Sunday, November 30, 2008

Back at Casa

I got to Casa a little over a week ago. After 3 weeks in Yamaranguila with the kiddos up there... I was definitely ready to see my kids. I LOVE being near them again. They were so excited to see me. They kept telling me they were afraid I wasn't coming back or that they didn't know where I was. They begged me to promise I wouldn't ever leave again. It about broke my heart. But I certainly was glad to see them. 

A new kind of football

A couple of weeks ago Honduras played Mexico to secure a spot in the 2010 World Cup. It has been YEARS since the Honduras football (soccer) team has done this well. Jen, Sam, David, and I joined Gina's family at Papi's clinic to watch the game on a big screen. For those of you who know Gina you will be surprised to learn that she LOVES football. She dressed and acted the part of an obsessed fan! She jumped around, beat on the table, screamed, and went nuts. It was great watching her and it truly was a blast to be there. AND... Honduras won!!! :) I have to admit that even though my passion is American Football I am learning to LOVE football (soccer) as well! I'm anxious for the next game. 

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We celebrated Thanksgiving Honduras style. :) We all pitched in to cook the meal for the day. We had all the normals...turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, homemade bread, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, salad, macaroni and cheese, corn, stuffing, cranberry sauce, fruit salad, etc. However, being true to this country we call home we also had guacamole and beans. :) I laughed so much as I looked down at the variety of foods on my plate. Yet the variety didn't end there. Simply scanning the faces in the room reminded me of how different this Thanksgiving was. Instead of the faces of my family members I saw a new kind of family. A group of people who had accepted me as their own and people who my heart has grown equally fond of. With the kiddos and all our guests there were 45 or so of us crowded in the house. We laughed, joked, and ate until we were sick. The kids had a BLAST. They are still talking about the great food we had to eat. My list of what I'm thankful for has certainly grown since last year. God is constantly showering this girl with blessings. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I hope that you took the time to appreciate the blessings of the past year. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving Blood

Last week David, Jen, and I went to the hospital to give blood for Gina's aunt who has been sick. Giving blood is different in Honduras. People don't just volunteer to give like they do in the states and they don't host blood drives. If you have a family member in the hospital that needs blood the hospital will refuse to give them that blood unless your family goes to donate or if you pay to get the we gave on behalf of Gina's uncle.  It was interesting experience to say the least. They left the tourniquet on the entire time we were giving blood and the needle was so much bigger than any they've ever used in the states. BUT please here me say.... the entire process was clean and sterile. They took the needle out of a sealed package. The area was sterile and the process went very smoothly. I've never given blood and had it NOT hurt until giving here in Hondo. At the end of the day I was bruised but happy we gave. 

Friday, November 14, 2008


The other day as Sam and I sat waiting for the kids to get out of school we watched the steady stream of faces pass through the school gates. Most were excited to leave... skipping, jumping, running, laughing, high fiving each other, and racing past us to freedom. In the midst of the chaos a girl and (I´m guessing) her brother stood out to me. The sister looked almost panic stricken. As I leaned out the window I heard her frantically exclaim that she had lost her pencil. She turned and ran back into the school grounds. Minutes later she returned with a look of defeat on her face. She hadn´t been able to find her pencil and the tears that threatened to pour down her cheeks broke my heart. From her filthy little face and tattered school uniform it was obvious that she wasn´t upset from losing a favorite pencil ... she was upset because she had lost her ONLY pencil. It was humbling to think of how careless I had been in high school. I never paid any attention to the pencils, pens, crayons, etc. that I had for I knew if I lost it my parents could replace it. Without that same security this little girl was heart broken over the loss. She knew there was no money for another pencil and it was something she needed if she were to continue in school. How much do we take for granted in our lives? How much do we need to be thankful for? Take the time today to be thankful for the little things... like a never ending supply of pencils.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008





We´ve been here over a week now and if I know anything I know this... THESE KIDS LOVE SOCCER! Sam and I have played countless games of soccer since getting here. Manuel (13 years old) is an AMAZING soccer player. He could beat most grown men I know... and me too of course! I STINK at soccer!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

