Friday, November 30, 2012


Here are a few pictures I took when we went to get the kids pictures taken with a cap and gown. Each diploma has a small picture of the child in cap and gown. We are still waiting on the diplomas, which are supposed to be given out the end of November. We had the graduation planned for the middle of November, but when I went to pick up the diplomas we found out the government will not give them out til the end of November because the public schools missed a lot of school due to teacher strikes. Since we have already finished the year, we are just waiting on the diplomas! It was exciting to see each kid finish his/ her book; and they are anxiously looking forward to bringing their accomplishment home. 





Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Winding Down Kinder

David Alexander


sorting and putting in groups

It’s hard to believe there are only a few weeks left of Kinder. It’s really exciting to see the kids succeed and complete the curriculum.  This home school program makes the teachers work easy at the end of the year, so all we have left to do is take pictures of the kids and put them on the diplomas. I’m hoping within the next few days we can take the 4 kinder kids and get our pictures taken at a photo shop, because we don’t have a cap and gown. At the photo shop they have one to borrow for the picture. Sometime in November we will have a lunch with the families and give out the diplomas. I’m so proud of Lizandro, Alicia, David, and Oliver!

This past month I have had my cousin here helping out at Casa de Luz. She is a great help with the kids and has been teaching English every morning. The kids love her and even after 3 weeks still try to talk to her in Spanish (yet her responses only seem to be yes, no, and thank you). Not only is it nice to have her help at the daycare, it is nice to have someone stay with me and go do day to day stuff with.

Some discouraging news that I take for granted, but realize that I haven’t shared often is the neglect and poor health of some of the kids. The health department visited Casa de Luz in the summer, weighed the kids, and told us that almost all of the kids were underweight and all but 2 were anemic. We have been working, as clever as possible, to add healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, and meat) into the diet. (On a frustratingly humorous side note- if the healthy stuff is not blended or shredded in, the kids just toss it under the table. No one at home gives them vegetables, so its hard to enforce it away from home) The doctors returned last week and gave us good news for some kids, but most of them are still underweight and anemic. The discouraging news is that when given medicine to take home, the parents are not giving it to the kids. Lice treatment we are doing at the daycare, for this reason. However, the parasite medicine needs to be given by the parents. Another little boy has had a rotten molar for a while and cried for a week. Finally, after much urging, the mom took him to the clinic to get it pulled. It’s sad because the reality is the mom works from early in the morning to late in the evening, being a nanny to another family, and has to neglect her own children.

For those of you who have been praying for Alejandro, I wanted to thank you and give you an update. I talked with his grandmother in the street and she said that right now there are not “bad cells” but he has to go one day a week for treatment. I’m not exactly sure what all that means, because I know nothing about medicine, but it sounded like a good report to me. She said sometimes he doesn’t want to eat anything, and sometime he has a huge appetite. I saw him the other day, as he was walking his brother and cousin to Casa de Luz and he told me, “I’m going to the daycare today.” And his mom said, “No honey, not today.” Then she proceeded to tell me that every morning he wants to come. Continue to pray for Alejandro, so that his immune system will be strong enough to be around other kids his age, and that the “bad cells” stay away.

