Saturday, May 30, 2009

Conference On The "Grace Of God"

On May 28-30, 2009 we hosted a conference in La Ceiba, Honduras. The conference was on the "Grace of God". We invited pastors and church leaders from throughout La Ceiba. Forty-six people attended

The average pastor in Honduras has a 6th grade education. Educational opportunities like this are rare and greatly appreciated.

Take a look at this 2 minute and 15 second video to see the conference:

Thursday, May 28, 2009


At 2:25 this morning my world was rocked - quite literally - there was an earthquake just off the coast of Honduras. As a girl from San Jose, California - right outside of San Francisco - one would think I would be "used" to earthquakes. However, let's put things in perspective. I lived in probably the "safest" earthquake state in the U.S. All buildings are built to code, we have earthquake drills, and I've been through many, many earthquakes. Currently, I live in a cement house, with ZERO earthquake codes. It IS built to withstand a hurricane, so there is definitely comfort in that. The earthquake in San Francisco that collapsed a part of the Bay Bridge in 1989 was 6.9. The one here was 7.1 And let me just tell you - every increase on that ol' Richter Scale brings the shaking up sequentially. Our whole house rocked from side-to-side for 30 seconds, you could hear the rumbling of the houses moving, we lost electricity, we heard a huge CRASH as SOMETHING hit the floor and broke, but sat in bed as it continued to shake. The best advice is to get out and get out fast! Cement houses are not the best to be in/under during an earthquake. However, things were shaking so badly, there was no getting out of bed! The one here was right off the coast. There were tsunami warnings, but of course Honduras has no active warning system. People have died, the city is shut down, but our family is well - Thank God! Give prayers our way and to the people of La Ceiba, Honduras.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Kid's Spanish Christian Videos

Our team went looking for tutorials to help people learn how to sing kid’s Christian songs in Spanish. We couldn’t find any we liked, so we decided to make our own.

The videos can be used for kid’s clubs or Vacation Bible School (VBS). They have singing, hand motions and subtitles. We will use them to help short term missionaries and new teammates learn some of the songs we sing in our weekly Kid's Club in Armenia Bonito.

Here are the six videos we created if you want to take a look:

Aleluya, Gloria a Dios - Praise Ye The Lord
Aunque No Marche – The Lord’s Army
Esta Lucecita – This Little Light Of Mine
Yo Tengo Gozo – I’ve Got The Joy
Dios Es Tan Grande – My God Is So Big
Tu Eres Grande Señor – You Are Great God

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The La Ceiba Carnival

Carnival is an annual celebration in La Ceiba, Honduras held on the 4th Saturday of May. It is the largest carnival in Central America. The week leading up to the final day is marked with competitions, parades, gambling, pageants and nightly street parties. The week long festival attracts 300,000 visitors to a town that normally has 200,000 residents.

The event is held in honor of Saint Isidore the Laborer, the patron saint of La Ceiba. The celebration starts at least one week before the main event. The final day begins with a big parade through town followed by an all-night party along Avenido San Isidro, La Ceiba’s main thoroughfare.

Take a look at this 2 minute 50 second video to get a flavor of this year’s Carnival:

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Yes, we can't help it - we are white! And often times here we are called gringo (masculine) or gringa (feminine). So - where did that come from? Two widely thought of origins include: One story goes that during the Mexican American War when American soldiers were fighting and encroaching into Mexico, the Mexicans who knew little English referred to the Americans' green uniforms and would shout, "Green go!", meaning "Leave our country." This story is widely repeated among Mexican-Americans as well as throughout the Southwest United States (Wikipedia), but also, just as highly thought of is this: it appears in the Diccionario Castellano in 1787. That dictionary says that it was used in Malaga to refer to anyone who spoke Spanish badly, and in Madrid in reference to the Irish. Gringo probably comes from the Spanish griego, or Greek. So it is akin to the phrase it's Greek to me (or in Spanish hablar en griego) and the word barbarian.

Furthermore, according to the Catalan etymologist Joan Coromines, gringo is derived from griego (Spanish for "Greek" ), the term for an unintelligible language (a usage found also in the Shakespearean "it was Greek to me" and its derivative "It's all Greek to me"). From referring simply to language, it was extended to people speaking foreign tongues and to their physical features — similar to the development of the ancient Greek word βάρβαρος (bárbaros), "barbarian" Still, scholars are not in agreement about the correct origin of this word (Wikipedia).

