Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Helping Hands in Tegu

Wednesday morning we met Marc to help him feed the people who live at the city dump. After navigating through two hours of Tegu traffic and David's human car block, we made it to the dump outside the city limits. Small boys were climbing onto the backs of garbage trucks for free rides along the main and only road to the dump on the mountain.

As we drove into the main area, birds were circling, cattle and dogs were running around and the people were sifting through the trash. They started lining up for food as soon as we stopped and we began passing out tortillas, beans, rice and water. We served a couple hundred people. As I saw the line of people build as they left digging through the trash, I couldn't help but feel humbled and blessed. Blessed to not only have been helping but of all the blessings God has graced me with through my life. The most startling moment was when I saw a pregnant woman holding onto her child's hand while searching through the latest load.

Once we returned to take showers, the water ran out again. This time due to the fact the dogs chewed through the water line. We are grateful for friends with working showers and dogs with humor. We're hoping for everyone to be fresh and clean for the evening's activities. We are taking the Casa kids to dinner and a movie. I think many of us are too excited to see chipmunks sing Single Ladies in Spanish....but can you blame us?

Tuesday with the group

Tuesday we were up early again and headed into the city. Some of us enjoyed a breakfast of french fries and hot dogs from a street vendor. The hot dogs were piled high with cabbage, jalapenos, onions, mustard, ketchup, and more! So good!

We then headed back out to Nuevo Oriental to open up the "store." When we arrived there were more than 100 people standing out side in a line waiting to get in. They had been there since 6 a.m. waiting for us! We spent 3 hours slowly letting people filter into the building to search for their size of clothing. Each family was able to get 8 items for 20 Lemps ($1). We were able to get rid of all of the clothing. In the end we raised over $200 for the feeding center. The feeding center has actually been closed for the last couple of months because of lack of funding. It costs them around $110 a week to feed the 300 + children that come through the doors.

After we left the village we stopped at the Basillica in the city. It is a BEAUTIFUL church....and quite huge!

Mother Teresa Home pictures

They will know we are Christians by our lovet

Ok ok I know it has been quite awhile since I've gotten on here to update you all. I promise to be better from here on out and I promise to one day soon get on and update you on what all I've been doing these past few months.

Right now however we have a team here that I'll keep you updated on with pictures and stories.

The team flew in on Sunday. We spent that first afternoon loving on the brothers and sorting out clothes that were sent on a recent container from Ohio.

Monday morning we were up bright and early to pick up the sorted clothes and take them to a village (Nuevo Oriental) to set up a "store." We used a building in the village (that is normally used for a feeding center) to organize the clothes in piles of women's, men's, and children's clothing. We informed the people in the village that we would return the next day to open the building up so they could come in and shop for what they needed. We made it clear that we would set a flat rate for the price of everything and then any money we raised from the day would be given back to the feeding center to help feed the children. After we had sorted everything out we headed to "The Mother Teresa Home." It is an orphanage that houses nearly 70 children. The home is definitely understaffed and underfunded but they feel strongly about getting kids off the street and trying to help. We were able to take diapers, wipes, blankets, and sheets to donate to the home....and were able to spend a couple hours loving on the children that were there. We found out when we got there that they were down to their last 4 diapers and had NO wipes at all. They were ecstatic for what we were able to donate while we walked away wishing we could have done more. The Mother Teresa Home also has an elderly home on its property so we spent part of our time there as well.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dialogue has come to a standstill

Dialogue to reslove the Honduran Crisis hits standstill....

If you have read my previous couple of posts you know that the Guaymuras Dialogue between delegations from Micheletti and Zelaya has agreed to 95% of a resolution with the last sticking point being the restitution of Mel Zelaya to the preidency. Over the past few days there was a proposal by Micheletti's team to allow the Supreme Court decide what should happen with Mel as it is a "legal" problem and a proposal by the Zelaya team to allow the Congress to decide as they considered it a "political" problem. Both were rejected by the opposite side.

Today, it was reported that the commission representing the government of Roberto Micheletti proposed that they and the representatives of deposed president Manuel Zelaya be the ones to decide the solution to the crisis in Honduras, but they should base that decision after listening to reports from both the Congress and the Supreme Court. Both bodies [Congress and the Supreme Court] would present to the dialogue commissions a report on the background and events that led to the removal of Zelaya on June 28, which would provide a basis for the delegation's decision, this according to Armando Aguilar, a member of the Micheletti's commission. He also indicated that the requested reports from the legislative and judicial powers are "to justify the decision that would be taken at the negotiating table."

This evening we have learned that Zelaya's representatives have apparently rejected this proposal, so it appears the deadlock continues. As I have said previously, how can there be compromise when two sides see the issue so directly in opposition. The elections are scheduled for just over a month from now and a solution still is not on the horizon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"Dialogue" has begun...

Well, the OAS delegation arrived yesterday and the new round of dialogue, now named the Guaymura Dialogue, has begun. There is a great sense of optimism that a resolution will be found. The delegation arrived at the Clarion Hotel around 10:00 yesterday morning. I happened to be right there about that time, got caught in the traffic created by the police clearing the road, and watched the caravan arrive. There were some small demonstrations that were broken up by the police yesterday, but all in all. The decree limiting the right to gather in groups is still in effect. It was supposed to have been repealed, but it has not. Not sure why. Something about it not being officially published in the government archives.

