Sunday, November 16, 2008

Samuel and Johnny

I don't have much...but here's what I know.
Rosa was able to take Samuel to a specialist in Le Cieba. We haven't heard the outcome of that visit or if they were able to learn more from the tests that were scheduled when we left.
Johnny wasn't able to give blood to his brother because he, (Johnny) is anemic. We don't know what condition the brother is in now.
Please continue to pray for Johnny, Rosa, and their children.

Home Safe and Sound

We made it safely home on Friday afternoon. We were exhausted, but so happy to see family and friends. The next few weeks will be a flurry of activity as we help get ready for my sister's wedding on Nov.28th. I know it will be busy, but I hope to keep you all informed as much as possible whenever we get news from Honduras while we are home. I also hope to write a few of the stories and post more pictures that I didn't have time for when we were there.
So, even though we aren't out there on the field, please stay tuned!
Thanks for all your prayer support as we made our way home. It was a stressful trip and we picked up either a stomach bug or a mild case of food poisoning the morning we left. But overall, it was a fine trip and we are so thankful things went as well as they did.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Hippy Missionary Family

These are our traveling uniforms. In the past, we have found it helpful to dress the kids alike, but this time I wanted us all to get into the act. This was a fun project for me and I learned a new tie-dye technique at the same time. And now we can become known as the happy hippy missionary family.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Traveling

After a night that was short on sleep and very long on packing, we left early this morning for San Pedro Sula. A friend, Emilson drove us in his truck. We travled the back dirt road that used to take hours becuase it was in such bad shape. The government has poured a mountain of effort and money into getting that road drivable as now it is the main way to get in and out of Trujillo. We passed many places were we could see how the water had been, up to twenty feet higher than normal. It was incredible to see where it carved new river beds around the bridges and toppled huge trees by eating away all the soil under thier massive root systems. We are so thankful for the nice and dry weather we have been having that made it possible for all the road repairs to be done in time for our departure today. We had no difficulties getting here and are very thankful for Emilson's willingnesss to drive us instead of the 6-9 hour bus trip.
Pray for us as we make our final preparations. We fly out Thusday and Lord willing arrive home, in New Hampshire on Friday morning. We have said most of our goodbyes. It was hard for us to leave the people we have come to love here in Honduras. The past two weeks have been much less stressful as the flood waters receded and we were able to devote more time to other things. It seemed like just here at the end of our stay for this time, God was opening doors left and right for different things we have wanted to pursue in the past. We are excited to go home and see our friends and family and we are looking forward to what the future holds.

Update on Samuel

Samuel is home from the hospital, but still not doing well. We are making plans for Rosa to take him to a specialist in La Ceiba in the next few days. When we saw him last, it made my heart sad to watch him struggle for every breath. We cried with Rosa as we prayed for God's protection and healing of little Samuel. This is an especially difficult time for their family. Johnny's brother was in a car accident and is unconscious in the hospital in Tegucigalpa. Johnny left today in time to get there for an urgent blood transfusion for the brother. While he is gone, Rosa is left alone to deal with Samuel's sickness. Please pray peace for this family and that the specialist would be able to help them.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pray for Samuel

Samuel is in the hospital with pneumonia again. He just celebrated his birthday on Monday. He is not doing well and the Doctors say he needs to go to Teguc for more testing to see what else can be done to help him. Before he can do that, he needs to heal from this last bout of pneumonia. Please pray for peace for Johnny and Rosa and that Samuel would be feeling better soon.

Wonderful Weather!

Tropical Storm "Paloma" did turn into Hurricane Paloma, but we were so grateful that as the storm grew more powerful, it slowly made its way north. We haven't had ANY rain yesterday or today and it has been SO beautiful out. It is nice and cool with a lovely breeze. Today we went we took some time off this afternoon an went swimming at a hotel pool right on the beach. The ocean is still dirty from all the red clay that washed into and the beaches are littered with garbage so we didn't spend much time there, but just to be out in the sun was a wonderful change for all of us!
The big trucks have been able to get in and out of Trujillo by that other road and the stores and gas stations are well stocked again. We've have been relieved and feel blessed that it looks like clear weather until we leave.
Tomorrow we plan to move mattresses and essentials over to the dorm. We will sleep there for the next three nights so that it will be easier to clean and pack up this place before we leave on Tuesday. It looks like a couple of busy days before then.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Another Road and More Storms

Brian did some more investigating and found another option for us when we plan to leave Honduras next week. There is another road that goes to Tacoa in a round about way; it is much longer and bumpier. And it also has two bridges that were damaged, but they are smaller and more easily repaired. So we are hopeful that we will be able to leave as planned.
Please pray that a big storm front moving our way goes north and doesn't dump large amounts of rain on already soggy Honduras.

A few updates:
  • The shelter sent everyone home. The water has come down in most places.
  • Brian was able to meet the man organizing help for communities cut off by the water. Hector, Brian and Jonathan were able to get food to a village that had been without food for several days.
  • People aren't starving here in Trujillo, but the food is running out. Our workers have asked for food and gas for the "chimbo" to cook at their homes. We have plenty of food here, though the kids are getting a little tired of soup. The bank is out of money and in general people don't have money to buy what food there is because no one has been working. Even with all the uncertainty, the happy-go-lucky Honduran spirit still shows. Most people don't appear concerned about the future.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bridge Out


Here is the bridge over the Agua Amarrillo, about 5 miles from where we live. We had heard that it was washed out, and when Brian went there yesterday, he saw that this time, the reports were true. There is a huge section in the middle that is completely gone. They are ferrying people and supplies across in an a small boat. This is the main road to Tacoa that I have mentioned in the past and with the bridge out, it will be much harder to get food and clean water into Trujillo.
Yesterday we had beautiful weather with sunshine and a nice breeze. The kids were so happy to play outside! A little bit of sun was good for all of us.
The hole I showed you Sunday is semi-fixed now. We think they just dumped a load of dirt in one side so that road is open to one way traffic in that spot. That problem was fixed very quickly. Unfortunately, the bridge is a much bigger deal and we don't expect it to be passable any time soon.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

More Pictures

Just a reminder to look back at the last few posts...I just added pictures that I didn't have time to upload before. I will probably keep doing that...write quickly and then later try to get a picture or two squeezed into the story line. So it pays to look back as you might miss a picture, worth a thousand words if you don't!

Wash Out

Last night the deluge started up again and this morning when Brian took several hundred biscuits that Alissa had made over the the shelter, he got to see the damage first hand. He almost drove over this when only half the road was gone. If he had, he would have been stuck on the other side as this is the only way in and out.
This is what is left of the road to the Tacoa. People were walking and riding bikes across the side that is still intact, but we won't be driving through there any time soon. Again, we have heard more reports of bridges damaged or destroyed beyond this point, but don't know if they are true or not. Brian hopes to bike out to the first main bridge tomorrow to see for himself how bad the damage is there. The weather report calls for less rain for the next couple of days, but then we are to get alot again next weekend. Things continue as semi-normal here in Trujillo. The streets that were flooded a few days ago are clear and muddy.( I can't say dry as we have forgotten what that is!) There is no gas, but still some food in the stores. It sounds like the shelter won't need any more help for a while and since we can't drive out there now anyways, we won't be sending big batches of soup. There are others that are cut off and need food. Tomorrow Brian meets with a local man who is oganizing the relief effort to see what else we can do to help.
Please continue to pray for us all. We are still optimistic that eventually things will dry out and we have all the things necessary for survival. We thank God for the place we have to live and for His protection.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Clear Skies

The rain stopped and the sun was even out briefly. There is a warm breeze and things are drying out. The flooding in Trujillo went down during the night and things are looking good. We heard that to road to Tacoa is open to small trucks but not the buses and heavier traffic. But, since we can't see for ourselves, we can't be sure of the condition of the road. We are frustrated with all the mis-information we get and don't have a way to get any trustworthy news. We haven't heard from the shelter and don't know if they need more help or not. We do have plenty of staples to make more soup if necessary.
Last night, we didn't have any water. We filled several large tubs during the night by collecting rainwater off the roof. This morning Brian was able to find and fix the problem so we now have flushing toilets and water for washing.
Thanks for all your prayer support. God is answering our plea for clear skies and things are looking good!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Flood Waters Rise



