Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Long story short, I got to go do ministry today at Casita. I will be posting a longer blog later, but I wanted to get this up really quick. Today was crazy, between school, grocery shopping, ministry, and Bible study. Bible study hasn't happened yet, but it's about to.

I was so glad to have gotten to go do ministry at Casita. It struck me during the time of worship (Terry and Shari put on a little service there for them every other week and then hand out snacks) as they were singing "Yo Soy Libre" how trapped they are there, and yet there they are singing "I Am Free." One girl in particular had her eyes closed and her hands up and was clearly enjoying the time of worship, and it was beautiful to see.

Another girl came up after we prayed with one girl who accepted Christ (YAY!!!) and gave a sermon. She was a beautiful young woman with this surprisingly deep voice who delivered a brief message to the girls like a pastor and then shared a song with them. Her name is Paola.

Paola told her story to Alba afterwards, who shared it with us. Paola grew up in a good Christian home where her parents were active members of a church. But when she hit 11 years old, she began sneaking out of her house every night to become a prostitute. 11 years old. 11. I can't get that image out of my mind of a sweet 11 year old girl going out and selling her body like that. Several years of that landed her there, at Casita, where she has cleaned herself up and is now sharing the Gospel to the other girls.

Hopefully after Bible study I can share more about this day, and the past week. It's been interesting, and worth sharing, for sure.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Father's Day Stuffs

Here, we celebrate Father's Day in March, so we had our kids do a Father's Day production on Friday. But first, something funny that happened on Thursday, also involving fathers.

Jeimy is the little girl who's dad died a few months back that caused a lot of craziness within the church and the family. Her and her mom were here visiting for a couple of days, so she was brought to the class to see her old classmates. We were in the middle of practicing our Father's Day song when Tito brought her in, and the kids swarmed her, of course. We did our song for them, and then we were supposed to be getting back to class, so Tito was leading Jeimy away as I tried to gather them back into the class.

Then, we clearly Zudy ask her, "Tu papi murio?" Did your dad die? Tito quickly shushed her, and I more strongly urged them inside the class as Tito and I exchanged a look of pity/horror. Although I don't know how it affected Jeimy, I know there was at least one girl in my class that knew it was the wrong question to ask and was shaking her head.

Oh, the inappropriate things kids say. Sometimes, it can be good because their brutal honesty can bring a new understanding to how things really are. But other times, it's just not appropriate in any way and can be hurtful to others. In this situation, I just had to laugh about it because there was nothing else to do. I even made a "rage comic" about it which you can see here:


Yesterday, we had our Father's Day presentation, which meant every grade did one or two songs. I was only asked to have my kids do one dance, so my kids only did one dance, but the other grades each did two. We also had William give a message on Fathers. It was a good time, and I got all of the performances on video. I'm working on editing them so they sound good (my camera goofs up the audio on videos that are longer than a minute) by putting the originally recorded song over the video, and am adding titles and credits. However, YouTube is not letting me upload them for some reason. I'm not sure what's going on with that, so I'm going to keep working with it, and will definitely be posting links when I get them.

So, that was how my last couple of days went. Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Emergency Gel Stops and Actual Emergencies

Not sure why I made the title plural. I'm only talking about one of each event, which did indeed both happen this morning.

So, on our way to school this morning, we stopped at a little convenience store and I wondered if they were picking up some needed food item or something similar on their way in. Cesia and I waited in the car while Tito went up to make the purchase. He returned with a container of hair gel, and it was then I noticed his hair was not gelled down like it normally is outside of the house.

I held back laughter when I realized we had just made an emergency hair gel stop, but that stop ended up timing us perfectly to be following mi familia a few minutes later.

As we continued on, there was suddenly a boom and that awful sound of metal scraping pavement. Sparks flew out from beneath the red SUV in front of it, and as they came to a stop, I had the thought that it looked like Dona Elsa's car. We stopped behind them and Kevin and Lindsay climbed out. It WAS Dona Elsa's car.

We got out and joined them on the side of the road. It was a side street with houses lining both sides. There's really only space for two lanes on the two-way street, and we were blocking one of them. But, Honduranos are used to such things, and had no problem going around us.

I'm not sure exactly what happened, but the front left tire was twisted off but still somewhat attached, and the car was resting on it by the driver's door. There was a scrape in the pavement for some distance where something on that part of the car was dragged. At least everyone was fine.

As we stood and discussed giving rides, another car stopped and a girl in the passenger's seat called to Kevin. He ran to the car of his classmate, and that solved the problem of getting Kevin to school. Tito and Cesia quickly agreed to take Lindsay to the University, and then we continued on to the school. Don Javier had already been called and was on his way, so Dona Elsa waited there for him.

So, it was kind of a crazy ride to school today, and way more exciting than I thought it would be. I don't know the fate of the car, but hopefully it is something fixable. It did look pretty bad, though.

