international missions

Semana Santa!

Had a team of High Schoolers from Florida leave Friday and a team of Union University folks come in Saturday.  Like the countdowns in the states our kids have been waiting Holy Week to start.... School is out just now and so it begins.  Week of Hot, dry, but NO SCHOOL for anyone and the boys only work half days.  Yah for all that...except the hot. 

So we have made a schedule for my girls so they know what we have planned and they are already asking questions about it.... Sunday tournament for prizes with a few of our card games, Monday we are doing the infamous waterslide in our yard (ours is the best).  I am considering bringing not only soap but maybe some vegetable oil...seeing as the grass is already dead we cant kill any plant life. Ha. Tuesday is  movie (and popcorn, they don´t know about the popcorn) and soccer court after dinner.  Thursday is water balloons and water games and probably just chaos with water.  Friday and Saturday I didn´t make plans because I will be Headed to America!! Katja wasn´t sure what she wanted to do with the girls yet. 

Mixed in there will be Wii time for those who have earned it.  I have discovered that the couple of groups that have gone are mostly terrible at tennis and half are terrible at bowling and the other half are awesome.  I got Mario Kart for them and they have enjoyed playing that but don´t fully understand what to do with the extra stuff.  It´s quite fun to watch them. I´ve videoed several times but whenever I video it is just boring. Will keep trying to catch them doing something loud and entertaining.  They keep asking for dancing games, but I have to make a list of acceptable songs on the discs. Because some are just....um nope. Not listening to that song! 

We have planned lots of activities for the kids and now the weather decides to up and rain all night and this morning... go figure.  It´s cooler for now which is nice but messes up time for non water related activities. My kids are dying to get wet, even when it´s not hot. 

So we start spring break today and I am finishing up my time here for my vacation to America...land of the fried food and easily available stuff I want and need. And My people!! Almost all my people! (Some I can´t see this trip :( 

So if you haven´t told me you want to see me, please let me know! And don´t forget I have a pow wow on April 16th if you want to come hang out!! 

Thank you guys for your support, prayers, and encouragement for me and my kids. 

Be His

 

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Part of the square in Guiamaca (We drove through on the bus, I rarely go to town)

IMG_2356 Art in Teguc at a round about. Yes, that´s a pig with a soccerball in it´s mouth on a plate of money on the right.... ha

IMG_2264My Little Big helping me make a cabinet for our tv and wii stuff a couple weeks ago. 

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Start of a sunset the other day.

IMG_2327Found one of the kitchen girls behind the kitchen after lunch like this. Told her next time David brags to everyone at church about the hard working kitchen girls I will have the sound guys put this picture on the screen hahaha. 

 


Ain´t happenin

I was going to post some more photos from Christmas but the reality of the internet here, even the fancier faster one in the office, is just way to frustrating.  I will try to make sure to post more when I am in America in April.  Speaking of America, friendly neighborhood reminder- I will be in the states March 25- Around the end of April.  So if you want to see me let´s plan something! 

School started yesterday and I have to say, like I said last year about this time, so ready for school to start! The kids were antsy and starting to act a bit nuts and we need some more structure and better schedule than the holiday schedule.  

As usual, I teach my kids what I learn, and last week´s circle on Wednesday morning was about Sin. Because I have 90 teenagers it is easy for folks to throw around reminders of past stupidity.  Sometimes I remind them because they are making new poor decisions and need reminders of the past ones. But I try to not put a kid in a box of being a "bad kid" and reinforce sometimes what people in their pasts have said. So, we talked about sin. 

I was explaining to the kids that when we are in Christ He has taken our sins to the cross.  We still sin, but we confess them and move on, letting Him change us.  We don´t allow the enemy to keep bringing them up again and again, reminding us that perhaps we are just trapped. That we can do no better. That we will never be free.  That we are condemned by our sins and cannot walk away from them.  

I know the tendency is to allow him to speak to us like that, and too often to listen.  But the bible says different.  Several places it talks about how God forgets or throws away our sin. And these are in the OLD TESTAMENT before Jesus! Imagine, in a system of forgiven sins in the temple with animals and shed blood God forgives, forgets, throws away sins! 

If you need to see it to believe it....Here are just a few:

Psalm 103:11-12

Or as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Micah 7:8,18-19

Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Do you see that? He throws our iniquities- our wickedness into the sea!! Have you ever thrown a rock into the sea and then tried to go find it? It's basically GONE.  So when we stand in forgiveness because of Christ's work on the cross...we are forgiven.  And our sins are not to be found again! Into the SEA. 

