Monday, January 31, 2011

5 Crazy Kiddos

This weekend I had Rosie's brothers and sisters over for a night.  I love them so much but I had forgotten what a handful they are.  It's always fun to snuggle with a bunch of sweet kids though.  
Pamela immediately got the little girls playing school in the new playroom/guest room.

My sweet girls

Dayana really liked the shopping cart, especially once they figured out there was play money in it.

This is Jonatan, he's 5 and I'm pretty sure he has ADHD.  He has a really hard time sitting still or staying focused on anything for very long but he is a total sweetheart.  Probably the most loving of the bunch.  He also seems to have become the "problem child" of the bunch and gets blamed for a lot.  Unfortunately he has the bruises to show he's getting in trouble quite a bit.  Sitting with him wrapped in my arms almost breaks my heart.

The whole crew, such a mess, but so love-able.

This is Arol, the "good kid" of the group.  Generally pretty quiet and obedient but a bit of a spoiled brat if he doesn't get what he wants.  He and I have our moments but I love him dearly.

All ready for bed, this was right after we talked about Jesus and said our prayers.  They were in a Catholic children's home for a little while and I was surprised to learn that they actually know quite a bit about the Bible.

Pamela, the mama, such a sweet girl who does a wonderful job taking care of her siblings.  I wish I could lighten her load and take the chip off of her shoulder.  

Typical siblings

Dayana is 4 and one of the LOUDEST children I've ever met in my life, but also one of the most precious.  She definitely makes her presence known but she's also kind and forgiving and quick with a hug.

Taking a walk.  I love these precious kids.

I don't know how he carried her so far, she weighs as much as he does, but he did and it was adorable.  
They love each other so much.
I pray that we can keep this precious family together.  

All of the kids are starting school this month, if you're interested in helping pay for school supplies or uniforms please let me know.

A Special Gift from Reina

Last Monday was Women's Day in Honduras.  Another ministry that works with homeless people during the day helped them make gifts for the important women in their lives.
When one of the other homeless ladies asked Reina who she was giving hers to Reina said, "to my ma."
The other lady said, "I thought your mom was dead."
And Reina replied, "I"m giving it to my ma, Amber."

I am so so blessed.

Ismaris's Little Girl

Ismaris is 17 and one of my favorite girls at the homeless ministry.  I've talked about her on the blog a couple of times before.  I'm not sure why but her nickname is La Polla (the chicken).  She is precious and absolutely starved for appropriate affection.  
Last Sunday, she showed up at church with her little girl.  I had no idea she had a child.  
Helen will be 2 this month and lives with Ismaris's mother.  She just wanted me to meet her.
I am overwhelmed with the honor they show me by sharing their lives with me.

Helen and Rosie making friends. 

Working on Carlos

Last week Carlos was shot in the hand.  We're not sure really of the circumstances, possibly a wrong place wrong time situation or he could have robbed someone, we couldn't really get a straight answer.

regardless, he went to the hospital and came home with a really poorly wrapped hand with half a cast on it.

Initially the plan was to remove the wrap and rewrap it, 

but after I figured out there were pieces of a cast involved 
I decided I better leave it to the professionals.  
So we sent him back to the hospital the next day and now it looks much better.  
Just a day in the life of working with homeless youth.

My Sister Came to Visit

I'm been so blessed in the past couple of months to have both my dad and now my little sister come to visit.  
Shasta and her boyfriend Mark were visiting Central America for the month of January and stopped by last week to visit.  
This was our first meal together at the local baleada place.
Their love for "local" food definitely pushed me out of my dining comfort zone into some yummy meals.

Courtney's MASSIVE taquito.

Sorry about the weird coloring, I had my camera on a weird setting evidently

At the Jesus statue park.  Not my favorite picture but at least we're together

Shasta quickly fell in love with my children.

Teaching her some gain that requires squatting and jumping in rapid succession
"Thanks a lot" :)
Shasta- Thank you so much again for coming by.  You are amazing and I love you.  You have so much love in your heart to give.  Don't let that get drowned out by anything or anyone.  God is going to do great things with your life.

