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Blog Updates

Chapter 6 – Life in Honduras – Time to Speak Spanish

August 7th, 2017

Its funny when I think back to this week, when it was happening I thought this would be a short post. This month we have not teams so it is just a bunch of office days. I am assuming that no one cares about every little detail I work on day in and day out of the office so I wouldn’t have too much to write about but as I type out daily bullet points I realize how much happened.

A typical office day means I go in between 8-9 and do computer work. I have been spending most of my time working on annual registrations. We have 4 care points and each one has to turn in a registration form for each, a full body picture, and a headshot. I kinda took over staying on top of them so Karen could work on other things. For registration forms, I had to check them to make sure everything was filled in, translate anything written in Spanish to English, and check and/or correct the spelling of the names and the correct registration number if needed. Then I would scan them and rename them on the computer. For pictures, I had to edit and crop them. I had to make sure they were labeled with the correct ID. Editing them was hard because not all of the pictures were taken on a high quality camera and the lighting was not always the greatest. I also had to look at each picture to make sure the child was looking at the camera, didn’t have food on their face, and wasn’t making a face for the picture. If I found pictures like that, I would have to ask the facilitator to take a new one, which was hard because I knew they weren’t excited about it. The hardest part was keeping track of all of the pictures, which pictures and documents we had and which we were missing. Sometimes we would have extra pictures or 2 registration forms. It was also difficult because there were a few children who have not been registered yet so we still needed everything from them but their names were not on the master list so I had to keep those documents somewhere else so we could turn them in at the correct time. If the child was registered in 2017, we already had a registration form for them so I had to search to find which children have already been registered and make sure we don’t turn in a second registrations form for them. There were a few kids who had been “lost” while being registered (papers sent to US but the child never got registered), so I had to keep track of that too. It was all do-able, but what made it hard was the fact I had 4 different care point, each with around 200 kids (give or take a few) and than I had to focus on which kids needed to be in which folder and continually check to make sure that the documents were in the correct place.  I don’t know if that confusing, or just sounds like busy work to you but I thought it would be pretty easy. Oh my goodness!! NO!! It was seriously so much work! Thankfully we met the deadline and got everything turned in but it was so much work!! I am glad it is over and I can start work on other things but I am still just thinking there has got to be a better way to do this. The facilitators have to take the picture when they can while still running daily operations which means that the child may not have washed their hair in a while and while they are normally a very cute kid, they may just happen to look a hot mess that day. But that picture will serve as their identification for a whole year. So many of the pictures that I saw, I knew the child and knew the picture was not a good representation of them but I couldn’t ask the facilitator to re-take it because there was nothing else wrong with it. Also lighting isn’t the best at all hours of the day and when you are in a rush to take a picture quickly, the picture doesn’t always turn out with the best quality. These are the pictures that get send to the sponsor, most sponsors never meet their child so I feel like it is very important that they know how adorable their child is… but I even went to help with pictures and it is very very hard to focus on everything going on and take the picture. There has to be a solution t this problem to get better pictures, be more organized and be easier on the facilitator right?! Well I am working on a solution. I am not going to share my idea yet but I am planning on coming back to Honduras next year for a short period of time to try out an idea that I had. Once this plan is fully developed and approved, I will definitely share more information with you. I am very excited and hopeful that it will be a good experience, produce good pictures, and help the facilitators. If it works well than hopefully it will stick and annual registrations will no longer be such a headache.

I love living with Karen’s family and have gotten to know her niece, Dihala, better. Even though there is a language barrier she loves showing me her games on her iPad or clips of movies on the laptop that she thinks are funny. It’s great because she is normally watching a Disney movie so I know exactly why she thinks it is funny. She knows I don’t speak Spanish but sometimes I am not sure if she knows that I don’t understand Spanish either. Karen and her mom keep telling her to practice her English and encourage me to speak English to her… but she doesn’t like that very much. I try but I also want to practice Spanish with her… I feel like children are more forgiving than adults!

Dihala loves turtles, like A LOT! I asked my mom to send me a video of the turtles that come out of the lake in our back yard every morning when she feeds the ducks. I showed the video to Dihala and she watched it probably 7 times. I had to send it to Karen’s mom so that Dihala could watch it more. She asked if my mom could bring her two turtles, one boy and one girl. Karen told her no and she started crying. Karen explained that it would be mean to take them away from their family and Dihala cried harder and said Karen stop your hurting my heart, that’s so mean.” It was sad of course because she was sad but it was also funny because her tears and love for turtles were so sincere. I play with her a lot because she is the only child there so I try to play with her so that she has a friend and is not always on her iPad or watching movies. I’m fine with the turtles and the dinosaurs that she plays with BUT she also loves snakes! NO! When she wants to play with snakes, I draw the line and walk away.

I found videos of Franklin (the PBS Kids show) on YouTube in Spanish. They were very poor quality but Dihala loved it! She came and laid in my bed with me and we watched them for 2 hours. The only reason we stopped was because I needed to talk to my sister (we ended up talking for 4 hours… I don’t even know what we talked about). One of these days I am going to watch all of my Disney movies in Spanish with her. (I know I said she shouldn’t be watching movies all the time but… come on … its Disney.) It is perfect because I know them all word for word so I can play them in Spanish and understand them perfectly. The voice of Chip in Beauty and the Beast in Spanish sounds so much like her though! Dihala is an only child so she loves having someone to play with and if a neighbor isn’t over then she says she is lonely. She told Karen that she wanted her to have a baby so that she would have someone to play with. Karen and I were going to take her to the park one day but we were both so exhausted that we ended up sleeping. So we haven’t taken her to the park or the pool or anywhere but I am hoping we will soon. I think she is okay though, Karen says that she is like an old grandma, she likes being at home and when she goes out she gets tired quickly and just wants to go home and rest. I said that’s fine because I can be very much the same way.

Originally, Karen told me that she did not like watching movies. That made me super sad because I love movies. I know that they play movies in English at the mall so I was going to suggest we see movies occasionally when we have free time. I really want to see Despicable Me 3 and the new Spider Man but figured I would just have to make movie-seeing-friends. BUT I came to find out that she does like movies! Yay! She just doesn’t like cartoons or super hero movies (which votes out my 2 movies) but she loves Christian movies, comedies, and romances… works for me because I am a fan of all those genres. Since finding this out, we have watched a lot of Nicholas Sparks movies. Karen’s favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice so my mom is going to bring the 5 hour Pride and Prejudice with her when she comes in September because Karen has never seen it and it is so much better! I have also watched some movies with the whole family. Karen and I watch them with in English with Spanish subtitles but when I watch movies with her family, we play them in Spanish with English subtitles. Both are really good for me and helps me with my language. Karen’s mom put a TV in my room because she said she wanted me to have entertainment, so now I play Spanish TV while I’m getting ready in the morning so I can become more familiar with the sound. I can’t find the soap opera channel so I play Disney Junior since they use small words and the shows are mostly educational.

Luckily for me, I did find a friend who likes movies and we hung out on one of my days off. We went to the mall to see a movie and hang out. We met at 3 because we thought the English movies were playing around 3 or 4 but found out that they were not playing until 7. We saw the newest Transformers movie because DM3 wasn’t playing in English and Alejandra had already seen Spider Man 3 times. She said it was good but would prefer to not see it again… I totally understand. Since the movie wasn’t until 7 we walked around and talked for 4 hours. It was really fun just talking and getting to know her better. I am not really even sure what we talked about but I know that we were talking the whole time and when it was time for the movie I almost said, “nah lets just get dinner and hang out.” But I am glad we saw the movie because it was good. I was slightly confused because I haven’t seen the last few Transformer movies. At least we saw it in English… I would have been very very lost if it was in Spanish and I hadn’t seen the last few.

When we bought the movie tickets, they gave us 2 free small popcorns. Alejandra said that that never happens so I guess we got really lucky! After the movie, we needed to call the taxi to come pick us up. At that time, I still did not have a Honduran phone and since I canceled my US phone, I couldn’t have called if I wanted to. Alejandra was going to call but we ran into some difficulty. I still am a bit confused on how the phones work but I guess you buy time to talk to someone with a different plan and our taxi driver had a different plan than her. She needed to buy more time so she could call Tigo or Claro or which ever plan she didn’t have, but all the shops were closed. Basically, I really needed a phone! We ended up working it out because she called her parents and they called him for us but for a minute I thought I was going to be sleeping in the mall!

I do finally have a phone now. I got it on Monday, so a little over a month into being here. I had to wait for so long because the first week I was with my missions group, then I had a few days to settle but they were busy, next seacoast church came. While Seacoast was here Pastor Daniel had is 25th anniversary so as soon as Seacoast left, he was gone for a week on an anniversary trip, and after that, our schedules just haven’t lined up. I had to wait for Pastor Daniel because he said he would put me on his plan so it would be cheaper for me. But I finally have a phone. However, they don’t really use apple products in Honduras. So, I have a Samsung phone and have no idea how to use it. I also still don’t know my phone number so I am not giving it out. That means no one calls me so I haven’t even used it for real yet. I’ll figure it all out soon! It is a pretty nice phone, way better than I thought I would get and it was pretty cheap so I am happy about it. I needed to get a nicer one because of things I will have to be able to do while out in the field with the teams. I had originally planed on getting a rinky-dink phone that would be no big deal if it was stolen or I ruined it. After being here and seeing what my job entails, I definitely needed one that had more functions and abilities. I am happy with my phone and am figuring it out slowly.

For the most part, when I have time off I catch up on my sleep, study Spanish, or talk to people in the States. I wake up at 5am every morning so I have time to do bible study, work out, practice Spanish and get ready before leaving and I go to bed between 10 and 11. So really it is pretty similar to my sleep time back home since Florida is 2 hours ahead of Honduras, its just 2 hours early. After Seacoast left, I was exhausted, Sunday after church, Karen and I had plans but we agreed to cancel them and take a short nap. Karen ended up sleeping for 8 hours, waking up and going back to bed in 2 hours. I could have slept that long… I wanted to sleep that long but I didn’t want her to judge me for sleeping all the time. Hahaha.

