Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Casa de Luz Christmas

Santa and Diego
Ester, Santa, Genesis

Genesis (aka Maria for the drama)
(tired little kitty... 5 minutes after he arrived)

Sunday we had our Christmas program and party for the kids and parents. It was fun and the kids were very cute. We did the story of Jesus, so the kids dressed up as shepherds, sheep, angels, barn animals, Mary, and Joseph. We sang some songs. And Santa came!! It was so much fun, really hot and crowded, but I don't think anyone minded. Then we ate tamales and rosquillas en miel (Honduran dishes). Now the day care is closed for a month. Many families leave the city for the month to visit family in the small villages.

Its close to 80 degrees outside, but I lit my Christmas candle and put on Christmas music to make it feel more like Christmas. It will be my first Christmas in Honduras. I'm excited! The tradition is to celebrate on the 24th, go to church, then at midnight the party begins. I'm looking forward to the typical Christmas food :)

I go back to the States on the 26th.
Here are some pictures from our party!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Where has December gone?

Javier with the bug ears.
Javier, Zulema and David Edgardo
Racsel, me, and Diego
Lizandro in his shorts that are obvioulsy not his... very big!
Ariel with his pepe (bottle) in the morning when he comes.

I guess every year we say, "where has December gone?" This year, again, I feel this way. I am planning to write a newsletter to post next week, after the Christmas party/ program :) More pictures and more stories. A lot has been going on, with washing the walls of CDL, all the toys, and sheets. Its a big task, but I enjoyed it. Then we started decorating and getting constumes ready for tomorrow! Its going to look cool and be very fun! This is a short post, so I can just put up some more pictures until I write more next week. Things are going great!

Oh in other news, I had my first robbery, the best way possible. I did not even notice when it happened. My spare tire that was under the truck was stolen. It was a nice tire, but it did not affect me personally and for that I am truly grateful!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


November felt, in a way, like a normal month. I feel like I'm in the groove of things are Casa de Luz and we have a routine! In the mornings the kids come between 7am-9am. During that time they eat breakfast. Then we begin the day with prayer, a Bible story, and little songs (silly and Bible stories). The kids love singing! After this, we usually have story time, then I teach the numbers, colors, shapes, letters, and days of the week in Spanish and English. I think they know the numbers in English better than in Spanish. Then we sing 'Head, shoulders, knees, and toes' in Spanish and English, then 'Yes Jesus Loves Me'. Check out my Facebook for videos of this! After this, we usually divide the bigger kids (4-6 years) and little kids (2-3 years) and do a craft and writing. After this we have snack, then we usually have free time to play with toys. Then we have lunch, wash up/ change clothes (if they bring extra), naptime, freetime, and go home.

We are getting ready for the Christmas program, so we are practicing songs and doing Christmas crafts. There is never a dull moment! I can see improvement in the kids. With the structure, they are getting used to it, which makes it more orderly and easier to control. There are, of course, the few that act up, but even they are having more good days!

I am encouraged! Public school is out for the kids in the neighborhood, so there is always more activity and noise. Here the public school year is from February to November.

Outside of Casa de Luz, November has been an interesting month. Aben, my boyfriend, is in the States and I am here in Honduras. Its the first time we have had the roles reversed, usually when I'm in the States, he is here. I never realized how much he helps me out and goes places with me here.

Other November news is that my refrigerator broke, 4 weeks before the Christmas deals come, so I'm holding out and its been interesting. Fortunately it still keeps things cool, just not cold enough to keep the milk from spoiling. So I use it to guard my fruits and vegetables from the ants.

With all the extra free time, I have had time to read and think. Today I put up Christmas lights that someone gave me and cut out pieces for a felt angel the kids are going to make. I have been thinking a lot about what I have and how I can use it to help others. My friends have told me, you are already doing so much with your kids, you don't need to feel like that. But the reality is, I have been blessed with so much, and the kids on my corner that wear trash bags and ask for money do not have the same opportunity as I do. I don't know what that will entail, but I've been wrestling with the issue for at least a month now. How do I view poverty? How can I cut back or live on less, so that I can do more for the poor. How do I view my needs and wants? Can you imagine life living only for needs, and never having the privilege to consider your wants?

Please continue to pray for safety and protection. I am constantly hearing stories, seeing things, and trying not to think about these realities, but its hard to do.

My plans are to be in the States December 26- January 31. If you would like me to share in your church, Bible study, Sunday school or with friends to share the ministry, please contact me. My plan is to visit people during this month.

Sorry, no pictures this time!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Las Palmas, the neighborhood

As I said last post, I want to post pictures of the neighborhood where Casa de Luz is located. Of course, this is from my perspective. These are pictures I have taken and what I have seen. Roads are all dirt and hilly. Sometimes Honduras has too little rain, and sometimes it has too much. Right now it is the end of rainy season, so the roads are drying. When it rains you need a high vehicle, preferably with 4 wheel drive. There are many small corner stores called "pulperias." There is one right outside the daycare. It is similar to a small convenient store where you tell the person what you want and they bring it to the window for you. Most of the day people come and go from there. I see kids there often, coming to buy candy, alone. The other day I saw a little kid in a diaper there with what appeared to be a 4 year old.

