Sunday, January 19, 2014

Gulf Coast Get Away

It has been an awesome weekend.

We arrived in Panama City Beach Friday afternoon.  It was really cold and got colder before it got warmer.  Saturday morning the temperature was in the low 30's and the wind was blowing.  But inside the conference center, there was warm, sweet fellowship and worship. 

My cup was empty and it was filled over the last three days.  At least, partially filled.  We spent time with many, many friends.  The singing and lessons were great.  I really needed to hear 1600 people lift their voices in praise to the Father.

Saturday morning, Jason and Jenna gave a report  on their summer as Honduras Hope interns. 

It never did warm up enough to really enjoy the beach and, when I was not in the sessions, I was working.  This morning we decided to leave after lunch and not stay for the night session.  The Sunday night session has traditionally been the best one.  Saturday night and Sunday morning were so good, it was hard to imagine Sunday night being better.  But, I will never know.  I was quite torn about this decision.  Since, Sunday night has always been so good, I really did not  want to miss it.  On the the other hand, it is a long, long way from Panama City Beach to Borger.  Over 1100 miles.  I really wanted to be able to walk on Tuesday.  If I rode 1100 miles in one day, I might not be able to walk for a week. I might have just become a sitting statue sitting in the front seat of the Saturn. 

As we left town, we stopped at the beach for a few minutes.  We were going to walk out on the pier, but decided against that when the charge was $3.00 a piece.  Just to walk on the pier.  We walked out on the beach.  Yellow flags were flying.  The wind was biting.  The beach was almost deserted.  There were a few surfers.  I thought they were crazy.  I inhaled a few deep breaths of the sea air and took a few pictures.  Then we went back to the car and headed west.

The more miles we were from Panama City Beach, the more glad I was we left after lunch.  Tonight, we are in Alexandria, Louisiana.  Almost half way to Borger.  We still have a long today tomorrow.  I really did miss worship tonight, but I am glad we are this far.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Living Out Of A Suitcase

is not something I do well.  We spend a one month in the States two times a year.  One would think I would get better at this as time passes.  I am quite sure that I am getting worse at living out of a suitcase.

When I arrived in Oklahoma City, I did not know where anything was.  I tried to reorganize before we left, but when I got to Nathan's, I still did not know where anything was.  I managed to organize myself and packed in one suitcase for a couple of days.  I did well in Baton Rouge.  Or fairly well. 

When we got to Panama City Beach, I needed both suitcases so I would have clean clothes.  We just got to Panama City Beach yesterday afternoon.  This morning I looked around and laughed and said, "I don't know how I manage to do this.  I was really trying to get organized."  Marc said, "And, how did that work out for you?"  You would have had  to have seen this room and heard the tone of Marc's voice to know that was funny, not rude.

It is slightly better now.  But, it is time to pack up and leave again tomorrow.  Next stop, Borger.  I will be there a few days.  Perhaps, I can get organized.  But, if I were you, I would not place any bets on it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Weekend In Mississippi

I left Tegucigalpa Thursday afternoon.  I was completely exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  I worked all the way to Atlanta.  Then I pulled a good book out of my backpack and read until I landed in Oklahoma City.  It is always good to see Kim. Thankfully, I had an uneventful day of traveling.

Marc and I left for Jackson on Friday morning.  It was a foggy morning and remained throughout the day.  I worked part of the way and read part of the way.

 I love the Mississippi River.  As we crossed into Mississippi at Vicksburg, it was hard to see much of the river in the dark.  We were 45 minutes to an hour away from seeing sweet Camille,  I was so excited, yet I burst into tears.  My mind was flooded with memories of Mississippi, both good and bad.  Mostly a sad, empty feeling swept over me as I missed Ryan.  The closer we got to Jackson,  the sad feelings were replaced with excitement.  The thought of Camille hugs spurred me on. 

We met Nathan, Julia and Camille and had our first of, hopefully, many plates of Mexican food.  After we got to Nathan's house, Camille and I started our first puzzle.  Nathan and I stayed up way into the night talking.

Saturday, Camille had a swim meet.  My trip was planned around being in Jackson for that swim meet.  Camille just turned nine and this was her first meet in the 9-10 year old group.  It was a great day.  She beat her best time in every single event, shaving six seconds off of her personal best in one event. 

We managed to finish the puzzle before her meet.  After the meet, we worked one more puzzle and then we were sure we heard Target calling our names.  So off we went to shop for a birthday present.  Grammy and Camille time.  How sweet.

Early Sunday morning, Marc and I left for Columbus.  Marc shared about what is happening in Honduras.  I was honored and privileged to share with the first and second grade class about the Jesus Banquet.  These little children raised $900.00 for the Jesus Banquet.  What a sweet group.

We lived in Columbus for seven years.  Columbus is a city rich in history.  In seven years, we formed rich and deep friendships.  We did a lot of life with the people there.  And, they did a lot of life with us.  They rejoiced with us as one child was baptized.  And, as our daughter walked down the aisle on her daddy's arm to pledge her eternal love to Matt.  They sustained us in our darkest hours.  As Billy preached, I realized my emotions were leaking out of my eyes and running down my cheeks. 

