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!