Monday, December 19, 2011

Time to Play Catch-Up

(Pastor Arnaldo, me, Bessy, Maria, and Debbie)... Zulema had to travel, so she was not in the picture :(

(Genesis and her brother Axel)

After a couple of very busy weeks, the day care will be closed for afew weeks. Most of the families go out to the villages over the holidays, and public school for the older kids does not start until February. A lot of extended family lives out in the villages, so it takes a day of travel on bus to get to most destinations.

I will be taking this break to catch up on communication! Since I am not certain on the funding for the year, I will be staying in Honduras for the holidays, with my family here. It’s not exactly the same, but my mom sent Christmas candles and some of my favorite holiday recipes. This week we have plans to celebrate Christmas at Aben’s ministry in Los Pinos (another poor community), celebrate a few kids graduating from his school, our Bible study Christmas party, and then on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we will be with Aben’s family.

I also plan to catch up on emails, blogs, and Facebook. I will now be posting most of my pictures to the Foundation Casa de Luz page on Facebook. I will try to post them on my page as well, but I was asked to keep this page updated, so it will be my first priority for pictures. Here is the link Foundation Casa de Luz Facebook Page Or you can go to my Facebook page and click on my information. I will also try to make another slideshow for the blog with more pictures.

(Christmas artwork)

Now the update of three crazy days, that took weeks of preparation! In preparation, many of you donated to help buy Christmas gifts for the kids and families. Let’s just say, there is not a “one shop stop” in Honduras, so I had to visit many different places to get all the toys, gifts and materials; which also takes time because of traffic patterns and hours at the ministry. The great news is that we got to bless the families! Each kid got little toys (boys: plastic soldiers, cars, plastic animals, ect; girls: bracelet, ring, necklace, ect), candy, a big toy (boys: toy motorcycles; girls: a doll), and a stuffed animal. For the mom’s I developed about 15-20 pictures of each kid that I have taken over the year (most families don’t have pictures because they are expensive to develop and don’t have cameras), a family picture (we had family picture day), a picture frame that the kids made and decorated from popsicle sticks, lotion, body spray and banana bread. It took a lot of preparation, but they were blessed and grateful! Thank you to every one who was part of blessing these families!

Last Tuesday we had the opportunity to go to a discovery -learning center with the kids. I don’t know exactly how it was arranged, but our board of directors told us the Thursday before, that it was arranged for our kids to go for free! Once we got there, the kids loved it. Unfortunately, the driving there was terrible. On a usual day, it takes me 5-10 minutes to get to the ministry; however, this field trip day, I had to go around town because there was ahuge strike on my corner (I live in the worst location when it comes to the strikes). It took about 45 minutes to fight the traffic, choose the ‘best’ route, and get two-three blocks from my house. After getting to the ministry, we got to load up the kids and go on the field trip. Fortunately wedidn’t go through the same mess, but the traffic was a result of the mess and took a lot longer than necessary. I had the little kids in my car, so it was a fun experience. The field trip was very fun, the kids got to play, climb, and learn in many different stations/ rooms.

(lined up, ready to go in toChiminike!)

Wednesday was planned to be the last day and pizza party. We decorated ice cream cones with icing like Christmas trees and put little candies on them to decorate. Some of the kids enjoyed eating the icing more than putting it on the cone J

(Juan Jose frosting his Christmas tree)

(David decorating)

The last few hours on Wednesday we found out that Friday we needed to come and have all the children come, as well as the rest of the children from the church and the community. A national tv program was going to shoot a live program and give the kids gifts. Our space that holds about 20 kids, had about 110 kids and 40 parents all squeezed in. The piñata didn’t work because there was not extra room to swing. It was crazy and there were a lot of crying children, BUT everyone went home happy with candy and very nice toys. We sang some songs and tried to keep the kids calm for 4 hours while they recorded for the evening show, then did a live show after. I actually had the opportunity to take pictures of the street because it was safe with so many kids and mothers on it.