It sounds like Niagra Falls all the time. We have not had much of a break in the rain since yesterday. Last night Brian, Jeffery and a few others took more soup over the the shelter. They went room to room talking about the Lord and handing out Bibles. One per family was the plan, but some young people insisted that they receive one because their families weren't there. A group of teens sat around and took turns reading to each other out of the Bible we had given them. How exciting to not only feed them physically, but more importantly, spiritually!
This morning Brian and I took 15 pounds of cooked beans over for breakfast. On our way, a small river had begun to cross the road for about 10-15 feet. When we left an hour later, it was a 40 foot wide stretch of swiftly running water and the road was beginning to wash out. We made it through safely, but wonder if we will be able to get any more food to the shelter without a boat or much bigger army truck. All over there is more water in more places and higher than yesterday. Thankfully, the big river that we are watching on the road to Tacoa is about the same as it was yesterday. The road was open for a time again. The gas trucks got through and few others.
Again, Brian and Jeffery went into Trujillo and stocked up on essentials. We should be able to make several more huge batches of soup to give out or feed people here for a while if we can't get back to the shelter.
Pray for us! The water pounding on the roof is so loud it is hard to carry on a conversation. Pray that is will let up soon. If we could have a clear day, I think most of the water would go down and things could begin to dry out. The water has covered the road between us and Trujillo in places and the Rio Negro is over the banks and almost over the bridge there.
Our power was out for a short time, but we are thankful that it is back on. We did lose our water. That isn't so uncommon here, but if a water line is broken, which is what we suspect it could be a long time before that is fixed. Good thing we can go outside to get a shower!
I will write when I can...meanwhile cover us in prayer!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

All Things Work Together for Good

The last time we took our clothes to the now familiar laundry mat, Brian talked to the owner,Ruth about what we are doing here. She is quite educated, unusual for Trujillo, and has a daughter with Down's Sydrome. She studied in Teguc, the capital and has a wealth of information and books on special needs children that she wants to share with us. This morning, she came out to the FDC to meet with Roxana and Susana, who has some very unusal and difficult to manage needs. Ruth is very willing and ready to share her insight and experience with our team.
Isn't it neat that in the midst of the rain and flooding, God can use even that to work out good for His children? If it hadn't rained for...how many days? I quit counting, it's been a loooong time! We wouldn't be having such a hard time getting our clothes dry and we wouldn't have been using the laundry mat. But becuase we needed to get our clothes clean and dry, we met this lady. She has been in Trujiillo for years and never had been connected with anyone here. She didn't know that Little Hands existed! Now, we have a great resource right in our town! This confirms to me that God is at work here and that there is more going on than just us struggling through the rain and all the trouble as a result of the above average and early to start rainy season. Isn't God good?

Flooding

The rain has been almost constant for the past week. Yesterday, we heard that the road out of Trujillo to Tacoa was under water and the bridges were being undermined by the raging river.
Yesterday Brian and Jeffery went to check on the families that we serve who live near the rivers. They convinced two that they needed to leave before the water was in their houses. Some of you may remember the gully next to Jennie's house. It is now full of water and in just a few more feet, it will be in the house. Jenny and her family moved to higher ground. When they checked on Erica's family the river was level with the road and huge puddles were filling he holes in the road. When they left that area, they could see that the water was getting higher. They took Erica and her family to a shelter set up for displaced people. Brian had talked to the lady in charge and asked what else we could do to help.
That morning we had tried to stock up on groceries before the stores were bare since nothing can get in to bring more food. We bought 100 pound of beans and rice hoping to give them out to the displaced families. The lady agreed that that would be helpful. Last night we estimated there would over 100 hungry people waiting for us to bring food. We made a huge stock pot of soup. Then we received word that there were 170 with 40 more on the way. We made another big pot of soup. Right before we were ready to take it over, they said there were over 300. We had purchased plastic cups and spoons and five loaves of bread since there was nothing at the shelter. We only had enough for 200, but figured that was better than nothing. When they got there, there were other people to help serve the soup and while that was taken care of, Brian and Mabelline's brother, Danial, put plastic all around the building because the rain was blowing in the open windows and the people inside were getting wet and cold.

This morning we spent hours picking through 15 pounds of beans to remove the rocks, dirt, ect. Myra and the ladies cooked the beans and 25 pounds of rice. Brian and some others took that over for lunch. We had heard that they needed water also, but when they got there, someone had set up a system for purifying the water. It seems like there are others helping out too and bringing some food as well. We plan to make soup again tonight.
Yesterday all the gasoline in town was gone and there were long lines at the grocery stores. But this morning we learned that the road had been open for a short time in the night/early morning. It seems that the gas truck got through and there were fresh veggies also. I don't think that the regular grocery stores were able to get anything else to restock their shelves.
Please pray for us and the people of Honduras. Pray for dry weather! It was clear this morning and I think the sun even made a short appearance, but now it is pouring again. We feel safe where we are and as long as we don't lose power, we should be fine. We are on high ground and aren't worried about the flooding directly affecting us here. However, we need wisdom about when we do need to be concerned and what to do in case of things deteriorating to the point where we feel it is unsafe for us to remain here. The power was out for a while this morning and so we are forming "what if" plans. We thank God that has blessed us with a safe, dry, and comfortable place to sleep while so many people here have none of those things. We are glad that we are in a position to be helpful to them. Pray that we will be able to continue the help we have started.
I will try to keep you updated. With the power outages, I try to conserve the battery on the lap top as much as possible. Thanks for praying for all of us. I hope to post pictures too, but that may have to wait until later also.

A few other notes:
  • The shelter is part of a collage/school campus if you can call it that. The building is just empty classrooms. There are no cots and no Red Cross. We don't know if they have any or sufficient bathroom facilities. There are 65+ people in some of the rooms. There are a ton of kids with little or nothing to do but watch the rain come down. During the break in the rain this morning, the ladies tried to wash clothes in the dirty water all around in ditches and puddles. Brian helped string up two clothes lines per room for people to hang their clothes up in hopes that they may dry.

  • The entire country is being affected by the flooding. Honduras is on red alert. Most people are not going to work. We don't have access to much news, but we do know that there have been widespread problems so this is not just affecting our corner, but a very wide area.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sewing Machine for Rosa

I have been going to Rosa's on Fridays to teach her to sew because she is unable to attend sewing classes here. I had been hoping that we could find a way for her to get her own sewing machine so she would be able to practice the things she was learning. A generous donor in the states bought this brand new machine that includes a manual in both English and Spanish. We were able to present it to her while Carolee and Linda were here. Rosa is so thankful and repeated several times that this was a special gift. My hope is that Rosa will be able use this machine to not only sew things for her family, but also use it to earn an income to help pay for all the expensive medicine that her special needs children, Josue and Samuel will continue to need. We thank God for providing for Rosa and her family in such a generous way.

(Just for the record, I am tall, but not nearly as ginormous as this picture makes me look. The knee high table is really what Rosa has to sew on. The refrigerator behind me is a small version. It was so fun to show Rosa her new machine and see all the things she will be able to do with it.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rachel's Baptism


We have been talking with our oldest daughter, Rachel, for some time now about her relationship with Christ. She believes that Jesus is God's son, who died to pay the penalty for our sins and has expressed several times over the past year, her desire to be baptized. We thought it wise to give it a little time because we wanted to make sure of her motivation, and she has confirmed to us that she wants to follow Jesus and to serve Him. We couldn’t be more excited about this desire growing in her young heart. On Sunday, October 19th, Brian baptized her in a wild ocean amid the waves.
I love this photo of him holding her close after her baptism. The first time I saw it, it struck me how very much this is a picture of our heavenly Father. It seemed that He was saying to me, "Even in the midst of the waves, I am there, cradling you and protecting you from the brunt of the storm." After last week, (see my previous loooong post), I am so thankful for that promise and very ready to rest there. (See Psalm 91)

