Thursday, March 31, 2011

Two More Children Can Call Casa de Esperanza Home

Today at 3:00, Karen and Dorian drove in the gate with two precious children. We have been waiting on these children for weeks. Karen and I have prayed and prayed over this decision. This brother-sister duo are from Ojojona, which is right next door to Santa Ana. We don't normally take children whose homes are so close. I think the reasons are obvious. As we prayed, we kept talking about when the two new ones get here. I guess we knew we were taking them.

The little girl is 6 and her name is Emilse Guadalupe and goes by Lupe and her brother is 8. His name is Carlos Adonay and goes by Adonay. Lupe is a tiny little thing, like Katty. Their teeth are horrible. Lupe may very well have lice. Most girls do when they arrive. They arrived, each carrying one small bag of belonging.

This is a tragic story. Little Lupe has been physically abused by her mother. By her mother. I cannot even comprehend how anyone can abuse a child, but a mother. Her hands have been burned. She has not been released from the burn clinic yet. These children have been in Casitas Kennedy, the state orphanage, since January 15.

Dalys came running out of the house to greet them. Mirian was not far behind. Mirian then took them and showed them their beds.

As we went outside, they were wide-eyed and holding hands. The children that did not have homework began coming outside after naps. In the daylight hours, all those children to play with and bicycles and a trampoline were great fun. Cindy was helping Lupe with a bike. Sisi was mothering her. They were all smiles then.

But what about tonight? When the lights are out and they are in a strange place. Will they still be smiling? I doubt it. They will be scared and lonely. The smiles may be replaced with tears.

Please please pray for these little ones as they make this huge adjustment. And pray for the other kids and staff. Every time new children arrive, there are adjustments to be made by all.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Another day of no school as the teachers take to the streets striking.  That is a subject for another blog.

I walked up to Casa to talk to Karen and she had several on them doing homework.  Jose had a book and was reading, more or less.  It was in english, so I sincerely doubt he was reading too much of it.  That appeared to be ok, except he was suppose to be doing his math.  Karen was busy with some of the kids and Dalys was busy with some.  Jose stuck his lip out and said no one would help him. 

I grabbed a chair and pulled it up beside him and off we went.  I have seen Karen nearly pull her hair out trying to help Jose with math.  Several times I have seen her nearly pull her hair out.  I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into, but he had to get his math done.

First, he had eight multiplication problems.  We got through that and he was ready to quit.  But there was still 16 division problems.  Just as we had to do, the problems had to be checked.  It was a beautiful day and some of the kids were already playing.  As most nine year old boys are prone to do, he had his mind on other things. 

Jose amazed me that he could look at a problem and know that nine goes into 57 6 times.  He would write that, then have to  count on his fingers what 57 - 54 was.  And count on his fingers the addition part when he checked the problem.  I had not expected him to know the division facts any better than he had simple addition and subtraction.

After he did eight of those division problems, he was restless and starting to complain.  I told Karen we were going to walk around the house one time.  And off we went, hand in hand.  I knew that could go either way, that it would be enough of a break and he would go back in and finish so that he could play or it would break his concentration completely.  Fortunately, the walk around the house was just what he needed.

I sort of challenged him, but did not resort to bribery as I have done in the past, to finish before Daniela.  He smiled that cute little smile and got busy on those last eight problems.  Daniela had a complete melt down over her division and Jose easily finished before her.

Jose understands the division if he can only line the numbers up the way he should.  When he finished, we high-fived three times.

Then Fernando came in to finish his division.  He only  had six problems to go.  He, like Jose, could divide but had to use his fingers for the addition and subtraction part.  Karen said every one of the kids did that.  I am really glad they understand division, but we should go back to the basics on the addition and subtraction.

Another day of homework complete, at least for some.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Laura And Terri, After All These Years

When I was in sixth or seventh grade, the Beasons moved to Borger and started coming to our church.  Laura and I became bff's.  We did everything together.  Suffered through those awkward teenage years together.  We saw each other through first loves and broken hearts and all the things that come with junior high and high school.  We did the craziest things.  I have such fond memories of those times.  I am sure she does, too.

When I was a senior in high school, her family moved to Enid.  In my young life, that was the worst thing imaginable.  For my best friend to move.  In those days, we kept the postmen busy delivering letters (yes, handwritten letters).  Long distance phone calls were still expensive and there was no email or facebook. 
We learned the route from Borger to Enid.  I made that trip as often as I could, as did Laura. 

