Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
The rains continued again today and are forecast through the whole of next week. No major problems here, just road damage and some of the poorer adobe homes literally 'melt' with this much rain.
Our truck is still in the garage and so we had 12 of us crammed into a Hyundai compact car this morning for church. We looked like one of the old 60's photos of college kids seeing how many they could get into a Volkswagon bug!
Schools are cancelled tomorrow because of street flooding...that's a dirty trick to play on us!
Saturday, May 29, 2010
More rain today...very hard causing street flooding and us to lose our power for a time. Thankfully it's back on now. It went out right at dinner time so we had to cram into the car and head for restaurant...it was an adventure as many of the streets had become rivers; but we made it there and back, and when we got back we had electricity.
Had a short, but great visit today from our friend Kevin and his team from Knoxville which included a gal from our hometown of Tellico Plains. She even brought Joyce's thyroid medicine with her. Isn't God cool?
Today we got more rain which is beginning to cause lots of problems in the area with flooding and road damage.
Also, received news we would not be getting our truck back for the weekend as we had hope. We have a small Hyundai sedan we've rented, but it seats 5 so it's very difficult for us to go anywhere. Tomorrow we have to get 12 of us in it to go to church!
Half the kids are on some type of restriction this weekend and with all the rain and no car to go anywhere it feels like we're punishing ourselves.
Friday, May 28, 2010
We forgot to mention a couple of things...
- We finally have our papers filed for residency (required by IHNFA to keep the children) and in one to two months should have our residency cards...think lawyers, think cost!
- We are in the process of filing for our ONG status (non-governmental organization) also required by IHNFA to keep the children...think lawyers, think Cost!
- The workers rights laws here are something to behold...
- you must pay for 14 months, not 12 so in June everybody gets an extra MONTH'S SALARY
- ONE WEEK VACATION PAY
- AND THEIR REGULAR SALARY
In addition, the ones we fire get a severance pay equal to approximately to 3 month's salary...think cost!!!
These have been and continue to be trying times for us...
- IHNFA continues to take us to court, but we never get any definitive word...so we wonder while trying desperately to leave it all in God's hands. Sometimes difficult to let go...
- We've headed into our rainy season and the daily rains have brought out the mosquitoes in abundance. And since the monkeys long ago destroyed our screens we co-exist w/the mosquitoes.
- The rains have also caused the termites to come out of the ground. This house is so infested w/them it's hard to describe, but last night we used two cans of spray to try to kill all of them that were coming inside. The floors were literally covered with them.
- You know the rains caused us some flooding in the house and we've been trying to get the landlord to make the necessary repairs, unsuccessfully. On top of that we have a toilet that won't hold water even after replacing the flapper and we can't get him to repair that either. With 12 of us in here we can't afford to be down a toilet.
- I've been drilling in the mountains and am at 200' and in water, but very little. I've located one more 5 foot length of drill stem and want to put that down hole to see if we can open the aquifer to an adequate level.
- The truck has been in a repair shop for the past 4 days and no word yet on when I will receive it. This keeps me from returning to finish the drilling and severely hampers our ability to move around.
- We are trying to guard our resources until we hear what deductible we will have to pay for Joyce's accident, but until now all we hear is "we're working on it".
- Our two oldest boys are on severe house restriction because of unacceptable behavior in school (separate incidents).
- We've had to fire our cook (she's unsanitary in the kitchen and the kids are complaining about the food), so we're having to hire a new cook.
- The bugs are making the house so unhealthy that we've had to extend the days of our cleaning lady to cover the rest of the week.
- And the biggest trial is finances...all of the above things are draining our resources and we are trying to tighten our belts even more than before. We desperately need you to ask your friends to become faithful monthly partners w/us. Regardless of the amount, if they are faithful we, and the children, will be blessed.
We don't mean to vomit all over you; but sometimes it's necessary to let you know what's really happening here.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday we had to take Antonio to court to be interviewed by a judge. First the judge talked with him and then w/Joyce & I about seemingly mundane things. What was the outcome of the hearing? What was the purpose of the hearing? We don't have a clue to either question.
Today Joyce is very ill w/a cough, heavy chest congestion, and severe body pain. She went for blood tests and a chest x-ray and we believe she has a virus and with antibiotics she will soon be back to herself.
Our truck has been in the garage for two days and we've not gotten any word on when we might get it back, or what the cost might be. We still have a well to finish in La Esperanza, but can't get to it until we get our truck back.
As usual, we covet your prayers!