 

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

When we think of sin we think of justice. And Justice for wrongs would be imprisonment, repayment, retribution of some sort.  This says He is Faithful and JUST.  And His Justice for us is to forgive our sins! How crazy is that?  He sends His son to die on a Cross, kick death in the teeth, so that we can live forgive and free....and in His Justice which is mercy, grace, and forgiveness because of Christ!

And as I explained to my kids, somehow we let the enemy try to tell us we aren't forgiven.  We will not be free, we cannot change....and live in the sins of our past.  Such a big fat liar. 

I long to totally understand and live in this myself.  And I long for my kids to understand this and walk in freedom.  He is so good to us and we fail to look to Him and walk in His freedom far too often.  I pray we see Him as He is, and the gifts He has for our hearts! 

Please pray for some of my kids who are making poor decisions regarding school right now. And for the people they choose to hang out with that are bad influences.

Please pray for wisdom for me and other staff.  

Pray for rest and restoration as we spend time with the Lord.  To be diligent in taking the time when it is open.

Please pray if the Lord is leading you to become a financial supporter. One time gift or regular giving.  When the funds don't come for me to remain here, then I can't stay.  I don't want funds to be an issue to my remaining here with my kids. 

I'm grateful for you guys. For your support and your prayers!! You don't know what it all means to me and my kids!! 

Be His

 

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

http://www.cmcmissions.org/donate

 


Feliz Navidad

I know some of you have been waiting for a post about Christmas here...so here you go. 

We celebrate Christmas here on the 24th- lunch this year was hotdogs and then we do gifts.  Thanks to the amazing coordination of Sarah and Amy helped with team help all gifts were given out in about 45 minutes. Between lunch and Gifts we took photos in the pavilion with the blow up tree and penguin I found for 50% off in Teguc. I think it was like 10 dollars a piece or something less. 

I had asked for help to surprise my girls and folks from CA, OH, GA, TN, ARK, and AL all pitched in.  I got bags with shampoo, conditioner, body scrubs, pens, word search books, socks, chapstick, hair ties and claw clips, candy, deodorant and each had sandals/flip flops given to them a few days before Christmas to wear for the day.  I was astounded at how much stuff I had...more than covered my 94 kids! 

I think I had 14 boxes in my den and I told my poor roommate I would have them out when she returned Jan 4 but because I have some extra things I can't get rid of them til I get my storage space secured which is a whole other thing. Ha She said its ok though.  

I started working on the bags the morning of the 24th while the girls were beautifying themselves and after Christmas gifts it took me another while.  I think 8 hours total.  

Christmas morning (25th) while they were eating breakfast the team helped me move everything to the pavilion.  When they saw the bags on the tables when they came out after breakfast they all came running and yelling.  I explained that friends had sent it all down- the same ones that sent the sandals.  They all hollored and yelled and cheered.  It was too hard to film as they hugged me and thanked me.  They talked about those bags for days.  And I was corrected by several saying they would love stockings... to quote one "We can have bags anytime but stockings only are for Christmas!"

 

So enjoy the photos and little bit of video.  I cannot thank you enough for all your help to surprise them.  I was expecting them to be more nonchalant than they were and were so happy to know they were beyond excited. Such simple things too. Thank you! Thank you a ton of times! 

 

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I have more but the internet is being sassy. So I will post these now and work on the others at another time.

Thank you for your investment in what the Father is doing to love on these kids here. I can´t do it without you!

Be His.

 

 


The America goings on of October

Before I can blog about anything more recent than 1992 I need to update you guys on my time in the states. And since I have some good stuff to talk about I figured I better get on it. 

I got to fly home one more time First Class.  I was blessed with a ticket from a friend who´s husband flies for Delta, so if there is a first class seat open after everyone else on standby gets seat assignments I get it.  Such a blessing for a girl like me to be sitting in first class. 

After doctor appointments, dentist appointments and some running around I got to seeing my folks.  Spent some time seeing Robert and his wife in Montgomery.  Amazing to see how life has changed for us both when I met him back in 94. After stopping by my sister´s house to hold my 2 week old Nephew James and see my girlies I got to see Jamie James and her crew and witness PJ losing his first tooth. He was shocked and surprised as he at his veggies and rice. Haha

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I got to go by James´classroom at Pike Road.  Crazy that I grew up nearby and Pike Road was a country store and a railroad crossing back then.  Now there are neighborhoods and even a school.  Was cool to see so many races and ethnicities in her class.  They were journaling and would say "Mrs. Shelton´s friend how do you spell daughter, or Atlanta, or Micaiah?"  Such a joy to watch her patiently work with her littles in that room. They journaled on the floor because there are so many kids they don´t have tables and chairs for them all.  The kids dont seem to mind at all!

