Sunday, December 31, 2006

And Again Humbled...

Wonder when the last time was you cried when your boss handed you your pay because you were so grateful for the job that provided for your family. They have something similar to a Christmas bonus or new year bonus or something like that here and when I paid this sweet lady named Elbia today and there was extra there, (which amounted to about $35) she put her head in her hands had tears running down her cheeks, kissed my forehead and thanked me at least 3 times.

So thank YOU for your support to pay for this sweet ladies help. I don't pay her, you do. She is not only a blessing here in this place and great help...she is again today a lesson to me in gratitude and the blessings that we have become far too accustomed to to remember to be grateful for.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I Have Tried...

I promise you no less than 20 times to post pictures from Christmas around this place, and for some reason it is being very contrary and they WILL NOT I will continue to try and I apologize. We had a terrific day. Lots of giggling and joy around this place.

I will share more with you soon. When you can see their faces for yourselves in the pictures.

Feliz Navidad!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A New Look...

Ok so as you can see decided to switch things up a bit. My eyes were starting to get a bit tired of the same look and so decided we'd go with this for a while. I like the lighthouse and the symbolism it gives me of my purpose in this world. So I'll continue to post and all other stuff will be the same, except I added a new section on the left under the link section called "Other Stuff I Read." I have stumbled across some really neat stuff on the web since I've been here looking for ways to continue to get fed by good teaching and reading and organizations that resonate with my heart. I will add more soon, but for now these three were really easy. Go exploring you'll enjoy it.

One bit of advice, the James and Betty Robinson tab...if you go under television and then webcasts you'll find all sorts of archived shows that you can view from your computer and there are some great ones in there.

Blessings. I'll post some pictures of the kiddo's soon. We opened some presents with Marc before he left and it was a hoot!! I'll share them soon I promise.

Monday, December 18, 2006

New Addition...

So Santa Claus has come to town and Christmas week has begun and our kiddo's are getting spoiled rotten. Today "Abuello Marcos" showed up with a boxer puppy. He is sooooooooooooo cute!!! We're trying to come up with names right now...anyone got any good ideas??

By the way we needed a new dog cause little Miss Puddles got hit in the road a few weeks ago and she has passed on to doggy heaven!! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Silent servants... I am so touched by them right now...perhaps you are familiar with the type I'm talking about.

The ones who put $200 dollars into your checking account without you knowing it and expect no fanfare or hype and honestly are somewhat uncomfortable with a thank you. That never was their motivation.

The ones who walk up to you a few days after you have given a presentation in which you mentioned your friend who begs in the middle of the street and who has one leg amputated at the knee, and therefore permanently uses crutches...who watched intently enough with a servants eyes to know that he needed a new pair and so gave me a pair to give to him.

The ones who at 16 or 17 years old come up with an idea to help raise money for what you're doing, totally unbeknownst to you, and walk up and hand you an envelope with almost $400 in it because they've had a baleada dinner at their church and want you to use the money. (Just so happens it was the perfect amount to be able to pay off a lawyer bill to complete my residency to allow me to stay in the country to help these kids and came at a PERFECT time after I had been praying ok God please come up with this somewhere, please. He chooses the most perfect servants at the most perfect times.)

Or the sweet lady who read on my blog that I had given a little boy my jacket and so showed up with a new one in a gift bag for me when she came to my presentation. The heart of a servant looking for ways to give.

The ones who when you have a sick little guy in the hospital and are sick yourself, come out every night and help you take care of the rest of these precious kiddo's, and NEVER once complain even when they're drinking tie dye or various other craziness.

The ones who spend hours and hours preparing a meal at their home for 10 kiddo's who have never seen a feast like this in their entire life...who takes each minute as it comes with broken Christmas tree bulbs and spilled you name it...and lavishes love through her quiet servanthood.

Or the person who while you're home shows up at nearly every presentation out of approximately 10, no matter how many times they may have heard everything you've said and will say again, and when encouraged to not come or to leave early responds with an "I'm right where I want to be." And then when you're away sits down every day to remind you you're covered in prayer and in love. Who faithfully promises to hold up weary arms some days and chants from those knees in prayers I am confident of..."you can do this, come on lift your head up, God is faithful!!"

The gentleman who showed up for one day to visit at church and it just so happened to be the day I was giving a 10 minute presentation and came up afterward and handed me a business card and asked me to get him information on where he could send money to help. A few days later he sent $1000 to support this ministry. I know little more about this precious man than his name. I am humbled however by his servanthood.

Or the gal that I work with in this ministry who gives and gives and gives more than most people will ever know until she's exhausted and then gets up the next day to do it again. Who in some moments believes she's not doing it so well right now in the middle of hectic and hard, but who gave up her life to be here doing it and loves on these children with giftedness to do so. She humbles me often.

I could go on and on and on right now, I really could, and this fails to do justice, I've only picked a snippet from a huge selection of stories. Let's just say that my feet are so spankin clean cause they've just been in the basin so many times by so many different people recently. Most often I am just standing with my mouth open thinking I do not deserve this. (Oh come on, you know the feeling, it's the same way you feel when your feet are in there.) My jaw is dropped and within just a few seconds I find myself on my knees. It's a place I've become a whole lot more familiar with over the past year, for various reasons, but one I'm becoming extremely familiar with is humbled. God and I meet there often because of silent servants who have shown up at the perfect time, probably totally without them knowing there was the need and yet were a testament in huge ways of God's faithfulness.

Not only that, but they have been great teachers in the beauty of servanthood when most of the rest of the world knows nothing about it. They have reminded me the value of invisibility when it comes to sacrifice and serving, and more than even the money or the gifts or the "stuff" I am grateful to you all for what you've taught my heart.

I would publicly thank you here, but that just wouldn't be the point now would it. That was never what you were after. And I will in no way taint the purity of how you've learned to give.