Another view I see often, actually its the grandmother of one of our kids. The grandmother is walking with a basket of corn or dough on her head, while a little boy (2 years old) wearing a hand towel as his diaper, holding on to her skirt as they try to climb the hill. This is a normal sight for this neighborhood and country. Many times the grandmothers are raising the grandchildren. Its a different family dynamic than we are used to, but at the same time many parents are missing in the picture.

The one story that sticks out in my head is about Genesis. She is 5 years old and lives on the other corner across from the daycare. One day a few weeks ago we were leaving the daycare and she was in the street alone. As we left I saw her through the rear view mirror coming out and turning the corner onto the main street. In front of me, sitting against the wall were 4 guys, 20-30 years old, sitting and loitering (this is normal.) When she rounded the corner, saw the guys, she ran back towards her house. It made me wonder who these men were, why she ran, and what would happen if she crossed their path. I hear stories about how rough the neighborhood is, then I see this little girl wandering in the street with no supervision. The grandmother that cares for the little boy (the story above) is her grandmother.

I think most of the people are starting to recognize me, but I still would not walk around alone. I was told not to be there at night.

In the pictures, you can see the nicer neighborhoods on either side of this neighborhood. There is one area that is where everyone throws, even though 50 feet up the hill is where the trash truck comes. The trash truck comes every Wednesday and rings a bell for you to bring your garbage. It does not come to the houses or close to the daycare, so this is a messy job. Another blessing of a truck.

Water, very few homes have running water. The procedure for using the bathroom is to bring in water from the outside basin and pour it into the toilet. We don't get water every day. When its dry season we will get it even less. All of my kids drink the tap water, that is not clean. We have a purified water jug, but if we run out one day, they drink the tap water. In their homes they drink tap water, if it comes from a tap.

I guess these are a few things that can help you picture it a little better.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Moved In

I have an apartment, transportation, and internet! I guess that means its official.. I have moved in and settled :) I have taken more pictures of the kids to make a collage on the wall at CDL. I've posted each of the kids in a slideshow to the right. I will continue to post stories and pictures. This week was great. I love the kids, they love me, things are great! I am extremely exhausted every night, but ready to wake up every morning! We are currently working on a schedule and routine; including songs, Bible stories, shapes, numbers, colors, and washing hands. My favorite time, yet most difficult time of day, is right before lunch when I usually have them alone. One teacher is out for lunch, the other is cooking. Its usually craziness, but there is usually 30 minutes where I get to share books with them. They love it. Even the ones in English. Usually I just show pictures, sometimes I translate, and sometimes I let them tell the story by looking at the pictures. Then they usually get a book to look at. Books are not always accessible to them because they will destroy them, so when they get the opportunity they enjoy it and ask for books!

These are a few pictures of the kids reading. The little girl is Fernanda, she is 2. The little boy is Diego, he falls asleep all the time, anywhere. The other boy is David, he had me take a picture of him dancing :) Behind him is the street of CDL just to give you an idea of the neighborhood. Next post I will put more pictures of the neighborhood.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tengo una casita asi, asi, asi

I have lots of pictures to post of my apartment, my truck, the Bible day parade and MY KIDS, but since I don’t have internet, and it takes time I will add them later. I found my apartment after lots of searching. But when I saw it and then heard the price I knew it was where I was supposed to be. I feel safe and secure. It’s a safe little street (compared to other parts of the city) and my landlords are Christians. I still have to get internet, but I have friends close by who are letting me stop in, use internet and do laundry. I don’t have a washer and dryer, but I’m taken care of with my friends and when that doesn’t work out, I live above a laundry mat.

I have officially finished my first week at Casa de Luz. The kids love me and I love them. I joke with the other teachers that I’m the jungle gym because someone is always in my lap or running through my legs. Today one of the kids brought me a stuffed animal from the stand his mother sells them from. The three siblings that come in first every morning, I can hear calling for us to open the lock, then they say hi to the one teacher, then all run through the door with smiles yelling “Jenny!!!!!”

I will try to post the two videos I have. The little girl that is being tickled is the littlest and one youngest we have. Her name is Raxel and loves my attention. The boy singing is her brother, Javier. He loves to sing. They sing this song and the only parts I hear are “yo tengo una casita asi, asi, asi (I have a little house like this, like this, like this)…. Mumbles ….. then they yell “yo tengo un casote ASI, ASI, ASI!!! (I have a big house like this, like this, like this..) I laugh every time because they get so excited that they mumble the rest of the song. I have it recorded and will try to post it.

We have a new boy who is coming tomorrow. His name is Jose; he will be 2 in November. They did papers today and will bring him tomorrow. I will try to bring my camera. My little boy who is young and doesn’t talk to anyone, started mumbling to me. I didn’t understand, but he was definitely talking to me and smiling at me! His grandma says he talks a lot at home. He usually rolls on the ground eating all the trash, crumbs, dirt, playdough… EVERYTHING! But today he ‘gave me five’ when I asked, starts giving me smiles when I smile at him and started mumbling stuff to me.

This weekend we went up to the director’s house for training, 2 hours away in car (probably 30-40 miles, I don’t know, but the roads are horrible). We took taking my truck! Its rainy season and so the roads to Casa de Luz are horrible. The main streets and neighborhoods are paved (with many potholes.. but paved!). The neighborhoods built into the mountains and hills, mostly poor neighborhoods, don’t have pavement, sometimes they add dirt to the road but that washes away in a day and its back to the ditches. I have already been stuck twice in my big truck! But when I was completely stuck guys came out and helped us push it out.