So - Green go, unintelligible, or barbarian - no matter. To the "older" generation of Hondurans, it is still thought of as a very derogatory word, but to most of the younger generation it has simply become just another characteristic - meaning some person (regardless of ancestry) from the U.S. - just like you have blond hair, are tall, or are a gringo. Although some in our family are more white than others :-)

Monday, May 18, 2009


So it's coming. Carnival. La Ceiba, a population of about 200,000, is expected to swell to almost 800,000 by the weeks end. This is the second largest carnival in Latin America. The actual Carnival day is this coming up Saturday, but there have already been several smaller events around town. The whole town is gearing up - from new signs around town, decorations, and fresh paint on many buildings. And - the night life has already started too! Last night was a great example. The street right behind us hosted a street football game - at midnight - to include yelling, screaming, and enough noise to keep a lot of people awake. And so it begins...

Random structures around town - built in the middle of the street which effectively makes it impassable for cars

This is the 37th year of Carnival

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Quite the adventure...

The day started out innocent enough. Andy, Madison and I headed out to Armenia Bonito to go check on my friend Walter. Walter is a 15 year old boy that had come to my clinic with a huge abscess that I opened, drained and packed. I wanted to change out his packing. On our way there we passed by a crowd of people around something. We looked questioningly - and the man with the machete in his hand held up the 5 foot python he just killed.

We then went and took care of Walter - unpacked his wound - cleaned it out - packed it again, and headed on our way out to a local watering hole. What we didn't know is the road had been dramatically damaged by some recent rains and flooding. Bottom line - we got stuck! Right when I decided to stop and go no further, my tires slipped over a 2 foot high rock, and my truck tilted up on 3 wheels. We jumped out of the car - took one look and knew there was no getting out. And of course, right then - the sky opened up. Within 2 minutes we were completely SOAKED! So, soaked and stuck in the middle of the jungle. I made several phone calls (yes, in the middle of the jungle we had cell phone reception - go figure). After about 40 minutes of waiting, my rescue came. We have a friend with a big 4X4 who hooked up to our truck. We had to dig out that 2 foot rock, and after much pusing and pulling we managed to get out. At this point, our trip to the river was at an end. We couldn't pass, and didn't want to push the limits of our day. So soaking wet, we made our way home to finish the exciting day in the comforts of our home.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pretty cool

My day usually starts with a great cup of coffee - made by my loving husband; reading my e-mail; reading my friends blogs; updating Facebook; then scanning the news. The news is what caught my attention today. Illusions are just cool. All I can say is GO CHECK THIS OUT! It's SO worth it! And yes, the first place winner is definitely my favorite also.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kids Club and Health Class

Monday we had our weekly Kids Club - see post below about our craft. It turned out really well. One thing you will notice in a few of the pictures are young girls with babies in their arms. No, they are non birth mothers, they are siblings, but because there are so many children in the home, or the mother works all day - these young girls are the primary custodians of their young siblings. However, somehow, they still manage to try and be kids - they play, and just bring their brother or sister along for the ride.

Today we had our monthly health class on the public school. It was related to exercise. Enjoy the pictures.

3rd and 4th graders. We also taught the same class to 5th and 6th graders.

Kids Club - Josue and Madison going over the 10 Commandments

Playing while being a "mommy"

Vilma with her baby brother

Sunday, May 10, 2009

10 Commandments Lap Book

Tomorrow is Kids Club, and we will be teaching the kids on the 10 Commandments. Each week we have a game, craft, and bible story time. So, I was tasked to come up with the craft. A friend of mine introduced me to Lap Books awhile ago, but I've never had the opportunity to try it. So - here was the moment to try. I'll let you know how it goes at the actual kids club :-)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Clinic report and prayer request

Today our clinic was down to 3 "staff" members. Josh was working triage/intake; I was working assessment/diagnosis; and Andy was working pharmacy. This was a bit of a challenge as many come, and it challenges us with a FULL team. We usually see 50 patients each clinic day, but we knew we wouldn't be able to to see that many, so we only handed out 40 numbers. As we were packing up, a young 10 year old girl, Cathi, came into the clinic. I stopped to check her out. She had been to the hospital, and returned with a diagnosis of asthma. So, her mom wanted to see if I could give her an inhaler for her asthma. The problem when someone gives me a diagnosis, is I tend to focus on that. However, something just didn't seem right.

