Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Trip To The Farm

Lanetta and I went to the farm today.  The farm is a couple of hours away, but as many snacks as we took, you would have thought it was a several day trip.  We had fun as we rode.  Guess who snapped pictures all the way?  If you guessed me, you are wrong.  I was driving and Lanetta took more pictures than I ever dreamed of taking.

Denis knew we were coming and he was waiting at the highway for us.  It is a long, long walk from the farm to the highway.  We drove up the mountain.  We parked at the back of the property and started our tour from the back. 

There has been a lot of overgrowth and weeds and brush on the farm.  Denis began showing us some of the areas he had cleared and some that he would clear.  He has cleared a lot of land and planted beans.  We walked through one of the bean fields.  He told us not to step on any beans.  That was harder than you might think.  The beans were not planted in rows but quite sporadically across the field.

 A bean sprout

 Here I am learning all about beans.

Several areas have also been cleared and corn planted.

Not an Illinois corn field, but a cornfield.
Workers in one of the cornfields

Denis had his machete and as we walked, he whacked at weeds.  No use wasting time.

Of course we saw the bananas and coffee.

Not only did I learn a lot about beans, I learned a lot about coffee.  Before coffee can be planted in ground, it has to be started in these little bags.  He had these little bags everywhere.  I have no idea how many new coffee plants will be planted.

We saw where the coffee beans are washed.  I did not understand the whole process, but it was interesting.

Some land had been terraced and was being prepared to plant cabbage, lettuce, green peppers, carrots and broccoli.

There are hundreds of fruit trees on the farm.  Though not ripe and ready for the harvest, many were loaded with fruit.

Denis found and killed this little guy.  Even though it was dead and the skin had been cured, I did not like it and did not want to be in the same room with it.

It was a very interesting day at the farm and I am pleased with the progress I saw.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

New Church

Eleven years ago, when I made my first trip to Honduras, we built a church building in the community of Los Pinos.  That church has grown and ministered to the community around it.  Now they have expanded their borders of  ministry.

We have built many house in a community called Lomas Diamante.  Many years ago, the people of the community started to build a community center.  It was a large building.  They never had the money to finish it.  In February, the Unashamed Missions group went up there ( and I do mean up.  It is so far up the mountain that it is just a few steps from heaven) and but a roof on this huge building.

The church at Los Pinos is now starting a new church in that building.  To drive from Los Pinos to Lomas Diamante is quite a ways even though you can see Los Pinos from Lomas Diamante.  But over the mountains and by foot, it is only eight kilometers.  Some of the men from Los Pinos walk that 8 kilometers after their Sunday morning service so that they can be in Lomas Diamante by 3:00 for church there.  Then after that afternoon service, they walk back to Los Pinos.  That is dedication.

Timoteo asked if Billy Ferguson could come up there this afternoon.  Billy said he would and Nicole took my car and drove him up there.  Billy preached.  Nicole translated.  Maybe Emmy helped translate, too.

This is so exciting and I just love these pictures.

There were two baptisms there this afternoon.  Isn't God good?

It Was Another Manic Saturday

The words of that do not flow as well as the words of the song.  Oh well.

Nicole had to take Baby Josue to the doctor Friday evening.  When I got up to give the medicines, I did not understand one of the new ones.  I called Nicole at 6:00.  Much to my surprise, she was still in bed.  She mumbled through what I was suppose to do and I gave the meds.  About ten minutes til seven, Nicole called me and said she was running late, could I go get the kids up.  There were small issues up there and I dealt with them. 

I arrived at the mission house a bit late.  Luis had brought Dina, the accountant, out with him and she was patiently waiting on me.  I began to run around doing a million things and paying people.  I quickly realized I did not bring enough money.  Lanetta went back to the house for more money.  Everyone left but me and Matt saw Dina sitting in the comedor and thought I had forgotten her.  Matt, not realizing I was still in the store, took Dina to Casa where she patiently waited on me some more.

Donna Griffith is here again teaching the girls more about sewing.  Lori Connell and Janet Hines have graciously allowed us to use the Mi Esperanza sewing center across the street.  Nicole and Emma Kate left with Donna and the older girls to get started on the second day of class.
Donna had trouble with some of the machines and finally got one running consistently.  Some of the girls were a bit impatient as they had to share one machine.  Such is life in Honduras.  Donna was over there all day long.

Here at Casa, there were three groups here.  Some were working on the wall and some were working on the playground.  I was in my house and could here all the happy sounds.  I opened the store several times.  I opened the office more than once for screws and tools.  Dina was working.  Lanetta was working.  I got one receipt filed.  Yay me. 

The groups that were here were our group from East Tennessee, a TORCH group from I don't know where and the Columbus group.  I have done a lot of life with the Columbus groups.  A lot of life.  There were a lot of tears yesterday.  All day.

I kept the coffee pot going all day.  Billy, Cisco, Don, Jorge and others had a meeting on my front porch.  Nicole brought Emmy over about 11:00 for a nap.  I gave her some milk and put her to bed.  She got quiet,  and I thought she went to sleep.  But in 15 minutes, she was saying, "Gammy, Gammy."  So much for that.

