Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our hearts are breaking

We just learned that a dear friend, deacon over youth at West Metro,  and amazing Christian brother fell ill and left this world suddenly and unexpectedly last night.  I can't even describe to you the pain we are experiencing here this morning and the shock.  I can not begin to imagine what it is like for his precious wife and children.  

James baptizing their oldest son Michael
What an amazing Christian father, husband and friend
We're blessed to have been touched by him and will treasure our memories of this great man.  
We look forward to seeing him again!  

Please all of you reading, if you will be in fervent prayer for the Olson family.  

Saying Goodbye

By now, many of you have heard from loved ones and know that we are in San Pedro Sula. just FYI if you haven't heard from your loved one...don't take great's those that can get internet access on their phones that were able last night to email and such.  And not even all of them.  
Anyway we made it to San Pedro Sula with no problems.  We're about to go eat b'fast in the hotel and then head for a quick stop at a market a block away.  Then it's off to the airport to begin our journey's home!!   Thank you for all of your prayers and love while we've all been away!!

Irlinda (she teaches in the school) came the night before we left to paint toenails.
She was there til midnight painting away.  

Jennifer getting some sweet love

One class after receiving their futbol socks (boys) and dresses (girls)

eating at a family's home.  Precious precious family!!

We're really proud of this wall!!!!

Fun together in the hotel

Monday, July 5, 2010

Charlton cleaning the "Great Wall"  

Antonio...with the bees nest that was cleaned off the wall in the prep work.  

Beach Clean up

Melissa working at the school

Kevin leading singing at the Limonal congregation

MaryKyle playing the flour game at the youth devotional

I just kept meaning to upload a better picture of our iguana friend
so thought I'd go on and do it!!

Currently we have people at the hotel preparing for a festival that Bruce and Julie are heading up for the school children today.  We also have a group of volunteers down at the wall giving it a 2nd coat and working on the columns .
We also have a small group finishing work at the Mision del Caribe congregation with Santiago.  
Also some at the school finishing the paintings for the sponsors, and another small group doing their best to finish the ceiling, wiring and fans at the school.  
Our last day will be filled to the brim!  
After lunch we go out with other Christians to distribute the clothes to families that live on the mountain.

And then....a special treat for the ladies tonight.....
one of the teachers from the school is coming up to the hotel and giving pedicures, no doubt while the guys play in the pool!!  
A fun ending to an amazing trip!!

We thank you again for sharing your loved ones with us.  Without them so much work could never have been accomplished.  So truly....THANK YOU!!!

Happy 4th!!

The stars and stripes were flying in Trujillo today to honor the US.
If you didn't know, Trujillo was the first capital of Honduras.  So the US had an embassy here at that time.  Of course, the capital is now in 'Teguc' and the embassy is not here, but on the old beautiful bldg that was once the embassy many years ago they flew an American flag today in honor of the 4th of July. So cool!!

And really...what's the 4th without ice cream?  It wasn't homemade (boo-hoo)  but we did enjoy it immensely!  A few of us did get homemade liquados (like a milk shake or closer perhaps to an orange julius).  Not sure, but I think mostly all who did got mango....YUMMO!!  One of my favorites.

We had a super end to our campaign this morning!!  Another HUGE crowd!  Ricky did an amazing job (not a bit of surprise there) speaking about Our Christian family, the Church (Dago's last night was on raising a Christian family).

We also went to families houses for dinner.  We mostly divided up into 2's or 3's.  I haven't heard a single person who didn't have an amazing time and just love it!!  It was fun listening to all the stories.

Candido and Wendy came to the hotel after dinner.  Candido was dressed to swim, but Wendy looked gorgeous, as always, and was fully clothed.
Long story short, she and Jennifer Mills (GA) ended up jumping into the pool together both fully clothed and joining all those in the pool for races and a game of Pollo Frito (think Marco Polo).  It was a super fun night!!

Hope you had a blessed 4th as well!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


So another good day was had by all.

A group of us:

Sara,  Jack G., Cole, Ricky, Raquel, Christian, Revonda, Beth V.,  Savanna, & Jessica P.  Headed to the Museum in town....we warned them all it would be an interesting experience and it did not disappoint.
We played with the monkeys out back and waded in the river fed by a natural stream to cool off afterward. We also stopped by the grave of William Walker (look him up...interesting Trujillo history.  Perhaps I should offer a prize to who finds out first who he was and why his death is significant to Trujillo and Honduras....hmmmmmm)
Anyway.....then we stopped by a local grocery store so I could get a few supplies for an afternoon activity.
Of course seeing things like that and just experiencing the culture here can be fun...the trip ended for some by a fully cultural experience....piling into a taxi.  Jack, Cole, Sara, Savanna, Jessica and Revonda all piledi into a little bitty cab and headed back up the mountain.

Another group:
Tom, Jack V, Bruce, Julie, Walter, Leigh and Annina went back down to the school to work some more on the ceiling, lights and fans.

And the rest either went hiking in the rain forest with 'Pablo' or stayed to rest at the hotel.

After lunch, a few girls (Jessica P, Savanna, Jennifer, Beth V, Raquel B., Annina and myself) headed out here to Little Hands where we were met by 3 women from the local church.  They taught the girls how to wash clothes by hand in a 'pila'  Think washboard and huge concrete holding tank for water attached.  I have a picture a few posts back I think of my kids from behind washing their hands in one).  They got about halfway done before the rain picked up and it was just about time to go.  To treat them for their efforts I made a mango cobbler (and since I'd promised Annina one!!).  We were joined with our cobbler by Brenda Young and her crew from Washington who had just arrived and were getting settled in.  They will be here a couple of weeks working with Little Hands Big Hearts.

