Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Healthcare Bill

Since Monday morning when I heard that the healthcare bill had passed I've been debated, defended, and discussed the issue with many people. (including myself) I've been reading all I can in an attempt to be well informed and I've kicked the idea around in my head for hours on end. I have had many conversations with people who are ABSOLUTELY against the idea and I've heard them out on their reasoning as to why. However, they've yet to change my mind on the issue. So....I've spent the past couple days trying to put into words all I wanted to say on the issue. I even started a blog and then left it because I couldn't adequately defend my side.

Today when I signed on to read other people's blogs I saw that Mark Connell had beat me to it. He wrote a very well written blog about the topic. Throughout his blog I found myself nodding in agreement. So I'm going to once again steal his blog because I feel like it is a better portrayal of my thoughts than I can give! :)

I was moved today to express a few of my thoughts regarding the new healthcare bill so....

I am not smart enough to figure out all the ramifications of the new healthcare bill passed by congress last night and I could be totally misguided, misinformed, and a tad bit crazy, but I can't help but feel a sense of gladness and joy this morning. I am glad that millions of Americans, many of them children, will have access to health insurance. I am glad that people with pre-existing medical conditions can no longer be denied coverage by insurance companies. I am also glad that some effort is being made to curtail rising medical expenses, and that certain special interest and business groups will be held to a greater accountability, and that the growing gap between the rich and the poor might be slowed.

I say this fully realizing that it might cost me another dollar or two (or whatever), but I happen to believe there are things I can do without so that the above can be true. It seems that the Jesus I have come to know was always concerned about those who had little and expected those that had to help those who didn't. I also realize that this will mean that there will be those who take advantage of the system and to that I say.... SO What! A least they will have an opportunity to be healthy.

Anyway... here's a few thoughts...

1. Any effort that is made to bring health benefits to more people (especially the weak, the poor, the children) is an effort with which I want to identify.

2. The argument that we cannot afford making medical benefits available to more people does not hold any weight for me. The fact is that our country can afford it, even if it means that each of us surrenders a few more bucks that we would have spent on things for ourselves. We just have to conclude that compassion in the face of human need is a greater value than accumulating more stuff.

3. Any initiative that makes it possible for the common person to have the same access to medical science as the rich appear to have is one I want to hear about.

4. And any group that stands up on behalf of our physicians so that they do not have to fear frivolous lawsuits every time they make a diagnosis and propose a treatment is one I want to support.

Is the new healthcare bill the best way for these things to happen? I really have no idea, but I think it moves in a direction that is a direction that makes me glad.

Monday, March 15, 2010


2 years ago this past week (March 11) sweet little Isabel entered my life. My life would be forever changed by that one day. She was in far worse shape than anything I had seen up to that point in my life. Since that time we've battled long and hard with her health and with legal stuff that would allow me to care for her. In the past months she has been staying with a Pastor friend and his family. However, the family is having to go back and forth between here and Nicaragua and are having a hard time caring for all of Izzy's need. During this trip David and I were able to get a meeting at a special needs orphanage. We went to the meeting Friday morning and the granted Izzy a space in their home. The home is AMAZING. They have a professional therapist who comes weekly to work with the kiddos there. There are only 20 kids there and about 18 workers so the ratio is phenomenal. They have a pool and a court yard and so many other things that will be great for Isabel. David, Mike, and I took her to the center today to drop her off. It was bittersweet....it was a great feeling to know she is secure in a place that is capable of caring for all of her needs. Yet it was sad for me to say goodbye to her yet again. I think its safe to say she is my favorite person in this world. This momma heart of my loves that little one more than life itself. Praise Jesus for allowing her to be a part of that home and for the people who will be caring for her.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

End of trip

The team flew out today and made it home safely. It was sad to see them go. During their last few days here we spent some time shopping in a village. We also spent one whole day setting up a store of clothes, blankets, shoes, etc. The people in the village were then able to come into the store and "shop" for stuff for a VERY cheap price. By doing a store it allows the people to take ownership of the stuff they are getting. Plus they are able to pick the items they need most. At the end of the day we had raised nearly $300. The money was donated back to the church we did the store in and the local clinic in the village.

