Saturday, March 30, 2013

Getting My Baby Fix

The First day we went to the Orphanage, the kids there didn't quite know what to think of all of us.   One of the team members had come a few days early to get the playground equipment and tools organized and ready for us to work, when we arrived.  We toured the compound first.  There are currently three homes, in the compound one for young boys (under 5) Older boys (5 & up) and one for Girls (all ages), and a church.  The hope is to have one or two more homes, finish the church, and have a storage building for supplies, clothes, etc..   Eventually they would like to have an on site pastor full time.

When we started working on building the playground, several kids came out from school, and morning chores to check out what we were doing.  Most stood back and just watched us, some tried climbing on the equipment as we built, and one ornery little girl Katarina (we became fast friends) started playing a game of catch me if you can with the jungle gym we were putting together.  We did finally get it together.  After several days we completed the entire playground, a jungle gym, trampoline, hop scotch, balance beam, and even fixed the two swing sets they had there.  The kids LOVED IT!

To see the smiles on their faces as they climbed, and played was worth the work.  Plus I even got to use some power tools.

There are about 40 or so kids in the orphanage.  There were a few who really captured my heart.

Katarina was of course one of them.  She has a twin sister Nicole, a younger brother Josweigh, and younger sister Carla.  Katarine reminded me so very much of my Katie when she was younger.  Always running at full speed, happy, and curious about everything.  She Loved playing and running. She has a beautiful smile and her laugh was contagious.

Several family groups of kids live in the orphanage, and one family group that I got attached to was Wendy's family.  This is Wendy :

She was found in a home with her Siblings: Jasmine (8), Fanny, Vladi, & Jonah.  Jasmine the oldest was taking care of them, no parents or adults around, and they were so filled with parasites that had they not been found when they were they would not have survived.  They are still dealing with medical issues from the parasites but they are getting better everyday! Wendy loved to be pushed in the swing and always had a sweet smile on her face.

Xavier caught my attention right away.  He was quiet and shied away from all the noise and action.  He was afraid to slide, jump on the trampoline and swing by himself.  I spent much of my time swinging with him, and encouraging him.  His smile and little laugh warmed my heart.  I can still see his smile as he would conquer a fear.

The little one that still has a piece of my hear is Manuel.  He and his brother were abandoned by their mom, whom we ran into one morning outside our hotel.  She used to work at the orphanage and decided being on the street was better for her, thankfully she left the boys their to be loved and cared for.  As a mom myself, I can not even fathom leaving my children.    Manuel just wanted to be loved.  He attached to me pretty quickly and I had no problem with that.  I only wish I could have taken him and his brother home with me.  Every day when we would get there, he would come out and look at our van, walk around it until he found someone to hold him.  As I held him I prayed, sang, and talked to him.  He was the hardest for me to leave.  Manuel is one reason I know I will go back to Honduras.  

The above picture was snapped by one of the ladies on the trip.  We went back to say our good byes, and I had just sat  Manuel down to leave and he looks up at me like this.  I had to choke back tears, and when ever I see this picture is brings back all the emotions from that final day.  

I loved my time in Honduras.  I learned so much about who I am and where I belong.  I got to see God in action in the lives of  everyone we came in contact with.  I know I will go back to Honduras one day. I loved seeing the joy and excitement in the kids, as they played and to know that I was privileged to be a part of that!  To also know and see the amazing work God is doing through Open Door Ministries (Honduras) in the lives of the children and people of Honduras was such a blessing to me.  

We have another team scheduled to go to Honduras in June and I have already started praying that God would use them in mighty ways! I can't wait to hear their stories and see how God works in them.  

Next time I will share about the Feeding Stations! 

Have a Beautiful Day! 


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Honduras Mission Trip Video

Girls will be Girls

This Past month February 20-27th and March 16-22 I went on mission trips.  The first to Honduras to work with Open Door Ministries and help build a play ground for the kids in the Orphanage there.  The second to Houston Texas to work with the homeless and low income in the inner city.  Both were eye opening and something I will always treasure.  As I sit here at home for the second day in a row sick form work, with no voice (I have laryngitis) for the third day I miss what I was doing on both of those trips.  I though I would share over the next few weeks about both experiences.