We had a great campaign tonight!!  I can't remember how many kids Aaron said they had in children's class tonight, I want to say 56, and that was with age limits so that it didn't include the youngest or the older kids.  Dago did a great job delivering a message on being a Christian parent in this world!

Tomorrow we will have our final campaign meeting.  'Pablo' will be taking the rental van out to pick people up early!  We will also be dividing up to eat dinner in church member's homes.

We thank you for your continued prayers and for your words of kindness!!

I pray you have a wonderful 4th of July!!!
And now what you all want.....I'm doing my best to get pictures uploaded and looking for different faces, but please please understand uploading pictures here is not at all like at home. It takes 5-10 min for each and every picture.  Last night I would click upload and then doze.....until finally I just slept too soundly to wake and click again.  I woke up this morning and that picture was still attempting to download several hours later.  ha ha ha ha!!  

Raquel (not me), Savanna, and Jessica P
working at the school.

Jeremy, Walter and Daddy (aka Jack) at the school

Laura, Kenzie, and Annina
(3 states represented in this picture!!!)
preparing the children's Bible lessons for the campaign

Left to Right
Barbara, a tiny bit of MaryKyle, Jennifer, Katee Jo, Sara, and Jessica G
doing some hard HOT work on "The Great Wall"

Bruce, Tom, Katee Jo, Jack, Cole, Jessica G, and Beth Ann enjoying some down time at the hotel
(again 3 states represented in this picture)

Katie C taking advantage of a little downtime and a cool breeze to update her journal

Tim cutting out an elephant trunk in preparation for children's Bible class.
Seen in the background:  Leigh, Aaron and Roxanna (the teacher her at Little Hands)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

pictureless update

okay I need desperately to get ready to go...or we'll be late to pick everyone up to go for our field trips today.  So when they get home and talk about how we were late in the mornings be sure to explain it was all for you could see or hear about their work here!!  :-)

Since I got some pictures to upload I wanted to just give an update of our efforts here since lack of time...and internet connectivity have kept me from posting the last few days.

We are all doing FANTASTIC! 
Truly.  So much so, that we had scheduled a team that had worked hard the day before to have some down time and rest time at the hotel yesterday morning, and first thing that morning our phone rang here at our house and it was someone saying “just a heads up no one that is schedule for rest time wants to, they want to work!!”   
I mean really…wow!!  What an amazing group of people we are blessed to be serving alongside! 

So we reworked the schedule and happily factored those folks back into work projects!! 

Several have VOLUNTEERED to get up with Walter and Daddy & be at the school this morning by 6am to work some more on the wiring and ceiling they are working hard to complete.  Let me tell you, it was amazing with all the new fans Walter (AL) and Aaron (MS), Daddy (GA) and team have installed and the eave vent/fans that we brought and have been started....just how cool that building in the school is now.   Wow!!!!!  Last night sitting in there even with standing room only at our campaign it was getting a little cold for me amazingly! 

Speaking of our campaign…..God is GREAT!  As I said, it was packed. 
We had taken our van out to an area called “Honduras Aguan” where the Mision del Caribe church is.  The minister out there, Santiago, planned to bring his truck as well.  It had looked like a storm was coming and rained just a little so they thought that would be PLENTY of car space to get everyone here as they thought some wouldn't because of the threat of rain.  But the church members out there invited neighbors and relatives just as they had talked about the importance of…..and 23 people loaded into our 15 passenger van and more than that were packed like sardines standing in the back and crammed inside the cab of Santiago’s truck.  10 people or more were not able to get here….sigh….so tonight we are arranging for another vehicle to drive out there and perhaps more trips 

We had a ladies class taught by Evelyn (The principal at the school) and translated by Maybelline (the director or Little Hands Big Hearts).  Then, a Men’s class taught by Ricky (minister at the West Metro church in Georgia) and a children’s class planned and taught by our North American and Honduran young people that are college age…ish..  It all went wonderfully.  The topic for last night was living as a Christian Woman/Man    God’s expectations are the same for Christians in North America and in Honduras so it applied to ALL of our lives!  It was a blessing to share in a class with my Christian sisters!!!
Tonight the men and women will be together and the lesson will be taught by Dago (one of the church leaders here), and then tomorrow for worship Ricky will be preaching. 
Please, if you will, keep these efforts in your prayers. 

This afternoon a group will join the Limonal congregation to do some evangelizing and also inviting to the meeting tonight.  Another group will head out here to Little Hands where ladies from the Buenos Aires congregation will be teaching our ladies/girls to wash clothes in a pila (I'll take pictures don't worry)  meaning by hand with a washboard.  We will be washing all the clothes we plan to donate that we've been wearing so that Monday we can get those distributed!  Then tonight after dinner it's night 2 of the campaign....another blessed day here in Honduras serving a loving Savior!!!  

Your families are blessing me each day….I thank you for sharing them with us and with our Honduran brother and sisters!!!

team building...merging from multiple teams from all over the US into ONE team working for the Lord!

Franklin (caretaker of the school) and Christian working hard

working hard to plan the Bible classes that take place during the campaign.

playing a fun/silly game at youth group Thurs night! Beth Ann being a GREAT always!!!

some girl chat time by the pool.....notice Savanna over to the left is braiding Revonda's hair.  So Revonda has limited head movement in this picture (thus so little of her head is showing!)

Need some help!

okay so it's come to my attention that the blog address was put in the Goodwood Church's bulletin incorrectly.  The Goodwood folks would love to have messages from home as well.
I have no contact info for anyone at Goodwood here at my house and will not have the modem with me at the hotel with the group today.
Is there anyone out there that can help me out and get a message to some folks at Goodwood that can pass the blog address along.....