The Bible day parade was with Aben’s ministry at a church on another mountain. We walked in the rain holding banners and shouting. It was very fun! It consisted of many churches in the community and ended in one church with a big celebration and service.!

I am putting the rest of the pictures on facebook.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Things you don't tell your mother

Its something I shouldn't tell my mother, but its something I don't really even want to tell myself. My second night in my new apartment went calm and peaceful. I felt safe and protected. I woke up to organize more things, drink some coffee, read a little of my book, and listen to music. Around noon I had a knock on my door.. the landlady.

Here’s what she tells me: “Did you see two men walking outside your window (I live on the second floor above their house). My tv cable is not working very well so I called the cable company. When the guys came to the gate, I did not answer and then they went up the wall and looked at the cables (outside my windows… with bars!) and said everything was fine. Then I called the cable company and they said they no one had come yet. I think they were robbers. Did you see them? Did anything happen?

My response: thinking to myself, wow this is where I’m living now. Then I was like, no I had my windows and curtains closed all morning until 20 min ago. And this morning I woke up and remembered an extra set of sheets I had brought and decided to put in my large kitchen window THIS morning (the window where they would have been looking in).

I guess this was just a welcome to the neighborhood and a reassurance that I have angels protecting me, my thoughts (I still don’t feel ‘unsafe’), and my place. For clarification, I’m smart with what I do, but I’m not preoccupied and worried with what could happen.

In other news, I have started at Casa de Luz. I'm starting by just observing and getting used to things. So yesterday, after getting moved in to my new apartment I got to go all day! The road was terrible, and I was grateful to have the truck. I would not have made it without the 4x4. The rain has washed away the roads, and the dirt roads are even worse. I had the opportunity to observe and play with the kids. This little girl Raxel (they thought her name was Jascel for weeks) came to Casa de Luz in June with her 2 brothers. She is 2 years old and had been left in a busy shopping center all day. She came malnourished and not smiling very much. Yesterday I started the day with her looking at me, when I smiled, she would smile back. Within hours she was smiling at me, and sitting next to me doing puzzles. By the end of the day should would not leave my lap, knew my name and kept telling me to tickle her while she giggled. I left completely exhausted and really happy to be here!

Other news is the tropical storm that will hit us tonight. Pray for Honduras. Honduras is not structured to handle this much rain. Many people will lose their homes in landslides and flooding. Its hard for someone to understand this without knowing the country, but this much rain is not good. Every downpour brings flooding, now multiply that by days this storm will bring.... not good!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Great News!

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done." Psalm 105:1

I think the apartment shopping has come to an end. I am going to sign the papers today. I guess its not finalized, but its available and I love it. After a very long week and a half of looking for an apartment, I found one last night. I had different options along the way and couldn't decide for sure. But the last one we looked at last night had what I needed at a very good price, in a good location.

Last week I found a truck that I will need to get up the dirt roads to get to the preschool. My director sent me a quote from an email that she received from the embassy last week, that western Honduras has received over 287% more rainfall than a normal rainy season. I think I mentioned this before, but the rain hasn't stopped. Yesterday a wall of the National stadium fell crushing taxis, killing one person, and trapping and injuring others. Last night when we were out, I was thankful for God providing the truck, many cars were turning around because the water was too deep to pass some roads. One of the main roads into the city has a huge crack/ hole that makes in impassable. Its good to have rain, but this much is not good for this city, its not constructed to withstand this much. Many people have lost homes.

So I have a truck and apartment, soon to get a driver's license (nothing is 'easy' to get here, so it takes time). I am hoping to start moving in this afternoon after I sign the papers. This is a praise because now I can be at the daycare!

Thanks everyone for your prayers and support.

Here are a few pictures from Children's Day in Los Pinos with the ministry Aben is working at. This neighborhood is similar to the one I will be working in, but a lot bigger. It was funny watching the little girls that didn't have pocket for the candy from the pinata, they would just pull up the dress or shirt to hold the candy. It works.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I have ARRIVED!!!

I have arrived. I have been in Honduras a week now and have been in the process of settling. I have had time to see old friends and meet new ones. I am staying with a friend while I search for an apartment and find transportation.

I met with the director of the preschool and we talked about plans and ideas. It made me excited to get started. Of course, I need to find a place to live before that happens, so I'm praying it will happen this week. Our tentative plan was for me to begin on Monday.

The Saturday after I arrived, we celebrated Children's Day (yes, they have a holiday like Mother's Day and Father's Day for the children). I had the opportunity to visit a ministry in a neighborhood similar to the one I will be working in. It is a larger community built into the mountains. I will try to post pictures as soon as I move in and find the cords to the camera. There were about 100 kids, we sang songs, ate, gave candy, and of course... piñatas!

I had the opportunity to attend the Independence Day parade on one of the main streets yesterday. As my new friend described it, it was a 'cultural experience.' I loved being back and the pride and community of this country. It was super HOT and sunny for most of the parade, we worked our way into the National Stadium with much pushing and congestion. Another experience everyone should have once.

