Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas and Graduation


As the year comes to an end, Christmas celebrations begin. Our last team brought over 100 Christmas gift bags for all ages of children. We have been sorting, counting and putting gifts together to get ready to give out at the many church celebrations through out the community. The celebrations will begin December 20, of course as most things go here I will miss the very parties we are planning. I will be traveling to the States December 19, bright and early.

I had the privilege to attend an early Christmas party at Vida Nueva, a orphanage that specializes in mal-nutritioned babies. Santa came and gave gifts to all the kids. We had a great lunch and watched the kids play with their new toys.






It was great to see the kids eyes light up when Santa arrived, quickly followed by comments and questions like,"Why is Santa so skinny?" "Is he sick?" "Last year he was fat!" "What happened to him?". It was pretty funny to listen and watch the kids react to Santa. Some did react the same as the kids in the States. The minute they see Santa they burst into tears....
One team for the States came down just to give the kids a special Christmas. They brought wrapped presents for each and every child. Even the babies got toys for their cribs. The women that work at the center got the kids all dressed up in their Christmas clothes even though it was 90 degrees outside.






It has been fun to go to the center and see the toddlers play with their new toys. And the infants become more active with the new mobiles and crib toys allowing them to have much needed exercise.


Along with Christmas celebrations comes Graduation time for the Nicaraguan school year. Gloria, along with the teachers, planned a beautiful graduation ceremony for preschoolers and sixth graders from La Chureca. The sixth graders will move on to go to school outside the confines of the garbage dump. This is the second class of students who will move on to go to secondary school. The ceremony was held at Verbo Church (my home church). Parents from La Chureca came by a charter bus dressed in
their best clothes with their heads held high. Even though though young ones had a hard time sitting still and oh, how hard they tried to not hit each other with their hats, the ceremony went off without a hitch. We heard speeches from the teachers giving words of encouragement to the parents. One teacher who grew up in the dump community shared her story of how the school changed her life. She went to school to become a teacher and now serves in that very school. Others gave thanks to the parents for allowing their kids to attend school. Most families that live in the dump have their kids working in the garbage as soon as they turn old enough to carry out the tasks necessary or leave the kids with friends or family that might not aways be safe.

Along with hearing from the teachers, the new Pastor of the new church at the school was introduced to the kids and their friends and family. This past year we had a Pastor from a church in Portland, Trinity Project, came down to Nica and offered to support a new branch of Verbo church in La Chureca. The first service is coming up this Saturday. I am excited to see the turnout for this new project.t. Your prayers will be appreciated.

For entertainment we watched two women dance traditional Nicaraguan dance. We also watched a song and dance performed by a group of kids from the middlegrades. The song, of course I couldn't understand very well, but it had to do something with helping others out when they need it.
I really appreciate the Nicaraguan culture and the way they pass down traditions from generation to generation. You often see little girls and teenagers learning their native dances and then dressing in the traditional dresses and performing the dances at special occasions.

Please pray:

  • Praise God for all the work that Ministries are doing together here in Nicaragua.
  • Praise God for the new Pastor in La Chureca, Ramon and his wife Miriam.
  • Pray for Ramon and Miraim's guidance and wisdom.
  • Pray the Lord would prepare the hearts of the people who live in la Chureca to come to the opening of this new church.
  • Pray for safety and protection for Gloria, Wilbert, my family here and myself as we drive in the streets if Nica. (all of us have recently experienced a fender bender or theft in the past two weeks)
  • Pray for good health for Gloria.
  • Pray for safe travel for all the missionaries traveling to the states for the holidays.

Thank you all for your support and prayers.














Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A little more form Nica.


