Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Milk Project news

Maria scheduled a parent meeting before the Milk Project got started this year.  They talked about rules, what is expected (coming on time, being in communication, not missing days, rules of behavior, etc.) and I asked how the turnout was.  She said at least one parent/guardian of every child in the program was there.  I was impressed.  It is our goal to help children and their families that are invested and really care, but I suppose I was still surprised to hear that there was 100% participation.

I am also continually impressed at Maria's ability to display love, while at the same time maintain order and discipline.  That is not an easy line to walk...or at least so I have found.

Maria did a devotional last week, part of that was sharing that many times the hyper-activeness people see when visiting the project masks bigger problems that the kids have difficulty sharing or expressing.  Some of those are just parts of growing up in Honduras, some are emotional/physical family problems, and I am not sure why, but what surprised me the most were the kids that are learning about God here, and then either cannot go to Church with their families, or are required to go to services and participate in activities they know are not in line with what the Bible teaches.  Honor your father and your mother, balancing that with honoring God, and the fact that you are a small child, faced with various punishments if you balk.

This year we were able to give every child a backpack, school supplies, and uniform appropriate shoes to start the school year (Honduran public schools run from February to November).  Some of those were graciously donated to the ministry, and some we were able to buy saving up one time donations over the past several months.

Helping the kids in their education is something we are not equipped to do well on a regular basis right now, but is an area in the future I would love to see how God might change that.










There was also a donation Justin brought back with him in January that we just recently distributed....clothes.  These came from a sewing ministry at his Church.  Maria sorted all the clothing and made bundles for each child.

I thought this picture she snapped summed up the reactions I saw pretty well...happy, wanting to try them on right away, and then of course kids being kids, being goofy.






I look forward to 2016 in the Milk Project...but even more excited for the possibilities for the future and how we can use this project as an influence for good and change in the young, and adult lives, that are being impacted.  It is already good...but I can see a future that only gets even better and deeper. Construction on the new building is continuing this year (with the donations we have in hand, working over the next six months or so we should be able to get to the first floor being done) and while change and growth can be scary (we have 25 children on a waiting list that we want to include when we can get enough sponsors), it is all only possible by God's grace, inspired leaders and volunteers here, and great prayer warriors and supporters in general.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Talanga health day

We have a team from Bring Good News here this week.  A much smaller team that the mission normally allows, but it is with good reason.  We are trying out a new method/style of using medical teams.  Typically in the past we would go into a community building (hopefully a Church if there is one) and see as many patients as we could will trying to give good care, providing some education along the way.  (that is the shortened, very much condensed version.)  With this team we are doing something different...

We are limiting the number of people that can come to 50, with the Church handing out invitations.  Then we start with a brief Church service of about 45 minutes to an hour, and after that another hour and a half of health topic teaching times.  This trip we are doing topics like diabetes/hypertension, Zika/Dengue/Chikungunya, respiratory ailments (bronchitis/colds/asthma/allergies), and medicine safety.  We all have lunch together (an added expense, but worth it) and then we see all the patients...similarly to past brigades in some ways.  In this particular case though are doctors and pharmacy staff are mostly the staff from our clinic in Tegucigalpa (Dr. Darwin, the clinic administrator and his wife Sandra who is a pediatrician volunteered to come as well, plus Indira the pharmacist, and Johana one of the nurses.)  

Part of the discussion is about making good lifestyle choices, to prevent and help treat many of the above mentioned ailments as much as possible at home.  We had several patients with questions related to what we were talking about, some good interaction, and then during the brigade time found a woman having an episode who turned out to have a blood sugar of over 400.  She was moved close to the fan, given water, and some attention.  After she finished her water and before the group could get her more we noticed her friend stopped by to help her recover as well...by giving her some Coke.  So although the information given out was successful...we still have a ways to go.  You can be sure that story will be shared with everyone in the remaining health days!