One of the main things I have been doing with my time off is trying to catch up on these blogs. It takes a lot more time than I thought it would to remember everything that has happened, write it all out, edit it, find pictures, and it takes an unruly amount of time to upload it on to the website. I have to resave and resize all the pictures and than they take forever to upload. Sometimes, the Internet decides it needs a break so it just stops and erases everything I’ve done. Tuesdays are my days off and I normally spend the majority of the day in my room working on my blog and really studying Spanish and trying to call everyone I can! I just hope that Karen’s family doesn’t think I am avoiding them and hiding in my room. Being in my room all day on my days off is what I do back home too, if I have a day off, I wake up, roll over and start working on my computer or writing stuff out. When I am focused I really don’t need to eat so there is no reason to go down stairs unless Karen comes up and asks if I am alive or tells me that her mom made me food.

I love getting to talk with my family! It is always the highlight of my day. I don’t get to talk to them every day because we are all busy and the time difference complicates things but I definitely miss them. If we have a team, I don’t get to talk to them at all for the week. Sometimes Brynne and I will call each other but she will be doing work and I have some stuff that I need to get done too so we will video call and just do work together, not even talking. But just being there with her makes the work so much better and makes my heart so much happier.

I have also started Skyping with Nate and Mandy once a week to check in, catch up, debrief, etc. They are working as my connection with Action Church and I am kinda being a guinea pig for their mentorship program for their non-profit HIS Missions (which supports missionaries). We are going to start reading a book together (once I figure out how to get it) and talk about it. I enjoy getting to talk with them and I love the passion they have for missions. I got to Skype into the last meeting with my Action Church missions team. We had one last meeting to talk about everything that we had seen and get all of our thoughts out. Karen and I were supposed to have left the church in time for me to Skype from home but we had so much work to do that I had to call from the church. Karen finished work before the call was done. She waited for a while but it was getting pretty late because the meeting was very long and she really wanted to go home. I had to leave before the debrief was over but I think that was okay because I really didn’t need to debrief because I am still in it all. I was grateful that I was still considered a part of the team though, even if I wasn’t in the same country. It was great seeing everyone and knowing they are still on fire for Honduras.

I was so excited because this last week I FINALLY got to talk to Astrid and Anna. I seriously love my friends. I called Anna before leaving the church on Friday and than called her when I got home and talked to her for 2 more hours. Karen asked if I wanted dinner when I finally went downstairs at 11 and I told her I wasn’t even hungry because I was so filled with happiness there was no room left for food in my body (don’t worry I did eat something). I love getting to talk with them and picking up where we left off. I am so blessed that I can leave my friends for 6 months, (they are super busy and we rarely have time to talk) and I can know that we will still be friends when I go back home.

Tons of things have happened in these last couple weeks, both of my parents have had birthdays. For my dad’s birthday I made him a slide show/power point of lots of different pictures and set it to Butterfly Kisses (I know, it is so clique) but I haven’t given it to him yet because have to upload it through Drop Box and it says it will take a whole day to upload… I’m never connected to Internet long enough for it to finish the upload.

For my moms birthday I sent her a video of me giving her sponsor child, Kenia, the gifts that my mom bought her. I had no idea but Kenia’s birthday was the day before my mom’s birthday. In the video, Kenia was really shy and didn’t know how to react but as soon as the camera tuned off, she started saying how happy she was, how much she loved the gifts, and she couldn’t stop smiling. I told my mom so she knew how much Kenia loved her gifts since the video didn’t show it. The kids here are either camera shy or love the camera too much. There is really no happy medium.

Kenia is from the Los Pinos care point, which is the only care point that I have not been to since moving to Honduras. I have worked a lot with the facilitators but haven’t needed to go to the point because they bring everything to us. I got to go last year and fell in love with the kids. Thankfully the children from the care point come to the church on Sunday. I haven’t seen all the kids that I remember but I get to see a lot of them and that makes me very happy. It is incredible because during worship, they all run up to the front and dance and worship. They look like they are having a party because they are singing, dancing, and laughing. It looks like a scene from a movie. I will try to record it some time so that I can share a video with you.

We had one Sunday that literally was a party. People from the Teupasenti care point and the 4 surrounding white fields came down. It was a very full service. The facilitator from the La Canada white field dedicated his baby to the church. It was fun seeing everyone but I had thought that I would see a lot more of the children from the Teupasenti care point but unfortunately many of them couldn’t come, whether it was because of lack of room or just their inability to come. It was still lots of fun though and the church was very full. Some of them stayed until Wednesday night service. The Friday previous to that Sunday, we had a Children’s Cup meeting. We have one every other Friday. The facilitators from each point come for a meeting where we discuss upcoming projects, deadlines, answer questions etc. Iris, who runs the Teupasenti care point, takes a bus 2.5 hours to make it to the meeting, spends the night at Karen’s house and the next morning takes a bus 2.5 hours back. That week, she came down, made it back to Teupasenti probably around 10:30/11, got her work done and than the next day, got back on a bus at 7am and rode back to the church, sat through service, had lunch and then went all the way back… I felt so bad for her because that is a lot of time riding on a very very bumpy rode. But it didn’t seem to bother her. Iris is one of the most content people and hardest workers I think I have ever met. She is awesome! (Side note: Iris runs the Teupasenti care point by herself, unlike other care points who have 2-4 regular facilitators who split the responsibilities, she runs it all by her self, and has A LOT of kids to care for and keep track of. She has a sister who helps out when she needs it and works with the mothers at the church. She also helps out with the white field a lot. Her mother past away and her father cannot find work. She has 2 younger brothers and 3 younger sisters who are in the program. Her brothers are sponsored but her sisters are not. They are such a sweet family that work hard, are very smart, never complain, and love Jesus. So if anyone would like to sponsor a child, and wants to help out this family which could really use the help, please let me know.)

The Monday after Seacoast left and Pastor Daniel was on his vacation, Karen and I walked into the office to work and were shocked to find puddles of water. I still don’t know what exactly happened but the office had flooded. The room where we keep all the donations and the meds for Dr. Sabback was really bad. We had to take everything out of the boxes and suitcases and set it out to dry. Thankfully the things that couldn’t get wet were on the top… God really took care of us in that situation because wet medicine could have been very bad. Because everything was out anyways, I started going through all of the donations that Action Church left… 10 full suitcases of donations. I had to let everything dry, go through and organize and document it, and than repack it… my dream. The only thing that I did not like, really didn’t like, was that the water attracted ants so as I was taking things out of the suitcases, there were tons of little ants crawling around. It was really gross. I did eventually get everything organized, packed and labeled with avoiding the ants as much as possible. I thought I would be able to go through it all very quickly, I knew what all we had, I just had to write it down, let it dry and repack it. It ended up taking me 2 full days. I had to go through all the clothing and sizes and document the different kinds of clothing (short sleeved shirt, T-shirt, camisole, long sleeves etc.) in each size. Craziness! But now that it is done and the annual reports are turned in, Karen and I are going to find a day to drive to Teupasenti and  deliver all of the bags. We will probably stay there for a night so I am excited to see everyone again. We haven’t set a date yet but it will be sometime this month.

Karen and I have a hard time scheduling things and finding time to take trips like that. I am excited though because on Tuesday (our day off) we are going to the pool with Karen’s friend Sandy. Sandy is Karen’s best friend. She is also her X-boss. Sandy is from the States so she speaks English and she runs an organization that has mission’s teams in every week. So Sandy is very busy. I am excited to meet her though. She is in her 50s. Most of Karen’s friends are around that age with a few exceptions like her friend Israel, who is her age. I have to remind my self that she is 33 so the age gap isn’t as big. I am hoping that I can be mature enough to hang out with them though. Sandy is the reason that Karen judges me for my PB&J addiction. I will make PB&J for lunch two days in a row, or even 2 times in a week and Karen will always say, “peanut butter and jelly again Cami? You don’t want turkey or I can make you something else.” I always say, “Karen, if I wanted turkey I would make turkey.” When she worked with Sandy she had PB&J every day because it was what Sandy served her missionaries for lunch. So Karen would eat 2 sandwiches every day for months. Because of that, her mind thinks “why would you chose to have PB&J when you could have something else.” Hahaha! But Karen loves tuna so now when she makes fun of me for my love of peanut butter, I can come back and compare it to her tuna obsession.

We were also able to make plans with her friend Israel. We went to a dog benefit that was happening at a Wendy’s. (By the way, Wendy’s sells apple pie, pineapple pie and cheese pie… only in Honduras.) It was a dog benefit specifically for pit bulls … seriously, the only kind of dog I don’t like. We didn’t know that until we got there though. I was expecting for it to be some type of benefit like Judy’s Pet Rescue where there would be dogs that needed home or raising money for an organization that takes care of stray dogs, I don’t know, that is just what I was guessing. We got there and it was also an event for motorcycles and cars that raised money for the pit bull lovers club. So cars motorcycles and put bulls. The motorcycles where showing off by burning the rubber on their tires so it made that screechy sound, smelt bad, and was smoky. What I thought was right up my ally, ended up just not being my cup of tea. I was glad that I brought the pepper spray that my dad bought me and made me promise to carry around. I didn’t have to use it but just that type of environment… I wasn’t really sure why we were there. I knew that Karen wouldn’t take me somewhere dangerous but it was still pretty sketchy. We went inside and ate for most of the time. We were supposed to go to a second benefit with Isreal the next day which was like a 5K dog walk (no cars or motorcycles allowed) but Karen and I were tired and decided to take naps instead, it worked out well because they canceled the walk. We have pending plans with some other people but have to make time for them. Now that annual reports are done, we should be able to make more time for friendly get together.

I have come to find that Sundays are really the best days for naps. I now get home from church, eat lunch, go to my room to study Spanish for about 30 minutes, take a 2ish hour nap and than continue studying until dinner… it’s a great routine. However, this last Sunday, I left church with Alejandra and her family. Her mom dropped us off at the mall and picked us up a few hours later. It was the 4 Chavez’s and me. We had lunch at Pizza Hut and than walked around and talked. We bought friendship bracelets for all the girls which are super cute. I am so glad that I have made friends here. I am excited to go see more movies with Alejandra and meet some of her friends that she was telling me about.