A Week of Challenges

Well, where do I start? The plan was for three friends to visit, do a work project and spend sometime seeing the sights here and in Copan. The morning they were to leave, we got word that one couldn't make it. There was flurry of airline ticket changing so that the remaining two would be able to travel home together. Carolee, from NH got on her plane and began the trip. Linda, from AL went to the airport to begin hers and was told that because of a passport glitch, she wouldn't be able to board the plane. Brian got on a bus here at 2am and rode to San Pedro Sula to pick up just Carolee. They got onto another bus and rode eight hours back here to Trujillo. Linda e-mailed us that the passport problem was fixed and she would be able to fly in the next day. So, Brian got back on the bus to SPS, met Linda, and repeated the trip of two days before. (That's 24 hours on a bus for Brian, in three days if you're counting!) While Brian was gone, I fell off the porch and damaged my wrist quite badly. I was thankful Carolee was here to help out with the kids.
Brian and Linda arrived late Saturday night. Sunday, was a lovely day with a baptism after church. It seemed the week was off to a better start.
Monday morning, Carolee, Linda and our family visited Rebin's house and took the family to the beach. It was a blessing for Carolee and Linda to be able to see how much Rebin has grown and how much more he responds to people now. He loves the water! Monday afternoon, we went to Rosa's house and presented her with a special gift, which I will write about later.
Tuesday the rain started up again. We had hoped to begin the work project, but the weather wasn't co-oparating. Linda and Carolee worked on an organizing project here instead. That afternoon, they taught the children's neighborhood Bible class. Two kids showed up because it was raining so hard! They had a good lesson time anyway with our kids and the others.
Wednesday there was break in the rain so Brian, the older kids, Linda and Carolee, and a few others headed to Jenny's house. The work project was to build a new lean-to over their mud oven. They had been gone a short time when Rosa came running to our place to say the pipe in the bathroom off the sala (living room) had exploded and water was spraying all over! Sure enough, the water was already inches deep in the sala, the medicine room, and the office. The non-stop rain has created above normal water pressure. Only Rosa, Myra, Alissa and the little kids and I were here and none of us knew how to turn off the water. Alissa and I turned all the faucets on in the building and that lessened the pressure enough that we could hold rag over the hole and stop the spray. Eventually Jeffery came and he was able to turn off the water at the pump house. We spent the rest of that day cleaning up the mess. Thankfully, overall there wasn't much long-term damage. The crew at Jenny's was able to finish their project, so a lot was accomplished in that day.
By this point my wrist was healing and I was able to use that arm. But in the meantime I had developed a huge boil in my armpit. I woke up early Thursday morning in pain that kept me from sleeping. When I sat up and felt along the floor for my flip-flops, I stepped in water. A pipe in OUR bathroom had broken in the night and now we were flooded just like the other building. Brian got the water turned off and we both swept the water out the best we could. It had filled the everything/kitchen room and our bedroom and was just starting into the kids’ room. By the time the others woke for breakfast, we had most of the water out, but everything was still wet. I had a raging migraine and went to the dorm to sleep that off while Brian, Linda, and Carolee cleaned up the mess here. You can imagine by this time, we had had enough of water in any form, but the rain was back and there seemed no hope of getting things dried out. But after a few hours of running fans, and lots of hard work, things were looking good.
Friday morning Carolee wasn’t feeling well and I was dragging around with my painful boil. She stayed with three of our kids and me. Linda and Rachel went with the others to distribute rice and beans to the families we serve in Guadeloupe. They went to several houses and were on their way back, when they saw that the road was blocked by Campecino’s. Just past them there was also a police barricade. Apparently the police had chosen that day to arrest the ones responsible for the killings there several months ago and the Campesinos were determined to block the road until their comrades were released from prison. Linda and the others ended up walking through the barricades, past the guys with their machetes drawn and ready for action. Brian had the truck parked on our side where they could safely ride back here.
Friday was also the day that Jonathan came down with a mysterious illness that made it difficult for him to urinate. We were afraid we would need to take him to one of the big cities where we could get modern medical help. There were two roadblocks between us and the outside world. We started praying!
By Saturday morning, Jonathan was doing better and we didn’t think we needed to take him to a doctor after all. An answer to prayer! That morning, Brian and I spent some time talking to Rachel about a decision she had been contemplating for a long time. But that is a story for another post. By early afternoon it was still raining, but we headed to the hot springs to do the first relaxing we had a chance to do since our friends’ arrival. Even in the rain, we enjoyed the natural hot pools and left feeling clean, which is a big deal here, as it doesn’t happen often!
By now, we started questioning if we would be able to get Linda and Carolee back to SPS in time for their flight on Tues. as we had been hearing reports of flood damaged roads. We began to make plans to leave the next morning in order to give ourselves plenty of time in case the roads were as bad as the reports.
Sunday morning, it continued to rain off and on. After church, there was a special event, which I will devote another post too. ( Yes, this is what you call salting the oats!)
We loaded up and headed out. In this case loaded up means we crammed eight people into a five-passenger truck. Most of the luggage went into the back under a tarp, but all the bodies were inside. It was cozy. Very cozy. Three plus hours later we got to La Cieba and peeled ourselves out of the cab. The kids were overjoyed to run around and get their energy out at the play place at Burger King.
Monday morning, the reports said the road was open, but barely. It was raining when we left; all eight of us packed in for another three-hour ride. We drove over bridges where the brown rushing water was just feet away from the road. As we went through Progresso we saw more flooding. At the bus stop, a man told us he had just come from SPS and the road was under water. We prayed for protection and that He would keep the road open long enough for us to get through. Just outside of SPS, we drove by many homes that were flooded. People stood in groups by every bridge watching the water rise higher. There were small tarp settlements; displaced families made a shelter with the few belongings they could carry with them. Some just sat on the ground with nothing but each other. The opposite side of the highway was under water, but our side was still clear and we made it safely to our destination.
Tuesday morning, the power flickered on and off at the hotel. People were saying that this was like Hurricane Mitch that totally devastated this country. There were already 100 confirmed dead and many more missing. We considered putting the kids on a plane with Carolee and sending them to our family in NH. But after more prayer and phone calls, we decided things weren’t as bad as the papers portrayed them. Besides, the sun was shining. We said our good byes to our dear friends and Brian took them to the airport.
We loaded up the truck with the kids and luggage and headed back toward Trujillo. (The backseat that had been so crowded for all four kids in the past now seemed quite spacious without two adults in there too!) They watched out the windows as we passed more and more displaced people trying to find a way to get out of the rain that would be returning soon. We saw one lucky person who had a real tent. Along the road people were cutting down trees to make new tarp shacks to live in until the water went down. The meridian of the highway was on high ground. In one place it was packed with tarp shelters. The water had come down and the road was clear all the way to La Cieba. We spent the night there and made it back here late this afternoon. Everywhere the rivers are swollen and eating away at the red clay banks. The water has gone down in some places, but there is more rain in the forecast and many people still are homeless. Please pray for the people of Honduras. Pray for us that we can be a light to our neighbors and a blessing to our brothers and sisters in Christ here.
We are so thankful that despite all the hardships and, Linda and Carolee were able to come and get back home safely. The past two weeks did not go anything like what we had hoped or planned. For months we had looked forward to a time of relaxing and enjoying beautiful Honduras and sharing the ministry here with dear friends. Instead, it was a time of unexpected stresses with exploding pipes, weird health problems, and scary events. As we reflected on our time together, we came to see that maybe God had sent Carolee and Linda for such a time as this. We wondered if Satan was at work, trying to discourage us in the last month before our furlough to the states. For me, it was an emotionally and physically grueling week. Just as in the Old Testament, Aaron and Hur held up Moses' arms to ensure a victorious battle, Linda and Carolee held us up and gave us the encouragement to keep going. What a blessing!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lice Aren't Nice

From that catchy title, you might have guessed what our latest test of endurance is...we picked up an annoying case of head lice. The girls and I have waist length hair so lice is a major ordeal for us. I haven't resorted to chopping our locks off yet, but I did buzz Brian and the boys' hair. I hated to cut off Andrew's strawberry blond curls, but anything to help us eradicate the nasty bugs is worth it now!
Alissa and Brian have been a great help! They spent most of Sunday afternoon boiling and bleaching all our bedding. Now if we can just get it to dry! It seems the rainy season has started a month early as we have had downpours all week. We just learned about a place in Trujillo where we can have things washed and DRIED all in the same day! I know that isn't an earth shattering idea to you all back in the states, but here for me, that's really exciting! Many of the things we washed days ago are still wet, so this place could be a real blessing to us now. I'm hoping that we can take care of our mountain of laundry tomorrow.
So, if you think of us this week...pray that we'll be able to get rid of all the unwanted guests in our place and that they don't come back!