Reports are that the first session yesterday afternoon was positive and that there is a spirit of cooperation between the two sides. The OAS delegates are there more for observation and support and they are allowing the representatives from Micheletti's government and representatives of Zelaya do the talking. After the initial talks, the delegation went to the Presidential House and met with Micheletti directly. The entire session was televised. All of the delegates as well as Micheletti and the Honduran chancellor had their say. You can get a few more details
here and here and here. The OAS delegates were all (well, almost all) trying to convince Micheletti that the answer is for everyone to accept the San Jose Accord proposed by Arias back in July. Micheletti reaffirmed the position of the current government that any solution has to be based in what is legal according to the Honduran Constitution and laws of Honduras. It was obvious to me that there is an impasse here that they will struggle to get past and this is it in a nutshell.....

The current regime believes that they have acted within what is correct according to the Constitution and laws as interpreted by the Honduran Supreme Court and the rest of the OAS says they can't do it that way. The OAS still says Zelaya has to be reinstated, but the current regime says that according to the Honduran Constitution, that would be illegal.

Word this morning is that The Resistence will be attempting to march in force today. With the decree still in effect, it could get interesting. Round two of the talks will take place today. We'll see if anything comes of it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

just when you think we might get a solution....

just when you think we might get a solution....

Zelaya goes and makes a list of 4 demands before he will even begin to talk. Here is a guy that is hiding in a foreign embassy because of the arrest warrants he faces if he actually comes out and he is making demands! There are as follows:

Micheletti must lift the decree restricting constitutional freedoms. This is supposed to happen early this week anyway.

Return broadcast rights back to Radio Globo and Cholusat Sur.These are the two broadcast mediums shut down that are both pro-Zelaya. There were shut down as a result of the decree because they were calling people to insurrection. Not sure this will happen. Maybe when they repeal the decree they will allow these stations to be back on the air. Communication amongst the resistence has been severely curtailed without these two national networks being used to spread information and make national calls to demonstrate.

Remove the military that is surrounding the Brazilian Embassy where Zelaya is holed up. Zelaya is sick of being on house arrest. He, his family, and around 60 supporters, have not left this building for two weeks. I don't see any way they remove the military presence for three reasons. Number one is that Zelaya is a wanted fugitive with arrest warrants out for him. No way they are going to give him a chance to "escape". Number two is because of what happens when "Mel" is free to incite the crowds. If there is an ability for a crowd to gather in front of the embassy, Mel will, as he did the first day he entered the country, use that to encourage them to continued insurrection and that will lead to more violence. It has happened every time and there is no reason to believe it wouldn't happen again!. Number three would be for Zelaya's own protection and to insure his safety.

That Zelaya be allowed to bring in a member of his team who is currently unable to enter the country. I am sure he is referring to Patricia Rodas (although I can't be certain) who was his chief cabinet member. The problem is that she too has arrest warrants issued and she cannot enter the country without being arrested. This is true for a number of his cabinet and whoever he wants here that isn't will have the same problem. I don't see any way for this to happen. They can't just ignore the arrest warrants and allow anyone free passage back into the country.

With Zelaya making these demands, he has given himself an "out" to never seriously enter a dialogue. We'll see what happens, but this sure curbs my optimism. The OAS delegation is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.

Here is a
link to the google translation of an article on El Heraldo's website detailing these demands.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Mark was kind enough to type up another update for everyone wondering about the situation in Honduras...

even though there has been a new wave of calm throughout the city this week, there appears to have been a lot happening. The executive decree temporarily suspending constitutional guarantees by Micheletti and his cabinet have done exactly what they were intended to do.... restore a sense of calm here. There has been no nightly curfew for the last three days and the demonstrations have been small in number and remained peaceful.

A group of Brazilian Congressmen was here to check out the situation with Zelaya at their embassy. They asked him not to abuse their facility by using it as a place to call for insurrection. It seems that they were not happy with the way he was creating unrest while there. They also met with Micheletti and got assurances that he will not "attack" the embassy in an effort to arrest Zelaya. Micheletti has also extended his ten day deadline for the Brazilian authorities to "define the status of Zelaya" to a now indefinite period.

We found out yesterday that the president of the OAS arrived and met with Micheletti, US Ambassador Llorens, and other business and political leaders here. He flew into the US military base at Palmerola incognito and that is where he met with these various leaders. This was an effort to lay groundwork for the dialogue that will take place in the near future. A delegation of the OAS is scheduled to arrive on October 7. It was also disclosed that Costa Rican President Arias would not be a part of that delegation. He really stuck his foot in his mouth this week when he disclosed that he had not even read the Honduran constitution and when he tried he said it was the "worst constitution in the world". It is becoming pretty obvious to many that there was never an effort by the international community to see if what occurred here was constitutional or not and that those who were attempting to provide solutions were doing so without a true understanding of the Honduran constitution.

There was also a visit here by a group of Republican congressmen from the US. They met with a variety of leaders and seem to be interested in discovering more details about the conflict. A group of Democrats, led by Senator Kelly, tried to block the trip, but were unsuccessful.

