Thursday, December 22, 2005

2005 And Out

When I was a kid, a year seemed like a decade and a decade seemed like a lifetime. I guess when you are a kid, both are true. This year is almost gone and I am barely used to writting 2005 because I am still not quite in the new century. Oh well. I don't need to worry too much about writting 2005 much longer because we only have 9 days of it left.
A lot of really good and unexpected things have happened in this fast paced year that has just BLOOOOWN by. 2005 started like bost others - on the 1st of January... sorry about that..
When the year started I was comfortable in my job and expected to continue in the pork businness for a long time. Surprise - our unexpected job change and move (soon I hope) to Memphis has been an above average - very good change. My new company is off to a great start and the people are the best that I have ever worked with. God is good.
Please pray that our house will sell very soon and we can get this move made.
TORCH missions was an unbelievable adventure in 2005. Our team grew and grew and eventually expanded to about 180. We were able to plant 2 churches, feed about 1500 families, help almost 1000 in medical clinics, build 35 houses & a church building, and teach the Word to many many people. There were over 54 new Christians from the seeds that were sown.
Terri & I were also drawn into the work around development, construction, and establishent of a new children's home project in Honduras. Casa de Esperanza is now built, dedicated to our Lord, and will be ready to accept children in early January. Casa is a beautiful building and is in a very very beautiful place. If you never thought that you had a reason to go to Honduras, Casa would change your mind. Especially when we get the kids there in January.
My new year of 2005 started with an extreme life change because I became a grandpa on the 31st of December, 2004. New Yeaers Eve is now and forever to be known as Camille's birthday. Being a grandpa is excellent! You gotta be one to understand.
In early December, I also became the proud parent of a son with a 4.0 in college. If you knew where Nathan had been, you too would celebrate this God made change with me. He has become a wonderful husband, dad, & student. Thank you God!
My other change in 2005 is one that I am not quite sure about. His name is Matt and he is Nicole's boyfriend. Matt is really nice and is good to Nicole but, I am not quite ready to share MY baby with another man.
We are off to Texas tomorrow to be with the folks for Christmas. I am looking forward to it....all of it except not having Nathan, Julia, & Camille there. They will be with Julia's parents and we will see them the following weekend on Camille's birthday (the day previously called New Years Eve). It will be great!
Our God is so good... all the time!
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 05, 2005

December 10th -

Last summer I was with my friend Tim and we were pulling dates out of the air. One of the dates that we pulled was December 10th, 2005. that is the day we decided would be a good day to open a children’s home. In June or July, it seemed a long time off and certainly enough time to raise money, build a big house, stock it up with all the things that one might need to take care of 20 kids, plan a party, and probably have days or even weeks to spare.
Well, most of that has happened – except for the part about raising all the money, we are pretty close though. As far as the part about the big house, that too is almost finished and it is gonna be great. The 20 kids are coming and the party is planned. December 10th as going to be a day to remember – a day to remember as the birthday of Casa de Esperanza – the Home of Hope. From it’s concept in April to it’s opening this coming Saturday has been amazing. Terri & I are blessed that we are going to be there for the excitement.
By summer, the house at Casa will be full of children, full of love, and full of wonder. The yard will be full of reminders of the children that live there. The rooms will have the noises that happy kids make and the kitchen will be filled with the smells of the food that will keep them full. When visitors come, they will be greeted with smiles and hugs.
December 10th will also be a big step for the “Women of My Hope” as we will be with them when they break ground on the training center in Santa Ana. In a few months, ladies will be learning the skills that they need to provide for their families. I’m excited.
A year ago, I would have never dreamed that I would get the chance to help build this children’s home....for that matter, even that it was a remote possibility. Now, here we are right in the middle of everything and loving (almost) every minute of it.
I guess we are pretty small minded when we try to ‘box in” our concept of what God has planned for us. Just a few years ago, all I wanted to do was take one of my kids on a mission to Honduras and now I get to take about 200 people a year on mission to Honduras.
In April when my friend Jen Wright sent a note to Tim Hines that she would really like to take care of kids in Honduras, probably had no idea that the events of the past 8 months would lead her to living in Santa Ana in a place called Casa de Esperanza. Be careful when you dream outloud – others may hear you (especially our God) and you might get what you were asking for.
Well, enough rambling. This Saturday is going to be a wonderfully great day and I am blessed that i get to be a part of it. I can’t wait to see what the God’s next plan is.