Thursday, January 28, 2010

A REALLY Cold Day at The Water Park

We knew on Monday that on Wednesday we wouldn´t be leaving the house at all because of the inauguration of the new president so we decided that on Tuesday we should spend as much time out of the house as possible.  We decided to take some of the kids from the homeless minsitry to the water park.  All of this was decided in front of fans with sweat rolling off of us.  So we invited the kids and told them when to meet us.  But Tuesday decided to be cold and overcast.  Well once you´ve invited 5 kids to a water park a little cold weather is not going to slow them down.  So we went anyway, and we froze, but we had a GREAT time.  It turns out that only one of the five knew how to swim so we had to keep a really close eye on them but with me stationed firmly at the bottom of the water slides and the other girls riding the innertubes with them all of the kids were all to do anything they wanted.  It was really a fun day. 

Nicol, my little tough girl.  She´s usually too "cool" to be too excited about anything but she had a blast and she wasn´t afraid to show it.  That was neat to watch.

Darwin and Kimberly
Kimberly got sick the second half of the day and didn´t participate much, I think it was a little overwhelming to her, but she had fun anyway.

Notice the very ominous skies
It rained most of the afternoon, but that didn´t slow us down

Warming up a little bit

Sweet, fearless Pedro
This kid wasn´t afraid of anything.  We really had to watch him closely because he was willing to try anything.  At one point Alli was helping him "swim" by holding up his belly and letting him kick and move his arms in the 5 foot pool.  She said, Good job and he said Okay then let me go, and started wriggling to get away.  It was hilarious.

Fernando, The comedian of the group.
This kid is everyone´s favorite.  He is hilarious and loving and just a joy to be around.

Coming down on the double innertubes

So proud he came down all by himself.

Lester is the quiet one of the group and also the only one that could swim so he did his own thing a lot of the day. 

Kimberly was feeling sick at this point but it´s still a sweet picture.

My favorite picture is a group shot but it´s a little too bikini clad for my blog.  They were pretty lenient with the kids but the rule in the park is that you can´t get in the water with anything but a bathing suit on so we were all fairly scantily clad. 

We hope to go again when it´s a little warmer.

2 New Sisters and a Brother

On Sunday two representatives from the church in Del City joined us in Mogote.  They are going to be taking over the oversite of the church and Jairo, which is a huge blessing to everyone involved.  The Antrikins and I are making plans to begin removing ourselves from leadership roles in Mogote because they are more than capable of doing it themselves and we don´t want to hold them back, or make them dependent upon us (wow sorry for the massive run on sentence).  It´s been so neat to watch this congregation grow from 14 people in a room in someone´s house to a large church family of around 150 people.  God has definitely blessed us.  On Sunday we also had 3 baptisms, a small family that has been visiting all decided to put Jesus on in baptism after services.  I love watching this.  They are so excited and hesitant and it just brings so much joy to my heart.  I tried to post a video of the actual baptism but it´s pretty long and the internet is kicking off before I get it uploaded so here is a video of Carla, Carlos, and Dianora taking their first communion with their brothers and sisters in Christ.

A Very Bizarre Night

I don´t know if everyone is feeling the excitement of the upcoming election or what is going on but everyone was a little bit wound up tonight.  At the stadium I got out my little video camera for the first time and everyone was singing for it and having a great time.  Suyapa and Nelson both taped short thank you messages to us and to the donors in the states which I thought was really touching.  Here is Suyapa´s message, I´m still working on uploading Nelson´s.

I´m trying to figure out how to add subtitles but for right now this is just going to have to be for those spanish speakers out there.  Sorry guys.  The sound quality isn´t great either because the wind was blowing really hard.  I´ll try to do better next time :)

At La Chimbomba it was one thing after another.  Several minor injuries, one of which was tear gas to the face, I can´t say I´ve seen that before, but he´d already been treated elsewhere so I didn´t do much.  I couldn´t get a straight story out of that one.  Then we had a major fight that Darwin and I ended up breaking up, we usually try not to get involved but this was a bunch of people basically attacking one drunk kid who had stolen something from one of the other kids.  So once that was over I went over to calm everyone down and start talking to Wender who is sobbing because someone stole his hat (this was really really odd, theft of a hat is not normally cause for tears when you live on the streets, especially by Wender).  So I sat down with him and we talked for a while and the next thing I know there´s a girl trying to pick a fight with Mackenzie and swatting at her hair.  So Darwin went to take care of that situation and soon after that we left.  NONE of that is normal.  It was so bizarre.  I have no idea what the problem was but it´s good to keep us on our toes I guess.

At the park things were pretty normal, they usually are.  Our friends at the park usually help us end on a good note regardless of what else has happened during the day.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

An Eye Opening Evening and A Moment of Your Time

I love this little girl. 
Everyone, everywhere should get a chance to see someone looking up at them with a face like this at least once in their life. 