I always need days to see everyone dear to me.  We had hours.  We hugged a lot of people, but did not have time for much more.  We had lunch and a good meeting with the missions committee. 

This morning was a rainy, dreary morning.  We went by the cemetery before we left.  The dreariness of the morning matched my mood as we left the cemetery.

Now, we are back in Jackson for more sweet family time.  There is never enough of that either.  Camille and I have a couple of more puzzles to work and a couple more nights of Bible study.

In spite of the tears and the dreariness, it was been a sweet weekend in Mississippi.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Christmas At The Feeding Center

Some feeding centers are closed the week of Christmas and the week of New Year's.  There are good reasons for doing this.  We decide the feeding center at Buen Samaritano would be closed Christmas day.  We really did not want hungry children to miss too many days of eating.

Matt decided to do a Christmas fiesta on Christmas eve.  He fixed a little bigger meal.  There were cokes, a real treat at this feeding center, and a pinatas, one for the boys and one for the girls.

Haley did not want to miss a part and went with Matt that day.

Brayan went to help.

It was a very special day at the feeding center and everyone enjoyed this day.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Que Dia

I left for town around 8:30 this morning.  I had a long list of errands.  It was cold and rainy and I would have rather stayed home.  Stayed in my house shoes and had another cup of coffee.

Matt left for the feeding center shortly after I left.

I was dealing with the usual stuff in Tegucigalpa.  Traffic.  Lines.  Six different pharmacies.  Waiting.  It was rainy and cold in Tegucigalpa, too.  I was waiting and as I waited, I was thinking I have so much to do today, why can't we move things along. I am not ever going to finish and get home to my house shoes.  As I waited, my phone rang.  It was Matt.  He says, "hey Terri, I have a situation."  For some reason I thought he had been robbed or in an accident.  I asked, what is it?

A fourteen year old girl had come into the feeding center with fresh bruises.  There was a place in the front, above her shirt, where she had been hit with a belt buckle.  Her mom had been dead for four or five years.  Her dad is an alcoholic and lives far enough away that he in not in the picture.  Ever.  Since the mother died,  this child and her brother have been living with an older sister.  The sister is 22.  That means she was 17 or 18 when the mother died.  She was trying to keep her family together.  Trying to raise the brother and sister.  Understandably, the 14 year old wanted to get out of there and get her brother out.

The lady that works in the feeding center said they could stay with her tonight.  But what about tomorrow?  And the next day?

After talking to Matt a few minutes, we hung up.  I was through waiting and was taking care of my business.  Then I went on to Larach.  Matt called again and said he was taking them to IHNFA.  He had talked to Marc and Marc said he had to.  We can't know of a situation like that and not do something.  I told I Matt I would pray for him and the boy and girl immediately.  And, I did say a little silent prayer.  I then called Matt right back and said I can't do much but I will meet you at IHNFA and least be with you for support. 

Matt and I had talked about this possibility.  But is that the best solution for a 14 and 13 year old?  We didn't know and wisdom eluded us. 

In a few minutes, Matt called back and said they will not go.  They are scared of what will happen to them at IHNFA.  If it was a 5 year old, that is one thing, but Matt could not pick up a 14 year old girl and a 13 year old boy and force them in the truck.  I told him he still had to go to IHNFA and report it. 

I have not seen the girl, but I have seen the pictures.  The bruises are horrible.  And there may be more of them tomorrow. 

I am in no way justifying anything that happened.  The big sister should not be parenting siblings that are 13 and 14.  The big sister is parenting in the way she was parented.  Physical abuse is so common in this country.  The 14 year old was seeing a boy that the big sister did not think she should be seeing.  I don't know this next part for a fact, but if big sister was telling her not to see this boy, and 14 year old, being a 14 year old, began to talk back and sass, what might we have done?  When there is not enough food in the house to feed 3 mouths and everyone is hungry.  When you are really poor.  When there is not a parent in the house, what might any of us have done?  We don't know until we are in the exact same situation.  Perhaps we would have become mad and yelled back at 14 year old and swung a belt and screamed, "you will listen to me and you will obey me.  I am the only parent you have.  We do not know what we would have done, do we?

Since the kids did not go to IHNFA with Matt, nothing may happen.  IHNFA has a huge backlog. And, it gets worse everyday.

Please pray for this little family.  We do not know what will happen to any of them.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

You just never know what is going to come out of a kid's mouth.  And, when there are 23 of them, anything can be said.  I am learning to never be shocked, hurt or embarrassed.

One morning at devo, Guadalupe said something and some of the kids laughed at her.  Granted, they should not have done that, but when they did she started crying.  I was trying to explain to her that you have to laugh with them and not cry.  I was going to say people laugh at me all the time because of the way I speak spanish.  I said people laugh at me all the time because... and before I could get the rest of the sentence out, Sisi says, " because of the way you sing."  The whole group erupted into laughter, including me.  Maybe my point was made better with what Sisi said that what I would have said. 