Laura or Phil perhaps??  or if you are reading this and know someone that worships with that congregation....please help!!

These team members love your messages of encouragement...whether they know you or not.  They also love hearing messages from home (don't worry you can't leave too many and completely embarrass your kid or loved one...they are all appreciated).

Thank you so much!!!

a few pictures

I'm attempting to load some pictures, but wow is it challenging!!  I'll keep trying as I have time though so hopefully more of you can spot your loved ones!!  By the way, if you don't know, you should be able to click on the pictures and make them larger.  If you want to spot more gringos you'll especially have to in the first picture!!

This was before more came in tonight at our 'campaign'.  It was a great crowd!!!  
Can't wait to see tonight and tomorrow!!

Friends and brothers.  These two hit if off 3 years ago....and nothing has changed!
It's great to see them together again!

At 'the wall' We've joked about having t-shirts made up or to signify 
"I've been to the wall...and survived"
 Notice the angle at which everyone working on 'the wall' must stand while working.  Now imagine those stones wet with the soapy water you are using to scrub it with....this is the first crew that headed to the wall the first day.   The wall is now clean and pink!!  

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My heart is filled with Joy from the Lord

In addition to all the many directions on projects we went today, we also divided up and worshipped with 3 different congregations.  

My family worshipped with the congregation at Limonal. We were, as always, was asked to lead some songs in English as well.  'Pablo' and I happened to have their youth group song sheets with us which includes a lot of songs in English and Spanish.  So he and Kevin used that to lead songs so we could all sing in our own language, but together. It was beautiful.  Just before the sermon 'Pablo'  lead "I love you with the Love of the Lord"  and switched to Spanish for the 3 time through and the praise lifted up in that building gave us all chills I think.  It was amazing!!  

We had some share some wonderful experiences tonight at our time together as a team after dinner and worship.  
Barbara and Jennifer both talked and shared about their experiences out distributing food to the families served by Little Hands Big Hearts and how amazing of an experience that was for them.

Beth Ann spoke of how amazing it was to get to hold a precious little baby tonight at church and snuggle with her and just enjoy spending time with the people.  

It was great to hear the experiences so many have had all over Trujillo!!

So far no one is sick just so you know. We are all trucking along and doing great!!  

Well, all but our fearless amazing leader, Emilson....the Honduran administrator at the school.  He's not feeling well at all.  So please if you will be in prayer for him!!  

We thank you for your prayers and love the comments.  If anyone from Kansas, Louisiana, etc are reading....please please we (And your loved ones) welcome you comments!!     
We all love reading them all so we thank you for them.  It's a such fun to share with everyone the messages of encouragement.  From those they know and those they don' Washington folks, etc....
You know how we love comments and getting messages.  It's fun for all at night to listen to them!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

we're famous

So it's been an adventurous day for some.   There is no gas in the gas station in town.  Another gas station had gas, but they were closed til 2:00 for siesta.  So heading up the mountain after a HARD day of work (they did a fabulous job!!)  the van ran out of gas.  So it had to be pulled to the side of the road, and that group had to walk the rest of the way up.

I was told by my good friend here, Eda, that her Mom and another lady from the congregation made donuts for the crew that was working on the wall efforts and children's classroom floor efforts at their congregation!!  So kind.  They wanted a way to thank the group.  One lady who made the donuts, her grown daughters gathered last week to make and then sell on the streets 100 tamales.  They were able to sell them all which raised enough money for their mother to have money to live on for a little over a week.  She shared some of that with the group today by using her pantry supplies to make donuts!!
Of course, they don't realize that yet (I've not seen that crew yet this afternoon to tell them), but she returned their sacrifice with one of her own.

Then on our way to our home for lunch the radio was on and we heard something about "Escuela Cristiana"  (The Christian School) so we turned up the radio.  It was an interview with our friend Alfonso about his work and effort to get the beach cleaned up. The announcer was saying telling the citizens of Trujillo that foreigners came in and worked together with Hondurans to clean an area of the beach yesterday, that they should now do it for themselves.  Then Alfonso answered questions about the work and what we all did yesterday and what it means going forward for the citizens of Trujillo.  He did a super job!!

We're FAMOUS!!

I can tell you that the crew with me today working on the sponsor project were great.  I had Jessica P, Jessica K., Leigh, and Beth Ann....and then my Mother and I.

I also know Yefrin and Maybelline said those with them visiting families and distributing food had a very good morning.  They had with them Tim, Christian, Jennifer, Barbara, and Katee Jo.  I've heard great things about their trip so I can't wait to hear from the group themselves.

Also at the school were Walter and his trusty assistant and translator Aaron!!  Wow....they worked!! They were working on figuring out the electrical challenges at the school and also where to put new fans that we bought and if we'd need more and also what all would be required to wire new ones, etc etc....
trusty Walter, he even rewired his hotel room last night to get lights working and such!!  Wow...what a skill to have!!

It's thus far been a great day!  The group has enjoyed lunch and a bit of a siesta (hopefully) and now will divide up amongst projects yet again.  They were able to get some gas from Yefrin to put in the van and will go fill up at the other gas station soon.

Thank you to those praying and thank you to those that shared their loved ones with us or made it possible for group members to be here!!

A quick overview of our Wed

A busy day is ahead.  Prayers are appreciate as we start into our busy busy part of the trip.
Just thought I'd let you know the things that will be happening today....quickly or I, myself, won't be ready and make it.

One group will be at the school helping with the Sponsor project..overseeing all the students painting pictures for their sponsors.

Another will be heading out with Yefrin here at Little Hands to visit the families they work with and help with their regular rice and beans delivery.