I had tired so many different ways of studying Spanish. I was continuing Duo Lingo (but stopped because they added this health bar and I would end up dying before finishing a lesson and so I wasn’t learning anything), I labeled everything in the room, I had flash cards, I tried focusing on a word a day, and I tried writing everything down to study. Nothing was working. I brought my old Spanish text book with me so I decided I would start going through it and focus on two pages a morning. I would do YouTube videos to practice. So far, that was working the best but I wasn’t confident in using anything I was learning. I had been asking around to see if anyone knew a Spanish teacher who could teach and explain things to me, help me with pronunciation and do practice exercises with me.  (Practice exercises were the biggest thing I needed! Just someone to encourage me to speak because Spanish is one of my 4 biggest fears so I am not really excited and just wanting to practicing speaking it, I need encouragement… I almost need someone to force me to.) We couldn’t find one though. When I fist got to Honduras, Pastor Daniel told me he was going to send me to stay in Teupasenti for a month. I learned it was because Karen was planning on visiting her family in California for a month to celebrate her sister’s birthday. She hasn’t seen them in 5 years, so it is important that she goes, especially since she has someone who can hold down the fort while she is gone. Her sister booked her plan ticket for her and they cannot change the dates. She is leaving on the 26th of September. That is all okay until I learned that while she is gone, we have 4 mission teams coming in and I will be taking Karen’s place. That means I need to be able to order coffee, order food, ask about prices, and hold a basic conversations with people in Spanish. Oscar will be coming too so I will not have all the weight on my shoulders but I still need to be able to do a lot more than I can right now. Karen was talking to Josue (who helps with missions trips and helps in Teupasenti occasionally) and he was saying that I really need to get my Spanish down. He told Karen about a language school that was in the mall down the street. He said it is kind of expensive but it is intense so I would learn quickly. I was really excited about it so we went to check it out as soon as we had a day off. The classes are a little expensive but it I am going to pay extra for anything, this would be it. I am taking privates, which is good because it is one on one and I am taking it for 1 hour a day, 3 times a week for a total of 30 hours. It is perfect this way because when there are teams, I can just let my teacher know I will not be there and that way I won’t lose any hours, they will just roll over. I considered buying the 60-hour pack and doing more than just an hour a day but I know that that would be overload for my head. I think this is perfect.  So, as I am writing this I just finished my 4th class. I will tell you more about the classes and how they are going in the next blog because it is hard to tell in the beginning because I am learning the basics first. The hope is that I will be able to hold a basic conversation by the end of September when my family comes to visit me. The classes do keep me busy though and have pretty much packed my schedule. Between taking classes, studying, and practicing, it is hard to find extra time to relax. I feel like I have to chose between studying and talking with family, hanging out with friends, sleeping, blogging, doing other things that I would like to do in my free time, etc. But hopefully it will be worth it. I am also focusing on learning everything that Karen does at the office. She does a lot. Learning the documents and where she keeps them, deadlines, updates, emails, people I need to talk to… it’s a lot. But I’ll get it!

I take Spanish on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On Saturday, Karen takes Mandarin. She has class only once a week but it is for 4 hours. Seeing her study makes me want to cry for her! It seems crazy hard but she said that it is actually going to be easy once she learns the symbols, writing, and sounds because they have no grammar, no present, past, or future tenses, no conjugations… you just have to learn how to say the words and then you are good to go.  Still seems hard to me but I wish Spanish had no grammar. We drive together on Saturday mornings. So, I take my first hour and than I have 3 hours to work on my blog. You would think with 3 hours I would be able to get it done and just make Saturday my posting day, right… wrong! I am a hot mess.

Here is a run down of a basic week for me right now:

Sundays:

  • Go to church – 8:30 (Karen is on worship team)
  • Pray or work on blog in office
  • Church service – 3 hours
  • Finish up any work in the office
  • Go home and eat lunch (normally Mac & Cheese)
  • Study Spanish – 30 minutes
  • Nap
  • Study Spanish more
  • Eat dinner
  • Talk to my family or hang out with Karen and hers
  • Bed

Mondays:

  • Office – 8am and work all day
  • Spanish 5:30-6:30
  • Skype with Nate and Mandy @ 7
  • Dinner
  • Bed

Tuesdays:

  • DAY OFF mostly work on blogs but have freedom to do what ever, normally the day to go shopping

Wednesdays:

  • Prayer 8-12
  • Lunch
  • Office work
  • Church 6-8
  • Dinner
  • Study Spanish
  • Bed

Thursdays:

  • Office by 8
  • Spanish class 5:30-6:30
  • Home and eat dinner
  • Call my family
  • Bed

Fridays:

  • Office by 8 and work all day
  • Children’s Cup meeting 6:30-8 every other week
  • Home and eat dinner
  • Study Spanish
  • Bed
  • If we don’t have a meeting we try to go to the open market if the traffic isn’t terrible

Saturdays:

  • Spanish 8-9
  • Blog 9-12
  • Office till 5:30
  • Free night à either hang out with friends, shop, watch movies, or relax
  • Study Spanish for at least 1 hour or up to 5 hours
  • Bed

So, my week is pretty booked but there is tons of wiggle room so I continue having adventures. I need lots of prayer when it comes to learning Spanish because I am still really struggling but I am hopeful. I love Honduras and I am so excited to share everything that is going on with you! I skipped a head a lot in this blog to bring you up to date but in the next blog I will go back and fill in all the missing spaces!

Here are the 3 girls I was talking about:

All 3 girls are related to Iris, the facilitator at Teupasenti. They live with their father, 2 brothers, and all 5 girls. The family works hard and loves Jesus but live in poverty. If you are interested in helping this family out or sponsoring any of these girls, please let me know and I will give you more information. Think about everything that you spend money on, all of the little treats that you don’t even value any more. Consider if you could give anything up to help these amazing people who have very very little. Remember these verses:

2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Luke 6:38

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

This is Briny. She is 10 years old (birthday on 8/12). Her favorite subject is writing and she loves to swim. She wants to be an engineer when she grows up. She is shy but also very smart. She is very mature for her age. Briny helps out at the care point as much as she can but has to remember to still be a child. Her prayer is protection for her family.

This is Yorjely. She is 6 years old (birthday 7/22). She is not in school yet but will be starting soon. She loves playing with dolls and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She is very smart and happy. Her prayer is for blessings of every kind.

This is Juliethe. She is 4 and turning 5 in November (birthday 11/16). She is too young to start school yet but will be starting soon. She will need a sponsor to be able to afford it. She helps out in her house by sweeping and likes playing dolls with her sisters. She also wants to be a teacher when she grows up because she is very smart.

Please pray and let me know if you want to sponsor one of these girls. I will try to post more children and stories soon so that you can fall in love with all of the children as well. Sponsoring the children is great because you can write them notes and they will write back to you. Your letters, love and support means so much to them!

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Chapter 5 – Seacoast Church – I Can’t Doubt Myself Anymore

August 2nd, 2017

Even though I had barley settled in, it was time for me to assist in hosting a new team from Seacoast Church in South Carolina. It would be the first team where I was a part of Pastor Daniel’s team instead of the mission’s team. I was excited but I was also worried that I wouldn’t be able to help since there was a lot I didn’t know. I didn’t have much prep going into it and I still couldn’t speak any Spanish.

The Seacoast team came for medical missions. I had heard a lot about them from Pastor Daniel and Karen. The team was lead by Dr. Sabback, a surgeon who has a heart for missions. He brings a team every year so many of the people who were coming had been to Honduras before. Here is what I knew before they arrived: Dr. Sabback is very organized and punctual, he works non-stop and runs a “missions heavy” week. The team would be staying in Honduras for 2 weeks but we would only be with them for 1 week. The second week they would travel into the mountains of Troez to preform surgery and run a VBS. So it would be quiet a week!

The team was not coming through Children’s Cup but they would doing medical clinics in two of the care points and prayer ministry at one other point. The would also be doing medical clinics in 2 prisons, prayer ministry at an orphanage, speaking and praying over a school (twice), visiting a safe house, doing a lot of work with the LAMB institute and visiting an anti-gang organization called the Alonzo project. That is a lot to do in just 1 week in case you didn’t know.

The group came Friday afternoon and there were 16 of them. The ages ranged from 11 in to the 70s. There were a lot of names to remember so I had to keep quizzing myself in my head whenever I could. I got them down for the most part by the end of the first day. I surprised myself by how much I had learned about Honduras in just one week and how many questions I could answer. After picking them up and getting lunch we stopped for coffee (of course), dropped their suitcases off at the hotel, and then went to the church and sorted meds for a few hours. We pre-wrote cards giving instructions for what the med was, how to take it, and why they were be prescribed the meds. We also separated, counted, and pre-bagged meds, so the church had a strange mixture of medication and vitamin smells. It was tedious and time-consuming work but it was very helpful when it came time for the clinics.

When we served with medical clinics, I helped in the pharmacy section. It was cool how the clinics were set up. The patients would come in and give their medical history and current complaints at the first table, triage, and 2 people from the team and translators would write it down. Then the patient would take their card and see the doctors who would hear their concerns, take any tests or measurements necessary and write the prescription. The patients would bring pharmacy their prescription where we would bag their meds and tell them how to take it. Next the patient would get eyeglasses if needed and tooth brush and paste. Finally, they would go to prayer where the Great Physician would bring healing. Each patient left with a goodie bag with hygiene supplies and other treats. The clinics always seemed to last a long time and were pretty stressful (between lines backing up, trying to find certain meds, running out of other meds, not being able to read the doctors hand writing, and everyone needing Averie (the medical professional – who knew the meds, what to substitute if we ran out and instructions on how to take them) to help us needing Gianna to translate or tell us how to write something). In the end, it was really cool seeing how many people were helped, not only physically but many people were healed spiritually due to an amazing prayer team. We saw some very serious cases so getting to help them made the stress worth it.