Through out the summer we hosted almost a team a week. Many of these teams enjoyed working on various projects. Through this work Forward Edge International is able to grow and nurture it's relationship with Nicaragua. We now are welcomed to the school in La Chureca, rather than being shunned. The kids look forward to our visits and have fun playing with the "gringos" that visit. (not a bad word here in Nica) Our last team that visited over Thanksgiving week had the privilege of taking a group of older girls from the school in the dump out for an afternoon of swimming at a local pool. We also took some kids from an orphanage called Vida Nueva to a mall and out to dinner. A treat they rarely receive. What fun it is to see the kids play on the rides at the mall or jump into a FREEZING cold pool.

We also had time to have some fun on our days off. This is riding to the river in Rio Blanco. It's great to do some things that we are not allowed to do in the states. Like ride in the back of truck everywhere you go. We hiked up the river and had fun cliff jumping into a deep pool of water. Zip lining in the canopy of Mombacho volcano is also a highlite of many of the teams trips. It's an 11 stop zip line tour in the trees. One of the teams saw a family of howler monkeys next to one os the stops. Of course it wa the only time I chose not to go, and so I missed the whole up close and personal experience.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Continuing.....






Ok, I left off in the middle of the youth team from Edmunds Washington. They were our teams of firsts, even though it was their second time in Nica. After painting the school in Chiquilistagua, we traveled to Rio Blanco. It's about a four hour drive to the middle of the country. Our project was to build a latrine for a school that had no restrooms. The children were going to the river next to there school to use the bathroom. The same river that others in the community use to wash their clothes, dishes etc. We also painted their new two room school with a protective concoction of diesel and oil(?). And while the hard labor was going on we had other groups playing games and doing crafts with the students. It was a great school and the students and teachers were really fun and appreciative. The team had a great time problem solving and being creative with the limited resources we had to do the construction projects. It's a great way to work with in their culture. I have found Nicaraguans to be incredibly creative and inventive. They are the masters at making things work.


In Rio Blanco, at this time of year, there is a lot of rain. Consequently it rained everyday in the afternoon. The field at the school would often have cattle pass through during the night. They would in turn leave little "gifts "on the field that would mix with the mud during the rain. I enjoyed watching the older boys from the school and some of our team boys play soccer in the rain every afternoon. Slipping and sliding away, not caring that they were smelly and filthy. All that mattered was the smiles on their faces.


The kids loved the crafts and games our team brought. Necklace beading, bracelet making, foam crosses needed to be decorated. We had a quite complicated angel to make for the older kids who turned out to be mostly boys. Who, I heard, loved the project and were excited to take the treasures back to their mom's and grandma's. And for the little kids we had Spanish Bingo!!!! It was great to see them match the pictures to their game cards and learn new words (it helped my Spanish as well, hahahaha). We hope to go back next year and build on the relationship that has begun.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Summer time, summer time....





The summer started with a schedule of 8 teams within 13 weeks. Often one team would leave in the morning and another would arrive the same evening or the next day (my excuse for not updating this blog, sorry folks). Most teams consisted of 20+ people. There were teams coming from all over the US from Portland, OR to Sarasota, FL. We hosted a variation of teams, from construction teams to youth oriented teams, to a pampering team (haircuts, nails etc.). It was a joy to meet so many people with a heart for God and His people. For some people it was their first time traveling outside the US. For others it was their 7 or 8 trip to Nicaragua. It was a joy to work with all the teams and see how God grows and changes people during a week away from all we know and the comforts of home.

We visited El Canyon, a local orphanage FEI has been supporting for over 4 years. La Chureca the local garbage dump, which has a school in the community of families surrounding the landfill that FEI has also supported for the same amount of time. We have also begun to minister and support new projects.

