Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Small Victory

Our three youngest ones, Yair, Olman, and Josue, are in speech therapy. Fortunately, the therapist comes here on Monday.  Each child needs 4 hours of practice a week.  No one has 12 extra hours.  Luci works with Yair, Mirian works with Olman and I work with Josue. 

Josue could say nothing and knew nothing.  I would ask him where is nose was and he would point toward the ceiling.  Not only did he not know anything, he did not want to be in therapy.  He is accustomed to crying and not having to do whatever he does not want to do.

We are finishing the third week of this.  And, it has been brutal.  The first week, he sat in the chair and screamed and cried the whole 40 minutes.  There was no way I was going to give in to him and quit early.  I would say, " say nose, say eye, say mouth.  Say whatever you want.  Just say something."  When he would stop crying long enough to take a breath, he would look at me as if to say I am not saying anything.

I prayed a lot.  For patience. For Wisdom.

I was not going to let a 3 year old defeat me.

Finally, in the second week, he quit crying and started trying to say the words.  I guess he realized a few 40 minute sessions of crying was not going to defeat me.

We have worked hard every day.  When Josue desires, he can say the vowels.  He can point to hair, eyes, nose, ears, mouth and hands.  The sounds he makes are close to what they should be.  He cannot point to those things on someone else on in a picture, but he can on himself.

This morning we finished.  He ran back to his house.  I followed.  I went in and picked him up and sat him on the counter.  I asked him to show he his hair, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, hands and shoes.  He showed us and said the word after me.  Mirian, Nely and I all clapped and cheered every time.  He was so happy for the praises he received.

I was happy too.  It has taken a lot or work to get him to point to those body parts.

I sort of wanted to cheer for myself, too.  This may seem like a very small victory, but to me it was huge.  From crying and screaming for 40 minutes to saying "na-riz".  A huge victory, indeed.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Hero

When I was a child, I had heroes.  The President of the United States, no matter who he was, was my hero.  I outgrew having the President as my hero as I became an adult.  I had a couple of cousins that I worshiped and some older girls at church.  Some of Sunday school teachers were my heroes.  And Micky Mantle. 

As an adult, my view of a hero changed.  As a young adult, my parents moved to hero status, especially after I realized the sacrifices they made.

After I moved to Honduras, again my view of a hero changed.  The two ladies in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, whom I have never met, that send $10.00 a month to Honduras Hope are definitely my heroes.  My friends in Kansas that sell some of their stock every year to help Casa de Esperanza are also my heroes.  All the donors of Casa de Esperanza and Honduras Hope are my heroes as you keep this ministry going.

I am going to tell you about a new hero.  A young hero.  Her name is Cassie Carter and she just turned eight years old.  She had a birthday party, like most 8 year olds do.  She had a Frozen party.  But, she asked for no gifts.  Her party invitation read to please give the money to Honduras Hope.  Almost $300.00 was given.

This child has a very compassionate heart.  Not only did she want boys and girls to be fed, she wants them to know the love of Jesus.  She will always be my hero.

A huge thanks to Cassie for being so selfless and thinking of those less fortunate ahead of herself.  A huge thanks to her parents, Ralph and Michelle Carter and grandparents, Roger and Sylvia Collins.  Cassie did not just get to be this thoughtful.  She had some great people teaching her and influencing her.  Also, I want to thank Marie Polk for teaching her first and second graders to give to others.

Cassie, you are my hero.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Heartbreaking News

Several years ago, I think it was in 2005 or 2006, we had a big wedding for our friend Josue.  It was quite the party.  Kae Hampton and I took Josue's soon to be wife, Karen, shopping for a dress.  Karen was pregnant and we thought we were never going to find shoes to fit because her feet and legs were so swollen.  We finally found some pretty white flip flops with sequins.  Karen was so happy.

Karen was a beaming bride as she walked up the aisle.  If memory serves me correctly, Wesley Thompson married Josuè and Karen.  Soon a son joined this couple.  We were not sure if the world was ready for two Josuès.  Josuè was a good daddy and after a year or so, another little boy made this a family of four. 

