Friday, March 21, 2008


I remember the 1970's when the talk around the states was inflation. It was the economy and inflation that helped Reagan get elected president of the USA. I hadn't been out of college too long and inflation wasn't a terrible thing to me because it meant bigger raises.
Until now, I had never considered how inflation impacts the lives of people that live in extreme poverty. This week has opened my eyes. This past week I worked with a group from the U of Alabama. This team purchased and packed 2 loads of food to give away to families in need. When the bill for the food was paid, it was over $300 per load more expensive than it was just last summer. The food cost for basics like beans, rice, corn flour, sugar, coffee, and a few other items has risen by almost 25% in less than a year. For most of us from North America and the USA, this would be a concern yet, we would survive. We would survive by not eating out as often - since eating out for Terri and I would cost about $20 to $25, we would need to eat at home a couple of more times a month to make up for the rise in the cost of food. But - where would you be if every dime that you earned went for only two things. One of the two things is bus fare to get to your job and the other expense is food for your family. Unless you are able to start walking ot work, if your food prices increased in this situation, the only place to cut would be in the amount of food you were able to buy. You may think that the employers would be sympathetic to asking for a raise but, in a place where the unemployment rate is more than 30%, employers don't feel like they need to give raises. Compounding this is the fact that fuel costs are causing the bus fares to increase.
I don't know what one person can do about this problem of people that were already hungry being forced to cut back because of increasing prices. I do know that we will look for ways that we can offer a little relief. I also know that our God answers prayers and we are praying that He will use us to do everything that he has planned for us to do here in Honduras. One of the reasons we are here is because Jesus said " whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you have done it for me."
Be a blessing for somebody today,

Friday, March 14, 2008

Life In The Real World

I have never watched "The Real World". I think it is a television series on one of the music stations - MTV or VH1. Even though I have never watched a single episode of this show, I am pretty sure that the name doesn't fit and that "The Real World" isn't anything like the real world.
In the real world, there are over 6 billion of us.
In the real world, more than half of the world population does not have enough to eat and billions don't have clean water to drink.
In the real world billions live a life where they never hear the name - Jesus. There are billions that don't have HOPE.
In the real world, simple diseases kill people because that cannot afford $2 or $3 for some medicine.
Sometimes when you come face to face with the real world, it isn't pretty and you just don't know what to do. This week I met a little girl named Isabel and she is 4 years old. Isabel weighes only 19 pounds because she is starving to near death. Isabel has never known what it is like to stand up because she has a disease that will prevent her from ever being able to sit up - much less walk. It is likely that she may never talk. Emotions tell us that we should try to make room for Isabel here at Casa de Esperanza but reason tells us that we don't have the permission that is required from the government. Even if we did, we are not equiped to do the level of care that would require nursing skills as well as round the clock care. Pray as we look for a home for Isabel.
Sometimes in the real world, people that love Jesus come to places where there is little hope and try to change that. This week, there was a team of Doctors that came here to make a big big difference in the lives of the people that they were able to serve. This team of 9 came to repair cleft lips and cleft pallets. I know it is hard to imagine, but in most of the world, the health care system isn't designed to take care of people that don't have any money. This is the case in Honduras. Here - if you get sick without money, you are not likely to recieve adequate treatment. Here is you are poor and born with a cleft lip or pallet, you are destined to live like that. This team of Dr's came to change lives - and they were able to help a large number of people.
On Wednesday evening, Terri and I ate with the docs and really enjoyed the conversation. The closest Dr at the table was named Jim. Talking with Jim - who is retired from being a physician, surgeon for money - was great. Jim shared with me how he explains to his patients or the parents of his patients why he does what he does. He starts the conversation with the patient by asking a simple question - "Why do you think I am here doing these surgeries?". Jim told me that the answer is usually something like " because you want to help people.". It is then that Jim tells the folks this story -"I am here because Jesus loves me. In fact, he loves me so much, there isn't any way that he could ever love me any more. There isn't anything in the world that I could do to make Jesus love me any more than he already does. I am here because I want to share just a little bit of the love that Jesus has shown to me."
I think that Dr Jim has discovered a part of the "real world" that billions of people would love to know about. I asked Jim if I could borrow his explination and of course he agreed. Why not, Jesus love available everyone that comes to know him and even though loves us so much that we are "completly saved" he still has love for a lost and dying "Real World".
Be a blessing to somebody today!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Remembering Ryan

Tomorrow morning is March 12, 2008.
I don't particularly like this day on the calendar and if given the choice would have it permanently removed. March 12, 2008 is the 8th anniversary of the death of Ryan - our firstborn. It's hard to know what to say or to write about except that this is a day for my family to Remember Ryan.
Ryan Tindall - Ryan Marcus Tindall will always be my son. There are days that I feel like it has only been a little while since I have seen him and there are other days that it seems like it has been forever. I won't try to describe the feelings - I think only a parent that has lost a child would understand what I am trying to put into words.
My memories of my boy are these -
smiles - always, hugs - really big bear hugs, friends - lots of friends always at my house and always eating (lots of food), jokes - Ryan always had a joke or was planning one, going - always a new place to go and something to do, food - Ryan loved to eat and always appreciated his mom for "fixin" his "grubbin" food, kindness - my boy always had a big heart for helping others, family - Ryan would never miss being with family - he loved his family - especially his cousins and his grandparents, clothes - Ryan loved to have nice clothes and his mamaw always made sure that he had plenty, Big Brother - this should have been first - Ryan loved Nathan like no other brother could have, from the day Nate came home from the hospital, Ryan was the protector. From the time Nicole came home - Ryan was the teaser - except when somebody else tried to tease Nicole - then he was the defender.
I am blessed that we had Ryan on this earth for almost 20 years. I cannot imagine living without the promise that one day we will be together again - forever. Our God is the God of Hope and the God of Promise. His Son gave us both the hope and the promise that our end on this earth is a beginning of our eternity with him.
Thank you God for teking care of my boy until I get there to be with him. Tell him that I miss him and will see him when the time is right.
Be a blessing to somebody today,

