Thursday, September 8, 2016

Can I have your order?

I only had three hours left. It would take me three more hours and I would be home. The last few days had been tense. I was missing a lot of work that really needed to be getting done. And I was almost back to normal. Well, my normal.

A couple days ago I lost something of value. I am obviously not caught up in having stuff. That is made apparent by the country I choose to live in. If I can give up showers and electricity then I can give up everything, right? Sort of.  I still have a couple really nice things, mostly jewelry. One of them happened to be a watch. It was white gold. It had diamonds around the face. I wear it every day and have worn it every day for YEARS. It goes with everything. I actually had a pin replaced in the band back in June. Well, it happened. Some how… Some where… I remember checking the time. I picked some stuff up. Plopped the stuff down. Five minutes later… I feel naked. I went to check for the time and it was gone. I was upset, shocked, annoyed, and mad. I felt like someone had taken something from me. It is hard to explain, but like it had been ripped away from me. I could never replace something that expensive with the current life I live which is simplistic to say the least. I went back inside… Searched high and low. I went outside. NOTHING. I wish I could tell you that this story ends with me getting home and finding it. It doesn’t. It is really gone. I almost cried.  Till I remembered it was something that really didn’t matter because it is really insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it does still sting. I don't lose anything except for my phone and car keys. This was so random.

I made one last attempt and re-traced my steps throughout the day. I even went back to talk to a manager at one of the establishments. I left my number asking for her to call if anything was found. She happily agreed and said, “Was it like a Michael Kohrs or something?” I chuckled, “Not really, it would be a Kohrs on steroids. If it is found and you pick it up, you will know it is mine. It is unique and nothing close to a category that would be sold here.”

I left not being able to track time. “Okay God, if it is gone I am okay with that. Your restoration is better than anything else.”

Now…  A couple days later. I am here. Lost, with no sense of time. Judging by the sun. I put another watch on. It immediately started to make me itch. I left it on thinking I would get used to it. My wrist starts to blister. Okay… Off it goes. I am living in the no time zone.

Yesterday, started really early for me.  I was going on tens hours of crazy and still had three to go. I am buying a bottle of water. Hit the bathroom. Head for the door.  I walked out beaming with the confidence of knowing where I am going and what I am doing. I unlock the car, slide in behind the wheel, turn the key… NOTHING!!! Not a click, not a ding. “God? Are you really looking out for me? I am all alone here. It would be really nice to have some assistance.” I see some people in the parking lot and ask for help. No… One lady is afraid I am going to attack her. Another has some place to be. It is hot. I must be looking quite crazy and gang like. I go back and sit. “God, if I am supposed to be here for something you really need to show me what it is. I am tired and want to go home!”

I see an older couple getting into a van. I ask for help. The man smiles and says, “that is what I am here for.”  They come and jump the car. I am so grateful and explain how the other people had said no to my plea for assistance. They leave. I drive off. Not two minutes out and they are pulled over on the side of the road. My heart beats faster. “Lord? Please tell me that wasn’t a set up! Please tell me what to do. You order my steps!” I was aware of the sunset behind me. I didn’t want to drive in the dark by myself, but I was grateful I didn’t have kids. I take a big sigh and I pull over. “Do you need some help?” He looked up and smiled. To be honest I wasn’t sure if it was the smile of the wicked witch saying now I am going to get you my pretty or if it was a genuine smile. Unfortunately you just never know what you are going to get here in Honduras. This is the country where your own employees order assasins to take you out. I must have shown my nerves because he said, “Go on, its getting late, we will be fine.” I drive down a few blocks.

“Lord, they helped me when nobody else would. You have to protect me because the least I can do is help them.” I turn around, I park behind the van. I hear someone praying as I walk past the windows. “Do you know much about cars? Is it something you can fix?”  He is holding the cable to the accelerator. He can’t get the van to start. “I have no tools, and I know nothing, but if you need a ride some place, need a phone, or maybe even if I just sit here so you aren’t all alone. I will do whatever you need. You helped me, now let me help you.”  The lady a little older than me walks over to me, “I prayed that He would send us an angel, He sent us you.”  Feeling a little relieved at this point that I wasn’t going to be shoved into the van or tied up and thrown to the side of the road like so many others I gave her a smile. “He has His angels around us, and He orders our steps, but we have to listen. Today, I just finally decided to set my agenda aside and to listen.”