(boys outside, girls inside)

(attempted pinata)
(Javier and his gift) (Heydi, Oliver and Linda were huddled in the corner of the daycare because their mom did not come with them, and little Heydi was one of the smallest in the huge crowd of kids... it was very cute to see them like this!)
(leaving CDL, news truck on the street)
(the street where I park, up on the left is CDL)

(the other direction down the same street)

In summary, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday were great days to be a kid at Casa de Luz. They enjoyed the time and will be missed over the holiday. I’m glad these families were blessed so much. The mothers were extremely grateful and said thank you to all of your for the blessing you are in their lives.

As you know I have been working with 3 other Honduran ladies in the ministry: Zulema, Bessy and Maria. This coming year will have some changes that will take some adjustments. Maria was with us in the morning and going to school in the evening. She will not be with us after Christmas. I really enjoyed working with her, she was very good and caring with the kids. She is applying for a humanitarian job with the government as she continues her schooling. She loves the kids, but not the teaching aspect. She will be missed. Instead of replacing her, the board has decided to have Debbie (who helped over this past year) to come in during the lunch hour to help out. Debbie leads Sunday school at the church and is GREAT teaching the kids. She was a huge help on Friday with the tv program! I don’t know what we would have done without her. I’m excited to work with her on a regular basis. Lastly, Bessy will be getting married on January 14. She plans to stay in the city and continue at the ministry. We are excited for her and are looking forward to the wedding.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and support this year. May God bless you and your family as you share Christmas together.

Merry Christmas,


Saturday, December 3, 2011


(Vanessa and her kids on Family picture day last Friday)

Ephesians 5:1-2 Be imitators (copycats) of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and LIVE A LIFE OF LOVE, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Living a life of love is a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Usually my blog updates consist of updates in the ministry, but this is the deeper issue of everything I do and the constant struggle.

Living a life of love is not the struggle, that comes easily, but understanding what is the right way to show love, is the struggle. The follow-up verse to this is Philippians 2:9-11. “And this is my prayer: that your LOVE may about more and more in KNOWLEDGE AND DEPTH OF INSIGHT, SO THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO DISCERN WHAT IS BEST, and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God.”

There is one family in the ministry that we struggle with constantly: Vanessa and her three kids, Gabriel, Javier, and Racsel. I mention them often because they are in the most need. As you know Javier has not been at the daycare since July because of his violent behavior towards the other children and teachers. It was not safe for the other kids and we recommended a few psychologists for Vanessa to bring him to see. However, within the past few weeks, we have noticed Javier (4 years old) unattended in the streets, very dirty, with older boys and talking about and doing bad things. We planned to have him come back in January, but given the lack of supervision by his mother, we are hoping to have him back next week. Last week he had a scab on his nose and yesterday he had a cut on his head. On the weekends he and his 5-year-old brother (Gabriel) are out on the streets late into the night. They came to one of the teacher’s houses banging on the door asking for food; she said they were filthy. In the daycare, Gabriel has started hitting the kids (with us watching) for no reason at all. He does not have violent outbursts like his brother, but its’ not safe for the other kids to be around him. The space is not big enough to keep him separated from the other kids, but punishment and revoking privileges does not change his behavior. Both Racsel and Gabriel try to steal the toys in their pockets and then lie constantly. We discuss this on a daily basis with Vanessa, but things seem to get worse.


This is where I am struggling with discerning what is best. I am here to love the kids and Vanessa, but what is healthy. At this point, what I WANT to do is try to find a better situation for the kids, somehow. But that is not the right kind of love for Vanessa. I don’t want to enable her not to take responsibility for her children, but at the same time I don’t want her kids to continue to be in this situation. How do you teach someone to care about her children? I discussed with a friend about finding a psychologist, but that requires time and commitment, which she has chosen not to have for her children. So it’s a continual prayer for discernment in the situation. This is a condensed version of the situation, so pray for every individual in this family and situation.

One encouraging moment that came out of this situation yesterday was the opportunity I had with one of the other children. Because of Gabriel’s behavior, Mari, the new 6 year old, was crying and wanted to go home. We called her mom, but she could not come pick her up. Instead of naptime, I let her sit in the office with me and color. After coloring a while she walked to the bookshelf and picked up the Children’s Bible. I had an hour to talk with her and read Bible stories. She said she goes to church, but the kids sit in the front rows, the adults behind them, and there are not Bible stories (at least in the eyes of a 6 year old). I asked if she had a Bible at home, and she said no. So I started to read to her because she had never heard the stories. When I finished 5-6 stories from Genesis, she said, “Keep reading, I want to color while you keep reading.” She was very patient and looked up for all the pictures. I’m glad I had that time with her; it was a sweet moment.

