Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dedication Of The Darryl Jinkerson Memorial Mission House

Years ago, while living in Columbus, we came to know the Jinkersons from Starkville.  At some point in time, all of their kids came to Honduras with us.  Eventually,  Sylvia and Perry did too.  Then we moved to O'Fallon, Illinois.  The first Sunday we were there, we went to church at Fairview Heights.  We met Lee and Laverne Jinkerson, Perry's mom and dad.  And, we became friends with more Jinkersons. 

Right before we moved to Honduras, Mr. Lee died.  During that time, we met more Jinkersons.  We decided that in the summer of 2008, a memory house for Mr. Lee would be built.  Mrs. Laverne, Perry and Sylvia, Darryl and Richard and some of their kids came to Honduras that summer to build the memory house.  At the time, we got to know Darryl better and became fast friends.

Darryl was teaching business at Abilene Christian University.  He had a passion for Honduras.  Even though he taught business, he often taught his students to give.  To give their time, as well as their money.

In October of 2012, Darryl suddenly and unexpectedly died.  I just could not believe it.  Shortly after that, we began our long-in-the-dreaming-and-planning mission house.  We could not think of a better way to honor our friend than to build the mission house in his honor.  Marc talked to Cindy and she thought it was fitting. 

Cindy, Mrs. Laverne, Amanda, Perry and Sylvia, and Phil Vardiman, another professor at ACU and one of Darryl's best friends are all here this week.

I started crying when I saw Cindy.  And have cried many times since. 

Tuesday the family built a memory house for Darryl and that night we formally dedicated the mission house.  True to form, I cried some more.  It was very short, sweet, and simple.   After the mission house is completely finished, we will place a plaque on the gate.

After the dedication and prayer, we celebrated with cake.

 Marc, Cindy, Sylvia, Perry, and Amanda.  Unfortunately, Mrs. Laverne was very ill.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It Has Been Another GREAT Day In Honduras

But, not because it is my birthday.  Though, many of you made it special for me.

I changed hats many times today.  Changing hats that many times is sometimes exhausting.  The Starkville group is here.  And Borger.  The Toillions and Maria and Billie are here, too.  One group was leaving and the Jinkersons were arriving. 

The ones that were already here went to church in Santa Ana.  After church, the plan was to take the Casa kids to town to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken and then to play soccer.  As soon as church was over, my mind was racing with details.  I knew that a baptism was about to take place.  As I was thinking about getting all the kids on the bus and..., and..., and...., and..., I wasn´t thinking about the baptism or even who was being baptized.  I only walked toward the front of the church to ask someone a question.

It was at that moment I realized the person about to be baptized was Belinda, Karol and Kelin's mother.  Many of you know Karol and Kelin.  They work for Honduras Hope.  And, I believe they are the kindest, sweetest, most beautiful Christians I have ever met.  I can´t remember if it was Dorian or Noel that studied with them and baptized.  They have been part of the Santa Ana church for a long time.  Like many, their story is hard one.  And, so is the story of Belinda.  There is a lot of brokenness and hurt and heartache.  But, today all of that was wiped clean.  Erased.  Forgotten.

It was a beautiful baptism.  Karol and Kelin were crying tears of happiness.  So was I.  I am sure others were too.  I am sure the angels in heaven were rejoicing as well. 

And, that is why it was another great day in Honduras.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Indian Day

Chief Lempira is a national hero in Honduras.  Every year on July 20 every school in this country honors him.  Our kids school is no exception.

Getting 14 kids ready for school is no easy task any day, but some of them have to go in costume, it is even more difficult.  Kathy came in at 7:00 this morning to help.  Kathy worked on hair.  All the girls needed braids this morning, so, that took a while.  Pamela did makeup and I tried to make sure their chores were done.  No one wanted to do chores.  They wanted to watch other having make up done.

Even Indian princesses have to do chores.

Pamela always does a good job on makeup and everyone was beautiful when she finished.

Dilma made Guadalupe's costume.  I can´t imagine gluing all that corn on to the dress.  Many costumes were even more elaborate.