Long story short, I ended up towing them to a mechanic. I don’t know how I found a mechanic, but I did. He ordered my steps and lead me down the path. We said our goodbyes and I was now leaving when I should have been arriving.  It was okay… I couldn’t really keep track of the time anyways, right? Had my watch been on… I never would have helped. When I am in public I tend to hide my phone so it doesn’t draw extra attention so I wasn't checking the hour. God knew. Had I been with my kids, I never would have risked helping. God knew.

I can’t say what could have happened. I don’t know what He protected both vehicles from, but I am sure it was something. He has His reasons. Both vehicle issues were simple fixes. Literally, just a matter of having the right tool on hand. To be honest, I get so caught up in the time or the loss of time and where it is I need to be or what it is that I need to be doing. Many times I miss all of the little miracles that are around me.

So I have a new challenge. Not just for me, but I am sure it applies to you too. “God, can I have your order?” I don’t always want it, but I know it is best.  “Father, lead me, guide me, direct me, You order my steps today and every day. Keep me from distractions and frustrations of the loss of time. Remind me that You are the Lord of all. And the Lord of all is either Lord of EVERYTHING or Lord of nothing. Today, I give you EVERYTHING!”  Everything! Even my silly little watch, the time keeper. He is the real time keeper anyways. AND I know that in one second everything can change so the reality is that watching the minutes pass by really accomplishes nothing.

Giving everything to His order… Submitting entirely to His plan. That is risky business. It is easy to say it. Easy to start to do it. It is so hard to follow through. We can do this! His plans. His will. Take His order. Follow His lead. We can do this together!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

No Judgement, Just help

What is that smell? The wind blows and with it is more than the normal garbage particles wafting in the wind. Today... Its more bitter. I have smelled it before, but can't place my finger on it.

Another casualty of no education, poverty, and abuse. Another baby was left rotting in garbage. This is now normal. It used to bring me to tears. Now... I just wonder when it will stop and how. Who is going to step up and intervene.

There are hundreds of people around the world that want to adopt... And others due to severe circumstances... They throw their babies away.
This is the sixth baby I have been told about this month.
I can't imagine how many more are being missed.

If you had been gang raped would you want it?

If you had been the girl in the cage that was sold out to the higher bidder and got pregnant because of it... Would you want it?

If you, had been the child kidnapped as you walked home from grinding the corn to make the tortillas.

If you had been daddy's little princess, but the game was taken just a bit too far.

What if it was you that was leaving your high school prom and the head of the neighborhood game caught a glimpse of your beauty and decided to take you home and leave you cuffed until you no longer serve a purpose.

Would you want it? In the midst of the violence and when your spirit has been stripped from you are you going to desire the special gift that the lady in church calls a blessing from God? Or would it be like the torture package sent to you from the depths of Hell?

Who is going to help? When? How?

They don't need someone to judge them. They need someone to intervene and help.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Free Sex...

Not for you. Don't get excited. Got you to come to the page, didn't I?

This week I was reading news articles with highlights from Honduras. One of the articles was addressing the massage houses that are overwhelming our cities and towns. The police have finally decided to start combatting this homes that are known for providing happy endings. You thought that was just happening in the Orient? Don't be so naive.

The recent raid included children between ages of 6 and 12. Free sex. You give it away. A normal prostitute has a price that they receive though they more than likely pay a fee to their boss man. In this home the kids receive what? The moms sell their children into these homes. The kids in return are housed. Kept alive. They have food and a roof. Oh and abuse. You do that the way they want it OR ELSE...  Free sex... Actually they are paying a high price to give it away.

If that is what is taught to these kids. And we are in the business of trying to help heal their innocent bodies and minds... HOW??? HOW will they ever be able to function as a normal child? They will never be able to play with Barbies or G.I.Joes in a normal fashion again. What they were made to do that they fought to not participate in becomes something like a drug that they begin to crave. Is there any hope for normalcy in their lives again?

