Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I'm beginning to think I should've entered the nursing/doctor field. Last week I spent 4 days in the hospital with Joyce and this week I've spent one full morning in pediatric surgeon's office with Angel (he has growth under his tongue which must be cut off), spent an entire morning in the doctor's office w/Joyce while she had an endoscopy, and just now spent an entire morning in the dentist's office with Angel (his surgeon says the growth is caused by trauma occurring when he rubs his tongue over his front teeth and he must have the teeth corrected before he will remove the growth). Next I have 3 appointments at the dentist, one each for Angel, Fabiola, and Mauricio on Tuesday morning, and a doctor's appointment Tuesday afternoon with Joyce to get the results of her biopsy. Since Joyce doesn't speak any Spanish I'm assigned to all doctor's appointments...oh, joy!!!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Yesterday, I experienced a new way of doing laundry.....at least...it was new for me. When Bob and I drill we usually get pretty covered with clay and mud. Actually, I'm the one that is always covered in stuff. It is a mystery to both Bob and I. I just look at a speck of dirt and I'm covered! Bob can go a whole week of drilling while wearing one pair of pants to drill in whereas I go through 2 or 3 pairs! Weird huh? Anyway, when we are finished drilling or just need cleaner clothes to work in, we have to soak the clothing that we used for a few hours or a day. After soaking the clothes, we wring them out and toss them in the washing machine. THIS TIME, previous to soaking, I took the clothes out and hosed them down. After hosing the clothes out I soaked them for a day. After all that, the fun began! I had to hand scrub everything.
It was just me, a small brush, a bunch of water, and a lot of dirty laundry. I started at 8 in the morning and finished at 8:48. It took me 48 minutes just to scrub 3 pairs of pants and 3 T-shirts! Definitely made me appreciate a washing machine more BUT, I also realized how much more I take that washing machine for granted. When "laundry time" hits, we usually think of how much we hate to throw some clothes (usually a LARGE load) into the machine and then have to wait for all of it to wash. Then, after waiting for 30-40 minutes, we think of how much we hate throwing it in the dryer and having to wait another 30-40 minutes just to have dry clothes. Then after all the time is spent waiting for the clothing to be washed, dried, and folded, we want to think of how we could have spent that time doing something else much more entertaining.
While I was scrubbing, all that God continually reminded me of was that I should be VERY HAPPY that I didn't have to use 2 rocks and a creek while spending a whole day out scrubbing in very unsanitary conditions and then having to wait another day or so just for all of my clothing to air dry. That 48 minutes I spent scrubbing suddenly became much, much shorter.
I know things are not great in the States because of the whole debt crisis and other things, but we are all still blessed to be American citizens. Life in the States may get more frustrating but it will be NOWHERE NEAR how some have it here in Honduras. In the States, everyone will still have their microwaves, ovens, stove-tops, toasters, WASHING MACHINES, DRYERS, and other items whereas here....some people have to literally beg or steal for food, wade out in water that they use for drinking, cooking, bathing, and relieving themselves just to wash laundry, and other things.
I'm NOT BASHING anyone but those are just the thoughts that came to my mind. Most of us all grew up with these great things so we don't really know how much of a chore it is just to wash laundry and perform other daily tasks because we have the technology to quickly wipe it out without having to worry about getting dirty. We can just throw the laundry in the machines then walk away. While the machines are doing the work we can go watch T.V., talk on the phone, play video games, etc.
Thanks for reading guys! God bless!
Keep Joyce in your prayers...today she had another endoscopy to try to determine the cause of the pain she's experienced since her gall bladder removal. The test only revealed scar tissue from the previously removed peptic ulcer; however, the doctor felt the need to take a biopsy. We will have the results of the biopsy next Tuesday afternoon. Although we feel the biopsy is only precautionary we appreciate your prayers for positive results and for Joyce's discomfort to subside.
Monday, July 25, 2011
This week has been pretty busy. As mentioned in the last update we started drilling up in the mountains of Santa Cruz De Yojoa for a young missionary couple of Teen Missions. This past week was full of problems for what was supposed to be an "easy drill". We had 3 gaskets go out on us and then the air compressor during the course of drilling this week. As of Friday, we are at 135 ft. We hit rock so now we have to use the air hammer to break through all of that. The problem is that when we were lowering all of the stem back into the hole after connecting the air hammer, the compressor shut off on us exactly like it did back in February. So now, we have to wait for a technician from Grupo Laiesz to accompany us back to the drill site so he can check it out for us. We all believe that we are VERY close to water, so please pray that we can complete this well for this young missionary couple.