Its still rainy season, so its really hot all morning, then it usually rains all afternoon or evening. Someone sent me an email that western Honduras has had 287% of the average rainfall this rainy season, with 6 weeks to go in the season. The roads are not so good, especially the dirt roads up in the hills and mountains.

Thank you again, everyone who has helped support me in this ministry and journey. I'm blessed to be here with your prayers and support!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Missions Benefit Concert

As many of you know, I am still working to raise support to work at Casa de Luz. This past Friday we had an amazing and encouraging Benefit Concert. We raised support and were blessed by it! I am thankful for everyone who participated, from being in it to attending it, thank you for supporting me with your time and presence.

The concert was the last of 'big' events before returning September 8 to Honduras. So now I'm 2 days from leaving and making the final preparations. When I get there, I will be looking for a place to stay, arranging transportation details, and settling in. I would appreciate your prayers in this transition time. I will be planning and settling in for a week or so, then starting at Casa de Luz right after my birthday, on September 20 (my bday is the 18th).

I will keep trying to upload my video from the concert, hasn't worked yet :(

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

one week! una semana!

Lots of things to do this week! This time next week, I will be in Honduras! I'm so excited, but at the same time my mind is racing with things to get done. I guess this happens before any trip or move! But it doesn't help when its time to stop thinking and sleep :)

This Friday my friends at Calvary Chapel Jax are organizing a benefit concert to help me raise support. I am excited to see what God is going to do! I'm going to talk some and show a video. I finished making a presentation of the kids and their pictures to put up in the entrance as well.

I have officially packed one bag, one more to go. I have to figure out all the weight limitations, as well as, "manageability." When you arrive in Tegucigalpa you can't just roll a cart out, you actually have to carry/ roll your luggage all out by yourself. Probably 20 feet from the baggage claim to where people wait for you, but with ''unmanageable'' bags, its a LONG 20 feet.

Once I get to Honduras I will have a week to look for an apartment and get settled in, then I will start working on the 20th!

I have received lots of support over the last few months and I am very grateful for the people that have helped me along the way. I have about $8,000 (unofficially), I'm not sure the exact amount.

Keep praying for my preparation and transition, as well as safety in this move. Thanks for all your support!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

September 8

The plane ticket is bought! I am going Sept 8. I don't have all the support raised, but I know I'm supposed to be down there. I will be able to make it til Christmas, but the monthly support to keep me down there is lacking. I have a 10 month commitment to Casa de Luz, but without money, I would have to return to the states and work after Christmas. I just need a few people to support me monthly and I could be there, serving longer.

I'm sending out a second newsletter, updating supporters of my needs for prayer and financial support. I'm excited and blessed to be going back and serving this community. The college student that was filling in for the summer finished last week, so they are down a teacher right now until I return.

Calvary Chapel Jax is having a Missions Benefit Concert on Sept 3 to support my ministry. I'm praying that people will consider supporting me or missions somewhere. Its an event to raise awareness of the needs of missionaries. As well as, tell people about Casa de Luz in Honduras.

I'm still working at a restaurant and praying for everything to fall into place!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Discouraged.... Encouraged

A good friend told me at the beginning of this journey, "people you expect are NOT going to support you, and people you may not know well at all are going to surprise you." Now she can say, "I told you so." The past few weeks have been interesting. After stressing and worrying about a church that might support me, or at least listen to my ministry, I finally emailed the letter. It only took 2 months ;) In a matter of 1 day, my stress and fears were transformed. Not only could they not support me, they would not even hear about my ministry. That was a big discouragement, not the lack of support, but the lack of hearing about the ministry to these kids.

Support has not been coming in much these days. But I'm still waiting. I would be fine with start up, but without monthly support (right now I have $170 monthly) I could only stay until Christmas, which I know is not God's plan.

The encouragement, music. I have heard many new songs, whose lyrics are exactly what I need to hear. But more encouraging, in the form of music, is the missions benefit concert being planned for me to share my ministry and open the church's eyes to the need of missions and missionaries. Many times here in Florida I have felt apart from my closest friends, so a few months ago I would never have imagined the blessing that is taking place. I will have my stressful opportunity to talk in front of the church to announce the concert and a time to talk in the concert, but the focus will not be on me and my words. As you know, I'm not the most outgoing, being in front of people, kind of person. So God is using others to help me share the ministry!

The concert is Friday, September 3 and we are having practices 2 days a week. We will have an international pot luck (where I get to play Spanish worship music), a silent auction for paintings, a time of worship, a time of original songs written and time for me to share as well as a pastor at the church.

Leeland "Follow You"

You live among the least of these the weary and the weak. And it would be a tragedy for me to turn away. All my needs you have supplied. When I was dead you gave me life. How could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll, I'll follow you into the homes of the broken. I'll follow you into the world. I'll meet the needs of the poor and the needy God. I'll follow you into the world.

Use my hands, use my feet to make your kingdom come. To the corners of the earth until your work is done.

I give all myself, I give all myself, I give all myself to You

** the pictures are of the kids at Casa de Luz... I did not take them, I just borrowed them to show you. I wish I was there to take them! **

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jascal, Javier, and Gabriel

I received an email this week that Casa de Luz has 3 new siblings. Their dad is in jail and up until last Monday, they had been left at a shopping center during the days to beg for food and money while their mother went to work. (It's hard to describe a 'shopping center' to someone who has not left America, but its not our normal slow in and out kind of shopping center.) The kids are 2, 3, and 4 years old. Now they are off the streets during the day and will be at Casa de Luz while their mother works to provide for the family.

