Wednesday, March 28, 2012

10-Week English Class

January to March of 2012 we taught a 10-week English class in the super-poor community of Armenia Bonito in Honduras. Sixteen students completed the course by attending nine classes and passing all their tests. Those 16 students received a great reward after the class.

Watch this 2 minute, 10 second video:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Clinic / Panic

This morning I found myself in the community of La Fe with my team mates Mike and Ashley Troxell.  This is the community they have been serving in, and where I serve with them every other Monday for clinic.  Often times I get children in with parasites, mild skin infections, adults with urinary track infections, this kind of thing.  Today was a totally different story!  Today I was challenged - not only medically, but emotionally as well.

A young 11 year old from a neighboring community and her family heard about our free medical clinic.  They came with their young daughter Wendy, who has a history of asthma.  She was doing poorly yesterday (per mom) but today she was much worse.  She presented to the clinic in obvious respiratory distress.  Although it wasn't "her turn", I took one look at her and bypassed our "normal" check in procedure and put her in front of me for a full assessment.  Her lungs sounded terrible, barely passing air, a quick check of her oxygen levels showed she was in distress.  She was working so many other muscles around her chest to try and compensate for her lungs which clearly weren't working correctly.  Her respiratory rate was anywhere from 40-60 breaths per minute, and her heart rate was elevated to over 150 beats per minute.  I gave her an inhaler, had her use it, gave her some steroids, and put her on a nebulizer treatment immediately.  I frantically looked around for her mom and told her we needed to get her to a hospital immediately!  I was sure this young girl was going to crash right in front of me.  Having worked in a pediatric hospital for 12 years, I had seen my fair share of respiratory distress children, and even had a young 8 year old that died from an asthmatic attack.  To say that I was worried is an understatement.  To say that I was scared was definitely much more accurate.  But there I was, in a village, with no means of transportation, and was waiting for the mother to return with her husband (their house was quite a ways away - and she had run home to get her husband so they could take her to the hospital).  I sat with her while she received her breathing treatment.  I talked to her calmly, asked that she breath with me (to try and slow her breathing rate), and just talked of simple things.  To keep her mind elsewhere.  Her eyes were as big as saucers as her lungs were frantically trying to exchange what little air they could.  Slowly but surely, over the next 20 minutes or so (and three breathing treatments later), her little body slowly started to respond.  She was breathing less often, her heart rate was slower, her other muscles were relaxing, and her eyes were almost back to normal.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I continued to work with her, and had my team mate come help me do some chest percussion, to help clear her lungs.  By that time her mother had returned.  I explained to her that things were so much better.  But gave her a stern lesson on never letting her daughter be without an inhaler (she had run out of medication).  I gave her an inhaler and told her to return often to make sure she was never without.  Ten minutes after this, after I continued to make her stay in the clinic so I could monitor her - she was laughing, and even coloring some coloring pages I had given her.  She had turned the corner.  I sat down, and my hands started shaking.  The emergency was over, the adrenaline that had kept me going was running it's course.  Once again I had found myself, by myself, with only me myself and I to keep this girl medically stable.  It was a little overwhelming.  Tears wanted to come.  It had drained me - knowing the desperation that these sweet people live on a day to day basis.  Knowing that if I had not been there that day, I shudder to think what may have happened to this sweet little girl.  But God knew - He gave me what I needed...gave little Wendy what she needed...I let her go with the promise she would return in two weeks when I'm there so I could follow-up with her.

I can go a long time again without repeating that, thank you very much!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dorm Update

Status Update On The Dorms (from my husbands blog)

You will recall this time last year we were racing to complete the first floor of our dorms to have them ready for the first of nine short-term summer mission teams arriving in June of 2011. Here we are a year later in the same situation. This time we are racing to get the second floor of the dorms completed by June of 2012 so the first of 17 summer teams can have a place to sleep.

The first of 17 short-term mission teams arrives in Honduras on June 2nd. We have just over two months to finish the upstairs sleeping quarters. These two new dorm rooms have tile and the bathrooms are being finished. We still lack paint, bunk beds, internal doors, glass for the windows, toilets and ceiling fans.

We are ahead of the pace we were setting this time last year, but for the second year in a row it looks like we will be pushing our schedule to the limits.

On the roof, or the third floor, we are building a recreation area to allow visiting missionaries to sit back and relax in the nice cool evening breeze. This third floor area will be covered and have access to protected outlets and its own secure wifi signal. There will be no walls to allow the breeze to blow through, but there will be a tin roof to protect from the rains.

When completed this dorm facility will comfortably sleep 40 short-term missionaries. It will have 12 sinks, 12 showers and eight toilets.

Outside the dorm, on the same property, we are also making progress on our ministry center. This facility will eventually be the home of a church, a homeless kids drop-in center, a high school, a seminary and a medical clinic.
Please be in prayer that we have the time, finances and resources to complete the dorm building before our 17 short-term mission teams arrive this summer.