Jerry helping care for children

We did 4 medical clinics during the week. First we went to Danli, a men’s prison. I didn’t know what to expect but it was pretty cool. All the prisoners were obedient, patient, thankful, and respectful. The church sends a ministry team to the prisons weekly and it is an incredibly successful ministry. Many of the prisoners give their lives to God while in prison and when they get out, they do not return to their old ways because they have been reborn. It was the first clinic so I had no idea what I was doing and felt like I was more of a mess than a help. I couldn’t remember instruction for certain meds we used a lot, I couldn’t remember what to say or how to write it and I didn’t know what any of the meds were. I felt like the whole time I was taking prescriptions and giving them to some one else to fill and hand out… mean while they were trying to take care of their own patient. I thought maybe with my mom being a doctor and always talking about meds I would be better at this… I wasn’t. At the end of the clinic, while we were cleaning up, Gianna told me that Pastor Pablo told her that one of the prison guards told him to “put me on hold,” (as if he was shopping at the mall), so he could marry me! Yet, he never even said hi to me…. between the height difference (I’m sure), the language barrier, and the fact that he didn’t talk to me… marriage isn’t looking so great.

The Danli prison was on the way to Teupasenti so from prison we drove another hour to get to the Children’s Cup care point located there. The next day we did another clinic at the care point. This clinic was different though because I did Children’s Cup stuff instead of assisting with the clinic. I needed to take pictures of some kids and fill out registration forms with Iris, the facilitator. While I was waiting for certain kids that I needed pictures of to come, I got to play with the rest of the children. I missed those kids so much and it was great getting to see them again. It was really fun seeing how many of the kids remembered me from a week ago. I got to see Katia again who wanted to be right next to me the whole time. That was fun since the last time she was shy and distant until the last day. However, she got mad for a little bit because I was playing with other kids too and not focusing all my attention and favoring her. She was pouting and was mad at the other kids and me. I felt bad at first, but than I realized, if I was at home and dealing with a kid acting like that who spoke my language, I would have told the kid to suck it up because I am there for all the kids not just one! She can either pull it together and have fun or throw a temper tantrum and be alone… I don’t enable bad behavior or entitlement no matter where you’re from.

Katia and Genesis. Nates sponsor child and mine.

I had tons of fun! I was excited to see little monkey Karlita again and Luis’s little girl Nahomi. Both of those girls need extra love because they don’t necessarily receive a whole bunch so I was glad to play and see them smile.

Carmen, Nahomi, and Nayeli being my best friends while I was waiting for children to arrive.

Karla came in her princess dress

Iris told Karen and I that Jhoannas, Ms. Cathy’s sponsor child, was a whole new kid since Ms. Cathy had talked with him. Iris said he had been very obedient, was helping with the younger kids and was trying to be a good leader so that Ms. Cathy would be proud of him. He really was being a leader; he was trying to help me with my Spanish and trying to learn English. He helped me with the pictures by telling kids to stay in place and telling other kids to get out of the picture. He is a good boy. Ms. Cathy is very lucky to be sponsoring such an incredible boy, and he is very lucky that Ms. Cathy is sponsoring him because I know that she will continue pouring into his life and loving him.

Jhonnas, Ms. Cathy’s sponsor child.


The kids were crazy, in a good way. They climbed up a tree and picked green mangos for everyone. They taught me how to eat it. I didn’t really want to eat it in the first and would have prefer that it was washed and peeled it instead of just biting a dirty mango, almost breaking my teeth, and having to spit out the outside but… oh well… when in Honduras right!?! I became the tree soon after. For the majority of the time the kids would just climb up my body. I would not pick them up, they would just scale my body until they got to a good resting point so I would have 3 or 4 kids on me at all times. I was continuously trying to pull up my shirt and take kids off me. It was exhausting and hot but so much fun!

Teupasenti kids hanging out

I really need to learn Spanish because I would be taking pictures and, kids are kids, so they would photo bomb or make funny faces. I wanted tell them to get out of the picture, go stand over there, smile, stop, etc. but I had no idea what to say. I had to rely on putting my hands on my hips and giving them my “mean Cami face” or say no in a harsh tone. For the most part, it worked, YAY! And for that, I have to thank all the misbehaving children in Sunday School and dance classes who gave me practice and helped me prefect it!

While we were in Teupasenti we attended a church service. When Action Church attended service, both last year and this year, we had a few people who spoke to the congregation during the service. I thought it was very cool because Seacoast designated 2 people to speak to the congregation, and 2 people to take the kids upstairs for a Sunday school lesson on the armor of God. They were prepared with props and prizes. To be honest, as soon as they pulled out the prizes and said that you have to answer a question correctly to get a prize, I thought it would be a disaster! I was ready for fights, crying, and disappointed children because I knew that half the kids in that room wouldn’t get prizes either because they are too shy to speak up or because they were not listening. I was impressed by the lack of fighting and crying thought! The kids were trying to answer the questions and some of them were very smart and great listeners, but as predicted many of them couldn’t answer. So at the end they let everyone line up and get little prizes. They handed out some kazoos but we couldn’t figure out how to use them and thought they were broken. After exchanging some of them, we finally remembered that you have to hum to make a kazoo work, not blow! Trying to tell that to kids to hum whether or not you speak Spanish is hard… so I was trying to act it out and looking a-fool!

The children listening to the Sunday School lesson so they can get a prize

While we were getting back in the van we were saying good-bye to everyone, the mother from my first home visit (the one with the sleeping baby who helps out at the care point) saw me and yelled my name and gave me a hug. Her son was sleeping again but I did my best to communicate that I remembered him. I thought it was so sweet that she remembered my name and my face… I wish I could remember her name… uh oh!

The 3rd Clinic we did was at the church at the Soroguara care point. I had not been to that care point yet, it is the newest one, it just recently became a care point, like beginning of this year. I helped out in the pharmacy again. My job for the most part was pre-bagging and pre-separating or cutting medicine. Half of the patients were kids so a lot of the meds had to be split so they could be child-sized doses. By this day everyone was feeling pretty tired and a little stressed because it was the middle of the week. I felt bad as everyone was trying to look for meds and talk to people and I had the easy job because I didn’t have to write anything hard, search for anything, or talk to anyone, I just had to count pills and zip bags. I was feeling so bad that I was being so useless and doing the “easy stuff” when everyone was so done.  At the end, we had to count all the meds so we knew if we had to buy more so I sat with Averie and Dr. Sabback and we went through everything. I was still feeling very useless but thought, “I know how to count med cases and then put them in boxes!” I thought helping out was the least I could do since everyone else had been doing all the real work. I was feeling almost embarrassed by the end of the clinic because I was so inept (unable to remember what to write in Spanish or how to say certain phrases in Spanish) that I was reduced to the easy job that was almost made up to get me out of the way. Later that night, the team debriefed while Karen, Gabriel, and I got dinner ready. I wanted to cry happy, surprised, thankful tears because Averie called me out and basically said how thankful she was for me because I was such a big help with the medicine and keeping things organized and ready to go. I was taken aback because I thought I was such a pain and doing easy things so I didn’t get in the way, meanwhile Averie thought I was an incredibly helpful person, so much so that she would call me out to thank me specifically (she said, “good job pharmacy team but especially thank you to Cami blah blah blah”). I am continuously amazed because I keep doubting myself and wondering if I am any help to this team, I keep putting judgment on myself but than God opens my eyes and reminds me that He called me here and as long as I am willing and obedient, He will use me where I am needed the most. Even when I feel useless and wonder if I am doing any good, God always has a sneaky little plan that he is working on behind the curtain. He brought me here how He did, no Spanish and all, He gave me the skills He gave me and He will use me how He sees best fit not how I think it should be.

Working in the pharmacy

After we finished the clinic we had lunch and than went to see the care point. I we heard the whole story about how it came to be. Pastor Daniel made the connection through prison ministry, took interest in this little project that had started in Soroguara and worked with them to develop it into a care point. Because the care point is so new, there is a lot to be desired, the point is inside a small building that would have been knocked down because it was falling apart but they made repairs and are continuing to work on future plans. Soroguara has over 150 children who attend and only 2 have sponsors. There is still a lot of work but Pastor Pablo had shown us the Teupasenti point when it began so I know that Soroguara has lot of cool things in its future. I was hoping to meet some of the kids but that encounter would have to wait for another day. We ate lunch in the care point facilitator’s house and rested there for about an hour and a half. We had been getting these pre-made subs for lunch everyday. They had all this different sauce on them and lettuce and tomatoes and different types of meat (that I normally don’t eat on subs, and I especially NEVER do sauces) but I ate them. Karen kept pressuring me and reminding me of my own words, that I would try new foods in Honduras and not complain. I did it…. I don’t want to do it again… but the point is I am acting like a big girl and sucking it up and eating what I am served! Lots of self high-fives have been given from me, to me!

The last clinic we did was at a women’s prison, which was very different than the men’s clinic. There were men/teens walking on the walls outside and looking in through the windows at the top once we went inside. They were not guards so we asked who they were. We were told that they were just boys who hung around the prisons and watched. The guards and police couldn’t/don’t do anything to make them leave so we were told to just ignore them but it was still kinda awkward being watched. We were told that they were probably part of a gang but we were not in any danger. They knew that we were there to help so they would never ever harm us. Gangs appreciate missionaries and people who help. That is why the church is allowed to enter gang territory without being afraid because the gangs welcome and protect them. However, when we are not there, it is a very dangerous area because the prison is between two gang territories so there can be many fights and killings. The women have “houses” (their cells are houses) that are completely closed in with lots of locks because they have to be able to protect themselves if gang violence breaks out. It is crazy that there are guards there yet gangs still chose to fight occasionally. I was also curious why they couldn’t do anything about the stalking teenage boys who could pose a threat to the prisoners if they got a hold of one of them but Pastora Lorena told me as long at they leave the women alone, the guards allow them to hang out and watch.  Doesn’t make sense to me but things are different in Honduras.