It also appears that Zelaya is tired of "house arrest" and is more willing than ever to reach a compromise. We'll see. His life of traveling the world had to have been preferable to the situation he is in now. Maybe he thought that once he came back he would march right in and take over. It hasn't worked out that way at all.

Here is a gooble translation to
an article on Processo Digital that covers many of these things.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Article about Honduras

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More from Honduras

From Facebook group "Support Free Honduras".....

This was written by Daniel Dyer and sent to the members of the Facebook group "Support Free Honduras". Is it the truth? I have no idea. but it is certainly plausible and it is hard to argue the logic.

International Football....And Honduras is the Football.

There is tension in the air in Tegucigalpa as it enjoys a forced holiday delivered in the form of a twenty-four hour national curfew. This curfew is supposed to end at 6:00 PM but it will undoubtedly be extended.

And what do we owe the curfew, the tear gas and the near panic conditions of yesterday? Nothing less than the return of the Messiah. No, I'm not referring to Obama. Honduras has its own messiah: Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

The rumors began yesterday around noon. Zelaya was in the United Nations building. Thousands were pouring into the streets. Caravans of supporters were coming from all over the country to show support. The rumors increased exponentially as each minute passed. Zelaya is in Nicaragua in his hotel suite. Zelaya is on his way to Washington. The United Nations finally confirmed that Zelaya was not there but that he had made contact to inform them that he was coming to Honduras. Finally Manuel's wife told a news agency that her husband was in the Brazilian embassy.

By 1:00 PM the supermarkets were filling with people buying whatever they buy when they have lost their minds, the gasoline stations full of cars, and parents pulling their children out of schools. At 3:30 PM President Micheletti informed the country that a nationwide curfew would be imposed starting at 4:00 PM. Given the fact that the government had strictly enforced previous curfews, detaining lawbreakers and confiscating vehicles, it would have been better to have given the people more time. Imagine roughly 750,000 people simultaneously clearing their desks, grabbing their car keys or climbing onto buses or taxis in the narrow inadequate streets of a major city. Total chaos. Throughout the night hundreds of “demonstrators” battled police, throwing rocks and vandalizing homes adjacent to the Brazilian embassy. Finally, at 4:30 AM the police removed them and the streets became deserted.

So how did we get here, who are the players, and what does Manuel Zelaya hope to gain? When the principle participants are lying, the media is chasing rabbit trails, and multiple agendas are being pursued, getting your mind around the true story, much less presenting it, can be a daunting task indeed.

Let's start with Zelaya. Mel is stating that he returned to Honduras by road; a fifteen hour trip that involved many risks. That's his story and he is sticking to it. Now that he is safely in the Brazilian embassy, he is declaring that his intent is to draw all of the principle parties of Honduras together in order to negotiate a harmonious democratic future for all Hondurans. If you believe that, I have some beach front property I would like to sell you in Olancho. It is impossible for Mel to negotiate this democratic future and, at the same time, uphold the constitution that he swears that he has no intention of changing. He simply has no time under the rules currently being played by. The Honduran Presidential Elections are less than 8 weeks from now. Zelaya says that no elections should be honored unless he is re-instated as president, and the constitution states that Zelaya cannot be re-elected and thus cannot be a candidate. Are we to believe that Jose Manuel Zelaya returned to Honduras, at great risk to himself, in order to be re-instated as president only to turn power over to the newly elected president less than eight weeks later? I've still got that beach front property available. Any takers?

No my friends. Mr. Zelaya has returned for one reason and one reason only: to attempt to regain the presidency and stay there until he is good and ready to leave. Given the record of the friends he has chosen to hang out with, that would be until he dies or is again forcefully removed.

The Honduran governments response to Zelaya's call for national reconciliation under his benevolent leadership, has been to petition the Brazilian embassy to turn over Mr. Zelaya to the proper Honduran authorities. There are multiple charges, some political but most criminal, that Mr. Zelaya is facing. That means that the Brazilian Embassy is harboring a Honduran fugitive from justice.

So how did Mr. Zelaya get back into Honduras anyway? And what do the Brazilians have to do with this? Everyone in the international community is acting so happily surprised at this whole affair and treating it as a wonderful opportunity for “reconciliation” and a “return to democratic rule”, as if Honduras was not under democratic rule (I feel like Winston in George Orwell's “1984”, battered under the onslaught of Newspeak: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength). Argentine President Kirchner, Insulza of the OAS, the E.U. and Hillary Clinton all expressed “surprise” at the “sudden developments” in Honduras while at the same time declaring that this was yet another opportunity for dialogue and conflict resolution.

And what would that resolution be, pray tell. The San Jose Accords? Zelaya is never going to go for that for the reason previously stated. It allows him to be in office for a whole two months. Wow. I came back to Honduras for two months in office and then I go to jail for 30 years. No Cuarta Urna. No Constituyente. Just two months to play President. Does anyone in their right mind believe that Zelaya came back for that? That means that the “dialogue” and “conflict resolution” that everyone in the international community is calling for and hoping for is just one thing: return Jose Manuel Zelaya to power. Period.