Another group will be heading to the school to look at the wiring and get started installing some new fans.

Another, is coming here to the Little Hands campus to start the clean up of the wall along the front road and prep it for painting.

Still another will be going to the church at Eduardo to start mixing concrete for the floor in their children's class area and also to start finishing the wall around the building for securities sake.

And the last group will head out to Honduras Aguan to the Mision del Caribe congregation to work on finishing their children's class area.  Which will involve both carpentry and concrete mixing work.

As you can see we are going in many different directions.  Our family along with our Honduran brothers and sisters have worked as best we can over the last week to prepare for this as much as possibly and do as much prep work as we knew to do.  As always there are always things we think of RIGHT NOW going into it that we overlooked.  So I ask that you pray for a smooth day with great attitudes, patience and love as we work together and maintain, as we always say, our "Rigid flexibility"
Because things will always come up and plans will always change.  Here in Honduras we can plan and plan and plan, and things will always change or not be done beforehand or whatnot.  So we always prepare everyone to be extremely flexible and expect the unexpected!  
Our prayer is that today goes as smooth as possible and when we gather back together today at lunch and then tonight at dinner, everyone is bubbling about the new things they discovered about themselves and the experiences they had today and that in some way they find a way to touch a life or make a new friend!!

We thank you for all of your messages and the love you send our way!!

(please excuse the typos...I'm typing fast) a good way's late.  And we are ALL tired!
The team made it to Trujillo exactly on time with no problems at all!
They unloaded, got settled in and we all headed to the school where the teachers and one of the teacher's wives had prepared a fantastic lunch for us of some typical Honduran foods.

Then we headed down to the beach along with students and teachers from the school and cleaned and cleaned.  We cleaned land owned by the municipality. they helped by hauling it all off.  The private land all around us we left with front of restaurants and such..  The goal of this program is to push the businesses into keeping their own property picked up as well.
The school decided to adopt one piece of property and they worked HARD on it today getting it looking great.  They will continue to go down and pick it up and work on it as time passes.
The push is to get the citizens to take ownership and take notice and care.
My family is now back to our house (on the opposite side of town) we left the group sorting through supplies and such before they headed to bed and after a wonderful devotional time together.   Off to bed now, work will start early in the morning.  We will be dividing in 6 different directions, I think it is, tomorrow.  Lots of good works going on.  Everyone is doing great!!!  We all appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement!!  More to come later.

Monday, June 28, 2010

They are here


EVERYONE is here with no problems...if you read the other post the bridge is now reopened (talk about an instant answered prayer!!).  The van will meet up with them along the way somewhere I think.

Everyone is safe & starting the next leg of the journey!!  My only concern with the bridge being closed was lack of bathrooms on the longer route with this size of a group.  So no worries there :-)  HOORAY!!!!

Answered prayers aplenty!!  It's a beautiful day in Honduras!!!

Oh and super cool....Irma (the maker of the crafts/baskets in previous post) showed up a while ago.  I had given her a part of a book of mine on crafts to make with palm leaves.  Sure enough she figured one out and came to show me.
She took a knife from my kitchen and chopped down a palm frond and started weaving and teaching me.
'Pablo' has the camera with him or I would have taken lots of pictures.  But it's a graduated set of 3 baskets hanging on the heart of the frond.  SOOO cool!! (Sara if you are by chance reading this it's the one on the cover of our books!)
I MIGHT could make one by myself now...well with a lot more practice. Pretty cool though for sure to see it happen so quickly from the tree to hanging on my door!!  AWESOME!!

Family members, friends, church family etc of Team Members

I'm sure your loved one has told most of you, but if not, they won't have internet access while they are here in Trujillo.
We will do our very best on this blog updating (just FYI our internet access isn't a constant again...we'll do our best) and posting pictures.

We welcome you to leave comments for them and encouragement here and we'll read them to the team each night at our devotional time together!

This time tomorrow

I'll be scurrying about getting room assignments completed, etc.....

All Team Members are currently enroute from all their various locations; Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Kansas.

I've checked and all flights are on time which puts them arriving in Honduras within just a few minutes of each other.
Bruce, Julie and gang from Kansas have had a long night already. Their flight into Atlanta was delayed and they only got 2 hours sleep before getting up and meeting up with the rest of the team departing from Atlanta to board the flight for Honduras.
Hopefully they will get some good rest this evening where they are staying!  Hammocks are a plenty there along with the relaxing sound of ocean waves so hopefully it will help them recover before completing their journey to Trujillo in the morning!

I'll be surprised if any team members got a great night sleep last night.  At least for me, I've just come to terms with the fact that I will not sleep the night before I head to Honduras.  Excitement and last minute things to do always prevent sleep.

The 6-7 hour drive from the airport here is somewhat helpful, but not completely as you don't want to sleep and miss something and....well driving on Honduras highways is just a different experience altogether and doesn't really lend itself to lots of least for me.

All team members should arrive within about 20 min of each other to the airport here.   There they will be greeted my 'Pablo' and Emilson who are using the morning to tie up loose ends running errands before they (and the bus drivers) meet the team at the airport and begin another part of their journey.

They will travel halfway tonight so as not to be on the highways past dusk for safeties sake and make the rest of the journey tomorrow morning where will be waiting to greet them!

It's going to be a great trip!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The sun is shining

('Pablo' and Jose working on getting Pablos trick kite in the air a few evenings ago)

Well the tropical storm has moved on and we are back to sunny and hot.
Today the city is recovering from the Carnival festivities yesterday. There are people out with rakes (yes really) raking the trash in the streets and everywhere!  It will be a long hard job for them, it's amazing the amount of trash everywhere!

