Thursday, October 21, 2004

God is Working on Me

Last night God opened my eyes to some things that I have been doing that have been completely in contrast to what I’ve been telling myself I’ve been doing. Right now I am struggling with a decision about whether or not I should move to the children’s home and work. I keep telling myself that it will work out the way God wants it to and that I am trusting God to lead me. The reality, however, is that the moment there was a bump in the smooth road before me I fell apart. I am still in the process of dealing with missing the boys and wanting to be out at the home but I am trying to be more at peace with the process. I think God is teaching me patience and acceptance in a new way. I really do want God to lead me and I pray that I am allowing him to do that. You guys know that I like to be in control and one of my biggest spiritual struggles is relinquishing that control to God. God has blessed me in with immense happiness and a life that I love. I was talking to my good friend Andrew the other day about how lucky I am to be doing something that I truly love. You, my friends, are a huge part of my life and the happiness that have. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I know that the peace that I am able to experience is due in large part to the prayers that you are sending up for me each day. You are truly amazing people and I cherish your love.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Hmmm…Interesting Development

Well while I can’t seem to attract a male species close to my age it seems to be noo problem for me to attract those that could be my father. A few of you know about a certain someone in his thirties who decided he liked me before I left to come here. I only wish my new admirer had half the subtlety of that someone. There is a man here that works at the clinic with me and last week said “Hey, you should have dinner with us sometime” not knowing that this man was even single let alone that this was a date invitation (dinner invitations are very very common here, but actually occur) I said “sure, whenever”. I later learned that he was single and while I hear that he has a daughter I’ve yet to see or hear proof of her existence. Soooo….Sunday I am in Izopo (way up in the mountains) when my cell phone rings. It’s a mutual friend asking me to call this guy because his phone doesn’t call cell phones. I say that I’ll call later after church and go on with my day. Realizing at this point that something is probably going on I pretty much “forget” to call him. Later that night someone shows up at my door (which has a doorbell but it is pretty well hidden and only my friends know about it) and keeps knocking on it. Because it is after dark and this is obviously not a friend because he doesn’t know where my bell is, I don’t answer the door. I do however look out the window. I can only see the body of the person at my gate due to the hedges that are in a desperate need of a trimming but I am fairly certain that it was this man. Thinking oh great some 30 something year old guy likes me I head off to work today to make sure it wasn’t another friend that came by the house. I ask my friend and he confirms that yes it was probably “Jim-Bob”(alias), the “30 something year old” who, come to find out, is actually 43, that’s right 43. And he definitely likes me. When he called my friend to have him call me, he told him that we were supposed to go on a date Saturday night (news to me) and he was calling to apologize for not showing up. What in the world!!! This is craziness. I don’t want any of you to worry. This is not a dangerous man and is really a form of much entertainment between one of my girl friends and I here. I will keep you updated on any new developments and I hope that this will just go away, of if I were only so lucky.

My Midget

Short addition to my list of boy’s at the children’s home stories. I wanted to tell you all about my little midget. There is a nine-year-old at the home that is adorable. He is a short little guy and one night as I was kissing and hugging all the boys before bed I called Marlon “Mi Enano” which in Spanish means “my midget”. He cracked up and now every time he sees me he says “what’s my name?” and I say “mi enano”. It is adorable. The other day I was talking to a friend at the home on the phone and she put Marlon on. I wasn’t sure which of the kids I was talking to so I asked who it was and he said “It’s your midget” so I said “Hi my midget” and he started dying laughing. The kids give me so many little blessings like this that brighten my day. I think this story lost a lot in the telling but I promised to share my little stories and that’s what I’m trying to do J. I love you guys.


Hey Guys. I´m going to keep this short. I´m dealing with a lot of beaurocratic (sp?) red tape right now and it´s driving me crazy. I can´t go out to the children´s home until it´s all cleared up (which should be the end of next week or the beginning of next) and it´s bringing me down. Just pray for my patience as I deal with another culture and missing my boys. I love you all and I thank you in advance for your prayers.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Where to start.....

Well as promised I'm going to try and give you all some of my stories but there are 30 kids and I could probably tell you a story or at least something sweet about each one of them so I'll try to be brief.

Adonai - Adonai is my latest project. He is 9-years-old, adorable, and has a very strong speech impediment. When Adonai talks he sounds like a toddler who is just learning to speak. He has an extensive vocabulary he is just unable to pronounce about half of the sounds that we take for granted. Adonai asks me every day numerous times when we are going to practice "reading" (which he is unable to do). Adonai and I have become fast friends and though his frustration is often evident he always ends with a smile. When I push Adonai to practice a word that he has trouble with he looks at me with his great big eyes and then ducks his head and says "Awh Tia No" then sits up straight and sounds it out until he gets it. It's precious. Our sessions are full of laughing and hugs and in the short time that we've been working together I think he's beginning to make a little progress and hopefully with some more work we can get him to a point where every sentence isn't a struggle both to him and his listeners.

The Babies - We have 7 kids that we call "the babies". There are 4 3-year-olds, a 4-year-old and 2 5-year-olds and they are precious. I had only been there two days when we left with the older kids and left the "babies" at home. When we pulled back up all 7 of the babies came running out of the house screaming "Mommy Amber, Mommy Amber" and giving me great big hugs. Let me tell you that was a struggle not to cry and I think it just might have been the moment when my whole heart was taken by Jovenes en Camino.

Jesus - Jesus is 9-years-old and is one of the few boys at the home whose mother is actively involved in visitation. (I must explain something here - there is a policy at Jovenes that no child will be forced to stay, if they truly desire to leave they can, which means they end up back at the government run IHNFA which is less that desirable). One day Jesus came up to me after dinner and as we were playing around he told me he was leaving tomorrow. I asked Jesus if he was serious and he said yes so then we went off by ourselves to talk. Jesus's mother is pressuring him to leave the home and come to stay with her and Jesus is really struggling with this decision. It breaks my heart to see these little kids having to make such adult decisions. I ended up sitting with Jesus for over an hour and at one point we both had tears in our eyes. He is happy at Jovenes and doesn't want to leave but feels like he needs to do what his mother wants him to. I talked to Jesus about making the decision for himself and not for his family and after and lot of hugs and several tears Jesus decided to stay. I've since had a similar conversation with another boy and I struggle to understand the pain that these boys deal with every day.

Most of the boys can't read and another of my projects right now is practicing reading with the older boys. Several of the boys can't even sound out letters let alone read. I treasure my one on one time with the boys as I struggle to learn to teach and they struggle to learn. They brighten up my days and thoughts of them are constantly on my mind. It is truly a possibility that this will become my life's work. Here is a website that has some pictures of my boys and I hope to add some pictures to my site soon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I´m a new mommy!!!

It´s sure been a while (sorry guys). A million things have changed since I last wrote. I´m now volunteering at the children´s home about an hour away and I have fallen in love with the kids. All the little ones and several of the older ones call me Mommy Amber, which melts my heart. The rest call me Tia(aunt) Amber. I now work there 3 days a week but usually end up going out there more often than that. There are 30 kids that range from 3-13 and they are precious. They have a lot of problems and most of them can´t read but I´ve starting working with several of them and I am loving it. I wish I had time to sit here and tell you my stories but right now I don´t. I hope to post tomorrow or I may try to write up some posts at home and then just post them when I get internet access. I don´t know. Just know that things are absolutely wonderful right now and I will fill you in again as soon as possible. I love you all!!