I am honored and humbled and this heart thanks all of you who took the time to get on your knees put a towel around your waist and serve in the ways of Your Master. You've touched me!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

I Just Wonder...

Sometimes I just wonder what might happen if we would fall so in love with Jesus and his causes, and want to live pursuing holiness so desperately, that we might lead people to Jesus (as opposed to leading them to church or our set of rules for how to do church), that we might live passionately and purposefully so that all who may be watching would see that we conduct our lives for Him, and we might provide them a Bible (and trust God's Word to be living and active and sharp enough to penetrate a heart and teach and correct and all of those things), and then we might give them the freedom to explore their own relationship with Christ without our own agenda's or prejudices interfering with the purity of the gospel.

I really do wonder how that might change a WHOLE lot of things!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Day in the Life...

Started to send this tonight by email just to a couple of my friends...but decided I laughed way too much writing it and then rereading and rereading it again not to share with the rest of you.

so Jen my sweet saint friend who has come out in the evenings to help me the past few nights since I've been sick, comes to knock on my door this evening with a tie dye kit in her hand a frazzled look on her face and a "is this toxic?" to which I replied, well heck I don't know and looked down to see a 4 year old Fernando with hot pink hands, hot pink lips...well you get the point. so I asked him...Fernando did you drink this?? NO. Fernando did you eat this?? NO. I said let me see your tongue, yep HOT PINK. I said Fernando your lips and your tongue are this color and pointed to the bottle did you drink this?? NO. Ohhhhhh really. I said Fernando your stomach is probably this color did you drink this. NO. Let's just say he's in training for failing every lie detector test ever given. So...I tried to call Gayle our doctor friend couldn't get through to her. Got ahold of Jen my friend the nurse who was taking her little girl to the potty in Wal Mart and I'm frantic wondering whether I have a child who has just drank poison and whether or not I should totally freak or not...and she's sounding a bit frantic herself as she's trying to talk to me and take her sweet little Abby to the bathroom...she told me she had no idea whether tie dye was toxic...why would she, I'm sure it's not every day your child drinks tie dye...we remind each other that we love each other and that I will call back sometime soon to talk but tonight ain't some mom's I know can't get a hold of a single one, including mine...finally the poison control center dawns on me, it's an 800 number I can't call those from here on my I call my good friend Donna and I say somewhat in a panic hey can you do me a huge favor and call the poison control center for me, could tell she was thinking about saying what, why, what happened all those normal reaction questions and stopped herself and said sure, i gave her the number told her i'd call her back in a few minutes. called her back she said how old is he, how much did he drink, what kind of tie dye was it (I HAVE NO IDEA it's just here in some tie dye bottles), she tells the lady, the lady asks for my phone number tells donna she'll call me...donna tells me to call her back if I haven't heard from her in 3 minutes or when I haven't heard from her in about 15 I call her back, Donna tells me that she has the country code wrong, she'll give it to her again and to call her back if I haven't heard from her and so I still haven't heard from her but in the meantime Gina Larios has talked to her parents who are doctors and she's called me back to tell me to give him lots of I head toward the showers with the girls. About the time they got their clothes off and stepped into the shower my phone rings and I don't have reception in the bathroom so I step back into their bedroom to talk to the poison control center lady who is extremely kind and katty and monica (the sisters) are waiting for me in the shower...i hear giggling never a good sign...hang up with the poison control center walk back into the bathroom and they have my conditioner all over the shower floor sliding in it everywhere and in the back corner of the shower is this other little pile that someone has deposited...known to all of us as "poo poo." To which I said, who poo poo'd in the shower? Monica looks up at me with this huge grin and says yo, which means ME. So they have not only conditioner all over them but Monica's diarrhea poo poo. ALL over them!! Have I mentioned that my stomach is weak in the first place but that I'm just getting over the yuck' we made it through, I cleaned them up and put them in bed and now that you have read about one hour of my evening, I hope your evenings seem so bountifully blessed to not have tie dyed tummies and poop conditioner showers. :):)

And even now...after this day in the life of Jen and her brood...I love them more than my life!! Crazy how that happens.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Close Enough...

"In a contagious world, we learn to keep our distance. If we get too close to those who are suffering we might get infected by their pain. It may not be convenient or comfortable. But only when you get close enough to catch their hurt will they be close enough to catch your love." - John Ortberg

Read this quote a couple years ago when I had started to read a book called Love Beyond Reason by John Ortberg. Didn't completely finish it and picked it back up this evening and was flipping through and in one of my highlighted sections I read this quote and remembered it and it moved me differently than it ever could have before.

I have now been infected by "their" pain. When the tears cease, I remember I would want it no other way.

I pray you're being infected by someone else's pain too. I believe when we start getting that close to a hurting world we are walking out the purposes which God intended us to fulfill.

Lord, help us dare to get that close...and help us to remember that Your Son touched the leper before He healed him. I am encouraged by the fact that He touched him while he was yet unclean. May we be willing to do the same.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Please Keep Praying...

Every once in a while we have a day or an evening where we are in some way reminded of the baggage that these precious little people carry around from what they've experienced in such short lives. Had one of those evenings tonight. Sweet Mario who I love and adore has witnessed and experienced things at Casitas that sometimes show up in his actions toward us or toward other kids and it makes me sooo sad because no 5 year old little boy should know the things he knows or be burdened by acting out in ways that he sometimes does.

Please continue to pray for all of us. For them and the wounds they carry, for us and the ways we attempt to be Jesus toward them, for patience and wisdom beyond our years and experience, for so many things. We couldn't do this without the strength of your bent knees!! We need ya, keep praying please!!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

And Today...