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During the first week in Auburn my Barbara went shopping for a few things at Sam´s then went to Big Lots to pick up some things for the Christmas surprise I have for my bigs.  When we were checking out the lady asked if we had found everything.  I told her they were short a couple things because we needed 11 of each but that was ok.  She asked what we were shopping for and I explained my 85 kids and what I do.  She thanked me and thought that was all great.  The lady behind Barbara in line said "What are you buying that for?" She explained again what we were doing and the lady handed her $40 and said "Please put that towards the balance" Pretty sure Barbara and I both were about to cry a bit.  It shocked Barbara I know and I laughed and said as we left that´s how God does stuff for my kids.  I would have taken a photo with the lady but my phone was in the truck! Barbara saw her coming out as she got ready to leave and stopped her and took a photo.  The woman shared that one day she hoped to adopt and just prayed that maybe her gift would come back around to her.  IMG_0617

I left that experience to a ladies small group lunch/meeting where I got to hear the testimony of a woman who adopted 2 teens from the Ukraine.  And then one of the lady´s shared that her husband´s boss was giving them $10,000 towards her adoption and their needs.  We were all in tears and my heart was just full over how the Father takes care of his kids as we all trust him in what we are doing.  I couldn´t help but think of my Covey´s and tell Carrie the stories to encourage her as they walk their adoption journey. Then I got to share a bit about Emmanuel and realized after I shared that most of the ladies there were helping with the Christmas surprise. Such sweet stuff.  

After a busy week of running around I picked up my littles in Montgomery and headed on our way to CFA in Opelika to spend the night.  Saturday morning we were headed to Stone Mountain but it was raining and a mess so we called that off last minute and went to NorthPointe mall.  Aunt Stina met us and a fun time commenced.  Lego had a display throughout the mall so we experienced American history via Lego.  And you KNOW i was lovin it. Stina brought a cookie cake (to welcome me back and we all know that any cause for cookie cake is a good one).  She even brought plates napkins and a knife so we could eat it in the truck! Way to plan that out Stina. 

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IMG_0732  IMG_0660 I appreciate this kid and her love for a map in her hand.  

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It was not so rainy so we headed to Stone Mountain and got to walk around the non crowded park and experience the Pumpkin festival and catch the laser light show in the rain...but so good.  We got to do our favorite things except the skytram and dipping dots.  I will miss going to Stone Mountain Christmas this year but have already calendared our date for my next trip to the states. 

After more people and visits and general running around Auburn I went to Atlanta to see my bestie from Texas. She was in town for a nursing conference.  Long story short I had to rent a car that was supposed to be a Corolla or equivalent and this is what I got.  Problem is I had about 14 boxes to take with me to Atlanta to be taken to Chattanooga.  I was determined to get 9 and my suitcase...I made it fit. When I got to the hotel it was a better deal to valet park and the guy had to be laughing at my car all packed up. We ate dinner then walked around and ended up at the Ferris wheel next to the Tab.  Was really neat and just a touch scary when that basket started swinging.  IMG_0770  IMG_0784

Next morning headed to Cheryl´s in Woodstock to take the boxes to the warehouse in Chattanooga.  Found a hole in the wall footlong hotdog place that has been there forever and followed that meal with an amazing steak dinner cooked in an amazing backyard by Cheryl.  Blessed to be spoiled like this.(For the record..not my wine, Cheryls.  That was for the photo.)   IMG_0798

Some of you will be humored to know that my rental car was FULL UP with ants on the passenger side.  When I turned the car in the lady jumped wiping off her pants (she had sat down in the car to check the mileage. haha) God has a sense of humor. Of that I am sure. 

Ohio to hang with the Ohio #Village Chapter. Got to have sushi for the first time ever (thanks but too fishy for me) and also got to go to Old Man´s Cave after talking about it for 2 years.  Turned out a great day for walking and picnicing.  Was really super cool to see and hang with my Coveys.  And Nora made my sandwich with love.  Just gotta love that. IMG_0819  IMG_0824  IMG_0807  That would be brownie waffles with homemade ice cream and Carrie´s Salted Caramel.  Dare I mention all the other foods I consumed and naps I took in Ohio...


 Ended up sick the morning of my flight back and with construction stupidity thrown in I missed my flight.  No big (except for throwing a major wrench in Carrie´s schedule and me feeling terrible). I didn´t want to be on a plane anyway... So got a one way ticket and left the next day.  I got blessed with some stuff for me and my bigs so I had to check a box on the way home. After 10 days of Covey time, VGF churching and some stellar naps and reading I headed back to Auburn to finish up the trip.