Zulema pulled Genesis 2 front teeth

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back Home

Cristal, 2 years old 

Kalil, 3 years old

Children's Day

The team painted designs at Casa de Luz

Aben and David painting with the team at Zulema's house

Painting at Bessy's house

I have been putting off writing a blog for a few weeks now because I have been lacking the energy. Today I have just enough energy and realized all the details keep adding up to make for a very long update.
My time in the States went well, I made new contacts and caught up with old ones. It was a great time of fellowship and sharing. Thank you to everyone who hosted me and allowed me to share the ministry with you or your church. I traveled all over and had the opportunity to see my immediate family and lot of my extended family as well. I never get to see everyone, but with each trip I see different people.
Two days after returning to Honduras I had a team from Canada come, stay in my apartment and share in the ministry at Casa de Luz and with Aben’s ministry at the Dump and the school. The girls were a blessing to so many people here and I think their lives were impacted, as well. While they were here, they got to spend time with the kids at Casa de Luz, painted Bessy and Zulema’s houses, did a feeding program at the trash dump, and played with the kids at Aben’s school. The girls had lots of energy and made instant friendships with the kids; they still ask about the girls.  It was a long week so the girls had an opportunity to serve in a variety of different ways!
While I was in the States we had a new girl join the program. Nazareth is 2 years old and very passive. She is not like most of our 2 year olds that loves to be picked up and nurtured when she cries, we are still trying to get to know her, but she is sweet and has a squeaky two year old voice that comes out every once in a while when she is comfortable enough to talk. 
This past week, we had 2 new siblings enter the ministry as well. Kalil is 3 years old and his younger sister Cristal is 2 years old. They are brand new so I don’t know their story yet, but they also have a younger sister that looks to be around 10 months old that their grandmother watches while the mother works. 
Monday was Child’s Day in Honduras. Similar to Mothers Day and Fathers Day, Honduras celebrates the children. It is like Christmas; no matter how little the family has, they save all their money to buy an outfit for Children’s Day or something special. Many of the kids came in the new clothes that the team brought for them and the birthday shoes many of you helped us give. I had not seen one little boy wear them yet, and when he wore them yesterday, he told me they were for church. That being said, the new gifts that are given are treasured for very special occasions like church, Children’s Day, and Christmas. We had the opportunity to go to a bank country club and play in a secure grassy playground area. It was so fun for the kids to be outdoors and run freely in the grass. However, as an adult putting the shoes on for the hundredths time got a little old… I say that jokingly because these kids live on dirt streets and rocks are all around, there is no grass to take your shoes off and run. Even if it did bother me to put shoes on multiple times, it was worth every sweaty foot!
Lastly, continue to pray for Vanessa and her family. There are a lot of details involved but Gabriel and Javier are now living in a children’s home and Racsel is still living with Vanessa. It will be hard not to see them every day and have them in the ministry, but I still have contact with Vanessa and we will be able to visit them at the home. Continue to pray for the boys and the family.

Vanessa at Christmas with Gabriel, Racsel, and Javier
Nazareth in her new clothes for childrens day (she usually wears the same 3 outfits)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pray for Alejandro

I sent this out on Facebook last week, and then the week got very busy with no time for emails, blogs and communication. Last week Alejandro, 2 years old, went in to get tests run because he wasn’t feeling well. According to his brother, who I interviewed for a video, he thinks his brother is in the hospital for fainting. So I assume he must have fainted and then they started with the testing. A week ago Monday (almost 2 weeks ago) he came at the end of the day with his mom to pick up his brother and cousin, they showed me the bottom lids of his eyes and said the
doctors said he had very bad anemia and were going to run more tests. The next day we found out he had been admitted into the hospital and were running tests for Leukemia. Last weekend we were waiting for the results, and Monday we found out he does have Leukemia, although it doesn’t look like it’s the bad kind, but only time will tell. This past Tuesday we had the chance to go and visit Alejandro and Marcela (his mom) in the public hospital. From what I understand the public hospital is completely free, which is a huge blessing for a family from this community. We had to put on (I’m drawing a blank on the word in English)… smocks/aprons, and we could only stand at his bed for a few minutes because of our germs. Zulema wasn’t able to go in because she had a cold. We prayed for Alejandro and Marcela and got to give Alejandro his birthday present, since he was going to miss our big birthday celebration for all the kids. We went during visiting hours, but it wasn’t a good time for Alejandro. They were giving him more treatment and he was in a lot of pain. His mom said that a group of visitors came with stuffed animals and since Alejandro was in a bad mood, he said he didn’t want one. Then a little while later, he sat up and told them, “I’m going to be in a good mood, I want a stuffed animal now please.” She told me he was also telling his nurses about Miss Jenny and counting for them. I talked to his grandmother yesterday and she said they had to move the IV from his foot to his hand because his foot had swollen up so bad from everything they were putting in him. I will keep you posted, but pray for Alejandro and his family. He turns 3 years old this Wednesday.