At last, all the Indians were ready to go to school.

We were late this morning.  But we weren´t the only ones.

It was a cold, windy, rainy morning.  And the program was to be outside.  What do you do when a program is scheduled to be outside and it is raining?  In Honduras, you wait for the rain to quit and start the program an hour and forty-five minutes late.  








Friday, July 19, 2013

Morning Visitors

We have kids in kindergarten through eight grade.  Someone is always needing money for school.  They are suppose to tell me the night before.  I get it ready and take it to them when I do the 6:00 medicine.  Often, someone forgets to tell me and comes running down here after devotional or after breakfast or sometimes as they are loading into the van.

Marc and I were sitting here talking, a rare event in the summer, and we could hear footsteps coming this way.  Marc said here comes one of the kids.  As they neared, I said a whole herd of kids.  I thought it was two or three.  It was a whole herd.  It was everyone.  And Karen. And Dilcia. And Dorian and Korbin.  Of course, I thought they were coming to sing happy birthday to Marc.  They were.  But, they were also coming to sing happy birthday to me since mine is Sunday.  Their sweet little voices sang to us in both spanish and english.  Then they gave us some cupcakes from Cinnabon. Thank you, Karen.

I was hugging each child, when I heard the first egg break.  Marc got it twice.  Egging on one's birthday is a Honduran tradition.

Guess what I had for breakfast?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Reina's Graduation

In March 2009, I took Reina to her first Teleton appointment.  Since that time, she has been in education classes and self-esteem classes, among other things.  She has progressed more than any of us thought she could.  Friday, Reina made her last trip to Teleton.  Friday was graduation for 53 students who had finished the program.  Most of those were too old to continue in Teleton, including Reina. 

Teleton has always emphasized making the child feel good, no matter what their abilities are.  There was a huge graduation ceremony, much like sixth grade graduation.  Only not as long.  Reina was all smiles as we left.  She was all smiles all day.

Reina has always liked going to Teleton and is a bit sad she won´t be going any more.  We are not sure what is next.  Nicole and Deborah have visited a couple of programs and there are a couple more still to visit.  In this country, it is hard to enter kids into schools and programs mid-year.  Since the third partial just began, we probably can´t do anything until February.  Until then, Reina is going to spend some one-on-one time with Deborah learning to cook.

Congratulations, Reina.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Birthday Girls

On July 11, Emma Kate turned one.  On July 20, Haley will turn 4.  On July 16, Matt and Nicole leave for the States.  The girls will have a birthday party in Baton Rouge next Saturday.  Haley wanted to have one here, too.  I was glad for that.  Today was party day.

We had a girl party.  All the Casa girls, Richard's girls and a few neighbors came.  Haley even invited the pulperia owner and she came.

Nicole had the girls dressed in matching dresses.  They were so cute.

Everyone got their nails painted.
A game of pin the bow on Minnie Mouse.

 Someone missed the board.

No party in Honduras would be complete without a piñata.  Matt bought a huge piñata of Dora. I began to hand out ziplocks for the girls to put their candy in.  Rosy told me no.  She did not need a bag.  She brought her own.
Much bigger than everyone else's ziplocks.   That girl came prepared to get a lot of candy.

Emmy went first.
Then Haley.

Everyone got then swings.  Some tried to beat poor Dora to death and no one could make the candy fall.
After everyone had tried, unsuccessfully, Nicole hit Dora until she broke it open and the candy fell.
And, then there was girls all over the floor.

Haley and her bag of candy.

We had a few uninvited guests,

but Poppy ran them off with his broom

The birthday girls and their cake.

It is a Honduran tradition to have a little frosting put on your nose.
Haley got the first piece of cake.

Birthday girls enjoying their cake.

Haley made sure Baby Sister got her cake.

Soon Emmy began to feed herself.  She loved it.
Another great day in Honduras.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

And A Little Child Shall Lead Them (Us)

I think I said that recently on this blog, but it happens frequently that a child sets an example we all should be following.