While I was in the states we recieved a donation of over 2000 cans of vegetables for the homeless ministry.  This not only makes the food a lot healthier but it also makes it go a lot further (which is a huge blessing right now)

Two of our food donors made one time donations that ran out at the end of the year so we are down to very little money for food.  Please take a minute to prayerfully consider if you can sponsor one night a month for $50 a month or one night a week for $200 a month.  We are also raising money for the new building.  We currently have enough money to cover the first few months of rent but need $600 a month rent to keep it going and $150,000 to make it our own.  Please let me know if you´re interested.  I feel confident that this is the path God has put before me, and the ministry, and I have faith that the funds will become available.  Please add us to your prayer list and become a part of this exciting new ministry.

You might remember Roberto from last fall.  He was hit by a car and ended up spending over a week in the hospital and having two pins put in his leg.  He has refused to walk since, which has really hindered his healing process.  But on Thursday night here he came, grinning from ear to ear and walking with his crutch.  It was great to see him again and get one of his hugs. 

One of the reasons we do what we do. 

Take a moment and look at this picture, see if you can figure out what it is. 
Since I got back from the states Jenny (Dulce´s mom) has been telling me she got a new house.  I´ve been asking her where it was and she never really answered me.  Well tonight we had some extra food and Jenny told me we should take it down under the bridge.  So we put Jenny in the car and she led us around to another spot next to a bridge and we parked.  Several people that we´ve known from our other spots came up from under the bridge and we started talking.  They were all talking about their houses below the bridge and Darwin decided to go check it out.  He took my camera and this is what he returned with.  20 people live here in these two trash made "houses" and they are SO proud of their houses.  Notice the black on the left side of the photo.  That is a steep drop off into the river.  This is where 20 of my dear friends are living.  I asked Reina, another friend of mine who has taken on a motherly role of the rest, if she worked.  She said, ""Work, what work.  I´d love to work, there´s no jobs."  I hope that we can help them find more jobs in the future and begin to make a living for themselves.  Right now they have no way out of their living situation.  Please pray for them.

My New Interns and One Last Christmas

Meet Tess Mitchell, Mackenzie Johnson, and Alli Booth
These girls are my new interns.  Mackenzie will be working with us for the next 3 months and Alli and Tess will be with us until the end of July.  I´ve worked with all three of these girls in the past and they are a great blessing to the ministry.  They have already bonded with each other and fit in great with our family.  I´m excited to see how God uses them over the next few months. 

Alli and Tess brought me some Christmas gifts that were a huge hit. 

The girls gave me the new Donald Miller book that I´ve gotten rave reviews about.  I´m only about 1/3 of the way through and it´s already made me cry, and think, several times.  I love it.

And this little machine is called a mibook.  It´s a gift from Alli´s aunt and it´s GREAT.  This little machine takes little chips with video books on them.  Mine is a couple of recipe books.  Each recipe has a step by step video of how to make it.  It´s a really neat gift.

As always, I feel extremely blessed to have so many friends all over the world. 

Sweet, Beautiful Candice

As promised, here is another family post about my next to youngest sister Candice.  Candice is so much like I was at that age that my mom often calls us by each others names.  She´s more interested in books than almost anything else, except boys of course.  It´s been a blessing to watch her grow up.  She´s growing into a beautiful young women, and just this fall became my sister once again by putting Christ on in baptism.  She brings so much joy to my heart.  These pictures are from her volleyball banquet that I was able to attend with her the night before I came back to Honduras. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Bittersweet Evening.

Tonight was my first night back to feed the homeless since being in the states.  It was really wonderful to see everyone again.  The little ones running up and giving me hugs, the adults with their shy greetings, and especially watching Jenny racing across the park with Dulce on her hip make every hard moment worth it.  It truly warms my heart to be able to be a part of their lives.  It was a great night overall but I cried twice tonight.  I very rarely cry when I´m feeding the homeless.  I think a part of it is that it´s all so overwhelmingly hard that you have to shut off that part of you to be able to get through it.  But there was no shutting it off tonight.  I warn you now, this is probably going to be a tear jerker.

This is Noe.  I´ve talked about Noe some before.  Noe was one of the first kids we met at the stadium and a regular at our feedings.  He loves to joke around with everyone and can be quite the trouble maker, but he wants to change.  About once every couple of weeks Noe brings me his bottle of glue and tells me he doesn´t want to do it anymore.  He promises that the next time he comes he will be sober.  Then we don´t see Noe for a little while.  Until he forgets his promise, or is really too high to care.  He knows how to push people´s buttons and isn´t afraid to do it.  But he´s so lovable.  He´s one I debated about bringing home.  He just needs someone to give him a chance.  Or I should say, he just needed a chance.  Noe died on January 9th, alone, on the bench where we feed them, from a drug overdose.  It truly breaks my heart.  I had no idea, but then one of the girls walked up to me and said "Well, at least you will remember Noe."  Then they told me what had happened.  She believes that I´m the only one that cared about Noe.  I know differently.  I know that God has been watching over Noe´s impossibly hard life from the moment he entered into it.  I know that God placed Noe in my life to change me, to make me more aware of how much we each need him, how hopeless we are without him.  Noe has been an addict since he was 8, he never had a chance to make a choice about having God in his life.  I believe that he is finally receiving the love and acceptance that he has NEVER known, in God´s presence. 