We set up and got started with the clinic. They had us set up the pharmacy by the kitchen (which was a stove and an oven) but that made us very nervous because there were multiple people just walking back and looking over all the medicine. We didn’t know who was a cook and who was a patient but that can’t happen with controlled medicine! We were like, “NO this is not okay!” We were busy trying to take care of patients and keeping an eye on the meds with all the women back there, they could have grabbed anything and we would have been to busy to noticed. We finally figured it out and fixed it but between bagging meds, my main job was just to keep an eye on the medication and the women. The women prisoners were different from the men because they just wanted things. It was constantly, “can I have Band-Aids,” “can I have more ____,” “I need this,” “I need that,” “give me the wet wipes,” “Tell me this,” “Do that”…. I had to keep praying that I would see them through God’s eyes and have a serving heart because I was stressed and getting irritated and I was very worried because guess what… a cat just had kittens, like literally that day, and they took the kittens away from the momma. They put the babies in a drawer under the oven because they said it would “keep them warm.” They threw them in there with some clothes or towels or something that were dirty and covered in (what I can only guess was) urine and some cat food. Okay, there is so much wrong with that! 1. Don’t take babies away from their mom. 2. They can’t eat cat food; they need to be bottle-fed every 2 hours if the mom isn’t feeding them 3. What about the momma cat, like is it depressed now that its babies are gone… cats aren’t like ducks, they don’t function on-out-of- sight-out-of-mind, they attach 4. Is it safe to keep them in a drawer that is completely closed under an oven, which is being used??? AAHHHH!!!! Every time they mewed, I felt bad because I was thinking they were hungry, and every time they weren’t making noise, I thought they are probably dead! The cooks burnt something at one point so we smelt the bad burning smell and my heart stopped, if I open the drawer that the babies were BBQ-ed I would die right there and then! Thankfully they weren’t BBQ-ed, they were still alive. There was nothing I could do so hopefully the kittens are in heaven with Jesus or escaped or something! They did assure us though that they were not going to eat the cats, so phew!! Between the food, the meds, the prisoners, the cats, and the burnt food… the smell wasn’t great… and them… they started a nail salon behind us… so you can add alcohol and all the nail salon smells to the list of smells. Can you imagine how bad that mixture was!

When it was over, Averie and I were supposed to separate all the meds into boxes to either go back to the church for next year or to go to Troez. The problem was that the directions of what stays and what went kept changing. First it was ‘meds we use go to Troez’, and then changed to ‘meds we don’t use go to Troez.’ Next, ‘expired meds go to Torez,’ ‘no expired meds get thrown away.’ ‘Nothing that has been opened goes to Troez’ ‘but even though this is open send it to Troez.’ Back and forth back and forth… so we kept packing and unpacking.  We knew that there were more meds at the church that had to be separated too. After continuing to change what we were supposed to do a thousand times and having to leave but not being close to being done sorting meds, we threw everything in a box and just took it back to the church. We got it all taken care of there and it was great!
Along with medical ministry, the Seacoast team did a lot of prayer ministry as well. They visited prisons and Children’s Cup care points but they were also very involved in a non-profit called The Lamb Institute. I am so grateful I went with them and got to learn more about the ministry. At first, I thought it was just a school because we visited the Lamb school Monday morning and went to the different classes to speak and pray, I thought, “Okay, I’ve seen Lamb.” Later I found out how much Lamb does.

So on Monday we went to the school, we had Karen, Gianna, Gabriel, and Oscar as translators and I met two new girls who worked as translators as well, Alejandra and Gabriella. I love them and am so glad that I meet them. We get along very well. Gabriella is 14 so she and Gianna were the best of friends! They two of them stayed with us for most of the week to help with translations. Alejandra and I decided we would hang out and see movies together (because she also likes super hero movies) and play with her cats and stuff, so I was excited for new friends!! We would refer to the group of all of us as the Seacoast team, the translators, and Cami. I really do hope that before I leave I can be a translator-ish, like I can be a help with the language for the groups. The problem is that my Spanish is so bad! I cannot remember words to save my life. Gabriel was helping me in the bus on the way and he would tell me a word and its meaning. I would repeat the word for about 5 minutes and then he would give me another word. I would say the new word once and he would ask me what the first word (the word I had just said a thousand times) was and I couldn’t remember it, like not even what letter it started with. He said that I have Dory’s brain when it comes to Spanish… I couldn’t even be insulted because it is so true. Later, one of the kids knew some English and I told him I knew a little bit of Spanish and held my fingers up to show a little bit. Gabriel reached over and pushed my fingers together (leaving no space) and shook his head… again, I should be insulted but it is true! Pray for me guys! Pray for me!

At the school, the Seacoast group divided into 4 teams and each team got 2 translators or a translator and Cami. Each group got 2 grades that we went and talked to. I was with Alejandra, Doris, Laurie, Larry, and Howard. Alejandra translated, the group taught, I observed… it was a little awkward but I rolled with it. We went to 8th and 9th grade and taught about the armor of God. I noticed in the 9th grade class that they did not talk about the sword and wondered why they left that piece of armor out. After we left Doris asked me if in the 8th grade class, I would teach about the sword, she said she was going to ask me in the last class but didn’t. I said sure and was happy to do something to help but I had not really prepared like they had so I was just praying that the Holy Spirit would speak through me. Once again, God used me in my insecurity. He gave me words to say that I would not have thought of without Him. I don’t want to sound cocky and say I was awesome buuuuttttt everyone else in the group said that it was great and really tied it up well. Alejandra told me she was really impressed because normally people speaking a different language can not demand the attention of the students but she said that when I spoke I had their full attention and they were very absorbed by what I was saying, the rest of the group agreed and said they were very impressed with how the kids responded. I didn’t notice but I’ll believe them because I don’t think I did any of the talking and God is pretty darn good at getting people engrossed in what He has to say. So credit to Him!

In the 8th grade class room playing games with the students to illustrate how it is harder to knock something down when there is armor guarding it

After we talked to both classes some people went to the playground and prayed. I had no idea that was happening so I just hung out in the room and got to know some of the team better. I was wondering why it was taking groups so long… it was because they were praying! I hung out with Oscar and Gabriel and got to know them better. At this point I feel like they are my Honduran brothers because they mess with me and I can mess with them and they are just totally awesome! I am totally comfortable around them. I got to see pictures of Oscar’s new baby… which is the cutest baby EVER!!!!!

After the school and lunch, we drove to San Buena. San Buena is an orphanage that is also ran by Lamb. It was a 2-hour drive on very bumpy dirt roads. I had to pee very very bad and the bumps were not helping… by the time we got there, I don’t think my bladder had ever hurt so bad! Oh My Goodness! (I know you don’t need to know that but it was very impactful so I had to share with you that I was in extreme pain!!!!) We did take a very scenic route though and got to see the countryside, which was beautiful.

The windmills on the country side. I had never seen these before

We got to San Buena and only had about 45 minutes before we had to be back on the bus. I was wondering why we came when we really didn’t have time to experience anything but that was not my call to make. I don’t know if it had always been planned to have a short time there or if we were running late but I was wishing we had more time. However, I was so glad that we did go because it was incredible seeing everything that happens there. The first thing we did was pee. The first real thing we did was go to the chapel and pray for the staff. My prayer group prayed over a couple in their 60s who had sold everything they owned in the States and moved to Honduras. We asked how long they would be there and they said, “until we die.” They lived on property and helped with the kids. But… they didn’t speak any of the language. What a relief it was to see God calling other people to Honduras with similar struggles regardless of if they can speak the language, I am not the only person with a calling and crazy situation. It was so great to talk to them and hear about their hearts and their love for the children. After we prayed for them we prayed for the English teacher. She originally moved to Honduras for 6 months but ended up staying for an extra year. She was going back to the states in December so she could get a job and be trained in engineering (which she had her degree in) so that she could move back to Honduras in a few years and use her knowledge to help. It was fun praying over three people who I could relate to in different ways. It was encouraging hearing their stories and makes me wonder what God will do with my heart and what my story will be in a few years.

After we prayed we had about 15 minutes to see the place and pray over it. I went into the house where the young kids probably 4-6 year olds (if I had to guess) lived. One little girl (whose name I couldn’t pronounce so I just didn’t say it) attached to me immediately. She wanted me to hold her and then told we where to go. She would point somewhere, I would take a few steps and say, “Aqui?”, she would shake her head no so I would say, “Donde?”, she would point and it continued until we got to the play ground.   She wanted play on the swings. As I was walking away from the group, not knowing where I was going, Luis popped in my head and shouted DON’T LEAVE THE GROUP! But I ignored imaginary Luis. I could still kinda see the group so if they were walking away I would see them and join them. Silly Luis, always popping up in my head with safety concerns. It was a safe closed in area so I would be okay. After playing at the park we went back to the house and sat on the couch and played with some of the other kids. She was so sweet, she brought me a glass of water since we had been playing… it was tap water though so I couldn’t drink it but I pretended to and appreciated the gesture!

My little friend from orphanage

Dr. Sabback is a very prompt man. He said we had to be back at the bus at 4 and he meant it. The group that was in the house with me all had a hard time leaving because we wanted to play with the kids more, we had just gotten there and really only had 10 minutes to spend with the children. To make matters harder, they didn’t want us to leave either! Well, we finally left and had to run to the bus, I was sure I was going to slip or trip and eat it with my face in the dirt and my feet in the air because it was a tricky ground. Thankfully, I didn’t embarrass myself for once in my life so that was good. We made it to the bus at exactly 4:00 but Dr. Sabback was upset because we were supposed to be on the bus leaving at 4 not at the bus getting on and situated… opps… bad missions leader Cami! But… I don’t feel bad, ssshhhh don’t tell Dr. Sabback, I think loving children who don’t have parents to love them is more important than leaving on the dot… leaving 2 minutes later isn’t a big deal in my opinion if that meant the kids knew that they were loved. But I need to work on being obedient… which I’ve always been bad at….

