, it was being produced in community theater and I bought tickets and we went.  It was a story of the six worse kids in the world.  They were all brothers and sisters and they ended up in the community Christmas pageant.  Tonight, I think I saw the best Christmas pageant ever and it was not performed by the worst kids in the world. 

Fernando was the donkey and Daniela rode him.  For a pretty long ways.  I was laughing so hard.  Josue was Baby Jesus.  I am not sure which was funnier, the donkey or Baby Jesus.  Josue did not want to stay there and kept getting up.  Fernando (the donkey) kept pushing him back down and telling him to stay there.  The three wise men came bearing gifts of big blocks, little blocks and baseballs.

The kids were so excited that they were allowed to listen to music while they ate.  After they ate and had cake, they were settling down to watch a movie.  They were given candy bags and told no one could eat the candy until tomorrow.  I am glad I am not on duty tonight.

I was proud of the kids when most of them remembered to tell everyone thank you. 

This was a really fun evening.  I love my employees.



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Very Best Christmas Presents

In August we took a sister/brother duo, Any (Annie) and Jair.  They were here less than two weeks when their mother showed up at the gate with papers from the judge saying she had custody of them.  Everyone was heartbroken, especially Mirian, the housemother in the house which they lived. 

Within another week or so, the mother was seen begging on the streets and had taken the kids back to IHFNA saying she could not keep them.  The people at IHFNA were angry.  They asked us to take them back, but some more paperwork had to be done.  IHNFA said they were going to do a home visit and investigate the mother and all sorts of things.  We even volunteered to help them get some of it done because we wanted Any and Jair back.  Some of those things got done and some did not. 

There is a huge financial crisis in this country.  Many people at IHFNA lost their jobs and there was not vehicles available to do home visits and all sorts of stuff.  Typical red tape stuff.  Last week, Marc told the people at IHNFA it was a shame that those kids were not with us since where they were is understaffed.  They agreed.

When it gets this close to Christmas, we have learned we don't expect kids to be placed or containers to be released or anything.  This morning, Nicole was on duty and ran down here for just a few minutes to start a load of laundry.  She had barely walked in the door, when Cindy came down and said Any and Jair were here.  We looked at each other and then ran.  Sure enough, there was Any and Jair with six people from IHNFA.  They had driven here in one of those vehicles that was not available for home visits and such.

When we walked in, the whole house was buzzing.  The staff and the kids and the IHNFA people were gathered around the kids.  Mirian was beaming.  Absolutely beaming.  She was as radiant as any mother after childbirth and seeing her child for the first time. 

There was a stack of paperwork.  I asked if the kids were permanent placements and if there were birth certificates and shot records.  After I was satisfied with the answers, I began to sign and stamp where I was told.  The IHNFA people wanted to see the main house and the house where Any and Jair would live.  Mirian told Nicole and I thank goodness she cleaned yesterday.  Her house is never dirty.   Never.

The IHNFA people liked the main house, but they loved Mirian's house.  They were shown where the kids would sleep and the bathrooms.  They were very pleased.  Mirian showed little Any her bed and she hugged it.  Then we all went into the living room/playroom.  Cindy Portell, I wish you could have seen Any when she was that mural.  She ran over and touched some of the animals and just laughed.  Good hard belly laughs.  She touched the couch and her eyes as big as could be and laughed.  Then touched the table and chairs and laughed.  I had tears in my eyes.  To watch a child so thrilled with a sofa or a wall mural.

Any is pretty outgoing.  Jair is really scared and confused.  Understandably so.  Jair had the clothes he had on, one diaper and one change of clothes.  Any had the clothes she had on and nothing else.  Her dress was way too short. Her little feet were crammed into shoes three sizes too small.  Her toes were curled under. 

And we only thought we were nearly through with the Christmas shopping.  If I had made a list of all the things I wanted to do, going to Tegucigalpa to the mall would not have even been on the list.  But for these two little ones, it did not seem so bad.  I waited until Nicole finished her shift and we went together.  As I approached the mall I was sure both of us had lost our minds, until Nicole reminded me why we were doing it.  We bought brand new clothes and brand new shoes, just like the rest of the kids are getting.  It was so much fun.  Little Any was thrilled with a sofa.  I can't even begin to imagine her on Sunday morning when she has presents to open.

Casa de Esperanza has blankets, but Nicole wanted Any and Jair to have new soft blankets.  She bought each one a new blanket.  I was so excited to be ready to leave the mall at 5:15.  We didn't get home until almost 8:00.  Nicole wanted to present the new blankets tonight, their first night here.  Mirian had her four kids in her house and they were watching a movie there.  Nicole gave Any the new soft, pink blanket and she hugged it and wore it and spread it on the floor and laid on it.  She loved it.  She was so excited to have her own blanket.  Jair was in bed, but not asleep.  Poor little guy.  He is so scared.  He was crying and wanted to be held.  I hope Mirian gets some sleep tonight.  He was not as impressed with his blanket.

Any will be four in February.  She is the tiniest little thing I have ever seen.  She is wearing a 24 months.  Jair will be two later this month.  He is not much smaller than Any.  These guys need a lot of love and a lot of prayers.