I met with more folks and hugged on some more people and was even surprised to see Susan Gaston at my parents house! Seems her and my niece are buddies.  Such a sweet surprise!

Got to watch an Auburn football game with my Spencer peeps and dipnation.  And I will just stay away from watching anymore...overtimes...too stressful.  This is how my Spencers watch the 3rd overtime... IMG_0866standing and a bit into it. 

One thing I have been wanting here is a fully functional washing machine. The one I had to share with some others only worked on delicate..which means my clothes were never clean.  Dad found one at a friends and got it for me.  When I saw it in his garage I hugged it.  He asked me why and I told him because I loved it.  I also hugged it when it arrived last week and got hooked up.  Clean clothes!! Hallelujer!

I finished my trip out with a trip to Cottonton Baptist Church.  It´s down near Pittsview.  Their pastor had come with another team in September and invited me.  I ramblingly shared about Emmanuel and how we are all adopted by the Father through the blood of Christ and answered a lot of questions.  As we stood in worship at the beginning of church I was reminded of how in College I went around to a lot of little country churches with my friends doing drama and singing and it was just a sweet time with that body.  They all were so sweet and all wanted my prayer cards to pray for me.  So grateful for that.  I told them I need that daily.

The next morning before dawn I headed to ATL and back to my bigs to see what trouble they had stirred up while I was gone.  

 

So, now I have caught you up on my time in the states. Later this week will catch you up on some Honduras stuff with my bigs. 

Thank you for all you do to support me being here with your prayers, encouragement, and funds.  If you wish to contribute something please send to (they will send your tax receipts)

Central Missionary Clearinghouse
PO Box 219228
Houston, TX 77218-9228 

Thank you all my #village peeps.

Be His 


Rewarding my Bigs

Since the end of June I've been doing a point system for my girls. I think I've blogged about it some. Well this last 2 week period we announced that any girl with a point for their correct clothes and shoes everyday and no debits would receive something really cool. 11 out of the 65-70 that earn points earned this really cool thing. The list ended Sunday and Monday we announced the names. Then as the Morning went bye I told them the prize. They would get to go out to eat at a restaurant in town one day. One of the high schoolers found and said "are you for REAL!? They get to go to La Chiquita!?!" Yep. I suddenly got their attention.
Someone gave me money for it and Lydia drove us today. The money covered almost everyone and the kids had a great time. There were 4 inside the truck and they hardly said a word. Just about to bust with joy. The others piled in the back of the Truck and smiled all through town.
We ate at a buffet place and all chose fried chicken but one and they ate more than I thought they could. Cleanest bones I've ever seen left behind.
This is what your support does. Provides opportunities to show kids doing the right things sometimes gets rewarded. And to have an opportunity to get out of Emmanuel for a minute on top! It's so frustrating to always be focusing on the kids who are continually getting in trouble and pushing the limits. It's so nice to encourage them to do well and see some step up. I told the whole group that I couldn't believe Coco made it! If she could anyone could. Coco seems to always be with the wrong folks in the wrong places and sometimes not caring. She's caring now! Ha
The others who received 12 points or more will get other prizes tomorrow and some brownies. In addition to those who went today. I've posted that list and they've already gotten excited about it. And they don't even know what they are going to get!
So thank you for those of you who financially support me. You are a part of changing and encouraging lives here! And for some of you guys sending prize things for the girls- thank you!!

If you wish to send financial support you can do so at:
http://www.cmcmissions.org/donate

Or send a check with a note with my name to:
CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411

If you wish to send things for prizes please let me know and I can tell you what I need!
Thank you for being a part of the body to me and my kids!

Be His.

Rewarding my Bigs


why I do it

As I read things on twitter, or hear stories of people going to India, some tribe in Africa that has no bible, some place in China, or some far away place  people are going to areas where no one has heard the name of Jesus I feel like I am not doing enough. 

Let me explain.  I am in Honduras, in a pretty cushy 3rd world situation.  I have american flushing toilets, water that´s drinkable out of the faucet, and power most of the time.  I talk to kids about Jesus a lot, go to church 2x a week and am surrounded with talk about God with Us-Emmanuel.  From time to time we get kids who haven´t been to church, some of my teens dont really want to go to church here, but most all know about Jesus.  And I can´t help but think maybe I should be somewhere more difficult, trying to tell people about Jesus who know nothing of him. 

Then I read an article like this.  Street Kids

 

And I think about an encounter I had last summer. 

I was standing in the airport like I do about once a week.  Waiting for an hour or more for the team members to come out of baggage claim and customs.  A boy probably 12-13 and just about 4 inches shorter than me comes up to me.  