On the way home we were told that there was bad traffic because of a terrible accident and because of construction. Oscar announced that we would be in traffic for the next 4 hours. People came to our windows and sold us snacks from the street while we were waiting. People from the group got out to stretch and run to a restaurant on the other side of the road for bathroom breaks and Oscar went and got everyone drinks. When everyone came back someone got the idea to pray. I think it was Jerry who prayed for traffic to clear up and I’m not kidding you, within 5 minutes of Jerry saying Amen, traffic cleared up and we got home in 20 minutes… no one can tell me that prayer is pointless or that God doesn’t take care of His children! It was pretty cool. (Side note: a year ago when I was reading the Harry Potter books, I was thinking that when we accept Jesus into our heart, its kinda like we get accepted into Hogwarts. Our prayer is our magic wand and we have all the power we need to preform miracles. We study and practice but just like Harry fought evil, so do we, and just like they used magic for little things, so can we. I thought of that last year because I was running late for work and there was traffic and as soon as I prayed, traffic cleared up. I know that’s a random side note, it just made me remember the thought and smile and Jerry’s prayer reminded me of it so I thought I would share.)

Another program we did with Lamb was the Alonzo Project. We went after our day in Soroguara. Again, I was thinking that we didn’t have much time but it was definitely worth it! The Alonzo Project is an anti-gang night program for children and teenagers in gang-ridden areas. We walked in and sat with the kids and listened to a testimony from a past gang member. He shared his story (which was insane and gross and sad and it was appalling to hear everything he did and went through) and he encouraged the children to seek Christ and avoid gangs. My favorite part of his testimony was when he said he got in the car to kill someone and the man who had a gun to his head wasn’t scared because he had Jesus and knew where he was going. Because of that, he was so freaked out that he didn’t kill the man and that was when the seed was planted. It makes me think of the Hillsong song that says, “What a powerful name it is, the name of Jesus.” So true! It was cool seeing the kids listen and knowing they were there to say no to joining a gang! I love it because the less children wanting to be in a gang, the less powerful gangs will be. After we heard his amazing testimony, we prayed for the leaders and for the children. Then we played soccer with them. They chose teams and for some crazy reason I thought sure I’ll play no one will pick me … hahahaha…. Whoops, I got chosen. Teams played each other and the winning team played the next team. When it was my teams turn to play I stood flat against the wall and played don’t-get-in-the-way and don’t-get-hit-in-the-face. I got laughed at because of my over exaggerated avoidance skills but… they saved my life! I kicked the ball once and was proud of myself, so I did my part. No, I actually felt bad that the team had picked me and I was such a handicap. Alejandra was on my team and bailed half way through… jerk! In the end, the team didn’t need me. When the game was over and I was so relieved AND THEN they said my team won… WHAT?!?!  HOW?!?! NO!!! Thankfully we had to leave so I didn’t have to “play” again. I did get my second proposal that night though so my self-esteem was going up… I can now choose between a shy prison guard or an adolescent. Goodie!! I’m a lucky girl! Hahaha!!!! The Alonzo Project was one of my favorite things we did because it was so awesome seeing people saying no to gangs and knowing that it can make a change in the future if teens are encouraged not to get involved!

On Wednesday the group went going back to the school to speak again and to pray for this project that taught women and students how to make things and sell them, like a business school type of thing and then they were going to a safe house for girls that were rescued from sex trafficking. I was sad because Karen and I were supposed to be at the office that day so I was going to miss it. But as I got in the car, and checked with Karen, she said oh, everything has changed we are going with the group to day instead… I was glad I didn’t wear a dress like was originally going to.

We went back to lamb and saw their morning devotional. It was super cute because the first graders lead it. One of them was the host and he was all dressed up nice. He was yelling in the microphone and trying to get all the students pumped. The first graders sang and did a dance for us. All the students took turns practicing their bible verse in both English and Spanish, and a teacher did a short teaching. After the presentation was over and all the students went back to their class rooms, our team split up again. Some people talked to classes again, my group listened to a presentation where they explained the business program. We got to pray over them and then buy some of the stuff that they invented or learned to make. It was funny though because they had priced everything in US dollars but since I live here now, I only had lempiras. We had lunch and then ran back to the hotel to grab anything the group would need for the rest of the day.

I am not going to share too much information about the safe house because of obvious reasons. The safe house is also a segment of Lamb. It is in a secret location and changes periodically because the girls still have owners who are looking for them. What I will say is, I really enjoyed being there and meeting the girls. We introduced ourselves, Kim and Jerry shared their testimonies, and we sang “Good Good Father” in Spanish as a group. Than the females divided into small groups and talked and prayed over individual girls. The girl I was with (lets call her Jane – not her real name BTW) was so funny because she was so honest about things like, “someone gave this to me but I think its ugly and I don’t like it.” Doris and Alejandra were also with “Jane.” I was really touched by how much Doris connected with her. “Jane” was about to tell us something personal but decided not to and said instead she would just write Doris a letter. I thought it was sweet that she trusted Doris. “Jane” asked me about my friends. I laughed with her and told her how my friends are all dating each other. She asked Alejandra to translate because she had something important to tell me. “Jane” then went on to tell me that I have to pray for my future husband because God will give me a good man who will love me the right way at the right time. Doesn’t that break your heart that a girl who has been sold to men to mistreat her would remind me that I need to wait for a man who knows how to love me correctly and I need to pray for him until God sends him to me. I told her thank you and that was correct and asked her if she was praying for her future husband as well. She said she was. Then we prayed with her. Her biggest prayer request was for bravery, which really touched me. Doris said the most sincere prayer and cried with “Jane”. Then we went and bought jewelry. “Jane” showed us which things she made so I got some of her earrings. They’re beautiful! As we were leaving, “Jane” grabbed me because she wanted to give me a cross to hang on my wall. I didn’t want to take it because I know she has so little. I at least wanted to give her something but all I had was the things I just bought from her… and it felt like it would be rude or insulting to give her something that she made, I wanted her to know that I thought her jewelry was beautiful and precious. So I said thank you, hugged her and now I have a beautiful cross hanging in my bathroom so I can remember to pray for her every day.

After the safe house went to Wednesday night church. It was nice because since the team was there, Pastor Daniel preached in English and Oscar translated in Spanish. I got to have an English service again, if only for one night. At the end of the service, prayer lasted a long time, a lot of people were very moved and service went much longer than it normally does, I would guess about 45 minutes longer. I got my prayer, felt great and was good to go back to my seat after about 10 minutes which left me awkwardly standing there not knowing what to do. Do I pray some more, go back up to the front, do I interact with others who are standing there too, do I watch the people who are praying and having this amazing experience… I don’t know? First I tried just watching the worship team (they were taking turns taking breaks, pulling up chairs, etc, because they keep playing and singing until prayer is over) then I decided to look around at everyone else’s reaction. They were leaving when they were satisfied… I couldn’t leave. Two of the people in the group, Kim and Jerry, had sponsor children from Los Pinos care point (which ironically was the only care point we didn’t visit) so Karen arranged to have Sister Ely bring them to Wednesday night service. I remembered them from last year. I decided I would go and pray for the two of them. I felt such confirmation while praying for them. I felt like I got the opportunity to see them through God’s eyes for a few minutes because the love that I felt for them brought me to tears. Once I could pull myself together I talked to their mom and told her how much I loved the kids and how thankful I was that she was caring for them and raising them correctly (I want to encourage both children and parents because parents need words of affirmation to and it is always nice to hear that what you are doing makes a difference). As I watched them sitting through service I could only think how their mom should be so proud of these two little beauties, these two little gifts from God! They are so beautiful and perfectly made. Their mother and I hugged for a really long time, but it was one of those weird hugs where you never know when to stop hugging and then when you do the other person doesn’t but the other person is short and you’re bending at a weird angle, so even though you love the hug your back is starting to hurt, so you just want to reposition but you know if you let go, you cant go back in for a hug or it will be awkward… you know that kind of hug… is it just me… well that’s what it was… a good meaningful yet awkward and uncomfortable hug. But the good kind of awkward and uncomfortable. Anyways, I left service feeling so happy that I get to be around these children for the next few months and I am going to miss them so much when I go back to the States.

Seacoast church has been a huge help to the care point in Nueva Suyapa. They saw it last year and paid to have construction so a church/kitchen could be built. They are doing this through Seacoast, not through Children’s Cup, so it is very cool that God would move their hearts to help. They did not do a clinic; instead, they just went to visit, feed, and play with the children. When we first got there we met the facilitators, exchanged words, and prayed for them. They had decorated the center and written “Welcome Seacoast Church” on the wall for them. When the children came, a few of the girls did a short presentation for us where they showed us some of the dances they had learned (Nueva Suyapa just started a dance program for the boys and girl, but only the girls preformed for us) and sang some songs.

The girls at Nueva Suyapa singing for Seacoast

Then we talked to the children for a bit before helping serve them lunch. It was a special day because they were celebrating and had cake that we got to help serve as well. We cut the cake into small pieces and I ended up getting icing all over my hands and had green stained hands for the rest of the day. It was fun because I had not been there before. I was thankful that Seacoast Church was funding the rebuilding because there was a lot that needed to be done. However, they told us that it had come a long way since it first started as a care point. They explained to us that before Seacoast started helping, it was hard to get to the point if it rained. They called it the red sea because the red clay mud on the ground would turn into a steam that ran through the church and down the path used to get there. I have now been to all 4 care points and can’t wait to go back again and really get to know the children. I can’t wait to share stories about some of these children with you so that you can fall in love with them too and possibly even pick them up as their sponsor.

This sweet girl from Nueva Suyapa. She wanted to be in every picture that was being taken so I did a selfie photo shoot with her so the team could take pictures of the construction and the group with out a photobomber

The last two days were sort of odd, because half the team was staying for 2 weeks, the other half was only there for the first week, and more people were coming in for the second week in Troez. On Thursday, we had our final dinner as the original team at the amazing steak place I told you about in a previous blog.

The team at our steak dinner

The next day we said hello to the incoming group, had lunch as one big giant team and than said our good byes to the team that was heading for Troez. There were a few that were not going to Troez, and would be getting on a plane to go home the next day, so we took them to Valley of the Angels, shopped, drank coffee, and had good conversations.

