Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Welcome Back

My dear friend Ann White is trying to help me get this blog up and running again. We'll see how that goes. As I'm typing this I'm sitting on another great friend's couch in Oklahoma City waiting for her wedding on Saturday (Holly Deboard). I'm so blessed to be able to be here. Little 9-year-old Mariela was able to make the trip with me from Honduras to be in the wedding as well and it's very very exciting to share in her first trip to the US and her first plane ride. Today is our first real day in the US together and it's been a lot of first. We had a wonderful time shopping with Holly and then we went over to the Elliott's to swim in their swimming pool and jump on their trampoline. We're all exhausted but full of the special joy that comes from sharing fun with friends. God is truly blessing our lives. The summer is in full swing and we're working hard. I've been truly blessed this summer with my interns and Will and Rachel Antrikin who are holding down the fort so that I can be here. We have 26 groups this summer and they are definitely keeping us hopping. We share a lot of laughs and frustrations together but I pray that we are all growing closer to God with each encounter. As I think back over the past few months there is one story that I don't want to go untold. I pray that this is written in a way that gives glory to God and not myself but I feel like it is a good insight into the lives my friends at the stadium live. As most of you have probably gathered, feeding people at the stadium has become the highlight of my week. I love these new friends in a way that is only possible with God's hand at work. They have truly stolen my heart. Anyway...the other way we were in the middle of handing out food when some of the guys come up and ask for more. They start calling me "hambre" which began as a joke and they have begun to believe is my name. A good friend at the stadium, Freddy, likes to take everyone's name and change it into something funny. Well my name Amber sounds very much like the spanish word for hunger which is "hambre" and because of my considerable size they find it HILARIOUS to call me hambre. So Freddy has been calling me hambre for weeks and several of the other guys seem to think that is actually my name. Sooo when they're asking for food they are calling to get my attention over and over "Hambre Hambre give me more food". We're all laughing and joking around and they know they're calling me the wrong name but can't remember what the right name is. Which leads me to start teasing them and giving them a hard time for forgetting my name. I looked at one of the guys I'm particularly close to, Wender (the father of baby Marlen if you're following the homeless stories), and I said "Wender, you know my name, what's my name Wender." and Wender looks at me with his big brown eyes and he looks concerned for a minute, smiles sheepishly and then says "Mama.", and comes to give me a hug.
Let me tell you I almost had to go sit in the car and collect myself. It was all I could do not to cry. These kids are crying out for someone to care and through God's infinite mercy and grace he has allowed me to be a part of His filling that need.

Please take a moment and pray for the Wender's and Freddy's of this world. Pray that they each find God's messengers of love in their day-to-day lives and pray about who you can be a messenger of love to where ever you are.