Warning - geek speak
: After a thorough assessment: weight loss, severe cough x 1 year, fever, night sweats, wheezing, and crackles bilateral, mild fever in the afternoon. I did an arm circumfrence on her, and she is WAY below the "norm". Many other members of her family have similar symptoms. Her mother did take her in for a sputum culture, it came back negative for TB. However, given her history and assessment - I'm almost positive this is what she has.

So now for the next step. It's a LONG treatment, and all of her other family members need to be treated - so I'm trying to research and see if La Ceiba's health department has some sort of TB treatment and I'll follow up with her and her family. This is a LONG process, and I would ask that you pray for Cathi, her family, and how I may be involved in this.

Cleaning up after clinic

Some new girls from the community we've never met - GREAT way to meet more people!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Day in the Life

Many have asked what a day in our life is like. Come along for the ride.

Awake at 0530, out the door by 0630. School starts at 0645.

View from our front door.

On the way to go pick up Josh and Andy for our teaching class today.

On the way out to Armenia Bonito

We didn't know what it was, but the stench and the number of vultures told us it was something BIG!

All dressed up and no where to go. Kids leaving school as there was a teacher strike today, and therefore no school for the public class at the school today.

Off to go make swine flu health information sheets for our clinic this Thursday to hand out to our patients.

Then over to the bakery to purchase some bread.

Had to head to the mall to pay our internet bill at the local internet kiosk (Tevisat is the company we use)

House call - baby Ellie from our team came to my house for an ear check up. Looks good for now, but something may be brewing...

While they were there - diagnosed Lindsey with an ear infection.

Off to the first of 2 stops at the bank to collect enough cash to pay rent (which also gets paid at the bank). Will have to get more tomorrow as I can only get my daily limit, which isn't enough to pay rent.

Then headed to the butcher to purchase some meat.

And off to the fruit stand for some mangos - and it's only 1pm.

Back to my house to do some quick cleaning, some updates on Facebook, and to start this blog.
Then off to Madison's school to pick her up after her tutor (3pm)

Off for her orthodontist appointment.

Last stop at the fish market for shrimp and tilapia.

It's now 4pm, and I still have things to do. Tomorrow is "supposed" to be a day off, but I have to prep for our medical clinic. As we haven't had clinic for 5 weeks, there is much to do.

Thanks for "hanging out" with me today.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Saying Goodbye...again...

Mike, and our team mate Sean, are headed off today for Disaster Relief Training with our mission agency, MTW. This is the same training I attended a few years ago. Once they return there will be three of us in Honduras that are trained to assist during a disaster anywhere in the world. When the tsunami hit, me and a group of other disaster relief trained individuals went to assist. MTW has gone to most of the natural disasters around the world, including Katrina. Although this will be great training, I'm once again saying goodbye, but only for 2 weeks.

Friday, May 1, 2009

An end to a chapter

Today marks the end of two chapters to our little team here in Honduras. Earlier this week, the Severinghaus family left after spending 4 months with us. They are an incredible family who was called here to help us. We were blessed by their time here, and will continue to pray for the new chapter in THEIR lives. And this morning, our dear friend and intern, Jamie, departed to go back to the states. She has diligently spent 8 months of her life enriching our ministry here in La Ceiba, and enriching our lives with her love for the people of Honduras. The other two of "The Intern", Josh and Andy, will be with us for a few more months. We will miss this small gathering of friends, and now when we have team meetings, there will definitely be a gap. One thing that, unfortunately, is a reality of missionaries is the continuous hello and goodbyes. Most come for a short time, we develop strong relationships with, but then move on their way. We understand this, but it is still a bitter sweet time. We know that when we meet someone, that eventually there will be a parting of ways, and it is bitter-sweet indeed. Goodbye to this incredible family, and this wonderful young woman! We pray that God will bring you back to us one day, but if not, we know that we will see you in Glory!

The Severinghaus family

Jamie at one of our clinics