All of the psychological help in the world cannot erase the things they experienced and suffered through. Some of the stories have me... Me... The girl that is numb to it all because it is all normal... It just took it to another level and has me speechless. The things these children are experiencing at such a young age is heart breaking. I pray for the home that receives these kids. They are going to have a lot of work ahead of them. The rage they will experience. The depression and depths of sorrow to overcome.

That brings me to another point. When will the death penalty be permitted in this country so infiltrated with murder and violence!!!??

I want revenge. I want that little girl. I want to hold her and brush her hair and teach her that there is more to life. I want to prove that not everyone is going to wish that lifestyle upon her. She needs someone to come in with love. Someone to teach her there is a different life. Someone to love her through all her nasties that she will now be trying on kids in school. Starting school will be a huge difference for her.

She has value! She is worth something more than just her body and the pleasure someone can get from her.

In these thoughts I have recognized that these same things are values I am trying to teach to my own daughter. In a world where you are recognized for your beauty, your body, or your moves... It is in almost every commercial on TV. It is re-enforced by music videos. We even re-enforce it in our own homes. When is the last time that you told your little girl she was beautiful when she woke up in the morning? Does she only hear those words when she is dressed up? What do you say about yourself in front of her? I am one of the worst at saying "I look gross!" or "Don't touch me, I smell." One thing I have learned from stinky indians is they all seem to have lovers. The stench released from beneath the pits is of no importance. That is so contrary to our culture. I think pheromones attracting the opposite sex is a line of bologna. There is no way that smell would ever cause me to desire a man.

Enough of a rant for today. Go love somebody just because of who they are. Not because of how they look or how they make you feel. Love them because it was a command. Loving the least of these isn't something that is always easy. Heck, I don't even know if I love my own kids when I find a bag of flour has exploded all over my kitchen floor or have that red juice spilled all over my nice clean white pants. It is definitely a choice. No matter who it is, how they smell, or what they do.

I choose to love you! I choose to love her too! Sex not needed. All kids are worth loving.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Raw. I don't know how to describe everything I am feeling. So let me say right now, this is raw. This is real. This is what I am feeling.

Don't be offended by anything you will read.

Raw.  Think of raw meat. Cold. Nasty. Bloody. It is the real deal before all the seasoning and cooking to make it a wonderful masterpiece. Just know... That is what you are getting ready to read.

I am struggling with complete surrender. I can give it all up. I can trust. I can believe. I have more faith the anybody that is sitting next to me. And for some reason... right now... I just don't know what is going on. I am not sure where we are. Where we are going. What we are doing.

Verification: I know that I am surround by a hundred kids and I am dedicated to making sure they succeed at life. And that is about all that I know.

Are you dedicated to them? Are you dedicated to me? Is this blog going to scare you away? Maybe. The sad thing is I am writing because I need back up and I am at the end of my rope. So can you maybe for a day overlook my cruel or offensive writing and try to see my real heart.

I am tired. I am scared. I am exhausted. I am feeling as abandoned as every child in our home and that is just where it all is. I know God is there. I know that He cares more than you or I, but in the midst of my current reality His timing and His caring seems really off. (I don't need you to write me a mini sermon explaining why this comment is insane, I already know.) Sometimes... it just doesn't feel like it. And that is going to have to be okay.

I have abused children experimenting with abusing others. I have rape victims with the desire for more of their past so they are escaping at night with men from the military. I have a monthly budget that is dwindling each month in a ministry that just keeps expanding as our children and monthly commitments continue to grow to support them on their journey. I have uneducated staff that when given time and materials to grow don't care to apply it or use it, they continuously ignore the help offered and just look for a paycheck. I have teams that hear needs of the kids and projects, but then just return home and kind of forget about us as the return to their luxuries. I have volunteers that are eager to help and assist, but don't speak the language and having to be a translator is exhausting when heaped on top of the responsibility pile. I have teachers with credential, but lack the passion and have us working overtime in the homes to try and keep the kids on track without having actually been taught. And I am surrounded by a community that is perverted and dangerous and at the end of the day looks for how they can benefit from us instead of trying to help or assist. I have human fecal matter being thrown over the wall onto the home and kids because a village is mad I won't give the front of our property to them for a family to live on. And I have to stare at a half naked woman crying on the corner of the road while watching the police laugh at her and fear stopping to help because of retaliation when I desperately want to just sweep her off her feet and take her home.