But, it was clear that God's hand was in it all. If we hadn't stopped for hair gel, we wouldn't have been behind them on the street. Kevin's friend showed up just in time to take him to school. And, Don Javier was still at home and able to come help out. Plus, we were in a nice neighborhood where there wasn't a safety concern either getting out of the car, or leaving Dona Elsa there to wait. God is good.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Unnecessary Fear - POST #50

Wow. 50 posts. It seems like a lot, but if I kept up with my blog as much as I probably should, it would be a lot more. :) Ah, well.

So, every Thursday, we have Bible study here at the house. It's a great time of worship and fellowship, and Tito shares a message. At the beginning, a different person each time shares a small passage of Scripture with the group. Tito just elects a random person the week before to do it, and there's not a lot of pressure to prepare anything super in depth or anything.

Last week, they decided that I should share a verse. I had been feeling good that night since when we read out loud, I had gotten verses with short words and didn't trip and fall over all the words. I shrugged and agreed to share a verse. It was something I had been thinking about volunteering for anyway.

But then I got really nervous when I thought about how I would be expected to read verses out loud. So, once I picked out the passage I wanted to share, James 1:19-27, I started practicing it. Almost every day since last Friday, I have been practicing reading this passage aloud in Spanish. There are some tough words in there, too! Some days, I read it 2-3 times aloud to myself.

It was almost painful sometimes to read because I went so slow and couldn't wrap my tongue around some of the words. Today, I practiced it again in the afternoon, then took a nap. I dreamed I was saying it, and as I half-woke up, I realized I had parts of it memorized already from saying it so much.

Around 6pm, Tito and Cesia asked me to do a drawing of Tinkerbell for something. It had something to do with Tito's sister and that's about all I got. So, for an hour before Bible study started, I was drawing a picture of Tinkerbell from a coloring book onto a poster board-sized paper while I listened to worship music. It was surprisingly relaxing, and I'm realizing now that it was just what I needed to take my mind off of the fear.

When we did go down for Bible study, I read it one more time, mouthing the words quietly to myself while the others made small talk before we started. I felt confident then, despite the churning in my stomach, and forced myself to relax. All I was doing was reading less than 10 verses, and they all knew how bad my Spanish was, so they weren't about to judge me even if I did mess up. And it's not about me, anyway.

I had to start, and confidently directed them to the passage. The wait until everyone got there was slightly agonizing, but important to be sure they understood as I read. I read deliberately slowly, even with the words that I knew, so I wouldn't get tripped up and so it would sound more natural when I had to read slowly through the bigger words. When I was done, they discussed the importance of having a pure religion, and then we prayed and started worship.

And that was it.

How silly of me to have been so worried about something so small! I do hope to be able to share again, where I will probably do just as much preparation, but only so that I can be sure I get it right, not so much out of fear. My passage actually ended up tying into the message that Cesia shared, about how we are the salt and the light of the earth, and the importance of works in showing others the Gospel.

As rough as these things are for me, it's good for me to practice my Spanish, and helps me build my confidence. Although I can understand quite a bit, it's still hard to form sentences when a reply is required, mostly because I'm not good with tenses. But, I'll get there eventually. :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Washing Socks and Gluing Books

Things I didn't expect to do today:

1. Wash the paint out of Dayanira's sock.

2. Glue back together the book "Ten Little Ladybugs."

So, we had another adventure in painting this morning. The more often we paint and the more prepared I am, the less stressful it is. Today went well, until the end. I heard the familiar cry of "Miss!" and turned to see that Connie had dropped her red paint, and some of it had fallen onto Dayanira's sock and shoe. Her WHITE sock. I sighed and promptly removed her shoe and sock as carefully as possible. She had paint all the way down to her skin, and the streak was about 3 inches long.

We went into the bathroom, and among other kids washing out paintbrushes and trying to help clean various things, I first rinsed out her sock as best I could and put it and soap in an empty wet wipes container. I got baby wipes for her to wash her foot off and handed out wet wipes to a bunch of the kids for the floor. They then proceeded to wash every surface in the class, which kept them busy as I tried to get the paint out of Dayanira's sock, and carefully wiped it from her shoe.

Good thing I have practice hand-washing laundry. I scrubbed it vigorously and used massive amounts of soap, then would soak it for a while and let Dayanira agitate it within the container. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. By the end of the day, her sock was in slightly better condition than when I started, but it's still pretty much pink. That was an unexpected adventure, but it could have been worse.

 Dayanira's sock as clean as I could manage to get it.

Not as excited, Analia brought me a book at lunch. It did not look much like a book when she brought it to me. The spine had come unglued, so all the pages which falling apart. With this book, the pages are put in like an accordion, glued back to back. So when she brought it to me, it was close to 6 feet long of torn pages coming undone. I ended up spending most of my first break this morning gluing all the pages back together and then the spine. Now, the book is good as new, and I hope it stays. I did actually enjoy this job, and now fully appreciate silicone glue.