In 1975, I was the maid of honor in her wedding and ten months later, she did the same thing for me.  We have become parents and grandparents and moved across the country and out of the country.  We have shared life's major events with each other. 

I always thought Laura was one of the most beautiful names I had ever heard.  But it was much more than the beauty of the name that caused me to want to name my baby girl Laura Nicole. A beautiful person who had been a beautiful friend for more than twenty years at the time my daughter was born was the compelling reason.

It gets harder and harder to connect with each other.  As many times as we have tried to get together,. it has been five years since we have seen each other.  Today, we made it work.   Laura and Stan drove from Enid and spent some time with us this morning.  We hugged and cried tears of happiness.  We had a couple of hours together.  There is no way to catch up five years in two hours.  That two hours passed way too quickly.

We hugged again.  And cried again.  We promised it would not be five years again.  I hope it will not be.  But if it should be, it still won't change a thing,.  We will pick up right where we left off today.  I am so thankful for a friendship that has spanned the both time and distance.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm On Tulsa Time

Marc and I are in Tulsa for the workshops.  It was in interesting journey getting here.

In November, Marc realized he had American points that were going to expire.  He had enough to get a ticket.  He decided to get a ticket to come to Tulsa before those points expired.  I was thinking I probably would not make this trip.  Then when a few people said, "why don't you come, too?", I began seriously thinking about coming.  I purchased a ticket on Continental last year to go to Little Rock.  Emergency surgery put a sudden end to that trip before it even began.  That ticket, too, was about to expire.  I paid the change fee and booked myself a ticket to Tulsa.

Marc's original plan was to go to the dump to feed yesterday and get to the airport in plenty of time to catch the 2:30 flight.  The Continental flight leaves earlier than the American one.  I was going to take Maryuri to Teleton, meet Dalys there, and get on to the airport.

Somewhere around 6:00 a.m. yesterday, I was racing around trying to get all things in order before I left at 7:15, when Marc announces, "oh no, I have missed my plane."  I am kind of thinking that since the only American flight leaves at 2:30, it would be hard to miss it.  Well, his ticket was booked for Tuesday, not Wednesday.  Suddenly, Marc is buzzing around also.  He is leaving with me to try to go get this fixed. 

As we drove down the mountain, we decided Marc would take us to Teleton and when Dalys arrived, I would take a taxi to the airport.  I was ok with that.  Never knowing what morning traffic will be, we left really early.  There was no traffic for some strange reason and Maryuri and I were at Teleton long before Dalys was supposed to be.  We waited.  Maryuri was quite content.  I told her we were waiting on Dalys and she was happy.  It got nearer and nearer to 9:00, the time of Maryuri's appointment and no Dalys.  Finally, at 9:00 I went in.  Maryuri became very angry because I had told her we were waiting on Dalys and there was no Dalys.  After smoothing her ruffled feathers, we walked into the appointment.  Maryuri once again was happy and sat down to work a puzzle. 

Dalys called from outside and  I rushed out to meet her.  I got things worked out with her and left.  I do quite well at rolling with the flow and changing plans and adapting to the situation most of the time.  But when leaving one of the children in an uncertain situation and things involving flight times, I can get extremely nervous.  Since I was dealing with both, I was beside myself.

I negotiated the cab fare well.  Yay me.  I did not do that so well the first time I had to take a cab.  The first time I got gringoed bad.  I got to the airport, got checked in and had plenty of time.  I bought a granita to settle my jumpy stomach. 

Fortunately for me, except for a loooong layover in Houston, the rest of my trip was uneventful. 

However, Marc did not have the same luck.

American let Marc change his ticket with no change fee.  That is unheard of.  God is good.... all the time.  But his adventure had not even begun.  Marc had to overnight in Miami and was to get to Tulsa around noon today. 

This morning at 4:00 a.m. our U. S. cell phone rang.  I was so tired.  At first, I did not even know what was making that noise.  I realized it was my phone and that it was 4:00 a.m.  That is never a good thing.  I answered and got a recorded message from American Airlines saying a flight had been canceled and rebooked for 10:00, arriving at DFW at sometime later and Tulsa at 3:05. 