My last update was on the face of a girl we saw last night. There is a song in Spanish that sums up what we saw; it was a humbling moment. We had some left over food from Thanksgiving that was about to go bad. I had the rolls in my car all day looking for some kids to give it to, but I hadn’t past any and it was getting late. At about 10pm another friend came over and said, well we have this cake too, lets go find someone to give it to. So I told them the intersection where I usually see kids in the street and we went there. When I see these little kids in the streets, I always think of Javier (my little 4 year old, Vanessa’s son). We saw a mom and little baby when we got to the intersection, but when we got turned around to get to them, it was only a 6 or 7 year old boy, helping park cars. We gave him the bread and he showed it to the mom and baby who were across the main road. She came running to the car, and then we realized she only looked 13 or 14 years old and the baby (under a year) had a runny nose and they were all really dirty. We got to give her the bread and cake and she was so happy and thankful. It was a quiet ride home; we were all silenced by the situation. Many times when you give out food here people do not show their thankfulness like this girl did. It automatically made me think of the Spanish song by Jesus Adrian Romero, “Yesterday I saw you.” One of the verses says:

Yesterday I saw you. It was clearer than the moon. Without a doubt it was a clear vision that made my heart jump when I saw you.I saw you in a street kid, without a place to sleep, with her hands extended asking for bread to live, with pleading eyes, and in her hesitant smile. Yesterday I saw you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

October/ November Updates

9 people live in this house and 1 of the kids almost drowned in the flood waters. Ana and baby Raquel (very underweight for her age)
this family's house sunk into the ground
the adobe houses, 7 people live in this one room.
Marta helped us out all day
lots of babies

Thank you all so much for your contributions to the flood relief in the south. I’m glad we had the opportunity and resources to help the community of Los Mangles. We were hoping to do some cleanup to help the families, but they had been in their houses for 8 days, and there is a very limited water supply. Besides the floods, this community has not had water in 2 months. We saw the Red Cross trucks bringing water as the community filled up buckets. We could see where the waterline rose on the houses, 3-5 feet, and all the mud it left behind. It was sad to see the destruction of their cemetery. Some of the main roads heading down to the south had just fallen off the mountain. It was great to be able to help this community. Here are a few pictures, I will put more on Facebook.

I have many things going through my mind to update you on, the ins and outs of the ministry. Its true a picture says a thousand words, but the picture in my mind is without words. I’ll try to describe two of those moments in the updates.

First, we had a parents seminar on Sunday. All of the parents came and we had a doctor on our board of directors talk about how to deal with your child’s emotions. I wish I could have stayed inside for all of it; however, most of the parents brought their children. It was a fun morning of singing Sunday school songs out in the burning sun. At the beginning of the meeting, we were asked to explain a moment that stands out for us, that made us proud of out kid. Of course, I don’t have kids, so they asked the teachers about our kids at the ministry. Here is my weak portrayal of the picture I have in my head. Usually we sing kids songs every morning, followed by a Bible story. However, in the kitchen, we always have worship music on (the culture always has music on). This week, Zulema decided to sing worship songs with the kids. I tried to take a video, but it distracted the kids and didn’t turn out very well. All the kids were in a circle with their eyes closed, holding hands, and singing the slow worship songs. It was beautiful to see their faces, understanding reverence for God. I wish I could describe it better or capture it.