Friday, May 21, 2010
What I thought was a water strike at 190' turns out to be just a water 'pocket'. I found 10 more feet of stem and drilled to 200' and hit more water, but not nearly enough. It is replenishing itself, but far too slowly to develop. Please pray the Lord will open this aquifer so the water will flow freely.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
More torrential rains around midnight last night produced severe flash flooding. Those of you who were here last July will recall that the streets of San Pedro Sula can become whitewater sluices when we get heavy downpours. Last night was even worse than last July! Many streets torn up, trees down, cars inundated or washed away, homes flooded...a real mess!
We are okay; just "mopped out"! The construction here leaves a lot to be desired and one of them is that it would be nice if your home were water proof! If you go to: www.laprensa.hn you will some pics of the flooding.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
- The morning you know about...stress-filled court from 8-11:30 a.m.
- Home for lunch
- Head to the other side of town to meet w/the owner of the rental car company from Joyce's accident...seems insurance doesn't work the same here as in the states. After waiting 35 minutes he tells me basically nothing other than he'll call me the end of the week.
- Head to the computer repair store - kids broke two keys off the keyboard - they can't fix it, I have to go to another store to the tune of $60 - $70 for a new keyboard.
- Head to the Cepudo office to meet w/our lawyer about filing for residency...it's done, she needed Joyce's passport.
- Return home and get Joyce to follow me to pick up the truck at a new mechanics - he can't fix it. Make an appointment w/another mechanic for Monday morning.
- Home just in time for dinner; after dinner we lose our electricity and a severe thunderstorm approaches.
- We get our power back, but now have a torrential downpour and we have leaks at the kitchen door (entire kitchen floor flooded), boys downstairs bedroom (entire floor flooded), windows in the stairway (the stairs look like a waterfall).
- Get the water mopped and dried and rain finally stops coming inside the house.
- Teach Mauricio and Fabiola math with all English instructions to prepare them for next year.
- Settle down for a 8 games of bingo with 7 of the kids.
- Answer e-mail and now off to bed!!!
We're just back from our court hearing. After sitting from 8 - 9:30 the mother walked into the waiting area and we knew we'd been set-up. Another hour passed before we were finally called to speak w/the judge. After that Joyce and I felt pretty good and she said she only wanted to ask the kids if they wanted to go w/their mother or live w/us. Problem? Karen panics in the presence of authority and will do nothing but cry, which is what she did and we don't know how the judge interpreted that.
Finally the judge said we could go and take the kids w/us. She told she would be conferring w/a psychairist and then call us back. We don't know if that is today, tomorrow, next week, or next year.
Please keep praying.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Today we were drilling with the last available drill stem and down to the last 3 feet of it before we finally hit water at 190 feet! With everyone praying and focusing on our work we were beginning to wonder when God came through again, just as He always does! Thank you, Jesus.
Now tomorrow morning is another in a series of tests for us. We've received no news of help from anyone it; will be us, the kids, and the judge.............however, we have a strong feeling that once again God will show up...just in time! He knows we're desperate and that we've done all we know to do and we've put it in His hands. Now we wait for Him...why is it always so difficult to wait for Him when He's proven Himself to us so many times before?
Please keep praying......
Monday, May 17, 2010
The weekend has come and past and we still have no definitive word on what to expect Wednesday morning when we take three of the kids in front of a judge. We talk about it a lot in front of the kids so that they are aware of the possibilities and will pray for themselves.
We drilled today and reached 95'; 70 of which is solid rock. The air hammer performed flawlessly and literally ate its' way through the rock, but we're still dry as a bone.
Please pray for the drilling, we're looking for 'Living Water'.........and obviously pray for our hearing on Wed. In fact please enlist others to join you in praying against the attack of IHNFA...pray that through this trial God will open new doors for us to gain permanent custody, even adoption!
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Joyce & I had a meeting today with the tutor for Fabiola & Mauricio who is attempting to get their English up to speed so they can enter her school in August which is entirely in English. We took Angel & Jesus with us as we want to enroll them as well.
The teacher and the principle says they are great students and will be ready to go...they also said the loved the little guys and are eager to have them there as well.
This is the best school we've seen and although, once again, it's more money it's certainly worth it. Their teachers are certified, all classes including recess are in English, and each day begins with Praise & Worship and Bible Study! Is this good or what? We are really excited to be able to give them this opportunity and hope that next year Karen, Rosa, & Cesar might be able to make the switch.
Please keep praying...we haven't heard that the hearing in front of the judge has been called off, but that's what we're praying for.
Love, Bob, Joyce, & Kids
Thursday, May 13, 2010
This afternoon I took Gershon, Karen, & Jesus for another 'forced' visit with their birth mother at the IHNFA offices. However, this time she wasn't late; SHE DIDN'T SHOW! It was actually what I was praying for...I thought if she didn't show and demonstrated her unreliability IHNFA would relent and see that the kids were better off where they were.
