Sunday, November 29, 2015


Last week was a busy week.  I have already told the Thanksgiving story, which consumed much of the week.  Since then, we have had 3 graduations and visitation.

Sisi graduated from 6th grade at 10:00 on Friday morning.  That is a weird time for graduation.  Matt and Nicole went with her. 

Thursday, as we started to eat, we found out Yair's graduation from Kinder was also Friday at 10:00 a.m.  I went to that one.  Sometimes, Kinder graduation requires a certain color shirt or something special.  What a relief to find out, he only needed his uniform.

Friday morning, Sisi could not find her tie.  We looked and looked until we found it.  Yair's black shoes needed polished.  I was told we did not have any.  But I knew better.  I knew that I had stashed a can in the office for just such a time as this. 

Sisi had to be at school at 9:00.  Nicole took her and came back.  She and Matt left at twenty minutes before 10:00.

Yair and I walked to the Kinder and got there ten minutes early.  The teacher and emcee were there.  And a few others that were helping set up.  But Yair was the first graduate there.

I texted Nicole at 11:00 and asked her if they had started yet.  We had not.  She texted back and said she thought they were about to start.   Welcome to Honduras.

The Kinder graduation was short and sweet, when it finally started.  Because of visitation, Yair and I could not stay for the meal.  The people at the school were begging for us to stay.  I explained we had visitation.  When visitation was over, we found out the teacher had brought our food to us.

Saturday morning, I went to a high school graduation for Zenia.  Zenia is a friend from church, as well as an employee.  It is an honor to be invited to a graduation.  This graduation's scheduled time to start was 9:00.  It started at 9:30.  I was impressed. 

It was a busy weekend and I was soooo tired.  But, I am very proud of Sisi, Yair and Zenia.

Friday, November 27, 2015


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It always has been.

Nicole's due date with Paige was November 20.  She started talking about having Thanksgiving early because if the baby was less than one week old that she (Nicole) would not feel like participating.  Well, maybe, we need to get through the summer before we start thinking about Thanksgiving.

After the groups left, I went to the States. Nicole was obsessed with Thanksgiving.  "Can we plan it early?"  I really did not want to think about Thanksgiving.  I was seeing family and friends, fundraising, and driving 4000 miles.  But, she did not ease up on the subject.

We tried to talk about a different date a couple of times after I got home, but things just kept coming up.  And then, Miss Paige was born November 2.  We began to plan for Thanksgiving to be on Thanksgiving.

We are very short-staffed right not and I did not see how we had time to cook a big Thanksgiving meal.  Matt and I went to Tegucigalpa and did most of the shopping on November 16.  That first round of shopping began to put me more in the Thanksgiving mood.  I jumped up and down in the aisle of a grocery store over finding Crisco and the french fried onion rings for green bean casserole.  We found almost everything on the first trip.  Everything but the turkeys.  Minor problem.  It was two or three days later when Matt called and said he had turkeys in his hand.

In the past, I have spent pretty much three days cooking for Thanksgiving.  Tuesday morning, I got one batch of bread made.  Two kids had appointments in Tegucigalpa.  I left at 1:30 and got back at 7:00.  I did not get anything else toward Thanksgiving done that day.

Wednesday I worked from 7:00-2:00.  I did use that time to have the kids chop celery and onions and grate the cheese.

Cindy had declared for days that she was not peeling potatoes this year.  She grabbed a cheese grater and the cheese and began grating with a fury.  Later in the afternoon, when the potatoes arrived, she grabbed a knife and began peeling potatoes, too.  I am not sure what all those declarations were about.

I got back to my house a little after 2:00.  I was thinking there is no way this is going to happen by tomorrow.  I got two more batches of bread made and set aside to rise.  I was really starting to energize as I thought about the preparations and the meal with the kids, employees, and friends.

At 3:00, Haley came to help.  She was wearing her apron and had the smallest little rolling pin I have ever seen.  She said, " I brought my own rolling pin to help you, Grammy."

When it came time to use the rolling pin, she said, " you might have to help me by using your big rolling pin."  She did a pretty good job.

Haley liked rolling the dough, but she especially liked shaping the dough to go inside the pan.