In other picture posting news related to our visit, the Church in Talanga continues to make progress on some of the physical sides of things, raising some money for some much needed signs, first for the TV station, and also for the sanctuary.  Since completing the wall last year, no more break ins have happened, so it is doing its job!
Be praying for the TV station if you would.  It was purchased and developed to try to help the Church be self supporting in being able to pay a pastor full time.  The spiritual outreach it has is much broader and wider reaching than we originally dreamed, but still so far it is not self supporting or able to help support the pastor/station administrator.  It does cover quite a few day to day costs, but still requires mission support to stay running.  If we cannot turn that corner soon, we may be forced to sell the station.  That would be a hard decision for sure.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Giving

I get to see things that I have no business getting blessed to see.  I get to see generosity, beauty, God moving so surely it would just as much smack you upside the head, and sometimes it actually does. Not sure where I am going with that, but judge for yourself.  

Several sponsors of The Milk Project children sent money to bless them and their families with gifts for the holidays (What's that?  Yes, I am behind on my blogging, nice of you to notice!).  

To say that I, and much more so Maria, were willing to spend some time getting to go spend money on great things for these families is an understatement.  

We were able to bless Jhoan with a new bed.  I told him to just keep the mattress upright while I set up the base in his room.  He was very excited!  I thought he must want to help, cool. When I came out...instead of just keeping it up, even more than when I stopped to snap the picture, he was hugging the mattress like you hug your grandma when you have not seen her for a long time.  He was overjoyed to get his own bed for Christmas.  

Maria got to take several girls to do some Christmas shopping of their own, for shoes and clothes.  Oddly I was not asked to help.  Go figure.  We are pretty urban you would think living in the capital city and all, but for at least one of the families that went...a trip to the mall was a new experience.  They even got a treat of an ice cream cone!  

The coffee ministry is slowly developing.  Some days it feels too slowly.  Some days it is easy to focus on the problems and shortcomings that shout out.  And then...comes harvest time.  We hope to have more and more plants in such a giving mood every year. 


It's just a vehicle...

I feel like I spend quite a bit of time fretting over the vehicles here.  To be sure, the vehicles we use get treated a bit rougher here than they would say, in the flat areas of the USA where interstates abound.  Needing ground clearance and 4x4 makes more expensive vehicles required, and getting those that are reliable, easy to fix when something does go wrong, and fits our needs carrying people and supplies is not always easy.  We have been blessed more often than not with the choices made, and as well learning a few tough lessons along the way.  Sounds like life in general I suppose.

Just as I sat down to write, Justin calls me to tell me the Ford he is using has the shifter broken, which in that automatic car makes it quite difficult...or impossible, to put it into gear.  Reminds me of the time I was driving a GMC Jimmy here we inherited in the mission...and the steering wheel broke off in my hand as I was going around a corner.  That was quite exciting, as you can imagine.

Knowing which is the right vehicle, what gets the most bang per buck, what to keep and when to unload a money pit, are tough calls.  The vehicles we use are not just to get around...the mission currently owns eight trucks, a motorcycle...and a horse.  This does not include our personal vehciles, as well as Oscar's, which are called into more than just commuter service on a regular basis.  (I saw Oscar giving a ride to pastor Edwin from Danli in his Land Cruiser today...along with all the clothing he was needing to transport.)  

Two of the eight the mission uses are in great or good shape...the rest, it varies from ok to "that thing runs?"   This includes the vehicles for the pastors to use as well as the Fords we use to get groups and supplies around.  (The two that are in great/good shape...those would be the Fords we use for the groups)

We bought the two Santanas at auction last year for the mission.  They are great trucks, but since buying, we found out that part availability, even in the capital city can mean quite the search.  Putting them out into the rural pastures long term when they will need more service seemed a dubious proposition.  Unfortunately that means selling them both and finding something else.

We sold the first already to another missionary family who were very excited to get it.  Turn around, and found another Land Cruiser ambulance style like we already have in Sampedrana.  This will be great for Talanga.  Now we need to sell the other to free up the cash to seek out a single cab pickup for use in Las Botijas on the coffee farm.  That will be a harder proposition, but we have faith, and patience.

