Monday, July 30, 2007

Faith and Joy

We recently had a church group down from Hackney. Aside from knowing who they were I knew little about them before they came. However, I now know no great honor than not only being able to call these people brothers and sisters in Christ but also friend. They are from a church called Faith Joy Fellowship. Now after getting to know them I can honestly tell you that if the rest of the congregation is anything like the 8 I met their church couldn't have a more rightful name. This group came down with more faith and joy than any group I've ever witnessed before. They came ready to serve not only the people of Honduras but also us. With hearts made of pure gold they held nothing back the entire time they were here. However, aside from the amazing way they poured themselves out onto those around I can't tell you how much they impacted my life. They were a much needed reminder of the reason I went into this ministry in the first place. They came in a moment of need and at a time of struggle for me and spoke to me simply by being the people God created them to be. God saw my hurting/searching heart and sent 8 people to answer its calling. So to these 8 people I say thanks...thanks for letting God use you not only in ways that you expected but in ways that neither of us knew would happen. I look forward to continuing down lifes path with you. I love you all.


I apologize yet again for letting my blog go untouched for so many days. I promise to put my best effort into spending more time keeping you all up to date. SO here goes....
Our new van FINALLY arrived Monday July the 16th. It has been a long process of finally getting it but at long last it has arrived. However, by Wednesday the 18th we were having van troubles and already having to discuss taking it into the mechanic! Of all the dumb luck...we get a new van and right off the bat find ourselves having transmission trouble. Then on Sunday the 22nd Jen and Gina awoke early in the morning to run Karen and Dorian into the bus station. As they made their way back up the mountain toward home they rounded a corner to find a car being driven straight for them. Jen (being the skilled driver she is) managed to maneuver the car off to the right enough to avoid getting hit head on. Instead the impact happened almost directly on and around the back drivers side tire. Thank the Lord nobody was injured but our not even week old van had been given its first bumps and bruises. The devil just never stops does he..... None the less we have our van. It has been worked on and repaired. For now we will just enjoy having something reliable to get our children from place to place.

Monday, July 16, 2007


So much has been happening around here lately that I don't even know where to begin. The devil has been hitting us hard lately and doing his best to rip us apart at the seams. Two weeks ago this Monday right around bed time 4 of our oldest boys decided it would be fun to run away. I don't know how many of you have ever watched movies where kids go missing. You know the ones I'm talking about....everyone in the neighborhood gets involved. They go out with flashlights in hand and start walking through the area the children were last seen while screaming out their names. Now picture that frantic momma on scene that is really freaking…in a panic…scared to death. Well I’ve not only seen those types of movies I’ve lived through it. I was that frantic mother stumbling around through the woods begging for the children to come to her. Well long story short we searched for an hour before Jen (who had taken the truck out looking) found them 2 miles up the road hitchhiking! When we asked why they ran they said they were heading for El Salvador because they could make lots of money there. Oh children! Well then 4 days later they tried the same thing only this time they left in the afternoon and it took us until 10 or so to finally find them. They were holed up in some random person’s home freezing their butts off. They came home and were put to bed with no dinner. A good lesson if they really thought they wanted to be out on the roads again. They also mentioned they had been running because the other kids didn’t want them there. So if you all could be praying about that it would be nice. We need the kids to learn to get along. Then the next day Jen JT and I left for an hour to meet some friends of mine at the local restaurant and returned to find that Fitto had been sniffing paint thinner and was high as a kite. They have been painting the new building we are putting up here and someone had left the empty bottle of paint thinner just lying around. He had been throwing up all day and we weren’t sure why. We ended up having to take him to the hospital where they gave him meds. He puked for 2 days but seems fine. I don’t think he’ll be doing anything like that anytime soon! Mario broke out in a rash that lasted for days. We had to take him to the hospital two days back to back about it. We are getting to the place where they know us by name at the emergency room. Finally, we have had lots of sick children lately. I mean really really sick children.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The joy thief