Haley is an early-to-bed-early-to-rise type of girl.  She was asleep by 7:30.  We had done a lot.  But, there was more to do than I could possibly get done.  For the first time for Thanksgiving, and maybe for the first time in my life, I began to decrease the work load.  I xed off the last batch of bread, one batch of brownies and the pecan pie.  The pecan pie was for Matt, Nicole and I.  I let the brownies that were in the oven finish baking, I did the Bisquick biscuits for the dressing and washed the dishes.  I then joined Haley.

Since last Thanksgiving, Haley has talked about painting the turkey.  Most people baste the turkey, not Haley.  She paints the turkey.  I explained to her that she could only paint one turkey this year because the first one was going to be "painted"  long before she got up.  I got up at 2:30 and had the turkey going by 3:00.  I went back to bed for a couple of hours. 

I got up before Haley.  I was getting ready to jump in the shower and I heard her singing.  I went in to ask her if she was ready to start cooking again.  She was.  We made up a song about Grammy and Haley's kitchen and a mess mess here and a mess mess there.   She was laughing so hard.

We prepared the dressing and got it in the oven.  Then it was time to paint the second turkey.

We misplaced our paintbrush so we had to use a paper towel.

Nicole had kids in and out of her house making desserts.  When all the other kids were with Nicole, so was Haley.  She did not want to share Mommy.  I did not like that Nicole was not down in the house with me this year, but that is the way it had to be.  Part of the time, I was by myself.  On Thanksgiving, I did not like that at all.  Matt came down and helped carry the big pans and several other things.  He did fun jobs, like open all the cans.

We had my house smelling so good. 

For the first time, I had the food ready by 2:00.  I have been so late every year.  Everyone has come to expect that and none of our guests were here when I was ready to serve.  We waited til about 2:45.

Matt has been promoted to turkey carver.

Richard got demoted to the little table.

Olman liked the macaroni and cheese so much that he tried to eat it all at once.

We had a great day.   I was so tired.  Something about that 3:00 a.m. turkey painting did me in.  I was in bed by 7:00. 

We are truly blessed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Olman and Josue

Today the twins turned four.  In two months, they will have lived here 4 years. 

They were so tiny when they came.  Olman weighed 6 pounds and Josue weighed 4 1/2 pounds.  At two months old.  They both were so fragile.  Olman had a heart condition, which has corrected itself.  Josue had, and still has, a whole list of problems. 

Olman is talking, is potty trained and pretty much acts like a four-year-old.  Thanks be to God.

Josue is not there yet.  But, he is better than we ever thought he would be.  He is walking and saying a few words.  Speech therapy is bringing him along.

Olman is so sweet to Josue.  When Josue gets back from the doctor or Teleton, Olman runs out to meet him and always gives him a great big hug.

Josue  has some severe immune deficiencies and is allergic to many things, including most bug bites.  Benadryl cream and such do not even begin to help him.  He has some special medicine for bites.  The other night, I took his regular medicines in and was told he had several bites.  I took him back to the office with me to doctor his bites with his medicine.  Olman showed up almost immediately and said, "Terri,  Josue hurts."  I explained to him that I was putting medicine on him to make him feel better.  Olman stood there and watched me doctor every single place.  He then took Josue's hand and led him back to their house.  It was so sweet.

It is going to be amazing to see what God continues to do in the lives of Olman and Josue.

A few pictures I took today.   Happy birthday to Olman and Josue.

Sunday, November 8, 2015


I think I have always loved Sundays.  I love worship.  I love so many things about Sunday.  In another life, I loved Sunday afternoon naps.  That does not happen now, even when I am in the States.

This morning was full of stress.  No one wanted to listen.  No one wanted to do their chores.  Church starts at 9:30.  We left at 9:40.  I do not like being late to church.  Twenty one children and three adults cannot enter church without being noticed.

When we got there, much to my surprise and delight, Steve and Diana Teel were there.  And two other gringos.  I chatted a few minutes and sat down with a happier heart than I had when we arrived.

There was a scripture reading and then a prayer.  The man saying the prayer said a really long prayer.  I was glad for that.   I took two deep breaths and opened myself so that Jesus could soak into every pore and soak way down deep in my soul.  That was just what I needed.  To allow myself to be filled with the presence of Jesus.  The songs became more meaningful. 

