Friday, April 29, 2011

Laughing In The Rain

We have seen a few days of rain, thus ending the dry season.  Praise God.

Today is one of those days for rain.  I waited until it slowed a bit and I had to run up to Casa to take something to Dilma.  Pamela, Daniela and Cindy were standing on the back porch, fully dressed, with their heads lathered up with shampoo. They were having fun, laughing and washing their hair.  Those girls were having so much fun and saving a little bit of precious water in the process.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dump Day Is One Week Away

Today Marc and Nicole and others fed a hot meal of beans, rice and tortillas to the people that live and work in the Tegucigalpa dump.  It is an existence none of us can imagine.  Next week, again Marc will take food to the people at the dump. 

All day Wednesday,May 4,  we will be raising money that will allow us to continue to feed hot meals for another year.  You can follow this on our friend Trey Morgan's blog at  Several of us will fast for 30 hours.  We will also be praying.  If you can, please join this fast.  And, please pray with us.

For the first 200 people that make a donation of $150.00 or more, you will receive a signed and numbered print of the above picture.  This painting was done by Chastity Giles Henry.  She has never been to the dump but painted this from a photograph Marc had.  Number one is already gone.

Please remember dump day on May 4.  Donations can be sent to:
Honduras Hope
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Field Trip

Before the children got out of school for Holy Week, we knew they would be having a field trip today.  I thought the second through sixth graders would be going to Chiminique, an interactive children's museum.  Yesterday, I found out the first graders were going, too.   Everyone had to be at  school at 7:30 this morning.  That is 30 minutes earlier than normal.  I told everyone devo was at 5:30 and I would start getting them up at 5:10.  No one complained, but maybe Dilcia.  She didn't really complain, just gave a little wincing smile. 

When I got there this morning, Brayan and Antonio were bathing in the pila.  It was 5:00 in the morning and it was cold.  They were having a grand time and going to look their best today.  At 5:10, I went into the girls' room and I was met my Cindy with her uniform on and her hair fixed.  As soon as I said buenos dias, the other girls began to eagerly jump out of bed, a very rare event.

Everyone was in their uniforms and sitting in devo and we started at exactly 5:30.  For some strange reason, no one had to be told twice to do chores this morning.  Every single one of them was ready to leave about ten minutes til seven.  The gate had already been opened.  They were saying let's go, we are ready.  Marc came walking around the corner at 7:00.  They all jumped in the van and left.  It was definitely the smoothest morning I have seen in a long time.

I wish I could tell you about the wonderful time I am sure they had, but Nicole, Haley and I left on a little field trip of our own.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Lightning Bugs

Saturday night Nadia was off and I slept in the house with the kids.  When it was bedtime, I went with the boys to put them to bed and Dilma went with the girls.  When I put the boys to bed, I usually talk with them a few minutes and then after we turn the light out, I let them talk a few minutes and squirm and wiggle.  It usually helps them go to sleep faster if I am not too strict those first few minutes.

They kept turning the lights off before I was ready.  Since I wasn't ready, I would turn the light back on.  I could not imagine them being that tired even after the outing to the park.  When I finally left the light off, they said."look Terri a lightning bug."  I thought it would not hurt anything if we watched it for a few minutes.

It was definitely a bug and it was definitely flashing neon green, but it was doing some pretty strange things for a lightning bug. In a minute there was two.  One maybe.  But I was doubtful of two inside the house.  Then there was four.  I am thinking,"what did they do, go outside and catch a bunch of lightning bugs and bring into the house for their nighttime entertainment.  The boys are getting really wound up, and not settling down.

I began to say this is enough.  I was going to catch the bugs and take them outside.  Antonio said here is the rest Terri.  I am wondering the rest of what.  I walked over to his bed and he handed me a broken glow stick.  It is the season for bugs and there are plenty in the house.  Those little jokesters broke a glow stick and put on the bugs.  We had watched those stupid little bugs that fly into walls and kill themselves flashing neon green.

Yes, this is a "yay for the stupid kid" story and I was  the stupid kid.  It was funny.  And no, there is never a dull moment around here.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

El Dia Del Campo

All of Central America is out of school and off work during Holy Week.  Our children have been out of school, but still had lots of homework and we have been functioning since Thursday with  a severely reduced staff.  I decided early in week we would do something fun today.  I just did not tell the kids until this morning.
After devo, I said we would eat, do chores, pick up the trash all over the campus and then go to the park for "el dia de campo" or a picnic.  There were shouts of excitement. 