The Christmas spirit has definitely hit. Today we hung the Christmas stockings (which take half a wall :) by the imaginary chimney we wish we had...IT IS FREEZING HERE...ok I realize 50 is not freezing but most of us keep our houses at 68 or 70 in the States unless you are my mom or Mary Ann who prefer it just slightly above meat freezer temperature, but that's not the point...anyway 50 isn't so cold unless it's nightime and your whole house is 50 because they don't build in furnace ducts and put in furnaces here cause most of the time you don't need them at all, and most often feel like you are in a furnace...but ummmm well let's just say my beloved down comforter ain't cutting it alone anymore!!

And I divert...anyway, we hung the stockings today with their little names on them and I bet they have asked me 50 times today, now which one is mine?? So cute. Something about taking a kid who feels as though they have been forgotten and reminding them that they are cherished here that's making me do all sorts of crazy things I've never done before. Like cooking turkeys and hanging stockings on the wall!! :)

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Ok so we started out our day at Casitas for a visit with the mother of the boys, (she was the only one that showed up for visitation), had to visit there today because two of the girls had to see the doctor at IHNFA for follow up appointments. So far so good with everyone's reactions afterwards.

Then it was fun for all at this zoo that is on the same road as the Jesus statue that we never knew was there. I mean it's not like the Columbus zoo but it has alligators and tigers and deer...yes I have now seen my first deer in Honduras.

AND YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE WHAT ELSE, they have a mountain lion there caught right up by the mission house and now trapped to show off. Will post a picture later but right now I'm so busy having it framed that I don't want to ruin the effect for later for those of you I will be sure to order a framed copy for!! :) Posted by Picasa

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After the zoo I got to find my friend Miguel and pass off the crutches that a sweet sweet lady gave while I was home and he was a happy guy. His mismatched uneven crutches are a thing of the past now and he's got a brand new sturdy set. Thank you thank you for seeing a need and being the hands that reached out to touch my friend that I have grown to just love so much. You were Jesus today and I was grateful to witness the holy moment. You know I am gonna frame his picture to keep forever because I want to remember how sacred the friendship of a beggar has become in my world, and I want to NEVER forget that underneath it all we live on even ground.

We finished off the night with a movie and popcorn in the living room tonight and it was sweet to see the great big circle surrounding the popcorn bowl and smiles on those precious faces. Have I mentioned how much I love them lately??
And this is just a sweet picture of an 8 year old boys lovins cause they are few and far between and so when I get these moments I stock them away and treasure them bunches. It was a Yovani cuddle day and I loved that!!

Ok off to bed, thanks for your prayers, your love and support. Together we're touching the lives of some kiddo's in ways beyond imagination. Just because God is beyond kind!! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 23, 2006

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And after lunch it was time to decorate the tree. I called my mom today to apologize for making fun of her all those years about getting so excited about Christmas. I didn't know that all it took to get ridiculously excited about Christmas was having kiddo's around. I turned into a crazy lady today as Yovani reminds me. Anyway...thanks to all of you who donated the Christmas tree and the ornaments, you made some little people sooooo happy today!!

It's been a great day. I look into these eyes sometimes and I am beyond touched at the simplicity of their joy and how much we often miss in the clutter. Pillowing my head tonight grateful for the gift of them and how much they are teaching this heart that had no idea how much could be learned from a 3 year much an 8 year old's joy over a Christmas tree could warm deep deep places you forgot existed in your pure and right and good it felt for a little girl's 4 year old arms to wrap around your neck at the end of the day and say thank you for the turkey and the Christmas tree.

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God our Father is indeed this...thank you Father for the honor of being just a part, getting to witness the beauty of this with these eyes and be touched so often by the healing power of love. You are beyond kind!! Posted by Picasa

Turkey Day...

Well woke up this morning at 7 ish to baste and bake my first turkey. I like it a whole lot better when mom does that whole business and I specialize in the eating it part, but hey, don't get that luxury this year and so the kids and employees are all excited that we're cooking a Thanksgiving feast today because they don't celebrate this day (obviously because it's an American holiday) and never with a $30 turkey so it's a party day for sure around this place!! Karen bought 50 potato's I think so she can have homemade mashed potatoes for a week. :)

I am going this morning to the city to take Miguel his new set of crutches, just seems the right day to do that and to buy him lunch. Some very sweet lady saw his picture in my presentation and noticed that his crutches were different lengths and falling apart and brought a new pair of crutches that she had at home and had used only one time and said, here take these to your friend. So I hauled them proudly all the way through the airport the other day knowing that when I got them here they would be such a blessing. So gonna go try to love on him this day a little.

Will post some pictures from the day in a little while after the feast!! Happy Thanksgiving to all. We miss you today!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Back at the Home...

Well about 2 weeks at home in the States and 10 presentations later my fundraising marathon for those 14 days has now passed and I am back hugging little kid necks. Right where I want to be at this point in my life. Walked in today and saw these precious little ones all sitting around the table and thought yep God this is good!!!

Had a GREAT 2 weeks of sharing with so many precious folks about this project and God showed up in mighty ways. We are still in need of partnerships but many gracious folks signed on or helped us with a one time donation and became a part of making a difference to these kiddo's that God has blessed us with. We could not do this without you and I will attempt to say thank you in more detail in a day or two when I've rested this brain. Going on an hour of sleep and so anything I say at this point, may not be so well worded. :):)

In every presentation I did, I showed this video and many people asked if they could have a copy of it, so I'm going to give it a shot at posting it on here and allowing it to stream and then you can save it in your media player library to view whenever you wish.

Take care and continue to be blessed as you are a blessing!!

Kiddo's" video

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Well my fundraising trip is coming to a close and God has been good. Imagine that. ;) We are still in need of support for the kiddo's but some very gracious people helped so much while I have been here the past couple weeks, talking about these sweet kiddo's. I miss them and I am excited to get back and hug their little necks.