Also, due to the large amount of kids in such a small space, a new young lady will be helping out for 8 weeks. She begins June 14.

Currently, I am in Florida working at a restaurant. I have finished training and get my first 'on my own' shift this weekend. I'm making arrangements to talk to churches and more people down here.

Casa de Luz broke ground this month for building the new facility to reach more children and more families in the years to come. Its a big step for this community, and a blessing for the families there.

I'm looking forward to being back there soon!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day with Mom

It has been a few years since I have had the pleasure of spending Mother's Day with my mother. But yesterday I spent the whole day with my mother :) We were in Charlotte for the morning, went to church and had lunch with my brother Jonathan and his wife Brandi. Then we drove back to Florida. On the way to lunch, my brilliant sister in law suggested posting how much money has been raised and how much money is left to raise. I thought that was a great idea, but am not quite sure how I would do that on my blog. So I will be trying to update the amount as more comes in. Its encouraging telling people about the ministry and being able to get them involved.

I still don't have a large database of names and supporters yet, so I'm not sure how to send out another newsletter (via email to those who have responded, or to everyone on the original list). The problem is, if they have not expressed interest, I don't want to bother them with more mail... oh the dilemma.

Support has been coming in every week, so that is a praise. I have 2 job leads, so that is a praise too. I went to Charlotte this weekend and got to talk to some people I had not seen in a long time, and tell them about what I am doing.

I miss being in Honduras. I have officially been back in the states a week, and I would say I'm still adjusting a little to the differences. But its good to be back, although sad not to be in Honduras.

I'll keep you all posted! Thank you for your prayers and support!!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ooops a little more

After I posted the last one I remembered a very big part of life. There is no air conditioning or heat in houses, businesses, or restaurants (some yes, most no) and its hot. The past few days have been 95 or so, with humidity too. So being drenched in sweat is a normal thing. And another big culture thing, people don't wear shorts (kids yes) but most people wear jeans! So now picture the day with that in mind. Lets just say, I'm a little sweaty after these walks and throughout the day.

Some culture, and being Me

My friend Beth and I have been trying to make an effort to remember things that are normal to us, but not normal to every American. After living here so long, I understand the culture and the little everyday quirks. My walks to Spanish school the past few weeks, have opened my eyes 'again' to my differences. So I'm going to recap my day. I wake up to roosters crowing when the sun comes up at 6 every morning. There are no dark curtains anywhere, so naturally, I wake up. Its normal now, and I don't get upset for the lack of sleep. Its nice, not having to rely and dread an alarm clock. I get ready for the day, check the coffee pot for bugs (I haven't always had this problem, but up here in the woods during rainy season, it is). Then I start my walk through the dirt hilly roads. I don't really know how to describe this, I guess picture a dirt country hillside road, but smaller with little red, three wheeled taxis (but not when I need them!!) My walk is probably about 2 km (it takes about 30 minutes there, and 40 minutes back) downhill there, uphill back! Along the way, I pass groups of men sitting on a bench making comments at people that walk by. I pass a mother and her kid going to school or to work. I pass students walking together. Rarely I see a car. And when I do, then comes the dust!

Every day for the past week, I have had the joy of listening to the same conversation from all these groups of people. All I ever seem to hear is "2 metros?" along with a bunch of other guesses at my height. Its really funny, because they don't know that the other people have been having the same conversations, on different parts of the road; and they don't know I understand them.

Other normalcies, bugs, no power, and no water. Today in my class the power went out for 2 hours, its normal. Always talking about the water supply, or running out, its all normal. But I realize I don't talk about it, so no one in the States knows what my normal life entails.

I'll try to think of more, but these are just a few. These are a few pictures of fruits here. The round one is called a 'mangostine' Its a sweet fruit, you eat the inside. The inside looks like cloves of garlic, but the individual cloves are soft and sweet.... definitely NOT garlic! The bright colorful fruit is called a 'marañon' They do not smell very good, and we did not have high hopes for the taste. Then we were told we could make a juice out of it. We did, with lots of sugar and water.... and it was good! So then, as a team, Beth, Tristan, and I, we decided to simultaneously taste the smelly mystery fruit. We ate together, gagged and made a face together, then spit it out together! It was very bitter and gave you the instant feeling of a very dry mouth. It was strange, but the juice is good.

In other news, today at Spanish class, we had the opportunity to visit a kindergarten, for me to tell a story in Spanish. I chose the story of Noah. It went well, and at the end the teacher told me my Spanish was really good. It was a good experience, I just need to work on the commands :) Like be quiet, listen, sit!!!
Another compliment I received about my Spanish was when I asked my teacher what I should put on a questionaire they had given me. "my current level of Spanish" Of course I asked, and to my surprise with the choices: beginner, intermediate, and advanced; she told me advanced and I just need to practice more for it to be natural. But communication is great, I just need to practice more the random, less used tenses!!!

2 more days of Spanish lessons. Monday I leave for the states.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Visit to the City!