He says (in spanish) "Hi.  How are you?"

Me- "I´m good, how are you?"

I´m good.  My name is Carlos and I live on the streets and my life is very hard. 

I´m sorry Carlos. Why do you live on the streets? (I´ve noticed his eyes are just jumping all over the place)

I do drugs. (He shows me his hands all covered in scabs and glue, and in the scabs and glue is dirt and sand).

I tell him I am sorry that his life is hard and he lives on the street. 

He tells me "Do you know Jesus?" me- Yes I do.

He then tells me that Jesus is the only reason he is alive and it makes it better.  Then he looks down and sees something sticking out of my cargo shorts pocket.  "Is that cookies?" No, its peanuts.  Do you want them?  His eyes get big and he says "Can I have them?" Yes. As I pull them out of my shorts he holds up a small plastic bag with some limperas (honduran money) and a clif bar (an American evidently found him before me).  I have to drop it down into his bag because he won´t even take it from me.  He tells me thank you and takes off.  

I think he left in a hurry because he knew he would be asked to leave if he stayed too long. In my bad spanish I said "Good luck!"  I had suddenly forgotten how to say God bless you.  

As I stood in the lobby waiting it just suddenly hit me.  Carlos (I couldn´t remember his name later so I named him in my heart Carlos) is or could be one of our kids at Emmanuel.  And it was all I could do not to cry in the lobby.  It just broke my heart and I prayed for the Father to watch over Him.  

From time to time at the end of orientation I tell this story to teams that come.  Not to make them feel sorry for the kids at Emmanuel, but to have them understand that some of our kids have been like Carlos, on the street, hooked on drugs, with no one to care for them.  Some willingly have gone into the streets because they think it is better, some have been put on the streets, some the parents just do not care for them, can´t afford them, so they end up making poor choices because they know little else to do. And we have kids that come to us- from the police, from family services, from other centers.  We have the opportunity to care for these kids.  To teach them about true Hope- salvation in Christ, a Father that cares and loves them like no other.  

Our time with these kids is short.  Sometimes it is just a few years, sometimes it is 15 years.  But I am often desperate to know how to talk to them, to teach them, to show them the greatest need and desire in their heart is for love...that only our heavenly Father can fill in Christ´s salvation.  To know how to get them to hear this in their hearts and believe it.  To live in it in such a way it changes them for life.  That when they walk out the gate their difficult life will be somehow a little better because they know the Father is for them and with them no matter where they go.  The Holy Spirit is their guide and comfort.  The trinity doesn´t fail. 

It´s in these thoughts that I know I am where I am supposed to be.  Caring for kids that cannot be cared for by others.  Some orphans, some kids under protection from those who seek to harm them, some kids who just can´t be afforded by their families, some who have a new man or woman in their home who doesn´t "want someone elses kids".  My heart is here to love them, be frustrated by them, to teach them, to hopefully point them and grown them up in the Cross. 

I´m grateful for teams that come to help us do that.  Invest in kids for eternity with the truth of God´s word and His love.  I´m grateful for people who pray for me regularly-it is only because of Him that the weight of this work doesn´t crush me. It is only because of Him I begin to know what to do day to day.  I´m grateful for those of you who send financial gifts.  If the money stops, I have to leave.  And I am not ready for that.  

Please keep praying.  Please keep sending money.  Please keep the kids of Emmanuel and the streets of Honduras in your prayers. 

Be His. 


staring into space

I´ve been staring at this computer screen trying to think of what to say.  So much time has passed (sorry it´s been so long) that it is difficult to start with the was and the current what´s happenin.  

So let me summarize:

I was home in the US for 5 weeks.  I spent a few in Auburn and a couple in Ohio and the last in Auburn.  It was a good time to do the biannual trip to Stone Mountain with the nieces and Laura.  And I was blessed to be able to speak at all 4 services at Vineyard Grace Fellowship in Ohio.  I spoke on five words- Grace, Love, Hope, Fight, and Glory.  It is God´s word as I am learning and also teaching my girls.  It was amazing to see how God spoke very deliberately to me and to so many in that body.  I was overwhelmed with the kindness and the prayers of that body. 

I am grateful to say that finally all my medical bills have been taken care of.  So many people have assisted in getting bills forgiven and a few remaining I just had to pay.  Close to $20,000 was forgiven or taken care of.  I am grateful to each of my doctors and EAMC for the work they have done to take care of ME  AND the bills! 