At some point in time, Matt left for the airport to get the Skillman group.  

At 3:00, one group left and Matt and the Skillman group arrived. 

Several of the Columbus group came to my house and prayed with Nicole and I.  More tears.

At 3:30ish, I walked over to Mi Esperanza to check on Donna.  She and Ana were just finishing.  They stayed a bit longer. 

I told Dina that someone would take her to Loarque at 3:00.  At 4:00, she was still patiently sitting and waiting on me.  I went to my house to get my purse and Don and Billy were there making another pot of coffee. I started a long conversation with them.

Before the group left, they almost completed the playground.

The kids were so excited.  They started playing before it was completely finished.

I was still in the house talking with Don and Billy, when it got quiet.  I knew the Tennessee group had gone to take a few of the older kids to play soccer.  The ones that were not in trouble.  I thought when they left that they probably took Dina with them.   

As I continued to visit with friends, Lanetta made snow with the little kids.  No one in Honduras has ever seen snow.  They were excited.

At 5:00, I realized Dina was still patiently waiting on me.  I got my purse and Donna, Lanetta and I left for Loarque.  When I got there, I got a nice cold Dr. Pepper for the drive back up the mountain.  That was only one of the bonuses of the late afternoon trip.

This was the other one.

I got back to Casa and gave the 6:00 p.m. medicines. 

Again, I arrived at the mission house late.  All of the devos have been good.  I thought last night's devo was especially good.  Maybe because of the manicness of the day.

There was a lot of manicness yesterday.  A lot of work accomplished.  A lot of teaching and learning.  A lot of smiles.  A lot of happy sounds.  A lot of tears.  A lot of prayers.  A lot of fellowship. All done for God's glory.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Trip To The Airport

This is the time of year that we are making many trips to the airport.  Thursday Nicole was going, among other things.

Also, Thursday, two houses were being built in Buen Samaritano, the village below the dump.  One of those houses was for Melissa that works in the feeding center.  Melissa has 3 children and makes $50.00 a week. 

Nicole had some errand to run and then had to take some things to Buen Samaritano before she went to the airport.  As she was ready to leave, she said something about going to the airport.  Melissa's kids wanted to go with her.  Nicole said yes.  The little boy was so excited.  He told Nicole he had never seen the airplanes land.  They all got to see a plane land and Nicole let them ride the rides inside the airport. 

After the group got through customs, they went across the street to eat.  I am fairly sure this is the first time Melissa's kid had eaten fast food.  They all saved some of their food to take home.  Nicole was driving back to Buen Samaritano.  They saw a little boy begging in the street.  Melissa's some wanted to share his leftover food with the little boy that was begging.  He insisted that he give this food to the poor little boy.  He said the little boy was poor because he was having to beg and that he himself had never had to beg.  He did get to share his food. 

Nicole was very touched by this, as was I when she told me.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Wall And A Playground

The groups have been hard at work this week.

Mark Connell sent part of his group out several days to work on the first section of the wall.  Our groups from Abilene and Oklahoma City have also worked on the wall.  This is turning out to be much longer project than anticipated.  Everyone will get to work on the new wall this summer.  And, maybe next summer, too.

This metal sheeting has to be put up first so that no one can enter the property.  The old rock wall has to be torn down, footers dug and filled and then the new wall built.

The new wall is much taller and much stronger.  It should keep all the dogs out.  And, the kids in.

Once in a while there is a giant-sized problem that has to be dealt with.  At least, that one has been successfully dealt with.  I hope there are not too many more that size.

Others have been busy building a new playground for Casa.

This is going to be such a great playground.  Timoteo and Luis drew the plans from a picture.  Luis is so excited about this project and it has been fun to watch him work on it.

A very small group worked on the ceiling in the church in Ojojona yesterday.  They did not want to quit until the job was done.  They were still at the church building when I left the mission house last night at 9:30.

Today,  two houses in Buen Samaritano are being built.  The teams are off to a great start.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


I consider myself fortunate because I lived within block of my cousins and aunts and uncles as I grew up in Borger.  There are a lot of pleasant memories of living that close to them. 

This weekend the McKinneys converged for a reunion.  Zach and Kim opened their lovely home to us.  They cooked all the food and great activities for the kids.  Besides eating and eating and eating, we played bingo for some great prizes.  We even went on an aligator hunt on the river.  Trust me, it was too hot for aligators.  And for humans.  Some of us went back to the car as we did not have on running shoes.  Just in case we saw one.
and t
No McKinney reunion would be complete without Dr. Pepper.  Lots of Dr. Pepper. 

Catching up.  Remembering.  Laughing.  Crying.  And, did I mention eating. 

I return to Honduras tomorrow.  I needed this weekend to be with my family.  To love and to be loved.