The second moment I wanted to capture was the next night. We had the opportunity to skype into a benefit dinner in Chicago. The kids were just going to say “hola” and let the people see their faces. In preparation, because we all live on ‘Latin time’ we told the parents to come an hour early. I had to be there to set up skype, so I was going to be there as they trickled in. By 6:05 most of the kids and parents were there, what were we going to do for an hour? Two of the other teachers couldn’t come, and the pastor could not come, so I was waiting for the one teacher that could come. Of course we figured everyone would be late, so she got there around 6:45. Things I have gotten used to, that don’t phase my attention, are the kids climbing up in my lap whenever it’s free. If I don’t have a child in my lap, I’m probably standing. So here we are, 14 kids (plus siblings) huddled around my computer, doing the test call an hour before the actual event. The parents are sitting in chairs behind us talking. So I was talking on Skype, with the parents, and having the children enjoy being on camera. After the initial call, we had an hour with children running everywhere. So any natural teacher would try to think of what to do, quick. I saw how much they loved the computer, so I decided to show they my “casa de luz” picture folder. I have over 1,200 pictures, if I went slow, that could kill some time. The reaction, to me, was hard to describe. It was quiet, that NEVER happens with 2-5 year olds, but more touching, was that the mothers also stood up to huddle around. For 15 minutes it was quiet and still while I went through most of the pictures with everyone close. It’s a very close, touchy culture, so being in the middle of the group was heartwarming. I wish I could take a picture of that moment. I got an email later in the evening, that skype went well with the dinner, but they didn’t see half of the scene!

After this moment, later in the week, I started to brainstorm what I could do for Christmas gifts for the kids and their mothers. Of course baking to me is the easiest thing for groups, but then I realized I could get more people from the States involved with this other idea. Most of these mothers don’t have cameras, so they don’t have many pictures of their kids. I was thinking, depending on the response by those who read this, would you be willing to adopt a kid for Christmas for $15? I could develop 10 pictures of each kid and buy the mom a scented lotion, as well as bake them bread or cookies. I don’t have the resources in my budget to do this without your help. Plus, it would give you a chance to give to a specific event. We have 14 kids right now, and 12 mothers. Please email me if you are interested in being part of our Christmas celebration.

Lastly, I have a praise report! I have tail lights, installed and working! Also, I have my residency papers turned in, so I do not have to leave the country anymore! It should take about 2 months to get the residency carnet, but once the papers are turned in, I can get extensions on my visa without having to leave. This will save a lot of money in travel fees. Thank you again for all your prayers and support. These past few weeks have been good for building relationships with the ladies I work with and the mothers. I have had many conversations, getting to learn more about the ladies I am in contact with every day.

Monday, October 24, 2011


(Racsel has this hand me down dress that is very short, fortunately we found her some stockings to cover her up.)

When I think about updates, its hard to pinpoint huge change and drastic stories every time. So this one will be just a catch up on what has been happening here.

It’s the last month of rainy season, so the ground is very saturated. We have had some tropical weather coming through and a cold front. Its in the 60s (with no heat and a nippy breeze), so my toes and fingers are cold all the time. The rain has not affected my area much, but to the south it has washed out roads and bridges, leaving 70,000 people without homes. There are many sources saying different degrees of disaster, but there are Red Cross tents stationed around town collecting food, clothes and supplies to bring to the south. A fellow missionarycouple and I plan to raise funds to bring down a truckload as well, the beginning of November. I will be sending out an email with details about this. Please pray for the people affected by this disaster as rainy season continues. This is the picture of the road that has washed away by the ministry. Its worse farther up, but I didn't want to take my camera out in the street.

Besides the weather affecting all of Honduras, the ministry is going great. A few weeks ago we nailed down a routine, that we have stuck too and seen much improvement. It’s fun because I get to teach the two different age groups (the bigs and the littles). I love it because the big kids aren’t answering all the questions; each kid gets a turn. I love being with the big kids because they have the basics and are ready to be stretched with a few new things. I love the little kids because they get individual time to repeat and learn, and are absorbing so much. One little boy, Juan Jose, has had a very hard childhood. He is two and has come different times with marks on his body from abuse. His mother also told us she took him to a doctor to find out why he was terrified of baths, and he has also been sexual abused. This explains his behavior to most people. Until the last few weeks, he was not interested in being held, or smiling with his eyes. Its cute, because his verbal is that of a two year old, so when I give him the chance to count or stay the days of the week, he drops the first syllable of every word. The success story is that now he screams out the answers and says them correctly. My jaw drops every time he accomplishes one of the basics because he is so young, has gone through so much, but is very smart. Here is a picture of Juan Jose in a sweater someone madefor the kids. The cut on his chin is a week old bump/ hit from his dad.