Gotta be honest though, I woke up this morning with butterflies in my stomach. Those same butterflies I used to get before every single basketball game. That fluttering stomach feeling. It's not that I don't know I am where I am supposed to be for this time in my life. I believe that with every ounce of my being. It's just that in being there I can't be here with people I love soooo much. I keep waiting for that part to be easier and it never really seems to. It is still the most difficult thing to give up. Joy and sorrow existing in the exact same moment again!

I cherish so much my time with friends and family while I'm here and I always leave feeling like there was just too little and feeling like I wish Honduras and here were so much closer. Being far away has done some neat things for my relationship with God and grown a new sort of dependence that I didn't know before this. I appreciate that so much! I just miss them!!! I always miss them!!

Please pray for this heart as I go back to do what God has purposed for my life right now. I DO want to take my place in the times to which I have been entrusted in this world. I am grateful to have been given this privilege truly. It will be difficult to be away for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year though and I covet your prayers. Gonna get to spend Christmas with some kiddo's who have never known what that means really, and that's a gift. I sure am gonna miss those my heart calls family though too!!

Thanks for walking with me through this. I appreciate you all so very much!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Through US????

So I've been doing presentations like a mad woman over the past week or so but it has allowed God and I some really neat time as I have tuned in a little more closely I'm sure and have asked Him what it is that He really would like for me to share about what He has graciously taught me over the past year. Tough to try to put this years lessons into a 30 minute presentation for sure, but I continue to ask for His help to speak through me, to help me be bold and courageous and not say the popular fluffy stuff, but things that will challenge us to be different and do better at some things we have perhaps turned our heads to.

In studying and preparing for all of this, this verse keeps coming up..."For we are Christ's ambassadors, as though He were making His appeal through us." Through us???? Now I've read that verse no less than a hundred times I feel sure, but it hit different this time. Perhaps because I know Christ differently, perhaps because I understand His appeal is all about love now, just understand it from a different heart. As I look at a hurting world and I realize the invitation God has given me to be His Son's hands and feet, to appeal to hurting broken people to run to His arms of love, I find myself once again humbled. I get the privilege the honor of walking through this world and attempting to make an appeal for the one who wowed and wooed this heart. HUGE isn't it??!!!

Don't you ever doubt the impact you are able to have on a life. I remember well the people who made Christ's appeal to me through the way they conducted their lives. Hadn't thought of it that way before, but that's exactly what it was. An appeal to run to Christ because I wanted the relationship they possessed with Him.

Keep loving Him with reckless abandon, a hurting world is watching!! Blessings.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Prayers Please...

Headed home tomorrow morning again for 2 weeks, with a schedule full of presentations and reports to give. Would so appreciate your prayers that we are able to raise enough funds to continue to provide for these sweet children for the next year without wondering where next month's money is going to come from. If that is God's will for us to trust Him then so be it, but I'd sure prefer to trust Him to just take care of it a little further ahead of time. Don't doubt He'll come through, I really don't, I've seen Him show up way too many times for that.

Above any of the financial things, I covet your prayers that I might be a voice for those who don't get one. That I might do some sort of justice, as flawed as it may be, to mothers who stand beside the cribs of babies who are dying because they can't come up with the $100 needed to get the medicine their sweet one needs. That little boys like Jefferson and Delmer might be ever present in my mind, that I might speak on their behalf, that I might speak of their life, even though it will always be from the outside looking in. That I might remember every single good morning snuggle, goodnight hug, kiss, and prayer, that I will speak of healing because I've seen it first hand in these ones that live here that God has allowed me to love and be loved by. I just covet your prayers, that as much as I felt called to be here, I now feel just as called, perhaps more so to share what I've seen, in the hopes that it might change us, all of us, including me, perhaps most of all me! That we'll no longer turn our heads to the injustices of the world but that something within us will rise up and say, if we as God's people don't help, who will?

Oh Father, please be near, and speak through this servant of Yours. My words will always be flawed, so please let Your Spirit hover over this heart before I ever utter a word that I will come before You first and beg to offer only what You would want spoken. God You are unbelievably good and You do not fail me or forsake me and so I rest there knowing You will go before me to prepare hearts, walk beside me as I do my best to share and represent You well, and You will linger behind me to continue to mold and change hearts long after my few words have faded as a distant memory. You are so kind. Thank YOU!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Selfless Giving...

So speaking of learning to attempt to give more selflessly, I've learned a thing or two about that from these sweet little guys in my world.

Yesterday I had to run to town to get a few things and so one of the kids wanted to come and then all of the kids minus the 3 itty bitty ones wanted to come so we set out with a full van to go to the edge of town to run a couple errands. While I ran in to get money and go to the pharmacy the kids, except for Yovani and Cristian (one of our employees sons) stayed in the van with Katrina and Alorra. Most times when we go to the city we eat lunch somewhere and let them play on the playground or we go get ice cream or whatever, but some of that has changed now with 10 kids cause it's way harder on our pocketbook. :) So thought ok what can I get for them as a treat, so we were walking through this little grocery store and I said ok guys let's see what we can find for all the kids. At which time Yovani reaches in his pocket and pulls out 1 lemp which is a nickel in our terms hands it to me and says here use this to help buy it. Awwwwwwwwwww!!!!!! I tried to give it back to him and tell him to save it but he would have nothing of it. Selfless giving from a little guy who gave me the only lemp he had to his name to buy treats for all the kids. Thank You Lord for his heart!

Then on the last visit that we had with the mother of the boys we met them at Wendy's instead of at Casitas cause it does horrible things to Mario to have to go there, and so we have found another meeting spot. They have an older brother who is 10 also, his name is Johnnie and they are as excited to see him as they are anyone else when we go visit. So when I was home the last time my mom had bought each of the boys an outfit and a bag of gummy bears. They loved them, one of the boys ate all of theirs the first night. Most of them were gone within two days. I thought they all had disappeared. Little did I know that one of the boys had saved their whole bag to give to their brother, because when we walked into Wendy's he was holding the bag in his hand with a huge smile on his face. His special treat, saved to bless someone else.