The restaurants must have done very good business last night because they were all closed today.  Which means they were either out of food to serve or they were sleeping off the nights activities.  
We went from one place to another after worship only to find them all closed!
We finally found one place with the owner and some family members there. They didn't have any food on their menu available but said they'd be willing to prepare us a typical b'fast plate and promised it would be delicious.  Then she came out to take our drink orders
 "Juices or Cafe con leche" she offered.  "What type of Juice?"  we asked  
 She had to go check what might be left.  
Then came back and said "sorry we are actually all out of juice...only coffee and sodas"  
No problem...."what type of sodas?  Do you have banana?" the kids wanted to know.
"sorry I don't actually know what we have left, let me go see...."
"sorry.  We only have Coca Cola other types" 
We just laughed with her and ordered 4 Cokes ('Fonso was with us) and 1 Coffee. 
But they were right....the food was DELICIOUS.
First they brought us some little 'pan de coco' rolls (coconut bread....really it's just like a dinner roll, but made with coconut milk so there is a hint of sweetness to it) with some peanut butter and some jelly in little bowls along with some pats of butter.  Even peanut butter and jelly can be made attractive on a plate with pretty little bowls!

On the menu for our thrown together meal:
grilled beef kabobs
guacamole (no doubt freshly made right then and OH so yummy!)
cheese slices (the cheese hmmm hard to explain,but often a side on a typical platter)
scrambled eggs
mantequilla (again sorry can't explain...but sooo good to dip your beef and tortillas in!)
freshly made tortillas
It was PERFECT!!  
Delicious and I didn't have to cook!!
We sat up high overlooking the bay and felt the breeze blowing off the ocean and enjoyed seeing the sun glistening on the water!!   It was a great way to spend some time together after worship.  Just relaxing and overlooking the wonder of God's creations!!  

(my wonderful husband doing one of his favorite things.....
he LOVES the beach and kites and the combination of the two especially!)

Prayer request

UPDATE:  Thank you to any of you who might have read this message and said a prayer.  He did a SUPER job.  God was with him!!  So so proud of my amazing husband and thankful for a God who listens and answers!

It's late Saturday night.  Tomorrow 'Pablo' is preaching......

Tomorrow 'Pablo' is preaching in SPANISH!!

So please if you will pray for him.  Pray for those listening to understand him and take something away from his message that they can use to grow as a Christian (or become one).   Please stop and just say a prayer if you will for him and for the congregation who will be hearing him!!!  I'm so proud of him and I know he'll do a great job.  he's sure put a lot of effort and heart into it!!

PS  if you are reading this blog and wonder why on earth I call my husband 'Pablo' and then you wonder if you are reading about the right person because well his name is nothing like that in our North American life.  Well true.  It's not.  But his first year coming here he didn't think on his feet quickly enough when asked his name to give the Spanish translation of his name.  All he was thinking is that there are parts of his name North American name that's not easily pronounced in the Spanish language because the sounds don't exist.
So instead he went with the translation of his middle name which he knew easily....'Pablo' and it stuck.  He soon realized the Spanish translation for his first name, but by then he was already 'Pablo' to friends, taxi drivers, etc  Then for the blog we like to not plaster our given names all over, just seems wiser.  So it works for that too.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mangoes keep falling on my head

Okay perhaps really not on our heads (although it COULD happen), but all day long you hear loud BOOMs and BANGS where they are falling on the rooftops of the buildings here.   We have had fresh mangoes just about every day.  Several people have come and gotten bucketfuls.  The best ones are up in the tree though.  The ones that aren't over ripened and ready to fall.  So how do you get them down?  
Well one option that 'Pablo' thoroughly enjoys is 
you throw your machete up at them to knock them down.   Alfonso and 'Pablo' had a great time the other night doing this.  'Fonso' was able to take a bag full home with him and we have a bag full here.

 Another option is Julio is doing (in flip flops no less)! 

But no matter, there is always a tasty reward at the end of your efforts!  
That didn't cost $1.79 like mangoes did at Kroger just before we left.  

(if only I had some jelly canning jars to make some mango jelly that I could carry home....sigh)

oh and not to rub it in any more or anything, but yesterday for lunch we had bananas grown right here on the the property, there are also papayas, icacos, and every day the first week we were here someone was kind enough to chop down a fresh coconut for John Mark to drink the milk from.  
He loves fresh coconut milk!  

Tropical Storm Alex

Tropical Storm Alex seems to have moved on past Trujillo and is moving more Westward. We have had a lot of rain here.  It rained most of yesterday and poured all night last night and has done that several nights this past week.
Yesterday the plan in the city had been to postpone Carnival until next weekend because of it.  But today it's moved on west and the rain has stopped and the sun is pushing through the clouds slowly and thankfully Carnival is back on.  I say thankfully, because it would have been a pain with our plans with the group to have Carnival here next weekend....meaning all of downtown is shutdown and extremely difficult to navigate through and such.

We appreciate the notes of concern we were sent, and just wanted everyone to know that we are fine here!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Comments on the Blog

In today's blog, I will be soliciting our visitors to start commenting on our blog.

So here it is... Please start commenting on our blog posts. We love to hear from you.

Thanks, Pablo

Fiesta time!

As I said in an earlier post it's been a super busy week here at Little Hands.  If you don't know, our family is blessed to be staying on the property of the Little Hands Big Hearts Ministry.  Little Hands works with the families of special needs children from all over Trujillo. They see the children receive medical care (most when they come here have never seen a Dr of any kind), have classes for the children, help with beans and rice, etc etc (you can learn more on their website, maybe you will even be moved to help!).  This week they invited all their families to come.  All day each day they have worked with the families.  Some teaching them physical therapies they can do from home, some overseeing dispensing medications and ensuring parents have a full understanding of what is needed, also classes and therapy were done here on site.  The families would arrive around 8-9am and stay til around 4pm each day.  Today however, was a fiesta day.  
They did some work this morning and then we had a big lunch.