One new project is working with a baby nutritional center and orphanage called Vida Nueva. Tim and Chris Bagwell moved to Nicaragua 5 years ago from the US to work as missionaries for their church. Two years ago God put it in their hearts to open a nutritional center for children. It is one of only two in the country. These babies are abandoned in the true sense of the word. Milagro(above right, Milagro means Miracle in Spanish) was found in a field wrapped in a plastic bag. Nancy, another infant, was found in a drainage ditch with only her mouth and nose above the water. Little Marcos (below,left) was abandoned at the hospital after his mother tried to self abort three times because she was raped by two men. I know these stories are horrific and incomprehensible, but they are truth. Truth of what desperate people will do during what they think are hopeless situations. And we believe God led someone to find Milagro and Nancy who were literally thrown away like garbage. As Tim Bagwell puts it "Each on of these children already has a testimony of God's love."

This center has 40 children living there with ages ranging from 5 days to 11 years old. The house is bursting at the seams and unfortunately they have to turn some of the children away. The Bagwells have just recently bought property here in Managua and are in the process of raising funds to begin to build a new, much larger home for these kids. It's a blessing to be a part of these kids lives. I sneak off any time I get to be with them.


Along with visiting Vida Nueva, we also were blessed to help an orphanage in a nearby canyon called El Canyon. We worked at the local school in this area as well as the orphanage. We took one team of only women to the school and gave haircuts and lice treatments, did manicures, crafts and played games. One of our team members made picture frames with foam craft paper and we took pictures of all the kids and had them choose a frame for their picture. The school is now in the process of getting a new paint job as a result of Gloria's fund raising and the teams that have visited and decided to contribute to the improvement of the school.

In the orphanage we often cleaned dorms and organized storage rooms. But most of our time was spent loving and playing with the kids. The children love any type of craft. Painting, jewelry making, even the old standby of making things with pipe cleaners. Impromptu soccer and basketball games were the norm. We also were able to take the kids to a local soccer field that has lights to play at night (most of the time, if the electricity is on). We played soccer and had pizza dinners. I am blessed to personally be able to get to know most of the kids that live in the orphanage. To see them once a week and be able develope relationships with them.

We also traveled to a local community called Motestepe to help build a local church. Building new columns and painting beams were the projects in this location. It is a very poor community that doesn't get a lot of local or international help. The church is on a corner where it is a known hang out for gang members. We were greeted with scowls from the boy gang members, but by the end they wanted to join in the fun and have their pictures taken. This little girl on the left is Jenny. She was very excited about her pets. She, like me, is an animal lover. This is her pet duck, and she had me follow her to her house across the dirt road from the church to take pictures of her puppy and then finally of her new baby sister. Having teams visit this community is new to the community so the kids went a little crazy with the picture taking and the handing out of candy. These situations make you learn certain words in Spanish very fast to try and manage the swarm of excited kids just wanting to play and be included. We also worked with the Pastor handed out clothing and stuffed animals to women and children who have the most needs.

We had a group of high school students from Edmunds, WA we took to a community Gloria has found that we had not worked in before. We worked at a school about 2 kilometers away from where the teams live during their stay called Chiquilistagua. The school was previously a rehabilitation center. The principle was given a 4 year lease for free. The problem is that the school is very run down. When it rains the water comes right into the windows. The walls are are dirty and the cement floors are almost impossible to clean. There was one working toilet in the whole school and that is only for the preschool children. The others have to go behind one of the school buildings and find a spot to in an emergency. We painted 3 classrooms and the principle's office. The change in the room were like night and day. And after we left there were local men hired to help finish painting the rest of the rooms. It is nice to know that the rest of the school was able to be finished and we didn't leave anything half finished.
video

I know you all were anxious for an update and apologize for this taking so long. The summer schedule was busy, nut I had no idea how busy it would really be. And when there was free time (hahaha that makes me laugh) the electricity was out or the Internet was down at my house. I have to run and pick up my friend Helen from the airport. I will continue this update soon, as there is still another half of the youth team from Edmunds to tell. We traveled to a town called Rio Blanco and had our own little adventure there. You can see video's of exactly what FEI, Gloria, teams and I do here in Managua if you go to http://www.kptv.com/ and search for Living in a Landfill or Managua, Nicaragua. We had a TV crew from Portland come and do a few stories about the work here. They are truly the picture of what we do here.