Yep, certainly learn as much as I teach here. Probably more. Father continue to grow within them hearts that look for ways to selflessly give. You are doing good things in them and I praise You for all that You've done and all that we'll watch You do in the days and years to come.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

His Name Is Jefferson...

Didn't have my camera with me tonight, so let me see if I can paint you some sort of picture through my words of what knocked me to my knees this night.

Karen and I had run to town to get groceries, which by the way is a WHOLE new experience in and of itself attempting to buy groceries for 10 growing kiddo's for a month. GOODNESS!!! I think the people at PriceSmart thought really are you serious as we pulled the third cart through. So we did groceries tonight in a BIGGGGGGGGG way!! :)

Then we're heading back through the city on our way home and stopped at a traffic light and it's probably 8:30 or so by this time. Dark outside and rainy and cold tonight. Up to my window comes this 10 year old little boy who looks pretty disheveled and more than a little high from the all too familiar coke bottle filled with glue that they sniff to numb the pain of hunger. From whatever gas station he'd stolen it from, he had the treasure of a windshield washer, and on my side window because he couldn't reach my front one, with a totally dry washer and in no sort of pattern he starts moving it across the window hoping that by his act of service I will feel compelled to pay him. Then he peers his sweet little eyes into the van trying to see who is in there. I roll my window down, cause God and I had a moment the other day, where I feel like I heard in a very loud voice, "we're done with turning our heads young lady, you do anything but turn your head. We've got enough turning our head in the world and you will not add to the crisis of that. So you look at them, you really look at them, at least give them the courtesy of that." Been a different RAW heart inside this girl since then. Anyway, I roll my window down expecting to give him 10 limps perhaps to make myself feel better, perhaps to ease my conscience, perhaps well perhaps just because my heart hurt for him. In the stretching of my hand to give him the ten lemps which is about 50 cents in American money, I looked into his eyes and heard his teeth chattering. Looked down at his feet and standing there in the middle of the wet road he had no shoes on, a tattered t shirt, a pair of pants that had holes in them, and he was cold. Really cold. Wet and cold. In a desperate look and a sad voice he said, do you have any clothes in there. We didn't, not his size, not the right color, not any of that.

In one of those moments though that you know isn't you, God said Jen take off your jacket. So tonight some 10 year old little boy is walking around a street in Honduras with a white girls jacket that is 4 sizes too big, that tomorrow will be black with dirt, but for tonight as I took it off and wrapped it around his shoulders, and his face lit up with an ear to ear smile, I was reminded of how little of me I really willingly give away. 10 limps was easy, my $20 jacket was pretty easy in reality. Made all the difference in the world to a cold little boy in a street tonight though. I'll be very honest with you and tell you I don't always show up for those moments and walk them out well. So this isn't about Jen's good deed for the day. It's way more than that.

It's about a little boy who was walking the streets while your children were tucked into warm beds tonight, who will wake up tomorrow with choices of which shoes to put on their feet, and more choices of outfits than we dare to count. It's a plea for prayer for the Jefferson's of the world who scrape windows in the dark to try to get food. It's a reminder of what goes on in other parts of the world, because I didn't know until I got here...and if I don't share what God teaches me while I am here, I am the very worst kind of selfish!

Oh Father, sometimes I give so little. I hoard so much. I don't look, I can't see, I forget or I'm just too caught up with me to notice. Then in those rare moments of life you take an ordinary day and you place desperation right in front of my face and out of necessity I remember everything I have is yours and you didn't give me an option, you told me to share it. Something in that moment reminds me that this is what you made us for. To love You and love others out of that and even in the ache of moments that scream NEED and spotlight my inadequacy to fix the injustices of the world, I am so thankful that You continue to teach me and grow me. Please Father release this grasp on anything that doesn't honor or glorify You. Help me to use every single thing You've given me to help grow Your kingdom. I thank You tonight for Jefferson and his sweet little face and his place in Your world and His call to my heart to remember that I so desperately want to live with a kingdom heart. Keep him safe Father, and could You keep him warm tonight please. Send someone to rescue him so that he might not spend another night attempting to clean windows for enough money to eat.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Living and Loving...

Every once in a while I get the privilege, and it is that, to take one or two of the kiddo's at a time with me somewhere and just spend time with them without the whole brood of children we have with us most moments. Don't get me wrong the brood is it's own kind of fun, but there's something really precious about quality time with one or two of them individually.

Last night was one of those times. I had to run to town to get some money to pay our employees out of the ATM so I took Marvin and Cindy with me. We went to eat dinner first and it was one of the cutest things I'd seen in a while. Cindy is one of our new girls and so she'd never been to a restaurant before so she walked in her eyes lit up and she had no idea how to behave...she was yelling because she was so excited and I know the proper thing was probably to get her actions all in order but I couldn't stop smiling. Think that's how we're gonna be when we get to Heaven. Probably won't have a clue how we're supposed to act but I think God's just gonna grin from ear to ear thinking yep all this for you cause I love ya. we sit down and Marvin (Mr. experienced one at all of this by now he thinks) shows Cindy that you're supposed to put your napkin on your lap and tells her to tell the waiter please and thank you and he's leading her through the whole thing. Sweet. All through the meal it was hilarious though, the waiter brought out the bread and she yells "pan, que rico." Which means bread, GREAT!!! basically. Then he brings her meal which was chicken tenders and papas fritas and she yells pollo (now I should mention that I did try to attempt to tell her not to yell in the restaurant, she just couldn't contain her excitement). Then the waiter, who is our regular waiter when we're in there, and is very kind, brought them a treat of ice cream and oh dear the child was in Heaven. But the cutest thing was when he brought my check for me to pay and he laid the mints on the table, which we all know is a typical thing, she got right up out of her seat and threw her arms around the waiter's waist and said "oh thank you for the candy." He had no idea what to do and we just smiled at each other and delighted in the moment of a child's innocence and joy.