When I went to breakfast this morning, I immediately heard that a fuel tank had got on fire, causing a huge fire in the Miami airport.  Thus, explaining why Marc's early morning flight had been canceled.  After attempting to call me from a payphone that required change only, finding the change, having the phone steal the money, I received a call on a borrowed cell phone from Marc saying there had been a fire, his flight was canceled, and he would arrive in Tulsa around 3:00.  All I could say was that is old news. 

I enjoyed two great lessons this morning and the fellowship of several friends, went to lunch at McAllisters's and then made it to Target and heard one more great lesson from Trey Morgan before Marc arrived at the airport.  Yay!  He is here at last.

We heard another great lesson tonight.  We are enjoying the sweet fellowship of friends.  Tomorrow promises to be another day of deep, inspiring lessons,  heavenly singing and more fellowship.  We are having our cups filled, being renewed and encouraged.  And we might even work in a trip to Wal-Mart.

For this few days, how blessed we are to be living on Tulsa time.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Waterless Morning

In my other life, the one in which I lived in the United States of America, I never thought of not having water for shower, or to water my yard, or to run my dishwasher.  I often took two or three showers a day, especially when living in Mississippi. 

After moving to Honduras, I quickly learned that water was a valuable resource, not available to everyone.  I try hard to conserve water.  I don't shower every day.  I don't flush every time.  If its yellow, let it mellow; if its brown, flush it down. 

Since I don't shower every day, I was really needing one last night.  I was so tired and my entire body was screaming "go to bed."  So I did.  I set the alarm a bit earlier so I could get that shower this morning.

I forced myself out of bed to discover there was no water this morning.  I promise you, three and a half years ago I would have had a melt down over having no water in my house.  Not so, this morning.  I have learned to roll with the flow.

I got a pan out of the cabinet and put about three quarts of our drinking water in it and set off to get myself cleaner.  Not only was it ironic, but a bit amusing that the girl who thought it was ok to take three showers a day was bathing like this.  In my head, I kept hearing the saying, "waste not, want not."   But I knew, if I had not taken three showers a day in the U.S., I would still have no water for a shower this morning.

I quietly began to think of all the people, not only in Honduras, but all over the world, that never have running water.  That never have clean drinking water.  Who am I to complain because I have no water in which to shower.  I thanked God for my many, many blessings.

When I finished, Marc used the same water to shave.

The city water began to run again later this morning.  The tank is now full.  And guess who is headed toward the shower?


Saturday, March 19, 2011

You Never Know What Might Be Required In A Day

Today I had kid duty.  I did not mind that; I love those kids. 

Before lunch, I saw a chicken run across the yard and I knew it was not one of our chickens.  A few minutes after that, a lady came to the gate and asked if she could come in and get her chicken.  She was apologizing for her chicken coming on to our property.  I don't really know how she could have stopped it.

The lady was rather large and could not move too quickly.  Antonio and I began to chase this chicken.  I can honestly say that was a first for me.  We were not too successful in catching the chicken.  That chicken was fast.  Antonio finally  ran the chicken off the property back toward its home.  The lady left. 

Antonio and I started laughing.  In a few minutes the chicken came back and Antonio chased him off again.

Every day is a brand new experience.


Thursday, March 17, 2011


The kids started back to school on February 15.  There has not been one single week yet that they have gone the whole week. Some weeks they go every other day.  One week they went Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  This week they went Monday.  We only hope and pray they return to school on Monday.

The teachers are striking most of the time.  Once in a while school is canceled so the teachers can have a meeting. All at the expense of children's education.  Some years school is held less than 100 days.  Yet in November, everyone is moved to the next grade. 

I hope things settle down with the strikes and the teachers decide to teach so the children can learn.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Welcome To Honduras

I know I say that frequently.  But, yesterday was one of those days.  It always happens when a group is here.  Any group.  Every group.

Byron had a little fender bender.  The lumber truck broke down. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.  Sometimes it would be easy to become frustrated with all of this.

Last night in devo as we listened to the stories from the hospital and the VBS, we knew, without a doubt, it had been another great day in Honduras.  In addition, two families had new houses at the end of the day.

We know some of the things that happened yesterday were Honduras things, but part of it was the devil trying to slow down this spring break group.  And God reigned victoriously yesterday.  He always does.


Monday, March 14, 2011

I Hate Goodbyes

As one incredibly exciting week is beginning, another exciting week is closing.  We have had some dear friends here with us for one week.  Last Monday began a week of  daily hugs from our friends.  Of laughter, of tears, of praying together, of sharing together, of working together and some girl time and some guy time.  And it passed way too quickly.