I wanted to add prayer requests before I have to go:

  • Praise God for the rest and restoration He has given me the past month.
  • Praise Him for the quick healing He gave Wilbert (Gloria's husband) after he had extensive hernia surgery.
  • Praise Him for the provision He has given in the funding of Villa Esperanza.
  • Pray for safety for the cont ruction workers working in Villa Esperanza.
  • Pray God leads Gloria and Wilbert to Nicaraguans who want to serve alongside them in their ministry.
  • Pray for good communication between all involved serving with FEI and working in Nicaragua.
  • Continue to pray that Gods will would be seen in all areas.

Thank you all for your patience. It has been a long but extremely blessed summer. I hope yours was the same. Please feel free to comment and aske any questions.

Sister in Christ,

Susie

































Thursday, June 21, 2007

A month of firsts...

Gloria and I have begun to schedule the first teams of the summer and it is looking quite busy. At last count, there will be 7 teams with in 9 weeks. And the possibility for an eighth team has just come around. I hosted my first team June 1-8th. A youth team from Ackworth, Georgia. Their ages ranged from 13 to 18 with a few adults in addition. Though at first I think they were shocked at the amount of work we had for them, by the end of the week they were ready and willing to do anything we asked.


It was a blessing to see the transformation of a group of teens that probably don't do much hard labor in the States, turn into a team of willing spirits. Our projects included: painting the boys and girls dorms at El Canyon orphanage for 2 days, cleaning bathrooms and walls and helping clear and clean the property for Villa Esperanza.They were the first official FEI team to work on the new property. The team broke into groups and cleaned the house on the property inside and out, planted 4 mid-size palm trees (the women did this!!) and cut a field of grass with machetes (the way the locals do it). They were tired and worn out, but after meeting and spending time with the kids from the dump who would one day live on the property, they knew who they were helping so they became energized and willing.

On one of the days, we were blessed to take 19 kids from the dump school to the beach. Some had never been outside the dump before in their lives. It was a joy to see the kids laugh and play even though they didn't speak the same language. And I was blessed to give rides to the kids on a 4-wheeler!!! It was my first time driving one and it was so much fun!! We were also blessed to take some kids from El Canyon orphanage to play soccer at night on a lit field ( my nephew Chris would love this!). Futbol, as soccer is called here, is a very widely played sport and all the boys and girls loved it.

Exciting news also is that the team leaders of this group, a young pastor and his wife, made the decision to adopt a 3 year boy from the orphanage. They started the adoption process while here and with the Lord's Grace it will take no more than 6 months. Little Jonathan was able to spend two nights here at the house with the couple and they seemed to bond right away.


Mothers day has come and gone ( I forgot Mother's Day in the states but did call on the Nica date, sorry mom, oopsy), and we had a wonderful celebration at the school in La Chureca( the dump). It was such a blessing to see all the moms dressed in their best with hair and make-up done. We were entertained by a program planned by the teachers and students. A show of dancing, singing, poetry and devotions filled the school with joy. We also had a raffle and gave away 16 bags of groceries and household items. At the closing everyone left with a slice of pizza. It was real treat for all the kids. It was so fun to have a day to help make the mothers of these kids who live in the dump feel special and to continue to grow the relationship between the school and community.

The rainy season has begun here in Nicaragua. Rain like I have never seen before (and I am from Portland, OR). The streets turn into rivers and if you own a gasoline powered vehicle watch out for the depths of the water or you will be stranded. I have experienced driving in the torrential rain and it is a bit scary. The wipers are moving to fast you think they will break. Luckily everyone slows down and ceases to drive like they are in a video game, to a safe speed and they become very cautious. The Lord has also blessed me with a new car. A brand new 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara 4x4 (I am a little excited). It will be my first new car ever!!! And I was also to able to minister during the buying process!!!! The owner of the dealership wishes to go to the dump and see the work I am involved with. She cannot believe I would leave the comfort of the states to come here and spend my time with the people of La Chureca. I can't wait to take her for a visit! The Almighty has something planned for her, I just know it.

