Sunday, February 28, 2016

No Indoor Plumbing

I imagine most of us cannot even comprehend sending our little children to elementary school without running water and indoor plumbing.  I started to school in the early 60's and we had running water and indoor plumbing.  Even then.

I can promise you that I would not have allowed my children to go to a school without running water.

The Casa kids that are in elementary school go to school in Santa Ana, but right next door to us, Ojojona, the elementary school has no running water.  This is a large school.  They have both morning and afternoon sessions.  They have latrines. 

This weekend, the city and school are raising money for running water and toilets.  It was required for every parent to help raise money for this.  Not optional.  Required. 

Last week our church, which is in Ojojona, voted unanimously to give this week's contribution to that effort.  The contribution this morning was over 1600 lempiras, which is larger than a normal week's contribution. 

When we left church, there were little children in their uniforms and parents every where with the big water bottles.  We ate with the group and then Nicole had to go back to the mission house.  We were stopped at the entrance to Ojojona as there was a donation station there.  We both gave a little more.  While we were at the mission house, people came on the property and asked us to give.  We explained that we had already given.  They were very grateful and thanked us.  As we left, we saw the same people going on to another property to ask. 

No one we saw seemed to mind that they were required to be spending their Sunday in this manner.  Most seemed happy to be helping.

I hope the money needed is raised for this project. 

Sending our children to school with no running water and no toilets is something our American minds cannot even begin to understand.

Friday, February 26, 2016


 A couple of years ago, Honduras Hope and the board wanted to become more intentional about sharing Christ.  I think some good things are happening in some of the Honduran churches, not because of Honduras Hope, but because God is working in this country.

I have some good news to report.

Recently in Los Pinos, there have been 6 new baptisms.  This church was planted in 2003. This is a strong church.  The church at Los Pinos is responsible for the church in Lomas Diamante.  A Honduran church planted by Hondurans is a good thing.  The Skillman Church in Dallas is helping support this church.  The church is about 2 years old.  Recently, there have been 12 baptisms there.  Timoteo is working tirelessly there.

The church in Santa Ana hit a rough spot last year, a really rough spot.  Dennis is now the preacher of that church.  The average attendance on Sunday morning has risen from 7 adults to 70.  I don't think Dennis wants the glory for that.  He would much rather the glory go to God. Columbus, Mississippi continues to help with this work.

Then there is a new church in Tiera del Padre. This summer a new church building will be built.  Three churches in Mississippi, Starkville, Winona and Greenwood, have raised the money for this building.  Central Church of Christ in Ada, Oklahoma is helping with preacher support.  I think those Mississippi churches are going to be pleased when they get here in July.  Timoteo, Matt and others are working out there on Sunday afternoons.  There will be a fairly good sized church already in place waiting for its building..

You can just feel the spiritual excitement in the air.  God is so good and all thanks to Him.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Tuesday I had knee surgery for a torn meniscus.  This is a relatively simple surgery and recovery.  Since the last two surgeries I had were for intestinal blockages, I agree that this is a simple surgery and recovery.

My knee has hurt for quite some time.  Longer than I care to admit.  The cartilage damage was severe because I waited so long.  As simple as this recovery is, perhaps it could have been more simple if I had taken care of the problem when it first began.

I had to be on complete bed rest and not bend my knee for 3 days.  Friday I saw the doctor and was told to resume normal walking and to start resuming normal activities.  I have done that, within reason.  I know it will be quite some time before I can attempt the hill from my house to Casa and back.

Three days of complete bed rest.  I needed that.  I have read some good books, rested, played on the computer and many other worthwhile activities.  I thought I could be in bed and work as easily as I could read.  But my mind and body was exhausted.  The work will wait on me.

Resting my mind, body, and soul has been exactly what I needed.  Complete rest.  And reflection.  As my body heals, I think it is time to allow my heart to heal also.