The Musso we personally bought at auction was working well, but just have had to put in over $500 to fix something with it, and parts are not as plentiful as they once were...not impossible, just takes time, and time to wait for repairs is not usually something that meshes well with our schedules.  We are going to look to sell both our beloved Mussos soon.  Not sure what we will do then.  Most of my driving is related to mission work, so the board may let me borrow a Ford for some time, not sure.  That could be a good intermediate solution, as driving the big Ford around town generally is not too much of a problem for me (especially since I do not mind walking from long distance available parking in some areas.)  Ideally getting another SUV like the Land Cruiser that Valerie is currently using would be great...but since the Peace Corps auction where we bought that one, we have not seen another for sale, and if we did, it would likely be out of our range (especially since the Peace Corps pulled out several years ago.)  Having that dependable arrow in the quiver for personal use and to transport several groups a year has been great.  At least we have that one for her to use!  We might see if we can fund raise to that end, just not sure at this point how that will work.  Our green Musso is now 18 years old, and the other is 15.  It seems now would be the right time to get out of them before they deteriorate more or become money pits, and so even without knowing where we are going from here, that is the plan.

Speaking of money pits, the old trusty Blue Ford we have had for over 10 years (it is 16 years old) has now reached the point of reliability and parts needs that we are seeing it is time for it to find a new home.  One of our original Hill Climbers (#2 in this case) will no longer be with us...the end of an era.  It served very well over the years, a feather in the Ford quality cap, but all good things come to an end.  It is not ready for the scrap heap...but not reliable enough to depend on for groups, and thus we will look to sell it soon.

And that brings us to looking to buy another Ford for the groups and supplies, etc.  The good news there is that from the groups that have come over the years, we have enough money saved up to buy that straight away...it is just a matter of finding the right vehicle that meets our demands, and will last us a good 15 years or more.  Will we be able to find another great deal in a wrecked vehicle in the US?  Will we have to buy an uncrumpled model there?  Will we find a double cab, eight foot bed, 4x4, 6.7L diesel Ford F-250 in Honduras?  Only time will tell.

I could go on...but you get a good glimpse at the overall picture.  The pastors do their part in doing regular maintenance and upkeep on the vehicles they use...but of course with time comes more problems.  The motorcyle in Sampedrana...if it were a horse we would probably be ready to shoot it to put it out of its misery, but that is not an option yet since we have nothing to replace it. (if we get a pickup for Las Botijas...the very old Montero with only two seats will likely move to Sampedrana to see how long it can last there before giving up the ghost.)

Other than the 2012 Ford we bought a couple years ago wrecked and fixed up, the newest vehicle in the fleet is at least 13 years old.  (The oldest...27 years old)  We try to be thrifty, to get the most out of every vehicle and dollar given us.  It is a challenge sometimes to know the right way to go...all this I share just to ask for prayer in this year, which depending on the finances for some of these, could be our biggest investment year in vehicles to date, especially considering our family potential purchase.  I certainly do not want to screw it up!  

I am continually amazed when I think about the stress that is involved in such big purchases...and then can put that thought down and be in the moment sometimes at the places we get to go, the things we get to do, see, and change because of these vehicles we are blessed to have.  It can be stressful, but what we can do is limited sometimes to the transportation we have to get to the places to do it.  When I think of where we started almost sixteen years ago, to where we are now...the sheer number of people, materials, supplies, and the greater safety and reliability of what we are blessed to have...it is overwhelming.

So just pray that the vehicles we have would be blessed with long life, with safety and security, no lemony or other citric natures, and that the decisions surrounding them would be wise and responsible in keeping with God's will, especially for us personally this year, and the purchase of the new Ford we are seeking.  I would enjoy a few years or more if possible without any major vehicle decisions...while we are at it, we can pray that for the future as well.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Sitting cross-legged on the floor?

2016 is starting, and here I am searching for something to say.  Everyone making resolutions, plans, changes...how a new year will be better, what will be done differently, etc.  Lots of wishful thinking, a little planning, and usually not much execution.  Year in...year out, and time marches on...that is more usually the order of the day, or year as the case may be.  

