Monday, November 29, 2010

Cruz de Chatarra

Cruz de Chatarra translated is "the scrap metal cross". Sometimes when I have a team scheduled to leave on a Sunday, we go to the Cruz to spend some time and take communion. I love the Cruz de Chatarra - the views are amazing it is a beautiful place.

There is a plant that grows below the cross that is called "the crown of Jesus". The plant is a vine that is very flexable - it has beautiful flowers and the thorns that cover it are as sharp as needles. This plant is a small reminder of the pain that Jesus suffered on his way to the cross. I cannot imagine having a crown of thorns shoved onto my head. The road to the cross that Jesus took for us must have been one of the most miserable, most painful, and most humiliating deaths ever. It is the one that we deserve but, he took for us. It is amazing to me that he was willing and that 3 days later he defeated death for us FOREVER!

I am not ashamed.

I am a believer.

His Grace is sufficient.

He is alive!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The God I Serve

About a year ago, I was with a friend and recieved a telephone call offering a container of Manna Pack Rice meals. Cost to ship from MN - about $5,000 and no money available for shipping. I told my friend that if past experience was a good predictor of the future, our God would provide the shipping money in about a day. We accepted the load offer and went to the house to take care of some business. I prepared a FB message and before I pushed the post button, we prayed. History prevaled and within 24 hours (20 to be exact), the money was comitted and The God I Serve once again - was Himself.
Just 3 months ago, we emptied our warehouse of all of our food we prayed for God to send more and within days, we were offered 2 containers of Manna Pack. We prayed for the money to ship the containers and within a day, both containers were paid for.
When we returned to Honduras in September, we faced weeks of rain. The rains completely destroyed the bean crop and the price of beans rose from about 20 cents a pound to more than $1 in just days. We prayed for God to help us find a way to deliver some relief and once again, The God I Serve heard our prayer and we will recieve about 100,000 pounds of beans on the 29th of November. I am awed!
Even with answer after answer of our prayers, I still put limits on our Unlimited God. Just about the first of August, I put up a FaceBook post that talked about our dream of a new Casa Campus where we could rescue older girls. A place where we can share Jesus with young ladies and teach them how much "The God We Serve" loves them. That they can trust others and that the people that they trust will never abuse them or leave them. I posted that we wanted to build a sustained campus by including a place where we could house our mission teams and generate the revenue needed to support the new campus. In my mind, I limited The God I Serve with my doubt.
Once again, The God I Serve is an Unlimited God. A God that loves us when our faith is weak, that knows our dreams - better than we do, and a God that loves to surprise His children.
Today, we know that the new campus will be developed in 2011. We know that by sometime just over a year from now we will be petitioning IHNFA to extend our license to operate a the Casa de Suenos. By this time next year, our teams will sleep in a place that will support children and make it possible for Hope and Dreams to become real.
The God I Serve is Awesome, Amazing, Undescrible.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Asking For What You Want.

My wife could tell you that I am not very good at taking hints. Those games where people muct give you a clue - then you try to figure out what the answer is - no thanks.

One year around Christmas Terri wanted something - and every morning she would open a catalogue to the page where her desire was and put it next to - or on top of my toothbrush. I never took the hint, I just moved the book and brushed my teeth.

Yesterday in Nicaragua I met a guy that didn't beat around the bush about what he wanted. It was a policeman and I was stopped at a "posta". Here in Central America, there are occasions where you get stopped at a posta and you just know that they are going to do everything that they can to find some "infraction" so that they can shake you down for a few bucks. It is a way of life and very "normal" - so much so that you come to expect it and make lots of jokes about it. I have often said that rather than a shake down, I wish they would just tell me what they need and give me a chance to get it - we would both end up feeling better about the situation. Well, yesterday in Nicaragua, the policeman was very nice - looked at all of my papers and then handed them back and kindly said, "our truck is low on diesel, is there any way you could help us out?" I told him sure thing - handed him $5 and was on my way. It was pretty funny and refreshing - not to be threatened with an infraction!

Knowing how much I liked having the truth presented to me - makes me reflect on several things - like how much easier life would be if we just "shot straight" with everyone on just about everything.....