Honduras was incredible, life changing.  I have never been to any place like that before. Preparing for this journey was difficult.  I researched and thought I knew what I was going to see, but it was nothing compared to the reality of what I really did see and experience.

The trip to Honduras was pretty uneventful.  We took two planes one from Wichita to Houston and another from Houston to San Pedro Sula Honduras.  I think we flew for about 5 1/2 hours.  After retrieving our luggage and getting through customs we head outside to get our transportation to Tocoa.  The drive took more than 6 hours to get there!  We learned very quickly that a Honduran hour is much longer than an American hour.  Several times when we would ask about how much longer the answer would be about an hour or so!  It became our running joke through the week.  When we finally did arrive we first went to the Girls Home, so we could take them to Wendy's for dinner.  When we pulled up several of the girls were outside waiting for us, they had been waiting all day in anticipation of us getting there.  At that moment I knew that there was nothing that could prepare me for what I would see and experience during my time in Honduras.

These girls who knew nothing about us, other than we were American Christians, were waiting in anticipation of our arrival.  They cheered when we got there. And they hugged each of us as we got out of the van. This was the first time I cried, but not the last.

 To see the beautiful and so very young faces of these girls and to know that the reason they were all here in this girls home was because they had been sexually abused, sold in to prostitution, and or taken advantage of by their fathers, brothers, uncles etc... broke my heart.  I have  a little girl at home the same age as many of those girls I saw the first night, and it would kill me if someone would ever hurt her in that way.  For many of these girls they didn't have some one to protect them or keep them safe from that happening.  Three of the girls in the home have babies, two are 14 (the same age as my girl)!  When I think of the life change they have before them, not only having to take care of themselves but a baby also I am speechless.   I want them to know that God didn't do this to them.  That they are not defined by what was done to them, that they are made a new creation in Christ.

 At that point I wanted so much to take them all home with me, and protect them, keep them safe from harm, and take all their hurts away.  But I can't.  So I did the next best thing, I showed them love.  Even though I barely understood any Spanish, and they barely understood any English we shared, and talked (a little) and we connected.  Because we have something in common: God's Love!

Several people donated items for us to take with us to share with the girls, dresses, jewelry  bras, and under clothes, flip flops and new backpacks.  I found so much joy in seeing their faces light up when they got to pick out a new dress, you would have thought we had the spring line from Paris or something.  Several took one or two to try on and were so very proud when they came back out to show off how beautiful they were in their new dress.  This process was repeated with the other items as well.  All 14 girls in the Girls Home got a new dress, two new bras, under clothes, flip flops, a backpack and  3 or 4 pieces of jewelry.

For those moments we got to see them be typical teenage girls, no responsibilities, no sign hanging over their neck, just fun loving, giggly teenage girls.  That's what I pray for these girls that they get more moments like that, to be typical, normal teenage girls.  That they will grow up to be loving mothers, and wives, and that they will not be burdened with their past, instead that they would be free from it, and know God.  Choose to be in relationship with Him, and to share His love with others. So that they may break the cycle of abuse in Honduras.

The Girls range in ages from 10-16.  There at 14 girls and four babies who live there.  Everyday I am back home I miss them, and wish that I could be back there.  But I know for now home is my mission field, and I am ok with that.  I believe however that God is asking me to be open to where ever He sends me, whether it be back to Honduras, Africa, or here in the USA.  And so that is my prayer, that I would be open to where ever He sends me!

Have a Beautiful Day!


P.S.  Tomorrow I will share about the Orphanage and the amazing kids there.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Answered Prayers! (Jesus Calling)

Today's post is from Jesus Calling from January 9th. 

I have mentioned before how I am a planner,  I like things to be organized and know what's going on especially when it pertains to my life and my family. 