Wednesday night my pastor's wife, Marilyn, is coming down with two youth and they will be joining with an 18 person team from Washington D.C. Please pray for their travel and for the week. I really had a phenomenal time with the Tullahoma Team so I can't wait to see what happens with this new team.
Fabiola and Angel have finished their English lessons as of last Friday. Fabiola, Angel, Pedro, and Cesar will finish their Tutoring at Good seed this week. Rosa was bumped up to third grade because she is starting to excel with her education! Mauricio has been enjoying his summer break....maybe a bit too much! He is really getting a grasp of knowing how to be one of those quick-witted, funny guys that knows how to mess with you. It is so amazing to watch these kids change into what God is wanting them to be. I still can't believe sometimes that He has blessed us (YOU and I) to play such a vital part in the molding and shaping of the lives of these children. He is awesome!
Thank you all! Dios Te Bendiga Mi Familia En Jesus Cristo!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
The Honduran government has announced the devaluing of the Lempira effective tomorrow from 18.895 against the U.S. dollar to 17.64! That means for every $1000 in donations we will lose $71.00! Of course it also means the cost of everything will be rising as well. And the big fear is that the maquilas (factories) will begin to leave which would put the country in a severe downward spiral.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
This past week we've been drilling in the mountains for a Teen Mission training center. The drill should've been an easy one based upon what we saw of the terrain; however...
For three days we fought the mud pump trying to maintain a prime in it. First we made a new gasket for the intake housing and tried it out (unsuccessfully), next we made a new gasket for the outflow housing (unsuccessfully), next we made a new gasket for the impeller housing (unsuccessfully), and finally we removed the impeller and replaced all the packing glands in the pump. Now, completely rebuilt it is finally working. We quickly made it to 135' before hitting rock which was a good sign meaning we were passing out of the clay layer and possibly moving closer to water. We pulled all the stem and began to use the air hammer, but after 20 minutes it failed. The same problem we had with it before, the same problem the authorized dealer took 2 months to repair.
Now we down again...waiting on the technician to return on Tuesday before we can once again try to complete this well. Pray for us...
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Hey guys! Sorry it has been such a while!
I arrived safely back in Honduras on the 15th after being back in the states since the 9th. It was a bittersweet 9 days.
When I returned in April to renew my visa, I was in a hurry to return to Honduras. I wanted to get back to work on drilling, I wanted to be back with Bob and Joyce, I wanted to return to the kids because I was fearing my absence was doing more harm than good in terms of my relationship with them, and I wanted to get to see Alba after having such a wonderful weekend with her prior to leaving.
This time, when I was back in the States, I yearned for both Honduras and Tellico. You never really know how much a place or the people in that place mean to you until you have to leave it. That is how it was for me when I returned to Tellico to see my family at home and of my church. I missed the times of just sitting around a campfire with friends late at night. I missed sitting with Tim, Patrick, Paige, Chris, and others while laughing so hard that I couldn't breath. I missed hanging out with my buddy Brandon for hours just talking about Jesus and playing NCAA Football. I missed seeing my pastor. I missed seeing my little sister Danielle and a lot of other things. However, while back in the states I also missed the new family that God gave me here in Honduras and Alba. I missed hearing Bob's funny but corny jokes, Joyce's awesome cooking and wondering if she was okay, Rosa's goodnight hug, Mauricio's and Fabiola's wisecracks, and I missed being with Alba and the laughs we have over my mishaps with Spanish. I found myself wishing how I could have both worlds...the family, friends, and fellowship of Tellico Plains....and those of which I have here in Honduras such as: the peace in my heart, the family, and Alba.
Even though I had these thoughts (and ALOT more) going through my head....none of the people and things mentioned above surpass the love and desire I have for Christ and serving Him here in Honduras. All I want is to make Him proud. I want Him to say to me one day: "Well done my good and faithful servant!". Everything that I have sacrificed for Him (my family, friends, career, finances) I truly count as rubbish in comparison to Him. He is my everything. He is the ONLY reason why I have all the great memories, my family, and my friends of Tellico. He is the ONLY reason why I have this family and Alba here in Honduras.
I would rather have Him and lose everything....than to have everything but Him.
Bob and I are currently drilling in Santa Cruz De Yajoa. We are drilling for a young missionary couple that run a missionary school for "Teen Missions". It is up in the mountains and the Mosquitoes there are complete and utter BEASTS!!! Bob keeps saying that they love white meat and I believe him! Makes me wish I had an air-conditioned, biohazard suit! I'm not sure if they exist, but it sure would be nice to have one!
Starting on the 28th we will have a 22-person team. 3 will come on the 28th and they will be My pastor's wife Marilyn Parker (who has known the kids since 2009) and 2 girls. Then on the 29th we will meet up with the remainder of the team and they will be from Washington D.C. Please pray for their travels to and from the country.