The past week or 2 have included lots of Spanish classes with breaks in between to visit different ministries. Yesterday I went to the daycare for most of the day. It was exciting to be with the kids and teachers again. It was also a big 'eye opener' to go on a very hot day to the necessity of more help, more structure, and a bigger space. Right now, Casa de Luz has about 15 kids. There is no space for more, but the community could provide more children. The plans are still in process going back and forth between the planners. Yesterday, my director told me they had a meeting in the community with whoever wanted to come, and one lady stood up and said, "I don't have any babies, I'm here because I want this 'house of light' to be here when my babies have babies." This remark was a testimony to the work of the Gospel in this community! I am trying to attach a video of the kids from yesterday, I'm not sure how successful I will be ;)

Apart from Spanish, I got a chance to visit the area of Los Pinos, another poor community where about 350,000 people live up on the hills in very small houses. Aben's ministry focusses a lot on this community. He started a discipleship/ mentor program this past Saturday with a group of at risk kids, that are playing in a soccer league every weekend. The week before I accompanied him to the city dump. I have a video from that too, that I will try to post. This video of the dump is a little shaky, but its how it is.

It is good being here with the focus of serving in different ministries while I take Spanish classes. In the past I haven't had this opportunity, and in the future, I won't have as much time either. So it has been great in this time here!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

FAITH, HOPE and Love

I'm in the full swing of Spanish classes. I have a huge stack of vocabulary I have learned and must review with each new batch. It's fun to know so much, that it motivates me to learn more! I've decided that jamming and learning in a short time is the best motivator. Its very fun to have a conversation using some of my new words, or understanding more when someone uses the new words :)

Do you ever know a verse or passage that you have read a million times, then one time it says something completely different to you? Well I had that last night and this morning, and since it is about my ministry I will share it. Its in 1 Corinthians 12 and 13. I know God has placed me in this place to serve the kids and the poor of Honduras, but being a body of Christ, this does not just include me. The body of Christ passage really stuck in my mind. I am going to be the feet, but I will need the other parts of the body to support me with prayers and finances. The second verse that caught my attention, relating to this also, is the verse about FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE. Usually we hear the following verse, "but the greatest of these is love." Then we pretend that faith and hope aren't there at all. In my life, I have noticed my struggle is not with LOVE. I know that is the most important, and God has placed me in Honduras to show his love. What I forget, in this process, is faith and hope. They are just as important!

Please pray with me for faith and hope in this long process of raising support to come back. The letters have been mailed and now all we can do is wait, with faith and hope, on God's timing.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

With Faith Like a Child

My happy story of the day: I'm babysitting (boysitting) a 12 year old while my friends are in the states for a wedding. I'm in Honduras for language school, staying at their house. Every time I come in at night, I turn on all the lights and walk away, because there are cockroaches! I explain to Sigel(the boy I'm watching) why I hate cockroaches in particular in a Spanglish kind of way. Explaining the fact that they fly, and the movie I saw where a girl gets one in her ear when she is sleeping. So then I told him I am especially afraid of them when I sleep. And his response is, "well, sleep with God, he is with you." Then as I'm tucking him in for bed, he tells me, don't worry, God will protect you and keep you safe.

Its true, but coming from a kid pounds it home, how much we take God for granted sometimes, even when we sleep. He said it so 'matter-of-factly', like well of course God is going to be with you. It was a cool way to end the day.

Tomorrow I go to the city dump, with Aben, and a group. We are going to hand out food, water, and share the gospel. To the fortune of this land its raining (my friends in the city are down to shower/toilet/kitchen water once a week), to the misfortune of us, that means tomorrow will be a very ripe smell from the garbage dump.

Spanish classes start Tuesday!

(This is an old picture of Sigel and Aben, its a little blurry- just so you know who Sigel is)

Thursday, March 18, 2010


After a day of traveling, and only 4 hours in the air, we arrived in Tegucigalpa! We flew from Orlando over night, and arrived at an airport 4 hours away, San Pedro Sula, so it was a night of flying and driving on both ends to and from the airports. But I'm here safe and sound, staying in a friends house who is in the states. Its up out of the city, so its cooler and quieter. Its a nice way to relax before beginning the work of setting up a tutor or school! That's what the afternoon holds.

I was welcomed to 77 degrees after midnight! It rained a little, so its nice an humid. Down in Teguc its nice and warm with the sun, up here in Valle de Angeles its still sunny, but I'm under a cover of trees, so its cool and very pleasant! We had no glitches in travel, and were picked up and dropped off when we needed to be, that's always a bonus!

Now time to settle in.....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Another Great Day In Kentucky!

Sunglasses and summer! This looks like a good picture for today. Today was my last day in Kentucky, I leave in the morning for Florida. Though it was my last day for a while, it was a great one. The morning began bright and early about 7am with "Mommy, come cuddle with me" yelled on the floor above me. Followed by the thud, thud, thud of little feet 'gracefully' running through the kitchen above! Always nice when you don't need an alarm, right?

The following 5 hours or so were spent doing what I love, cleaning! I cleaned the house from top to bottom, over and under! Talk about a great day! Sweeping, dusting, mopping, dishes, cleaning the stove, the microwave, the girls rooms, all of it... enjoyable.

Then I picked up Zoe from daycare. We walked around the church while I bid my goodbyes. Got a little treat in daddy's office, and dropped Zoe off at home.