Bean soup, plaintains, yuca, chicharrones (pork skins), watermelon, rice, etc
It was delicious!!  That's Myra the cook in the orange and yellow dress....and Maybelline in the foreground (she and her husband, Yefrin are the directors of this work that is overseen by the Summit View church in Washington State)

After lunch the kids were SOOO surprised and overall (minus one) delighted when 4 clowns came out and sang songs with them and played games.  And then the clowns led them up the path past our house to the entrance gate.  Where each child put their handprint and name on the big black entrance gate.  
I love it!!  It makes it look like such a happy place to enter now!!  I just love it!
(I didn't get to watch too much.   I took one little boy, Elton,  who was quite fearful of the clowns to our house to help to try to distract him while the fun was going on.  because the clowns moved the kids back down to the main building as soon as their handprint was done for more activities.  He did go later when all the clowns were not at the gate and do his handprint though!!)

and what's a fiesta without a pinata??  

here at Little Hands it doesn't matter if you can't see (like Isabel above who sees very little) or walk (like the boys in the background of this picture). It was fun seeing all the families interact with one another this week and help each other.  Each child, no matter their challenges, got a swing at the pinata and had a great time and were made to feel very special today thanks to all the hard work of the Little Hands staff!!  

The day ended with my tiny contribution to the celebration.
Maybelline had asked me if I could make a cake.
A great big cake that thankfully stretched and everyone was served!!  

our overnight visitor

I've got better pictures of her (yes it's a female so they thought....they could feel eggs in her and they think this was the reason she was being so calm and letting us touch and carry her, etc)  but they are still on the camera and it takes forever for me to upload onto here.  So for now I'll just stick with this one.  

Orlin found this iguana the other day and brought it home with him.  He said it made up for Honduras losing to Spain.  ha ha!!  Yefrin chained it up and took John Mark and MaryKyle to have a look.   

He had to be put it up in the tree so that Max (Yefrin's dog) wouldn't eat her during the night.  Since Max has devoured my flip flops, John Mark's favorite oragami book (there were tears over that one), an entire pot of oil off my stove, & tonight a pot of spaghetti off my stove and a few other things here and there....well I had my doubts that the tree would deter him from eating the iguana.  But thankfully it worked.

This is Max sleeping...yes he's soooounnnd asleep.  This is one of his favorite positions on our porch.  It's after 11pm right now and I can bet you that Max is out there looking just about like this right now!!   I wish I had time to count in a day how many times I hear someone yell "MAAAXXX!!!!"  or "Max NO!"  or "noooooo  MAaaaaxxx" (imagine this one more sweet sounding)  it's pretty much a constant!  But as crazy a dog as Max is, you can't help but love him.  he's just completely loveable....even when he's knocking a pot of spaghetti off your stove and into the floor for which you do not own a mop.  But no worries, Max was kind enough to handle the clean up!

(Today all the materials and supplies were purchased and ordered for the many projects the team will be working on.  We are ready for the their arrival on Monday!!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Canastas" (aka Baskets)

sorry for the closed eyes.  Just couldn't get one with her eyes open.

For those of you at West Metro church in Hiram, you will recognize the baskets above as our contribution/offering baskets.  Irma, the basket maker dropped by the other night with her kids bringing the 4 more contribution baskets that we'd asked her to make and one more one of our elders requested when he was here back in March and also to show me some of her newest creations.  Just thought I'd introduce you to sweet Irma and some of the lovely crafts she makes.  
She is married to Adelaid and they have 3 sweet children.    Adelaid is the brother of my friend Eda.
The jewelry she's holding up is made from seeds from a tree that is found along the river here. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Don't mess with that Gringo!

Carnival will be this Saturday in Trujillo....a time to avoid downtown, as the city will filled with people and music and bands and such will go on all night.  But it also brings along with it game booths, vendors, etc that always set up a little early.  We met Emilson and his family downtown the other night and ate baleadas (handmade flour tortillas with beans, cheese, etc) and watched fireworks, ate ice cream and wondered around some of the booths.  One of the games was a target shooting.  They had BB guns and on shelves were all sorts of little army men figures.  Lots of men and boys were lined up to play this game and were working hard to shoot down the little figures.  We passed it once and watched a bit.   As we walked by again later Alfonso, very kindly, asked John Mark if he wanted to try.   John Mark was pretty excited when Alfonso (my other son as Eda says) paid the guy so he could have a chance.  I think everyone was watching the gringo kid laughing. 10 limps gets you 4 shots.  And John Mark made every shot, knocking 3 men over and the other he hit, but it wobbled!  It was hysterical watching the people around.  Everyone was cheering by the 3rd shot!  Alfonso and Emilson heard one kid that was standing near them say "wow, if you see that gringo on the street with a gun** you better run the other way"  hee hee!!  So now all of Trujillo knows that John Mark is not to be messed with!   Our friends reactions were great.  They were all pretty impressed and surprised!!   John Mark was thrilled and my favorite of all was MaryKyle who went RUNNING over to her brother and wrapped her arms around him with an "AWESOME!!"    

**insert name of some automatic weapon here.  I just am totally female and if I attempted to write what I think I remember the kid said I'd make a fool of myself!! 