I loved getting to know everyone from this team! I had some really good talks with Doris and loved getting to be on her team at all the outreaches. She has such an awesome and passionate heart for God! I really enjoyed spending time with Averie too. I felt like we could relate on a lot of different things and just got along really well. Oh boy, did I learn a lot from Dr. Sabback, he is such an inspiration. He does not rest until the will of God has been done and wonders have been seen. What a man of faith (and astonishing organization)! I was very inspired by Jerry’s prayer life and her passion for people. I learned a lot of random facts from Howard. He knows interesting facts about everything. I thought they were cool but honestly had no idea how to responded other than “wow” and “cool” but that’s because they were wow and cool kinds of facts! I loved talking to Martha and her grand daughter Martha… who I kept accidentally calling Marsha. I really enjoyed hearing about Martha C’s time in Haiti and other Martha shared her love story with me. It was like a story out of a romance book. I got to meet the romantic hero who stole Martha’s heart before they left for Troez. I had tons on fun on the nightly trips to Wal-Mart with Karen and Ryan and I will never forget the story of him yelling, “But Señor, Its Wal-Mart” when they told him that they did not carry thermometers. Karen’s constant reenactment of it made it funnier every time. I got to talk with Laurrie more at Valley of the Angels and here about his amazing evangelist stories. And I loved the bus rides where I got to know Pam better and heard about her trips to Indian and Sri Lanka and how they compared to Honduras. I was incredibly impressed by Kim and Roz, how well they organized the trip and how well they had prepared and planned. Larry was The King of the Kids. If you couldn’t find Larry it was because he was surrounded by the youths of the trip who were huddled around to hear his stories. Gianna would come stand next to me and just start laughing and be like, “look at Larry”… I didn’t get why she was laughing at first but I figured it out, it was just because Larry is awesome! I was very inspired by the grandchildren/children who came. I was impressed by how mature Rivers was and how funny he was for being 16. I enjoyed getting to know Bethel who was only 11 and see her serving and out going heart at such a young age. I got to talk to Roman a lot; we compared stories of his gymnastic training and injuries to my experience in dance. It was such a good first team for me to be with. They were so supportive and friendly! I liked seeing how they did things differently than the Action Church team did. There were things that they did that I liked better than how Action did them and vice versa. It was cool getting to see all the different ministries and how many organizations are working to help Honduras.

The whole team together

I felt blessed because every time I doubted myself or my use with the team, God would send me some inspiration. Like I would start wondering if the team just saw me as Karen’s shadow and wondered what my purpose was or if I was doing anything for them. Then Pam would tell Bethel to go ask me a question because, “Oh Cami would know” and it made me feel like, ‘if they think I know the answer or can help them, than I can’t be a compete joke.’ Or I would think I was doing nothing but than someone would thank me for everything at the end of the day or after dinner they would tell me to rest because I had been serving them all day… I wanted to laugh and tell them I was doing nothing… bringing them dinner was the only thing I could do, but knowing that they saw me as a help felt really good. It was nice receiving affirmation that I was helping others and serving well. I think one of the biggest biggest things was when, a few nights, after the team was safe in their rooms and Wal-Mart trips had been taken, Karen and I would get in the car to drive home. She would sit and stare out the front window, take a long deep breath and sigh. She would put her hand on my leg or reach over and kiss my cheek and tell me how grateful she was that I was there. I felt like I was always being annoying saying, “Karen how can I help,” “Just tell me what to do,” “Karen this,” “Karen that,” and basically always being up her butt because I didn’t know what else to do. BUT she didn’t see it that way. She keeps telling me (or I overhear her telling others on the phone) that she thinks that I am an angel who God sent to help her right now when she needs help the most. I always laugh and say I’m definitely not an angel and I am happy to help but I don’t really know what in the world I am doing to make things easier on her… but than she has those reactions, just a sigh of relief and gratitude, a quick thanks, and than we move on but it literally means the world to me. It means a lot because when she says it, it is not out of obligation or for show, she doesn’t say it immediately after I’ve done something as if it is just a response, She says it at random times and very sincere and personal, it doesn’t get better than that! She squashes all of my fears that I am not good enough or that I am so young that she will be annoyed being around me. It makes me soo happy, I can’t even tell you! I think she is the angel, watching what she does and how she loves people, saying the things she says… yeah she is way more of an angel than I am!

Now that the team had left I knew I would miss them and I would miss being in the field but I was excited to really get settled in, to have some time to focus on practicing Spanish and to get office work done so we could meet the deadlines. Really, I am excited to get some very much needed sleep! I can’t wait till I know what a normal day or a normal week looks like. I am excited to hang out with Alejandra and hopefully have a ladies day with the Dyer girls and I am excited to get to know Pastor Daniel more. I am excited to finally get a phone so that I can communicate in Honduras. Everything will come together. I know that these next few weeks that we don’t have teams will be really good for me since Ill get to settle in and make a life for myself here in Honduras. Hopefully I can catch up on all my blogs and stay on top of them from now on… we will see… like I said earlier, I’ve never been good at being on time… punctuality is way too boring… life is more fun with little adventures that keep you a little later and it keeps you on your toes!

That’s all I have for this chapter! So until next week, I love you and I miss you to everyone back home! Time will fly and I will see you soon!

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Chapter 4 – My New Life – 1st Week On My Own

July 23rd, 2017

We had just dropped of the Action Church missions group at the airport. I hadn’t been to what would be my new house for the next 6 months, and we were on the way to the church so I could start working. I think that in any other situation I would have wanted to have a day of resting after an emotional missions trip but I was so excited to get started that I would have been upset if I had just gone home and unpacked. The day at work was pretty uneventful apart from learning more about Children’s Cup and how much work goes on behind the scenes. After being out of the office for a week and because Karen had to explain things to me instead of working herself, we stayed at work later than we normally would on a Monday. We left around 6:30/7ish, threw my bags in her car and left for her house.

Karen’s car was born before I was. It may be old but I love Karen’s out look on it, she said she could get a nicer car but this car still works and as long as it takes her to where she needs to go and allows her to help drive people around who don’t have a car, she is happy for the gift. She doesn’t care about her “nice” her car is. (Bonus: her car is too old for someone to want to break in!) I wish more people valued what they have instead of wanting the bigger better thing. It is something that I am learning for sure.

Once we got to her house, I quickly met her family, took my bags up to my room and than we left to go to the store to buy anything I needed to get. We got most of the things I needed but we decided we would go out on Thursday on our day off. We went to 2 stores, grabbed dinner and then went home. I noticed that a lot of people look at me when I am walking around. When I was with Action I assumed its because we are a whole bunch of gringos walking around but Karen looks more Asian than Honduras and has lighter skin than mine. I asked her, “how come people look at me but don’t look at you because you don’t necessarily look Honduran.” She laughed (Karen is 4’11 by the way and very skinny)… I guess no one cares if I am a gringo…. I am just really really tall by Honduras standards and standing next to Karen makes us look like David and Goliath.

Like I said, I am very tall by Honduras standards! I have to duck to get in a lot of places and I have to hunch when I sit at tables because they are so low. In Karen’s house I have to hunch under the shower because my head hits the top of the shower. It is pretty funny.

By the time we got back to the house I had my first dose of homesickness. I was still sure I was supposed to be here but I really missed the dogs. How pathetic is that, I missed the dogs before I missed the family! I went up to my room and tried to unpack but instead I called my sister and we video chatted. She let me see the dogs and it made me cry because I missed them so much!! I knew I needed to finish unpacking but it had been a long week and an emotional night and I just fell asleep.

On Tuesday I started translating Spanish documents into English (Google translate is my best friends right now). When Karen first asked me to help translate I thought she was joking. We went out for lunch and we had Chinese food. I had said that I would eat new things in Honduras, so that is what I did. The whole time we were eating, I just kept thinking how proud my mom would be. Speaking of my mom though, Tuesday night was really hard because it had finally settled in that this was my life and my family was a very long ways away. I was feeling very homesick! I called my parents as soon as I got home but could only talk to them for about 30 minutes because Karen’s mom was going to help me unpack. I couldn’t even talk to them because every time I opened my mouth I would cry. I just missed them so much.

Karen’s mom helped me unpack and we got it done so quickly. She is seriously the best. I feel so blessed to have her here because she is like a second mom. The only problem is she doesn’t speak English. We agreed that I would help her with English and she would help me with Spanish. Karen has such a nice house and she moved out of her room so I could have it and have my own bathroom. Isn’t that sweet! I live with Karen, her mom Reina, her 6-year-old niece Dihala, her sister and brother-in-law (only on the weekends), and her adorable dog Chuchi.

Chuchi is so sweet. He waits at the gate for us every day when we get home and cries until we come in. He has doggy dry eye syndrome so his eyes has green stuff in them. Its funny because he is a Spanish dog so he doesn’t react when I speak English to him, only when I say the few words that I know how to say in Spanish.

I was still sick and had a pretty bad cough so Karen made me some tea and we went up on the sunroof to talk. Karen and I talked on the roof for a while and especially after feeling so emotional talking to my family, I felt so blessed to have Karen. She has such great insight on life and is so caring and encouraging. I love her relationship with the Holy Spirit and feel so refreshed every time I talk to her.

Karen and her mom wake up at 3 or 4am to come to the sunroof and pray. There are a few times that I have woken up to music playing. I want to go up and pray with them soon but first I need to get a full night of sleep. The view from the roof is amazing though, you can see the Jesus Statue and at night you can see all the lights… it looks like Christmas! The roof is amazing though because you walk up and you can just feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.

By Wednesday I started wondering if Karen had gotten tired of my yet. We work together (currently in the same office), live together, shop together, eat together, drive together, etc. Her schedule is my schedule. I am pretty sure that I will never get tired of being around Karen, she is the most uplifting, happiest person I have met and I could talk to her for hours on end but she is 9 years older than me and I know I can be annoying, (I annoy myself quiet often… there are many days that I am tired of being around me) so I am desperately hoping that she is not annoyed by me. I was initially trying to give her time with her family by going to my room to talk to my family when we get home from work because I did not want to invade her time with family. But at the same time, I am so grateful for her family and I want to get to know them all better so then I feel rude going straight to my room until I go to bed. So I am working on finding a happy medium in that.