So how did Manuel Zelaya return to Honduras and who paved the way? I predicted about a month ago that the U.S. would lose interest in Zelaya and this whole nasty ordeal would blow over. I believed that economic and political relationships would slowly, but surely, be restored after the elections, and Honduras would begin to move forward. In fact, there was a time when Zelaya had truly lost momentum. Even Chavez expressed doubts as to Mel's ability to return to power. But, to my surprise, Zelaya continued to be received at the U.S. State Department, and have meetings with high level officials. He remained irritatingly successful at holding the attention of Hillary and company. This was warning sign number one. Warning sign number two was when the U.S. cut even more aid to Honduras.

Warning sign number three was about a week ago when the El Salvador Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hugo Martinez, spoke with U.S. Undersecretary of Political Affairs for the Western Hemisphere Bisa Williams about the need to adopt “specific measures in the diplomatic realm to cause the Honduran Government to accept the San Jose Accord.” These measures were to be “surgical” and not effect the Honduran people. It is also worthy to note that Bisa Williams is the head of the U.S. office of Cuban Affairs. Last time I checked, Cuba is not anywhere near El Salvador or Honduras.

Then, on Sunday night, September 20th at ten o'clock, a Venezuelan jet coming from Nicaragua made an unauthorized landing at the international airport in San Salvador. On that aircraft was Jose Manuel Zelaya. There, he held a meeting with Sigfrido Reyes, the head of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). The FMLN is a Salvadorean Socialist political party similar to the Sandinista Party of Nicaragua, headed by now Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (both were communist guerrilla organizations that later morphed into political parties). After the meeting Zelaya boarded the jet and left El Salvador. Six hours later he appears in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

So, how did Zelaya get to the Brazilian Embassy? In addition to the obvious risks, the time-line simply doesn't work out for him to have traveled by car. The only way Mel could have entered Honduras was by airplane and there are only four (five if you count Roatan) airstrips in the country that the Venezuelan jet could land on: LaCeiba, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Palmerola Air force Base in Comayagua. Although not outside the realm of possibility, it is highly unlikely that the plane landed at any of the International Airports. The only strip in the country that could handle that plane, is close to Tegucigalpa (1 hour driving time), AND provide the secrecy needed to make this late night insertion, is Palmerola. And guess who would have had to have knowledge of, and give permission, for that airplane to land? Well that would the people that both run and control the base of course: The United States of America.

I cant prove Zelaya landed at Palmarola but we do know he was in San Salvador at 10:00 PM and we do know he left in a Venezuelan jet. He landed somewhere and that somewhere was in Honduras. He simply couldn't get to Tegucigalpa any other way and have the time-line work out.

So we have Manuel Zelaya coming from Nicaragua, on a Venezuelan jet, for a late night visit to El Salvador (whose Foreign Affairs Minister is coordinating with a U.S. Undersecretary in charge of Cuban affairs), maybe landing at a U.S. Air force base in Honduras, and staying in a Brazilian Embassy to the amazement and delight of the entire international community. Who needs fiction when real life is this crazy.

So if this is how it happened, the question is why? Even if it didn't happen just this way the question is still why?

I must admit, I underestimated the importance that the U.S., ALBA, the OAS, and others placed on the events that took place in this tiny country. We really ticked off a lot of people when we had the audacity to correctly use the balance of powers in order to maintain a stable democracy and independent rule. I saw the clues but I didn't place them in proper context because I didn't appreciate the resolve and coordination of the international community in supporting socialism and destroying sovereignty and independent determination of individual nations. I knew that the agenda was part of a larger global attack on sovereignty but I thought we had won this round. I was wrong.

No matter how this turns out for Honduras, the will and coordination of the international community in this affair (with the U.S. as the principle coordinator) is beyond what I imagined. Chavez is being used as a powerful pawn in a high level game. In many respects Chavez is like an unruly older boy whose rich daddy has bought him a lot of cool toys. You hate the way he acts but you put up with him so that you can play with the toys. His agenda, to a certain extent, meshes with the plans of the international community but, unlike the other players, he wants to be the biggest leader in the sandbox, crudely wielding oil and rhetoric to achieve regional influence.

This is not where Obama and company are going. They desire a sandbox where all of the players are equal, there is no sovereignty, no self determination of country, and all beholden to the collective opinions and desires of the others. The unpardonable sin of Honduras was not the removal of Zelaya from office in his pajamas. The sin was respecting and enforcing the constitution of their country. The sin was placing the constitution and the sovereignty built thereon above the collective opinion and desires of the international community.

Obama, Hillary, Insulza, Chavez, and the rest of the OAS thought that Honduras would fold to threats of expulsion from this mini United Nations. They were wrong. They thought economic sanctions would work. They were wrong. They thought they would negotiate Zelaya back in. They were wrong. Now, with 8 weeks until the elections, they have surgically implanted their puppet into the country to force the issue before it is too late.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Honduras Update

I got on today to type up an update about the Honduras situation but Mark Connell beat me too it. Since he is down there and obviously knows more about what is going on than I do I figured I'd just let him update everyone so here you go.......