January 2011 Newsletter

Hi Friends,
I’m sorry it’s been so long.  Life with an almost 2 yr old has proved to be more hectic than I had thought.  I pray that all is well in your lives and that God is blessing this New Year with great plans and challenges.  2010 was an amazing year full of growth and a lot of challenges and I promise to update you on all of 2010 by the end of the week.  Today I’m going to focus on January.   I was in the states until January 9th with a couple of the Shine! kids visiting their sponsors and my own family.  It was great to be home for a little while, but I am so happy to be back. 
Breaking Chains Homeless Ministry
Breaking Chains is going well.  Church attendance is down a little bit but seems to have stabilized quite a bit as far as who is coming.  We are now encouraging them to invite friends and participate more in the service.  This month Jason and Darwin are focusing the teachings on love and sharing God’s love with each other. 
During February, Courtney has plans to start a children’s Bible class during our regular service.  We both anticipate that this will both meet the needs of the kids we have currently and encourage new kids to join us. 
We continue to feed 4 nights a week.  In February we are going to change the days a little bit to accommodate the lag we’ve seen on Saturdays and another feeding center that hands out food on Tuesdays.  So starting next week we will be feeding Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.  Please keep this change in your prayers. 
Talanga has decided to take on the challenge of making and teaching others to make hammocks to sell to the groups in the summer.  This is a great opportunity for him to both make some money and share his expertise with others.  I’m so proud of him for taking the initiative.
Shine! is going extremely well.  The kids have a major book report and presentation each quarter and this month’s homework times were mostly devoted to preparing them for that.  Our four kids just got their second report cards of the year and all are doing exceptionally well, with all A’s and B’s. 
My Kids
Darwin and Rosie are both doing extremely well.  Darwin is on break from school until mid February and is using the time to help out with the homeless ministry and work on his car (his favorite activity).  I don’t know what I would do without him.  Rosie continues to be a happy, healthy, mess that I love dearly.  We had 4 of her brothers and sisters over to spend the night last weekend and it was really neat to see them interacting. 
In mid January I was blessed with the opportunity to attend and speak at Winterfest in Arlington, Texas.  It was a huge blessing to see so many teenagers eager to seek God’s will in their lives.  I always appreciate an opportunity to talk about the ministry I love so much and God has opened many doors for me this year. 
At the end of January, my sister and her boyfriend Mark stopped by for a few days during their vacation around Central America.  It was a huge blessing to get to spend some time with my sister and show her some of the things that I do everyday.
We Moved!
My wonderful intern Courtney will be here at least through May and hopefully longer and Michael Lemmons, a HIM worker, is coming to stay with me in the fall, so we decided to look for a place that was a little larger to accommodate all of the people now staying in my house.  We were extremely blessed to find a much larger house for not too much more rent in a really nice neighborhood just outside of town.  It has its challenges, especially when it comes to storage, but we are very excited about our new home.  With some help from our friends we were able to get completely moved in last week.  Be watching for pictures on my blog if you’re interested. 
Prayer List
·         Continued growth of the church and the ministry at Breaking Chains
·         All the expectant mothers at the homeless ministry
·         Rosie’s Mom, Belkis, as she struggles to support the 5 children she has at home and do what is right for them.  I can really see her making a huge effort right now and I pray that it continues.
·         That the children’s Bible class will be a success and reach more souls with God’s love.
·         Please pray continually that God grant me the wisdom to know when to move forward and when to wait on Him each day at the homeless ministry.
·         Fundraising to purchase our building in May.  We need to raise $125,000.
·         Huge Praise!! We had several large donations over Christmas break that will allow me to pay the rent through May!!!   Anything left over will go towards the purchase of our building.
Opportunities to Help
**Public school is getting ready to start back up, which means a big expense for a lot of very poor families.  School supplies and uniforms usually cost $100-$150 per kid.  This is a big expense to anyone but for most of the families we work with it is just unrealistic.  Each year I try to help a few families get their kids into school and this year I’m going to focus on the families involved in our homeless ministry.  We’ve had about 10 different people come this week and talk to me about funding for school.  Most of them have been children but we also have a couple of adults excited about going to night school and getting their high school diplomas.  Rosie’s brothers and sisters are also going to enroll in school this year for the first time.  If you’re interested in sponsoring a child with an initial donation of $100 and/or a monthly donation of $20 for upkeep and more supplies, please let me know.  I hope to be posting more information about specific kids on my blog within the week.
**It seems as if all of the women involved in our homeless ministry are pregnant.  We are expecting 5 babies within the next couple of months and several more throughout the year.  Any donations of baby items or money to purchase needed items would be greatly appreciated.  Also many of our women are HIV positive and will not be able to breastfeed, if you are interested in sponsoring a mother and her child for the ongoing needs of baby formula please let me know. 
**We’re still trying to raise $125,000 to purchase the homeless ministry building.  Any amount towards this is a huge help.

Thank you all so much for your love and support.  Your prayers keep this ministry alive.  Please let me know how I can be praying for you and if you have any questions or comments about the ministry.

With Much Love,
Amber Foster

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Oscar!

Who gave this freshly bathed child a cupcake? 

Happy 60th Birthday Oscar.  
You are one of the sweetest men we've encountered in our ministry and we love you dearly

Everyone enjoyed the cupcakes

And there was the obligatory cake fight

Rosie was getting tired and cranky and Obilio was cheering her up.  
It was really cute.

I LOVE this picture.  
When I gave Oscar a second cupcake he was REALLY excited.
Miguel was laughing at him

This is Ismaris one of the new girls living in our building. 
She's 17 and obviously looking for someone to love her.
I'm happy to foot that bill.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Getting Ready for Bed

This is another Rosie post.  I thought it was about time we got her favorite pastime on the blog.  This particular "photo shoot" also turned out one of my new favorite pictures.

Rosie LOVES the shower.  It's one of her favorite places.

She just grins and laughs the whole time.  Interestingly, she is TERRIFIED of taking a bath.

I love the water rolling off of her chin :)

 "Mom, show me" 
She also loves seeing her self in my camera

All clean and snuggling in a towel

Lotioned and combed

Reading her Bible story before bed.  
She loves to "read" and I love to see her reading her Bible.

She has just started repeating me when we pray, it is precious.

And this is my new favorite picture. 
Watching her learn about God is truly a blessing in my life.

Tuesday Night Pictures

Just a few pictures from Tuesday night.  I love being back.
Jennifer and Rosie.  Rosie is everyone's favorite and Jennifer can definitely use as much loving as she can get.

This is Sergio or as most people call him "lump" because of the bump on his head.  He always has this big smile on his face.

Notice Sergio winking, this picture CRACKS ME UP! He's winking because he's sitting next to pretty Karla.

We all know who this precious angel is :)

Everyone enjoyed their dinner

I love them

Carlos and I.  I'm working on getting more pictures of myself on here.

One of the many Oscars and I.  He's a sweetheart.

I love this picture of Carlos sharing his dinner with Rosie.  He loves her dearly.

Harrison is quiet but we love him

This is Jason or Mil Anos (One Thousand Years) They call him Mil Anos because he looks like he's 12 but he's actually in his 20's.  No one is real sure how old he is.  He's a mess but very lovable.