It was a great last couple of days.....full of seeing old friends and little brown kiddos that have stolen all of our hearts! Please continue to pray for the team as they return home and have to go back to doing day to day life. I know they were struggle with leaving today. BUT they were a HUGE blessing to so many people this past week and it was an honor to serve along side each of them.

I'll post more pictures and stories soon!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day Five

Today was a fairly relaxed day. We started out the day getting up and driving to Santa Ana, Honduras to the Casa de Esperanza. Casa was the orphanage that Ashley used to live at and so we got to go see her old stomping grounds. When we got there, we took close to 100 boxes to the church on the campus and organized the clothes for a store that we are going to be doing on Saturday. It was amazing all the clothing that was donated that we are going to be able to provide to the people in Santa Ana. After we got the clothes all sorted (with some interesting dress up in the midst), we went to a nice restaurante in Santa Anna and got to just sit as a group and enjoy some genuine Honduran food. After lunch, we went back to the orphanage and played with some kids who were there for a dental clinic that was being conducted at the clinic on the orphange's campus. The clinic was being run by a number of dentists from the States who came down on the same flight as us from Houston to Honduras. They were doing some amazing things for all the children who probably only get to see a dentist when these clinics happen.

It was next that we got to play with all the children from Casa de Esperanza. We grilled some hot dogs and got to eat and play with all of them. It was amazing for me to see all of these kids now two years older than the last time I saw them. Even though it was two years ago I was last here, it felt like I had just left those kids. It was amazing to me how much I could remember about all the kids who were here two years ago. Everytime I get to see these chidren it makes it harder and harder for me to leave this place. Even though it was two years ago many of them still remembered me and it was awesome that Fito, one of the boys that I wanted to take home with me last time, still remembered me and called me his "Amigo." It was also nice to be at the orphanage because all the kids are able to speak at least some English so between our week Spanish and their week English we were able to talk to each other.

This place will never cease to amaze me in how quickly it grows on me and how in love I am with the people of this country. Everyday I spend here makes me want to be here more. We all ask that you continue to pray for us and that we may be a great witness of the love of Christ to the people here. We also ask that you pray for us to continue to be moved and that we might become enlightened to the world around us. Thank you all for our prayers.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


The day began well...Daniel, Alan, and Mitch did not fall back to sleep after the first attempt to wake them up. Something that has not happened all week! Then we got bad news about the truck......we had a flat tire. Luckily it was able to be fixed within half an hour.

First, we went to Bencaleth, a special needs orphanage. We had a good time playing with kids, running around, having races in their wheelchairs and beating David with wands. We took a tour of the facilities and saw the physical therapy room, pool, and classrooms. The ratio of workers to children was well balanced. The facility was surprisingly well-equipped and nice for a Honduran orphange.

Next we passed out food at the city dump. We passed out rice, beans and tortillas and water out of the bed of Mark's truck to about 300 people. It was crazy seeing cows and vultures doing the same things as the people: fighting each other over garbage.

We also went to a home for the elderly to visit with them. The girls painted the women's fingers nails and we talked to everyone that wanted to. It was nice knowing that we were there visiting them because they do not get very many visitors.

Last thing we did was go to the Jesus statue, which was an amazing view of the city lights at night and a statue of Jesus overlooking the city with outstretched arms. Mark gave an awesome devotional about being aware and in the light, and motivated us to not stop what we've been doing here in Honduras, but to continue when we go home to the states. What a day!