Lastly, it has been a month of staying inside at dark because I don’t have tail lights. The wonderful, great news is that I have the lights in my possession and a friend will install them on Thursday (if there are not glitches in the parts). It has taken some time and unreliable contacts to get this done, so a month later, I should be able to return home after 6pm. Interesting bit of Honduras information, the sun comes up at 6am and goes down at 6pm, since we are so close to the equator.

Other than these events, life and ministry are going on as normal. I have the opportunity to go to a women’s missionary conference this coming weekend. I am very excited for this time of relaxing and renewing.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Uncapturable Moments

I want to try to describe a scene from yesterday that is hard to capture without being in it and understanding all the details of each person, culture, and environment.

The little ones are all waking up from naptime, one at a time, and entering the office where Zulema is combing all the little girl’s hair, and checking for lice. I am cutting fingernails. Our 6 year old, Genesis, is doing her kindergarten homework. The sky outside is getting darker, and it makes the room darker. I honestly don’t know how she can check for lice in this light. To describe the room, 8 feet by 10 feet, including a desk, book shelf, cabinet of supplies, a smaller storage cabinet, a rolling wood piece where we stack the extra mats and where we store them after naptime, and then two chairs. Oh, plus we have one of the boys sleep in the office, so he’s not a distraction. So there is not much floor space and about 7 of the kids are awake from naps. We let them come in and sit on our laps and when they wake up a little more, pick books to look at.

It was surreal with all the kids close to us, the room getting darker with the rain coming and everyone in different stages of “awakeness.” I have one little girl on my lap, still waking up, and a three- year old girl sitting next to me, “reading” books. In Honduras, we don’t use the lights as much because all the windows are always open and light and air move freely. We have the windows that have about 10 horizontal slats that are always open. On the other side are bars. Most windows here have bars, and when they don’t you notice it.

So the rain begins, then the flash floods through the dirt streets as they wash away; and the three- year old (as she’s looking at her book) just says, “My mom’s going to get wet.” At that moment, I became conscious to the scene around me. I couldn’t just take a picture of it, but I didn’t want to forget it either. What three year old looks out the window, sees rain, and automatically thinks of her mother getting wet? It’s a life of being in the streets and knowing her mom is outside all the time. It made me think of a preschool in the States, with windows close (granted there is air conditioning) and an afternoon rainstorm is just that, rain.

It’s every day moments like these that are hard to capture in pictures, and even with words. But its what I remember and think about most when I try to describe what I do and where I am.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Welcome Home

Thank you everyone for your prayers and support. I have been home in Honduras for a week now. I had a wonderful time in the States visiting with new and old supporters, friends, and family. It seemed like a long hectic month. My travels last week went well, even with a few glitches, but I made all my flights and arrived home safe.

Please continue to pray for support to come in. Fundraising did not goas well as I had hoped, but I did make many new connections along the way! God has provided for me all along the way, so I’m not worried. Another huge prayer need is that I need to look for a new apartment. I love the apartment, its location and the landlords. The only problem is the parking situation. While I was gone, Aben’s car had the battery stolen, last spring my spare tirewas stolen, and as my welcome home present on Tuesday night, both my back taillights were stolen (plastic andlight bulbs.. everything). I do not want to move apartments, but given the circumstances of my car being stolen piece by piece, I need to look for a more secure area. Please pray for this because I have not budgeted for this and don’t think I will find this same living situation for the same price.

Along with bad news, I also have wonderful news. As of right now, I am not a resident, I have a visa that expires every 90 days, I can file for 2 months extension, then I must leave the country. The fee for residency has been $1300 for 3 years, so I have not applied for it. I have planned my travels around holidays and fundraising, so it has worked out fine. When I got back I heard about a new law for missionaries. If I bring a written paper from our organization that I am serving as a missionary, I can get my residency, 5 years for$25! This will cutback on expenses a lot. Once I have regular support coming in and won’t have to travel to fundraise, I will be able to stay in the country without having to leave by a certain date.

The month of September is a fun month in Honduras, because we celebrate Child’s Day (like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day) on the 10th and Independence Day on the 15th. Friday we celebrated Child’s day with a piñata, candies, balloons, and cake. The kids loved it and were exhausted by the end of the day. Here are a few pictures.