I allowed my body to function in pain when I should have done something sooner.  I have allowed my heart and soul to function in pain as well.  It is time to allow this old heart to heal.  To rest in God's goodness.  Every stressful event in my life has been good for 20 pounds.  It is time to get rid of that 20 pounds, which probably help the knee problem as well.

I am ready for my mind, body, soul and heart to be restored.

Dear God, let complete healing of my body, heart, mind, and soul begin.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


My knee has hurt for so long.  My was really ready for this surgery.  When one person is out around here, it puts a hardship on everyone else.  I was trying to do as much as I could on Sunday and Monday so that Matt and Nicole did not have as much to do later in the week.  I made a big school supply run on Sunday.  Monday we had a staff meeting and it was payday.  I thought I would have time to do some things in my house that needed to be done and tie up some more loose ends.

Things often do not go as planned.  I got the pay done.  I got my laundry done.  I got a few more things done. But, not near what needed to be done.  I was anxious about not getting those things done.  I was anxious about being out and leaving so much for others to do, including taking care of me.  I was having trouble praying through my anxiety.  I began to read the messages on facebook from so many of you saying you were praying for me.  I found great comfort in that and was, at last, able to pray through my worries and find some peace.

Nicole and I were going to leave at 5:30 for the hospital.  I needed to be there at 7:00.  By leaving at 5:30, we probably would have been there at 6:30, but leaving at 6:00 who knows when our arrival time might be.

Nicole's car would not start.  Matt, Nicole, the girls and I piled in the truck at 6:00.  This was a cause of great concern for me.  Matt was going to take Nicole and me to the hospital first and then the girls to school.  Everyone was going to be late.  Haley, especially does not like to be late.  Morning traffic is never pleasant, but, it was much worse than normal. 

Around 7:30, I asked Nicole to call the doctor and tell him we would be late.  She wondered why I could not call.  I was afraid I would start crying.  She graciously called for me.

Arriving at the hospital at 8:00, we went straight to admissions.  My names are not Honduran names and no one knows how to spell them.  I always write my name for people and give them my id.  I wrote my name and handed it and other documents to the admissions clerk.  I paid my deposit.  The clerk started to hand me the paper and then took it back.  Nicole looked at me and asked why.  I said because my name was misspelled and she had to do it over.  That was the break I needed.  I started laughing. 

I was taken right up to the 5th floor.  Nicole prayed with me and I filled out my release form.  I went back to change my clothes.  I felt at peace.  I had prayed.  Nicole had prayed.  And, I knew 100's in the states were praying.  No time was wasted as they prepared me surgery.  One of the nurses kept saying "en el nomber de Jesus."  This was putting me at ease.  Then all of a sudden I was told to sit up as I was being given an epidural.  I missed the memo on this.  Panic took over once again.   I am okay with having surgery in a third world country, but an epidural.  I was sure I was going to be paralyzed.  I felt hot tears welling up in my eyes.  Once again, I prayed and felt at peace.  I relaxed enough that I hardly felt that big old needle go in my back.  The epidural begin to work almost immediately as I felt my bottom go numb and them my legs. 

I knew Dr. Ham and many other people were in the room.  I was not under general anesthesia, but there was a sedative in my iv.  I was aware of most things.  Sort of.  I dozed on and off.  I could see someone standing my leg, but I was unaware that it was Dr. Ham.  I kept wondering when he was going to start.  At 10:15, he said he was through and there was much more damage than he anticipated.

I was immediately taken to recovery.  There was no clock there.  Again, I was in and out of sleep.  I knew my bottom half was still numb.  Nicole came in.  I asked if  Dr. Ham had talked to her.  She said about an hour ago.  I guess I was sleeping more than I thought because I thought I had only been in recovery about 15 minutes when she came in.

I was so happy when I could wiggle my toes and then begin to lift my leg.  I had to stay in recovery until the epidural wore off.  Nicole went down to finish paying my bill and we left.  We went to get Emmy at school.  Then we went to the pharmacy for my meds.  There was no way I could walk that far.  I stayed in the truck and I got to hold Paigie.  That will always make a grammy feel much better.
Matt bought me a cold ice tea.  I needed that.  I was so thirsty.  Matt is my favorite son-in-law.