Some highlights of time home-

  • CFA, Steak n Shake, and about a thousand other yummy american foods, Greek yogurt and Dr. Peppers 
  • First class seat on the way back to Honduras! I was blessed with a buddy pass which is cheaper than a regular ticket and I fly space available and if that space is available it´s first class.  Such a sweet blessing. 
  • Auburn Softball regional playoffs.  I missed the supers because I was back here but I watched most games online.  War Eagle.  Such great competitors.  Such fun games to watch.  Never quit. 
  • Dinners with all my people (missed a few :(  )  So good just to spend time with my people. 
  • Emmaus serving with Jamie and Bruce.  Such good times when serving the body. 
  • We thought we would miss the laser light show at Stone mountain because we only were there Friday night but we didn´t.  They had some group there showing it and we basically got a private showing.  We yelled and danced and sang and didn´t worry anyone would get mad.  It was a sweet time.  

 

Coming back to Emmanuel was sweet, after a time in the US I begin to wonder what in the world to do with my time between meeting with people.  Too many of you have daily jobs that just get in the way with hanging out with me! haha  

The big girls (the bigs) have settled into a new routine with currently only me and Elvia supervising them.  Katja is in Denmark for 2 months, til the end of July, so that also makes the office fun.  It´s mostly me alone each day in the office.  I have taken to answering the phone and trying my best to figure out what they are saying and what they actually want! Often what they start off saying is nothing of what they actually need or want!  Since Elisabeth left to go back to college and the office volunteer isn´t here I am covering sponsorship which means some emails, lots of questions about kids and their gifts when teams come in or a container arrives.  I think I MIGHT be a little bored when Katja and Sarah come back. haha

My roommate Catherine moved out, she is getting married next month so she will be at Emmanuel part time.  So I moved rooms.  I will be painting my quieter cooler room when I get some paint and time.  Will also be working on acquiring new art since almost everything was Catherine´s we had in the house! We also got a new refrigerator before she left.  So it´s big and shiny.  It´s small things like that to make it seem like Christmas in the summer.  

I began rewarding my kids with points in our yard.  I grew tired of fighting with them over their school uniform. So now when kids have their skirt, shirt, and tennis shoes they get a point.  On non school days if they have appropriate clothes then they get a point.  The first 2 weeks we had almost half earn enough points for a reward- brownies, soda, a couple of candy canes and when I get enough word search books they will receive them first.  They were so excited just for that.  I got hugs and ¨thank you for everythings¨ from quite a few that afternoon as they left our little party to go home. The 2 weeks we are currently in I have instituted a debit column and an "other things¨ column for extra points.  I had a big talk with them about yelling, running, and playing in the dining room yesterday and a few have already earned debits today.  I think they are getting the point (get it...the point.  haha) 

I told them after this 2 weeks we will be doing points for a month.  I can´t get enough prizes for every 2 weeks at the rate of 45 or more every two weeks.  It is thankfully working well and I find myself fighting less each day about their clothes.  Praise the Lord! 

Teams started coming Memorial day and will be almost every day until mid August and then a 2 week break and then all month of September.  It´s fun to have the last few teams come I haven´t met because I was out last june and to have teams return that are like friends visiting.  I am excited my DAD is coming July 9!!!! and Carrie and the VGF crew are coming August 9.  It´s a sweet pre and post birthday gift to me. 

Prayer requests:

Health of our staff and volunteers (and visiting teams)

wisdom with decisions I have to make in day to day things (I´m wearing hats that feel bigger right now with staff being gone)

Future staff that may come- We have had several go back to college or go to the US to get married etc.  So we could use some more! 

Endurance and encouragement for our staff- we are running with a short crew right now and we just need some extra energy

Financial support- I am still in need of funds for my furlough account 

I am so grateful for my supporters- those of you who pray for me!! and those who send finances.  I can only remain here as long as funds continue to come.  I have begun praying for funds over and above so I can continue to hammer away my remaining debt so I can be super cheap to live here! I know my God can do miracles and help get rid of what remains! 

 

Some photos:

IMG_0030 Stone Mountain photo with my Ansley 

IMG_0073my sermon notes sort of

IMG_0089Me and Ellie at one of the hottest ever softball games.  But such fun! War Eagle. 

IMG_0124Me in the back of Katjas gator on a ladder throwing a pipe with a rope to try to get a croc off the roof.  Not OSHA approved. 

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My girls like to play games when we have free time. There are quite a few card sharks now...phase 10 and skip bo are our current favorites. 

IMG_9890mandatory nap time happened while in ohio and the Cat got involved a couple of times.  

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When we do the three man swing I get to climb up this pole to run the rope to set it up.  This day I ¨got¨ to do it twice because the rope fell off my shorts. The things I do for our kids...haha
IMG_0259 On any given day I bring home 1 to 10 shoes to glue.  Thankful they are now asking to get them glued and not just throwing them out!  They call my house the shoe repair store.  