Thank you all for your prayers and help. For those of you who support me on a monthly basis. I OWE you a HUGE "Thank You".
Dios Te Benidiga!!!
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Please lift your hearts in prayer for Craig & Toni Gross...many of you may not know them, but suffice it to say they are great warriors for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! They were notified yesterday that their son had been killed in action in Afghanistan.
You don't have to know them to feel for them! You don't have to know them to entreat the Lord to send the only thing that can possibly heal a father's or mother's heart...more of the Holy Spirit! Remember them often and remember Frank, who gave his life that terrorists might not ever step foot on our land again.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tomorrow Fabiola has both sessions of her summer school cancelled so she and her mother are going shopping for the day!!! Only two girls could waste an entire day doing nothing but shopping, but they seem to be geared up for it. It will be Joyce's first day out on her own since coming home from the hospital, so it'll be good for her.
Poor Bob...he's left to contend with the rest of the"brood"....
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Except for the finishing touches, the pics below are of a house built on a firm foundation, bathed in prayer, and ready for occupancy! Next week a family with a paralytic son will be moving into a home that prior to this wasn't even a dream for them. Blessings to all who worked on this project.
Monday, July 11, 2011
- 7:00 a.m. drop Rosa, Cesar, & Antonio at Rodolfo Rojas & return home
- 8:00 a.m. drop Fabiola, Angel, & Pedro at Good Seed and return home
- 9:30 a.m. pick-up Fabi, Angel, & Pedro at Good Seed & return home
- 12:00 noon pick-up Rosa, Cesar, & Antonio at Rodolfo Rojas & return home for lunch
- 1:00 p.m. drop Cesar at Good Seed, drop Angel at Miss Ligua's tutoring class
- 2:00 p.m. pick -up Cesar; 2:15 p.m. pick-up Angel and drop Fabiola at Miss Ligua's
- 4:00 p.m. pick-up Fabiola & return for dinner
In between: run the house, drill wells, build houses, host teams, and NAP!!!
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Praise the Lord we brought Joyce home from the hospital today shortly after noon. She feels much better although she understandably very tired. The vomiting has stopped and she is eating a limited diet.
Thanks to each of you for your very powerful prayers.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Just back from the hospital and we didn't get to bring Joyce home today as we had hoped. She still is unable to keep anything in her stomach including just plain water and it has the doctors concerned.
She will spend another night in the hospital and then they will re-evaluate in the morning. We all thank you for the many, many prayers you all are lifting for Joyce and for the family.
Bob & kids
The surgery went well yesterday and the gall bladder has been removed. We were hoping she might get released today, but that's not to be. The doctor wants to continue to monitor her pain levels, as well as, the levels of her pancreas.
If all goes well she may get to come home tomorrow around noon....thank you each for your continued prayers.
Bob & Kids
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Joyce is immobilized at this moment with pain in her right side, shoulder, and back. We've contacted her doctor and he moved her appt. up to 12:00 noon from 2:00 p.m. so hopefully she will get some relief then.
The kids called me home from the eye doctor where I was getting my cataracts checked. The drive home was interesting...they had given me drops to dilate my eyes which of course allows much more light to enter the eye giving you severely blurred vision. In the states they make you wait an appropriate amount of time. Here they just send you 'squinting' on your way.
Pray the Lord will bring relief to Joyce and she will be pain free.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Mauricio made this motorized car literally from nothing. He had wires, cogs, axels, wheels, pieces that he made into contacts, etc. and he put them all together himself. He wired the battery, fit the gears together, installed a forward and reverse switch just to mention a few. There were many pieces missing so he improvised, fought through many problems, and ended up with a spectacular invention! What a truly outstanding job!!!
Joyce had an x-ray and an MRI done yesterday along with a creatine test. She has an appointment w/the doctor to review the results on Thursday at 2:00 p.m.
We met today for 2 hours with Irma at her IHNFA office, but this time we had our judge friend w/us! It makes a big difference when you have a little 'influence' on your side. At the conclusion of the meeting the judge told us she would open her own investigation of our case, would be sending us a new lawyer familiar w/IHNFA requirements, and would schedule an evaluation of Antonio by a government psychologist. There were some baseless accusations thrown around, but we're not worried about them now that we feel there's someone to get to the truth.
Please continue to pray for both of these situations, as well as, travel mercies for Will who leaves for the states tomorrow.