Then on the way home, we sang at the top of our lungs, some songs in English, some in Spanish and then it started raining and Marvin wanted to roll his window down. Another one of those times I know I was probably supposed to say Heavens no children, it's cold out there you may not put your head out the window and catch the raindrops in your mouth. I just couldn't. I know I know. It's just that it was one of those nights that just seemed like you were supposed to soak up the joy in the moment and I figured if God sent the rain and they were getting so many giggles out of trying to catch the raindrops on their tongue, they were teaching me a thing or two about making the most of every moment. Just a note, neither of them are coughing or sneezing today so I think we're safe. :)

We giggled all the way home. All of us. Even me. I was in my seat trying so hard to keep my eyes wide enough open to drive because they were cracking me up, all three of us in the front seat, and at times clearing the tears from them to see the road. Have you ever heard children who have seen and been exposed to horrendous things giggling? I promise you it's one of the sweetest sounds you'll ever hear. I sometimes just stand back and watch them play and laugh and I cannot get the knot out of my throat. It touches me to my toenails and I think yes Jesus this is what kids are supposed to get to do. Catch raindrops on their tongue and make mudpies and slide down the sliding board and ride bikes and get loved on. Yes Jesus, yes!! Thank You.

Every day I'm amazed at how much healing takes place in such a short amount of time. The kiddo's that got here a week ago have changed already so much in a week. They walk up to us already and pucker up their little lips wanting us to kiss them. Today I got so many arms thrown around my legs wanting hugs that I couldn't begin to count them. There's a reason that God says the greatest of these is love, I think. Love heals things. All kinds of things.

Keep living and loving the life out of every moment!! Blessings.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Well life never fails to be exciting and God never fails to be God...don't you LOVE that!! I sure do. There have been times in my life when I didn't know for sure who He was or if He was or what He was...but we've trekked a few miles together now, some of them more difficult than others, some of them totally my fault, some of them the results of others decisions, and this I know beyond a shadow of a God never fails to be faithful to this heart!! I have learned when I start to center my life around that, when I really latch hold and choose to trust it because He said so, because the miles walked have proven it, because it makes everything else make more sense in some way, that this life looks more like one I want to be living.

As many of you I'm sure have heard by now we had to take Francisco to the hospital late on Saturday night. It was our first hospital experience here and to be totally honest it was the first hospital experience I've had with a momma's heart and it was ALL different this time. As I watched him struggling to get air in his little lungs, all that kept running through my mind was (as crazy as this is) I'm telling you what if someone told me to jump from a very tall building so this child could keep breathing I would have to ask how do I get to the top. Some super reflective moments in some of those times when you're scared and life is just kinda right there in front of your face, and I thought to myself man 4 months with this sweet little guy doesn't seem like very long to love him so much I'm ready to plummet from tall things if that's what it took to save him, but as honest as I know how to say it, God has put a love in there like that. It's just grown into that, every time I tuck him in at night, or we play the I love you more game, or every time he puckers up those little lips and blows a kiss to me across the room. His precious little heart has just gotten nestled into mine.

Which (yep you guessed it) made me start thinking and made this whole process of my adoption into God's heart seem more feasible. I mean if we're honest, Francisco never did anything to deserve coming to this home, other than existing. My love for him has happened and my adoption of him into my heart like he is my son came about because I chose to, wanted to, and knew he needed me to. Is it only about him, oh Heavens no, my face lights up with the biggest smile you've ever seen when he comes to sit on my lap and just love on me. I am blessed beyond words when I watch him use his manners or say his prayers or be respectful and know it's something we've taught him that stuck somewhere. It is a blessing to my heart beyond measure to watch him grow and learn and become. So I had to ask myself today...Jen if you could feel a love like that so incredibly strong and you are imperfect, your love is flawed even on your best day, why do you have such a hard time understanding that God's love for you blows that away. That whole leaping from tall buildings thing...He did that...only it was from a tall beam of wood stretched across another and it was all every bit of it out of a love that came about though I did nothing to deserve it, because He just wanted to, chose to, and knew I so desperately needed him to. This having kiddo's thing around reveals God in neat ways alot I'm learning.

Francisco is doing better. He has asthma and pneumonia in one lung and a urinary infection, so he could certainly use your prayers. He was a pretty sick little guy when he went in on Saturday but he has had several lung treatments through a nebulizer and lots of medicine through an IV so we were able to bring him home tonight and administer the meds here now. So please pray he feels better very soon.

Also this weekend marks a year since coming to Honduras to live. Every once in a while Karen and I will look at each other in difficult times and say..."we're growing, yep growing something in there is growing or this would not be happening." It's so true though as I think back though. I have learned so much in a years time and not just about Honduras or about poverty or about beautiful kiddo's that need loved on, although I have learned a lot about those things. I just feel like I've learned so much about God and who He is and more specifically who He is for me. On the nights when I have felt so far away from home He has been my comforter. On days when I have been so scared and felt so inadequate and totally not fit for the task He has been my refuge. At times when I didn't have words but the feelings inside were so strong that I couldn't just fall asleep I had to talk to someone, He has been my friend. When I didn't understand and I had a thousand questions and I needed a lap to crawl into He has been my Father. Being here, on this journey has allowed God to reveal Himself in new ways to this heart. It's been a year full of woohoo's as we watched God work, mixed with a whole bunch of hard on the heart things to witness. A year full of questions mixed with some sure answers that you hadn't found till you searched it out within your heart. It's been a year of challenge and a year of growth. It has been a year that I am so grateful to have spent here learning the things God needed me to learn. He is so faithful to this heart!!