I was so tired.  I did not want to threaten anyone that they could not go if they did not behave.  I did not have the staff for one adult to stay back with the misbehaving child or children.  Fortunately, everyone did chores, helped pick up trash and was good this morning.

Matt, Nicole and I left around 11:20 with nineteen children.  Pamela did not go, but Haley did. We walked to the park.  It was a pleasant day and, to me, the excited laughter and talking of the children was a pleasant sound.  Matt was with the faster ones.  Nicole and I brought up the rear with Haley, Josue, Maryuri, Reina and a few others.

It has been a while since the children have been to the park.  Some of the seesaws and swings were broken.  But the slide and monkey bars were huge hits.  There were three inflatable swimming pools set up today in which people could pay to play.  Of course, our kids wanted to swim.  I was up to a couple of hours in the park, but not the pool.  Besides that, I didn't bring any money with me.  Thankfully.  Most of the children stood up as near the pools as they could get and watched.  That was their choice.  Others chose to play as hard as they could. 

Mr. No-Fear Josue was everywhere, causing my heart to stop once when he climbed to the top of the big slide, stood up and let go of everything.  He thought he was brave.

Grammy just had to put this one in.  Don't worry.  Someone held her every second of the way down.  

Elvia cooked a great meal for us and Marc showed up with the food around 12:30.  The kids went running to his car yelling and screaming like they had never seen food.  After a prayer, we ate and played some more.   We walked back home.  We quickly brushed teeth and I got those under ten down for their naps.  Most went to sleep very quickly. 

The greeting-the-food committee

Jackson chose to eat lunch on top of the monkey bars

We all had fun today.  It was a great day for "el dia del campo.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Casa Kids Have A New Toy...

and her name is Haley Grace.  Seventeen of the kids and I rushed Matt, Haley, and Nicole as Marc drove in the gate yesterday.  The kids here, especially the girls, love Haley.  They want to hold her hand, carry her, help her up the stairs, help her down the stairs.  Being the good-natured child she is, Haley allows it but would prefer to do it herself as any almost two year old would.

Of course, Grammy is enjoying every minute of every day.

Nicole, being our daughter, must have inherited the adventures in travel that Marc and I seem to have.  They were delayed and had quite the adventure, but they are here now and that is all that matters.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dump Day 2011

Today is Wednesday.  Over two hundred people at the Tegucigalpa city dump were fed today.  For some it is the only meal they will have today.  For others, it may very well be the only meal they have this week. 

Last year you fasted and prayed with us and many of you generously opened your wallets to provide funding for us to feed those scavaging with the buzzards to find daily food.  You made a difference.  We also provide milk to some of the mothers to give their children as long as they keep the children out of the dump.

This year we are preparing for another dump day so that we can feed those people another year.   As we have seen food prices soar, and minimum wage to be increased by a huge amount, causing people to lose their jobs, we might see an increase in the number of people turning to the last resort, the dump.

Please join us on May 4 as we fast and pray for this ministry.  Any donations can be sent to:
Honduras Hope
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705


Monday, April 18, 2011

Working On The Farm

The dream of aquaponics farm is starting to become a reality.  After a year or so, this will be a self-sustaining project, producing tons of food each year.  This project will eventually hire some of the people working in the dump, thus freeing them from that.  There will be both fish and vegetables grown on this farm and I don't understand how all of this works together, but it does.  Some of these projects exist in the U.S. and other places as well. 

It will be a long time before we see any results of this project led by Nathan Hale and Andy Hubright.  But work began today.  A group from Murfreesboro, Tennessee is here.  First things first.  They began today by building a latrine.

When I saw them at supper tonight, they were tired and dirty.  Really dirty.  But no one was complaining.  Everyone that is here is glad to be part of this project.

Please pray for this project and all the workers that will be working on  it.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another Good Day In Honduras--Wal-Mart Has Arrived

Wal-Mart has come to Honduras, specifically, Wal-Mart has come to Tegucigalpa.  Since I was in town today, I had to check it out.  It is not as good as a Wal-Mart in the U.S., but it is definitely an improvement over what we had.  And, today, it was much too busy for me to even consider buying anything and standing in line. 

I did not check out everything, but I saw some really cute little girl clothes that Grammy may have to buy for a certain someone after she arrives next week.  There will be no late night runs to Wal-Mart, not that I would make a late night run to Tegucigalpa anyway unless it was an extreme emergency, since it closes early like everything else.  But, I think I can get my Wal-Mart fix every now and then.