So where is God in all of this?

I know. He is right here. I know. He is still saying 'TRUST ME!" I don't doubt that part for a second. It is still a very lonely place to be standing in right now. As the rain pours down, my tears follow.

I hear Him. But do you know the fear that would surround you in the midst of the howling winds while standing in a tornado... That gripping, stifling, hopeless feeling... Fear.  I hear Him so loudly saying "Trust me." But the fear of what I am seeing has me almost paralyzed.

I am trusting. I am believing. I can't see how or when. All I see is darkness. I hear the truth, but I am in need of some serious back up.

The end of school is coming and with it is a lot of extra expenses. That is November. Right behind it comes December.

We are in need of some serious financial commitments. Our next home is very close to being able to open down stairs, but I can't even attempt to accept kids or open until I get some monthly supporters to cover what we already have going. I need a couple staff members just to cover employees during their time off. Full time care of these children is a heavy burden and it is extremely exhausting. Yet, I can't hire anybody else right now.  I need a math and English teacher for our school, but need an extra $600 a month before they will consider working for us because bi-lingual teachers are worth more money. I have a list of improvements that we would really like to see completed in the near future. I am looking at $1,800 in car repairs just for this month. Yesterday, I had to spend 8,300 Lempiras in repairs for one of the homes. I had another refrigerator blow out this month and have called the repair man twice a day for three weeks because it is supposed to be under warranty and it looks like he is waiting for the warranty to expire before he helps.

When I said raw... I was honest. This is the raw look at the behind the scenes stress that I am feeling. I need help. I need Spiritual back up. I need some serious prayer. I need financial assistance. I know that everybody goes through their own personal battles. I know that many of you are dealing with back the school costs and are already stretched to the max. But if every person that read this sent $10, it would really help ease the burden. I am making our needs known and praying for blessings. I am trusting and believing for miracles.

I know that God has brought these children here for a reason. I know that He has a greater purpose
than I could ever imagine. This past week as I stared at Olivia (Lil' Bit), I remember making a promise to her just over a year ago. When I brought her home I promised to give my all and that I would never abandon her. I made a commitment to watch her grow wherever she goes. With every child that has come in I have made that same commitment. No matter how bad it looks. No matter how much rice and beans we have to eat. I will never give up.

When you read in Hebrews, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" it is telling us not to be anxious. Our commitments to God will be rewarded. I made a commitment to God a long time ago to do what I am doing. I don't have to worry. Out of that commitment, I made a pact to forever do everything within my hands for these kids. I don't have to worry.

You know, further in the same chapter of Hebrews it is promised that He will equip (in Greek it states fully provide) and to bear with it. (Bear = Patience).

So I made our needs known. Now I just have to wait.

What are you stressing over? What are you anxious to see happen? Be patient. When it lines up with His plan all you have to do is wait. His timing doesn't ever seem right when we are in the midst of the stress. Actually, His timing seems awful. It gives me wrinkles and silver streaks on my head. The beauty of it all is His timing is always perfect and always leaves me awestruck. For those that can help in some way you can head over to Open Door Ministries (click to donate).  For those that need the same prayer of patience and are waiting for God to perform, lets pray together! There is power in numbers.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Battles With The Past

My silence should not fool you. If you only knew half of what was going on you would be exhausted.  Thinking about it gives me a migraine and reminds me how much I hate what I do at the end of SO many days. This bitter sweet relationship with these kids and the passion that burns frequently has me sick by days end.