Clearly, I should have waited until after school to write this, since I could have added a third thing to my list: Making Mario characters out of Playdoh. Definitely did not have that planned, but it happened. Here's some pictures of my masterpieces:

 Josue, Jazer, Fabian, and Dennis with their Yoshis.

 A pair of Princess Peach's.

 More Princesses.

 And another Peach. I feel like I did the best with this one. :)

 Dayanira enjoying her Princess Peach.

 Emy photobombing the group photo of "Bowser," Peach, Mario, and Luigi.

Dayanira giving Mario and Luigi bunny ears. Yes, they had the letters on their hats, and the outlines of overalls, as well as enlarged hands and they were both sporting mustaches. I wasn't given much playdoh to work with for Bowser, so he looks more like an ordinary Koopa, but it works. He later got smashed.

Also, there may have just been a small fire in the kitchen. There's smoke everywhere, at any rate. I guess this just goes to show that there's never a dull moment here!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Weekends, Communication, Sadness, Summerness, and PEACE

Clearly, it's been too long since my account here made me sign in. And since I can't remember what's been happening since I last updated. And since I can't remember the last time I updated. Once again, sorry.

Weekends. The last couple of weekends have been awesome.

Three Sundays ago, I got to just hang out at a coffee shop and talk with my friend Leily for a while. She worked at the school when I first got here and we really connected. She lived in the States for a few years, so she's fluent. It was really good getting to reconnect with her.

Two weekends ago, I got to hang out with Leily again, this time for a sleepover and all-day hangout on the beach which led to some sunburn from which I am now recovering. That was a lot of fun. We got to go to two different beaches, see a little museum, the outside of the castle that I visited on one of my mission trips here a few years back, and I almost swam into a jellyfish. There were also some parrots at this little sea-side restaurant we visited, which strengthened my desires to get a parrot.

So, yeah. I've been having a lot of fun reconnecting with her, and it's really helped get me out of the house and have a chance to really socialize with people my age, as I also got to meet some of her friends and her boyfriend.

Which brings me to this past weekend. It was rough. I was supposed to do a lot of things that I didn't do. I was supposed to hang out with Leily again, but neither of us had transportation, so that didn't happen. I was supposed to help out and teach Sunday school at the English-speaking church, but with a communication failure, that didn't happen either.

I recently discovered that when I spend large amounts of time alone, I start to feel disconnected. I used to spend a lot of time alone and was fine, but I wasn't really alone because I was with my family or other people all the time, and there was a lot of communication that happened without thinking about it. Now, when I occasionally rehearse what I'm going to say multiple times in my head before saying out loud, it's become more difficult to feel connected, even with the people I'm living with.

Example: On Friday night, Tito and Cesia were watching the Bucket List. I was sort of watching as I cooked and goofed off on my computer. When it got to the part where they're skydiving, Tito and Cesia started talking about it, and seeing as I've done it before, I wanted to share because it's a fun and unique experience. We struggled through a conversation that (translated) went something like this:

Me: I want to do that again.
Cesia: You did that before?
Me: Yes. I did.
Tito: Were you scared? (this was accompanied by hand motions to demonstrate scared.)
Me: Yes, but....

And then I awkwardly sighed as I realized I don't know how to saw "It was fun." Such a simple phrase, but the word for fun is diversion. It's pronounced differently, though, and I haven't tried it out enough to remember how to say it right. I couldn't tell them that it was totally worth it, or about how I was so hyped up on dramamine that I was emotionally flat-lining no matter how much my friends or skydiving instructor tried to get me to react, or that the plane they show in the movie was incredibly spacious compared to how it is in reality.

I had so much that I could have shared, but wasn't able to.

So, it ended up being kind of a lonely weekend for me, and some stupidness on facebook made me cry a little, but that wasn't really anything.

I was reading my Bible this morning, and started to flip to the book where I've been reading, but then decided I needed to read something about peace instead, because that's what I feel like I'm lacking right now: peace. I found this:

Psalm 34:14 Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Peace isn't something that comes from sitting around and waiting. It comes when we are actively seeking it, and desiring it. I also thought of Jacob here, when he wrestled with God all night for a blessing, and of several of the parables that Jesus told about how we should be banging down God's door with our requests, seeking, asking, and knocking.

Peace doesn't come to those who are idle. It comes to those who are out looking for it and doing good, and asking God for direction. I've done my fair share of asking for direction over the last couple of months as I tried to figure out my summer options, and when the answer didn't just come, I started pursuing paths as I waited to hear God give a clear answer.

I had to sort through some concerns I had about what other people would think about me, but I have accepted a position at Wildwood this summer. So, once I find out for sure when school ends, I can buy my ticket and head to my Michigan home for a couple of months to work at one of my favorite places. I'll try to post another blog soon with more information on my future plan, but I feel like I've gone on quite the journey in this blog already.

So, that's where things are right now. As I start to pursue peace and the One who brings peace, I am getting more of it. Today was more peaceful at school, which had something to do with missing 3 of my kids (2 of which are troublemakers), but also had to do with God's presence giving me the peace that I asked for.