Monday, July 4, 2011
At the end of the week, the teams that come down are given a "free day". For the Tullahoma team's free day they wanted to go check out the Pulhapanzak waterfall (which is 150 ft.) and boy was it a sight! This was my first time to the waterfall and I can honestly say that when you go there, you are experiencing something that would be featured in the National Geographic magazines. It was unbelievable!
When we arrived to the waterfall, we all changed and prepared for a tour through, under, and behind the waterfall. This was INCREDIBLE! When we started the tour, we went down a path which lead to a bunch of rocks we had to climb over. Once over the rocks you just see the guide jump into a large pool of water. When I saw that pool of water and realized that we had to go through...I knew that this was not going to be as easy as I expected. One by one everybody jumped into the pool of water and made it to the next set of rocks. Once over the rocks we walked right under the waterfall. That was brutal! The guide informed us that we could not breath through our noses because the water was so constant that it would go right in our nostrils. He then told us that we would have to hold our heads down and breath through our mouths. That really wasn't so hard. The hard part was seeing where you were going. After we went under the waterfall there was another pool of water and you could barely see where to go. All you could see was a white mist everywhere. Everyone made it through to the next set of rocks which went behind the fall so we all had a brief break from the constant pounding that the waterfall was laying on us (imagine water constantly falling on your head from 150 feet above).
That was where the best moment of the entire week for me occurred. Fabiola was a little bit nervous before starting (which surprised me because this was her second trip to the waterfall) and was not sure if she wanted to go. I told her that I would stay with her no matter what she decided and that if she was to go I would stay right with her. She opted to go...so I followed. I did not let her leave my side. After the first pool of water she told me she was starting to get cold but she kept pushing. When we made it behind the waterfall, there was a point where a person could sit without a lot of water hitting them. Tim and I told Fabiola to sit there. When we were at that spot, I noticed she was shaking and there was still some water falling on her. I put my left arm around her shoulders and placed my back to the water that way it would land on me and not on her. We sat there for at least 5 minutes. For me...that was a tremendous moment. All my life, I have had a desire to protect people (I believe that is why I wanted a career in Law Enforcement so badly) especially those I love. God blessed me with a moment in which I could protect her and sacrifice my comfort for her comfort. THAT MOMENT WILL FOREVER BE BURNED IN MY MIND AND IN MY HEART. I love these kids, they have all of my heart...and I had the opportunity to show that to one of them that very day.
After some time passed, we got to go inside a small cave (and I mean small!). After the cave we headed back out to the path so that we could jump off a 35ft. cliff into the water. That's right mom....I jumped off a cliff! It was cool! I wish I had a pic of it but I didn't even think to have Bob take a picture (he didn't go) for me. It...Was...Awesome!!!
I have never seen such a beautiful site. After walking out from under the fall, you had to climb a specific rock on the way out. I looked up and could see EVERYTHING. I could see the entire waterfall from top to bottom. I thought to myself "God is SO AMAZING!!!" Just think. If you look at these pictures I've enclosed, God made all of that! I was so grateful to experience what I did that day. I learned a lesson that day too. Because of my obedience, I blessed me with the opportunity to take part in something that most people around the world will never see. When we serve Him, He blesses us in ways that we could never imagine. I never thought that at the age of 25 I would see what I did that day. BUT, because of His mercy and grace...I was blessed to take part in it. That is something that things of this world can NEVER buy. All He wants are our hearts! We make it so hard on ourselves. Imagine how much more He would bless us if we were obedient all the time! Yet...even when we are faithless...He is faithful.
Thank you all for your prayers! FBC Tellico, I can not wait to see you guys! 2 more days!
"Yep...that is what we were under."
"Once again..we were under ALL of that! Cool huh!?"
"Amber DaCosta zip-lining across the fall (Shows how big the waterfall is!)"
"Big waterfall=Small People"
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Yesterday Joyce & I spent 2-1/2 hours meeting with a judge in the Family Court section of the Honduras court system. She is the wife a vet. friend we have here is San Pedro Sula and agreed to hear our story of the kids and what's occurring now.
We told her the whole story, including the fact that the director of the orphanage was a Catholic priest, and she was appalled upon hearing their plight. We also told her we fear the priest is paying 'parents' to show up and file claims for their previously abandoned children simply so he can take them from us....it's his way of punishing us, we believe.
She has agreed to accompany us to a meeting with IHNFA (Child Welfare) next week and will also open her own private investigation of our case. Please pray she follows through on all of her promises, as she has also promised to find us a Christian lawyer with expertise in INHFA.
Thanks for all your prayers.....
Saturday, July 2, 2011
During days 3 & 4, we were able to work at the site for the house.