Truly a good day in Honduras.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Another Honduran Story

We are nearing the end of another hot, smoky dry season.  At least, we hope we are nearing the end.  The water from the city does not come every day like it does in the U.S.  Sometimes, it only comes once every eight days.  That is not enough for a children's home and we have to have water trucked in. 

In addition to the water not coming very often, one of the city pipes near our gate got broken by a dump truck.  Therefore, even when the city water came through, we were not getting any.  Neither were our neighbors.  Pamela said she was out.  Dennis said his family was out, as were many others.

Today, Dennis went to find out when the pipe might be fixed.  He was told no one knew because the city did not have the money to buy the parts.  Marc told Dennis to make a list of what was needed and one of us would go buy the parts.  One little part was all that was needed.  It cost 35 lempiras, or $1.85.  And some of you think, your city is broke.  We gladly purchased it.  And I don't think the city will reimburse us.

Dennis, not one of the city employees, then went out in the street to work on the pipe.  After Brayan and Antonio finished their homework, Dennis asked if they could come help and I said yes.  The three of them worked all afternoon.  When the boys came in for showers, they were really dirty.  But Brayan was beaming from ear to ear.  He was quite proud of himself.

Shortly after 8:00, the city water began to come through.  We should have full tanks in the morning.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Getting Home From School

For various reasons, today I to bring twelve of the kids home from school in the trooper.  It was doable, but I sure don't want to go very far with that many kids in one car. 

Pamela and Katty were in the front seat with me, the other five girls were in the back seat and the five boys were in the back.  As soon as all the boys were in, I got out of the car and shut the door.  I did not want anyone to get out for any reason.  Then when the five girls were in the back seat, we shut another door. 

When everyone was in the car, it was very cozy in there.  It as hot and all the windows were down.  As we came through down, the kids had to say hello and good-bye to everyone we passed. I am sure we could be heard from one end of town to the other.  Then they made good and sure Dilma heard us as we passed her house.

We were in really close quarters and there was a couple of little scuffles, but nothing serious.  By the time we got home, even with the windows down, all of us were sweating.  The kids baled out of that car and went running for the house.  One of the employees thought I was insane for having them all in one car.  But I really did not have a choice.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tears, Tears, And More Tears

Today Karen and Dorian left for a month in the States.  This is a much needed break for them.  Karen is mommy.  She has left several times and always, always comes back. 

All the kids were hugging her bye and Cindy started crying.  Then Sisi.  Then Ana.  Pamela had the tears at the edge of her eyes and was fighting to keep them from spilling over.  Cindy, Sisi, and Ana were all hugging Karen and the crying was getting more intense.  I began to hug them and try to move them toward the church building.  I took Cindy's hand.  She took Sisi's hand and Sisi took Ana's hand and we started to church.  With all the sobbing and weeping, one would have thought we were going to a funeral. 

We got to church and there was Dorian.  The girls broke from me and went to hug Dorian.  That only resulted in more tears.  I got them seated and was trying to comfort all three of them.  Things were settling down when Alex said he would be preaching for the next few weeks because Karen and Dorian were gone.  With that little cue, the girls began weeping again.  About twenty minutes later, Katy walked up to me and she started crying.  I picked her up and put her in my lap.

And if I thought Karen was not coming back, I would be crying that hard, too.  Or harder.

When the kids left for class, I thought they would be horrible this morning.  Kelin said they all behaved very well.  I guess they depressed themselves right into good behavior. 

Karen is a good mommy and I know they will miss her.  I know they were sad.  But this got to the point of almost being funny this morning.

Karen, we will miss you.  Don't worry about us and enjoy this much needed time with family and friends.


Saturday, April 9, 2011


Yesterday I found out we were having guests today.  And we like to have guests.  A ladies' group from a church in Tegucigalpa came out this morning.  They brought a party with them.

They began the morning with a prayer.  Then we sang a few songs and played some games.


Playing a game called "Change your house"

After a couple of games there was a popsicle for everyone.  I was glad to have that popsicle as it was hot today.  The kids played musical chairs, had relays, and other games.  In addition to popsicles, they also had marshmallows and candy.  Notice a pattern here, sugar.

As fun as all this was, there was a bulldozer in the alley and the boys had to keep running over to watch the bulldozer.  It is hard for boys not to watch that bulldozer.  After a few games, there was a pinata.  The kids always love a pinata.

The mighty Lupe at the bat.

Lupe looked like she was playing baseball.  Maryuri tried to beat the pinata to death and Nohemi finally broke it.  She kept hitting the pinata after it broke, while everyone else was diving for candy.  When she realized she didn't get any candy, she cried.  Several shared with her and then everyone received a whole bag of candy.