All along this journeyI have prayed that we would be obedient to whatever and wherever God calls us to.  That we would know if and when He was calling us to move on to other area's of ministry.  Right around this time (the beginning of this year) I was trying to help the kids with plans for summer, classes next year etc... and really felt like we were in a holding pattern just waiting.  And I am willing to wait until Gods timeing is perfect, thankfully God knows my heart and He answers when we call out.  And that's what I began doing.  I prayed that we would know with out a doubt soon (by the end of that week) if God was calling us to move on.  And He answered me on January 9th.  After reading this days devotion I knew God heard me. 

Jesus Calling(1/9):  I AM WITH YOU AND FOR YOU. When you decide on a course of action that is in line with My will, nothing in heaven or on earth can stop you. You may encounter many obstacles as you move toward your goal, but don’t be discouraged—never give up! With My help, you can overcome any obstacle. Do not expect an easy path as you journey hand in hand with Me, but do remember that I, your very-present Helper, am omnipotent.

Much, much stress results from your wanting to make things happen before their times have come.

If you want to stay close to Me and do things My way, ask Me to show you the path forward moment by moment.

“For nothing is impossible with God.” -LUKE 1:37

Father God thank you for going before me and making my path clear.  Thank you for answered prayers and comfort while we wait for those unanswered ones.  I pray that we will be obedient to what and where you are calling us.  And that our eyes, ears, and hearts will be open to see, hear, and know you are near to us. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Catching Up... Jesus Calling

Last year I read through the bible, and for the most part didn't get to far behind.  When I did I always found the time to get caught up.  (Thank You Jesus)  This year I am going to be doing/have been daily reading the devotional book by Sarah Young Jesus Calling.  I received this book last year as a gift from a friend and love it!  I would recommend it to anyone!  Each day I read the devotion and then the scripture that goes along with it.  I have been journaling the thoughts and prayers that I have as a result of what I read that day.  I hope to share a few of those over this next week, and today is no exception:  On 12/30/12 I wrote this:

From Jesus Calling  I am leading you along a way that is uniquely right for you.  The closer to Me you grow, the more fully you become your true self-the one I designed you to be. 

For we are God's Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10 (My Life Verse)

Dear Friends let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is Love.  1 John 4:7-8

Father I may not always understand why or how you are at work, but I trust that you are and that you are with me through each and every obstacle.  Lord I want to be obedient to your calling on my life and become who you've created me to be .  Help me Lord to love others in-spite of our differences and to be a light to those around us.  Lord I pray that I'll be worthy of your calling.  Help me to remember your calling on my life. Your Love for me so that I may love others with the same compassion and forgiveness that you've shown me.   Amen

When I wrote this I was (and still am) seeking what God was calling me specifically and us as a family to be doing ministry wise.  This past year has been a difficult one spiritually.  I have never felt like I have had so many moments in the valley, and so few mountain top moments in such a short time.  I had wanted to quit and runaway more than once, but God wouldn't allow it!  You see He knows better than me, He can see the final picture when I get stuck on the day to day.  And Thank God for that!  If I were in charge of my own life I would hideaway when things got difficult, and maybe even run away, instead God asked me to stand firm holding on to His truths, and to depend on His  power.  When I do this my doubts fall away and I feel like I can keep on going.  I know I am slowly becoming more of the woman God has called me to be, not through my own strength or power but only through God.  So that is my prayer today that I will be obedient to what God is calling me to do and that I will do it with a joyful heart.  Than You Lord for not giving up on me, for Loving me, and showing me what Love is!



James 1:2-5, 12 NLT
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

This Blog post has been a draft for far to long.  I get busy and have great intentions of blogging but things happen, life gets busy and for whatever reason other things take my time and blogging gets pushed aside for a while.  I want to be better about blogging because I really do believe that I am not the only one who struggles with or feel like I do sometimes.  And if my struggles and seeing God work through them can be an encouragement to one person then it is worth it.

I honestly believe that the times we struggle and have kept our eye on Jesus it's not a punishment but rather an opportunity for growth for us and even those around us.  A chance for our endurance to grow, and our faith to grow.  It's an time to call out cry out to God and wait patiently and listen for His response.  And I know that some day I will see what the struggle was for.

Thank Father for your truth and love and for never leaving me alone.  Thank you for the times of struggle, and growth, and for the endurance to make it through those times.