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Big Day

Honduras VS Spain today at 12:30!!!
We ate on a street corner downtown last night to enjoy some fireworks.  There just isn't anything like a baleada cooked on a grill on a street corner!!  The best!!
The restaurants and stores were hanging blue and white balloons.  Everyone seems to have a TV up.  When eating our lunch yesterday the restaurant where we ate always has a small TV on usually with kids shows on for their children.  But while we were eating he opened a huge case to reveal a GIANT screen TV.  I told Thad "A futboal game must be about to start"  sure enough....

Can't imagine what it will be like downtown today.  Decorated, yet also no one shopping....only watching!

I am about to go help Yefrin, Maybelline and Roxana for the morning.  they have some huge plans this week with the families they minister to here at Little Hands Big Hearts (aka Manos Chicas).  MaryKyle is already with Myra in the kitchen helping and working to prepare lunch for a lot of people.  Roxana just returned from taking one of the children to Tegucigalpa to meet with Operation Smile people about getting his cleft palette repaired.  While there she was also able to learn some helpful physical therapies to use on the children they work with.  So this week one thing will be to teach the parents what she learned so they can be doing it with their children.
Today Pablo is working on the sermon he will be giving soon.
After lunch, we will head to Emilson's house to watch the game!!!
And just after the game.....Pablo has another meeting about the work for the groups!

a busy yet blessed day for all of us.  Even John Mark has a friend over playing futbol and such!!  Yes we are blessed immensely.  thank you for your continued prayers!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fish fun!!

'Pablo' has always wanted to take the time to get out on the bay to fish.  So in March a friend invited him to come with him as soon as 'Pablo' came back this summer.  So yesterday, they made it happen.  They left at 5am and came back after lunch time.  
'Fonso' was here when 'Pablo' returned so they immediately sat down and got to work 
cleaning the catch.

The sack of 'gringo' fish Thad brought home after his day on the bay in a little dug out canoe with Santiago (one of the ministers) and Franklin (caretaker at the school)

We laughed that in the states we might be arrested for keeping these little fish...some were just tiny.  I thought they looked like good bait.  But they were really tasty.    They also caught a sting ray, but seeing as how I have NO clue how to cook that, Franklin took it home!!!

(there was one bigger one)

Maybelline and I decided to wait til after Ladies Bible class last night to cook them for a late dinner!  I went on and put some sides and a dessert together yesterday afternoon and after Bible study we got to work frying the fish (we'd marinated it all day) while the guys worked on creating the schedule for the 'campaign' that will be taking place when the group is here.  Here fish often is fried whole. Can I just say fish eyes frying...well they just freak me out a bit!  But didn't stop me from enjoying the yumminess (minus the eyes...I have limits)!!  
Our dinner was so late that John Mark put himself to bed and never ate.  Jack (2 yrs) slept on our bed for a while, but woke in time to eat and be the life of the party.
We said goodnight to everyone around 11:15pm and we all have leftovers from the day for tonight between the fish leftovers we shared with them and Maybelline's delicious Chop Suey she made for lunch yesterday and shared with us.  It sure is nice living right here with so many people we love.  Right on the same property we have Yefrin, Maybelline and Orlin.  Just down the road we have Marleni and Hector and just over the hill (I can yell and they can hear me) we have Emilson and Eda.  One of the closest pulperias (little convenience store) is owned by our friends Roxana and Marel's Mother a sweet Christian lady who just recently opened this new pulperia!
Although it has it's challenges being outside of town, it's nice too to be surround by such 
wonderful people!!  We are blessed!!

Quick Update

Sorry for the lack of posting or returned emails, we've not had access to the internet and it's being very slow right now so I can't seem to get any pictures uploaded.  So I apologize for the extremely wordy update!

Yefrin has been kind enough to allow us use of his vehicle.  So today we were able to do something while here without a group that we've not been able to do before.  We drove out to Mission Del Caribe and worshipped with some of the Christians there.   They've had quite the struggle out there.  There was a nasty rumor someone had poisoned the water source out there.  So, the water supply was shut down and cleaned out and some pipes dug up...only to discover it was just that....a nasty rumor.  But now this small community has gone 11 days with no water and it might be next month before it's all fixed and they have water coming from faucets again.
Yesterday Santiago and his family (the minister at the church out there) came here to Little Hands to fill some large containers with water so that they could take some back out there for bathing, washing clothes and dishes and such.

After worship, we headed into town for lunch.  We ran into our friend, Angelina, on the way walking in the heat with her sweet baby, Noe (who she had just after we left last year...if you read last year we went to her baby shower and I made the cake for it).  So I was excited to finally get to meet him.  So she hopped in and we gave her a ride back up the mountain to her home where we passed friends all along the way returning from worship this morning.  Reminds me of our days living in the small town of Dayton, TN  where just about everywhere we went we would see someone we knew!!  I LOVE IT!!!

After dropping off Angelina we headed back down the mountain to our traditional Sunday afternoon place (Chicken Express), where we were greeted with  "WELCOME BACK!" as soon as we walked up.  Yes, I just love it!! I wonder if they will say that to us at Moe's when we return to Georgia?  Perhaps I'll imagine when they say "Welcome to Moe's" that they really noticed that we've returned!