Well, the unexpected definitely happened yesterday. Mel Zelaya is back! He is currently taking refuge in the Brazilian Embassy here in Tegucigalpa. Yesterday's series of events was pretty wild. We first got reports of Mel's return around 11:00am. I called my sources here in the government and got strong denials about the accuracy of those reports. As we now know, my sources were wrong. He is definitely here and nobody is quite sure what comes next. The government established a curfew here in the country that began yesterday at 4:00pm. It was originally set to expire at 7:00am this morning, but late last night they decided to extend it until 6:00pm today. I am quite sure it will be extended again until tomorrow morning.

Lori was with the Mi Esperanza salon class and they were all at a local orphanage giving manicures, pedicures, and haircuts to the girls there as a service project. I talked to her around 1:00pm and suggested they try to finish and get home as there was bound to be a lot of chaos in the streets. At that time it was just a suggestion and they all decided they would do a few more girls then pack up and leave. I talked to her again just before 4:00 (which was the announced curfew time) and they were packing up to leave. The place they were at is only 10-15 minutes from our home. It took TWO HOURS! Most of the city was gridlocked as everyone tried to get home before the 4:00 curfew. Needless to say, not many made it.

Meanwhile, Mel was on the roof of the Brazilian Embassy giving a speech to the thousands of supporters that had gathered there. That was around 3:00 and it was the final verification that he was definitely here. Some estimates say there were tens of thousands there to support him. From the images on television I would say it was closer to thousands than tens of thousands. A friend of ours, David Logue was trying to get to his home and he had to literally have the police clear a path for him through the people. He said it was pretty intense. We lost power for about thirty minutes last night. They are reporting that power to the Brazilian Embassy has been shut down. There is no way to verify any of the reports. That is definitely something that is very different here. Freedom of the press is not really the same. If this was happening in the States, it would be all over the news on every channel. Here, you can't find much at all and what you find is usually "in favor" of the current government and opposed to Mel. Channel 36, Cholusat Sur, has been off the air since about 3:30 yesterday. It is a station that is pro-Zelaya. It was definitely shut down purposely by the current government.

It is being reported that this morning the police moved in to disperse the crowd from in front of the Brazilian Embassy. There used tear gas and a water truck. There are reports of one death, but it is unconfirmed. The current pictures on TV are showing the empty streets of Tegucigalpa. They are showing that the street in front of the Embassy is now clear and blocked off and surrounded by local authorities. Nobody is being allowed in or out of the area. Just now, they interviewed a woman who lives by the embassy and she was yelling at the camera blaming Zelaya and the Brazilian government for damages to her house asking who was going to pay her for the damages. She is MAD!

That's about it for now. I'll try to post more later.

Monday, June 29, 2009


If you've been paying attention to the news you know that Honduras is in the middle of a Military Takeover. We are all sitting here in the states holding our breath to find out what will happen to this country that we have come to know and love as home. Pray for the people there and pray for the leaders of that country as well as the surrounding countries.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Aunt Nancy

I want to take a moment to honor one of the greatest women I've ever had the privilege of knowing. My aunt Nancy past away a week ago today. I was able to book a ticket and make it to St. Louis (her home town) in time for the funeral. My family had all gathered by the time I arrived so that we could collectively grieve the loss of this dear lady. She truly was special. She loved children, laughter, scrabble, games in general, chocolate, and most important....her family. She lived life to its fullest each and every day she was alive. She had an infectious laugh that could be heard all through the house whenever she was around and she used it often. 

This past summer I was able to spend a couple of days in St. Louis visiting my family. It was one of the greatest gifts I could have been given. Although she wasn't in the best state of mind and probably didn't know I was there....I knew. Our few hours together are the last I had with her and I will carry them in my heart for as long as I live. Even as her memory failed her and her body seemed to revolt against her the sense of humor she was known for still shined through. She was just as fun loving and stubborn as she had ever been. Obviously there are some things that even age can't take from you. 

As I was getting ready to leave my Uncle Carey (her husband) pulled me aside to encourage me to take a few extra minutes saying goodbye to her because it would probably be my last chance. He explained to me what the doctors had said at the last visit and what we could expect for the days ahead. Even with how sick she was my Uncle was determined to never put her in a nursing home. He was committed to caring for her until the end. As we stood there he began to take his wallet out of his pocket. Baffled I simply stood waiting on him to explain. A second later he handed me an old picture. It was visibly wrinkled and aged from all the years it had been in that wallet. It was my Aunt Nancy's senior picture. My uncle carried that picture throughout their entire marriage. 

As I looked up I saw the tears forming in his eyes and I listened as he told me how much he loved my aunt. He shared how special she was and all the things about her that he would miss when she was gone. He pointed at the picture and said "she's beautiful isn't she?" He openly admitted that he "had married the prettiest girl in the school" and that she was "just as beautiful today as she was the day he met her." From there he launched into the story of their life/love. She was (17 years old) sitting in a restaurant the first time he saw her. He couldn't stop staring at her "she was so beautiful." 90 days later they were married! They would have celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary this year. 