I also noticed I heaved a great sigh of relief when the children left for class.  Then Steve Teel preached a great sermon.

This week is so busy.  I knew I just had to run errands today, at least some of them.  I asked Emma and Haley to go with me.  I knew that would take longer, but thought it would be fun.  Emma politely declined.  Errands did not sound fun to that girl.  Errands did not sound fun to this girl either, but I had no option. 

Haley and I ran to Little Caesar's first to grab a hot and ready.  So did half of the rest of the world.  That took a bit longer than we expected, but we had a great visit.  And when a table came open, a man started to sit at it.  Haley was so fast getting to it that she slid in under him and he nearly sat on her.  Several people laughed. 

When we finished, they gave a paper sack instead of a box for out leftovers.  A paper sack for greasy pizza.  We put it on the paper plates and then gave it to the man selling sunglasses outside.  Haley liked that.  So did the man. 

We went to the pharmacy, La Colonia, PriceSmart and Larach.  Haley was so good.  She is always a good helper.  We had so much fun.  We had a lot of stuff in that car. (Haley has started calling it the Super Trooper).  I am not so sure about the super part.

It just so happened that Haley had 100 Lempiras and wanted to treat us to ice cream.  What kind of Grammy would say no to that?

It was not a Sunday afternoon nap. It was better.  A delightful day with Haley.

Friday, November 6, 2015

October Newsletter

Casa de Esperanza
Making a difference, on child at a time
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705

Amigos de Casa,

I spent eight weeks in the States.  I spent time with my family and friends and shared the Casa story with many.  It was a productive trip both in terms of relaxation and fund raising.  I am always ready to be back and, as always, I hit the ground running.

The board has named Nicole as interim director.  I am excited about this for many reasons:
            Nicole is very fluent in Spanish.
            She already knows and loves the children.
            The children already know and love her.
            She knows how things should operate.
            She will be able to remove a huge amount of my workload.
Selfishly, I love having my family here on campus where I can get granddaughter hugs, morning, noon and night.

Nicole will be a great asset for Casa as we prepare for next year and beyond.

It is with sadness that I announce the resignation of our board president, James Hicks.  James has been on the board since the inception of Casa de Esperanza.  He has been our board president for the last 18 months, leading us through some difficult times.  He is a good friend and has been a good president.  We will miss him and wish him all the best in future endeavors.

As the kids are growing older, we decided the time had come to make a major change.  We moved all the girls into the big house and all the boys into the smaller house.  This decision was met with much excitement.  Cindy grabbed everything she could find and went running into the other house to begin packing the girls’ things to get them over to the big house.   We moved four boys out and three girls in.  This was no small task.   The girls organized and reorganized for days.

Children’s day in September is a big event in Honduras.  All of the churches and schools do something for this big day. In the past, Casa de Esperanza has not done much on Children’s Day.   This year, Honduras Hope gave a party for the Casa kids and everyone got new Bibles.   Everyone enjoyed it.
Also in September is Independence Day another big event in Honduras.  All of the schools had parades.  Most of our kids participated in some way. 

We had a couple of fun activities in October.  Donna Griffith returned with more sewing lessons.  This time the girls learned to make pajamas, their first attempt at pants. 

The Build Hope group was here to build houses.  Fourteen men and Laura Templeton came, except Laura did not come to build.  She came to do art projects with the kids.  This was fun and different and everyone had a great time.

Another group from Ada, Oklahoma was also here.  They replaced the old clothes line.  I was very thankful for this project.

We appreciate art projects, sewing projects, clothes lines and all things that you do for us.
The kids are now decorating for Christmas and preparing for fourth partial finals.  Another school year will soon be complete.  Please pray for the children as they take finals.
We have been in transition for almost a year.  We have allowed things to get run down.  We are cleaning and repairing in order to get our home in order again.  We hope to start replacing nine-year-old furniture as funds allow.  Twenty children are hard on furniture.
There is some unfortunate news to report.  There was an attempted robbery at my house.  It was early evening, but the power was out.  Two men followed me into my house and asked for money.  I was hit in the face several times.  Apparently, something scared them and they ran.  No money was taken and no one was seriously injured, thanks be to God.  Because of this, we will be installing more lights, a couple of fences, hiring a night guard again, and possibly a generator for the times the power is out. The safety of the children and staff is of utmost importance.  All of these things cost money. We would welcome any and all donations toward security.
We do have fund raising opportunity.  Patsy Conquest and Gail Ward, both friends of mine from Columbus, MS, have put together a cookbook,  Southern Blend II.  This cookbook contains over 1000 recipes.  A cookbook can be purchased for $20.00 which includes postage.  For every cookbook purchased, Casa de Esperanza will receive $7.50.  Cookbooks can be ordered from
Gail Ward
244 Hwy 373
Columbus, MS 39705