Thanks Zach and Kim for all your hard work.  I hope you get long naps tomorrow.  You both need them.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Group Time

Since Karla died, my world has been turned upside down.  It has been turned upside down so many times, that I should be standing right side up.  I am not sure if I am or not.  Through these trials and tribulations, I have not been diligent with my blog.  I love share what is going on in Honduras.  I have not taken the time to do so for the last 4 months.  It is group season and a lot of exciting things will be happening with the groups and at Casa de Esperanza.  I am making a promise to try to do better with this blog.

Our first group arrives tomorrow.  But, some of Mark Connell's group has been everyday since Saturday.  My friends from Fairview Heights arrived Saturday and their first stop was here.  I was so excited to see them.  They returned on Sunday for church, lunch, shopping and disinfecting all the toys after so much sickness.

The major summer project at Casa is to rebuild a new rock wall around the perimeter of the property.  Monday a crew showed up and began that project while Jana and Connie helped me by pricing new store inventory.  As footers were dug on Tuesday, Connie and Lisa continued the pricing.  As footers were redug (welcome to Honduras) on Wednesday, Connie and Lisa cleaned the store and readied it to open Friday night.

A crew is working on the wall today and Matt and Nicole have the interns cleaning our mission house so everything will be sparkling clean for our groups tomorrow.  We have 14 groups coming this summer.  There will be exciting things happening.  Please check the blog often for updates.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Emma Kate Spends The Night At Grammy's

Haley often spends the night with me.  And, that was the plan for Saturday night.  We have popcorn and coke for supper.  We have a special bowl for the popcorn.  No other bowl will do.  Then we make something fun.  We have songs we sing while Haley showers and give each other foot rubs.  And, there is no telling what other fun we might have.

Nicole had felt bad all day.  It got progressively worse during the day.  Matt left to take to the emergency room around 3:00 in the afternoon.  Matt called and said they think it is colitis.  Then she called and said I have gall stones and I may have to have surgery.  I went up to start the 6:00 meds and Nicole called again to say they were doing surgery in 30 minutes.  I wanted to go to the hospital and I knew I could not get there before they took her back.  I continued to prepare the meds.  I told Haley that Mommy was having an operation.  She had a melt down.  I tried to make it sound fun that she would spend the night with Lydia and Leigh.  She was not buying that.  She cried.  I cried.  I called Nicole and got her to cry.  I decided not to go to the hospital and stay home with the girls.

After all the Casa kid had their meds, we popped our popcorn.  Emma was so excited.  Emma got a few pieces at a time and juice.  I did not think she needed any coke.  Haley and I had coke.Emma was loving eating popcorn.  I did not want Emma Kate to choke on the popcorn, so she just kept getting a few pieces at a time.  She was having so much fun.  She sat on the floor with her little bowl and her juice.  Her squeals and her giggles were delightful. 

Haley did not know what else we were going to do.  I began to gather what we needed and Haley helped me.  All of a sudden, we heard a big crash.  Emma had reached for the popcorn bowl.  She was even more excited as she could reach all that popcorn.  Haley and I cleaned up the popcorn mess. 

We were making vanilla pudding and adding a can of fruit cocktail with extra cherries.  Just the way Grammy likes it.  I showed Haley how to make the instant pudding.  She was so pleased with herself that she did it by herself.   Then we added the fruit.  Haley thought this was as good as making pink icing for the graham crackers.

I gave Emmy a little bowl and Haley a slightly larger bowl.  Emma was just as excited about pudding and fruit as she was popcorn.  Haley had a little bit more pudding because she liked it so much. 

It had rained and both of the girls were in wet clothes.  Grammy fail for not changing those sooner.  I did not know Emma does not like showers.  I know it now.  There was no way she was getting in that shower, even with Haley telling her showers at Grammy's house are fun.  I washed her up and got her ready for bed. 

You never, ever turn your head on Emma Kate.  I brought her into the bathroom with a soccer ball.  I shut the bathroom door and the office door so I had Emmy penned in while I showered Haley.  We sang our silly songs and Haley kept saying see how much fun it is shower at Grammy's.  Emma never touched the soccer ball.  She played in the soap.

Haley and I decided since Emma had on feetie pajamas she would get her foot rub without lotion.  Emmy just giggled some more.  Then Haley and I gave each other our foot rubs.  And, it was definitely bed time.  I was afraid Emmy would cry.  I laid her down and not a peep.  Haley and I sang our songs.  Haley made up a new and interesting song.  It went "in the beginning God made all the bakeries and then he sent the angels to push the bad devil away."  That girl.  Haley said a prayer.  And then, the phone rang.  It was Matt saying Nicole was out of surgery and was fine.  I told Haley and she breathed a big sigh of relief as she drifted off to sleep.  All three of us slept all night, without a sound.  Haley only talked in her sleep after my alarm went off at 5:30.

Getting these fed and all three of us dressed for church was another adventure.  After Emma was in a beautiful dress, Sisi took her up to Casa so I could shower and dress.  Haley will watch tv,  but not Emma.  We got to church just on time.

I love having Haley spend the night.  It was fun having Emmy here, too.  Since Emmy was a big girl and did not cry, she probably will be asked to spend the night again sometime soon.  I am so thankful for these precious times.