As anyone knows that regularly reads this blog, I hate goodbyes.  I always cry when I say good-bye to the kids and the grandgirls.  I cried when I left my mom  a couple of weeks ago.  This morning, Donna and I started crying before we left Casa.  By the time it was time for Jim and Donna to go through security, she and I were a mess.  I hate having to say good-bye.  It seems to get harder the older I get.

As much as I hate saying good-bye, I know I am blessed to have people in my life that I miss so much when I am not with them that it brings tears to my eyes when I say good-bye.  And I am blessed beyond measure because I have many, many friends and family that I do miss that much.  Still, I wish it was just a bit easier to say good-bye.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Break

Yay!  Spring break is here.  I have noticed a lot of people have posted that on facebook.  I second that. 

Over the last two days 74 people have arrived.  Sixty nine of them are between the ages of 18 and 29.  We have students here from Harding, Abilene Christrian, Freed Hardeman and the group from Lubbock is made up of students from Lubbock Christian, Texas Tech, and South Plains.  Already one house has been built and one house partially painted.

These students have chosen to spend their spring break making a difference in Honduras.  They have arrived as eager as they can be, enthusiastic and full of energy.  It will be amazing to see what happens this week.

Seven more houses will be built.  They will work in feeding centers and daycare centers.  There will be Vacation Bible Schools and evangelism teams in Moa Loa.  The hospital will be visited.  And the blind school.  They will feed in the dump every single day.  The Casa kids will be loved on.

Yay!  It is finally spring break and another amazing week in Honduras.


March 13

March 12, 2000 was, without a doubt, the worst day of my life.  Our soon-to-be 20 year old son, our firstborn, Ryan was killed in a car accident.  The days that followed were not much better.

Every year as March 12 rolls around, I grieve hard.  Yesterday was no exception.  I talked to both of the kids.  They weren't having any better of a day than I was.  I have a good friend here visiting me.  She occupied me and my mind a good part of the day so that I didn't cry all day, just most of it. 

Last night I went to bed at 9:30.  My eyes and head hurt.  I was sure I would never sleep.  But I did.  I slept well.

After March 12 always comes March 13. Our anniversary.  Today, Marc and I have been married 35 years.  Thirty-five years.  That is a long time.  That is 65% of our lives.  What a journey it has been.  A journey filled with laughter and tears.  Joy and pain.  Life and death.  Hopes and dreams, some fulfulled, some not. 

We have held each other's hands as we passed through the fire.  And, together, we have emerged a little stronger each time. We have shared the joys and heartaches of raising three children and now sharing the unimaginable joys of grandgirls. 

Oh yes, today will be much better than yesterday.  Happy anniversary Marc.  I love you.  Today, as we celebrate thirty five years together, our nephew, Jay and his wife celebrate their first anniversary.  Happy anniversary  Jay and Ashlee.


Friday, March 11, 2011

The T Shirt Shop

Every year we order t-shirts to sell in the Casa de Esperanza store.  And every year it is an experience.

One year we ordered 150 grey t-shirts in a variety of sizes.  We received the shirts mid-week the week the last group was here.  Since they were dated that was a problem, but I thought I could probably sell a good portion of them.  Until I discovered there was only 95 instead of 150 and they were all mediums. 

I generally receive the number I order, but not the sizes I order.  Or if I order blue, the smalls may be one shade of blue, the mediums another shade of blue, the larges yet another shade.  I cannot imagine that ever being ok in the States.  When ordering t-shirts, I am reminded frequently that I am not in the States and it is what it is.

Last year Dorian ordered t-shirts for the Santa Ana youth rally.  They were a good price,  a good quality, he got what he ordered, and he even got them to hand out at the youth rally, not three weeks after.

We decided to try Dorian's t-shirt person.  Marc followed Dorian's directions perfectly.  The only problem was Dorian gave the directions from one direction and we were coming from the other.  But once we got that
little issue resolved, we found the t-shirt shop. 

I expected to see a place to make the screens, and maybe one station to screen and then a dryer.  What we saw when we walked in was pile and piles of scrap t-shirt fabric, several people tracing around a cardboard pattern onto the fabric and then cutting a couple of shirts at a time and about six sewing machines going as fast as they could.  This shop not only screens the shirts, but makes them as well.  It was a messy little shop, but very busy. 