He's faithful to yours too by the way! ;) Much love...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Playtime Today

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Wonder of All Wonders...

We've gotten to get out the baby dolls and pink outfits today!!! HOW FUN IS THAT??!!!

Everyone is doing soooo well really!!! The boys are just continuing to be a big help and this has been GOOD for Mario. He hasn't ever really fit in with his brothers and this is giving him a sense of purpose I think.

Anyway, there's a recent update!! The Casa bunch that now fills up the little round table is doing great!! Thank you abundantly for your prayers!!

Keep praying the lice away please!! All joking aside. Poor Monica's hair was infested with them and we're having a hard time completely getting rid of them so hey if God could send lice to Egypt I suppose he can take it away from Honduras! :)

A Few More

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Some Pictures From the Day...

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And Then There Were TEN...

Well we pulled into Casitas Kennedy about 2 pm today and met with the lady we have started working with there that we now believe is a saint...Marta Elisia is her name and she is the social worker who is handling our cases now. She is kind and doesn't push and we are appreciating that so much!!!

They told us to sit down and they'd bring the kids in in just a few minutes and so we sat and waited and one by one they started to file through the door. Fernando and Cindy came first. Fernando had two little backpacks with a few clothes in them and the rest of them came with the clothes they had on their backs. NOTHING else!! Then the rest followed shortly behind. By the time we were ready to leave the place they had the biggest grins on their faces and we were all playing and having a great time.

We got back to Casa about 5 and the boys all came running, sprinting might be a better word to meet the new kiddo's that would now be living with them. I totally underestimated our boys...I really did. They have been awesome today. Yovani has helped with everything. He helped me unload every grocery and put it away. He helped dry the dishes after supper. Mario, as soon as Fernando got out of the car he took him by the hand and led him over to the playground and showed him how to use the two person swing. Antonio and Katie have been walking around hugging all night. Marvin has just been walking around grinning trying to decide who he wants to play with and changing his mind often. Francisco is his usual joyful self and just is laughing and hugging on and gave everyone a kiss today as they got out of the van. Melt my heart!! Anyway, for a first day it went well what's the wording...beyond anything we could ask or imagine as far as the boys taking them in.

Logistically things didn't necessarily go that smooth but hey can't have everything huh...we knew that the girls had lice because when we were there the other day I could see it in their hair. What we didn't know was that they had it HORRIBLE. As standard procedure when we take the kids in we give them a lice treatment and shower when they first come in regardless and check them for scabies. So we did that and they were all clean and smelled good, which is a very welcome change from what they smell like when they first come, and we sat down to brush the girls hair out and when I started brushing Monica's hair, bugs fell all over her shoulders, I mean tons of them!!! So we cut her hair VERY short tonight...thanks to Deborah the newfound beautician.

So please pray for that...I HATE bugs, especially ones that would like to make a home in my hair or on my body!!! OOOOHHHH!!!!

Some of you undoubtedly are thinking oh Jen we didn't need to know all of that, and I guess I would just say to that I disagree. I think it is important that you understand what these kiddo's are being brought out of with your help. Unfortunately bugs crawling in their head so bad that they have scabs because they've scratched their heads raw is minor, but it gives you something to relate to. Look at the closest 5 year old to you and ask yourself if they have ever known what it means to live with bugs crawling all over them in urine soaked clothing and put it into perspective with something you can relate to. Sometimes we dismiss it so easily with a "that's just the way they live over there" and I so pray for our mindset to change on that. Cause "there" could just have easily been where we come from. They certainly didn't choose this.

So they're all showered and tucked into their little beds for the night and I pray sleeping so soundly under those comforters my sweet friend bought. We said our prayers tonight and that was just fun to watch new little heads bow and to think about all the God moments we'll get over the next few months and years that we have with them. To know that they will hear God's name spoken often does something for my heart.

Have walked around kinda weepy today...these bringing kiddo's home days tend to do that to me, but today I cannot get out of my head the fact that this has so many spiritual parallels. I have looked up to the sky probably 10 times today and thought God this is the best visual picture I've had in a while. Cause someday this girl is gonna be taken home. I mean really home. I will no longer feel like an orphan in this world waiting for where I really belong. I'll go home and my Father will wash the stink of this world off. I'll have a Jesus shower, so to speak, and I'll get Jesus chosen clothes to put on. Yep tears yet again. I'll get a brand spankin new robe. I will be clean, I will smell good, and I will be in a place where there is nothing but love and goodness present. I look at these sweet little faces and I can't help but see my face in them in some ways. Just waiting for "home."

Thank You Father that one of these days every single one of us will get to walk through Your door and we'll come in with nothing and you will clean us up and wash us off and you'll give us brand new clothes...because Your Son made all of that possible. We love you and we are humbled by the ways You choose to reveal Yourself to us. Thank You for showing up in some little faces today that have shown me You in precious ways.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Alrighty then trying this again today and we'll see what happens...

Well from the middle of September until the middle of October I got to spend some time at home which was WONDERFUL!!! The first week I was there, I spent at Abilene Christian University's lectureships and that was amazing. I posted about that earlier. Then the next week was busy spent helping with a conference that is a collaboration of ladies of faith from many different fellowships called Women of Purpose, which is one of my favorite things to be a part of all year. It has been such a source of healing across what would have normally been hard drawn lines and I love the unity it is helping to accomplish in Christ. So that was great and then I spent a day at the zoo with my family and just got to spend time with people I love a bunch. It was wonderful!!