We appreciate all prayers, donations and encouragement.  Please consider Casa de Esperanza in your yearend giving.
Casa de Esperanza
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705   or

If you have any questions concerning Casa, please email me at

Terri Tindall

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Paige Elizabeth

We knew Monday was going to be a big day in our lives.  We welcomed  a brand new family member into the world.

Matt and Nicole left around 8:00.  I left around 11:30 and checked the girls out of school early.  They had a sweet little gift for the new baby sister. It was wrapped in Christmas paper.

We got to the hospital just in time to see Nicole before she was taken to surgery.

We all got snacks and drinks to pass away the time while waiting.
Miss Paige was born at 2:32, but no one let us know.  By 3:30, Matt and I were getting quite anxious.  What a relief it was to find out she had been in the nursery for an hour.

My first sight of Paige.  She was under oxygen, but she was beautiful.

Emma and Haley's first glimpse of Paige.

Tuesday, Nicole got to go down to see her.   She got to love on Paige and talk to her.  It brought tears to my eyes as I watched my daughter talking to that sweet baby.

Wednesday found Mommy and Baby feeling better.  We all had hopes of getting to hold her.  Those hopes came true for Mommy and Daddy, but not the rest of us.

I was still having to take pictures through glass, but Paige was much closer.

I tried to get a picture of Nicole and all three girls.  Emma had been asleep and wanted nothing of that.  
While she fed her baby, visions of pizza danced in Nicole's head.

Paige Elizabeth Fitzgerald.

Everyone will be home later today.  Expect more pictures.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Defining Moments

The first time we went to the dump to feed, I was scared to death.  I had seen the dump from the car.  I saw the conditions.  I saw the people race toward the car when we did not even get out.  I cannot adequately describe how scared I was.  Nicole and I were in the back seat.  I did not say a word to anyone.  Anyone, but God.  I prayed.  And prayed. 

When we got to the dump, it took everything I had to get out of the truck and crawl in the back to start serving food.  The people swarmed us.  It did nothing to ease my fears.  But, I kept praying and kept serving food.  I was thankful when we were through.  I do not feel that way now about the dump, but I did the first time.  And, maybe the second and third, too.

It was several months later that I realized that was a defining moment for me and my work in Honduras.  I chose to trust God to protect me and I chose to get out of the back seat and into the back of the truck to serve the people in the dump.  Had I chosen to let fear rule, fear could have paralyzed me and the work I came to do.

There was another defining moment on Friday evening.

Donna Griffith was here all week sewing with the girls again.  The power went off about 4:30.  This is a normal event.  I continued to work in the office and she continued to work with the girls.  She came back to the house at 5:45 and I decided to go give the 6:00 meds.  I had my lantern with me so that I could see to give the correct amounts.  I gave the meds and went back into the office.  Then I stopped to talk to Nicole a minute.   Matt had brought home Popeye's and they were giving me what was left so that Donna and I could have supper, too.  Since Nicole is on bed rest, I am doing her laundry.  Haley normally brings the dirty laundry down to my house, but there was four of five pieces and Emma wanted to carry it to Grammy's house.  I had the lantern and the chicken.  Emma led the way with the laundry. 

I opened the door and Donna was sitting there reading by flashlight ( a person after my own heart).  Emma walked in.  I walked in.  And, Donna's eyes widened.  Emmy and I were laughing and talking.  She put the laundry down.  I said I would walk her back up because it was too dark to go by herself.  I turned around to leave and there were two men in my house.  They were wearing masks and camo clothing.  Silly me.  I thought since it was the 30th of October that it was someone playing a joke on me.  A not very funny joke, but nonetheless, a joke.  One stepped back outside to stand guard and the other one removed his mask for just a second.  I did not know this person.  I began to scream in hopes that Matt and Nicole could hear me.  They had their door shut since it was dark.  Little Emma began to scream.  The one in my house said "money", not dinero, but money.  I continued to scream.  And Emma continued to scream.  He hit my face several times.  Then pushed me down.  Donna started toward him.  I had no idea what she was doing and I was screaming her name to stop.  She was trying to blind him with her flashlight.  He swatted at her phone, but missed.  He kept saying money.