In my spare time I have recently begun to read a biography of Hudson Taylor entitled "Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret". Hudson Taylor is considered the grandfather, if you will, of missionary work. He was the founder of the very successful China Inland Mission. I have been absorbing the stories of his beginning works in China, the challenges and the blessings he received. He is truly and inspiration to me. And from this book I was lead to read


Psalm 73:21-26:

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.


I hope this speaks to you as it did me. Please pray:
  • Praise Him for His perfect will and timing.
  • Praise Him for being everything we will ever need.
  • Pray for the health of my dear friend Gloria (she has ventricular arrhythmia) and for her husband Wilbert's health as well (he needs a hernia operation).
  • Pray that we can all work as a team and have clear communication as the rush of teams begin.
  • Pray for Gods comfort for my family and myself. I miss them so much and it sometimes is painful.
  • And continued prayer that He allows me to see the work He has for me wherever that may lead.

Sister In Christ,

Susie

P.S. Please click on the link to projects in Nicaragua above. It's a chance to help some really special students make a difference for their families and themselves for the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Vida en San Juan del Sur




I returned last Saturday from living for 4 weeks in San Juan del Sur, a small beach town south of Managua close to the Costa Rican border. I attended one of the 3 Spanish schools in the area. Classes were held for 4 hours in the morning Monday thru Friday, with the option of an activity every afternoon. The school is held in a restaurant overlooking the beach. It was a blessing to look at the beautiful view every morning. The teachers were very kind, gracious and PATIENT. I found I do not have an affinity for language learning. My memory simply does not work like it used to. Although I did get the basics down and can communicate in a very simple and direct manner. Like a 4 year old would. In fact I think some of my best Spanish conversations have been with children.


I lived with a local family in San Juan. The father is a doctor and the mother a teacher. Senor Galan works at the local hospital and also has room in his home for a neighborhood clinic. They have 3 children, Anelka, who attends a university in Managua, Elba, 15, and Hector junior, 10 years old. Elba and Hector have recently placed 2nd and 1st, respectively, in the national ajedrez (chess) tournament. Hector, who placed first, was playing against 17 and 18 year olds. The family is extremely intelligent and education is a high priority.


Although it was a struggle to live in a city where no one speaks English , it was a blessing to see what God had there for me. My first 2 instructors were Christian and had many questions about Jesus and the Bible. We were bringing our Bibles to class everyday and would have long conversations about Jesus ( at least I think that's what we were talking about :). My third instructor is searching and is being pulled in different directions by her family. I was able to speak the word of Christ and to pray for her and could see she was really listening. I hope to visit again before my time here is up to see how the Lord has changed lives.


Since I have returned to Managua I have had the privilege of hosting 2 Pastors from Portland who have joined together and want to start a ministry in ' La Chureca'. We toured the city, went to the school in the dump for a morning and were able to be escorted around the neighborhood by a teacher from the school who has lived in the dump her whole life. We were invited into about 4 homes and were able to ask how the school has changed the community and if a new church would be welcome. A church full of Grace and not legalism. Their faces would light up when they would tell us what the school has done for their children. I can only believe a church would do the same for the adults. We had a lunch meeting with the director of the school at the dump and her husband who also teaches there. They have been involved with the school for 7 years. We would like to come along side them and continue with the work they have been doing in the dump already but in a larger scale to help reach the adults.That was followed up by meetings with the head Pastor and his assistants form Verbo Church. The church I attend here in Managua. The meetings were successful and they seem to really like the idea of beginning with a walking ministry. The next step is to pray and ask the Lord to raise up a couple who has a heart for the people of the dump.