This week I had to face a bitter reality from my past. I had a set of kids that came to live with us with their mom when they were younger. They continued to be abused while under our care to the extent that one day I filed papers with an attorney, took the kids to the forensic department at the municipality, removed them from their mom and kicked her off property. This was one of the hardest things I have ever faced. A girl. A lonely girl. Who just yearned to be loved and accepted and needed an education. I knew exactly what she needed. I just couldn't provide it and allow the cycle of abuse to continue.

Fast forward a year later and I receive a document that a judge is ordering the mom to take custody of the kids.

The judge happened to be a local acquaintance that I had a previous history with. Obviously I wasn't going to accept a document. I went to her and asked why. "My term is ending I have to close out all of my files. We don't have the staff to investigate. She comes in crying every week. I just need to close it all out. I am moving to a new city." SERIOUSLY!?! You need to remove a stack of papers so you don't even look at the history of abuse???  The history of pictures??? The reports on the refusal of psychological help??? The fact that she has no home, no job, and can't feed herself??? My heart
crumbled. I couldn't deliver the kids. (This is normal. I always send a staff member so I don't have to cry in public. I grieve for a few days in private and pop back.) I felt helpless when it was done and over. This was just the first time I would face a situation like this. It turns out that there have been many days that I come home wondering if it is worth my energy to try and protect these kids when in the end a judge can say they are going to live some place else. No investigation. No questions asked. Just a signature on the paper without asking for the file folder with the history that the document will soon be placed inside of.  I wish there was an office to report the awful and horrible work that this countries government officials, but the truth is that even in the upper ranks finding a person that actually cares is not common. They can be found, but the positions of power are always held by some political puppet.

Hence the reason I want to be the First Lady of Honduras! I will re-marry if it gets me the position. Just Kidding!!! Or am I? I secretly pray that a single man is voted into office and I can snag the position I desire and take Nilsson along as the pink house mascot. (We don't have a White House. We have a big pink building. Think rose petal pink, Not pep-bismol Mom!)

This week a couple new faces showed up at our feeding station. It has been a few years since I have seen them, but very little has changed. I think even their height is the same. Which is sad. My heart is over joyed to have them back in our lives even on a small level. I am so grateful that we have the feeding station to be able to help them out and even keep track of them while they are around. I can't believe that after so much time has passed they can still be picked out of a crowd. (They all typically look alike!) AND you know the best part? They have on clothes and shoes!!! Yay God! I say all of that to say this... Never stop praying for my kids. The current ones. The lost runaways. The few that have been sent away. My heart has a place for every one of them. I still lose sleep praying for my Fabiola's and Esther's. I keep in touch with the few that I can, but for those that I have lost... I just pray. The most strategic thing you can do for this ministry aside from financial support for the projects is prayer! And from this little heart of mine, there is nothing better than seeing one of the babies that I thought I had lost forever. My tears, for now, are from an overwhelming joy!!

Welcome Back Home Sweet Peas!!!! You have been missed!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Are you there mom?

Mothers Day brings a mix of emotions depending on who you are and where you are at on your life journey.

Mothers Day... It is like most other holidays for me. Stressful.

It is a time when most of my kids get emotional. When I get emotional. When I try and over do another project to make sure my house moms feel extra special on a day they don't get to share with their family because I need them to work. A day of resentment. Frustration. Angst. Sorrow.

A day in the life of one of my kids doesn't begin to open your eyes to everything they go through.

A life of abuse, but when all you know is abuse it is what you want. And on mothers day just like a healthy child you want to be with your maternal mom.

I had planned a beautiful lunch. I made every detail special and coordinated it all to go perfectly down to the games we would play as a family. Part of the day was only for my house moms. Part of the day for my teen moms. Part of the day for a big family celebration.

As one of my moms walked in I noticed something was different. I was so focussed on the details of the day that I never took the time to ask. Then during a time that I had set apart to ask my moms how they were and what they needed from me so they could be more efficient, she broke down. "I didn't call you because I knew you were busy. She ran away. She hugged us. She gave me my mothers day card. She disappeared." I was informed that one of my little girls ran away. She is eight. She is used to the streets. She is used to abuse. My reply? "Don't worry. She will be back. I am sure she wants to find her real mom for mothers day. Just wait."