Oct.3 Update....Happiness is two laundry baskets full of clean and dry and folded clothes! My shirts, that had continued to stretch out more and more at each hand washing session at the pila, look like they are back to the original size after shrinking in the dryer. I'm quite pleased and plan to utilize the laundry mat in the future!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Day for Eyes!

Yesterday, Brian and Jeffery took a truck load of people to Tocoa, the next town over, about a 45 minute drive now that some of the cavernous potholes are filled.
Norma is a widow from church. She attends the sewing classes here, but has a difficult time because her eye sight is so bad. We were able to take her to a clinic, have her eyes examined, and buy a pair of sturdy glasses that should last her a long time.
Jenny is a Little Hands teen. We have been looking after her for a number of years. She had tumors behind her eyes that disfigure them and make it difficult for her to see. Jeffery made a connection with an upscale eye doctor from La Ceiba, a major city, who is willing to make a special contact for Jenny that will change the odd appearance of her eye, making it look more normal. Yesterday they were able to fit her for the contact which the doctor is making for one tenth of the normal cost.
Monday while working on the trucks, Brian got a piece of rusty metal in his eye. That night we tried to get it out, but it was firmly stuck into his eyeball. Yesterday, at the clinic where they took Norma, the optometrist, looked at his eye, but could not remove the particle. She drove him over to a doctor friend across town. This doctor was able to remove it, much to our relief. In the process, he was able to share why we are here and what we are doing. Each of these doctors expressed an interest in helping Little Hands in the future, and didn't charge a fee for helping Brian! Once again, we are thankful for His perfect timing!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Alexandra Doing Well!

Here's Alexandra with her mother and brother. When we went to visit them last week, she was fighting a cold, but otherwise doing great after the surgery. It is amazing to see where she used have a huge tumor, now it looks normal with just a small incision. We are rejoicing that God made a way for Alexandra to be healed. Yesterday her dad came to see Brian. They had some good time to talk together. Please pray for Selvin and Sandra,Alexandra's parents, that their hearts will be softened and they will be more open to the gospel.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Alexandra Update #2

Yesterday Alexandra's surgery went well. They were able to remove the large tumor in her armpit. The smaller ones on her arm and fingers will be dealt with later. As far as we know she is doing well and will be able to come home soon. Thanks for all your prayers for this little girl and her family. Please continue to pray that the miraculous way that the God worked this all out would be a testimony of His great love for them.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

El Dia del Nino/Day of the Child

Yesterday was El Dia del Nino here in Honduras. We celebrated with games, pinatas, cake and little gift bags for the neighborhood Bible class and many of the kids Little Hands helps. There were over 100 children and their parents in attendance.

This picture is of one group waiting for their gift bags that contained candy and a small toy as well as bandaids and other useful things. As they left, many of the children came up to me to say a genuine, "Muchas Gracias!" Day of the Child is a big deal here and it was a special time for us to take part in a cultural experience and show these precious little ones a helping of Jesus' love.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Alexandra Update

I talked to Brian. They made it safely to SPS and met with the surgeon. He says it should be a simple procedure. The surgery is scheduled for Thursday morning at 6:00. Brian was helping them get settled in at the Ronald McDonald House where they can stay for free. Thanks for all your prayers!

Thursday Update: Alexandra did not have surgery this morning. Please pray that they will be able to fit her into the schedule tomorrow!

Seeing His Hand at Work

We just returned to Honduras after leaving to renew our visas again. As we stood in line waiting to get through immigration, we started talking to the guy behind us. We learned that he is a surgeon who will be working in San Pedro Sula for the next week with a team from the states. As we talked, we started thinking of a little girl named Alexandra, who has a large tumor under her arm with many smaller ones down her forearm and across her fingers. Our friends in the states have been working for months to get her there to have the surgery. They had just come up against a brick will as her father didn't have some necessary paper work and it didn't look like it would be possible for her to make the trip. The more we talked to our new friend, Jeff the surgeon, the more we saw God's Hand at work in it all. We had only just set foot back into this country when we started to see the plan He had worked out for Alexandra to get the help she needs. How interesting that out of all the people on the plane, we just happened to get in line with Jeff, who just happened to be there a few days before the rest of the team, who just happened to be made up of the exactly right kind of doctors to help this little girl. Isn't God good?
As I write this Brian is driving Alexandra and her mother, Sandra to SPS. They will meet up with Jeff and his team late this morning and she may have surgery this afternoon or tomorrow. Please pray for safety as they travel. Brian is still fighting an ear infection that started before we left to renew visas, though he is doing better now. When I talked to him, he said that poor Alexandra is very car sick and has thrown up a number of times. Pray that they will easily find the hospital and the Ronald McDonald house where mother and child should be able to stay free of charge. Pray for the surgery to be a success and that there won't be any complications!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Few Prayer Requests

Sorry it's been slim reading here lately. Our Internet service has improved very slightly. We are still looking into other options. Things are busy here, as always. This weekend Little Hands is hosting a youth retreat. Brian is the main speaker. This has been a challenge because of his limited Spanish, but he has done really well. Pray for him. He has been fighting the chest cold I lovingly shared with him. He was miserable tonight and didn't think his lesson came off as good because his head is to foggy for all the mental strain of speaking in Spanish. Pray that he rests well tonight and that this doesn't turn into Strep. When his immune system is down, that often is the result.
We haven't had any more contact with Baby Carlos and his mom as they were forced to move away. Their village saw some terrible violence and 13 people were killed. Many people have left until things simmer down. Pray for the village of Guadalupe and our missionary friends who still work there. We are far enough removed that we don't fear for our safety, but we are concerned for the innocent villagers and our fellow missionaries.
On the home front, Jonathan and I discovered a new kind of critter in our living quarters tonight. A tiny tree frog was soaking himself in the tray under our pure water spigot. We've had alot of other creatures, but this was something new and less repulsive than some things we've experienced. He was actually kind of cute!
Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lift, Stretch, Grow






Several weeks ago, there was a team in town that came to work with the Christian school. There was a physical therapist in the group who was aching to work with some disabled kids here in Honduras. After we met, through a fellow mission worker, the rest of the week was a blur of trying to keep up with Bobby as he raced from one Little Hands kid to the next always ready to do anything he could to help. His expertise was a huge blessing! We were able to write up specific plans for several of the kids and even make up special excercise sheets with pictures for the moms so they can see just how to stretch and manuever thier child's muscles. Bobby explained how important it is for the children to have good shoes to support weak ankles. For Ruth, one little girl who has one leg that is shorter than the other, we made a lift out of a pair of flip-flops and inserted it inside her new shoes.


Rebin, Santana's son, has CP and has very little muscle tone in his neck. He is barely able to hold his head up. Bobby, Mr. Otto and Brian worked together to make a "standard", a padded wooden structure with several fabric ties. Now, Rebin spends time everyday, standing in an upright position. His neck muscles are gradually getting stronger and he is able to play with toys placed on the tray near his face. Before this, Santana had dug a hole in the ground and placed Rebin in it, so he could strengthen his neck. The standard is adjustable so it will grow as he does.

Bobby spent time with some of our other children as well. He provided insight into Erica and gave Alissa some direction on how to best help her. His enthusiasm and passion for helping special needs kids was a great encouragement to all us us. Having Bobby here made us realize how much we need someone with his gifts and expertise to give the Little Hands kids the best chance of reaching thier full potential. Please pray that God will send the right person to fill this need. We hope to see Bobby back here again in the future!








