Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hawkes Family - July 2010

July 24 - July 31, 2010 we hosted a short-term mission team from Peace Presbyterian Church of Paso Robles, California. The Hawkes family did construction on a house, taught English, organized Kids Club, put on a medical clinic and more.

Watch this 2 minute and 25 second video to see the cool stuff this family did:

Friday, July 30, 2010

The sweet faces of Armenia

There are many days where it is difficult, what we do. We have grown to love the people in Armenia Bonito. We love the feel of it. We love the children, the adults, the interactions we have. I sometimes get so caught up in what we are doing that day that for some strange reason I forget where many of these kids come from. It's like looking at the night sky and seeing all the stars - night after night - until for some reason, whether it is a shooting star that crosses the sky, a bright constellation or whatever - you are suddenly reminded of the vastness and magnitude of the universe. This is where it is difficult - what we do. We love on children all the time, and once in awhile I am reminded by a look in their face, or their incessant calling of my name trying to get my attention, because it's the ONLY attention they get - that I am reminded of the lack of love or attention, or food, or clothing, or anything - that so many of the children are in. Lack of father figures, lack of the bare necessities like a shower, or soap, or even a hair brush. Oneida falls into that category. I know that we have blogged on her many times, but as we come near the end of this term, and seeing our future away from this place for a time, away from giving the love we give to these children, like Oneida, my heart is heavy. We are just over a month away from leaving, and my heart is burdened for these kids. Our team mates, the Clow's and the McCann's will still be here giving these children love and attention, which gives me some peace - especially for children like Oneida, but another - Vilma - will be leaving this place she calls home, and moving over an hour away to go live with her grandmother. I know this will happen while I am gone, and if I sit too long and think about it, my heart breaks. I will miss her. She has a special place in my heart. God has a plan, and I try and take comfort in that.



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cooking it up in the kitchen

While the team is out being productive in Armenia Bonito building, Kids Club, etc. I am at home for my day off. So...what do I do on MY day off? Most people would answer - sitting around reading, watching TV, movie, etc. Well - my idea of "getting away" is to cook, bake, whatever! To create something out of things in my kitchen. I was getting a taste for hummus and pita bread. Don't ask me why. But, with no hummus to be found at the grocery store, or the import store - and no pita bread to be found anywhere - I set out to make my own. So, a few hours later, I made some wheat pita bread, hummus, and a coffee cake for the team to eat for breakfast (see - it wasn't ALL selfish) :-).

pita and hummus

coffee cake

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Manor and Covenant July 2010

July 17-24, 2010 we hosted a 20 person short-term mission team. The team was from Covenant Community Church in Arizona and Manor Presbyterian in Pennsylvania.

Watch this 3 minute video to see their great work:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kids Day At The Beach

On July 21, 2010 we took 60 kids from Armenia Bonito to the beach for lunch and a day of fun and fellowship.

Watch this 2 minute and 25 second video to see the fun:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blessings from Teams

We are a product of short term teams. What do I mean by that? Mike and I had been on several short-term trips to various parts of the world, and one day Mike came back from one of those and said, "enough of this short-term stuff...we need to do this full-time" - and that was the beginning.

Having 23 people live in my house can be a challenge. Primarily the logistics. When we came to La Ceiba, we specifically looked for a home that could house up to 20 people plus 2 interns (and us by the way). We succeeded. Two big dorm rooms for 10 people each, a back house with a bunk for two. Our primary obstacle? Only 2 1/2 bathrooms for all of those people - but who said mission trips was at The Hilton? I always say you can do anything for 2 weeks! In Haiti, my shower for the most part was a hose with a nozel on the end, and only 2 sets of clothes, one to wear, and one to change into - it worked, I survived :-)

We are always asked if it is difficult to host short-term teams. It is...I won't deny it. However, the blessings SO outweigh the difficulties! It's always a taste of fresh air to have folks come from The States. Fun to just sit around and shoot the breeze in the evening. Great to see so many people who have a heart for serving God, and the people of Armenia Bonito. We even are the recipients of gifts sometimes :-) Nothing tastes better than a Nutter Butter that has been camping out in my freezer - something you can't get here, and something that is oh so yummy! But once in awhile, a team rains those blessings upon us. Yesterday I spent the good part of the morning unpacking "stuff" for our ministry. Everything from vitamins (12,000 by the way), to zip lock bags, cotton balls, etc. I sat around the upstairs room finding space for things and was in awe. This is stuff we either can't buy here, or is so cost prohibitive I just can't buy it. It actually brought tears to my eyes.

So thank you to everyone who prays for our ministry! Thank you for all those who financially contribute so we are allowed to serve Him in Honduras. Thank you to all of you who have come...and thank you for those who send them. Thank you to the personal goodies that makes snacking so much fun! And a huge thank you to those who bring stuff for the ministry (in either labor, funds, or in items). We are truly blessed indeed!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mission Team to La Ceiba, Honduras - 7/10-17, 2010

July 10 - July 17, 2010 we hosted a short-term mission team from Covenant Presbyterian Church of Paso Robles, California. They did construction on a house and a ministry center, taught English, organized Kids Club, put on a medical clinic and more.

Watch this 2 minute 38 second video to see their exciting work:

Thursday, July 15, 2010


My time in Honduras has not been boring. Often times I'm called upon to take my medical skills and use them way beyond what I've ever used them before. Last night was an example of that. One of our team mates has had a badly infected in-grown toe-nail. He has been suffering through it, but when this team arrived, Jina has done many an in-grown toe-nail removal, and has taught many. So Josh, being the trooper that he is, agreed to be my first in-grown toe-nail patient. After giving some good anesthesia, we started the process. I won't go into detail, because I know there are a lot of non-medical people out there, but it was fun! I know...I know - I had someone comment on my facebook status that I needed to re-evaluate my idea of fun which just made me laugh hysterically! I guess medical people do have a different idea of fun - but it was fun and can't wait for my next patient! Enjoy the pictures below:

Starting the clipping process

Almost done

All done - doesn't it look pretty?!