my day of travel

Even with the daylight savings the clock reads 4:55 a.m. …. far too early to be out of bed. Yet when you have yet to fall asleep your body doesn’t feel hazy or tired it just feels exhausted. Maybe it is the lack of sleep… or it could be the nostalgic way my heart feels this morning. Whatever it is I found myself looking around the airport terminal this morning and gazing at length into the faces around me. Some of them, like me, had headphones in their ears. It is the sign of a new generation/era… and even though I am one of those headphone wearers I can’t help but wonder what damage ipods, laptops, cell phones, etc. have done to the ways of communication in this country. How is it that the very technology meant to make communicating easier could also allow us to never actually need to see a person face to face. We have ridded ourselves of the need to actually sit down in the presence of another, stare deep into their eyes, and communicate. Where people used to sit in terminals and strike up conversations with the person next to them we now plug our ears with instruments of entertainment and communication. Instead of getting to know our fellow fliers we conduct business, work on our never ending to do lists, shoot last minute e mails, and more. Some how I can’t help but be saddened by the thought. What cool people have I missed out on since I got my ipod, laptop, or cell phone. How many times have I been sucked into the world of technology instead of being opening to conversation? Heck, I’m even guilty of putting my cell phone to my ear to pretend to talk to someone just so I can avoid talking to someone around me. I’d like to say the only times I pull that trick are when I’m busy and really mustn’t get stopped to chat…. But I know I’ve probably used it other times as well.
As my eyes continue to shift around the room I can’t help but stop on certain unknown faces and think “what is his story” or “why do her eyes look so sad” or “I wonder where they are going and why.” I could be entertained for hours simply by sitting in one spot “people watching.” I like to imagine what their lives are like or what their life story might be. I enjoy sitting in prayer for the nameless faces that I see.
Right now for example, I see a husband who is turned towards his wife. She is telling an animated story that she clearly passionate about. His eyes have not once left her face as he smiles, nods, and with silent cues encourages her along in her conversation. It is the very art of story telling and listening. AKA: communicating. They are a middle-aged couple who clearly have yet to tire of each others company.
Then to my right is another married couple. Unlike the first couple this couple have more than likely seen their golden anniversary. When I first sat down the seat next to the women sat empty. However, before too long an older gentleman walked up and handed her coffee and a muffin. I couldn’t help but overhear her as she jokingly stated she thought he had gone all the way back home for the coffee or had walked all over the airport in search for the coffee, With a weary smile he simply stated… “I did.” As she reassured him that he didn’t have to do that he again replied with a simple, “well you wanted coffee.” Then with the sweetest grin you could imagine he turned to me and added “what my wife wants she gets it… and deserves it.” They are the image of true love and sacrifice.
Across the aisle from me in the other row of seats is a small group of people huddled together. From their matching blue t-shirts and their excited chatter I’d say they are a mission team headed to serve somewhere.
On and on I could go… yet as I took in each face and each new set of people I couldn’t help but think of how different we all truly are. How amazingly unique God has made each of us. More than that, no matter how many different stories I make up for those faces, I realized I had no idea what was really going on in their lives. How many of those faces were suffering from physical, emotional, or spiritual, aches and pains? It was a good reminder to constantly be in prayer for those around me.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Back in Honduras

So I’m here again…. My stay at home was a little longer than I had anticipated but I’m finally back. Fundraising didn’t go as well as I had hoped, my grandma was doing bad, I wanted a little longer with my nephew, and so on. The reasons for my extended stay at home seen endless now but at the time I remember feeling so torn as I longed to see Izzy, my kiddos, and all those other faces I’ve gotten used to doing life with. Yet here I am again… back in this country that I now call home. The plane ride back went smoothly. (thank you Lord) On the first flight I got to sit by a sweet family from Northern Ohio. They asked questions and showed lots of interest in the work I do here. They were encouraging, kind, and just flat out fun to sit by. They blessed my heart more than they probably know. Yet even with their kindness I found myself much more weepy than I normally am when returning to this country. For whatever reason I found my eyes wet more than they were dry. I know that part of it was the fact that I had said goodbye to my nephew for the first time and by the time I return he is going to be HUGE. Yet I know the other part was that for the first time I wasn’t flying back and going to straight to Casa. Normally I am weepy as I say my final goodbyes but am fine as I step onto the plane because I know that plane is going to fly me back to my kids and a whole different people group that loves and depends on me. This time as I boarded the plane I knew that it would still be awhile before I got “home.”
Sam and I are spending 3 weeks in Yamaranguilla. It is a tiny little village in the Northern part of Honduras. Mami and Papi (Gina’s parents) have a ministry up here. Friends of ours (Joanna and Keith) usually oversee the project but they needed to head home to be there for the birth of their grandbaby. Therefore, Sam and I are filling in for them while they are gone. There is a children’s home on the property, a building where they hold church and other events, and other such buildings. We are staying in Keith and Joanna’s house with two kids that they are working to adopt and an 18-year-old girl who chose to move in with them once she got old enough. There are 6 children in the orphanage that stole my heart within minutes. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a sucker for kids… they are my passion and it is their little brown faces that keeps me coming back to this beautiful country. So it wasn’t too surprising that I hit it off with these kids so quickly. Yet it is different. Maybe it was the knowledge that I wasn’t just spending a couple of hours with them but would instead be investing in their worlds for weeks …. Whatever it was I latched on and became attached in the deepest places of who I am.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I'm back ... I arrived in Honduras a few days ago. I was greeted in San Pedro by friends of ours. From there I went directly to Yamaranguilla. Sam and I will be spending 3 weeks there helping out while missionary friends of ours are in the states. There isn't internet at the orphanage so I apologize for my lack of blogging. No blogs while in the states is one thing ... but no blogs when I'm back in this beautiful country is just unacceptable! So I PROMISE to work on getting blogs up.