I tell you all of this not to show just how cute my uncle is but instead to tell you what kind of love they shared. Their love stands as an example for me and the rest of our family. Uncle Carey set the bar high for the kind of guy I hope to marry some day. If I've ever doubted that true love exists their love convinced me. My heart aches to think that my Uncle Carey is now without his beautiful bride. I can't imagine how lost he must feel after 55 beautiful years with her. 

Please pray for me and my family as we struggle through this loss. Pray that we don't focus on what we lost but instead on what we had. She truly was an amazing women. 

Friday, April 3, 2009

Taxi Service

Jen, David, and Sam live on one of the mountains in Tegucigalpa. Daily it seems like as we are driving up and down the mountain people will ask for rides. Having a truck is perfect for stopping to pick up passengers. A couple of weeks ago as we were going down the mountain one of the schools was just getting out. Kids were pouring out of a gate to begin the long treck down the mountain. One of them stuck his thumb out in true hitch hiking form and begged for a ride. Of course stopping to pick up one just wouldn't work so we took the whole lot. Pour Sam was squished in the back with about 15 - 20 kiddos! We joked that we were providing the school bus/taxi service for the day. It literally did feel that way as we stopped to drop kids of here and there. Yet we loved getting the chance to serve them even in that small way. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another team, another house

I had a team arrive Saturday. There are just 4 guys in this team. There leader, Levern, led me on a mission trip to Mexico 6 months before I moved here. I've recently reconnected with him and am loving getting to share this ministry with him and the rest of the team. 

Yesterday we were able to build a house for a family in a village on El Hatillo. They are a family of 4 who are currently living in another house with their extended family. The new house gives them a chance to spread out and have a place of their own. 

As much as I love the house building days I have to admit I almost always end up playing with kids more than I actually build. I guess I always feel like there are plenty of people on site who have never had the opportunity to build a house. Plus lets be honest....I just adore children and find joy in spending time with them. Today I found a special connection with a little girl named Wendy. It was another one of those moments where you have no idea how it just know that for whatever reason a special bond was instantly formed between your hearts. 

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Izzy

I have the privilege of having Izzy here with me this week. The people that usually care for her had to go to Nicaragua to the doctor. It just happened to work out that I have a team here so am able to care for her so ...she is stuck with me! :) 

She has been doing better. She will never be completely healed but at this point in life we are much more concerned with quality of living and not quantity. 

Although her seizures are much more controlled than they once were she still has them daily. That coupled with the lung disease she has makes comfortable living very difficult for her. 

She had a pretty rough night Sunday night. She started to cough and run a low grade fever. By evening time on Monday she sounded terribly raspy and wouldn't stop crying. Feeding her or getting medicine in her was next to impossible and listening to her squall nearly broke my heart. Then suddenly she started seizing and wouldn't stop. It was like my worst fears playing out before me again. My eyes started to fill with tears and my prayers couldn't come fast enough as I begged God to restore peace to her little body. Within minutes of the seizure starting Sam, my mom, David, and one of the guys on the team had crowded around her and were saying their own teary eyed prayers. After 15 minutes of constant seizing I got my phone out to call the doctor. 

Let me just start by saying she has seen this doctor just the same week and that happened nearly 9 months ago. I didn't expect him to remember me but I knew from our brief encounter that I not only trusted him explicitly but also that he was just about my only hope. 

One of the guys on the team placed the call for me. He simply said he was "with Ashley and the baby was sick." That was all it took for the doctor to tell us he would meed us at the hospital in 30 minutes. Moving quickly we headed straight for the hospital. With David driving and Jen in the backseat offering all the encouragement she could I began to feel a little better. I knew that whatever happened we would walk it out together. 

We spent about 2 hours at the hospital. True to his word the doctor arrived almost the exact same minute that we did. After seeing her he sent us down for x-rays. He diagnosed her with pneumonia and gave us all kinds of medicines to help with the seizing, high fevers, cough, and more. He walked Dr. David through the procedure and dosage for each medicine. 

The whole trip...x rays, doctor visit, (late night) and medicines that he injected into her right there all cost around $50.  It was a reminder of how different things are here. If you had called a your normal doctor at 9:30 at night to say your child was sick he would tell you to go to the ER and come into his office in the morning. He a doctor that you've seen just twice needs no further information than "my child is sick" and he assures you he will meet you at the hospital as quickly as either of you can make it. We didn't even go to the ER we went straight to his office we he dedicated the next 2 hours to making sure Izzy was well cared for. He never once rushed us or acted like he would have been anywhere other than right there caring for my child. Then as if that isn't enough we got away with the whole thing on just $50!!!! You couldn't even get the sample medicines in the states for $50. Let alone what being seen by a doctor late at night would cost you. The X-Ray cost us 290 Lemps ($15) It would have cost well over $290 in the states! The doctor did his best to discount the total price for us. His kindness seemed to have no end. So even though I've stated it verbally probably 100 times tonight I want it to go into writing...I LIKE THIS DOCTOR! 

We go tomorrow to get some blood work ran and then go back to the hospital to see the doctor on Wednesday. Please please please pray she gets over this junk quickly. When she gets pneumonia (which happens frequently) she runs a fever, and when she runs a fever she has more seizures, and when she has more seizures her little body gets weak and can't fight of sickness. It really is a nasty cycle. So tonight I BEG for your prayers. 

