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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Monday, October 23, 2006


So we haven't had internet for a couple days and I was in the States for about a month and so tonight I sat down for a couple hours and typed out this update of all that was going on in my world and put pictures in there and it was really nice and hit the publish button and it vanished into well I have NO idea where. So............ needless to say I'll not be spending another 2 hours tonight typing another one, but I PROMISE I'll try again tomorrow. Say prayers or else some piece of equipment in this office may perhaps go flying!!!!!!!!!!!!

Much love to all!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Do you ever just get ants in your pants to be part of a revolution that reframes and changes so much of the way we do religion in this country? Don't have words to explain all of that at the moment, just know that I feel it in there somewhere. Just wanna be part of a difference I guess. Sometimes so much so that it really does ache.