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Makes Me Laugh - The Top 10

I have lived in this little country for 3 1/2 years now and have accumulated a bunch of stories - some of which really make me laugh. Thought I would share some of them with you - here are the top 10 - not necessarily in the order of the least to most funny.
1. A couple of years ago, I went to the rock at Villa Garcia to have some morning quiet time. There was a young lady there and we started to talk - she looked into the sky and said "ohhh, look at the eagles, aren't they beautiful." I said, "well, those eagles are buzzards!"
2. I use Claro for my cell service and a couple of years ago, they had an ad slogan "que tienes mas" (meaning - what more could you want or have). I was taking a young lady to the E-Room when she saw the Claro sign and she promptly said - "I didn't know they play tennis here".
3. This spring I had a college team here. One night we were talking about the Casa chickens and one of the young ladies started asking questions about "pregnant chickens". I asked her what she thought the egg thing was all about.
4. Couple of years ago the license tag on one of my trucks was loose and I chose to drive it to San Pedro Sula anyway. When I was loading luggage in the truck, I noticed that the tag was gone - fell off between here and SPS. I went to (try) to get a new tag and found out that you cannot lose a tag here in Honduras, nope, you must report it as stolen. Had to go to the criminal division of the national police and report my tag as stolen.
5. Similar to my stolen tag - last week I lost a paper for my residency renewal and had to go to the criminal division of the national police to report my lost paper.
6. Driving here is better than going to MGM, Disney, and Six Flags all at once. The uninitiated (gringos) don't always understand. I like to put them with Luis in one of my trucks so they can get the full experience. One particular group with Luis was about to have a "group cry" as he was doing a blind curve pass. Luis turned to them and said "don't worry, I don't want to die too!"
7. Last summer there was a group visiting Casa de Esperanza. I walked past two or three teen boys who were standing near our Ana. Ana had a serious look on her face and said - pointing at one of the teen boys, "Marco, el molesta mi!". The teen boy went pale and I got a serious look on my face and said - what did you do to my girl. He was about to cry and said "well, not that!". I had to laugh and tell him that all she said was that "he bothered me".
8. Here, something like 25% of the cars are minus tail lights, break lights, or both. Nobody every seems to worry too much about those pesky details because you don't need them to see ahead of you or to drive the car. The most enforced car laws here are - seat belts and no talking on the cell while driving. Second most - you must have a safety triangle in your car.
9. About 4 years ago, my daughter was driving around one of the traffic circles and was hit by a taxi driver. The cab driver jumped out of the truck and started yelling at Nicole that it was her fault because he honked and she didn't move.
10. In Honduras the transito police require that you have a Honduras Drivers License after you have been here for 3 months but, you cannot get a license without having residency and it takes about a year to acquire residency. Go figure.......
What are your funniest Hondo moments?

Saturday, November 06, 2010


I have known Johana for about 2+ years. When I first met her, she was very "stand-off-ish". She never smiled - at least when I was around. There was pretty much a spirit of distrust - she was a skeptic. I think she just wanted to see what we were all about and to see if we really cared or were just coming to make ourselves feel better...

After about a year, I went with a group of folks to provide food for our friends. After the food, the group brought out a bunch of coloring books and crayolas - meant for the kids. The most amazing thing happened - about 1/2 of the people that were involved in the coloring were adults. That day, I sat down in the middle of the dump with Johana and we colored together. I believe that our friendship began at that moment. What it took was being willing to sit down in the mess of the dump and spend some time.

In the year plus since that day, I have become acquanted with all of Johana's family including her sisters, her mom, and her little boy. In December of '09, Johana told me that she was pregnant. She is already one of the young ladies with kids that I had been helping with milk (with the promise that they would not bring them into the dump). I was blessed to be able to help Johana with vitamines and folic acid. In July of this year, Johana had her baby boy in Hospital Escuela - it was a c-section and the baby was a bit early. Johana called me as soon as she went to the hospital knowing that I would come to visit and to help out with a few needs for the baby. When I arrived at the hospital, Johana went to the nursary and brought out her baby boy and told me that she was naming him Marcos! I was humbled and honored.

This week I was able to go up to Johana's house to check on little Marcos and to take a few pictures. He is doing well and growing and I am blessed.