Carlos and Mitch painting a classroom
The streets of Hondo

Mitch and Pedro at Casitas

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Today we started the day out with a visit to Hospital Escuela. It is the "free" hospital in the city. It is less than ideal and makes me very thankful for the health care that is available in the states. We took in toys, blankets, candy, and coloring sheets with us to hand out to the children. We visited HIV wards, cancer wards, and other pediatric wards. There were rooms packed with hospital beds and patients waiting for treatment. In the states we complain if we have to share a room with one other person. Here there can be 10 or more patients in one room....with not even a curtain to separate the beds. Our time there was spent trying to bring even the slightest bit of joy into a very bleak situation.

After the hospital we went to Casitas Kennedy. It is the state orphanage here in Tegucigalpa. It houses close to 150 kids. With so many kids and so few workers a lot of the kids go an entire day without being picked up or loved on. We took pizza with us as a special treat for the kiddos. And we spent time holding and playing with a few of the younger ones. When the team went to leave some of the kids began to cry. Just that little bit of time we were able to love on them impacted them in a way that we will never understand. It was heartbreaking to hear their cries and know that they wanted nothing more than for us to go back in and hold them for a little longer.

This evening we went to one of the local schools to paint a classroom. The school is well run but VERY poor. They are in need of a lot of help with projects and cleaning up of the school. We were only able to get one room painted but it felt good to know that we were able to brighten the school up even in the smallest way.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Today the group built a house for a family that lives out by the dump. It was one of the HOTTEST days I've ever built on for sure! There was no shade AT ALL so of course the entire team ended up getting burnt! However, we managed to build the house in 5 hours. The family we built for was a mom and her 3 children. They had been living in a rickety old house that leaked every time it rained. We were also able to give them some of the basic Honduran food necessities. (beans, rice, sugar, coffee, etc)

After that we went straight to our friend Amber's house. For the past few months she has going into some of the less popular places of the city and feeding a meal out of her truck. She feeds at the same 4 locations every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The people around those areas have come to know her by name and some even refer to her as "mom." Most of the people we saw tonight carried plastic bottles filled with glue that they would sniff occasionally in order to remain high....because as long as they are high they don't notice the hunger pains that plague them. I would say we fed close to 80 - 100 people between the 4 locations. We were able to give them a warm meal and spend some time interacting with them. They were desparate for any love and attention we were willing to offer out to them. We met kids, women, and men of various walks of life. One sweet older man (Diego) was blind. He spent a good 10 minutes sharing his life story with Lauren and I. He wasn't interested in the food but instead simply wanted a cup of water and a few minutes of our time. I was once again humbled beyond belief as I saw how those sweet people are living. Remember today to be blessed for all you have. I know I will be pillowing my head with thanks tonight for that soft bed I'll be sleeping in.

I promise to post some pictures tomorrow! Tonight I'm way sleepy and ready for bed!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday part 2

After the Mother Teresa Home we got to go to an Olympia vs. Hispano soccer game! Tickets for the game are literally 80 Lemps ($4) a person. Between the food, the atmosphere, and the game it is an amazing experience. The team was excited that there was actually a home game while they were here. Olympia (the team we were cheering for) won 3-0!
Yay for getting to spent time in Honduras with my best friend! :)
This section is for the die-hard fans! They were on their feet the entire game...jumping around, singing, and chanting. Whenever Olympia scored they went crazy. They would run down the bleachers and climb (and hang off of) the fence in front of them!
The group!


The team arrived safely! Woohoo for yet another team being here. Almost as soon as they walked off the plane we took them to the Mother Teresa home to play with some kids. The Mother Teresa home houses 60 children. It has limited staff and even more limited funding. Often times there are only 3 or 4 people working at a time so there are days when some kids don't get picked up unless it is to change their diaper or feed them. This home is an amazing facility and the workers there truly love the kids and the work they do there. However, funds just don't allow them to do much more than fulfill each kids physical needs. Therefore, it is great when teams get to go spend even a few hours there playing with the kids and simply loving on them. We were able to take several packs of diapers, baby wipes, and blankets. The home is ALWAYS in need of those things. With so many kids (many of those still wearing pampers) the kids usually are in cloth diapers and in place of wipes they use wet paper towels or pieces of old rags.
Lauren with Ana
This little girl (Lucy Maria) attached herself to Mitch almost as soon as we got there. She wouldn't let him put her down the rest of the time we were there. Every time he tried to set her down she cried!
Daniel ....with a child (I can't remember the name!) Mike seems to always serve as a jungle gym for children.
Alan (Flick) and Angel de Jesus

Saturday, March 6, 2010


First of all sorry for the delay in blogs. We've been having problems with the uploading of photos! I spent hours trying to get them on here.

