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.