When I got back all my little men were waiting in a line at the airport with big grins on their faces and that was more than precious. Missed them for sure!! Spent the first two days doing nothing but hugging and kissing on them. I feel sure they were thinking oh for Heavens sake woman stop!! They however obliged with their sweet little smiles and tender little hearts. They are doing soooooooooooo well!!! Marvin and Yovani wanted to show me that they now knew their alphabet. Mario can write his name so well. Francisco is coloring shapes inside the lines and thinks he's hot stuff. Antonio is starting to say words and his little personality is starting to show up in full force. It's awesome to watch them growing and changing and when we sit and talk about how Yovani's anger just doesn't seem present anymore. Marvin is more open to being loved on than he was at first. When we take a look back at the past 4 months or so and how far they've come it's awesome to marvel at the power of God and His goodness. They are certainly testimony to that.

On that note, because they are doing soooo well, we felt as though it was time to take in some more kiddo's who desperately need a place to go. They are living in Casitas, a place we have grown to detest for more reasons than you can count, because it is filled with evil as you've seen me write before. It becomes more clear all the time how much that place needs prayed over. Please please please keep it in your prayers.

So tomorrow we'll be taking in 5 little girls and 1 more little boy. Their pictures are posted below and I'm sure you've seen them on Karen's blog. The first little girl that is with Karen is Cindy and she is 5 years old. The next little girl that is pictured with one of our very good friends, Gina, is Diana and she is 5 as well. We weren't planning on taking this little one but we walked in and it was as if God said to Karen and Gina and I, yep gotta take her and we looked at the lady and said, we'll take 6. Look at her smile!! The little gal that is in the hands of the lady who looks mean as a snake (by the way she is) is Marjorie and she's 2. The little gal in my arms is Katie and she is precious for sure! Then the little gal in the middle of the picture below that is Monica who is 5. And the little guy walking with the lady is Fernando who is 4. He is cute as they come!! One more rotten little grin to put with our mix of ornery boys!! They'll love it!!

Ok so here's how they all fit together. Cindy and Marjorie are sisters. Monica, Katie, and Fernando are brother and sisters. Diana was there by herself.

The great news is that we get to take them but in an effort for me to paint an accurate picture and to not in any way attempt to keep hidden the parts of this that are still horrible and desperately need your prayers allow me to tell you how "choosing" children happens. We walked into the room where a social worker and another employee sit with manila folders full of childrens files and there are scads of them. They bring several children in who live in the casita next to the office and tell us they are sisters who have been horribly abused by their father and need a place to go that will show them love. They are dressed in mens long john shirts that are cut just above the wrist and just above the knee that are supposed to serve as "nightgowns" I guess but it's 2 pm in the afternoon. They are filthy and I'm sure haven't been washed in many many days. They stand in front of you and look and smile and know exactly what's going on and have faces that ask with no words will you take me home today? They leave and you look at more files because they're 10 and 12 and we are trying to stay within certain age limits but everything in you feels horrible that yet again they are not chosen. We walk to the baby cottage and play with those kiddo's and that's more bearable because for the most part they're still pretty clueless about what's going on. So you play and love on them and think, I know you have no idea what's about to happen, but in a few days we're going to come and take you home and we're gonna wash that lice out of your hair and we're going to give you new clothes and life is going to be different. We're gonna teach you about Jesus and you're gonna have new hope for living. ahhhh now those are sweet moments. Then we walk into the little girls cottage where all pairs of eyes are on you and it feels as if the social worker just pulled out her megaphone and one name is called, "CINDY" and every other face in the room falls. Now Cindy's got a smile from ear to ear and that is beautiful, it's just that I can't forget the look on the other 10 girls faces whose name wasn't Cindy. It truly is one of the most torn feelings I've known. Gratitude beyond words that you will be able to impact and touch the lives of some precious chilldren and yet sorrow because you can't logistically take them all. So someone always remains unchosen and regardless of how bad you don't want to be or how much you care you are still a part of that.

I used to think that if I turned my face from the television, or I turned off the news when the horror stories came on about the injustices of the world, or I kept myself in my self-preserving bubble, if I could remove myself from the pain of their world and pretend it wasn't there that it was better. At least for me. I realize now because I see it every single day, that I may turn my head, and keep myself from feeling their pain but it will never ever mean that the injustices aren't real or don't exist, it will just mean that in my own selfishness, I have successfully removed myself from the majority of God's world.

I heard a quote the other day from a guy named Gary Haugan, who is affiliated with International Justice Mission (which I would highly recommend you check out) and he was speaking in reference to the genocide in Rwanda in the 90's where literally hundreds of thousands of people were killed, and they went in to help investigate and change the situation there and he said something to the effect of, "In moments of disaster or crisis, I no longer find myself asking where is God? Most often now I find myself on my knees asking where are God's people?" I will not quickly forget those words or my responsibility in them.

Am reading alot and thinking I guess right now at this juncture in my journey about our part to play in the injustice of the world. My brother Joe recommended some books to me a year or so ago and I just now got a chance to read them by Brian McClaren. It's a trilogy and the first one is called A New Kind of Christian and they have stretched my head and my heart so much about what our role really is on this planet. Is it just to get to Heaven, to be saved from damnation cause if so it leaves us floundering pretty much for the rest of life. Or is it bigger, way more complex than that, and a whole lot more self-sacrificing than we would care to believe. Is it about saving people from all sorts of things and situations and allowing ourselves to become more like Jesus every single day. They're a great read, I would highly recommend them. You may not agree with everything in them, but they will make you think and rethink much of what you have taken for granted.

Alright well I've posted a major long one here...guess that's the price you pay for not blogging for a month. Thank you all so much for your love and support. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as more precious little souls come in tomorrow to call this place home. Pray for the little guys too that have been here and gotten pretty used to our time and attention, it will be difficult for a little bit for all of us to adjust to having to share.

Much love to all!! Continue to be blessed as you are a blessing!!

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Ready Or Not...Here They Come...

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