After popsicles, marshmallows, and candy, a lunch of chicken hamburgers was served, complete with lots and lots of soda.  Followed by cake. 
Eating hamburgers

Sometimes it is hard to get all the cake in  your mouth and it ends up other places.

When it was time for the ladies to leave, our children stood and sang "We Love You With The Love Of The Lord".  Then another prayer was said.  The lady prayed for the children and the staff.  It was so sweet.  There might have been a tear in my eye.  But I noticed some of the other ladies might have had a tear or two as well.

It was a wonderful morning.  I was sure glad I was not on nap duty this afternoon.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Yay Sisi

March 9, 2009, just a little over two years ago we started Sisi in Teleton.  At the time, Sisi was in first grade.  It was obvious Sisi was just not getting it.  She wasn't getting anything, not math, not reading, not writing.  March is still early in the school year and we kept hoping and praying that something would click.  It didn't.

Even with the Teleton classes, Karen decided Sisi should repeat first grade.  Last year Sisi had a much better year and when it was all said and done, she had the second highest average in the class.  And we continued to take her to Teleton.

This year Sisi is in second grade and doing well.  I watch her at homework time.  She gets her books and does the homework.  She does it neatly and usually quickly.

Today, we had an appointment at Teleton.  Instead of a 30 minute appointment, it was a little over an hour.  The teacher was testing her.  When the teacher called me in, she said Sisi could listen well, read well, write well, and copy well.  The teacher also said there was no need to bring her to Teleton any more.  I was happy.

Sisi likes to go to Teleton.  I was not sure Sisi would be as happy as I was.  I told her she did not have to come any more and she smiled a great big smile. 

Since we were in town, I explained to Sisi we were going to Larach and buy a couple of things some of the kids needed for school.  She said "I like Larach."  Whether or not Sisi has ever been to Larach is unknown.  She was excited to be in there and look.  She was good and did not touch a thing.

I explained to her that I usually do not buy something every time we go to Tegucigalpa but today was a very special day.  She knows I don't buy every time we go to town because she asks almost every time we go to town.  She began to smile before I even finished telling this story.  She knew exactly what I was saying.

I bought her a pepsi and some cookies.  She gave me one cookie.  She ate a few and then said she wanted to save the others for Lupe and Adonis.  How sweet is that. 

Let's pray that Sisi continues to do well in school.   Yay Sisi for a job well done.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Everyone of us has some thing or things we call luxuries.  Since water is a valuable resource in Honduras, for me it is soaking in a hot bath.  I get to do that when I am in the States.  There are a few items I can't get in Honduras that are luxuries when I am in the States.

For most of us, our necessities are luxuries for most of the world. 

Marc met two young ladies, ages 18 and 20.  One of them has a baby and the two of them are trying to take care of this baby.  They  have nothing.  We like to help people and we do not like to just hand out money.  Marc took these two young ladies to the grocery store and let them get what they needed.  Before they put anything in the basket they asked if it would be ok first.

They chose staples like beans, rice and sugar.  They were extremely happy about the sugar.  To me sugar is not a luxury.  It is a necessity.  I would give up coffee and tea without it.  They also chose some spaghetti and spaghetti sauce.  Then the things they chose should make us all stop and count our blessings.  They asked if they could buy some toothpaste.  And soap to wash their clothes on the pila.  And some white bread.  To me white bread, is neither a luxury or a necessity.  I can take or leave it, but to them this was luxury.  All they wanted to put on the white bread was mayonnaise.  Marc asked if they would like some bologna, too.  They said said that was more than they were expecting.  They would have been really happy with white bread and mayonnaise.  Can any one of us say the same thing?  Not me.  I think I would be pretty cranky if that is all I had to eat.

I know it is only the first week of April, not the time of the year we think about being thankful, but perhaps it is time to stop and thank God that we have toothpaste and white bread and a pantry full of food.  And for all the other necessities we have that most of the world thinks of as luxuries.  Very luxorious luxuries.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

The State Of This Nation

The headline news in Honduras these days is not very rosy.

The nation is in the dry season which began in October last year.  The dry season will last another 4-6 weeks.  We hope that is all it lasts.  There are fifteen villages near Tegucigalpa that are out of water.  They have none, not a drop.  People that can find and/or afford water are having to haul it long distances.  They haul it whatever containers they can find, in buckets on their heads, milk jugs.  Whatever.  And it may or may not be clean water.  But desperate people do desperate things. That fifteen villages are the ones near Tegucigalpa only.  Many more villages in this country are also without water.  People are thirsty and dirty.