The allure of looking at time in chunks of a year at a time is quite appealing.  It is more manageable, easier for us to try to understand.  Otherwise we are all starting blindly into space.  We have goals for 2016, we have goals that are bigger than 2016, and short term goals as well.  It seems so cliché to say that this will be a year of change.  What year is not?  Most of "our plans" this year do revolve around change...trying to make changes to projects, operations, and jobs that will make things better, eaiser, more in harmony, etc.  How successful will we be?  Not perfect, that is for sure...but prayerfully a little better every day along the way.  Pray for all of us on that path won't you?  

How about some specifics?

First big change of the year is that Jana Richardson moved back to the USA on January 7th.  This is a big change for His Eyes for sure as Jana has been here four years full time, but probably an even bigger change and challenge for Jana, as she felt God calling her back, but is unsure the plans that await her.  In some ways...she is waiting for the break of day.

Leaving is hard.  Seen here is one of Jana and Cecilia's last times to chat by themselves, at least for a while.

Pray for Jana, for peace and faith in this transition, and God's plan be revealed to her for her long term direction.  And while you are at it, that she get to come back and visit when she can.







Something we had never done before 2015 is growing a bit as we go into 2016.  Every Friday as leadership we have a time for some singing, a devotion, and prayer time.

We are working to have a time that the pastors can come together every month here in Tegucigalpa as well, to have a day of sharing, classes, lunch, and time to encourage each other. For those that live close enough and are coming to Tegucigalpa for the clothing ministry, now they get to participate in the weekly devotionals as well.   Now we just need to go high tech...get some dancing lights against the sky, that sort of thing.  

I am getting to see our sister in Christ and lawyer Rebeca more often as of late as well.  Here we are in one of our power meetings (at her house on her balcony.)

With His Eyes officially recognized now by the government, we are wading through tons of paperwork getting all properties and such registered in the ministry's name that previously we just were not able to do until that step was completed.  We will be at it for several more months, but it is a "problem" we are enjoying immensely.  Reading all that paperwork is enough though to have you just wanting to stay awake.  

One thing is constant in life.  As Mike Rowe might have put it on Dirty Jobs...poo happens.  While I believe 2016 will bring positive changes and more opportunities to reach more for Christ, there will be problems/opportunities/challenges as well.  There are some on the horizon we can already see, some we want to nip in the bud or avoid, but they will be there, as sure as God will be with us through it all, but we are promised that, if not in quite that Biblical phrasing.

It is good to be prepared for such things.  In this case, I was trying to buy the cleaning supplies needed for the clinic this year.  I had one cart very full, leaving me wondering how much I can take?  I had to make a separate trip to fill the cart with the last item on the list, that took up quite a bit of space itself on the big six wheeled cart...80 industrial sized rolls of toilet paper.  As I walked through the store with this impressive quantity of TP, it was a nice time to reflect on that.



I hope we can not be overwhelmed with good, bad or indifferent change, stuck sitting cross-legged on the floor, wondering what time it is, thinking I should have tried to do some more but get up and keep pushing our cart of TP down the aisles of life.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Fiestas

I happen to have a trifecta of festive photos.

The Church in Talanga  celebrated their anniversary in November.  As you can see...it was quite the turn out, with many folks outside that you cannot see.    

Finally after five years of work, waiting, patience, planning, and more, the sanctuary in Tegucigalpa was inaugurated on Saturday night.  There is still some legal paperwork wrangling to do for the clinic campus property deed, but we worked out some intermediary legal paperwork to be able to make this step while we wait on the government for their speedy processing of the deed we are still needing.    







Thanks to Dr. Darwin's great efforts, we had an honest to goodness Christmas extravaganza on Friday for the entire mission and their families.  Songs, preaching, a great lunch, popcorn and games in a park above Tegucigalpa for around 75 people.  Here we are playing the game...which team can make the longest line of clothing items (which started back near that building.) that included ingenious use of removing shoe strings, socks, and just about everything that modesty would allow.




Friday, December 4, 2015

A green or red thumb

Sometimes I fail to post on some occasions or items of note for lack of pictures.  The blame is strictly on me I suppose for the lack of skill to tell a story without pictures, or my penchant for books with pictures.  Whatever the reason, there you have it.