Then there is Miss Katy.  It was one morning right before Christmas.  I had not had much rest.  For days, I had not had much rest.  I tend to be slightly silly when I have not had enough rest.  The kids had Christmas music playing.  After Sisi's comment, I was not about to sing, but I was humming and dancing.  I was excited about Christmas because I knew the secret about the bicycles.  Nicole said, "I think she is loca."  I said, " I think I need some rest."  Katy looks at Nicole and as seriously as she could, said, "I think she needs more rest because she is old."

I just love living here.  I am complimented like that frequently.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Learning To Serve

When each of the kids arrived at Casa de Esperanza, they were a mess.  They had been living in less than ideal conditions.  They had been uprooted from their homes.  As messy as those homes might have been, it had still been home.  They came scared and unsure of what would happen next.  They needed a lot of stability and love and assurance.  They had to take care of themselves and some had to be taught had to do that. 

As time passes, they are learning to not just think of themselves.  In some way, nearly all of them, are learning to think of others, at least some of the time.

Nicole took nine of the kids with her to the Jesus Banquet.  They got up early and rode the bus with the group.  They helped get everything ready, just like the group.  The hauled chairs and tables and cleaned and served plates of food to people.

At different times, Matt has taken some of them to the feeding center to work for a day.  Brayan has been.  Cindy.  Jose.  Maybe some more of them.

After I got up and started serving meals to people at the Christmas dinner, Fernando, of all people began to help.

I am really proud of these kids as they learn to think of others and start serving.

Friday, January 3, 2014

December Newsletter

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

Amigos de Casa,

Normally, we are well into dry season, but not this year. We are still having some rain every day. So, thankfully, we have not had water issues except when a pipe broke. We lost a tremendous amount of water. It took more than a day to refill all of the tanks.

Elections were held the last Sunday in November. Predictions of riots and strikes were every where if certain parties or people won. They did win and there was relatively little or no violence, riots and strikes. Then, the country moved on to something else.

November and December are usually busy months. This year was no exception.  The kids all finished school in November. There were finals and retakes and parties and more retakes. Grades were somewhat lackluster. The highest average for all the Casa kids was 80. Guadalupe had that average. There is a new law that states that no one can be held back. A couple of our kids really are not ready to move to the next grade. I guess we will see what happens when school starts in February.

Another new law says the kids will now go through eighth grade before going to high school. That was depending on whom won the election. I hope this is true. It will definitely be better for the kids to receive two more years of education. But, if it is not true, Jackson got cheated out of a sixth grade graduation, which is a huge deal in this country.

We had no sixth grade graduation this year, but we still had kindergarten graduation. Any and Josue both graduated from kindergarten.

Josue received an honor diploma. This was a first. No one at Casa de Esperanza has ever received one of those.

Then, of course, we celebrated Thanksgiving, a very non-Honduran holiday. In some way, everyone got to help prepare and everyone enjoyed the feast. We are thankful that we can celebrate this holiday in Honduras and take the opportunity to teach the kids to be thankful for what they have. In spite of a delayed dinner due to a four hour power outage, it was a very enjoyable day.

December brought all kinds of fun activities. Some of the out-of-school activities included science experiments, making snowmen Christmas ornaments and making graham cracker houses or trains. The kids have participated in cooking and art classes as well. One of the groups treated the children to lunch and the amusement park. This was a fun day. There was a dinner and program at church on the 22nd, there were movies, Wii, fireworks, food, games and staying up late on the 24th, and presents on the 25th. The highlight was when a big truck backed through the gate and unloaded a brand new bicycle for every child here. The children's excitement was a wonderful thing to behold. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank everyone that made this Christmas possible.

There is never a dull minute here. Jackson and Brayan made a zipline between two trees. It was a creative invention, but without belts and harnesses, something was bound to happen. And, it did. Jackson broke his wrist. He had surgery two days before Thanksgiving. He broke the cast once and it had to be recasted. Hopefully, the cast will come off this week.

Baby Josue has been sick since he came to Casa de Esperanza. He is so little and fraile. We have seen so many doctors. The immunologist found out he has an immune disorder. We do not know which immune disorder because the tests he needs are not in Honduras. The doctor wanted to do some human immunoglobulin treatments. We scheduled the first one. Before it could be done, Josue had to be hospitalized for pneumonia. While in the hospital, the first treatment was done. We saw an immediate improvement. His appetite was better. He has gained weight. He is walking better. We are seeing an improvement in all areas. He has had the second treatment. The third and final treatment is scheduled for January 8. He has not been sick since the first treatment. We are thankful for this improvement in his health. Please continue to pray for this little guy.

As 2013 comes to a close, we thank you again for your continued support of Casa de Esperanza. Every donation, every prayer, every word or deed of encouragement makes our jobs a bit easier as we strive to make a difference in the lives of these children.

Please feel free to share this newsletter. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at

Best wishes for the new year.

Terri Tindall