Carlos Update

Carlos is now up to twelve pounds and is doing well. Today he had a checkup with a Dr. visiting from the states and she prounced him in good health. What difference today from those first pictures! We are praising God for his recovery!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Group #2


I'm trying to just write a little snippet when I can, whenever the Internet is working.
Things went well with our second group. They built a bathroom and pila, (a big cement tub that is used for washing clothes, dishes, children, ect.) for Santana and her family. There were two ladies in the group that spoke fluent Spanish that had a real heart for sharing the gospel. At the end of the week, Santana made a decision to follow Jesus and was baptized at the beach. What a perfect ending to a great week! We know that the things we did to improve the physical life of Santana and her family will eventually crumble away, but her faith has begun something eternal that will last forever!
The second most exciting thing that happened during this time was... we were able to buy a truck! This is the same one we have had our eye on for months and all the details finally came together. This will make our day to day life here so much easier! We are thankful every time we use it. What a blessing!
The group also worked on the perimeter wall, helped out with the children's Bible class, and worked at the Christian school. One of the ladies who is a teacher spent time with our kids for our home school evaluation and we were able to send that back to the state of New Hampshire where our permanent residence is. Overall it was another busy time, but a blessing to us. Brian was able to spend some time with the men who were an encouragement to him. The kids loved every minute of time with "people that speak English"! I enjoyed working with the women. Again, it was great to meet and work with more of our brothers and sisters in Christ. How blessed we are to have that special bond because of Him!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Internet Problems

Yes, we're still here. Sorry to be so out of touch. We're having major problems with our Internet connection at the house. We are looking into some other options that might give us better service on a more consistant basis. Please keep us in your prayers. I have alot of pictures and stories to share if we can ever get this thing up and running again. I'll write when I can!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thank You!

I am making this a separate post because I want you all to take notice out there. I just wanted to say thanks for all the comments and encouraging words you have left on this blog for us. It was really cool to hear from alot of people that we haven't even see in years. I'm so thankful for this technology that allows us to communicate with so many of you on a regular basis. Please know that we always read your comments and they are a big encouragement to us. Sometimes we are so focused on the here and now, that we forget to look at the bigger picture of what God is doing here. There have been many times you had written something that really reminded me to look back and reflect on what He has done and is doing and be thankful for that instead of worrying about/working on the problem at hand. There never is a dull moment here and it seems that life is a constant battle. But when I step back and look at the experience as a whole, I can see more of the great pattern that He is weaving. So...thanks for being an encouragement for us. May He richly bless you all!

Group #2

Tomorrow our second group will arrive, Lord willing. Jeffery and Brian left early Wednesday morning for San Pedro Sula to buy supplies and pick up the group. They will spend the night half way here at Hotel Canadian, which will be their last bit of civilization before they get to Trujillo, the end of the road. They'll enjoy air conditioning and hot showers. They won't get to experience those again until they return to SPS in ten days. We are almost ready for their arrival and we are really looking forward to them being here. The kids are especially excited! Jonathan said something today about being glad to talk to some civilized people after being surrounded by savages! But seriously, being around people from home really is a big boost for all of us. I know the kids are going to eat up every minute of time they can spend with them. I'll do my best to post something everyday so you can all see how things are going. Hopefully, I'll be able to post pictures too, but lately I've had a hard time getting those to upload. Pray that this time will be a great experience for everyone involved.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Leaf Cutter Ants, by Jonathan


Leaf cutter ants are a great example of God's creation. First, the ants use their powerful jaws to cut leaves into penny sized pieces. Then they pick up the pieces and with their jaws and hold them straight up and down and carry them to their nest. In the nest, they put them in a room where the leaves grow a special fungus that is the ants' food. And when the leaves turn brown, the ants carry them out and make a compost pile. Here in Honduras, we often see leaf cutter ants going up and down trees and making long lines back to their nests in the ground. When I see them I think of how amazing God's creation is.

(Jonathan wrote this for school and my sister Amy took some amazing photos of the ants when she was here. Click on the picture for an incredible close up.)


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Maybelline & Co.


Carlos


Here is Carlos on my lap. I got to meet him in person for the first time yesterday. He continues to slowly gain weight. We gave his nursing mom vitamins to help ensure that he is getting the nutrients he needs. She and the dad are very thankful that thier son is doing better and they are hopeful that he will continue to grow stronger every day.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Florida



Our trip to Florida went well. Getting there we traveled five hours on the bus, spent six hours waiting in the airport, flew for two hours, and caught the shuttle to the hotel for some badly needed rest. Brian's parents flew in later that morning. It was SO good to see family again. We had a wonderful two and a half days with them. The kids spent hours in the hotel pool. Brian and I spent a good part of Wednesday doing some shopping. We had smores in our hotel room, a very sticky messy treat! Thursday morning we went to the beach. The Florida coast water felt cold to us, being used to the Carribean and warm to Brian's parents, being used to frigid New Hanpshire. The waves were a hit with Jonathan since usually its very calm here in the bay. We laughed and talked about old times. Did I mention that it was great to be together?
The trip back here was long. We reversed the traveling schedule from the way there except throw in a few more hours here and there. We spent the night in the airport. The pillows we had lugged all the way to Florida and back came in handy as everyone, but Brian zonked out on the hard metal chairs. We caught a bus back to Trujillo, an experience I hope we forget soon! It was so good to finally get off seven hours later at the bottom of the drive here. Every one was happy to see us and we them. The kids were real troupers; I was proud of them for trying hard not to complain and patiently waiting all the times we had to stand in long lines. We ate lunch and then Brian went to sleep. He didn't wake up until the next morning!
So, we enjoyed time with family back in the states, we have another "traveling with the kids" experience under our belts, and our visas were renewed for another ninety days. We appreciate all your prayers for safety and endurance on our behalf.

Things that we got to do it Florida that we don't get to do here:

  • Spend time with Grammie and Gumpy

  • Brush our teeth with tap water

  • Talk to the mounted police officers at the beach and tell them how much we appreciate our American police force

  • Shop at Wal-mart!

  • Speak and hear English

  • The kids got to soak in a "huge tub with water that won't make you sick!"

  • Sit at Burger King without being stared at. Andrew didn't have to put up with having every one that walked by, touching his hair and saying he is "lindo" (cute)!

  • Use a washer and dryer!



Sunday, June 1, 2008

Jack and Maybelline are Home


This morning Jack and Maybelline came home, where she will will get much better care than at the hospital. She is doing much better, still sore, but able to get up and walk. Her mother will be staying with them for at least the next week. Maybelline says thank you for all of your prayers; she felt like God was right there with her. And now mother and baby are doing great!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Baby "Jack" is here!


This morning Maybelline and Jeffery welcomed baby "Jack" via C-section. He's a big boy at nine pounds and has a full head of black curls. This afternoon when I saw him, he was bright-eyed and alert. His mom wasn't so perky. She was in alot of pain. Please pray for a quick recovery for Maybelline. As you can see Jeffery is already a great daddy. Pray that Maybelline and Jack will be able to come home soon.

Belize is out, Florida is in

After much consideration and shopping we have decided to hold off on Belize as an option for renewing our visas. We felt that it was not safe enough to pursue this time around. We found tickets to Ft. Lauderdale for under $300 and so the cost, believe it or not, isn't much more than the belize route! Also, as an added blessing, Brian's Mom & Dad are going to meet us there. We will be able to spend about 2 and a half days together with them! Please pray for us as we go. We have a couple of long bus trips. Our flight leaves at 1 am on Tuesday and returns at 12pm on Thrusday. We will have to wait in the airport for about 5 hours till our flight leaves. We were not planning to return to the U.S. this early but God seems to be working things out and we are excited to visit with our family.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Update on Carlos and Maybelline


Carlos is home from the hospital and already gaining weight. This picture doesn't show how tiny he really is. We are keeping a close eye on him and making sure his very young mother gets him to the clinic every other day to weight him and chart his progress. Keep praying for this family.

