Monday, June 30, 2008

Honduras June 2008

I know we are way behind on blogging and we have a bunch to catch up on, but I want to blog about our trip to Honduras.

Once again, I am at a loss of words to say. How was our week in Honduras? Amazing, wonderful, peaceful, God-directed, and so much more. The story of our trip began several weeks before we left for Honduras. The airport we normally fly into in Tegucigalpa was closed because of an airplane crash at the airport at the end of May. Our only other option to fly in was into San Pedro Sula, which is a 5 1/2 hour bus ride up and down the mountains of Honduras. So we landed about 3 on Saturday afternoon. It was a very long day as we did not arrive at the shelter until after 10, long after the boys had gone to sleep. On the way, we stopped at a Honduran Buffet called Bongos. It was quite an experience as we all seemed to remember that meal long into the week...

Sunday morning we got up very early to the screams of the boys waking up. It was so amazing to see them all again. They had grown so much. Moises was there and I got a big hug first thing. I'm not sure if he totally remembered me, but we were good friends not long into the trip. Church was wonderful Sunday morning, we had a great time with the boys. After church we headed to the streets of Tegucigalpa to meet some of the kids on the street. We had buckets and buckets of fried chicken, and after getting their bellies full we talked to them about God. It was great, the kids are so beautiful. They were all very malnourished, not very clean and a lot of them were on drugs. But we were able to talk to them and send them off with lots of food, that they can bring to their friends or family. After the streets, we headed to the grocery store, to buy the food we were going to deliver during the week. Over 100 bags each of rice, beans and dried milk were purchased. After about 10 full to the brim carts of food, we were ready to go.

The rest of the week was very similar. We would do the food ministry in the morning and then go to the farm in the afternoon for a small building project and to do crafts and spend time with the older boys. Those were wonderful days. We split up into teams and brought food to most of the houses in a community called Monte Redondo. It is where the Farm is located and also where Noah's Ark Baptist Church is. We got to meet the great people in this community, bring them food, pray with them and tell them about the church at Monte Redondo. It was wonderful to meet so many people. Everyone was very welcoming and warm. They all invited us into their homes, and as poor as they were, every house was clean and every person had a wonderful smile.

In the afternoons, we played with the older boys. We did Spray Tie Dye, made duck tape wallets, they showed us how to make bracelets and we had a fantastic Silly String fight.

There are so many stories I want to tell, but I can't get them all out right now. Moises and I got to spend some very special time together, again climbing the trees. He loves to climb and eat whatever nut or fruit grows on the tree. Most of them were not recognizable to me, but he loved them.

I also met a very special boy named Samy. I had heard of Samy before because he was a part of the ministry and then left about a year ago. The ministry finally found him and now he was back. He lived a very hard life while he was gone and his mother was murdered during that time. Now he and his brother are in the ministry and doing great. He came and sat by me at church on Sunday, and after that we sought each other out every day. We spent lots of time reading, he would read in Spanish, I would read in English, then he would read the English with me. They boys have a real desire to speak English and be able to communicate with the teams they meet.

Chad got very attached to a boy named Saul, he is 13 years old and a trouble maker! He and Chad had a great time together. He will have to post and tell you all about his time with Saul. It is so amazing that we can spend hours with a boy and barely say a word. There is a huge language barrier, but it doesn't matter. We laugh and hug and play and don't even have to say a word.

I love Honduras. I love everything about it. I love the mountains, I love the valleys, I love the smells and the sights. I love the people and I love the children. The children are so beautiful. The people are so gracious and thankful. It is a country that is very wicked, with human life not being valued at all. But, there is also a light in Honduras that is burning brighter and brighter. As people begin to help others, street children become educated, men of God who know how to live and treat their wives, as the gospel of Jesus is spread to every person, you can feel and see the changing of the country.

I am so privileged that God has allowed me to be a part of this ministry now and for many years to come.

One of the couples who went with our group, brought a video camera and the below link is a short video with clips from our week. It is only a couple of minutes, but it shows a little bit of everything we did.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers, your toys and your clothes, they were all distributed and it was wonderful to have them all. The kids and parents were very grateful.

Me and Moises

Handing out toys during the food ministry.

Chad and Saul

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sleepy Toys

Most kids need something to hold on to or have in their bed to go to sleep at night, preferably something other than mommy or daddy. Andrew and Daniel have always had their little bear blankets.

Recently, Daniel has started sleeping with The World Book Encyclopedia: Q-R Volume. I don't really know why. Maybe he is trying to gain some knowledge by looking at it in the last few minutes of light before he goes to sleep or maybe the thought of reading an encyclopedia is so boring that having it in his bed puts him to sleep. Who really knows? The other night he ripped out several pages, so we may have to put a stop to that. (I guess he really didn't want to learn about Quebec, eh?)

As weird of an object as that is for a child to sleep with, it isn't the strangest thing that one of our kids has used.

When Blake was a toddler, he started crying one night and nothing would calm him down. Any of you who are parents, have faced one of these nights. Any of you who are not yet parents, it is coming. Anyway, Blake would not stop crying. Jaime got up and tried everything to get him to stop. She held him, rocked him, sang to him, gave him a pacifier, and let him cry a bit more from his crib, but nothing worked. She then woke me up. I held him, rocked him, sang to him, gave him back his pacifier and let him cry some more from his crib. Since none of those ideas were working, we tried some different things. We pushed him around our house in his stroller, let him watch VeggieTales, read him stories, offered him something to eat, offered him something to drink, let him lay down in our bed with us, changed his diaper, checked to see if he was running a fever, and finally drove him around the town for about an hour or so in the car. Nothing would work. We were tired and in a very bad mood.

Finally, that moment of "I can't take any more" came and we put him on the floor crying and he started stumbling through the house. We followed him and he walked to the refrigerator. At this point, we opened the door and offered him anything out of it as long as he would go to sleep or at least stop crying. Blake reached in and grabbed the bottle of maple syrup. It wasn't even the Mrs. Butterworth shaped bottle, which is shaped like a person as most of you know. It was just a plain ol' bottle of syrup. Once he had it in his hand, he stopped crying and walked back to our bedroom and wanted to climb in our bed. Needless to say, that night, me, Jaime, and Blake slept the last couple hours of the night in our bed with a bottle of syrup. At least the cap was stuck on good. None of us woke up sticky in the morning, however after a night like that, we would not have cared.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Blake's Baptism

Last Sunday, Blake was baptized! It was a wonderful day. He got baptized at Hunter Street at the 9:30 service, his good friend Hunter was baptized the same day. Another good friend, Riley, was baptized at the chuch picnic the Sunday before. (Which I intended to blog about but never did, it was a wonderful day with friends (friends is not a strong enough word, family is more like it), great food and finished off with Riley's baptism in the lake.. An amazing day!!) Back to the baptism, Blake was so excited. He came down the baptism steps in front of the big church and he was smiling. It was so amazing to have all of his family and friends there to witness his profess his faith and follow Christ in baptism. We were all so proud.

Afterwards we headed to Ed and Sallies house (Hunter's parents) to have a big party for a three boys. We had some more wonderful food, barbeque, homemade ice cream, the works. Ed spoke to boys about the importance of the day and also the importance of the people who were surrounding them. They all had a room packed full of people who love them and are going to support them as they grow. It was wonderful day and one I will never forgot and one I hope the boys will always remember.

Blake, we are so proud of you and love you so much!!!