It was fun returning to the kids, I got lots of hugs and when one sits on my lap, they all do. Eventually I had to stand up so they would stop fighting for spaceon my lap or legs. Please pray for Zulema, one of the ladies I work with (the same one who had the motorcycle accident), her father died last week. I have not seen her yet, but she is very close to her family.

It’s hard to sum up a whole month in one blog, but I think I covered most of it. Thank you to everyone who supported me with prayers and finances, and hosting me in your homes and at restaurants. I have posted a few videos on youtube that I showed to different people. I will try to put them up on my blog soon.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In the States

Since the last I wrote, not much has happened. We had a team here, checking out the ministry to bring teams down. They spent part of the time at Casa de Luz, then the other half doing evangelism and pastors training. The kids love having visitors! We had the opportunity to take the kids to Pizza Hut and they loved it!

We also had a team come do a one -day ministry with the community. We invited the parents and we had the opportunity to spend a morning with one mother in particular. Vanessa has 7 children; 4 live with her; her husband is in jail; and she sells things on the streets. She is a very sweet lady and has had a rough couple of years. We found out some of her story this last week. I had heard the story of her abortion last year, but she told us the whole story. After having Racsel, the little girl in the picture here, she had surgery not to have more children. She endedup getting pregnant again, the baby growing in here intestines and eventually tangling itself in her intestines. She had complications and no one to take care of her. She had to take care of 4 kids, at that time 3 under the age of 4, and was working on the streets selling things while her husband sold most of there things for drugs. She said she had a huge belly when she lost the baby, but does not know how far along she was. This is about the time her 3 kids entered our program, very malnourished and dirty.

Hearing her story and the difference the “house of light” (casa de luz) made in her family, made me realize the opportunity we have to offer hope through Christ in our ministry. The kids have been attending Sunday school, and it made me happy to see the older boy singing all the words to some of the Sunday school songs. We may not always know the circumstances or situations that surround us, but just being open and willing to help in the names of Christ can change someone’s life. Here is a picture of Vanessa with her kids, Javier, Racsel, and Gabriel.

Now I want to share a proud moment I had today. I went in to say goodbye to the kids, since I will be in the States for a month and they told me a story about one of the kids we have been potty training. He is 80% successful when I’m around, and a little less when I’m not there. They said he was in the bathroom one day taking off his diaper and they asked him, “where did you learn to use the bathroom?” and he responded, “Jenny taught me.” It was a proud moment for me to see some fruits of the labor we do.

I will be in the States until September 5. Please pray for my travels and health. Before leaving Honduras I picked up a stomach bug and have been having problems with that. Please pray that this will go away with medicine and not stay with me all month. If you are interested in getting together while I’m in the States email me!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Busy July

(this is my current favorite picture of Heydi, constantly asking to be held)

Little out of routine has happened since the last time I blogged. It’s rainy season, so it’s always an experience getting into the neighborhood where I do ministry. Yesterday my truck got stuck in a 2 holes. Its funny because I had visitors with me, I picked them up because they have a small car that would not have made it as far as mine, then mine gets stuck. When I finally gave up, the pastor came walking down the street and helped. We got in the back, to put weight on the back tires, and with lots of splattering dirt and several tries later, he got it out. Please pray that I can sell this truck and have the funds to buy an SUV with 4WD and the ability to fit passengers.

I am preparing for a team that will be here next week and staying for 8 days, as well as, packing for a month of furlough and fundraising. Although I'm not busy yet, I'm preparing for the next month as much as I can.

An update on Javier is that his mother has pulled him out of the program for a time. Now he goes to sell things on the street with her. His siblings, Gabriel and Racsel, still come every day, so hopefully after a time Javier will be coming back to join us. He has such a sweet side, along side his violent, angry side that makes it hard to deal with the situation of him remaining with the other kids as well as hard to deal with him not being with us. We are praying for a change and to have him back eventually.

As I prepare to go back to the states in 2 weeks, please pray for my travels and fundraising. Being with these children is my comfortable element, sharing their stories and lives places me out of my element. However, I understand how crucial it is for their stories to be told, so that people can support them and lift them up in prayer.