We went back to school to get Haley and headed to Santa Ana.  Matt got as close to my house as possible.  Matt and Nicole helped me in the house.  That was the most exhausting part of the whole day.  I had my pajamas on the bed and quickly changed.  Nicole and Matt helped me take care of a few other things. 

I am so fortunate that I have not had any pain yet.  I am taking my meds as prescribed and getting up to go to the bathroom.  Nicole is coming in and out to see about me.  I am fortunate to have Matt and Nicole.  They are great caregivers.

I am reading Grisham's latest, playing on facebook, coloring and resting.

I am also fortunate to have all of you praying for me.  Keep those prayers coming.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The First Two Weeks Of School

Another school year has begun.  True to form, it has been quite hectic.

On January 25, Monday, I left with Matt and the girls at 6:15.  After we took the girls to school, Matt and I were going to start buying school supplies and uniforms.  The reason I was with Matt and not in my car is another blog story that did not get written, as was the entire day of January 25.  Nicole spent hours at the high school registering kids. 

After the truck broke down, I took a taxi to Larach and started buying.  Matt arrived later.  On this initial run, I buy the things I know we will need.  I try to buy extra of things, so we are not having to go back all the time.  By the time it was all said and done and paid for, I think Matt was a bit shocked at how much there was and this was only the initial run. 

We then went to La Confianza and started on the uniforms.  We thought we had a complete list.  Of course, we did not.  It took hours in La Confianza.  Nearly everyone needed nearly every piece.  Matt was getting nervous has he had a 2:00 appointment and he could not be late. 

That was pretty much all we got done that day in the way of preparing for school.

The next day I had a doctor's appointment and left with Matt again.  After my appointment, we started round 2.  I was feeling pretty good by the end of the day with what we accomplished.  Nicole went to El Faro to register some more kids.

Wednesday Nicole began taking kids to Ojojona to get shoes.  She took a few at a time.  This took the better part of an afternoon.

Sunday, the day before school started, Nicole and I left after church to "finish."  Ha!  Everyone in the country was trying to finish.  Or to start.  The stores were packed.  Again, I felt pretty good, but knew we were not finished.

Monday was the first day of school for some.  Nicole went to the elementary school with the kids. Nicole called at 8:30 (school was supposed to start at 8:00) and said "can you believe the teachers aren't here yet on the first day of school?" I think everyone was out by 10:00 that first day.  First grade was out right after it started and the parents had to stay and clean the classroom. 

The high school kids went in the afternoon and actually stayed all afternoon.

Tuesday, Nicole went to the kindergarten to register Olman.  That got lost in registering the other kids.

Wednesday no one went to school because it was a holiday. 

Olman started on Thursday and Rosy was registered at Manos Felices.

Friday was supposed to have been the first day of school for the El Faro kids, but that got changed to Tuesday of the next week.  Not many of the elementary school kids had school on Friday and the ones that did were dismissed very early for parent meetings. Nicole and I made another trip to Larach, as some of the lists had been sent home.

Rosy started on the 8th.  El Faro started on the 9th.  No school for the elementary kids on the 9th because the school had to be fumigated.  I wondered why they could not have thought of that before school started.

Nicole has made several more trips to the schools to buy books and other things that had to be purchased at the schools.  Without exception, at every school, things that needed to be purchased at school, everything was not there yet.

Wednesday Nicole tore out of here heading to Tegucigalpa to exchange some uniform pieces and buy another round of school supplies. 

I thought we were through with all the uniforms but the El Faro ones. But maybe not.

Josue did not have class on Friday.  Someone is home all the time.

Yesterday, the El Faro kids brought their lists home.  They are long.  I put together things we had.  There is more that we did not have than we had.  Guess what I will be doing tomorrow afternoon?

We have 20 kids in 5 schools.  That is better than last year.  They were in 7 schools last year.

I hope everyone goes to school every day next week?