Monday, October 31, 2011

Heading home...

Tomorrow Joyce and I will be heading to the airport and then on to our home in TN. It's our first trip home together in 2-1/2 years and it's made possible by Jay & Jen Sipes, who along with Will, will be watching the children during our absence. Please ask God to bless them in ways beyond their belief for their sacrifices on our behalf!

Pray also for the children...they have mid-term testing all this week and they're used to us helping them with their studies...of course they'll have Will, Jay, & Jen, but it's not what their used to. Also, it will be the first time they've been without us since we were awarded their custody and although they don't voice it directly we're sure deep down inside of them is the wonder if we are just the next couple to desert them.

We'll only be gone for two weeks and have tons of work to do on our house in TN and then we'll be back home in San Pedro Sula with our new family. Thank you all for your support and your faithful prayers...and PLEASE REMEMBER JAY, JEN, & WILL, as well as the kids, in your prayers!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pray for Pedro...

We took Pedro back to Cure International today to have his foot and leg checked out. The new surgeon there is attending the same church as us and he noticed Pedro's limp and asked us to bring him back for a check-up. You may remember that 1-1/2 years ago Pedro had surgery there on his right leg...they cut his Achilles tendon and stretched it so his foot could strike the ground in a flat position.

Due to a growth spurt in the interim his foot is contracted again causing him to strike the ground toes first, so...

The result is he has to have surgery again and have his foot in a cast for 6 weeks. Then he will have to wear a brace for another year. He's a tough little bugger, but he doesn't know about this yet and I'm sure it won't make him very happy.

Please pray for Pedro...and pray for Dr. Jay and Cure International

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rains, flooding, cold front, and more violence...

Like most of Central American Honduras is experiencing severe flooding, damage, and deaths from the recent rains. Yesterday the only North/South route from Teguicagalpa to Choluteca literally fell away leaving the road impassable! The central and Southern sections of the country have many, many people displaced and many homes destroyed. One of the problems associated with prolonged rains is that the homes of the very poor literally 'wash away'! Made of mud, sticks, and stones, continued rains simply wash away the mud that is the bonding material and the homes collapse.

Here in the North of the country we're experiencing a cold front (we love it) (cold means 75 degrees) with lots and lots of rain. Here the streets are taking the brunt of the damage with many manhole covers washed away and thousands of new potholes appearing. Thankfully we have no flooding in our area.

The violence just continues to grow without checks despite the government's vows to control it. The gangs here are very sophisticated and that coupled with the police corruption makes it very difficult to stop. We remain safe and use the prudence God gave us to keep us out of harm's way. Thank you for your continued prayers.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Difficult times...

Please pray for our family as we continue to face deceit, delays, threats, and out-right lies from the authorities concerning our situation with Antonio. Last night was the straw that kind of broke the camel's back for Joyce and she had a bit of a melt down. She's fine now, but the stress levels involved with promises of help and then broken promises are making it extremely stressful for everyone in the family...even the other children are showing signs of being affected!

We feel sometimes as if we're treading water in quicksand and the more we strive to get out the deeper we sink. It's difficult to know how to get the word out to you that we are seeking your prayers without making it sound as if we're having a pity party or that we're giving up. Neither could be further from the truth, but we do need the reinforcement of your prayers!

Thank you, Bob, Joyce, Will, and Kids

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thanks for your prayers...

Yesterday Joyce and I officially received permission to leave the country together! So, thanks to Jay & Jen Sipes who coming down to relieve us (and Will), we will be leaving on the 1st of November and returning on the 15th of November. It's a short stay and will be jammed with hard work, but we are eagerly looking forward to it. It will be our first trip out of the country together since we came in June of 2009!

Thank you again for being faithful in your prayers for us and for the children God has given us charge of. They are growing spiritually as fast as they are physically...thanks be to God!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Symptoms of a nation in chaos...

Today we were supposed to have had an appointment with the judge handling our daughter's, Fabiola, case according to our lawyer. Also, according to our lawyer, she was to meet with the IHNFA officials this morning to assure that we (Joyce & I) had permission to leave the country together.

This we know for sure: while driving to our scheduled (by our attorney) appointment with the judge we received a text message from our lawyer telling us that the judge would not be available today, but maybe she would be available tomorrow. We had previously told the lawyer she needed to be certain about the appointment because we would have to take Fabi out of school. So, obviously she never attempted to make an appointment prior to that very moment! This is supposed to be a lawyer that is well-versed in the child welfare laws and one upon whom we could rely! When we texted her back to ask about the permission to leave the country she only replied, "I'll call you later." Does that tell you what it tells me? She didn't talk to the IHNFA official either!!