 

Grateful for each of you.  Please keep praying.  be His. 



 

 


spring meets summer meets holy

So this week is Semana Santa here in #theRas and the kids are out of school so we try to have fun stuff to do with them.  Its our spring break but it´s really summer here...so spring breakish. 

So far the bigs have had a couple of soccer games with the medium girls. I believe Zue told one of the in charge folks on the radio this morning ¨We have toilet paper for you and your tears¨ as she asked for them to send the girls over.  haha  

We did water slide on Tuesday and board games in the morning with a soccer game.  We also had about 750 water balloons but there are no photos. Of course it took longer to fill them up and clean up the bits and pieces than it did to destroy them all.  I decided our waterslide was too short because the kids would run out into the dirt.  So we got another one and version 2.0 is perfect, we just need more water.  I have a fire hose type attachment for the hose, just need more water and pressure.  We have a couple of girls who are pretty good at surfing down the slide. 

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IMG_9632Version 1.0 It´s a yellowpages billboard and says gt thngs dne qkr. (Good things done quicker)ahaha

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IMG_9690Version 2.0 

IMG_9622Oh and a little maintenance. Thats me at the top of the shower walls by the roof trying my best to get a screw put in a clamp for a new curtain pipe. Welcome to the fabulous life of an OE Staffer. ;)

We also are doing the big 3 man swing with all the kids. We started with the team yesterday and will start with the bigs this afternoon.  Tomorrow is Good Friday so no one works and there probably will be more water, more games and a little junk food. 

I know the boys side has had a wiffle ball tournament and I heard the small boys beat the big boys.  And I don´t think they let them. haha

Was talking to a friend yesterday about some schools always having spring break the week of Easter (like we do).  as she prayed at the end of the conversation she said something along the lines of ¨so many places have a free week when we really are acknowledging Christ on the cross and His glorious resurrection. Whether they want to say it like that or not.  We pause for a week to look toward the cross and the grave.¨ (I´m loosely paraphrasing).  

Here in Honduras and many latino countries we have the literal week ¨Holy Week¨ in english.  It is a holy week to rejoice in what He has done and what He is doing.  I´ve been reading through John Pipers Holy Week devotional Love to the Uttermost and it just makes me see how INTENTIONAL this week was in the life of Christ in so many specific ways.  How for years before it was prophesied in specifics.  And Christ fulfilled those prophecies.  

So as we zipline, swing, waterslide, play soccer, and generally enjoy the Non Summer weather this week (Thank you Lord for a break from the HOT), we look toward Sunday.  To rejoice in the resurrection that defeated death and set us free.  

Hope your week is going good too. :)

Be His 


a day full o nothing

So every three weeks I have a day off here.  A day where I can turn off my radio, sleep in if the persons outside grand central station (my house) allow.  I say GCS because I live at the intersection from the front of Emmanuel to the farm and to the other side of campus. So lots of traffic happens...gators, people, cars etc.  And if there are kids going to Teguc for appointments they are usually across the road at the office at 4am...talking and laughing. So, it´s a great day off when it´s not so noisy.

Yesterday was a day off.  I woke up at 4 but thankfully fell back asleep til like 6:30 which for here is sleeping in.  Then I got inspired to cook some pizza and clean up some of my shelves, all before 8:30.  Then at lunch I worked on some chicken pot pie. 

I know...this is all very very riveting... Welcome to my day off.  I typically stay in my house doing a whole lot of nothing. I do my laundry and cleaning the day or night before if I can just so I can do whatever I WANT on my day off. 

I watched some 80s movies- Brewsters Millions, Big Business, and Space Camp (I hear your jealousy through the interwebs...) And I read and spent some time hearing what my Father in heaven has to say.  It was great. And boring all at the same time.  Oh and I also got in my hammock but it is difficult to multitask in a hammock...I think because it is against every ideal of the hammock to multitask.  So my hammocking was short lived. 

Now I am back at work with the schedules and the planning and the general herding people and children from here to there. We have a high school team here this week and Saturday for Holy Week is a University team then the day before Easter a team comes for 5 days.  

I will be returning to Auburn April 10th.  So for those of you who are planners hit me up for some dates.  My US number isn´t currently working here so you will have to email me or message my Honduran number. 

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My house...thats my side on the left.  The window to the left of the wall dividing the duplex is my room

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view from my porch of the intersection and the office

IMG_9584This is a bonus photo..my living room.  Still on the look out for a non stinky flower couch.  preferably one that matches our fabulous grey couch. 