But it had the opposite effect on Irma...she went into panic mode, literally using three phones at once to make calls to find a solution to her new 'problem'...no place to send the kids. She finally succeeded in finding a Judge who agreed to make the kids show up in court next Wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m. to be questioned by her with the ultimate goal of removing the children from our care.
When Irma wouldn't answer me, or even acknowledge my presence, I lost a little self-control and got 'in her face' a bit. I asked her why she was trying so desperately to take all of our children and her response was feigned surprise and a weak denial. When I told her I knew she had been offering our children to other orphanages she just quit talking to me altogether. I asked her to tell me if she honestly believed the kids would be better off somewhere else, and she refused to answer me. Instead she shoved a handwritten (I watched her write as she spoke on the phone) note under my nose telling me of the appointment w/the judge.
In desperation I called the First Lady's secretary knowing I had little chance of actually getting through to her...BUT I DID! She agreed to meet me at her office in an hour which gave me time to take the kids home, pick up Joyce, and make the meeting. She told me she was glad I called because she had been trying to reach me and had lost my number. She said the First Lady wanted an update on the situation and was coming to town tomorrow along with her assistant in charge of restaffing this IHNFA office. I told her I realized how busy everyone would be but told her if they could make any time at all we would love to have the First Lady, her assistant, or the secretary come by the house and visit w/the children. She made notes as we re-told the story to her and promised to make sure everyone got the update. She seemed extremely positive to us that this should not happen and she would help to fight for us.
Joyce & I left very encouraged, but cautious! We have come to understand that it doesn't have to make sense, earthly or moral, for something bad to happen here. We are still in great danger of losing our children and we ask for your fervent, consistent prayers! We need to call upon all the forces of heaven to break down our enemy and the bible makes it clear that when many pray together great things happen. Let's be a part of making something great happen! PLEASE, PLEASE PRAY!!!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Yesterday Joyce and I both got caught in a horrendous traffic jam when one of the main streets of the city (4 lanes in each direction) was completely shut down. When we each reached the point of the problem we could see police tape blocking both directions of the avenue and photographers taking pictures, so we knew there had been a crime committed, we just didn't know what.
This morning's paper gave us the answer. An American missionary couple had stopped at a red light and two thieves ran to the car to rob them and were holding them at gunpoint. It was then that God's protection kicked in...two private security guards "just happened" to be driving by and saw the robbery in process and shot & killed one of the robbers; the other got away. The couple, unidentified, only spoke English and who knows what was about to happen to them.
I share this story for two reasons: 1) It's important that you know San Pedro Sula is one of the most dangerous cities in the world and that you pray accordingly for us. 2) It's also important to realize that God is our protection and He shows up when He's needed!
Satan would use incidents such as this to frighten people, to keep them away. After all, what chance do you have when you're stopped in traffic? But we choose to use this story as inspiration for us to simply trust in the Lord and His promises! We must use common sense and do everything we can to keep ourselves safe; but ultimately it is God who is our protection...and He never fails!
Monday, May 10, 2010
On Friday the starter on one of the drill rig engines got 'fried' and we had to stop working. The location of the drill is one hour up a dirt road high into the mountains and getting a mechanic there is not easily done. It seems Satan is constantly trying to discourage us and get us to give in, but "...we walk by faith and not by sight..."
Saturday the missionary we're drilling for took the starter to a mechanic he knows at the bottom of the mountain. Turns out he worked for Carnival Cruise Lines for many years and is extremely knowledgeable, but he wouldn't be able to do anything until Monday. This morning I took Gershon, Fabiola, & Mauricio(no school today for some reason nobody knows) and headed to Villanueva to pick up the mechanic and then head up the mountain. During the hour long ride up the mountain I began to talk to the mechanic about Christ and God. He told me he wasn't saved and didn't really have time to go to church, but he did try to do the right things. What an open door the Lord presented to me! From there is was fairly easy to help him to see that it wasn't church or good deeds that he needed; it was a personal relationship with Jesus! Before we reached the top of the mountain we became brothers in Christ as he prayed and asked Jesus to become his Lord! Is that not amazing...if the starter hadn't burned up I would never have met this man. What Satan means for evil, God often turns to glorious victories!!!
This evening after dinner we all walked down to the local soccer field/playground and it is really a treat to see how much fun they all have...Gershon, Mauricio, Fabiola, & Karen all entered into a soccer game with some other neighborhood kids, Angel, Jesus, & Pedro chased each other non-stop and built a seesaw with a board and broken concrete blocks, while Cesar, Antonio, and Rosa found a skate board and all sat on it rode a steep hill on the side of the playground. They giggled, laughed, grunted, ran, jumped, chased until they were all exhausted and thoroughly sweaty and dirt encrusted! It's neat to remember just eleven months ago they never laughed or played with any freedom...God is good to us all!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Today we escape! This morning we taking everyone to church which means will escape the confines of our house for the first time in eight days, PTL!!! The chicken pox appears to have run its' course, blisters are almost totally dried up and we've not had any new outbreaks...so we're 'breaking out'!