Following a delightful morning and tranquil Zoe in the car, I got to present the ministry to a group at a coffee shop! Although talking isn't my strength, I did it and enjoyed it. It's cool what God makes you do when you are uncomfortable doing it. Some of the faces were familiar, and some new, but I think they all were touched by the realization of life for the kids at Casa de Luz. I was encouraged by the group in many ways. It was a blessing to share with them, and an encouragement for future involvement and relationships!

After that, we went to Zoe's 3-5 year old dance and tumble class...cute! Followed by dinner at Cheddars, a really yummy restaurant that I was told I "had to go to." It was good food.

And the day continues to be great. Kendra and I semi-finished our craft! We tore out old fabric from a very old suitcase, then put new, fun fabric inside! Two night project, ready to pack in it tomorrow!

The pictures of sunglasses just make me think of a fun, happy day, so that's why they are posted today!

Goodbye Kentucky........

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dear Visitors

If you are checking up on this thing, and if I don't have you address and/ or your email address, please email it to me.... jenny_bronsink@hotmail.com


My first presentation with the kids at Pleasant Grove Baptist went great. I had fun, I think they had fun! Not at all too stressful. I told them about Honduras and Casa de Luz and tried to teach them a song and Bible verse in Spanish. It was a very good experience, I hope it impacted their lives and view of life outside the US, and a little information about missionaries. I hope to stay in contact with them, and build a relationship so they can be excited about missions!

This Tuesday I will be talking to a church group at a coffee shop. A little different presentation, more adult oriented and less interactive. I will used the same song, and most of the same power point, with a little more information in the slides.

Tonight was a fun night with the family. After work we went on a drive to another city and had Chinese food. The drive was fun, the food was great, the company great, it was a great evening!
Buenas Noches!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Feeling a little under the weather, but that has given me time to work on preparing my first presentation! I'm a little nervous, but more excited. I am talking to a missions group of 3-5 year olds! At first, my friend was going to give me the opportunity to talk in front of the whole church, but since I'm leaving Kentucky in 10 days, it didn't work out and I only get the little ones, and probably the school aged ones too. Secretly, I'm very excited that my first presentation will be to children! They are the ones I talk to best!!!

In the process of preparation, I tested out a very good recipe for chilenas (two sugar cookies with caramel "dulce de leche" sandwiched between then, then dusted with powdered sugar)! However, I won't be trying them out for the 50 kids because of being sick :( Sorry kiddos, you have no idea what you will be missing. Maybe I'll post the recipe! Also in this process I have created a power point, and purchased a song from itunes, then I found out, the itunes version probably won't work on another computer unless I 'embed' it (or know something about computers). At least my presentation Wednesday will be from my computer.

I will try to attach it here, and just play in your head or on youtube the song "God of This City" by Chris Tomlin (if it doesn't work).

Other preparations happened on Friday night, when Kendra and I self addressed envelopes to every person I know. Jonathan gave me the tip, after I bought labels to print. It was a fun time of talking, writing, and snacking, and we finished! Just waiting on the brochures, designed by bronsinkdesign.com to come in the mail, and I will be sending them out, finally!

16 days til I return to Honduras for language school/ tutoring! One more week of work in Kentucky. 10 more days of living with Jonathan, Kendra, Zoe Fiona, Scout, and Sonnet (I won't be missing Sonnet or the cold, but I will miss the rest)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Encouragement and Emson

Today was an encouraging day! I sent out many emails trying to get addresses of friends I have not talked to in a while, and many of them sent me messages back. This may sound small, but to me, this is a huge encouragement!

Still in Kentucky, living with Kendra and Jonathan (sister and brother-in-law) and the 2 nieces! The snow is melting, so its not as pretty. Working at their church cleaning! (one of my favorite things to do) I wrote an article in their newsletter, if you want to check it out, here is the link
http://firstpresbyterianowensboro.com/view/february-17-2010---presbynotes (scroll down, i wrote "from flip flops to snow boots")

The kid of the day is Emson. My funny story about him is the first day I met him. We didn't talk much, but he kept coming up to me and saying "Hola vaca" (Hello Cow)... I hope he didn't mean anything by it, but I just laughed and continued on, until he kept calling me 'cow'.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow, sledding, and Silyi

More snow. After working most of the day, then fixing Honduran food for some friends, we decided to go nightime sledding under the lights. It was icy, with fresh snow falling. For a girl who hasn't had much snow in her life, it was awesome. Then we had a snow fight, and I came home covered in snow. Kendra almost sledded into the river, fun times!

My kid of the day is Silyi (pronounced Seelgee)

Silyi is 3 years old. Her favorite color is yellow. Every time I see her, she seems to have a smile on her face. I haven't got to know her well, ..(yet) but I look forward to the time learning about her and her sweet personality.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines Day

I'm here in Kentucky, and there is more snow! It hasn't been sticking yet, but I'm still hopeful! Aben, my boyfriend, is here visiting on his support raising travels. He is raising support with Youth for Christ in Honduras. Check out his youtube video about the people that work and live at the city dump. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr1EtnaVeZM

Also, for another video about Casa de Luz and the area check out this video, on the Casa de Luz webpage http://www.instituteforcommunity.org/casadeluz/default.aspx

Lastly, here is a picture for the day, of one of the kids at Casa de Luz. She is the one I have gotten to know the most, since she stays later in the day, and was usually around when I was teaching English to the other Honduran teachers.

