Thursday, May 26, 2011

worthwhile trip

My parents and I have continued working on our projects at Loma de Luz. We are wrapping up lots of things tomorrow (Friday). I have some work in the eye clinic to finish up. My mom has some sewing projects to complete. And my dad has an air conditioner to finish installing. Bryan has clinic work again and probably something to finish up there too. It has been so great to have my parents with us. I have loved it! And I am not anxious to get away from them. I love them even more. It has been so great to serve others alongside them and grow in our faith and compassion together.

We continue to have fun and sweat a lot. The heat and humidity are extreme but in my memory, it is not worse than the other times we have been here. It might really be hotter and more humid even though it doesn't feel like it. This time I have rashes all over, most likely from the heat and extra sores on my feet that are not healing. Both of the boys have rashes/infections and are taking antibiotics too. I think we have had fewer issues with diarrhea so I will take the rashes over that.

We had a great time at Missionary Fellowship tonight where all of the missionaries and some Hondurans gather together to eat, sing and pray. I always enjoy this. There were more people there tonight than I have ever seen. It was a quite a party!

It is so exciting to be apart of everything going on here! God is alive here and we got to hear about so much of what He is doing through people's lives. I always love hearing about what ministries and outreaches people are involved in here. It is inspiring and I love sharing in the vision that people have for the future here. I can't wait to hear more about training health workers, helping boys from the dump, future community sewing classes, new missionaries arriving, expanding the farm, rescuing kids from terrible situations, healing physical wounds and seeing lives changed because of an encounter with Jesus. I am so thankful I get to experience some of this during our time here. I look forward to hearing more when we return again hopefully next year!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

city dump

Today we got to go help serve food to hungry kids that live near the city dump in La Ceiba. This is one of the poorest areas around. The kids are malnourished and have poor to very little parenting. These kids need a lot of help. They need medical care for their wounds. They need food for their hungry stomachs. And they need to hear about the saving and redeeming gospel of Jesus Christ. We got to help with all of this. The sad and hard lives of these kids break your hearts. I want to change their world and am trying to help in the smallest of ways.

A bowl of pasta, some bread and some milk for each kid.
A Bible story.
Some bandaids, anti-biotic ointment and a bar of soap.
Some pictures and hugs.

Hopefully these kids feel cared for and loved. They are by Lisa and her rotating crew. God loves them so much more than we could ever love them.

Monday, May 23, 2011

gracious missionaries

There are so many loving, kind-hearted, gracious missionaries here. My family and I have been so blessed by them. We have had several thought-provoking conversations. And they have made us several meals that we have gotten to share with them. This is one of my favorite things about traveling to Loma de Luz. We get to share our lives with people here and we get to experience their lives too. These missionaries give so much of themselves to others and give even more by inviting us into their lives. I am so grateful for their time, conversation, food and all of the effort they go to in order for us to be here to serve others. We hope that we are helping people here but they also do so much for us. It is such a blessing to us.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

feeling helpful

My mom and I have gotten several projects now. We have both helped in the eye clinic. I have more work I can do there for a couple days next week. I got a couple projects from Dave, the IT missionary, to help him with the website. I also have some forms to create and some medicines to organize. That should keep me busy next week. It is a good kind of busy. Just the kind you want to be when you are trying to help others.

My mom has several sewing projects. I think she is enjoying them. Some of her work is mending and hemming missionary clothing. She is sewing some banners for teaching Hondurans to be missionaries to other parts of the world, particularly the Middle East. She also is making a couple of fabric covered boards to display pictures for two missionary kids here.

My dad has done a ton of work with construction and repairs to missionary houses. He finished some shelving in the eye clinic. He has repaired doors, windows, outlets, toilet paper holders and anything else he finds broken. He has more projects lined up for next week too.

Bryan has been in clinic the past 5 days. He has seen quite a few patients and admitted at least 3 people to the hospital. He took call overnight on Thursday and will again all day and night on Sunday. He has to go into the hospital any time someone comes in with an emergency. I have only heard about a few of his patients. One lady had bad COPD (lung damage similar to smoking) because of cooking over an open fire for many years. Another man had the worst infection on his shin I have ever seen.

We are having a great time here helping out. It is great to know we still have another week here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

identity issues

Being in Honduras for the third time is feeling more and more comfortable. It is definitely easier to survive here than our first trip. I know where stuff is. I know how I can get around. I know what needs to get done most days. Life is manageable. So why do I feel like I have identity issues?