If you would like to financially contribute to the construction of this facility GO HERE.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

SOCCER WITH GRINGOS - Coming soon to a theatre near you.

On March 17, 2012 we took 13 Honduran boys to play soccer. They received a gospel presentation and hours of fun.

And, they're making a movie about it...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Personal Reflection on Honduras

In June our family will have been in Honduras for 4 years.  We have been out of the United States for 5 year.  Looking back at my time here allows me some perspective of where we started and where we’ve come.

Armenia Bonito is the community we work in.  If you were to be an outsider looking in, the things that you would see would probably be:

When someone is diagnosed with cancer it is a death sentence, almost no one can afford the treatment – whatever type of cancer you have. 

A broken limb is repaired in almost a barbaric fashion, or just amputated because it's cheaper.

Childbirth is lonely, scary, and often times dangerous.  Life threatening emergencies almost always lead to death.

We see people living out lives in a fashion that would leave us wanting.  Collecting wood in the jungle to make their fire to cook their food and we turn a switch to cook ours. 

Trekking down to the river with their laundry to scrub their clothes on a wash rack or on a rock in the river, then to trek back to their house and hang them on a line.  We throw our clothes in a machine, flick a switch and get out fresh clean laundry in an hour.

We see women crying in desperation over their severely sick child, wondering if they will survive to see the next day, and we are allowed to sleep in a sleep chair in an air conditioned hospital room where nurses and doctors care over our little ones.

We get grumpy because we have to buy school supplies for our children when entering school.  Families here can’t even send their children to school because they can’t  buy the simple pencil they need to attend.

We, as a nation, receive food stamps to sustain us if we are in dire straights.  Here, people die on the streets from starvation because there are zero social services to help them out.

9 year old girls who never have the chance to be a child because they are too busy caring for their 18 month old sibling.  And we in the U.S. have children who complain because they have to wash the dishes.
So what do we, as missionaries who serve in this beautiful country see:

Children laughing and playing – just grateful to be alive.  Women who live every day to be a role model to their children, and give up everything to put food on the table.  We see people who are craving to know the God who is our Father for those who have no earthly Father, and for those who do.  We see people who know their lives will be harsh, short, but they live for the moment!  We see people who love their elderly and care for them, not as a burden, but as  a joy. 

 Oh how we can learn from these amazing, resilient people.  Oh how I love to give – to give the love that God has given to me.  But also how I learn to love life like those in Honduras.  What a blessing indeed to be living in and among these amazing people.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One mans trash is another mans treasure

Begging on the streets is a harsh reality here.  There are almost no social services to provide for people who have no money.  Often times kids are begging - but often times they do a chore or a task for that money.  Washing windows, watching your car while you are shopping, this kind of thing.  Today on my way out from the grocery store I was approached by a young boy - but in his hand he held something - in exchange for money he wanted to sell me his creation.  I looked at it in wonder.  The story - one mans trash is another mans treasure?  This young boy had created a thing of beauty from a tin can that had been thrown away.  I couldn't let it pass.  I bought it from him - enough for him to buy a simple lunch.  We both had gained in this small exchange.  I spent a few minutes to speak with him, engage him, asked him if he had made it and how beautiful it was - and he got enough for lunch.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Madison's Art

There's a part of my brain that isn't nearly as developed as Madison's - and that's the artistic side.  She has an uncanny talent for drawing.  From that she has a few sites I would like to introduce you to.  the first is her blog.  She posts art, and honestly would LOVE some critique - it's the reason for the blog.  It's called The Scribbling Corner.  Check it out and comment!

Another site is her animation site she works off from from her DSi.  It's called flipnotes.

And yet another site is where she submits digital and traditional drawings as well as some literature.  Pretty cool stuff!!!  It's called Deviant Art.

I know I'm her mother, but honestly - this is pretty cool stuff!!!  Check it out!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Soccer Field in Armenia Bonito

Soccer Field Roof Is Going Up

On our property in Armenia Bonito we are constructing an indoor soccer field that will be used by our high school in the day and by the community when school is not in session. The erection of the roof over that soccer field has been continually delayed due to lack the crane at workof funds, poorly timed rain, engineering complications, flaky welders and much more.

In the past two days the crane operator, the new welder and the weather finally got on the same sheet of music with our teammate and project supervisor John Clow. The most complicated part of the roof construction is now done. The ten, 1900 lbs trusses have been lifted and welded into place.

In the next few weeks we still have the welding in place of 16 supporting iron Xs between the trusses. After that, dozens of cross beams and then finally thousands of square 
feet of corrugated metal roofing. At that point we will have a all 10 trusses in placefully functional roof.

The completed roof is still some time off, but for now we hope you enjoy this little milestone with us and thank God for His provision. The residents of Armenia Bonito are definitely enjoying it. Some of them have never seen anything like this.