Day at the Beach

This past Saturday I got to spend the day at the beach. However, it wasn't your normal beach vacation. Our church rented two buses and then sold seats on the bus. For just $5 you could get a ride to one of the beaches on the south part of Honduras. So all the Casa kids, the 5 brothers and their parents, my mom, Mike, David, Carlos, Saul, Eduardo, and a friend of the boys all woke up at 3:30 and were loaded on the bus by 5:30 ready to make the 3 hour trip to the beach. In true Honduran form we left 30 minutes later than we had planned and things were absolutely chaotic. We sat on a hot bus for far longer than any of us cared to be on there and broke every bus capacity limit ever set. 

We dealt with bus sickness, boredom, jelly fish stings, monstrous waves, fatigue, cranky pants, sibling fights, and so much more. Yet simply watching the kids enjoy the day made it all worth it. They laughed and played all day. I loved watching them chase waves or conquer their fear of the water. 

Katty was fearless. It didn't matter how many times she got knocked down or sucked under water she always came up giggling and ready for more. She loved to have me carry her out into deeper water so that we could get walloped by big waves together. Every time I'd see a wave coming I'd tell her to put her head down. She'd take a big breath, close her eyes, and tuck her head in just in time for the wave to come crashing in around us. She thought it was the best. 

Maryuri conquered her fear of the waves and even seemed to enjoy herself. Granted it took a huge wave that knocked her and my mom over before she decided it wasn't half bad. 

Throughout the day I found myself reminiscing about beach trips I've had with my parents. I can remember my dad playing with me in the waves. I can remember him reaching down to pull me out of the water countless times after a wave knocked me down. I LOVED (still do) the beach. It was fun being on the flip side. This time I was the parent....ripping kids out of the water when they got knocked down. I found out that dragging your kids to the beach isn't all fun it is HARD! :) 

And of course our trip wasn't without calamity. On the way home we had problems with the police AND blew a tire. We had to stop for half an hour or so to get the tire fixed. Needless to say with all the added problems it took us much longer to get home. 

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spoiled by Grandma

My mom flew in this past Tuesday! yay! It has meant time to be spoiled for sure. Not only have I been getting spoiled but everyone else has too! Today the kiddos got to enjoy being spoiled rotten by Grandma. In true Grandmother form she came armed with candy, toys, and all kinds of other fun things. Today they got to hunt for candy filled easter eggs. Afterwards they each enjoyed a chocolate bunny and then played for hours with egg shaped sidewalk chalk. I think we had as much fun as they did. 

Miss Maryuri

                      Mayuri and me playing in a tube at visitation today. :) 

Monday, March 23, 2009


There is a special needs school in the city called Teleton. We have recently been working to get some of our kids tested and placed in classes there. Finally, after quite a few meetings Doris, Monica, Fernando, Sisi, and Maryuri will all be going there. Some have to go weekly while others won't go as often. It is a HUGE blessing to be able to get them intensive training on the areas that they are lacking. 

Maryuri tested at a 2 1/2 year olds level. Interestingly enough we've had her here at Casa for 2 1/2 years. 

Doris and Monica were both "emergency cases" and Sisi and Fernando both just need to go to get a little extra help. 

However, while going through this process the people at Teleton told us we need to start calling Monica ...Reina. It is technically the name on her birth certificate so they want us to go by that. They said if something were to ever happen to her they would look at her file for her info. She wouldn't know to respond to Reina....therefore she is now officially Reina. 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My family

I was able to spend all day last Thursday in Nuevo Oriental with Jorge and his family. I will never grow tired of hearing their voices shout my name as I get close to their house. They NEVER forget my name and always seem to be equally excited to see me no matter when I visited last. 

Santos...It was his birthday that day 
Jorge and Hati 
The whole family minus their dad. Their mom is sitting in the chair beside me and their oldest sister Isabel is standing on the right. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Mike is back in the country AND Colby came to visit for the week. I am one spoiled girl! They are two of my closest friends in this world and to have us all here together was truly a gift. Plus I love watching the kiddos interact with "Papi Mike" and Tia Colby. The kids love having them around almost as much as I do! 

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Today Sandra (one of our workers) had the kiddos lined up outside on the sidewalk. They were getting ready to come in for lunch and she was having them pray. Just as I was coming outside I heard her tell them they were to hold hands with the person across from them. They then went down the line and each kid prayed for the kid across from them. It almost brought tears to my eyes as I listened to them pray that the other kid would feel better, listen better, act better, etc. They were very genuine in what they asked the Lord to do on the behalf of one of the other kids. It was one of those sweet moments when I'm reminded of what child like faith looks like. 