These may not be the most captivating of pictures, but the story behind them has long term potential.  
The farm property we have in Cantaranas has been on the back burner in terms of projects or moving forward on anything for some time since the first tomato crop failure.  Prayer and waiting was in order, but now, independent of the mission, a co-operative has formed with pastor Jonathan leading it, and the co-op has received some government assistance for training and equipment, and they are using the property now, little by little to start, but all with the idea of providing employment, education, and of course some income for the pastors and Churches.  
Part of that support was a micro fiber tunnel of sorts...a type of green house, that will keep out bugs and illness, but allow the sun to shine.  As you can imagine, this is no small step.  How this will progress and move forward remains to be seen, but we are greatly encouraged to see the intention to continue this without direct mission support making it possible.  We will be keeping an eye on it, and praying it be a success to be sure, but helping independent Honduran begun ideas and plans is a great thing where we can do it.  I only wish we had the staff and ability to do more of this...but all in God's timing/plans.  
As well the coffee harvests have begun.  While we are confident in the help provided through employment and to see the lands/farms change, it is of course a business and that means investments, changes, and some trepidation about how it will progress financially from time to time.  Life always has its problems if you will.  Here we have our latest investment, a homemade gin of sorts to peel the berry from the bean.  This can be quite the time consuming process, and during harvest everyone is so busy harvesting, that taking time to do this by hand is not efficient, and as well is very hard work.
Here is a video to see all the fun.  The motors used (you will see in these pictures one for Las Botijas and another in Sampedrana) are Honda lawn mower engines I bought in the US.  

The tables and mounts are all hand made by our welder Teto. The peeler itself was bought here in Honduras last year, this just automates the system...a necessary step when you start harvesting more coffee.  This would be then a good problem to have.  















Alfonso had to pick more coffee right then to try the machine out in Sampedrana.  

This is one of the trees right in front of the mission house in Sampedrana for those that know the area.
















Can you imagine spinning that wheel by hand for a few hours...or even a few minutes?


The fruit gets put back into the fields as mulch of sorts, or just thrown out depending on where you are.














Another purchase we made to speed efforts and for greater safety was this trimmer.  Much better for your posture than a machete, especially when trying to cut the grass for several acres around the budding coffee plants.

Hard work all of this, and right now Gustavo in Las Botijas and Alfonso in Sampedrana are leading and doing most of it.

Pray that God would strengthen them physically, lead them spiritually in their homes, communities and the workers they hire, and keep the tools, machines and vehicles they use.

The plan here is not just to help the mission be financially more independent, but to be an example in the communities where we work, to provide employment and physical help but also that spiritual light that otherwise is absent.  Oh...and a good cup of coffee never hurts either.



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cloudy by nature

I am back in Honduras after a long trip to the US to visit supporting Churches, supporters, friends, family and a combination of all of the above.  As well Valerie and I got away for two weeks to celebrate our 20th anniversary (which was in August) finally fulfilling our desire to see Iceland, as well as three other countries in the Scandinavian area.  It was...revitalizing.  I could go on for an entire post or more.  Remind me to tell you about it the next time we meet should you truly desire to hear more.  

Speaking of wanting to hear more, I was humbled and grateful to hear from a few people that were encouraging with kind words for these blog posts.  

So here I am again.  Back home again, but also in that place that it seems more and more often I find myself of not so much doubt, but a lack of clear direction, of a path that is easy to follow.

Decisions are to be made, as always, but big decisions, possibilities, opportunities, challenges, and such are looming and seemingly needed with great speed.  Greater speed than which I seem to be capable, and requiring skills which I continue to lack.  But then again, that requires us to take steps of faith, and that is good for us.  And to this all noble sounding affair I say...yuck.  Sometimes it tastes like eating your vegetables.  Anyway, while taking a walk in our nice new neighborhood today, I had a chance to see the closest thing we get to a sunset here...one reflected off the clouds.  
It hit me that while I am pulled in different directions...sometimes by my own inclinations, or people in the mission, or people outside that offer opinions or ideas or from a host of other avenues...that it reminds me of the clouds.

From different perspectives, different looks...and all the while they shift, change, grow, shrink, and look different to all around.  Their maker knows this all and more, but to us observers they can be confused in the process.  Sometimes we can feel alone in this...we forget that while the path, the colors, the feels can be hard to decipher, that He is with us through it all.