Our patient at the end - still smiling, must be a job well done?!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The harsh reality of our "job"

We have come to love many of the families and children that we work with in Armenia Bonito. With that comes the reality of what many of them have to live through. Many children are living in conditions we would consider unlivable. Some children go to bed hungry and alone every night. Many children do not have parents to hug them when they hurt. The majority of the families are single mothers trying to raise large families. Our "job" in all of this is to love them all, and show them what Christ's love is all about.

Recently our teams finished construction on a house for Argentina and her children. Sixteen year old Juan, her 2nd eldest son, worked diligently along-side our team and worked very hard to ensure the house was built well for his family. We just found our that Juan has been killed. Over a year ago Juan got in a fight with a boy and hurt the boy pretty badly. The brother of that boy showed up at Juan's new home early Sunday morning with a machete. He dragged Juan down to the river and killed him. The community of Armenia Bonito rallied together and held a vigil for Juan, and then had a service on Monday. We visited his body as it laid out at the family's newly completed house. We hugged and kissed his mother. It is very sad knowing Juan was not a Christian, and knowing that he had such a passion and love for life. Please be in prayer for his family.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Visit from a friend

The mission world is a small world. Over a year ago, a dear friend - Megan - who lives in La Ceiba returned to The States with her husband to do some legal paperwork, and to support raise to return to Honduras. Her husband is Honduran, and misses his home a lot. They came back to Honduras for two weeks to visit and check on their house. Megan was one of the first people I met in Honduras, the leader for the women's bible study, fellow missionary, and an all around wonderful person. It was great to get together with her, some of the other Christian women in La Ceiba, eat a great meal, and just hang out and talk! As I said, since the mission field is a small world, these are women who will always be a part of our lives and it was great to get together again.

Friday, July 9, 2010


The other day I saw this bird in the backyard. Now that is not the unusual thing - the thing was - he was eating out of the dog bowl. Now that's not all that unusual either. The amazing thing was - the pieces of food are a bit big for the bird to eat. Max is, afterall, a 110 pound rottweiler. Right next to Max's bowl is a big bucket full of water for him to drink from. What was this bird doing? Grabbing the food in his beak, dipping it in the water to soften it up, then eating it down. Creative indeed!

Our next team arrives tomorrow, then four more after that. We are so thankful to have had a week off to rest, read, catch up - and now are rejuvenated for the rest of the teams.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


So - once again, I've come to realize how much I love my computer. To make a VERY long story short, I had a corrupted file that wasn't allowing me to access my blogger, google, or any google related site. All is well.

This week is a forced relaxation week! We have been going non-stop for a month with almost no break time between teams - this week is it! We doing a lot of hanging out - eating yummy food, reading, and playing on the computer! Good times indeed!

Our next team arrives on Saturday, then it's 3 weeks of back-to-back teams - I know we will be so excited to have teams coming through again!

On a side note - it's about 2 months from this week that we will be headed back to the States for some mandatory training and re-connection with supporters and churches. We are looking forward to this time, but at the same time we know that we will be missing home and all that is going to be going on with the kids here, construction, and the team.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mission team to Honduras 6/26 - 7/3, 2010

June 26 - July 3, 2010 we hosted a short-term mission team from Grace Community Church in Mobile, AL. Despite a tropical storm, lost luggage and missed flights the team persevered and did some amazing work.

See their great work in 2 minutes and 21 seconds:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A sweet hello from an unknown friend :)

"Reunion" with Pastor Andrews from Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church (my home church)

General Assembly has been nothing like I anticipated. I talked a LOT! Now, don't get me wrong - my husband will be the first to comment on that (out of sheer love of course) - saying...but you ALWAYS talk a lot. Here's the deal - I was scheduled to work a 2 hour shift each day of General Assembly - however - I found myself showing up for my scheduled time, and realize 6 hours later that I was STILL there! Before I came I thought my cheeks would go numb from smiling a lot (thinking back to wedding reception days...I know...a long time ago). But lo and behold I've had a GREAT time! I've talked to so many beautiful people it was so encouraging. Here I thought I was supposed to be telling people about MTW, which of course is what I did - but in the midst of it I found myself talking about what I love - missions of course. And out of that radiated some GREAT conversations! A shout out to a sweet missionary family in El Salvador. This young woman read about me in a publication from MTW, has followed my blog and knew I would be in Tennessee for General Assembly. She called her mother and told her she had to come find me at the MTW booth. So today, a beautiful woman approached the booth looking for me. And there we talked, and cried, and just shared our hearts about both sides of the mission field - the ones left behind, and the ones on the field. We loved on each other, and again - here I was thinking I was going to be "helping" others, and was so blessed by her presence today. God is good! Thank you! AND - I wasn't even supposed to be "on shift" right then - not for another 3 hours, and actually had my back pack on to leave, but "somehow" felt compelled to stay for a few minutes - and there she came. Thank you God for this encounter!

On a side note - today is the last day of General Assembly. I will be getting my bags packed tomorrow and purchase any last minute items to bring back to my lovely family anxiously awaiting me at home! My plane leaves bright and early Saturday morning - 630 to be exact, which means I'll be waiting at the airport at 430 am...ah the joys - as long as Nashville has a Starbucks - my morning will be complete!

Talking to folks about MTW, handing out mugs, and advertising the Global Missions Conference in November