Day 3 was !!!BRUTAL!!! We were all stoked in the morning to finally go out and try to complete as much of the work as we possibly could. When we arrived at the worksite it became really hot. The ground was all broken up and the footers were dug for the foundation so all we had to do was pour the footers. Easy right???? NOPE. We had to mix our own concrete....without mixers. When you mix concrete down here you have to sift sand, pile it up in an isolated part of the worksite, dump concrete mix on it, then water, and then you start mixing it on the ground by shovel. That seems like it takes forever because as you mix it you have to prevent the pile of mud from losing any water. Once the concrete is mixed you take it by the bucket full and pour it in the ground. Once the bottom layer is poured, you have to take rocks and place them by hand on the concrete in two rows. After you finish the laying down of the rock, you have to pour another layer of concrete.
Halfway through the day of work Alejandro (one of the men overseeing our work) and Tim brought another load of blocks for us to unload. It was Tim and I along with some of the bigger youth and by the time we had unloaded all of the blocks we were all drained. None of us could work anymore. I went to the tent that we all had set up for breaks and I drank the most water I ever had in one sitting. I looked over and Tim was sitting on top of the blocks with a towel over his head slumped over, the youth were just all over the place sitting on the ground, and the rest of the group was pretty much like us. They were either sitting or moving real slow trying to mix more concrete. Everybody was physically drained. Eventually, Bob and Andy decided we all had to leave.
Day 4 was practically the same. We arrived eager and excited to work, then left completely drained and exhausted. For part of the workday, most of the women went to an even poorer part of the area and evangelized. After they returned and worked for the rest of the day we were once again all drained. I went to the tent and realized we were out of water so Joyce had me run to a pulperia and purchase another 5 gallon bottle of water. At the end of the day we had half of the bottle left so Joyce told me to return it to the pulperia owner so that she could use the water. I returned, gave her the water, and as soon as I left God laid it on my heart to talk to her about Christ. I returned with Bob and it turned out that she and her entire family were Christians. Whenever I have seen her after, she calls me brother! Pretty cool huh!?
Part 4 will be next.
Thank you all!
Friday, July 1, 2011
On the brightside....the kids did get to have some fun out on the street today. As you will see....we also had some wild moments! Both guys took the falls pretty well!
NOTICE: No kids were harmed during the filming of these videos.....it just looked like it hurt.
***Definitely not trained professionals. Please do not attempt these at home.***
I'm just back from the 'visitation' for Rosa, Cesar, Pedro, & their mother. The same mother who burned Rosa's genitals with a iron creating heavy scarring because she allegedly wasn't obeying. The mother was very plain looking, but had all the court documents she needed to prove who she was. She didn't appear bright enough to me to gather the documents on her own. She didn't speak to the kids and the kids didn't speak to her, but they were made to stand with her for a picture.
This morning I believe I received some discernment from God about this 'visit'. I believe God's telling me that Padre Vincente is behind this and the taking away of Gershon, Karen, & Jesus. None of these people ever wanted anything to do with their kids until a year after we had custody of them. We, and Fiscaglia (the attorney general's office) know that Vincente was using the kids to raise huge amounts of money from Europe and now that 'meal ticket' was gone. We all know that many kids simply disappeared and that one was murdered! But they still won't stop him. I think he is vindictive enough to be paying these 'parents' to come get legal custody of these children just to punish us. Being a Catholic Priest in this country makes you virtually untouchable! After the kids and I testified against Vincente in court he was given a sentence of 22 years casa a casa, or house arrest. But almost immediately he was out and driving (he had an accident) and he's opened up a new school for kids that nobody checks on.
I feel certain that unless God works a miracle it's only a matter of time until we lose Rosa, Cesar, & Pedro! We have to take them back for a second 'visit' on the 2nd of August, and again this is the same pattern that developed with the other three we lost. PLEASE PRAY! We(you and us) may be the last chance these kids get!!!
Today Bob, Mauricio, and I headed back out to the site of the house to continue stuccoing. So far 3/4's of the house is finished in terms of stuccoing. Mauricio was an all-around help for Bob and I today. With him helping us we knocked out the bathroom walls, one interior side, and 1 1/2 sides of the exterior! Not bad for a half day's work!!! Unfortunately we could not stay all day (I think we could have finished all of the walls if we did) because we were hit with a surprise yesterday.
As you all know already, Pedro, Rosa, and Cesar have to go to IHNFA to take part in a visitation with someone from their family today at 2 pm. Which is why I want to ask all of you to please pray. Like Bob said in the last post, this is EXACTLY how it started when they took Gershon, Karen, and Jesus from us. PLEASE PRAY!
We will let you all know what happens later.
"The roof is started!"
"I'm too short!"
"Mauricio working on the outside."