Friday, March 6, 2009


This is Doris. She came to live at Casa in May of this past summer. She is mentally retarded and has been quite the handful since she got here. She had never been shown love or affection. She certainly hadn't been taught how to act around other people or how to do the most basic things. So we've all spent time teaching her how to use toilet paper when using the restroom, how to put deodorant on, how to bathe and dress herself, how to just do the normal day to day things. However, I'd say the thing that has taken the most time to teach her would be simply how to interact with others. When she first got here she was SO rough. She would hit us to get a hug or attention. She is getting better about being gentle and just hugging and kissing us but there are still moments when she can really clobber us! She forgets she is nearly as big as us as she flings herself at us. :) She is making up for years worth of hugs, kisses, and love that she missed out on. We like to tease that she is a St. Bernard who thinks he is a lap dog. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009


As most of you know we took in Rosita this past summer. She has been deaf since she was very little. A couple of weeks ago she started school in the city at a school for the deaf called Feliz Manos. (Happy Hands) For the first two weeks they had an adaption period for the kids to get used to what was going on. This week marked her first week of full days. She gets up at 5:15 to get ready and leave for school. She doesn't return home until 3:15 or so. It means long days without a nap so she has been pretty tired at the end of the night. Today Terri (who has been picking her up) said Rosita even slept on the way home. It has been good for her to have interaction with people who actually know sign language! She comes home doing all kinds of signs. Generally we have NO idea what she is saying but it is sure fun to watch her. :) She is going to be 10 this year and is really behind in school so lets hope they can get her up to speed. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The brothers

God is SOO good. The boy's dad got out of rehab this past Saturday. On Friday when Jen opened the newspaper she found a little house for rent. It was the first day the house had been run in the paper. The house is 2 minutes (walking) from the boys current bilingual school and about 2 miles from Jen's house. It is 2 bedrooms/2 bathrooms. The price, locations, and everything was perfect for what we needed! The family was able to move in Monday so the boys and their parents are all living together now. I talked to them yesterday morning and they said all went well. So far their dad has been nice and hasn't been drinking. He seems different so lets pray that continues. This really is his last chance. If he starts drinking/beating them again we will report them to IHNFA and they will be sent to another orphanage. SO yes....thank you SO much for your prayers. Please continue to petition the throne on their behalf. This battle is far from over. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Surprise Visit

Almost exactly a year ago Colby (my best friend in the entire world) showed up at Casa unbeknown to me. She had contacted Jen and Karen to make sure someone could pick her up at the airport and then she booked her ticket. She was able to spend her spring break here with me. It was an amazing week. 

About a week ago Colbs and I were discussing her plans for this years spring break. She said that although she had her classes off she still had to go to her internship because she is required to be there for so many hours. We reminisced about last year and I even asked her if I could be expecting any surprise visits. She told me that no matter how much she wanted to be here it just wasn't possible this year. She couldn't afford to be away right now. We talked about her spending time here this summer and that was enough to appease me. 

Yesterday I spent the day in the city running errands and helping Jen, David, and Sam. We had a to do list that was a mile long and the day started bright and early. We all headed off in opposite directions to divide and conquer. The plan was that we would meet back up around 1 for lunch across from the airport. The morning ran smoothly and we were productive but by lunch time we found ourselves caught in more "this is Honduras" moments than we had anticipated so we finally met up with everyone else around 2:15. 

As soon as I walked in we talked about the next plan of action. How much time we had to eat, who needed to go where next, how we would get everything accomplished, etc. Jen asked me if I would go order everyones food while she went to the restroom. I had no sooner turned around when a set of arms wrapped around me. Confused I looked down at the arms first. Recognizing the Cardigan sweater to be the one Colby and I bought together I could barely contain myself as I turned around. 

Let's just say I made quite the scene in Church's Chicken as I squealed and jumped around. Colby had done it yet again. She had managed to keep her trip quiet and made it here to surprise me! :) So for the next week I'll be relishing in the mere proximity we have now found ourselves in. I love having her so close. 

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Front Teeth

Monica lost her two front teeth...LAST AUGUST! Since then we've been waiting for even the first signs of her teeth coming back in. Well FINALLY they are starting to break through her gums. It will still be awhile before they are fully there but is about time! :) 

Friday, February 27, 2009


Pamela took the wrap off of her foot before school the other day to find raw skin and pus. It looked infected and was starting to cause her pain. By that afternoon she was back at the doctor's office. The Doctor said the flap of skin had come undone and left raw skin and flesh is no wonder it was causing her pain! She was supposed to go back this Monday to have the stitches removed. However, with this set back it is hard to tell when they'll be able to remove all the stitches. Please continue to pray for a speedy and pain free recovery. 


We had visitation today with the kid's moms. Everyone showed up except for Katty, Fernando, Monica, and Doris's family. Katty and Monica seemed fairly unfazed by the fact that their mom was a no show but Doris spent the entire ride home muttering "momma...mommy...momma." Fernando spent the ride quiet and pensive on Mike's lap. He is by far the one most affected by watching everyone else's family show up. He spends every month counting down the days until he gets to see his mother so when she doesn't show it is rough for him. It is always a hard day. Personally I hate visitation day. I hate watching the kids get so hurt by these people that pop in and out of their lives from time to time. Please pray for each of our kiddos tonight as they pillow their heads. No matter if their moms were there or not they surely will be sorting through the emotions of the day. 


A couple of months ago each of the kids got a "closet." We found a local guy who makes bunk beds with cabinets attached to the end. Not only does it help us organize clothes, toys, and such but it also gives the kids a sense of ownership. The closets lock so they are able to stow their dress clothes and personal items inside. The kids LOVE them.