Our sweet Camille really needed to talk to Marc after he was robbed.  She said, "Poppy, I cried when I found out you were robbed.  I cried when I found out the money was for people's houses and they would not get a house.  Poppy, I want to give all my savings to help those people get a house."

I cried when I found out Marc was robbed.  I cried when I saw the wrecked vehicle.  I cried when I found out how much money Marc had and that is was for houses.  I cried when our sweet little granddaughter gave her whole savings account.

And a little child shall lead us.

Thanking God for sweet Camille and for everyone who gave to replace that stolen money.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I am teaching three of the kids to work in the store.  Ana is one of them.  Ana helped some in the store last summer.  She can wrap well.  And stock shelves.  And haul things to and from the car.  She has had a terrible time making change.

The rules for the kids to work in the store are:
1) they have to have passing grades
2) they have to have their homework done
3) they have to be polite to the customers
4) the cannot steal

I would never worry about Ana stealing.  She is always polite to the customers.  She barely has passing grades.  She wants to work so badly that she lies about having her homework done.  Two different times I have had to take her home when Karen discovered her homework was not done, or maybe even started.  The first time this happened, she cried and was so sorry.  I was shocked when it happened again.  The second time I told her she could not work for a whole week. 

Last week, after her week of punishment was over, she was not good help.  If we got busy, she would disappear.  I would be busy and Ana would be gone.  Nicole would go find her and I could her Nicole say Ana you are suppose to be working, not playing.   I was getting frustrated with her and was ready to tell her she could not work any more. 

Last night was Ana's turn to work.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, we arrived at the mission house much later than normal.  We had to unload the car and move things and stock things.  The group was already back and needing ice cream.   I do not like to keep customers waiting.  Ana did what she does best.  She helped unload the car and move things.  This was good.  It was what I needed.

As the night went on, we were very busy.  Ana stayed.  She did not bolt on me.  She wrapped lenca and other breakables.  She did much better at making change.  It was 10:00 before we were ready to close the store, which is quite late.  Ana was rubbing her eyes and was tired.  But she did not complain. 

We had to stock the coke machine and move some things back inside the store.  She did one thing and I did the other. 

I was so proud of the way she worked last night.  And, I told her so.  She agreed with me and told me she knew that she had worked harder and better last night.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Clinics, Carnivals and Bicycles

This week most of the group is from Childress, Texas.  They built six houses, among other things.  There are three doctors and one dentist in this group.  By the time they leave on Monday, there will have been three clinics in three different villages.  Hundreds of poor people needing medical and dental care will have been served. 

Yesterday was a different kind of day.  The group held a carnival for the kids that go to school at AFE.  The parents of these children work in the dump.  These children have no extras and the carnival was great fun.  There were several games.  The children earned tickets with which to they could buy prizes.  Among the prizes was pizza.  Also, included in the prizes were underwear, blankets, and sheets.  When you think of the toys that were available to buy with the tickets, it is pretty sad to think about the underwear, blankets and sheets were the first prizes to be purchased.  One little one bought a blanket for his brother.  One little girl bought a piece of pizza.  And then she came back to buy another piece of pizza.  But this time, she gave it to the cafeteria worker at the school.  And a little child shall lead them.  Or lead us.  These children do not have anything and, yet, they were willing to share with someone, who in their eyes, had less than them.

Recently, three more of Heidy, Melissa, and Lizeth's relatives have come to live with them.  These children are 8, 10, and 12 and were living in a very unhealthy situation.  Their mother is in Mexico and is not very motherly. 

Antonio is 8.  Yesterday was his birthday.  He had said he wanted a bicycle more than anything in the world.  The group decided to buy bicycles for all three of the kids and for Jose Carlos as well. 

The bicycles were placed in the dining hall.  Antonio was brought inside.  The whole group started singing happy birthday.  Antonio was in Marc's arms, with a big smile on his face.

All he would have had to do is turn his head slightly and he would have seen the bicycle.  But, he was enjoying the singing so much, he never looked at the bicycle.  At the end of the song, Marc turned and showed him the bicycle.  We only thought he had a big smile during the singing. 