Once again I am going to use this space as a means of processing and sharing the deepest places of my heart and mind. As you all know a few weeks ago we experienced the death of our guard Santos. You have heard the tales of those two terribly long days that Jen and I experienced as we walked through the grieving process with his loved ones. What I haven't shared is the difficult days that have followed since. To put it quite frankly those days rocked my world. They left me feeling guilty and questioning if I could ever return to doing life as I used to. I no longer long for the American dream. I can no longer live my life with closed eyes and ears. All in all those few (but seemingly never ending) hours were enough to change me forever. Over the years the memory will begin to dim in my mind but the reverberations will be felt forever.
I've become a victim of sleepless nights and a saddened spirit. I lay in bed begging my body to get so sleep...begging my mind to shut off...begging for a bit of peace. However, night after night I am awaken by nightmares. As soon as I shut my eyes at night I can hear the screams of that sweet sweet wife and mother. I can see the faces of those little ones as they receive news that their father would indeed not be coming home that night. Maybe worse yet it is in those moments of sleeplessness that I can imagine the voices of his loved ones as they blame me for not doing more than what I did.
This post may have come as a huge surprise to some of you. For others of you we have exhausted the options of how to get past this. You offered your prayers, your advice, and your love. You’ve listened to my words and grieved in my pain. I love each of your for that. For those of you that are hearing of my struggles for the first time I know that you too will be joining in the prayers on my behalf and for that I thank you. One particular conversation that I had with a man whose heart is as big as his theories reminded me that Satan knows he can’t rob us of our salvation so instead he seeks to rob us of our joy. If he can succeed at that he can keep me from being productive in my ministries and in my world.
I’m still not completely past all of this. I probably never will be….and a large part of me hopes that I will never forget what I’ve learned from all of this. However, if I have learned anything it is this…. That even when life seems to be falling apart around us that the cross is still the cross. His sacrifice is still big enough to forgive and diminish even those things in our lives that we think we can’t overcome. When we dwell in the fear and guilt that I have lived in for the past weeks we allow the devil to win and it is almost as though we are saying that the blood Jesus shed just wasn’t enough. Saying the words now doesn’t mean that my nights have become any less sleepless or that my heart is any less heavy over the loss that was experienced. However, it does mean that I now use those sleepless hours to grab my bible and spend intimate moments with my Savior. I turn the devils attacks into triumphant moments for my King. Grief is a process and the guilt that I am feeling can be turned into a good thing if I allow it to motivate me into action instead of push me into hiding. An amazing friend of mine played this song for me the other day and it resonated with the deep places of my soul. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

Sometimes it seems the world's unraveling around us
We fear it all may one day come undone
We can't forget the One who came before us
To forgive the past and bring hope for what's to come
When it all comes crashing down
The cross still stands alone
And on this our faith is built
And our courage is made strong
When the world falls apart
And you fear for your heart
There's a tower of peace
It's still the cross
So bring your sick and your poor
And your longing for more
To the place of relief
it's still the cross
There is hope for the lost
It's still the cross
Sometimes it seems that I have been forgotten
I don't know how I will make it on my own
But the One who said I will never be forsaken
He still hears my prayer and I will never be alone
Though the world may not confess
You and Your holiness
One day all will see
You in all Your majesty
And the cross will stand alone
As the place where You made known
Your love for all mankind
Till then in it we'll hide

Sunday, July 8, 2007

my momma

As some of you know already my momma was here visiting for 10 glorious days. I relished in the fact that even for just a little bit I was able to share with my momma this new place in my world that has so completely captured my heart. For just a few days my two worlds were able to collide ...and I like that!:)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Once again