I will be in the States August 1 to September 5. Northern California August 1-8, Charlotte August 14-18, Jacksonville August 20-27, and Georgia August 30- September 4. If you would like to host me, grab coffee, share a meal, have me share in a small group or church, please contact me by email ( or facebook to set up a date. My goal is to raise support for the following year to continue in this ministry. I need to raise $10,000 ($1,000 monthly) to remain in Honduras for another year teaching and raising these children.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Headache Free!!

Alicia praising God with her new instrument Silyi with her shirt
Racsel making her shirt
waiting to wash hands for lunch

As you might have noticed, or felt neglected that I have not updated the blog, is that I had headaches/ migraines for over a month. I am thankful to say, I have been headache free for 6 days and now its time to catch up on life in the outside world. Headaches are debilitating, so its hard to do anything, especially think, when you head is pounding. I visited a few doctors, tried lots of meds, and lastly took a pre-planned vacation to the beach. The latter seems to have been the most successful.

First I want to update you on news of the ministry, then news about me. The kids are growing and sweet. I love being able to hold them and watch them giggle. This week the founder is in town and so it will be a week of festivities. Today we tie- dyed shirts with the kids, and did a few other crafts. It is fun to have a break from the normal, with visitors and gifts. The kids are enjoying her time here. We are planning on going on a field trip on Friday and wearing our new shirts.

Next week we will say goodbye to Debie who has been a huge help the past few months. She is great with the children, always smiling and a great teacher. Hopefully we will have her help us out again. The positive news of this situation is that all the teachers are healthy and we can get back in to the routines we had started to establish.

I have really noticed this week, the progress some of our kids have made. Remembering back to when I started in September, one little boy would not smile and talk, now he is constantly smiling and talks a lot and participates in the activities. He used to not even join a circle and now he plays the games. They all have stories of progress, and it brings me joy to take notice of these accomplishments!

The past two weeks I had the opportunity to leave the city, for ministry and vacation. The first week I translated for a vision clinic in a city 2 hours away. I met a lot of new friends, Honduran and American and I it was a fun experience to be able to allow two people, that don’t speak the same language, to communicate. I learned about eyes and some medical terms I didn’t even know in English. I was actually ministered to by the group I worked with when the last day my headache got really bad.

After the week of ministry I went towards the beach. I visited a friend who I met in the airport when I was traveling home in February. She works in a mission hospital way out in the country. It was a very beautiful, remote little “pueblo” (town) 2 hours down a dirt road. I described my weekend as very Honduran. She lives with a family so we spent lots of time talking and walking with them. It was very fun!

After the weekend, I went to a hotel down a dirt road with pastures on each side. It was very secluded and right on the beach. It felt like a secret garden full of flowers, trees and birds, right on the beach. It was a very relaxing environment and I did not miss the noise of the city at all. I was ready to go home at the end, since I traveled alone, but it was very peaceful, quiet and relaxing. And most importantly, my headaches went away! Gracias a Dios.

I am putting more pictures on Facebook of our activities today because I can fit more pictures there.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I feel like a lot has happened in the last few weeks, since I wrote last. I’ve had a few rough weeks with the kids because we have been down a worker or two at the daycare. The good news is, we have a new lady working with us until Zulema recovers fully from her motorcycle accident. Deby worked with Casa de Luz many years ago, but had to leave because she had a baby. The baby is now 3 years old, and Deby was willing to come back and fill in, since we are in need of the help. She is a very happy and smiley lady, and also experienced in teaching kids this age. She teaches Sunday school at the church.

This week she did an activity with the kids, where the kids looked into a mirror at themselves, and she said something nice about them. The lesson was to explain that we were made in the image of God, just how he wanted us to look. The shocking response was when Racsel did not want to look at herself in the mirror. I wondered why. She is not usually a timid, shy girl, but looking the mirror she shied away. Most of the kids smiled and enjoyed the opportunity.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a missionary women’s retreat. It was meant to be a time of relaxing with other women who share similar lives, ministering to the people of Honduras. Although we are all spread out throughout the country, it’s nice to have a weekend to connect and relate to other women just like me. We had many times of worship and prayer groups. The name fit the experience well, Women of Purpose, Sisterhood Revive. I went to the same retreat in October and loved it then. A group from the States sponsors this time away from the stresses of life and pours into us, as missionary women. I loved it! Here are a few pictures of some art I made for my apartment in our free time.