This is so typical of everything here in Honduras...nobody stands for their word and the response is "that's just the way things work here." Everybody expects everybody else to lie!!! How can a country, a business, a ministry, a family ever move forward in this atmosphere? It is just one frustration heaped upon another and it makes it difficult to not lose one's Christian walk. Nothing can be corrected here, because nothing is anyone's fault! There is always an excuse for every failure so you are supposed to just accept it and move on.

Please continue to pray for God to intercede on our behalf and on behalf of Fabiola and the other children. Only He can make in-roads in a country that is so steeped in falsehoods and rationalizations.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Prayer Request...

Tonight our lawyer finally showed up at our house, but her news was not good. She told us that the judge turned down our request to get a passport and Visa for Fabiola. After much discussion she agreed to take Joyce, Fabiola, and myself to speak to the judge in person. It is our hope that we can get the judge to listen to Fabiola and not be led by the petty politics that plaque this country.

There is no other route from which we can demand accountability, so we must rely upon the prayers of the saints to encourage God to intercede on Fabiola's behalf. Our meeting is at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow our time...4:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Another prayer request...the lawyer told us tonight that IHNFA may not allow Joyce and I to leave the country together. We are attempting to come out for two weeks so we can get our home in TN. rent-ready. Since we've been in Honduras our personal finances have been drained to the point where we must rent our house or lose it! Please pray we will get the clearance to come out for these two weeks. If we get to travel it will be the first time we've been back to the states together in 2-1/2 years...and we need a breath of fresh air.

Honduran time lines...

The registration for our Chevy expired and when we went to pay it we were told they couldn't find the car in the system; ergo, we couldn't renew; ergo, we were illegal; ergo, if stopped the police would take our licenses' and tow the car! Ergo, I was upset!!!

So, yesterday I went to the dealer and told them of the problem. They said, "Oh, it's our fault someone didn't complete their job, but we'll fix it. It will take two weeks!" I told them that wasn't acceptable that we had paid for the car in full and now because of their error we couldn't drive the car. We needed either a document to allow us to drive, or another vehicle. "No problem," they said. We'll call you by 2:00 p.m. this afternoon. Do you think they called? NO, THEY DIDN'T CALL! So, this morning I called the manager, but mysteriously he wasn't answering his phone; so we went to the dealership. They called for the manager, but he wasn't in his office...they called his cell phone, but he didn't answer. Finally they reached him and he told us he now had the problem solved and we could go to the bank and renew our registration. Finally, we have it!

Case No. 2: Our lawyer told us she would travel to Teguicagalpa on Thurs. to check on our carnet, residency card. She didn't go and told us she would go on Friday. She didn't go and told us she would go on Monday, but...Monday was a holiday, so she said she would go on Tuesday after stopping by our house to pick up her memo book which she left here last Thursday. She said she would be here between 11 & 12...she hasn't come yet! She told us she would send a letter to IHNFA on our behalf last week; she didn't send it. She told us she would get us an answer concerning Fabiola's passport and visa...she hasn't!

Case NO. 3 Our Honduran partner told us they didn't have the money to pay for any more wells, so I asked for the e-mail for the gentlemen in charge from the states. I was told I would have it last week...still don't have it. My personal contact has decided to not answer my phone calls...although last night he did and he told me he would send me the address last night...I still don't have it!

Case No. 4 IHNFA told us a month and a half ago they would find a place better suited to deal with one of our children...we still don't have an answer; although every time we inquire they tell us, "just wait, we'll know something soon."

It goes on and on and on....I think their deal is to lie enough to cause you to beat your head against the wall until it turns to mush. I think I'm next in line!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's a holiday, let's celebrate....

The kids are off school on Monday and so the celebration begins...

Student send-off ...

Friday was my last day of teaching and my 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th grade math classes all surprised me with hand made cards. They were very touching for me. It's amazing to me how much we connected in such a short period of time especially considering I had to be their strictest teacher. I thank God for the opportunity!

The first card is from Fabiola and you can see from the name that it means a lot to me!

This is a composite from my 4th graders and the smaller cards around the bottom are their individual good-byes.

These are my 5th graders who completely surprised me since I had to do more disciplining in their class than the others.

The sixth grade class actually said they learned some math...PTL!

The seventh graders are the larger individual cards on the table.