Karen has had heart problems for many years.  Every time I saw Josuè I asked about the boys and Karen.  Sometimes he said she is good and other times he said she was in the hospital or had been in the hospital. 

This morning we arrived at the airport and learned that Karen died last night because of another heart attack.
I was so sad.  When we talked to Josuè, he, too, was sad.  That is to be expected.  Karen was in the hospital.  He said that he, Karen and Karen's mother were talking and that he was holding Karen's hand.  She said ," take care of my boys," and died.

Nicole and I cried.  And cried.  I have cried on and off all day.

Oh my.  He is a mess.  For himself.  But as any parent would be, he is worried about his kids. 

I think all TORCH and Honduras Hope groups and probably many other groups know Josuè. 

Please pray for this young dad that is left to raise two little boys by himself.

Friday, March 13, 2015

No Time To Think

March 12, 2000 changed my life forever.  Forever.  It was a horrible day.  March 12, no matter what year is still a difficult day.  Every year.  I know it is going to be difficult.  I am careful about the music to which I listen.  There is no use in upsetting myself more.  Yesterday was another first, which made the day a bit more difficult.

I often say that I have the most amazing family and friends.  I do.  Yesterday my family and friends completely covered me in prayer.  I felt that blanket of prayer covering me and protecting me.  Though difficult, the day could have been much worse.

I was really too busy to think about it.  Or anything else.  Beginning at 6:15 yesterday morning, I had one crisis after another here at Casa de Esperanza.  I finally fell into bed, exhausted, around midnight, with most of the issues resolved.

I was reminded of the time we were building Ryan's memory house.   Our friend, Alice, had come to Honduras that year so she could be part of building that house.  She had helped raised the money for the house.  We all knew it would be a difficult day.  I was glad Alice was going to be with us.  The day of the house build, Alice was sick.  She stayed at the mission house and the rest of us went to build.  We had a terrible day.  Everything went wrong.  Everything.  We did not finish the house that day. 

When we got to the mission house, I went to check on Alice and tell her we did not finish.  Alice was much better.  She was so excited that we did not finish the house.  She proclaimed, "I am going tomorrow and I am going to finish that house."  And then she added, " I have prayed all day that you would not finish today so that I could be a part of the building." 

Really, Alice.  Our terrible day was because you prayed for things that happened to us to happen.  Thank you very much, friend.

I was reminded of that story yesterday because I think one (or more) of my friends prayed that I would have no time to dwell on the events of March 12, 2000.

And, were those prayers ever answered.

Thanks friends.

In all seriousness, I appreciate every prayer that was uttered yesterday on behalf of me and my family

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Thousand (Or More) Prayers Answered

Traditionally, this has been a very difficult week for me.  If anything, this year will probably be worse.  Knowing this, Nicole and I planned to spend Tuesday (today) together.  The day started in a welcome to Honduras fashion.

I needed some money.  The first place we stopped only took Visa debit cards.  Of course, I have a Master Card.  The next place we stopped at 3 ATM's and all three were down.  I went to a Puma station and got some money, bought some tea and bought some gas.  I could not put air in the front tire because the gas truck was there filling the underground tanks and was in front of the air hose.

We got Matt and Luis some lunch from Popeye's and started toward Lomas Diamante.  I was going to get air in the tire at the Uno station.  There were about 50 policeman there and they were all in front of the air hose.  Nicole mumbled,"what in in the world?"  I went to the Texaco and Nicole put air in the tire. 

We arrived in Lomas to find out the group was having a welcome to Honduras day, as well.  We delivered lunch and left.  As we neared the bottom, all of these policeman we had just seen were entering Lomas Diamante.

We went to Chili's.  We were sipping on lemonade when Matt called and said that the police had arrived and shut down both house sites and they were going to bulldoze every house that had been built out there.  Honduras Hope has done a lot of work out there.  TORCH has.  Many other groups have worked there.  It is a really poor community. 

The police were saying that the people were there illegally and one person owned all the land and the person wanted his land back.  People began showing their papers and the police said they were all fake.