So while I have some hard decisions potentially looming down at the horizon, will "storms" develop in having to stop some great things we are doing, or not be able to do other great things?...and plenty a situation to read, improve, and evaluate in the here and now, I will move forward even in my "unacceptableness" to the task, taking some steps of faith, asking for direction from above and from around, and thank God that He is in control of the clear as well as the cloudy days and everything in between.

In the span of seven minutes I took these pictures.  Change happens fast sometimes, whether we want it or not.  The future is cloudy...but regardless of what we can see or know, of whom is in control we can be sure. That gives me a different perspective to observing the skies.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Talanga update

Thought you would like to see just a few pictures of things at Talanga.  We went on the 3rd for Church services, I was not smart enough to get plenty of pictures, but this is what I do have.


It was great to see the praise and worship team in action...until they called me out of the blue to call out my favorite song for us all to sing.  I froze.  Oscar and Jana each were on top of things though, and the band played on as it were.

This is the lean-to for Sunday school.  Buying an adjoining property to put a real Sunday school room or two and for playing would be great...but not in the cards anytime soon (would cost probably $12,000 or more, but we would not know until we had the funds to really make some credible offers.)  For now, this system works better than what was there prior!

And another shot to see the wall now done!  Lots of group work and Church work made it all come together.  They are looking to paint what fronts the road in the future when they can get the paint.  Jose Luis preached that morning, even after the kidnapping and robbery he was on fire for the Lord and it showed in his sermon.  Times are difficult...but His Church perseveres.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

FAME Group

Had a great group of people with FAME that came early in October for a week of traditional "medical brigades" and also mixing in some new elements as well.  
One of those new elements was an experiment with providing a time with no brigade, just education...a time for some lectures on important topics like diabetes, high blood pressure,  chikungunya, and more.  We worshipped with the Church in Talanga, then had that afternoon people from there, Cantaranas and San Juancito came just for that.  I was nervous, but it went very well.  Some people were taking copious notes!  Afterwards we had a time for people with personal questions to just ask them...as you can see just from this one picture, there was a line, plus there were other providers answering questions as well.  











Selfishly I asked Grace (who specializes in dermatology and cosmetic surgery) to remove a cherry angioma I had on my head back at the clinic, and she was more than happy to do it.

Darwin was also more than happy...so he could observe the technique.

Having a dermatologist on the team was a first, and a great pleasure to tackle all the skin issues/problems that people have...with great speed, skill, and information.




Hard to tell from this great picture below, but this is Sampedrana, and in addition to a more focused teaching station, which we will hopefully be expanding in the future, in the back corner on the left are Honduran dental students.  Estefany from our clinic in Tegucigalpa was eager to coordinate taking them with us to do medical and dental all four brigade days.  The demand was just as high to see the dentists as it was for a medical consult.  They did many extractions, but also some cleanings which was great to hear.

Darwin's heart for people shone when we talked about Sampedrana...it has been almost a year and a half since we had taken a medical team (that long since we had one period), and most people there have no other access to care.  We talked about how we could send someone once a month maybe to see patients and give out medicines...a smaller monthly clinic type thing.  Not really in the budget right now (between transportation, the medicines, and a small offering to the physician willing to go...probably $250 or more per month?  And maybe they could see 50 or more patients?) but I love the idea, and the heart it shows.  Have to keep praying about that one.




Milk project update

Wanted to give everyone out there a quick update on the Milk Project, as we almost close out the year.  

It has been a year of transition, learning, growing, stretching...a pretty good year.  There is still quite a bit we could be doing better or more efficient, and ways we could be reaching the kids and their families better, but Rome was not built in a day as they say.  

Part of the ways we would like to see things continue to improve involve needing some more staff, adding more children (we have not found sponsors for the first 50 yet, still needing another 10 or so, plus 25 already on a waiting list that Maria is already visiting) and forging strategies to be a real physical long term help to them (food, education support, the library) and as well keep the spiritual and soul help (Bible classes, singing, play times, games, the library again, communication with sponsors, etc.)