Yes. Those are green walls. Welcome to Honduras.

Be His

 


being a tourist

Since I am not on the internet for the most part I know some of you have been wondering what I have been up to.  Welllll I got to be a tourist lately.  It was 6 days of a lot of fun.  

The first wednesday of the month I went to Ohio to surprise Bufanda. She had a conference she was doing ¨Walk In Love¨ women´s conference that I wanted to show up to help with whatever I could. Hold a door, carry stuff, pray for the ladies while the conference was going on, and just do whatever. And one day the ticket prices dropped like a rock so I used some Christmas money someone gave me to buy the ticket.   Because I was coming as a surprise and would arrive at 11:30 at night I first decided to rent a car then I could be mobile and drive myself back to the airport on TIME CHANGE SUNDAY to be there at 5:30am.  Turns out with the snow and some other things someone else driving would be best.  So I got a car service to pick me up.  It worked out cheaper in the long run. 

So when I arrived a little short Syrian born guy named Alban picked me up.  And we walked out to the car...that was a black Cadillac Escalade.  It was hilarious.  My little poor self in a big Escalade. He was worried about the snow in the country.  Carrie was for certain a drug dealer had pulled up to her house in the snow.  It was fun and I will NEVER do it again.  The worst thing about surprises is often you have to keep the surprise secret from the people you most want to share it with! 

The conference was really good and the Father of all things marvelous blessed me with a couple of girl scouts at the diner we went to at lunch Saturday.  I would have bought more cookies but I only had a carry on.  It was such a tangible reminder of how He ordains details for His kids.  Just made me love me love Him more. Here´s a few photos from the weekend.  IMG_9367 IMG_9368
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When I got back to TGU I had our private taxi guy pick me up to take me 4 hours northwest from TGU to Santa Rosa de Copan to meet Kory and her team.  I nannied-babysat her 2 girls when I lived in Ft. Worth.  I haven´t seen the girls or her husband in over 10 years.  It was so great to spend time with them and see some of Honduras.  It was a beautiful trip and I got some sun in the back of a military transport truck on the way to the village to set up the medical clinic they were doing.  The only negative was Norman drives so fast i was for sure I would end up going off a cliff.  I made sure to take a picture of the sign that said ¨we have free cranes and ambulances¨ Pray without ceasing was for sure what I was doing! And asking others to join me! Norman took me on a scenic route on the way home. Saw the Church with the oldest clock in all of the Americas and we stopped at a road side stand for corn tamales (only corn). It was a really great trip that I was gifted! I think the only thing I paid for was my snacks in transit.  I have a ridiculous life to do this kind of stuff.   IMG_9398 IMG_9544Katherine and Kory.  Katherine is going to go to Auburn in the Fall! 
IMG_9419Our lunch spot.  Quite a view  IMG_9476yes.  my face looks silly. i don´t do selfies well.  This was our roadside stand for corn tamales. 


We stayed at a beautiful little hotel, got to go to a great little cafe- Cafe of Candles and I took a bunch of photos like a tourist.   IMG_9455My room was upstairs on the far right of this photo.  They had a little moat-creek with live turtles, and upstairs on the roof was  a pool about the size of my living room.  It was lovely.  Except it didnt have hot water.  But such is life at times! 

It was good to be home and see my kids and settle back into the routine.  Have little over 3 weeks before I go to the US for 6 weeks.  Time is weird here- goes so slow and also flys by.  It´s dry season here and fires have started.  Several in TGU sunday and we had one over by the old dump.  Life in Honduras is rarely boring.  

Was talking to my kids about what they are thankful for yesterday in our afternoon bible study.  I got the canned answer ¨Life¨ so I made them give reasons. Most were joking but I think they got the point.  I explained when we don´t see God at work in our lives we tend to have a bad attitude and short outlook.  And I told them we would be talking about Grace tomorrow in Circle and so come with verses and an example from their life of what Grace is. Several have told me today they have found several verses already.  I think they think they will get some prize even though I told them I promised NOTHING to them.  

Please join me in praying for my kids to see The Lord of the Universe who loves them at work in their lives.  It is the only thing that really will help them be truly successful when they leave here.. knowledge that changes their life for eternity. And please be in prayer for me as I continue to struggle to have the words I need in Spanish to say what I want.  I also have the opportunity to speak at Vineyard Grace In ohio in April all 4 services and the whole sermon time.  I am asking daily what the Holy Spirit wants to say.  

I cannot say enough How grateful I am for each of you that support me in so many ways.  I am constantly reminded of how He has sent me you guys for so many reasons.  I am one massively blessed chica.  IMG_9504