We, at Casa de Esperanza, have seen some days without water.  Usually a day here or day there.  It could get worse before it gets better.

In other news, the price of beans is high. The price of rice is high.  Other staples are high also.  Gasoline is $4.35 a gallon and going up every week.  Electricity rates are going up 24%.  Ouch.  Mandatory health insurance is going up for both the employee and the employer.  And minimum wage is going up by about 10%.  People in this country need to make more money.  No argument here.  But minimum wage cannot go up 10% at one time, retroactive to January 1.  In a country where there is already 30% unemployment, hundreds, thousands, or maybe even tens of thousands will lose their jobs because employers cannot afford that much increase at once.   We are already seeing more street vendors and beggars.  This increase will be great for those who get to keep their job and devastating for those who don't.

The never ending news concerns the never ending teachers' strikes.  Our children have missed more days of school that they have attended this year.  The minimum wage for teachers is already higher than it is for other employees.  Over the last ten years, the teachers have worked an average of 140 days a year.  They are now asking parents to support them.  I am thinking that people that make huge sacrifices to buy a school uniform and school supplies are not going to support the people that are not educating their children. 

The strikes have become more than just protests or blocking traffic.  On more than one occasion, the teachers have become violent.  Three years ago during the political crisis, there was grafitti everywhere.  That is nearly cleaned up and the teachers have started grafitting again.  And throwing molotov cocktails.  They tried to set fire to a gas station last week.  The water truck that was being used to put out the fire was also used to give some teachers a nice bath. 

On the days the teachers strike, there is huge traffic jams and problems in town.  Last week, there was an ultimatum that if the teachers missed more than 10 days of school, the would be suspended.  Of course, they didn't miss 10.  They taught Monday and Tuesday and missed Wednesday, with strikes all over town.  Our kids went to school 3 days last week, which is one of the better weeks.

There is suppose to be a huge strike and mess in town tomorrow.  Another ulitmatum was issued: if the teachers don't teach tomorrow, they will be suspended without pay for a year.  Guess what, there is school tomorrow, but I would be surprised if there is Tuesday without another ulitmatum. 

This is so sad.  They cycle of poverty will never be broken without educating the children.

I am sorry this is so bleak, but this is the world in which we live.


Saturday, April 2, 2011


Isn't she beautiful?  Cindy will be 10 in July.  She has lived here at Casa for 4 1/2 years.  She was only five years old when she came to live here.  She came kicking, and screaming and biting and hitting and everything else you can think of.  And it did not matter who she screamed at or hit or bit or kicked.  There was no discrimination.  She had reasons not to trust anyone and biting, kicking, screaming, and hitting was her safety mechanism.  When a child acts like that, you don't know if you will ever make a difference.

All of the children need a lot of love and a lot of prayer, but some need more than others.  We pray without ceasing over this one.

We have seen so much change in Cindy.  May God alone be praised for that.

Most Saturday mornings I do devo and breakfast.  First thing this morning, even before devo, I was in the boys' room and heard the most awful racket coming from the girls' room.  I dashed in there.  Cindy and Sisi were going at it for all it was worth.  The girls told me that Sisi was hitting Maryuri, Cindy's little sister.  And Cindy was defending Maryuri.  Someone recently described Cindy as "I might be little, but I am loud and I am might and no one steps one me."  An accurate description.  "And no one steps on my little sister either."
Sisi and Cindy were pulling hair and hitting.  I grabbed one of Cindy's arms and she grabbed a handful of Sisi hair with the other hand.  I was pulling on both girls and finally got them separated.  Fire was coming from Cindy's eyes and she would have hit me just as easily as she had been hitting Sisi.  Sisi was saying it wasn't me, it wasn't me.  Well, I could see better than that. 

I removed Sisi from the room.  I gently took Cindy by the hand and led her out of the room.  I said Cindy, I love you and I love the way you try to protect your sister.  Sisi was very wrong for hitting Maryuri and you did not make that right by fighting.  When someone hits Maryuri you come get an adult.  Do not hit that person.  That is wrong.  And now you are in trouble, too.  Cindy stood there and listened to me and said she understood. I saw the fire leave her eyes and a much softer expression began to replace that angry look. I told her to go to the wall until I told her she could leave.  She went to the wall, without argument.  She stood there until I told her to leave.  I would have never imagined we would see the day that would happen. 

God is good.  All the time.  Love and prayer is making a difference in that one.