And then, little Cindy, the 10-year old was shown her new bicycle.   More smiles.

Gaby was also very happy with her bicycle.  Antonio and Cindy got on their bikes and took off.  It was fun to see. 

It has been another great week in Honduras.

Friday, July 5, 2013

June Newsletter

Making a difference, one child at a time
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705

Amigos de Casa,

I hope you are staying cool this hot summer. We are, once again, in the rainy season with very cool nights and warming some in the day.

The kids have finished the second partial of this school year and we are waiting on grades. There are always some that surprise with good grades and always some that need to spend more time studying.

In May, Fernando was tested again in Teleton and passed. There was a simple graduation ceremony. Reina, because of her age, is also finishing at Teleton. Her graduation will be July 12. We are looking for another program in which to place her. Nicole has visited a couple of places and still has two more to visit; one of those sounds promising. Yair has been placed in more classes at Teleton for speech therapy and motor skills. One of them meets every day. How thankful we are to have an employee that does these Teleton appointments.

Teleton and/or IHNFA has requested vision tests for Josue and Olman and hearing tests for Josue and Yair. As we are seeking the places to have this done for such young children, please join us in prayer that all is well with vision and hearing.

Josue is in physical therapy and a class for motor skills. He is not walking on his own yet and is not talking, but daily improvements are being made. He has been sick. He is so little and frail. Any little sickness causes us to worry about him. Please continue to pray for this little guy.

Through a series of events and new laws, we have had to have pictures made of the children who had not seen their parents in six months or more. Those pictures were then posted in the paper. After all these years, Rosy and Sisi's parents surfaced. IHNFA called and wanted Karen to allow the parents to visit even if it was not regular visitation day. I am not sure how anyone else felt, but I was extremely apprehensive about this visit. Both of the girls, especially Sisi, were happy to see the parents. Both of the girls made it clear to us that they did not want to leave here. We did not need to worry about that 

happening. The parents live in Yoro, a ways from here. The mother made no promises to return and the dad said he would be back for visitation each month. I hope and pray that he comes back. Sisi has spent many hours crying and wondering why her mother never came to see her. Now the mother has been once. I am not sure what this will do to Sisi. It might be a good thing for her and it might not be.

And speaking of Rosy, we are trying to get Rosy into town once a month to go to the deaf church. We believe the kids spiritual well-being is as important as their educational and physical well-being. Since Rosy is completely deaf, sitting in church is not giving her any spiritual instruction. I loved watching her as she signed the songs with a big smile on her face.

The new Honduras Hope mission house has opened. All Honduras Hope missions teams, and hopefully other teams, will be housed there. The income from this mission house will sustain the new campus of Casa de Esperanza that we hope to open in early 2014. This campus will house girls that are a bit older.

At the mission house, a new store for Casa de Esperanza was built. It is bigger. It has more light. It has windows, meaning it has some air circulation. Bigger and better means more product, which we hope means more income with which to support these children. Without the income from the store, it would be very difficult to give the level of care we give, especially to those children that have special physical or educational needs.

Our desire is to be able to teach all of the kids on both campuses to do something before they leave here. Brayan, Jackson and Ana are learning to work in the store. They are working hard. Brayan is learning in all areas well. Jackson is waiting on customers and making change well. Ana is not quite so good with making change yet, but she can clean and stock and haul and help arrange the items on the shelf. I am proud of all three of them.

The groups mean a lot of visitors coming to Casa. The children have already been treated to two outings, a movie and pizza. Outings are fun for us.

In addition to the outings, we get some work done that needs to be done, saving us both time and money. For one group, our friends from Columbus, Mississippi, the work involved building something for the kids, a brand new play area.

Initally, the group had some setbacks and some “welcome to Honduras” moments. But the new playground was finished just in time for a week out of school. It is being enjoyed by everyone. Thank you, Columbus.

Your partnership through prayer, encouragement, and financial support is very important to us. Don't stop praying.

If you have questions or concerns about Casa de Esperanza, please email me at And, please feel free to share this newsletter.