The policemen were respectful and told Matt they knew he was trying to do good, but it had to cease.  The group did not argue.  They circled up and prayed.  The lady that was to get a house today was crying.  I think others were, too. 

The chatter between Nicole and me quieted.  We were sick to our stomachs.  Two hundred families were about to be driven from their homes. 

The group shared in devo tonight how angry they were.  Everyone was angry.  It was hard to believe corruption was going to win over justice.

There was no choice but for the group to pack up and leave.  The group made a quick change of plans and decided to go to the hospital. 

Nicole, and perhaps others, posted on facebook what was happening.  And God's people hit their knees. 

After we finished eating, we went to the mall to resolve some issues with my cable bill.  Nicole left her phone in the car because the battery was almost dead.  Much to our delight, we got the cable bill issues resolved.  When we got back to the car, Nicole had a message from Matt to call.  He had good news.

The community banded together.  The patronados and the community produced original papers with the plots drawn out and everything.  The supposed rich land owner could produce no papers of any kind. 

The police left.

By the time the group arrived at the mission house to get things for the hospital, they learned that everything had been resolved and that they would get to finish those two houses on Saturday.

We do not know how many people were praying about this, but we do know it was a lot.  And, we do know that God heard every single prayer.  And, they were answered in so that justice prevailed over corruption. 

Praise God.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Just Another Sunday Morning And A Trip To The Emergency Room

Today started as any Sunday morning does.  Medicine. Breakfast.  Chores.  Getting ready for church.

Near the end of church I was focusing a good sermon from 1 John:4.  Cris rushed into the church building crying and with blood gushing from his knee.  No Bible class is not that rough.  Cris was not in Bible class.  He was climbing a tree to get some lemons and fell from the tree.

I took him to Casa and cleaned up the knee.  It was much deeper than I thought it would be.  Cris was starting to settle down, until I mentioned the possibility of stitches.  Then the howling began.

Options are limited on Sunday and I did not want to drive to Tegucigalpa for a few stitches.  I took him to the hospital in Ojojona.   This is not my favorite place to take the kids.

I parked and Cris and I walked across the street.  Hospital.  Doctor.  Stitches.  Cris was crying like he dying.  I explained to the guard what had happened.  The guard looked at his knee, then picked up Cris and started running as fast as he could toward the emergency room.  I did not think it was that urgent.  I was in a dress and heels and could not even pretend to keep up with the guard. 

The guard left to get the doctor and I was holding Cris's hand trying to calm him.  The doctor was there immediately   He agreed that it needed stitches.  He made me leave.  That is one of the things I do not like about this hospital.  We can never stay with the kids.  Cris started crying louder.  He is a little boy that was hurt and scared.  He needed someone with him.  They made me go into a room across the hall.  I could see Cris and he could see me.  He sat up and held out his arms toward me.  Then someone came in and shut the door.  I could hear Cris get louder.

I was so angry.  I was not going to faint or anything.  I just wanted to be with Cris and hold his hand.  Then the doctor started singing in this beautiful rich baritone voice.  It calmed my nerves and I guess it calmed Cris's because he got quiet.

Ten minutes and twenty dollars after we arrived, we were leaving with 3 stitches.

Poor Cris.  Sneaking out of Bible class to pick lemons.  He got caught in a big way.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Redemption Story

We have a friend named Eduardo.  For many years his life was a train wreck.  He was into drugs and who knows what else.  He beat his mom.  And rumors in this little town, say he murdered someone.  I do not know if that is true or not.  I do not know what he did and what he did not do, but everyone knew he was bad news. 

Many tried to help him. 

And, when all things seemed hopeless, our preacher, Jorge, took Eduardo under his wing and helped him find new life.  New life in Jesus.  For several months, Eduardo has been a leader in our church, leading the song worship and prayers.  Recently, he was offered a scholarship to attend one of the Bible colleges that prepares men to be preachers.  He accepted and left immediately.

We will help Eduardo and Xinia with a wedding sometime this year. 

I know Eduardo has a story to tell and that God will use him in mighty ways.  I heard Xinia the other night in class.  She will make a wonderful preacher's wife and helper.

I just love to tell stories like this.  Praise be to God.