Maria continues to lead everything related to the operations, cooking, teaching, cleaning, house visits...she is a busy lady.  She even helps some of the kids with more tutoring and such at her home in the evenings and on weekends.  Adding more staff would help her tremendously to do what she does better, and assign some tasks off rather than having to do them herself (cooking and cleaning to start)

Part of the reason we need sponsors is to be able to afford the staff we need to do things better.  

Maria has Alejandra helping her every day as well, doing the computer classes, helping translate letters from sponsors, other teaching/kid-wrangling, and all the other major computer work associated with trying to keep everything organized.

We are looking to potentially hire two more staff for next year, a full time cook (short term teams could help a little with that, we are hoping to offer a full time job to our cook we already use for those groups), and another teacher/translator/helper, especially as we want to get to where we can add the other 25 children, and their families, that are waiting for such an opportunity.  

Your prayers, sponsorships, and special one time gifts help us help so many children...and their families!  It is hard to fathom really the depth of the impact being made on them, for the Kingdom but as well as impacting their daily lives and homes when we have the flexibility to help them help themselves in what sometimes can seem small ways...but for them can have big impacts to what they can do long term for themselves.  

We are also hoping the coming year will bring more donations and groups to continue the construction on the new purpose built building for the Milk Project.  Unless God greatly surprises us this year, with how things have been coming in and going up, it will not likely be finished in 2016, but His timing is better than ours!  

If you are sponsoring a child already...thank you so much.  I unfairly get to see what your dollars do on a regular basis, it is very cool to see.  
If you are not yet sponsoring...pray about it, it is a great way to be directly connected to the ministry on an ongoing basis!

How can you sponsor?  We try to make it easy...just visit this link to sign up via PayPal, every month it will transfer the $30 sponsorship to the mission account.  

Milk Project Sponsor

Easy right?  How often is doing something so good that easy?

Clinic update

So, great news this month...the second floor of the clinic is now open! It was a long time coming, with tons of work, but it is open for business.
Optometry, dentistry, and Darwin's office as well as the kitchen/break room all moved upstairs (leaving two rooms for future expansion) which freed up quite a bit of space downstairs for much needed extra space for general medicine and gynecology (no open rooms downstairs with the expansion!)  The waiting room upstairs has room for expansion as well, so far so good though to get started.  

Valerie in her new exam room.  We are working on outfitting the second exam room, very close.  That is anticipation of God calling another optometrist.  There is plenty of work to go around for sure.  
Estefany in her new exam room, with her dad Camilo still helping as well in the other room.  Moving dental equipment is harder with the water and air lines, but it all went well. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Perspectives

I have had some interesting correspondence this week.  Some informative, some inquisitive, some normal in every way, and then some attempting to be encouraging, some explaining, and so on and so forth, as it were. 

All this reading has left me pondering again how our perspectives are sometimes out of whack.

None of us like to talk about it, but it seems "somewhat universal" that we struggle with inward looks and being disappointed, focusing on negatives, our mistakes, our sin, and our lack of living up to the standard...whatever standard that would be. 

In my line of work, I am used to only hearing complaints, problems, needs, and the like.  It seems easy in life to also get to having a focus of only seeing such things...in work, in our home, in our families, and in ourselves. 

How do we remember God is in control?  How do we remember the many blessings we have, do and will receive? 

For me, my mental focus is naturally drawn like a magnet to the negative.  Fighting against that current, to mix my metaphors, and focus on God, and His word is not easy. 

Let us be encouraged not to fixate on an ideal we see in social media, or that which we hold in our minds, but instead realize that we are all emperors without clothes, we have warts, problems, we screw up every day, forget things, forget people, try but continue to not quite get it right. 

Fixate on the example Christ gives us...He loved us and died for us when we were at our worst.  When life sucks and you screw up, when you feel you can do no right...remember Christ died for you then, not when you think you have it all together.


 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Clinic Directions 2015

It seems that the time is right, with five years and some construction and such passing between blog posts, for an update on how to get to the clinic.

Como ha pasado cinco años, ya es hora de dar fotos y instrucciones como llegar a la clínica para todos interesados.