Her name is Genesis, she is 4 years old. The best story I have about her, was one day when I was holding her and she just kept looking and touching a strand of my hair. I asked her what color it was and she had to pause and think for a while, because she is used to seeing dark hair. It was precious. And I think she determined it was orange.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My first support newsletter!!! minus the pictures

Dear Friends and Family,

As many of you know, I have been living in Tegucigalpa, Honduras for the past 2 ½ years. Until this past December I had been working in a Christian bilingual school, associated with a large church there. I taught 2nd grade for 2 years and 1st grade for half of a year. My time there was rewarding and life changing. My original commitment was to be there a year, then see where God wanted me. As you can see, by my extended time there, I loved it! I fell in love with the people, the culture, the food, and the country of Honduras. According to the World Bank, Honduras is the third poorest country on the Western Hemisphere, behind Haiti and Nicaragua. The recent political crisis has made it even more difficult for aid to reach those who need it.

I have been actively involved with two churches, one with services in English and the other in Spanish. The English speaking service has many missionary families and organizations represented and I have gotten to know some amazing men and women of God. Through one of these connections, I learned about a ministry called Casa de Luz (House of Light). I heard about it a few months before I visiting. A member of the church asked me to, “Pray about what your gifts are, and we can connect you to someone who can help you serve.” Author Frederick Buechner says, that where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet, this is where God is calling. When I visited Casa de Luz last spring, I felt God calling me to stay in Honduras and to use my gifts to serve the children there.

Since August of this year I have been visiting Casa de Luz a few days a week after teaching at my school to teach the two Honduran teachers English, and to get to know the kids.

Foundation Casa de Luz is a day care in one of the poorest areas of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It provides free childcare to families in the neighborhood of Las Palmas, so that parents can go to work and raise money to feed their families. The goal of the foundation is to teach Biblical values and themes to the children. The average mom at Casa de Luz earns about $183 a month to support her family… keeping in mind many items cost the same in Honduras as the U.S. Some of our kids have no water in their homes. Without Foundations Casa De Luz, some of the children would be left at home all day or all week while their mother works. One little girl, Nayeli, is 4 years old. Her mom works all week and only sees her on Saturdays. She would be uncared for except for a deal made with a neighbor who could watch Nayeli at night and on Sundays, and she can be at CDL during the day. Another little girl is Alecia; she is 2 years old. Her mom abandoned her, and she would be in a government center if it were not for our willingness to take her in, so her grandmother can work and take care of her at night and on weekends.

I find it difficult to express in words how passionate I am about serving the poor, and particularly the poor children of Tegucigalpa. My imperfect portrayal of this ministry may not adequately express my passion, but I trust that the Spirit of God will work in other’s hearts as he has worked in mine to provide a way to make ministry there possible. Please consider how God might to calling you to support this ministry through prayer support, or perhaps through financial support. A good friend said, “If I’m not there, the least I can do is pray.” But in reality, that is the MOST you can do for me. Praying to God, who is in control of all things, is the BIGGEST thing we can do, not the LEAST. Pray for the funds, pray for timing, pray for protection, and pray for all the pieces of this process to come together, so I can return as soon as possible. I’m hoping to return in mid- August if I have enough support.

I will need prayer support and monthly support. Since I will be a full time missionary, I need to raise support for all living expenses, including fees to stay in the country. I have estimated for the first year I will need to raise $22,000 (this includes finding a reliable means of transportation), and then approximately $15,000 annually for the years following. If you are interested in supporting me, please pray about this need and listen to where God is calling you.

Casa de Luz is a foundation organized through the National Institute for Community, and through this organization I will be raising my support.

The tax ID number is 20-4404320. You may donate online on my behalf at www.casadeluz.us On the right hand side, choose Casa de Luz, follow the link and donate. To use this option you NEED TO PLACE MY NAME next to Casa de Luz in the designation line.

You may also send a check to National Institute For Community WITH MY NAME ON THE MEMO SECTION of the check. The address is

National Institute for Community

175 Highpoint Dr.

%Michael Vickery

Romeoville, IL 60446

Please check out the Casa de Luz website to see more pictures and projects www.casadeluz.us and follow my new blog, as I will update you on my ministry and post pictures www.jennyhonduras.blogspot.com To receive e-mailed newsletters please send your email address to me at jenny_bronsink@hotmail.com

Jenny Bronsink

737 New Wales Lane

Saint Augustine, Florida 32092

Isaiah 58:6-7;10
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? ...and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Casa de Luz Christmas 2009

These are some pictures from Casa de Luz, the day care in Las Palmas, from their Christmas party. They sang some songs, and then each kid and parent received a gift! I'm trying to upload a video of one of the songs, but its not working. They sang and did a dance to "Jesus, You're my Superhero" in Spanish, of course, and a few other songs! After the songs, the parents had a meeting, and the kids from CDL and any of the neighborhood kids came up and made a Christmas box.... lots of kids, not a lot of space, but fun!

Friday, January 8, 2010

2 1/2 Years of CEAD Christian School!

My first grade boys, year number 3 at CEAD.
Crazy and in love with futbol (soccer)

My second grade girls my 2nd year at CEAD.
Always giving me hugs and sitting with me outside of class.

My second grade girls my first year at CEAD Christian School.
I will always remember my first class!