I was fascinated by the piles of fabric on the floor, by the busyness, and by how fast things were being produced.  I would have liked to have found out more about the shop.  Like how many people are employed, how many t-shirts they produce each day, how often, if ever, they clean out all that scrap fabric.

Marc went into the back room with the owner and placed our order.  I didn't see any screening equipment, but I guess (I hope) it was next door or something. 

Marc ordered more than 100 shirts.  He was told they would be ready maybe this week, or Monday for sure.  This is Honduras.  I will believe that only when I see it.


I am always glad to see people at work.  And glad to see how things are done in Honduras.  It usually far different than the ways I know of things being done in the States.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Amazing Grace

How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.

Yesterday, for the first time in a long time, I went to the dump with Marc.  Unfortunately, there is still hundreds people working and living in the dump.  Still scrounging for food with the buzzards.  Still hungry.  Still dirty.  Most of the people were glad to see Marc.  A group from West Virginia joined us to help feed.

After everyone had been fed, we, the Americans that had fed and the Hondurans that had been fed, circled up, and joined hands.  We sang two songs and were led in prayer.  The first song we sang was Amazing Grace.  I cried as I sang the words and looked about me.  The only hope most of these people in the dump have is God's amazing grace.  And before God's amazing grace saved me I was just as filthy and unclean as those people in the dump.

Thank God for  that amazing grace.


Sunday, March 6, 2011


In many things I have to be intentional.  I am in intentional about putting my change in my purse.  And my Pricesmart card, my debit card and things like that.  I am intentional about having a place for all the receipts so that when I get home I have them all.

About 98% of the time, I am intentional in reading my Bible daily.  And when I walk of a morning, it is because I have been intentional about it and planned it into my day the night before.

Sometimes, I am not so intentional.  I am not intentional about where I put my keys and spend a great deal of time looking for them. 

Recently, I realize I was not as intentional as I should have been about telling something. 

I have spent a lot of time this past week thinking about that word, intentional.  Are we as intentional as we should be about telling of God's love for us and the saving grace of Jesus Christ?  I am not.  Oh yes, when the opportunity slaps me in the face, I take the opportunity.  But I am not intentional about it.  I am not ashamed of that good news.  I just don't always look for the opportunity but wait for the opportunity to look for me.

Dear God,  this week I want to be intentional in everything I do, especially sharing the good news of Your Son, a risen, living saviour.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Get Out Of The Sun, Have A Seat

Today was a day full of errands.  I let them accumulate in order to save a trip to town.  The last errand on the list was the market.  I handed my fruit and vegetable list to the lady.  I then went to several other vendors to buy cheese, matches, vanilla, brooms and mops.  I returned before she finished my list.

Most Hondurans, as brown as they are, worry about being in the sun too much.  They certainly worry about my pale skin.  The lady from which I buy my fruits and vegetables told to come on into her stall and get out of the sun.  I was fine where I was, but she really wanted me to come in.  I can offend someone without trying and I really hate to do it on purpose.  No one likes to be refused when they are trying to do something for someone else.  I walked around and entered her stall.  She pulled out a milk crate and motioned for me to have a seat.  She then grabbed her son's jacket and threw on the top saying she didn't want me to get dirty.

I sat down on the milk crate, not knowing if I would ever be able to get up from something as low as a milk crate.  My order took a lot longer today than usual.  It was hot in the sun.  Without the breeze blowing, it was also hot under that plastic tarp.  But I sat.  I am one of the few gringas at the market anyway.  I felt really conspicuous sitting on a milk crate inside the stall.  I don't think anyone was paying attention to me any way.

I sat there and observed the busyness of the market.  Heard people conversing with one another.  A breeze blew threw once in a while.  That was nice.  And it was nice to sit for a few minutes. 

A simple act of kindess can brighten anyone's day.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011


After many, many prayers, we have hired a new houseparent.  Marc arrived from Choluteca with Miriam yesterday at supper time.  Even though she was probably tired, she went into the kitchen and started helping Kathy serve the kids.  She was ready to work this morning.  Miriam made the statement to Karen that she already felt comfortable around Dilcia.  Who wouldn't feel comfortable around Dilcia.?

Miriam has 15 years experience working in children's homes.  Because of that and her eagerness to work, we probably will be able to take more kids soon.  Really soon.

Please pray that this transition will go smoothly and that we will be able to rescue more kids.