Having a home and love is the best Christmas present these two little ones could receive.  And having them here, is the best Christmas present any of us could receive.  Welcome home Any and Jair.



In Honduras, the kids are out of school in November, December and January.  Our kids, like most kids, were ready for another school year to end.  We had some really good grades and some that could have been better.  But what to do with them when there is no school is always a challenge.

Every morning, after breakfast and chores, they have to do math, grammar, or reading.  Nicole gets frustrated at little they know, especially in the grammar area.  Nicole and I are making worksheets.  Some of the older kids are really proud when they can work a few math problems that are a bit harder.  Some of the younger kids grumble because they even have to try something a little harder.

They are also learning how to cook and Nicole does an art project once a week.  Many of our kids are not very creative and want Nicole to do the entire project for them.  This week she thinks she will make gingerbread houses.  We will see how that goes.

Ana, Rosy, Brayan and Antonio are going to work on a horse farm every Thursday morning.  Another missionary is working with them.  John's wife, Marilyn is deaf and they both know sign language.  This is an excellent opportunity for Rosy as she is excluded from so many things we do.  The four kids getting to do this are loving every minute of it.  After they work, John ends the morning in Bible study.  I like that.

John also asked Brayan and Antonio to play on a soccer team.  They practice on Wednesday mornings and play on Saturday.  We talked about it and decided team sports are a good thing.  And soccer is king in Honduras.  The boys are excited about getting to play soccer.

This morning I let three of the boys go out the house site with Matt.  We have a family here this week.  Today they are building a house.  I figured help was needed on the house and it would be good for the boys to go work.  I told them they had to help Matt load the tools and they jumped up and changed clothes and could not wait to go to work.  I hope that enthusiasm lasts all day.

Nicole and Mirian take the kids to the park on Saturday morning and one day they played in the spring.  We hope to take an all day outing one Saturday in January.

We are trying to keep a good balance between work and play.  Summer with 19 kids home all day definitely has some challenges.  Pray for the staff and the children as we all deal with these challenges.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

From A Lawnmower Shed To A Home

Each year many people come to help us.  And while groups are here many houses are built.  We are constantly looking for ways to improve the houses we build.  Jesus said, "whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me."  Therefore, we want to give the best we possibly can.

The blockmakers (if they ever get released) will enable us to build a better house.  But we know we can't build a block house every where and have no intention of completely giving up building wood houses.  We did find a way to make the wood houses bigger and better.  Instead of building a one-room, square 16' x 16' house, we discovered a way to build a bigger house that is 18' x 18' and not only has 3 bedrooms, but bunk beds, too.  Complete with mattresses.  Also, a gabled roof replaces the sloped roof that the old houses had. So far, eight of these new houses have been built.  The builders and the receivers like them much better.  They cost more and they take all day to build (and I do mean all day), but they are so much better.  Instead of being not much more than a lawn mower shed, the new houses are a lot more like a home.

If you haven't already made plans to join us in 2012, I hope you will consider a trip.  And, you too, can help build one of these bigger, better homes.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

M & M Tubes

When we lived in Mississippi, we discovered M & M tubes.  Not only do they hold wonderful tasting M&M's, they are the exact diameter to hold a quarter.  Or a stack of quarters.  We bought them and passed them out to everyone who wanted M&M's.  There was one condition.  After eating the M&M's, they had to fill the tube with quarters and return it to us.  We purchased food to distribute in Honduras.  One year we raised over $800.00 in quarters.  My bank loved me when they saw me coming.

A group in Joplin, Missouri has taken that idea and run with it.  Using M&M tubes, they have raised enough money to support a dump family for one year.  The money they raised will keep the four children in school in 2012 and buy some groceries once a month.  While the children are in school, the mom will continue to work in the dump to earn what little money she can. 

I love M&M's and I love the idea of helping others.  What a grand idea to combine the two.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Bunk Baby Beds

The daycare center run by AFE (Amor Fe Y Esperanza), the daycare center at the dump, is having more and more children.  This is a very good thing.  That means less children are being taken into the dump or being left alone while Mom works in the dump.  Recently there were 11 new babies that started to come to the daycare center.  They did not have enough beds for that many babies.  And they did not have room for 11 baby beds. 

Marc designed a bunk baby bed.

With some of the dump fund money, we purchased five to give to the daycare center.  A local carpenter built them for us.  The sides let down so it makes it easy to get the babies in and out.
The folks at AFE were thrilled with this gift.  And we are thrilled that 11 more babies are no longer in the dump all day.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Sweet Love Story

This whole year we have watched a relationship develop between Byron and Pamela, our former employee.  Being friends with both, it has been fun to watch.  In January, before we knew of this relationship, Marc said, "Byron is coming to see us."  We were both glad.  It only took a day or so to realize Byron didn't come to see us, but Pamela.  Byron has spent a lot more time in Honduras than Murfreesboro this year.  When Byron left in August, if I was a betting person, I would have placed a bet that I would have considered to be a sure thing that he would not stay gone a whole month.  I would have lost.