Yesterday... They brought her home. Within four days she was beaten and bruised. Her hair has been chopped off. The joy we had seen dancing in her eyes has been stripped once again. I ache wondering what she experienced the last few days. With time, she will talk. For now, I wonder.

I wonder why she chose that life style to run back to. I know it is a cycle of abuse. I know she will desire parts of her past life until she is fully healed. I wish we hadn't taken three steps backwards after just starting to move forward. I believe God will heal her with time.

The part that hurts me the most is knowing she left see if a mom was still there. A mom who would hug her the way her tia hugs her in our homes. She left hoping mom would sit and listen. She left wanting a love that is best shown by a mom, but she doesn't realize her mom is sick and will never be able to provide that love. Unless... Unless she receives it first from God.

I am learning more each day how much God existence is like a light house and He guides us and lights the path, but we have to set our own course. These kids know the way. We are being used as a light house, but I cannot force any of them to follow the path before them. I can pray. I can wish. I can desire. I can lead. Even at eight years old... they have to decide.

They decide. In the midst of confusion. During the blurs of abuse. The stress of change. They decide.

I am just now coming to reality and recognizing they will forever wonder, "are you there mom?"

"These people tell me of a love so deep. A love so strong. And it comes through people I barely even know. If that is true then why? Why don't you love me the way they love me? Why don't you show me? Why do you hurt me? How can they be there for me even when you are not?"

In the midst of Mothers Day runaways and chaos I found a moment to chat with one of our oldest girls. She came when she was 16. She will be 26 this year. She is working for us and still studying in high school. I asked her how she felt when she came into the house that she one time lived in. Her reply left me kind of surprised. "Mama Lore, how do you feel when you go home to the States and walk in and see Mama Penny? I think I feel like that, but better. I knew how bad it once was and I know how good I feel here. This is my home. I find peace and happiness here." She once tried to run away. She thought about ways to escape. She learned, with time, where God placed family, hope, and a future. She took advantage of it.

I hope that all of our kids eventually follow in her foot steps. I know we will lose some along the way. For now we make sure that seeds are being planted and one day they will recognize a place they could call home and where they found a love like no other. And when they ask, "Are you there?" A response will surely be heard.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Something New!

Today I woke up at 4 am. I couldn't sleep. I don't know if it was nerves or excitement.

Today, is a new day! Today I get to pick up our first Mission Nanny! I have had Nanny McPhee here for short spurts of time, but the problem is she thinks I don't need her and she leaves. Nanny McPhee is irreplaceable to me. She keeps me sane. She is family. She is perfect with the kids. She helps keep me organized. She helps me on the computer. She shares her wisdom and reminds me where to find my peace each day. BUT... Nanny McPhee thought she was better used in other areas so for a long time I have been waiting and searching for a mission nanny!

Over the last year we had several responses, but the dates didn't work. Or something always affected the final decision and Honduras ended up not being on their list. TILL NOW!!!!!!!! Today I get to pick up our own interim nanny. She will be here until she starts school again. We are elated! I am so excited that my kids will have to endure their last eight hours in a car waiting for mom to complete all of her jobs. I am excited that maybe I can sit with a staff member for the first time and not have one of my own kids on my lap. I am excited that bringing home the extra babies will be a shared burden. I am excited that when I can't pick up Jayden from school and he sits waiting for me for three hours that someone else can go get him. OR that I can leave him behind and not make him miss class so I can try and get my projects finished. I am super excited that for the first time maybe someone else can see that my kids haven't had lunch before it is 3:30 in the afternoon.

Please pray that she can deal with the heat, lack of water, and power outages that frequent our lives. Pray that she is patient with me and can read between the lines when I stop talking mid sentence to run off and handle something else. Pray that she can deal with my crazy family and our wild stylings. Pray that she stays healthy while she is here. Pray for her blessings to be a torrential down pour as a reward for her sacrifice. Pray for me to be sensitive to her and her needs while she is here and not to abuse her.

Maybe we can actually have a date night!?!