Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dinner On The Grounds

Saturday a new group of people arrived.  Most of them are from Skillman Church of Christ in Dallas.  The rest are from Joplin and California.

Sunday, the group and the Casa kids went to church in Lomas Diamante.  It is a ways from Santa Ana and I decided the kids and I would ride the bus with the group rather than driving the van.  I enjoyed riding. 

I had never been to church in Lomas Diamante.  I loved it.  The people were so welcoming, the fellowship so sweet.  

Timoteo preached passionately to a packed building. 

There is no water and no baptistry.  Timoteo hauls the water and the baptistry up the mountain each week.
And, Sunday it was needed as one person decided to make Jesus her savior.

The Skillman group purchased lunch for after church.  Luis showed up with the food shortly after church ended. The people were most appreciative.

A little girl that was about 6 walked through the line and got her food.  She asked me to hold her plate.  She went back and helped her little sister who was 2 or 3 get her food and drinks for both of them.  She helped little sister get outside and came back and got her plate from me.  I was touched by this little scene as those little girls with dresses that did not fit are just about the same ages as Haley and Emma.  There is no fellowship hall and no tables.  A few people used the chairs in the church building.  All of the children sat on the ground outside.  Many people stood outside as they ate their lunch.  There was a lot of happy sounds and people shared this meal together. 

There was food left and Timoteo asked if he could take it to the children in Tierras del Padre as he was off to preach to another church.  He loaded the food and he and the baptistry were gone.

Lomas Diamante is a poor community as you can see from the pictures of these houses.

 But high on the mountain, the views are beautiful.

This last picture is not too bad since I was standing on a moving bus on a very rough road.

Sunday we got home quite a bit later than we are used to.  I was moved by the experience of worshiping in this little church high on a mountain overlooking Tegucigalpa.  I will not soon forget this worship experience.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Making A Difference, For 10 Years

Today is June 18, 2016.  Casa de Esperanza received the first children on June 30, 2006.  Just 12 days short of being 10 years.

Many prayers have always covered Casa de Esperanza.  Always.  Ground was broken on July 24, 2005.  Prayers were said as those shovels turned the soil.  I cried.  Others did, too.

Prayers were said daily as the ground was cleared and the weeks of construction.  Construction went fairly rapidly.

Many of us came from the States in December, 2005 as the building was dedicated.  The building was not completely finished, but we prayed in each room for the children that would be living here.  We also sanded and painted and whatever else needed to be done.

That weekend was full of love, prayers, tears, and anticipation.  Anticipation as we eagerly waited for children to fill this house, which would become a home.

And, trust me, there were prayers and prayers as we waited for that last document to be signed.  And, as we waited some more.  And waited.

Then finally, on June 30, 2006, the first little one came to Casa de Esperanza to live.
Nicole and others greet the first five that called Casa de Esperanza home.  Again, prayers were said.  Prayers of gratitude.  Prayers for wisdom.  Karen Vaughan and Jenn Wright were here and helped this home to become what it is.

There was not a single one of us that knew what we were doing.  Opening a children's home in a third world country.  The things that we have learned.  It is humorous now how much we did not know.  But, God is good and He led us through.  Through the mistakes and the learning curves.

These first five were brothers.  They are no longer at Casa de Esperanza.

The second five came in October 2006.

Who is that Jenn is holding?  That is none other than our sweet little Katy.  My, how she has grown.  Oh, that one can charm you to death.  Or manipulate you to death.  Her sassy little attitude is what makes Katy, Katy.

More kids came.  And some left.  Our hearts broke each time one left.

At one time, we had 23 kids.  Today, we have 19.  We still cover these kids, and ourselves, in prayer.  We still make mistakes.  We still do not know everything about running a children's home in a third world country.

We are trying to meet the spiritual, emotional, physical and educational needs.

These little ones were so cute 10 years ago.  So cute.  They are still cute, in a different kind of way.  But they are teenagers now.  They came from extreme poverty.  Some were abandoned, abused in the worst possible ways.  They have a lot of baggage.  And, they need a lot of love.  We have one cutting herself.  One has symptoms of an eating disorder.  These kids have some serious problems. 

From the beginning, Casa de Esperanza has been covered in prayers.  Please do not stop now.  We covet your prayers.  For these children and wisdom for ourselves.  Please stop right now and say a little prayer for Doris, Rosy, Reina, Ana, Sisi, Daniela, Katy, Nohemy, Maryuri, Guadalupe, Any, Fernando, Jackson, Jose, Josue, Cris, Yair, Olman and Josue., for all the employees that work with these children and for Nicole and I as we try to make the best decisions for each child.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Victory Dance

Last year on June 1, one year and one day ago, I wrote a blog called Hopes, Dreams and Reality.  I was very honest because Casa de Esperanza was in the worst financial shape that we had ever been in.  I did not know if we could make it.  I was not ready to just throw in the towel.  I prayed.  The board prayed.  People at the children's home conference prayed.  A lot of people prayed.  Matt, Nicole, the board and I all give credit to God for hearing and answering those prayers.

Many people, too many to even begin to name, made one time donations.  A children's home cannot run on one time donations, but without those we might have had to shut the doors and put these children back on the street.  There was enough in one time donations to get us through until we could find some new monthly donors.  We still welcome one time donations.

Our board raised a lot of money.  Again, some of those were one time donations and some were new monthly donors.  We appreciate every one of our donors, one time or monthly.  2015 ended in a much better financial position.

In 2016, we have been able to turn some of our dreams into reality.  Praise God.

When school started in February, for the first time ever, we were able to enroll 5 of our kids in a special needs school.  It is a 45 minute one way drive from here.  The morning logistics are crazy and if someone stumps their toe, there can easily be a domino effect.  We do have a back up plan.  I know all the glory goes to God, but Higher Focus Ministry in Amarillo and Lakehoma Church of Christ played a large roll in making sure these little ones could go to school in an environment that best suits their needs.  We appreciate it.  It has long been a dream of mine to see some of these kids in a special needs school.

Another dream has been that all the children will leave here with some sort of skill or trade.  A few have worked in the store and learn to make change and wait on customers and such, but most were not being trained.  We recently hired a new employee.  The board raised the money for this.  This woman can do everything.  She speaks Honduran sign language fluently.  That is huge since we have a deaf child.  She taught in a special needs school.  She can teach the beauty courses; hair, nails, etc.  She is teaching the girls beauty and the boys barber.  She can plant and garden and will be teaching that as well.  There are so many things that she will be teaching that it is amazing.  Funny, how much better the girls get their chores done of a morning when they want to go to beauty classes.  I feel with this that we are better preparing them to leave here in a few years.  And survive.

A couple of the kids are now in counseling.  Sisi is a different person since she began.

Again, I give thanks to God and again, I thank every single donor, no matter how large or small your donation.  We are doing a victory dance to see what God has done and is doing.  He made it clear to us that He wanted us to continue taking care of these children.

I am not saying that all our dreams have been fulfilled and that we no longer need money.  Many hopes and dreams remain.  I would like to see more kids in counseling.  We kind of assess needs and decide who gets to go to counseling.

Running a children's home and meeting the kid's need is very expensive.  If you wish to make a one time donation or become a monthly donor you can mail a check to:
 Casa de Esperanza
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705

or go to

Please consider continuing to make dreams become reality.

If you have any question about Casa de Esperanza, you can email at

Thank you all for your continued support