Next up is the first team arriving June 1st. A team of youth who will help re-do the girls dorm of El Canyon orphanage, as well as visiting La Chureca and a few others places.

Please pray:

  • Praise God for the opportunities He gave me to speak the Word of Christ in San Juan del Sur. And that He will keep the veil lifted from their eyes.
  • Praise God for his Sovereignty and Perfect timing.
  • Pray for Him to open that eyes of Pastor Ricardo and the Verbo Church to see the couple God has chosen for the ministry in La Chureca.
  • Pray for safe travel of the teams coming to serve beginning June 1st.
  • Pray for health protection for Gloria and me. ( she is having heart trouble and I just recovered from being ill for a 2 days).
  • Pray for safety while I begin driving, for others as well as myself. And that I would not be pulled over by the police.
  • Pray that in the midst of all the work and commotion we would see the opportunities to share the Word of Christ.

Thanks for all of your support!!!! Miss you and Love you.

Love In Christ,

Susie

P.S I have also started to publish some photos at www.smiller327.photosite.com

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Mosquitoes are mean!!!

Yes, that's right I said it, they are just plain mean! I have around 50 bites and counting. The "Deep Woods Off" seems to make no difference to them. I have been told I'm new and foreign blood so they like me. I hope they get tired of me soon because I am walking around looking like I have the chicken pox with people pointing and gasping, making ouchy faces. As if I don't look foreign enough....


It is Easter and very quiet in the city. There doesn't seem to be much celebration amoungst Christians here. The Catholics have been celebrating their brains out. I think I heard fireworks last night. Really it seems it is just a time for a few days off and everyone heads for the beach. La Policia are out everywhere pulling people over for drunk driving. This morning we ( my host family ) and I went to church and there was a American pastor who gave the message. I was happy to hear before hand that the message would be in English. But when he started to talk he was speaking Spanish. My friend Raul, who will also be my interpreter for awhile, brought me a headset where someone who speaks English translates for you( I love this idea ). Well, she had trouble translating because the speaker wasn't using the right Spanish words. I almost understood his Spanish more than the English the translator was speaking. At the end Pator Ricardo, my host dad, got up on stage and said in Spanish. " So in conclusion, Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, Amen!!! Have a good week !!" It was really funny.

Leyda, my host mom, Judith, my host sister, and I went to mall for lunch. I found out there, that Leyda likes to shop, ok, she LOVES to shop. We all bought a new pair of shoes. Which made a quick lunch at the mall turn into a 2 hour lunch at the mall. And she told me on the way home of there is anything I ever need to go buy just ask her and we will go shopping. I think she is very happy there is another woman living in the house. The last missionary who lived here was a twenty something year old guy who, I am sure, didn't like to go shoe shopping with Leyda.

Gloria and Wilbert ( I am here to assist Gloria and Wilbert is her husband )had to make a sudden trip to Costa Rica to be by the side of Wilbert's ill father.( Please pray for them and Wilbert's family). So she has given me a list of projects that we were supposed to do together so I could get a feel for things here. But now I will be doing them on my own!!!! God truly knows how I work best. Just get thrown in and try to swim. I will have a driver and Raul w/ me so it won't be that bad. Still, it's new territory. Tomorrow I am to take a lady that has cervical cancer, who lives near the dump, to the hospital for exams for the possiblity of chemo treatment. I don't beleive she has had many doctor examinations. Gloria said she is bleeding and in pain. Pray that this lady would trust Raul and me to care for her.

Please pray:
  • Praise God that He has given me rest and cleared my mind to be able to understand Spanish more and more each day.
  • Praise God for the loving friends I have here and am going to meet.
  • Pray that I seek His guidance this week for the projects Gloria has assigned Raul and me.
  • Pray for His protection over me as I will be traveling w/ the funds to execute these projects.
  • Pray that God gives wisdom to the doctors while examining the lady w/ cancer. Pray that I would understand what is going on and Raul's interpretations would be accurate.