Yesterday we celebrated the Birthday’s of all the kids in the ministry. I measured their feet and bought everyone a brand new pair of shoes and a toy, then we loaded up my car and in two trips we went to Popeye’s Chicken. It’s hard to describe or understand that Popeye’s is a huge treat for these kids. We think McDonalds of fast food is just an option when we don’t want to cook. These kids never go to eat fast food because they cannot afford it; they all dressed in their nicest clothes for the trip. The kids loved playing in the play area, eating fried chicken and biscuits. It was funny, the ladies I work with didn’t know what a biscuit was, even as they were eating it. When we got back to the daycare, ready for naptime, we cut a birthday cake and opened presents. It was very hectic, but the kids enjoyed celebrating their birthdays! Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. If you would still like to donate specifically for the birthday party, please let me know. 12 out of 20 kids were sponsored for this party ($25 per kid), so the rest came out of my monthly budget. God has always provided, so I was not concerned about sacrificing for this special day, but pray about if you would like to give to this specific event. I was planning on sending out this blog earlier in the week, but with looking for shoes and toys in over 10 different stores, and 3 migraines this week, the blog was not written until Saturday night.
David (Alejandro's brother) 
Heydi and Oliver enjoying the food

The first part of Juan's present (shoes!)

Seun (mom) holding Eliana, showing her new shoes

Oliver and Genesis pausing for a picture

the gifts before they were wrapped

Please continue to pray for my health. I’m finally back to eating normal from the stomach sickness, but the headaches the past two weeks have been very frequent. Also pray for my preparation and travels for furlough. I will be connecting with supporters and traveling all over the States. Thanks for your prayers, encouragement, and support!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy Birthday!

I was sad to realize that when I leave for furlough in June, it will be the last time I get to see Genesis every day. On July 25 Genesis will turn 7 and age out of our program (at least until we have the new building and more ages). It will be the last time she will come in and talk with me like a grown up little kid. I will pass her on the street and find out about her life, but it will not be the daily interaction like normal. Genesis is a very gentle, quiet girl that has been in the program as long as I have been involved. She was the first girl I got to know and fall in love with. I would come in the afternoon to teach English classes when I was still working at the bilingual school. She would be the only kid left at that time of day and would play with my hair and talk. I vividly remember her puzzled face and questions about the color of my hair. From what I knew, she lived in a rented room with her mom, grandmother, and 2 year old brother. I don’t know if her grandfather lives with them, but a few weeks ago he came in to ask for something and when he left she matter of factly says, “he hits my mom.” According to the other ladies I work with he is known in the area for drinking too much. Genesis has never mentioned anything about herself being harmed, but her timid, submissive personality and eagerness to clean up makes me see that life has not been easy for her.

For this reason, I am hoping to have a Birthday party for all the kids on one day. I’m still working out the plans, but I am hoping to take them all on a field trip to McDonald’s or Pizza Hut to play in the play area for a morning, then each kid will receive a wrapped gift of new shoes and a toy. Young kids do not remember their birth dates as easily and parents in this community to not have the means to put much emphasis on the special day. It will be a way to make every kid feel special and bless the families by providing shoes for the kids. I know it is last minute to raise all the funds before going on furlough the beginning of June, but I had forgotten about when Genesis’ birthday was and that she would not be able to participate if we waited until August. With $25 per kid, we can provide a birthday party for 20 kids! Please let me know if you would like to donate for the birthday party, so that I can begin planning!
It has been a difficult start to May because I have had intestinal infections and bacteria. It has given me time to think, but until today, I haven’t had the strength to put it into writing. This past week I watched the last video from a Beth Moore study on David and I remember the specific emphasis she put on the 23rd Psalm because I had never heard it like that before. Verse 2 says, “He MAKES ME LIE DOWN in green pastures…” Sometimes God MAKES us take a break, to teach and restore us. I have had time to think about ideas for the ministry, questions to ask, how to involve more people. Sometimes the stress of living in another country is really draining and the best ministry is pouring to the kids and loving them with the love and grace of God. But, I have realized, that sometimes God makes you lie down and rest to restore and reaffirm the impact you are making.
We have 2 new workers at Casa de Luz! Today, Olinda is starting as the new supervisor. Her specific role will be more interaction with the parents and paperwork. It takes a lot of behind the scenes work to run a childcare facility and she will be helping in that area. I have not met her yet, but she is an older lady that has lots of experience. I look forward to getting to know her. We also have a psychologist that has volunteered to come once a week and start meeting with Gabriel, Javier, and Racsel. I have told you countless stories of the hardships of this family. It’s a huge blessing to have this new psychologist as a resource.
We have been talking about constructing a building for a while now, and found out that the Board of Directors has hired a contractor, after a very long process, and will begin work in July on the new building! If this continues as planned we will need teams to come and help put the finishing touches on the first phase of the building next Spring and Summer.
I’m looking forward to the new season of change in the ministry with new workers, construction starting, and a few people coming to volunteer in the fall! Please continue to pray for my strength and healing, the kids and their families, the new season we are entering in the ministry, and my furlough time in the States. And let me know if you are interested in donating for the birthday party!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sharing My Childhood Memories