I have filled my time, my mom's time and the boys' time with things. Good things. Things that keep us from sitting around wondering what to do and if it was worth it to come here. We have been to the beach. Done some laundry. Walked over to the hospital and toured around a little. Ordered fresh tortillas. Made dinner meals of spaghetti, tacos and enchiladas. In the mean time, my mom and I were setting up projects to do. I forget that it always takes a little time to do this. So I have been questioning why am I here and how can I be helpful. Am I ok with being here for Bryan to help out and me to just live life and take care of the boys? I have a hard time only having identity in my spouse and kids. It is really hard for me. I don't do well when I am not sure what I am good at doing.

So today I started feeling helpful. Mom and I both have a few projects to do and it feels good. She made a cake for a birthday girl. She has a few sewing projects with more coming in. We got to work in the eye clinic today with the boys helping too. I have more work in the eye clinic to do. I am also helping out the IT missionary. Being helpful feels good and it is rewarding. Bring on the projects.

Monday, May 16, 2011

back at Loma de Luz

I am so happy to be back at Hospital Loma de Luz in Balfate, Honduras. This is our third time here and it feels even more comfortable this time. Bryan and I and my parents are excited to get started helping people Monday morning. Lots of plans in the works but first on the agenda is unloading all of the supplies and gifts we brought with us.

Thanks again to everyone who added to the donation pile! Everyone here appreciates all of it.

We have all of our groceries bought and some meals planned. Bryan is on the schedule to see patients tomorrow.

It was fun hearing about what the boys remember of this place. They brought up right away where they remember seeing monkeys in the trees and pointed out the spot. Clay keeps saying, "I remember this place."

The boys are loving hammocks everywhere we go. They found the one in staff housing (our home for the next two weeks) and one of them said, "Now I remember where this is."

So great to share this experience with the boys. I am surprised already at how much they remember from February 2010. I hope the memories keep building and the idea of helping others keeps growing in them.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


If you ever have the chance to visit Roatan, Honduras, do it! It is paradise here. Blue skys, sandy beaches, clear water, coconut trees galore and mango trees too. Great snorkeling and scuba diving. Some of the best in the world.

We have had a wonderful time here for the last day and a half. We will be leaving Sunday afternoon to head back to the mainland. All 7 of us (Bryan, Raquel, Jaden, Clay, mom Judy, dad Oscar and Dr. Renee) have spent a lot of time in the water. We used up a lot of sunscreen and bug spray and it paid off. We have consumed a lot of food but the fresh orange juice and lemonade have been my favorite. There was also a lot of ice cream consumed.

This is a nice break before heading in to work/volunteer at Hospital Loma de Luz. My family is excited to get out there and help.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

hard lives

I often have the question of why does it seem like some people have such hard lives and why does mine seem so blessed. I know that God is with me but He is there to be with everyone. I know that my parents have given me a good life and others have not been so fortunate. But today it just seems like there is so much more that I can't see about why my life is the way it is and why others have been given what they have.

When I heard of someone's sad and tragic story today, I just wish it could have been different for them. I pray that they have hope or find hope in Jesus. I don't want them to find a bunch of rules to live by but instead to find true freedom and great love in this life. I pray that they can see some of heaven here on Earth.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

space shuttle launch attempt

I had a great trip with Jaden last week. We traveled to Florida in the hopes of watching the space shuttle Endeavor launch for the last time. The shuttle didn't end up launching but we still enjoyed our time together on vacation.

Jaden's favorite part of the trip was playing with other kids. We met my childhood friend, Sara, at a park with her 4 kids and Jaden played till his hair was soaked. We also enjoyed mini golfing twice and the Orlando Science Center. It was fun comparing it to the Minnesota Science Museum; lots of similarities.

My favorite part was being back at Kennedy Space Center. It brought lots of memories when I worked there for the summer of 1998. It was great being at the visitors center even though we only had about an hour to tour around. It was pretty cool getting to see the space shuttle again but I still haven't seen one launch. The goal remains on my life list. Maybe I will get to see the last one in June.

The worst part of the day was being on a bus and standing in line for 9 hours. Jaden was quite a trooper and did great. His first reaction after we found out the launch was scrubbed was that he wanted to call his school to tell them because they were planning to watch the launch. When we decided to return home without waiting for the launch, Jaden was quite sad. He was a little sad that he wouldn't get to see the launch but more sad that I wouldn't get to see it. That broke my heart. I love to see his compassionate heart growing.

We were six miles away from the shuttle so the pictures are pretty fuzzy but this was our view. Six miles is the closest the public is able to get to the launch.