Sunday, March 02, 2008

February Report

February started with the shingles. If you have never considered that you too could be attacked by what I had previously considered a disease for old people - think again. I found out that you can get shingles from being around a child that has chicken pox and that you don't have to be over 70 to get shingles. My shingles were on the left side of my face and head. They were in my left eye and in my mouth. The good news is, there is some amazing medicine that - once started will give you a great deal of help in about 72 hours. I know that many of you were lifting up prayers for my complete recovery and they were heard and answered. I was only down for a few days and we were able to get back to work.
During the month, we were called about the potential of helping several families with replacing houses that had burned to the ground. Literally within hours of putting out an email seeking prayers and help for the families, there was comittment to rebuild 5 houses. The timing could have not have been better either. We had previously heard from a couple (father / daughter) that wanted to come to Honduras for 8 days to work. Their arrival was one day before our scheduled day to begin construction and our new friends (Don & Sarah) were amazing helpers on the 5 houses that were constructed over the course of the next three days. We were also able to introduce Sarah to the Mi Esperanza program through my friend Janet Hines - who was in town at the time of the visit. Don was introduced to some of the tough situations at Hospital Escuela as well. - Back to the houses. It turns out that one of the houses that was built was for the aunt and uncle of Josue - from the airport. Anyone that has ever worked in Honduras with TORCH knows Josue and it just shows what a small world it really is. Josue's aunt is a very gracious lady and in discussions with her, I found out that she is a Christian and that she teaches Sunday School to about 70 children in a church not too far from her house. There were three families - a total of about 15 to 17 people living in the same house and this lady and her husband so, we did the best that we could to add a little size to the new version. We ended up with a house that is about 22x21 and we added a divided wall into the middle. We also added extra doors and windows. We were able to complete the project for these families in about 3 days. Thank you to everyone that prayed for these families. Please offer a prayer of thanksgiving that our God answered the prayers of those in need.
Once the house project was complete, we were able to committ a little time to follow-up on both the kindergarten as well as the "clean family" project in the Nueva Oriental community. The kinder is open for buisness and we were able to observe the morning portion of the classes. There were 2 teachers and a couple of mom's in the classroom that was constructed in January. Of course, the kids were the ones that were recieving the blessing of having caring Christian women helping them learn. The teachers are ladies that are also active in the church that is located in this community. As far as the "clean family" project - we are moving ahead with plans to begin building the center in mid to late April. The facility will likely be located near the church building and the Sunday School classrooms that were constructed last summer. The current plan for the building will include a number of pilas (Honduran for washing machine) and restroom / shower facilities. It is hard to imagine that there can be a community where more that 1000 people live with no sanitary restrooms, showers, or places to wash the clothing for a family however, it is true. Not just in this little community but in many others. The second floor of this facility is planned to have a place where the women of the community can meet for fellowship and for Bible study. It will also have at least 4 sewing machines for both work as well as for the use of the women of the community. We plan to seek workers from the Christian women in the community and will train them to manage the facility and the assets. We believe that this facility can be a blessing to many many people. Additionally, we believe that it can be an amazing outreach for the ladies of the church. Praise God for the group that is sponsoring the beginning of this work.
We were able to visit the church in Los Pinos one Sunday in February and we are always happy to report that the congregation is continuing to become more mature. On the Sunday that we visited, there was one young man that made a decision to follow Jesus and observing the excitement of his baptism was uplifting. The church in Los Pinos is operating independently and does not rely on any USA churches for it's operations. There is one USA church that is sending a monthly contribution of $100 to help operate the weekly feeding of the children and the youth group. The church does not depend on others and it is awsome to see that this has happened in 5 short years.
The church in Santa Ana is also continuing to grow and strengthen. There were some difficult times shortly after Noel and family moved to be closer to their family however, that seems to have changed as Dorian becomes more connected to the congregation. In February, we were blessed to have the addition of a new family of workers - The father is a Baxter grad and the rest of the family are working to plant seeds in the Santa Ana community. Additionally, our assigned Baxter student is an excellent second year student. We are blessed to be a part of the Santa Ana church.
February was also a month that closed out the drive for school supplies that Terri initiated in December. This drive was started because there are problems associated with the cost of supplies for families - especially when you compare it to the average income of the many poor families in Honduras. The church in Fairview Heights, IL helped coordinate the collection and the shipment to Healing Hands International ( or shipper). We are looking forward to the "any day" arrival of the container as it is much needed by the many communities and churches that will be touched by the generousity of so many people. Terri will be posting pictures of the arrival and the distribution of the supplies and in the mean time, I would like to thank the many people, churches, sunday school classes, and others that participated in this effort.
February also was a time when our house remodel officially ended - at least the formal construction. We were able to get most of the interior painting done and we now have room for you to come and stay with us. We would welcome your visit. It is because so many of you care and have a desire to make a difference, to share the gospel, to help kids and to follow the great comission that you are supporting our work here. We thank you for that. We are blessed to be here and we are doing our best to be good stewards of the dollars that you spend here. Thank you.
Be a blessing to somebody today!
Marc Tindall