The easiest way to see the clinic from above is using Google Earth, coordinates coming up after some brief words in Spanish. La manera mas fácil de ver la clínica es por medio de Google Earth. Si tiene esta programa, aquí tiene los datos: 14°4'47.75"N 87°14'53.47"W

Giving directions here will presume you are coming from the airport on the anillo. If you are coming from the North, join us at the third picture. (Vamos a presumir que viene desde el aeropuerto...si viene del norte, puede acompañarnos en la tercera foto)

After passing the airport on the anillo, and PriceSmart off to your left, Las Uvas, the roundabout to go to the Battalion and Lepaterique, and then the reservoir on your right...you will go up the hill and after cresting start back down again (Do not take the first u-turn available.)  This is when we will pick up with the pictures.Después de pasar el aeropuerto en el anillo periférico y PriceSmart por su izquierda, Las Uvas, el redondel para el Batallón y Lepaterique, y luego la represa por su derecha...va a subir la cuesta y luego empezar de bajar de nuevo. Aquí es donde comenzamos con las fotos. 





Va a ver que podría salir a la derecha por un rotulo que dice "Col. La Fuente Col. 21 de Febrero" no salga, sigue recto, y pongase en el carril izquierdo.


You are going to see an exit to your right and a sign (small) that says "Col. La Fuente Col. 21 de Febrero"...do not exit, keep going straight, but get in the left lane.





As you go back up a slight hill, you will see overhead signage with a U-turn (retorno Choluteca), which is why you need to be in the left lane, as you are going to take it.


Después de subir una cuesta pequeña, va a ver el retorno para Choluteca, vaya retornado entonces!



After making the u-turn, immediately get into the right lane, as you will be taking the first exit, with a very tiny sign that says "Col. Arturo Quezada" and as you exit you will be going up a steep hill.


Despues de retornar, hay que ponerse en el carril derecho para tomar la salida con rotulo pequeño que dice "Col. Arturo Quezada" y subir la cuesta.





Getting to the top of the hill, you are going to naturally follow the street to the left.

Al subir la cuesta, va a naturalmente seguir la calle a la izquierda.











Quickly take the jog to the right, less than 75 feet after you naturally turned left, naturally.

Va a doblar rapidamente a la derecha, en menos de 25 metros.



Now you will start down the hill, with Arturo Quezada being on your left, and Ciudad Lempira on your right. If you look up to the top of the next hill and to the right, you will see our buildings...big and blue, and red...with our next door neighbor (Iglesia Cristiana Cuerpo de Cristo) in the big white building.

Ahora va para abajo, con Arturo Quezada a la izquierda y Ciudad Lempira a la derecha. Si mire para arriba a la siguiente colina allí están nuestros edificios (los grandes de azul y rojo) con nuestro vecino querido (Iglesia Cristiana Cuerpo de Cristo) en el templo grande de blanco.





When the pavement finishes, stay on the dirt road as it ever so gently jogs to the right and continues up the hill.

Cuando termina la calle de concreto, sigue la calle de tierra, tomando un zigzag a la derecha y sigue subiendo la cuesta.



You will know you are in the right place with the selling stalls, and the bus stop. Keep going up.


Se dará cuenta que está en el lugar correcto viendo los puestos de venta y la parada de buses. Sigue para arriba.




This is the first block up...keep going.

Aquí la primera cuadra...sigue para arriba.







As you go up the second block, do not go up to the left, but turn to the right.


A la segunda cuadra, podría seguir a la izquierda para arriba, pero mejor tiene que doblar a la derecha.





One block later, you will see us...or at least see all the murals and the sign.

Una cuadra despues, va a vernos, o por lo menos ver los murales y el rotullo.





Clinica Cristiana Cuerpo de Cristo (also known in the area as "la clinica azul", o tambien conocido por la zona como "la clinica azul.")

If you want to call for any reason, the numbers are 2213-8052 or 3254-2629

Si quiere llamar por cualquier razón, los numeros son 2213-8052 o 3254-2629

Operating hours are 8-12 and 1-4, Monday to Friday.

Horario de 8-12 y 1-4, de lunes a viernes.