Friday, May 7, 2010
Today was the Mother's Day celebration at the children's school and it was for mothers "only"! It was a big deal to the kids, in fact when Joyce dropped them off at school Fabi asked her to come home and put on a different blouse...who's running this ship?
Anyhow the kids had a lot of fun as Karen & Rosa danced a skit, Fabi made a butterfly fan for Joyce, and Gershon recited a long poem from memory which Joyce says was quite impressive.
Meanwhile I picked up the air compressor and headed to the mountains to drill. Picking up the compressor was still not a walk in the park; I won't tell you it happened again but let's just say they still had to "cut" the lock off the door...enough said!
Chicken pox is slowly drying up.....
Thursday, May 6, 2010
It happened again...you say you can't believe it...you say I couldn't be that dumb, but guess what?
I got a call today pleading with me to come take the air compressor out of the warehouse today because they would be getting 5 containers in tomorrow and needed the space. Mindlessly, I said I would come and move the compressor...believing it would actually happen.
I had to take the kids w/me since Joyce wasn't home, so we loaded into the truck and headed to warehouse. Once there I was delighted to see the containers had been moved and the boxes had been cleared out the way on the inside as well. As I started to back into place the supervisor called to me to stop...uh-ooh!
We had just one problem...it seems no one had the key to the overhead door!!! I don't think I'm capable of believing it..."Hondurased, Again!"
Yesterday I went to the warehouse to pick up the air compressor so we could start drilling. A week ago I happened to be at the warehouse and noticed that the compressor was closed in with boxes and I asked the supervisor if she could have it cleared by yesterday...you know, don't you?
It was worse than before; it was still closed in inside the warehouse and now there were two containers parked in front of the door with no cab under them to move them. When she saw my obvious discontent the supervisor started toward me armed with a multitude of Honduran excuses, none of which I wanted to hear. In an effort to not lose my Christian witness God gave me the grace to tell her I would return on Monday, if she could assure me she would have the path cleared. I was afraid to allow her to tell me it would be done later that day or the next only to return to same situation. So, I opted for Monday....I got "Hondurased"!
The chicken pox is still around although some are beginning to dry up while others are just breaking out. We did allow Angel, Karen, & Rosa to return to school today.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
There was no meeting with IHNFA today; seems their elite leader scheduled our meeting on a day that was a holiday for him! Honduran planning?
Tonight Joyce took Antonio, Cesar, & Jesus to the hospital and returned with the news that they have chicken pox! Quarantined.........can you believe this?
Yesterday we did some serious cleaning...the three girls tore their room apart and cleaned it from top to bottom and it looks great! Now, how do we keep it that way?
Gershon & Mauricio moved everything out of their room and repainted it and it, too, looks great!
Ironically the three little boys keep their room much nicer than any of the others. Isn' t that backwards?
Pedro & Antonio join Gershon, Mauricio, Fabiola, Karen, Rosa, & Cesar in school at Rodolfo Rojas today. We're now down to just two schools...hopefully that will make the travel times much easier.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Yesterday we packed a lunch, loaded everyone in the truck and headed into the mountains. We took the kids to a friends farm high in the mountains above Villaneuva, about a one hour climb into beautiful country. The kids had a blast complete with the opportunity to ride a horse for the first time. Unfortunately we forgot our camera so we can't show you the wild-eyed faces! Sorry.
We'll be drilling a well up there next week and it's so beautiful we wanted to take the opportunity to get the kids out of the city and out of the heat. As I said they loved it, but today some are covered with tic bites...itch, itch!
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Sorry I haven't kept you posted, but my computer crashed and I just got it back. Friday Joyce & I were able to gain a 'stay' until Monday for the children. We were able to get in touch with Irma's boss and he agreed to see if he could help us. First he said he would call Irma and tell her to desist until he got back to her.
We have a meeting scheduled w/him on Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. when I will pick him up and bring him to our house for an interview and a 'look-see' around the house.
We tried to get back w/the First Lady, but she was in Teguic and unreachable. We did get her secretary's number but couldn't reach her either...today is Labor Day here and most took long weekends to celebrate.
We did go back to Fiscaglia (Attorney General's Office) and looked up the lawyer who helped us gain the kids in the first place. When we told her what was happening she was very upset and said she would send a Judge to the meeting with IHNFA on Monday.
I think we're moving in the right direction, but please, please keep praying. We don't want a temporary solution; we want a permanent one!