He began to search the bedrooms.  The only light in the house is my lantern and it cast an eery glow.  But it was enough light that I could see where he was.  He then went into the bedroom in which Donna was sleeping.  He grabbed the coffee she had purchased from the store, but soon dropped it.

He came charging across the house.  I had just found my glasses and was getting off the floor.  Little did I know that after Donna could not blind the guy, she sat down and began praying. 

He went into my bedroom.  I do not know what I was thinking.  I ran in there behind him saying "you can't go through my things" as he was pulling my underwear from the drawer.  I sincerely doubt he understood since I spoke in English.  But he stopped.  And turned and ran out the door.  I slammed the door behind him.  I do not even know which direction they went. 

I could not get Matt and Nicole to answer their phones.  I finally called an employee and told a few details and told her to tell Matt to get down here.  She went to the apartment.  She was afraid of putting Nicole into labor and told Matt he needed to go to my house.  Thankfully, the lights came back on before Matt got to my house. 

Donna had been holding Emma and I took her.  She just kept saying, " I want to go back to my house."  Matt took Emma and, without going into too much detail in front of Emma, I told Matt what happened.  Matt and Emma left.  Emma told Nicole " bad men in Grammy's house.  I no like it."  At this point, Nicole did not know what had happened and asked Emma if they hit Grammy.  Emma said, " I no talk about it."  I was so hoping that Sweet Emma had not seen all of that.

And our guardian angel may have been Tibby, Haley and Emma's golden retriever.  Dogs are smart and protect their people.  Tibby would not ever harm a person under normal circumstances.  But she was sitting at my front door when Matt arrived and she was barking, something she hardly every does.  As the night wore on, the dog remained unusually agitated.

Once Matt left, I fell apart.  And stayed apart for a long time.  Some time later, Donna and I prayed.  All I could say was thank you, God. Thank you.

I called Mark Connell and then Luis.  Luis was back out here as fast as he could be.  With a posse of people.  He had people to walk the property that night.  I now have a guard again.  Luis took care of everything he possibly could, both Friday night and all day Saturday.  Once again, I do not know what we would do without Luis.

And, Matt was great help, too. He stayed here at my house until he knew a guard was here.

Even though my face still hurts, I am thankful for many things.  My face is not bruised, just hurting.  Emma and Donna were not hurt.  No money was taken.  God is my protector and He protected me big Friday night.  

I am scared.  I feel violated. I feel invaded.  I am jumpy and nervous.  I was in PriceSmart today.  I saw someone I knew.  He is a delivery person and I do business with him.  He reached out to touch my shoulder in a friendly way.  He wanted me to meet his family.  I jumped and flinched.  I hate being that way.  But, I guess it is going to be that way for a while.  After I give medicine at 6:00, I ask the guard to walk me back to my house.  I hate that, too.

I hate that Emmy is now afraid to come to my house.  That sweet baby should not have had to see this.

I now understand the bond my dad shared with his army buddies.  

This is a defining moment.  I can retreat.  I can flee.  If I choose to flee, there is no one that can promise me the same thing would not ever happen to me in the States.  I am scared and nervous and jumpy.  I am here for these kids.  I do not want to live in fear.  I do not want to lock myself in this house.  I do not want to flee.  How I handle this and how I overcome this is a defining moment for me and for the work in Honduras.

Both of these events are defining moments, but there is a huge difference.  One I was afraid to face people when I had something to give to them.  Tonight that fear seems silly and unreasonable.  When uninvited people enter my home and want something that is not theirs, hit me and scare my grandchild and my friend, that fear is one I have never known before and hope to never know again.   Yet, God protected me both times.

I need prayers.  Lots of prayers.

I have the best family, friends and supporters in the whole world.  Once again, I thank you for your prayers, love, and support.