I debated about whether or not to tell this story, especially after the last story, but it broke my heart in a completely different way and I think it deserves to be shared.  Tonight as we were finishing up feeding at La Chimbomba I looked up and noticed that there was a bus trying to turn around in front of us.  I really didn´t think any more than that about it, it´s a common and very noisy occurance.  Then about 5 minutes later I look up and Darwin says "What are they doing?".  There were two people sitting on the hood of my car and 4 or 5 more crowded around the front edges and it looked like they were all smearing something around the windshield.  So I walk around the front of the car ready to tell them all off for being on my car and messing it up.  Then I realize what is happening.  As the bus was trying to turn around (each bus here carries a couple of guys that collect money and also help the bus pull illegal turns in the middle of the road by stopping traffic) the bus guys got mad because the bus couldnt back up as far as it wanted to because of our car.  So one of the bus guys took someone´s food and threw it at our windshield, effectively splattering it all over the front windshield and the top of the car.  Our sweet homeless friends were FURIOUS and frantic to get it cleaned for us before we noticed.  (I know it sounds like we´re totally oblivious to what´s going on, we´re not, but we´re a whole lot more aware of what´s going on in our immediate surroundings than a little farther away, and it´s NOISY all the time).  They were so sweet.  Darwin and I kept saying, it´s okay, just leave it, we´ll clean it at home.  But they wouldn´t get down until it was all cleaned up and washed off with the water we´d given them to drink.  It really touched me.  They were working so hard to help us and it just breaks my heart.  I have no idea if this will read with the emotion that I felt but I pray that you understand what it means for them to think about something other than their own personal survival.  I love them, all of them, more than I thought possible.  It´s good to be back with these dear friends.  With tears on my cheeks I wish you all a goodnight.

Shine! Kids

I´ve had the honor of working with the Shine! kids the past couple of days in tutoring.  It´s been a great blessing.  They are precious.  Dayana has been sick but here are the other three.

Aren´t they precious?

Escartleth hard at work on English words with a oo sound.

Claudy is a trooper, she HATES having her picture taken but is learning to smile through it.

Great smile!  I LOVE this picture.


We´re still looking for sponsors to pay for these precious angels to have a great education.  Let me know if you´re interested. 
Check out for more updates.

First Haircut

Oh my goodness, I have so many things to blog about tonight. There were a few things I wanted to catch up on from my trip home but I´ve got 3 blogs in my head from TODAY!! How is that possible?

I love her so much.  She´s getting so big.
Here are some updated pics of my sweet babies. They are growing up so fast.

So bored of the pictures.  She was a trooper though.  I´ll post a bunch more on facebook.

Before-A hairy mess

Darwin gave him a mohawk but it was wearing off by the time I took this picture
Toby had his first trip to the groomer today. We will definitely be finding another groomer in the future or I´ll just do it myself at home, I can do at least this well. I´m debating whether I want to even him up or let it grow out a bit. But you can´t really tell in the pictures except for his funny ears.

He cracks me up. He hates having his picture taken so this was the best I could do.

All cleaned up and sporting Bozo ears.  Poor baby.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2009 was a great year.

This past year was really exciting.  Here's a video showing some of the major happenings.  Thanks for taking the time to watch!  Let me know what you think.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Hailey, my silly little monkey sister

This is a family post.  You all are more than welcome to read it but know that it's intended audience is my sister Shasta who doesn't get to see us as much as we all would like.  For your benefit I'll give you a little background on my baby sister.  Hailey is the youngest of my 8 siblings and an absolute character.  She loves to be a little actress and is hilarious to watch.  She is Shasta's mini-me.  She is adopted and 16 years Shasta's junior but it's like watching her grow up all over again. 

Hailey was 4 when I moved to Honduras and convinced that if I really wanted to I could come home for dinner every night.

She was also convinced that if I really wanted to I could bring her a real pet monkey from Honduras.

She can win almost any argument with her smiling eyes and quick laughter.

She is mischevious and clever and a joy to be around. 

I love her dearly.

Here are a few only slightly entertaining videos of her from this week.

Riding in the car, self narrating

Snowed in and baking brownies, notice that she has put flour on her cheeks and she's wearing an apron so she can be a "real chef." 

My mom is a foster parent and I can't post any videos of the foster kids on the internet.  This eliminated most of the more entertaining videos.

I hope to do a similar post of Candice, the next to last sibling, soon.  She's a bit of a nerd like me and videos of her reading and playing on the computer aren't so exciting.  I'll do my best to drum one up though. 

Okay all my talented friends out there posting videos directly to their blogs need to teach me how to do it.  I got a flip for christmas and it is really really handy and easy to use but blogger doesn't seem to be real video friendly.  These come via youtube.