Since it's been a few days since we've had the ability to get online and post.....for those interested, here's a just a bullet list of what we've been up to.
  • 'Pablo' has had meetings to plan out the work for the groups.  We are really excited about what is being planned to work alongside our Honduran brothers and sisters and the variety of activities that will be going on.  Everyone here is working hard to prepare and get ready for the team's arrival! 
  • MaryKyle and John Mark went with friends to the weekly Youth activity and can not wait til Thursday to be able to go again!  MK especially loved working on learning the song "Here I am to Worship" in Spanish.  
  • We worshipped Thursday with the congregation in Eduardo.
  • We worshipped Friday with the congregation in Limonal
  • I went to Ladies Bible class last night.  We worshipped in the rain and dark as the electricity was out in the city.  So we all gathered around one candle we found in the bldg. to praise God (until someone came prepared with a few more candles), laugh and enjoy time together......AANNNNDDDD   I am now the designated speaker for the class next week.  If you know me well, you know my heart about stopped when I was asked (pretty sure it dropped to my toes before it stopped completely)!  Say a prayer for that PLEASE!!!  
  • 'Pablo' FINALLY went fishing.  Santiago and Franklin invited him to join them and they headed out on the bay in a small canoe.  They divided up the catch and we had  enough for our family plus more!  
Tonight brings some more fun time with friends, HOORAY!!!    We are looking forward to, in just barely over a week's time, the group joining us and the preparations being put into action!!  

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Every short person needs a tall friend!

It's always nice to have a friend who is taller when you (me) happen to be shorter!  My friend Sara is taller than me.  She can reach things that I can't.
We are staying in what was Brian and Sara's 'house' while they were in Trujillo....they lived here and worked with the Little Hands Big Hearts Ministry for 2 years, but are now living back in New Hampshire (and due with their 5th little one!! HOORAY!!). But my friend Sara's presence is still around me.  A few of her beads from her lovely jewelry making are in a drawer, her hat is preserved in a bag, some of her dishes are mixed with mine for now, the lovely quilt she made for the bed on cool nights is here, her handwriting is still on the whiteboard in the kitchen and thankfully she left a hand juicer since I accidentally forgot mine that we purchased here previously in my kitchen drawer at home (so now I don't have to buy another)!!!   Last night.....her height once again came in super handy!!  You see I'm using her clothesline.  And seeing as how she's taller than me, I can't reach it very well at 'Pablo' has to hang the clothes if we want them hung neatly!!

THANKS Sara!!! 
Yes every shorter person needs a taller friend to help them out now and then!!

PS Readers please be in prayer for Rebin (seen HERE in a previous year) we don't know any details except that he is at the hospital and 'very sick'.  His father, Antonio works here, and he left at lunch with food for them and to check on things.  We will let you know, but in the meantime please pray a special prayer for Rebin's health!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In conclusion, an admission.....

okay an admission.  I ended the previous post with no conclusion because 'Pablo' walked in and said that my friend Angelina had a few pastelitos left from where she sells them at recess at the school, if I wanted to go get one.  And whereas I love knowing that you all care and read the updates and be ensured that all our loved ones are informed.....well truth be told....I LOVE a pastelito!!  And seeing as how it's been a year since I've consumed one,  (my version just doesn't cut it).  Well, that took precedence so I clicked post with no editing and no conclusion and rushed off to devour a bit of deliciousness!!  And it was worth it!

But know we are safe, doing well and getting settled in. The entire country of Honduras is gearing up for their first game in the World Cup in many years tomorrow.  It will be on at 5:30am - that's right AM...because the World Cup is being played in South Africa.  Most schools are cancelled by gov't order, they are bringing in TV's to businesses.  A friend who works at a dock is excited because they are bringing in High Def.  TV's for the employees to all stop work and watch together.  It is an exciting time for Honduras!  I have streamers I'm about to hang up on our porch and our jerseys are ready!  'Pablo' is going over to Yefrin and Maybelline's I think to watch the game.

Emilson joked yesterday that they need to ask all the North Americans to pray for the Honduras soccer team tomorrow.  This is a BIG deal to this little country....a BIG deal!  Tomorrow 'we' play Chile!!!
Vamos.....HONDURAS!!!!  So as you head off to work in the morning know that we will are up and crowded around a TV somewhere cheering on Honduras to victory!! Hey I might even break out some cheers from the good ol days......


Home again home again....

We arrived last night just at dusk.  PERFECT timing since we have a personal policy to stay off the highway after dark.

After a sleepless night filled with preparations and excitment,  Daddy picked us up at 6 am and our journey began. We arrived in Trujillo around 6pm.....and exhausted would be an understatment.  We had planned to just grab some bananas at a roadside stand and some corn tortillas and eggs and make a dinner of it, but instead some precious friends made some flour tortillas, refried beans, eggs and cheese and had it waiting on us as soon as we arrived!! WHAT A BLESSING!! They said they knew we´d be exhausted.  MaryKyle insisted on washing dishes in return so they then got to rest and we got to visit a bit before heading over to where we are staying and crashing.

We are at the school now just saying hello to everyone and touching base.  Then it will be home for lunch and unpacking!!  The kids say this house is the ¨best ever!!¨  which Sara will appreciate reading since it´s their  house we are staying in.  So a big BIG "thank you" to Brian and Sara, Mark and Brenda and all the staff at Little Hands Big Hearts  for putting a roof over our heads!! 
Truly it´s already been a blessing.  they had a hammock up and waiting for us, a jug of clean water, and brand new dish soap.  4 people had worked HARD to have the house spotless (Yefrin, Maybelline, Orlin and M's brother) for us and even sprayed for bugs for us.  Sheets, towels and blankets were all washed & ready.  So instead of walking in with nothing and having to set up a house completely we came home exhausted and were able to put our feet up!!  What a true blessing!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"Tomorrow Tomorrow.....

.......I love you tomorrow!!"

If all goes according to plan, Tomorrow night (June 14) we (our little family of 4) will be laying down our heads in Trujillo!!
We will be going down to make preparations for the Christians joining us later in June. Once again we'll do our best to keep everyone informed of what's going on in our lives from this little space on the web!!
We appreciate your prayers for safe journeys and changed lives!