Today we spent the morning loading and unloading a truck full of stuff for a dental clinic. The dental clinic is to be held in Santa Ana this week on the Casa de Esperanza property. After we had unloaded the truck we got to go down and visit the kids at the orphanage! :) Mike and I were especially excited of course! We were attached to our girls for sure. Katty was SUPER excited to see me and my heart melted with each hug she gave me. Daniela wouldn't let go of her "papi Mike" all day either.

After our long day we went back to the city for dinner at La Creperia. It is one of my favorite places to eat here and it certainly has THE BEST DESSERT EVER! (Crepe Belga)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 2

The line for shoes as people waited anxiously to get them! :)
I was able to see many familiar faces while I was there.

Yesterday we headed to the dump to feed the hundreds of people that live in and around the dump. Their meals and everything else they have come from what little they can find within the trash heaps of the dump. I wish each of you could catch a glimpse of what the dump is like. Think of the hottest and most dusty place you have ever been. Now add in the worst smell you've ever smelled in your life. Oh and don't forget the multitude of buzzards, dogs, and stray cattle that are roaming in and amongst the dump. That image you have in your head still isn't close to the reality of what the dump is like and what those people live there every day.

We met up with other missionary friends at the entrance and headed in. As soon as we got inside the dump people started lining up at the back of the truck in anticipation for what we were about to give them. They received a nice sized portion of beans, rice, and two tortillas. However, I'm still convinced that their favorite part is the water. Each person gets a bag of water with their meal. Some of them even forgo the food and just take water. With as dusty and hot as it is there I can't imagine how good that water tastes. For those fortunate to get a second bag of water I often see them drizzling water over their hands and head in an attempt to cool off and get clean.

After the food was all gone we stood around chatting with some of those we had just fed. Shortly after, the Mayor's wife showed up with a truck FULL of Air Jordans. 300 or more Air Jordan's to be exact!!!! If we thought the people were excited for a bowl full of food they were 100 times more excited to get a new pair of shoes. For most of them I'm guessing this is the first new thing they have been given in a long time....possibly ever. They were carrying them above their heads, grinning like they had just won the lottery! They didn't care if the shoes were going to be too big for their feet.

It brought tears to my eyes and humbled me more than I can express. How many pairs of shoes do I have just sitting in my closet at home. When I was packing to come to Hondo the debate wasn't that I didn't have a pair but instead the debate was which pair I wanted to take with me. These people literally have NOTHING and they still delight in the little things. The still smile and laugh and joke with one another. Would I be that same way if I was stripped of everything I have? I'm afraid to answer that.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We're here!

Colby and I flew into Honduras yesterday....after a LONG and very frustrating day of traveling. It is funny to me that while I lived here I always seemed to have problems flying from here to home. I hardly ever had an uneventful flight back into the states. Now that I'm living in the states I can't seem to get back to Honduras very easily. Just more proof that Satan is a booger! He knew how badly I looked forward to my trips to the states and he knows now how much I can't wait to get back here and so he sabotages that!

None the less we made it!!!! We woke up to the chirping of some tropical birds and beautiful sunshine shining through the windows! We spent the day cleaning up and organizing some things before going out to Valley of the Angels to shop! We spent the rest of the day loving on some of my favorite people in this world. :) We cooked baleadas (a tortilla fried up with beans, cheese, and montiquilla inside of it) and sat around just enjoying being all together. It was a blissful moment for this heart (and stomach) for sure!

The are so "fresa"