My next story may seem familiar to some of you. It has to do with a certain blue beast named Gracie, (our van) a loud pop, a lot of pushing, and A LOT of laughter. Seeing as how we have so many helping hands around here right now some of us were able to slip away to meet up with a group at Santa Lucia for their devotional time. We packed in Gracie, turned up the tunes, and headed for our destination. We were almost there when suddenly …oh yes there was a very loud bang that sounded as if we had run over something. Then the sounds started…the hissing, groaning, grinding noise that sounds as though Gracie has just broken out in song only to find that NO ONE else is singing. As the sounds grew louder and the smoke began billowing out around the car we came to realize that it was best to pull over. This was a treat in itself seeing as how there were 7 adults and 3 children, it was well past dusk, and we were parked in front of a gate plastered with signs that said: danger! …do not enter …caution…and other such warnings. However, you would have thought they read “gringos eaten here” by the way everyone was freaking! Used to Gracie’s song and dance Jen, JT, and I began the normal routine. We got the water out of the back, flipped the seat up, (the engine and whatever else goes along with all that is found under the front seat) and began the process of cooling her down. Once we accomplished this task we were able to start her back up and make it the last few miles to the church. We were only about 15 minutes late and thoroughly enjoyed our time worshipping with the group. As it came time to leave we decided it would be best to put more water in the car and refill our water supply …just in case. We made it into the city where we stopped to eat dinner. It was around 11:30 as we all piled back into Gracie and headed back up the mountain for home. We had made it about 20 minutes out of the city when the noise began again. The problem was we had put the other jug of water in before starting up the mountain so we had NO water at all in the van with us. So as the noises grew louder our prayers became more prevalent. However, within minutes the van began to slow and it became quite obvious that we weren’t going to make it home. Pulling over once again we really began to pray for answers. This is the funny part of the story…I’m sure you are wondering how being broken down at 1 a.m. in Hondo is funny…bare with me. Once again used to the routine everyone piled out of the van. We then began pushing it backward down the hill hoping that it would pick up enough speed to start again…no luck. However, we made quite a sight as 6 people (dressed nice with less than ideal shoes) were pushing, kicking, and wanting to curse that beast of a van. Finally, accepting that the pushing wasn’t getting us anywhere we began to discuss our other options. Tired of waiting and seeing how hopeless sitting there seemed JT and I began to venture down the roads. There were some lights on a ways down so we without a word we started that direction. Sounds safe huh…splitting off from the group with our broken Spanish in an attempt to find help…well whatever because it worked. We had gotten a little ways from the van when we saw a car approaching. I immediately threw my arms in the air and began my attempt to “flag them down.” I mean come on it is what we would do in the states right? Well believe it or not THEY STOPPED! Talk about angels in disguise….as they pulled in front of our car I could hear the yells from within the car telling me that I had just flagged down a car full of boys and requesting that I return my butt to the car IMMEDIATELY. (If you know me at all the next part won’t come as a surprise) I promptly…ignored them and headed straight for the truck of men explaining that our car wasn’t working and that we needed water. I shouldn't have been surprised but I couldn't keep my jaw from dropping as they pointed at the barrel in the back and informed me that they had the water we needed. You ask God to send you angels and He answers! Jumping into action they started scooping out water and went to work on our car. 15 minutes later Gracie was ready to attempt the rest of the drive. Even though she sang us the rest of the way home we did indeed make it safe and sound. However, she is now once again out of commission. Heaven help us this van is going to do us in! Although she most certainly provides a lot of comic relief when you look back over the stories I’m truly ready to see her gone for good!:)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Find our way home

As you all know Luby is back with us now. We will be keeping him for good now. He is a broken little boy with a softened heart for sure. I'm still in shock as I snuggle up to him on the couch or feel his arms wrap around me in those bone crushing hugs. I hope to never forget the lesson that he has taught me. A lesson on finding "home" and stopping at nothing to get there. Here is a little boy who had for the first time found the closest thing to a home that he had ever known. Then suddenly that all drops out from beneath him and he is once again finding his world tossed upside down. However, it only took those few glimpses of home for him to realize what he wanted and what he needed to do. He would stop at nothing to see those front gates of Casa and to be wrapped once again in our loving embraces. How many of us are like this little one. I know that I have made my mistakes in the past. Each mistake bringing about its own set of consequences. Some of those mistakes took me from God and the "home" that I had found. However, with each set of consequences came lessons that I would never have learned otherwise. Although I'm sorry for the mistakes I praise those hard consequences that have made me who I am today. I pray that I never forget what those lessons have taught me and the reminder to keep my eyes fixed on getting "home." I firmly believe that we should stop at nothing to find our way home. That we should each be so persistent to fight tooth and nail until we are standing at the gates. I pray that we do not stand back in the shadows afraid to look into the face of the one whose arms are always waiting wide open for us.