Tomorrow morning Maybelline is scheduled to have a C-section. Please pray for safety for her and baby "Jack". She is nervous, but looking forward to finally being able to hold this little guy that we've been waiting for. Pray that the American doctor that we met will be able to attend the birth as Maybelline has more confidence in her that the hospital staff. I'll post pictures when I have them.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Real Missionary

This week I have felt like a real missionary. Besides Carlos's saga, we've had someone on our doorstep most mornings very early and people needing something several evenings, until it's quite late. Two of the kids Little Hands regularly helps were in and out of the hospital this week. We had a few nights of keeping thier siblings here while mom was at the hospital with the sick child. The cars continue to die and need to have various parts revived...sometimes it a flat tire or the battery or who know's what. A neighborhood child has been here almost every day to have us docotor his boils. He had one the size of a golf ball. I pestered a doctor friend in the states to tell me how to drain and dress it and how to convince a mother that she needs to use a spacer with her child's inhaler for it to do any good. We spent one morning at the beach with two children who had never been there even though they live only a few miles away. Thier handicaps didn't stop them from enjoying the sand and water. We welcomed back fellow missionaries who have become dear friends because they understand what life here means. We are struggling again trying to get a plan for renewing our visas before our time is up. Even though we were told the renual last time would be good for three months, it's actually one month and by the time they finally got our passports and visas back to us, we didn't have alot of time left. So, we are looking into a trip to Belize next week. A prospect I'm not looking forward to with four little people to tag along. So...in all we are exhausted...and blessed. By the sweet smiles of thankfulness. By knowing that someone will have seen a little of Jesus. By the relationships that are starting to grow with the people here. (The boil boy brought me a bag of mangos to pay for my doctoring services.) We hit the pillow at night to tired to talk, but happy that it looks like a child we are learning to love will be alright after all. This is a crazy life...it is a mix of things that tear my heart and things that fill it up again. I don't think we'll ever be the same.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Carlos Update #2

Today we heard that Carlos had the surgery this afternoon. We don't know how he is doing now, but at least he made it through the surgery. Thanks for your continued prayer for his recovery!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Update on Carlos

They were able to start an IV and the doctor's quickly diagnosed a blockage in his stomach that prevents the food from getting any farther. This is easily corrected by surgery. Yesterday morning they took him by ambulance to San Pedro Sula. (SPS is a major city that has a modern hospital, but it is at least a six hour drive from here.) He didn't look good when they left and we haven't heard anything since they arrived. If he had been helped sooner, his chances for survival would have been very good, but at this point we can only pray. As far as we know they will try to do the surgery. There isn't any reason to wait until he is stronger as he can't get sronger when he isn't able digest his food. Please continue to pray for little Carlos and his family.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request

This morning, we heard about a sick baby that wasn't able to keep any food down. Brian and Maybelline, (who still hasn't had her baby yet,) went to check things out and immediately took the fifteen year old mother and baby to the hospital. Carlos is two months old and weighs just five pounds. He is so thin and frail. Brian says he barely looks alive. Please pray that they will be able to get an IV started and get some fluid into him as soon as possible. Pray for peace and comfort for the family. Pray that Brian and Maybelline will be able to share Jesus with them. I'll send an update when I know more.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Update on Brandon, Maybelline, and E-mail Prayer List

Tonight Myra and Brandon came home. He seems to be doing well. They are to go back on the 14th for a re-check. Thanks for praying for their family.
People keep asking me about Maybelline. She is doing fine...no baby yet. And as you ladies know, those last weeks waiting for the baby to arrive can get to be pretty miserable! She is ready for him to get here and apprehensive about the labor and delivery. So, I know she would appreciate any prayers for her comfort and safety for the baby. I'll let you know when he gets here!
If any of you are on our e-mail prayer list...we are trying to get an update out to you. We have been having such a hard time with the connection here. We finally got all the addresses transferred from the old program into yahoo and then we found out the mailing list option doesn't work! Talk about frustrating! So if you've been waiting to hear from us that way...I guess you'll have to keep waiting for now. We're working on it!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Connection Trouble

We are having ALOT of trouble with our Internet access. I am trying to get our e-mail prayer list update up and running again. It has been great to have this modem, but this past week we have had so much trouble with it, that it has only been a source of irritation! Please pray that what ever the problem is will be resolved soon! I miss being able to post when ever I want!

Update on Brandon

Late last night Myra called us from the hospital in La Ceba. We heard from her again this afternoon. They still have not set Brandon's broken arm. Today she told us that maybe tomorrow there will be an operation and then he will come home then or the next day. I feel bad for the poor little guy. When they came back here late Sunday night, he had not had anything for pain. That was hours after the accident. At the hospital, they don't have anything to give out. So on the way home, Alissa had to stop and get some Ibuprophen for him. He was such a trooper. Please continue to pray. When they do set his arm, I'm afraid it will be a scary experience for Brandon and Myra. I'm sure they appreciate your prayers for them. Thanks!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Pray for Brandon

Some of you know Myra, the cook for Little Hands. Today her four year-old son, Brandon fell and broke his arm. Alissa sat with them for hours at the local hospital and they were only able to splint it here. She is to go to La Ceba, a three hours drive away and be there at five tomorrow morning so they can start standing in line, waiting to see a doctor. I looked at the x-ray and I think its broken at the elbow with a small piece of bone completely separated. I have not been impressed with what little we've seen of the local hospital and I'm assuming they will have to put him out to set this so that is why he has to go to the bigger city hospital. Brian will take them to the bus stop in the middle of the night. We also have another mother and child staying here tonight to catch a ride to the hospital at 5:00am. They live quite a distance from here and cannot get a bus to Trujillo early enough to start standing in line at the hospital. It looks like a long night. Please pray for comfort for Brandon and peace for Myra. Thanks!! When I know more I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Day of the Worker

Hi everybody! Sorry to not be posting much. I've been wanting to, just been to busy. On Friday we celebrated the Day of the Worker and had a cook out at the beach for the workers. It was a hot, but lovely day and we all enjoyed ourselves. Most of the kids have a little sunburn on thier faces, but nothing to bad. The cookout was very Honduran. We started late. The workers were even later. Some didn't even come! The chicken had been marinating for days and was SO delicious. We also had chimol (like salsa), frijoles (beans), and tortillas. The chicken was in large pieces so at the picnic site, we had to hack it up into smaller chunks with the world's dullest knife, while raw meat juice sprayed everywhere. The kids played in the water and sand for hours. Mayra and her entire family arrived by motorcycle. One motorcycle, two adults, and three kids. As I said before it was all very Honduran and quite nice. There are many things that we just didn't do at home in the states, that here, are just normal and expected. And I guess we are adapting because we had a lovely time and all those "weird" things are just ok by us. ( I have to admit...I do still struggle with the chicken juice. I have a ways to go, I guess!)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Grilled Pizza

It took our families alot of trouble to get a small gas grill down here to us, but we've decided that all that effort was worth it! (At least to us!) In our small three room apartment, we don't have a full kitchen, just a hot plate. So last Friday when pizza night rolled around, we couldn't bake it unless we went down to the big house where the kitchen is. I had read about grilling pizza and we decided to give it a try. It was the BEST pizza we have ever made! First I made 8-10" crusts about a fourth of an inch thick. I squished them out on wax paper because I don't have a rolling pin, but if you have one and you use alot of flour, you can make nice crusts that don't stick to the paper. Then I made sure all the toppings were ready. Brian heated the grill to med/high and we gently slid the crusts off the paper and laid them on the grill two at a time. After three minutes they were nicely browned. Working quickly we flipped them over and spread sauce, cheese and other toppings. Brian turned the heat down low and shut the lid to bake them another three minutes or until they looked done. The result was FANTASTIC! This method was much faster and alot less painful than fighting with the ancient gas stoves in the big kitchen. And you can't beat the grilled flavor. You all should try it! Now that Spring is there, go out and grill yourself some pizza!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Firefighting Wasn't in the Job Description!

Late this afternoon I had just finished picking chicken off the bones and I opened the back door of the kitchen in the big house to dump the bones out for the dogs and there, creeping up the hill toward the buildings, was a line of fire. It wasn't very big, but in the few seconds that I watched and tried to think of a plan it started crawling alot faster. It has been so dry here and that steep slope is covered with bushes, trees, and lots of dry leaves. I ran back to our apartment and told Brian. The whole family came running. Alissa and I pulled the hose over from close to our building and Brian started spraying the flames with his thumb over the end to make the water shoot instead of dribble out because the nozzle was no where in sight. By then the fire was getting close to the house and a strong wind was kicking live embers onto the walls and roof. Jonathan and Rachel came waddling up with a five gallon bucket between them. They had run to the pila on the opposite side of the building and worked together to get the cover up and the bucket full. Very quickly we got the fire under control. We kept throwing buckets of water down the hillside and Brian kept up his "thumb spraying" until we were satisfied that everything was drenched and wouldn't flame up again.
How's that for a little excitement! The kids felt like heros and we were all glad that it was over. We think the neighbor lady accidently started the original fire burning her trash at the base of the hill. About the time we all got there with the hose, she came up with her own bucket and tried to help. All's well that ends well, I guess. We are thankful that it wasn't any worse. And if we look on the bright side...now Johnny won't have to hack down all those weeds with the machete!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sunshine

This is our adopted cat, Sunshine. She showed up just after we moved here and the kids fell in love with her right away. She is an outside cat because of our cat allergies. We noticed that her belly was getting bigger and bigger and this week our suspicions were confirmed when she gave birth to one tiny kitten. The baby looks just like the mama. The kids have been thrilled to have a pet and having a sweet new kitten to hold and play with has been great for them.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Resurrection Time

This is the neighborhood Bible class that we have
twice a week. They made paper palm fronds and
waved them with so much enthusiasm! So many happy faces!