After returning from the retreat Saturday night, I jumped right into ministry mode again, baking cakes for Mother’s Day at the church. After church, we celebrated the mothers with cake and soda. They also gave away two baskets of food to two mothers. (Dilon, the son of one of Aben's teachers)

Lastly, the newest addition to my apartment is a table and chairs. Thank you to Word on the Street Ministries for providing me with these essentials for my apartment. Now I can have people over and offer them a chair, instead of the floor J

It’s been really hot down here, and the reason it feels so hot, is because we do not have air condition. It may not be as hot as it gets in the States (I live in a cooler part of Honduras), but with no air condition, and lots of sun, it’s HOT! However, we have had a wonderful afternoon rainstorm, although the kids do not sleep well with the thunder, it gets a lot cooler, for that I am grateful.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Swimming With Prisoners

Last week was Semana Santa, Holy Week. This week in Central America is not only famous for its displays of palm branches on cars and colored sawdust carpets lining the downtown streets on Good Friday (they used colored sawdust to make pictures of the crucifiction, flowers, and Bible verses), it is also the week when the city becomes a ghost town, everything shuts down, and people leave the city for vacation and to visit family.

(the sawdust carpets lining the streets in Copan)

Palm Sunday weekend, I got to take a few of my kids to the pool. The LOVED it! Afterwards we went to Burger King, got ice cream cones (2 ended up on the floor) and played in the playground. Their faces were priceless and it took them a while to get in the pool. But when they did, they didn’t want to get out. On Monday and Tuesday we had the opportunity to bring the youth Aben works with the pool as well. We got pizza and mangos to enjoy at the pool. They also loved it, and it was a lot less work for me J

At the end of theweek, we also left the city, to go to Youth for Christ (Juventud Para Cristo) camp in the western part of the country. It was a fun time, because I had never been to the west. I got to/ had to go to visit the Guatemala border to renew my visa that expires this week. There was a group from the camp visiting the Copan Ruins (a day trip 1 ½ hours away). We got a ride,then took a tuktuk (3 wheeled taxi) 15 km to the border. It was kind of funny how short the distance, but how long it took us with the mountain hills. I could have walked up the hills faster than this taxi went. It was an experience! With a short “72 hour” stop at the border and two favors later, we returned to the Copan Ruins within 2 hours. Since we were with the group, I did not get to see the famous ruins, but I did visit the entrance. I felt like I was in the car most of the weekend, because we went to camp on Thursday (6 hours), to the border on Friday, and home on Saturday. One of the cool events of the camp was Friday night. We all sat in the middle of a pitch black soccer field, with our eyes closed, while one girl read something. She explained that we are all called to be a light, we should not hide our light, and that we all shine differently with different strengths and abilities. When we opened our eyes they had splattered us with glow in the dark paint. We all glowed differently in the dark of the night. It was a very cool activity!

Returning back to the daycare, it was nice to see my kids after a week. But the most jaw dropping story we got was when 3 of my kids told me they got to visit their dad at the penitentiary, and got the swim with the prisoners and gang members. Try to digest this, I’m still working on it… a three year old girl, 4 and 5 year old boys swimming with gang members, murderers, and the father in jail for raping one of their sisters.

It’s hard for me to comprehend and know how to help, how to change the dangerous situation. We laugh at the absurdity, but when the irony fades, its still the same situation. My friend wrote a quote on her blog this week that has defined my emotions the past few weeks, “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” –Flannery O’ Connor.

Pray that we can work to educate these families how to treat and raise their children without offending them, resulting in closed doors.

In other news, I have my plane ticket to return to the States to raise funds for another year serving these families. I will be in the States August 1 to September 5. Please let me know if you would like me to share with you, your family, your small group or your church. Please pray about supporting me in prayer or finances. God has provided me with big and little things along this journey, please pray if God is asking you to be involved. I will be sending out a newsletter in May with more specifics.

Thank you to everyone that has supported me with prayers and finances. I am grateful for what God has provided!

(Oliver peaking through the barred door for a picture)