One of my favorite memories growing up was when we would get a new appliance, because it always came in a huge box. We would then create a house, or a fort, and play with it for days. Last weekend I had the opportunity to spend time with a great friend running errands. One of our errands took us to a warehouse where we got to take homea huge box. I was so excited about sharing this experience with my kids. So I cut out some windows and a door, they decorated it using crayons and stickers, and we had a house. They enjoyed every minute of it, obviously something they had never done before.Their faces in these pictures tell it all. I’m kind of surprised day 1 did not destroy it!

For added safety, this week we have started construction of a new wall in front of the daycare. The previous fence was easy for the kids to climb, with barbed wire on the top. It was easy for the kids to throw things over, and for anyone to hand stuff through the fence to the kids. This week they put up concrete blocks, next week they will attach a metal door, and the week after a team from the States will work on sealing it and painting it. It will be nice, not having to chase Frisbees or ballsdown the hill outside the fence, and it provides extra security for the ministry! (the fence before: in this picture they were in big trouble! and yes, I took a picture first)

I’m never quitesure how to consolidate a weeks or months worth of stories into one blog. Do I tell the real (heartbreaking stories of abuse and neglect) to explain the reality of these kids’ lives, or I share the funny and encouraging moments? Every time I sit down to blog I try to sift through the events to communicate the reality of their lives and the need for this ministry, at the same time, highlighting the moments that are impacting their lives!

(We were singingabout the foolishman built his house upon the sand..... y la casa se cayo)

I know I have mentioned Edwin before, he is the older brother of 2 of our kids. Every morning he drops off his siblings and the neighbor boy, then he sits around and talks with us for a while. He helps us take the trash through the neighborhood, up a huge hill, to where the trash truck passes, he has helped us clean up the weeds around the ministry, and he sometimes brings us pieces of fruit. He is full of questions and a sponge to information. He wakes up around 4 every morning to help his dad get the fruit to sell on the street, then he comesand takes care of his siblings, while his parents work and his7 year old sister, Linda, goes to school. In the afternoon, the 7 year old picks up the younger kids, while Edwin goes to school. One funny comment he made this week was about our capital Washington, DC. He said, “You know, Washington is such a strange name, I bet you think Tegucigalpa sounds strange, huh?” It made me laugh, because, yes, I do think Washington is very normal and the name Tegucigalpa is a very strange name.

Yesterday Edwin came in the same torn-up, blue flip flops that he wears everyday, his shirt was too small and ripped under one arm from his stomach to the armpit. He comes in, and helps us take off the sheets to the mattresses, then brings them outside and starts to hand wash them. We never ask him, he just takes the initiative and does it. When I tried to take a picture he ended up running away. You can tell he has been forced to grow up fast and take care of the family, and he does not like when someone acknowledges his servants heart. He is so open to learning and full of questions, it’s a open door to share the Gospel! (Edwin getting the waterto start washing the sheets by hand for us)

Lastly, we have completed our first week as a certified kindergarten! Here in Honduras, you must have a kindergarten diploma to enter first grade. Although we are teaching the same materials, we have never been certified and the kids would have to leave the program in the mornings to go to kindergarten. Now that we have it within the ministry, the kids will not have to leave the security for another year! It’s a huge blessing to the families, because we cover the cost, plus the Christian learning environment, English, breakfast and lunch, and they don’t have to pay the cost of public school uniforms.