Here the class is acting out the Triumphal Entry with make-shift costumes and real 8 foot palm branches. It was an amazing sight and gave me an idea of how crazy and joyous it must have been 2,000 years ago.









Here we are on Easter Sunday. After church we spent the afternoon with some fellow North Americans. It was a fun day.











Group #1

We had our first group here for a short term trip the end of March/beginning of April. It was a time of encouragment for us. Brian was very busy with most of the responsibility of running things, but even with the added busyness, it was a great time. Everyone in the group had a good attitude and there wasn't any complaining. They worked on a lunch room for a local school, a few projects around here,various things to help out the church, and taught the neighborhood Bible class. We loved singing in English with them and spending time with others from home! Every person brought thier own talents and gifts and everyone was able to contribute to the work here. They were such a blessing to us; we were sad to see them go! In the future, other groups will have big shoes to fill because we felt like this group couldn't have been better!

Communication!

Communication with all of you back in the states or the lack there of has been a major problem for us. The past few week have been busy and we've had almost no oppurtunity to use the interent. Brian's dad fell down stairs and was in the hospital for almost a week before his mom was able to contact us. This is unacceptable to me!!! Please pray that we will find a better way to keep in touch. We are borrowing a modem from a friend for the next few weeks. What a luxury! We are looking forward to being able to use that everyday. In the meantime, please pray that we will be able to get our own soon! (While you are praying, please lift up Brian's parents. It looks Dad will be coming home soon, possibly today. Praise God!) Because we will have this one for a while I hope to post often and share the pictures that we've been taking! And I hope to finally get our e-mail prayer list up and running again. Lord willing, I'll be posting again soon! Until then...Adios!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Psalm 91

I've been challenged to read this Psalm every day for a month. It speaks to me in ways that I never would have understood before we came here. I have been afraid of the pestilence (vrs.6) that stalks in the darkness. A child we know just got out of the hospital with malaria. We don't have cobras (vrs.15) but we do have scorpians and deadly snakes. Dwelling in the shelter of the Most High, resting in the shadow of the Almighty. Being covered with His feathers and finding a refuge under His wings. What a comforting word picture!
The verse that stuck out to me today was the second half of 14.
"I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name."
Some of you scholars, look into that for me. What does acknowledge mean here? How do we do that? If you find any jewels as you study, please send them back to me. You can leave them in a comment on this post if you want. I'd love to hear what you find out.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blessings

You might not be able to tell by reading my blog, but honestly, we have been having a hard time. There have been times I just didn't want to post anything because I didn't feel like I could find something nice to report. It has been a struggle. Many days, I have a hard time remembering why we are here. We have been stretched and tried until we feel like we are breaking and we don't have anything left to give. I'm telling you this now so that you will understand why this post is important. It has been hard for me to see the tapestry that God is weaving here. Right now, I'm looking at the back and it looks like a big mass of knots. I can't see the beautiful picture on the other side.

It popped into my head this morning that I should make a list of ten good things about being here to post on the blog. In my depressed state, I thought, wonder how long that would take? I couldn't think of much to put on the list.

Tonight I chatted with my sister and as we talked, I realized that He is blessing us everyday and that I do have so many things that I can count as blessings. It was a good wakeup call for me to focus in the good and not let a negative, bitter attitude spring up in me.

So here goes. Ten blessings...


  1. My children now appreciate having a clean bed

  2. A good friend came over tonight with a tortilla press and a plastic tub for bathing the little kids in. Very nice!

  3. We now have warm showers! What a blessing! The kids are excited about not having to use the so-cold-it-takes-your-breath-away-water. Because they can stay in it longer now, they come out clean! Clean is a wonderful thing!

  4. The refrigerator in our apartment works. We had the repairman come yesterday. Hopefully, now it will keep things cold AND not make a big puddle of water on the floor.

  5. We can get ripe mangos at the fruitstand for about 50 cents a piece. They are SO yummy.

  6. The kids are picking up more Spanish everyday. I hear them explaining things to each other and sometimes they can actually get thier point across to one of the workers who only speak Spanish.

  7. My husband is so talented! Among other things, he was able to build a nice headboard for our bed so I don't have to worry about creepy crawlies coming down the wall onto my pillow at night.

  8. We moved into our "apartment" this past week. The first morning, the older kids said they felt at home here and they had slept very well. It is so nice to have our own space.

  9. I am getting better at washing our clothes by hand, the Hoduran way. At some point, I will probably hire someone to help with this chore. It's a major undertaking to keep clothes clean here and with six of us, the laundry piles mount up quickly. At first, I was super slow and things weren't very clean when I was finished. But, I'm learning and getting better and better at it.

  10. We have not had any major infestation of ants, scorpians, or other "insectos" in our apartment since we moved in. Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Insectos!

Insectos, a spanish word we are becoming more and more familiar with. The biggest hindrance to getting our building ready to move into this week, has been ants and termites. Brian has sprayed and sprayed and they keep pouring out of cracks and holes. They have slowed down, but they aren't as GONE as we would like yet.... but we're hoping that very soon they will be a thing of the past!
Last Sunday night Rachel stepped out on the porch and suddenly started screaming. Apparently she got too close to a scorpion and he let her have it. If you know me, you know that this has been the one thing I have really been nervous about. But GOD IS GOOD! It got her right in the heel and I think because there isn't much meat there, she didn't get much venom. She was in terrible pain for a while, but she never had the numbness and tingling feeling that most people get. And by the next morning she was fine. So, it was a hard experience, but now I feel a little better about how to deal with this. I hope I don't have to any time soon or ever!
On the insect subject, pray that Andrew will stop scratching! I think he still has every bite that he's gotten here becuase he won't stop picking them long enough for them to heal. I make him wear pants most of the time so his legs are looking better, but his arms still look bad.
Thanks for your prayers. Keep it up! I'll write when I can! Still no internet a home!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Here we are one week later and I'm finally able to post again. We still don't have our modem. We did have it earlier this week, but something was wrong so we are back to square one and waiting again. Today we are borrowing a modem from a friend. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have this link to you all back home. It will be such a blessing when we can do this on a regular basis.
Here are some more praises and requests:

  • This afternoon our fellow American friend showed up with some helpers and two bunk beds for the kids. What a huge blessing! Brian had planned to build some, but time and wood are both that things we're short on.
  • We are getting closer to moving into our building. Brian got more painting done this week. Pray that things will go smoothly and we'll be able to move in soon!
  • We are starting to have more contact with the families Little Hands serves. This week I got to do some doctoring by treating an infected toe of one of the mothers. Our kids have been able to meet some of the kids we've been praying for and spend time playing with them. Brian continues to fix things and be the main driver for everyone here. Pray for more time to grow these relationships.
  • Usually we eat Honduran food for lunch and American food for supper. We have fruit everyday and we aren't tired of all that fresh pineapple yet! We also eat alot of watermelen and cantalope. Sometimes the kids are tired of unfamiliar food, but for the most part they are handling that fine.

Well we just lost electricity so I only have a short time before the battery on this laptop dies. Someday, I hope to post every couple of days or so. Until then, please keep us in your prayers and check in here. You never know when I'll be able to write again. Thank you, thank you, for your encouraging comments on my last post. I finally got to read them last night. What a blessing!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

We're Still Alive and Well!