Upon returning to Honduras in September, Byron immediately asked Pamela to marry him.  And she said yes.  A wedding began being planned.  I got involved in the wedding planning.  The wedding was today. 

There has been a flurry of activities for weeks with all of the Casa kids being in the wedding.  All of the girls had to be measured for dresses.  New white sandals had to be purchased.  Three pair had to be returned.  The boys got new black pants and blue shirts.  Then the dresses had to be tried on and two had to be altered.  But this week everything kicked into high gear, with my house becoming wedding central.  A beautiful four layer cake was made (not by me).  Mints were made.  Bows. Bride's bouquet.  On and on.  It was fun.  And exhausting.

The kids were so excited.  Yesterday, when I returned from the market, Reina had a nail file and was working on everyone's nails.  There were dozens of bottles of fingernail polish on the table.  And it was silent in the house as there was some serious work being done on finger nails and toe nails.

Kathy, whose day off is Friday, came yesterday afternoon to use the straightener on some of the girls' hair.  This morning we had devo at 6:00 instead of 7:00.  Everyone jumped out of bed.  They were chatty during devo and did not want to settle down for breakfast.  After breakfast and chores, we were very busy in spite of the fact that shirts and pants had been ironed, shoes had been polished, hair straightened. 
All the boys got dressed except for Josue.  He had to wait until right before we left.  Hair was gelled.  Ties tied.  They were one handsome group of guys.
In the meantime, Nicole was busy with the girls.  She put on a little makeup.  Helped get the pretty new white headbands in hair. 
The girls were not allowed to change into their dresses until a few minutes before leaving.

My employees brought their finest clothes with them and everyone changed and we were finally out the door at 9:20 about 15 minutes behind my original goal.

Have you ever seen a wedding with 26 children in it?  I had visions of it being a nightmare.  It was very sweet and endearing.

Byron and Pamela were very insistent that the wedding start on time because they had to catch a plane to Roatan.  Rarely does anything start on time in Honduras.  This wedding was delayed because the musicians did not show up on time.  The reason they did not show up on time was as they were on their way, the cello was stolen from the the cello player.  Who would steal a cello and why?  Only in Honduras.  He did not come, but the other three musicians did.

Our kids were singing a song.  But they also had other special parts in the wedding.
There were five flower girls

Sisi carried the Bible

Marc was given the special honor of walking Pamela up the aisle
and then of performing the ceremony, too.
Byron and Pamela are a beautiful couple.  It was a beautiful wedding. 

In the U.S., we are used to having buffet line at the reception.  Buffet is not something with which most Hondurans are familiar.  Trust me, it was a feeding frenzy.  And when it was over, I was not sure what had happened.  There was not one morsel of food left.  Not one plate, or cup or any punch.  The wedding cake was inhaled.  When the cake was gone, they began scraping the cake plates.  And one or two might have even licked the cake plate clean.  There are no pictures or words to describe it.

Here's wishing Byron and Pamela a beautiful life.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Third Annual Jesus Banquet

Today was the third annual Jesus Banquet. 

At least we learned something the last two years.  We asked Carnitas to precook some of the meal, but they say it won't taste as good.  We didn't know they didn't precook any food until they were picked up and carried to the dump.  It took two years to realize they were not going to do it our way.  This year, Marc picked them up at 6:00 a.m and took them to the dump.  After setting up the equipment, the cooking began at 7:21.   That is  a.m.  That meant serving could begin at 10:30. 
Today there was about 1200 people served a wonderful meal.  It was a totally awesome day.

Matt decided to take Haley with him.  All day yesterday she walked around saying, "Haley feed people."  Everyone at the banquet loved Haley.  And she did get to serve some of the people.  Nicole had to work this morning.  She and I left here at 12:30.  We both got there in time to be able serve and help.  I was so glad to be able to help.  Also, Brayan, Pamela, and Antonio left here with the group at 6:30 this morning.  I was so proud of those three kids.  They worked their little hearts out today.  I talked to Brayan.  He was very touched by the things he witnessed today.

Nicole and Haley taking a plate to someone.

My friend David, always the servant, never the served.

Things were going quite smoothly until a truckload of cereal showed up. 

And then we witnessed the great cornflake riot.  We were trying to get people to sit down as we handed the cornflakes to people at their table.  But they did not want to sit at the table and wait.

Brayan, heading out to pass out cornflakes.
Matt attempting to hand cornflakes to people.  It was crazy.
The great cornflake riot.  People were scrambling everywhere.  My friend, Trey Morgan said, "it is only cornflakes, not even Lucky Charms."

This little girl was suppose to be holding these cornflakes for her mother.  But she opened that box and was having quite a feast.

Haley fed the people until she could feed no more.

Some of the girls that work in the dump donned their very best clothes and came to help us.  They worked as hard as anyone.  It is a very touching site to see those girls working that hard.  

Everyone was fed (and had a box of cornflakes or five) and we had cleaned up and were out of there by 3:30, a definite improvement over the last two years.  

It is a blessing to those who served to have had this opportunity.  Each plate was served with a heaping dose of love.