(Javier on the first day of kindergarten)

Here are some pictures of the past few weeks. Check our Facebook page (Fundacion Casa de Luz) for more pictures from Easter.

(I had no idea they were all three making these faces until I uploaded the pictures... too funny!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


So much happens in a month, it’s overwhelming to stop and write it down. The end of last month my parents had the chance to visit for a week and a half. We had fun with my kids, showing them my life here in the Honduras and visiting some of the “must see” spots in Honduras. It was a fun road trip driving from south to west back to the northern coast and then home again. I’m so happy they had the chance to see my day to day life!

Great news, we have another 2 new kids. One was in the program last year, but her mother pulled her out for a few months because she was without work and could watch her at home. Fernanda is 4 years old now, and still a bundle of energy. The first day she came back in her pre-K uniform dress, talking about her teacher and about how big she, herself, had become. Fernanda is a talker with a 4 year old “sing songy” voice; full of personality! (an old picture of Fernanda)

Our other new little guy is Dilon. I have known Dilon, now 15 months old, since he was born. His mother, Sarah, is a teacher at the school my boyfriend, Aben, started in another poor community a year and a half ago. Check out his blog, if you are interested in seeing his ministry: Sarah has had thebaby at the school with her every day, teaching with him on her hip, or setting him on a piece of foam to sleep during the day. Now that Dilon is walking, its not the easiest for Sarah to teach and pay attention to him. They have to walk 2 or more miles to Casa de Luz, in the morning and the afternoon, but it is a huge blessing to her that we can watch him and provide food for him every day. Dilon is a lot different from the 15 month old girl we have, he is used to being left to play by himself (at the school they have what used to be a truck, now its just 4 wheels, that he used to play with in the corner) now he has more toys to play with and kids his own age. He is a very sweet, calm little guy. We didn’t find out until this weekend that the reason he didn’t come a few days last week is because they didn’t have any disposable diapers. After finding this out, we went to the grocery store and bought some diapers. If you would like to help contribute a couple dollars a month to help provide diapers for Dilon, please let me know. The ministry has raised funds for the other basics, but diapers are not covered, and I would not want a family to not receive a blessing because they cannot afford diapers. I plan to cover this cost for them, but let me know if it’s on your heart to help.

(Sarah and Dilon)

(trying to capture a smile)

Over the last month, we have had a few birthdays as well! On February 27, Heydi turned 3 and Javier turned 5. This week Rascel will turn 4. It’s exciting to see the kids growing up and remembering how small they were when they first came. I’m looking forward to celebrating Easter with the kids this year, with cake and different fun activities. We are going to try dying Easter eggs this year, which is kind of humorous to me, because no one knows about the Easter bunny and the stereotypical ‘American’ Easter traditions. It will also be a time to share the importance of Christ’s death and resurrection! It is amazing to see how much these kids remember from our day to dayBible stories, but theprayer is that one day this seed with change their lives for eternity!

(Heydi's clothes don't get washed often, so we let her pick the princess pajamas while we washed her clothes)

(Javier playing dress up)

(Rascel loves playing Barbies)

The other day I was reminded, again, of the importance of this ministry, all through 30 minutes of playing playdough. A team brought down some playdough for the kids and I was in the smaller room playing with the younger kids. Since we hadn’t had playdough in a few months, it was the first time for Mariana to ever see playdough. I opened the container and gave it to her and she just started playing with the container, not even trying to get the playdough out. After observing her, I watch the other kids pull out the playdough and start creating things with their imaginations. When I finally helped her pull it out, she just held the lump, not really understanding what to do with it. Finally I started pulling it apart and forming stuff and she quickly joined in. As they all played, I realized how simple, fun things can help a child’s brain and motor skills develop; and that these children will never have these in their homes. Not only do we have the ability to help them develop spiritually, we are helping them develop skills for life.




Thanks for praying for this ministry and me, it’s exciting to watch it prosper and expand to reach more and more families!