We're really sorry to be so out of touch with everybody. We still don't have internet access in Trujillo and our transportation is unreliable at best so trips to the internet cafe have been few. We're back in San Pedro Sula for the weekend to do some shopping. I hope to get our e-mail prayer list up and running at the hotel tonight. Real quick here are a few highlights and prayer requests:
  • Things are moving at a snail's pace, a very ill snail! We are trying to adjust to life here, but we're having a hard time coming from a place where things GET DONE! Most days we feel like we're taking two steps forward and three backward. Pray that we will be able to get the rooms that we're to live in ready so we can have a place to really settle in. Now we are camping out in one room in the dorm and have our things scattered between several buildings. It will be so nice to have a few rooms to call our own! Pray for patience!
  • We have been quite healthy and we're thanking God for that! We have been taking alot of grapefruit seed extract and I'll write more about that later. We think that because of that and God's mercy toward us, we've avoided for the most part the dread diarrhea. Praise God for good health and safety!
  • We've met another gringo family from the states. They have been a huge encouaragement and help to us. The kids have enjoyed talking to other kids that speak English and Brian and I appreciate having another couple that can understand where we're coming from, litteraly!
  • We are all picking up more and more Spanish. We hope to do some classes once we're settled. Brian is really doing well and I'm impressed with the kids as they play with the Honduran kids and try hard to communicate.
  • We 've had several run ins with local wildlife, mostly good, but some annoying like the "Night of the Ants ...and the cockroach". But that's a story for another day! Jonathan has enjoyed the lizards and we all think the leaf cutter ants are really cool!

Well, times up. More later if I can! We miss you all and love you! Take care and God bless!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We're Here!

We're in San Pedro Sula, Honduras! This is our second night here. I feel like it's been too busy to write or we're still so exhausted that when we finally get kids to bed, we're just want to head there ourselves! We've been busy, but I'm not sure what we've gotten done. We're getting a real taste of how SLOWLY things happen here!
It's not to hot. Don't tell the kids that. They don't know what it will be like. We've been in AC most of the time and it really hasn't been that bad outside. So far, the kids are loving it here. We've seen lots of lizards and the grounds here at the hotel are very nice; pool, small playground, and paths through beautiful plants.
Tomorrow we are planning to drive to Trujillo, but the rental van's AC doesn't work. They are to come to the hotel in the morning and either fix it or give us another van. We'll see! Pray that they can fix it fast and that we'll be on out way before eleven.
So much to write, but I can't keep my eyes open and I still have other things to do before I can go to bed!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Saturday

Time's flying by! The same kids that have been saying to me for weeks, "Can't we go now!?" are saying, "I wish it wasn't so soon!" We're all getting anxious for this part to be done. Today we had alot of help. My brother came over to back-up the computers. He got here before we were awake. We hit the ground running and didn't stop! A group from church came right after breakfast and they moved mountains...of boxes and furniture. It's looking really bare around here! At one o'clock we went next door for an open house. It was really nice to spend the afternoon with friends and family. We feel so blessed by so many people that God has brought into our lives. The last family left about seven. We got a little more done here tonight. It's coming together. We're still (or constantly tired,) but we're seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you, Lord!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday

Today we had alot of help. Thank you, Lord for good helpers.
Here's the list:
  • Cleaned/organized the garage so we can store our belongings there.
  • Moved some furniture out of living room. Moved most of the furniture out of our bedroom.
  • The packing is almost done. We still have one and a half tubs to do, but I finished most of the carry-ons. (There are twelve of those too!)
  • Cleaned out the pantry.
  • Made more granola to take and soup for the open house tomorrow.
  • Finally got all our meds taken care of at the pharmacy and made another last run to Wal-mart.

Many hands get alot done!

If any of you out there would pray for good health, I would appreciate it. I can't get to my list of prayer supporters, so I'm hoping you all are checking in here. Brian is really feeling poorly, like he's getting strep throat, which is what happens when he gets run down. The kids still have colds too. Please pray that we'll all be feeling great tomorrow. I've been having trouble with migraines, but so far I don't have the cold that everyone else has. I'm scarfing down raw garlic and grapefruit seed extract. Maybe it's working! :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thursday

Well, I better hurry up and write this before its not today anymore. We did get things done today, and we are feeling the crunch more and, big surprise here...I'm starting to get weepy!
  • This morning I made a batch of granola. It felt good to cook for my family again. We've been living on take-out and meals sent over from church friends.
  • A dear friend came and helped Brian fill more tubs and worked on laundry. (A task only a dear friend would do!) We don't have as much space as we thought so we will be doing some picking and choosing what goes and stays tomorrow. We also packed away more books off the shelves in the living room. (We are moving our things out of the first floor so the renters can use those rooms.)
  • I sewed a little on Rachel's swimsuit.
  • We moved more stuff out of our bedroom. (Also has to be cleared for the renters.)
  • I worked on packing up my beads and supplies to take with us. I hope to use some of that for a class of crafts for the ladies in Honduras.
  • We had conference call with Mark and Brenda, the missionaries that started Little Hands to discuss what comes next and pray. I'm so glad to have some one who has been there before to give us some direction. So glad for the bond we have in Christ with them.

So, we're exhausted. I feel good about the day and I'm trying to remind myself Who is really in charge here. He is working and bringing it all to pass. I am thankful!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wednesday

Today has been a harder day to rejoice always!
  • Took boys to Dr. for physicals and all the perscriptions we might need in the next nine months in a third world country. This took all morning and I spent forever on the phone this afternoon and tonight trying to straighten out things with the insurance company. I am so thankful that the guy that called back from there seems to be on my side and is really trying to be helpful.
  • Worked on packing vitamins, meds and first aid stuff, and a zillion other liquids sealed in zip lock bags.

I guess that's it. Not much to show for the day. Brian is feeling down with the kid's bad cold and I'm still fighting a migraine, so we haven't been at our best today. I have to remind myself that here is God showing Himself strong. His strength is perfected in my weakness!

I wasn't thinking about what Brian got done today... our taxes are filed! A major weight off our shoulders. Brian does them every year and he is so careful about doing it all right. Usually it's somewhat stressful and this week hasn't been an exception! So glad it's done! Brian took care of a few other loose ends.

I am hoping for a better day tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tuesday

Today I felt like we got something done!
  • Took the girls for shots and a checkup. Poor Faith ended up getting four! She was very brave and didn't fuss. (I fell on our slippery porch steps on the way out the door, landing on my backside and arm. I'm feeling it tonight. Ouch! I am thankful that I wasn't hurt badly!)
  • A friend came over and he and Brian packed seven tubs. Wahoo! (Our checked luggage is twelve, eighteen-gallon rubbermaid tubs. They will hold the bulk of our belongings.) After months of careful choosing and stockpiling of the bare neccessities that we think we'll need in Honduras, I am SO excited to finally get them in the tubs ready to go! So far it looks like we're doing great on space. Mostly due to a superior packing job on Brian and Steve's part! While the guys worked on that, I packed several carry-ons with things we don't want in the tubs and oversaw Jonathan's packing of his treasures, (mostly the essential legos).
  • Moved two dressers out of our room into the girls' room to make way for the renters.
  • Had supper with Grammie and Gumpy, Brian's parents. We're taking anytime we can to be with family.
  • Wiped Andrew's nose nine hundred times, at least! All the kids have bad colds. We're praying that the boys won't have fevers tomorrow, so they can finish up thier shots.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Monday

I'm going to try and list what I get done in the next week. I'm not sure you all are that interested! But for my benefit, I would like to have it recorded so that I can see progress! :)
  • Packed up most of the kitchen
  • Worked on pages of information (Dr.'s contact info, recipes, and medical info) for my notebook
  • Covered a few paperback books with contact paper

Brian and a friend organized the garage.

Every bit helps!

Watching God Work

One week from today, we leave. I've made a point of not counting the days up until now, but now I have no choice! It's coming way too fast and it will have to be another one of His miricales if we're really ready by next Monday. We've seen alot of amazing things so far, so I know He could do it, but it will have to be just that- God working it all out! It sure looks like a huge mountain to me! He has been sending friends and family to offer help in all forms; babysitting, packing, and food! It's humbling to be on the recieving end. I am reminded of how very blessed we are and how good He is to us all.