Above are pictures of my new home and of Wilbert & Gloria, we were at Pizza Hut celebrating his nephew Mikels visit from Costa Rica. I was blessed to be included w/ their family.

Happy Easter

Love In Christ

Susie

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Managua, Nicaragua

I arrived Saturday March 31st to Managua at 10 pm after a long day of traveling. The wet weather in Houston made the trip even longer. I was greeted my my new host mother , Leyda , my new aunt, Lena , her sister, and my new little sister, Judith, Leyda's daughter who is 10 yrs old. Who, by the way, dressed up for the occasion. She looked beautiful. Upon arriving to my new home, my new little brother Natan was waiting to say hi, he's 16 yrs. old and just as cute as can be. The greetings were short as we were all tired and ready to go bed.

Sunday morning we were off to church ( an hour later than planned which seems to be a pattern here). I was surprised and a little embarressed when I was exiting the rest room and the congregation was waiting to pray for me. The worship is very colorful and lively. Dancers in the front with flags and swags of frabric. Lots of clapping and dancing. Pastor Ricardo Hernandez's ( my new host father and Leyda's husband) message sounded interesting but of course I could not understand a word. The earlier service has translators, so hopefully we will make it to that service next week.

In the evening we, Helen from Forward Egde, Gloria my new boss, and I were off to a wedding ( that started about 1 1/2 hours late)! I had met the family during my last few visits to Nica. I had the pleasure of cutting the hair of the mother and daughter last August. The ceremony was much like in the states. Except of course the late start. The "walking down the isle" music was our " after they are married walking down the isle music" and vice versa. We did not stay for the reception as we were all very tired.

Monday morning we took 3 brothers from El Canyon orphanage to buy shoes and to have hamburgers, chicken nuggets and ice cream ( helado ). Nahum, Saul, Helen, and Gener (in the picture). These boys have a special place in Helen and her husbands heart. And it was great to see the relationship they all have developed. The youngest Saul was our interpreter and did wonderful. Their mother died of cancer in 2005 and their father lives a few hours outside Manaugua and is unable to care for them. They were very happy to get new "cool" new tennis shoes and to have a trip outside the orphanage. I look forward to seeing them again soon.

In the afternoon Helen, Gloria, a guest from the US and I had a meeting to see what this next year is going to look like and how we all can work as a team. The plans for the "Home of Hope" are coming along as the land has been purchased. There are some wonderful new ideas on how to make this area feel like a real home. God is doing major work here and in the lives of people who are coming to visit ans serve. I am looking forward to meetng new people that live here that are becoming a part of this project.

It is Holy week now so the city is pretty quiet. I will be able to rest from the hectic schedule of the last few weeks in the US and have time to adjust and visit w/ my new family. Every meal we sit down and eat together. I have been visiting with another new little brother Ariel 18 yrs old. We found out we both have a liking to the TV show Lost. He has lots of questions because of the language barrier, he does speak a little English. I told him even though I speak English I don't always understand that show. We laughed. It's also very hot. In the upper 90's which means with the humidity it feels even hotter. I think Thursday is supposed to be around 100 degrees. And it hasn't rained since November!! Very dusty!

Next week I will apply for my visa, look for a car, get a PO box, cell phone etc. All the wonderful errands we do in the states. FUN!! Maybe I will be brave and start to drive!

Please pray:
  • God guides the visa process, that the paperwork would be clear and accurate.
  • God opens my mind to learn and understand Spanish and loosens my tongue to speak it.
  • God covers my adjustment to driving in this country and keeps others and myself safe.
  • Praise God for my host family, the Hernandez's, that He blesses them Mightily for their obedience to Him.
  • Praise God for the lives He is changing daily and for the protection He provides.

Thank you all for your support. Sorry if there are misspellings as this blog is in Spanish right now, so my spell check tells me all the words are spelled wrong!!!