Wednesdays are long days at church because the morning starts off at 8am with 4 hours of prayer. And ends with church from 6- 8. So even though it is a long day, there aren’t too many working hours. If someone had asked me about my prayer life before coming on this trip, I would tell them it is pretty good, it could be better (because I think you should always be striving to have a better prayer life no matter how good or bad it is), I mean, obviously I was communicating with God or I wouldn’t be here. I prayed every morning on my hour and a half drive to work. I’ve been in the Word, doing a devotional, or doing a bible study almost every day. I hear the voice of God, feel His comforting presence often, and love the time alone when I can talk to Him and cry with Him. Like, I thought it was safe to say my prayer life and relationship to God was good. However, if you thought your prayer life was strong, come to Casa de Oración de Familia Wednesday mornings from 8am-12pm. After running through my list of prayer requests and thanking God for His blessings, I opened my eyes and realized it had only been 30 minutes. What was I supposed to do with the rest of the time? As I (kinda creepily) watched the brothers and sisters of this church pray and pour out their hearts, I realized I had a new prayer request, that God would develop my prayer life to be deeper. The passion behind the prayers of these people and the whole heartedness in which they prayed with was eye opening to something that may be missing from my life. They fully rely on God’s help, surrendering it all to Him! I realized I had rushed through everything rather than meditating on each request and each thanks, I was not allowing time for God to speak to the situation. I was almost just asking Him for help so we could team up on my issues instead of fully laying my burdens at His feet. I’m praying that God helps me use this time to teach me how to pray more intensely and shows me how to give it up completely. I honestly thought I had a pretty strong prayer life but I am amazed how God is developing me. I am so grateful for His love and can’t wait to continue this walk with him.

By the time we got home on Wednesday it was too late to call anyone because it was 11:00 or 11:30 back home so I texted Brynne and we fell asleep texting. Thursday was our day off so I was hoping to sleep in but since I had fallen asleep so early the night before, I still woke up around 8/8:30. I love my room because I wake up to the light coming in through the window and the sound of birds chirping and I feel like a Disney princess. I got some personal work done before breakfast and than got ready to go shopping with Karen. Although it was my day off… It really wasn’t a day off. I was wondering if this was just the way that Karen lived her life. I knew she was like wonder women but come on! She had been working as much as I had and by the time I went down stairs for breakfast she had already prayed at 4am, ran a few errands, picked someone up and dropped another person off. I was proud of myself for waking up early but then I realized that I had nothing on Karen. We had a medical mission’s team coming in the next day so we had to go pick up some medicine for them and we ran around multiple pharmacies trying to find it. We went to the bank so I could exchange my US dollars for lempiras. The bank in Honduras is a lot different here… it reminds me of being at the court house waiting 30 minutes for your number to be called so you can go to the window. We also went to 3 different banks so we could exchange my money, take care of the account for ministry and take care of Karen’s personal account and work account. It is also different because all the banks except 1 were in the mall. In each mall there are probably 5 or 6 banks and probably 7or 8 Espresso Americanos (which is the coffee shop). You can see at least two coffee shops from where ever you are standing. The Wal-Mart is also in the mall, which is funny. The malls in Honduras are pretty nice though. They remind me a lot of home. They are 3 stories and have a huge selection. I guess if I had really wanted to shop, that would have been the time because every store was having a huge sale. Karen tried to explain to me that it is this thing in Honduras where people get paid more so stores try to sell more… I don’t know… I didn’t get it. We got Cinnabun at the mall once we had finished our bank excursions and found all the meds. Its crazy shopping with Karen because everywhere we go there is someone she knows who wants to stop and catch up with her. They are always so happy to see her. I felt like I was back home again shopping with Astrid and Robbie!

After the mall we went grocery shopping. First, we went to a store called PriceMart that was exactly like Costco from the way it looked, to what they sell, even to buying food for lunch… the menu was exactly the same. It made me think about my dad. Ever since Tuesday I hadn’t felt home sick again, which is good, I think I just needed a good cry. This time thinking about my dad and after church lunches at Costco only made me smile. After PriceMart we ran to a regular grocery store and than headed home but it was pretty late, the sun was setting.

When we got home, Karen’s mom had done my laundry for me. She said it was going to rain outside so she just finished it up for me. It was so sweet because those were my clothes from the first week that were filled with sweat and smelt bad and she washed and hung all my underwear… that is love! I was so grateful not only because she did my laundry but because she treats me as if I am her daughter, even though there is a language barrier she already loves me!

I finally got to talk to my parents for real, tell them all about the week and hear about their cruise. It felt so good to talk with them and catch up. My mom and sister are coming to visit me in September and I cannot wait! There is so much that I want to do with them and show them that I don’t now how I will fit it into 3 days!

On Friday we went to the church in the morning to finish up some final work. The clock on my computer is two hours fast because I have to keep my computer set like it is in the US, otherwise everything, including Word, is in Spanish. It keeps confusing me and I think it is later than it really is. We got to the office, I opened my computer and I was like, “oh my gosh Karen, we need to leave for the airport now.” She was so confused. But we finished our work and then headed to the airport and I was ready for another amazing week in the field.

I love being in Honduras but there are a lot of things that are very different here, a lot of new things I have to get used to. I have to get used to the crazy traffic and driving (although Karen is a much better driver than most – she actually uses her blinker and checks before she switches lanes). Not stopping at stop signs and being terrified at intersections is now my reality. It really freaks me out especially after being in a car accident right before coming…. I have had to take a lot of deep breaths! Another thing I am working on remembering is that I can’t flush toilet paper. I know it is gross but I can’t tell you the amount of times I have dropped it started flushing and than had to stick my hand in the toilet before the paper goes down the drain. Other little things like trying new foods, having my foods touching each other or putting everything in tortillas. Also there is no such thing as 1% milk here, they also buy it unrefrigerated and do not refrigerate the milk until it is open. Eggs also are not refrigerated. They are bought and left out in room temperature.

I am also getting used to breakfast and dinner foods being the same, eggs can go with any meal, as can beans and tortillas. I am getting used to not having air conditioning but instead opening a window and not worry about if bugs come into the house. When there are ants on the counter or flies at the dinner table it is not a huge deal… you just shu them away. I am getting used to hanging laundry out to dry. Unlike many other houses, our house is covered/closed in where we hang the laundry so thankfully my undies are not on display for the neighborhood. One of the funniest things that I have to get used to is the fact that since I can’t speak Spanish I have to rely on emotions and gestures. In the states, I laugh silently and quietly nod my head while listening. Without even noticing or trying I have found that I laugh out loud in Honduras and when people talk my face makes expression as if I was on a stage making sure the back row of an auditorium could read my facial expressions. It is funny but I am coming to love it all.

Another thing I am getting used to is not referring to the United States as America. It is either the US or North America. Karen brought up a good point that the US is not all of America and by calling it that we end up taking away our identity. We refer to people as Central Americans, South Americans and by not referring to ourselves as North Americans we are taking away who we are… we are meshing ourselves with everyone. So I have to stop before I talk about things like in America we… and change what I am say.

I am sure there will be more things that catch me off guard but I am so happy to be here! One thing I really love about Honduras is how easy time is. In the US, we have strict times for certain things to start and end. We have to be considerate of everyone’s time and stick to these schedules. But in Honduras things do not always start on time, it is very flexible. Church service doesn’t have a specific length that it has to be so that people can get on with their days. They live in the moment and if they don’t get something done today, they can do it tomorrow. They highly discourage workaholics yet there are so many stories of people who just never stop working to do God’s work. The difference is that they are in their 80s still waking up at 4am because they want to help someone not because they have to. They do it stress free and with a smile on their face. It is a weird balance. But I love it so much! I have always hated being on time. While I am very much a workaholic and want to take work home if I don’t finish what I wanted to in the office, I am working on it!

I am excited for after I finish these first few blogs and can just do my 1 blog a week. I am also excited because I wont have to explain as much so they wont be as long… I am sure anyone who reads these is excited about that too! Which by the way… anyone who has made it to the end of all of my blogs… you must really love me or be very bored because I get tired of reading them and I am the one who writes them! I love you and miss you all!!

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Chapter 3: The Time Has Come – My Week With Action Church – Part 2

July 23rd, 2017

On Friday we were going to visit a second white field called La Canada. This time however, we did not have to ride in the back of trucks to get there. I had slept better but was still waking up multiple times due to congestion. Before we left, Karen and Gianna left to go back to Tegucigalpa, we would see them again but the next day and a half we would be with out them.  Before heading to the white field we went to a coffee farm where we learned how they made coffee and were able to buy some fresh authentic coffee. I tried a new frit called guanabana, which was… interesting. I probably would not have tried it but I had made the decision that while in Honduras, I would be trying new foods so I figured it was as good of time as any to start. (Side note: I will return to being a picky eater as soon as I move back to the States). [Me trying guanoabana]

After everyone bought their coffee, we had lunch and than headed out to La Canada.   [Emptying the coffee after roasting it. It was so hot and this man did it with bare hands]

Our plan in La Canyda was to watch the children’s devotion, feed them, give them gifts, and than play with them for 2 hours. We arrived and the center was very small. It was a kitchen and a small room so the eating and learning area was outside under an awning. The children we very well behaved and very obedient during their devotional. They were given books and the children who knew how to read took turns reading the devotional out load. They were very good readers! There was one little girl who made a mistake and said fish  instead of blessings (or something like that … the two words only differed by one letter) and everyone laughed. I had a small moment of PTSD from when I confused the words angel and angle in elementary school and got laughed at. I felt so bad for the little girl even though I don’t think it bothered her. [At La Canada doing a devotional]

There were only about 40 children at this white field so it was easy to feed them and keep track of who needed food. They used plastic forks with missing/broken prongs. It made me think about all the perfectly good plastic forks I had thrown away. We gave every child a bouncy ball and a coloring book and gave the facilitator a gift bag with a soccer ball, some Frisbees, some chalk, a few jump ropes and other toys in it. [Two of the children enjoying their gifts]

We were going to play soccer with the boys and little games with the girls but the white field’s care point was on top of a hill. The ball would have been kicked off and never found again so the kids took us to a park that wasn’t too far away. I was holding kid’s hands and running with them which made me smile but also made me gasp for air because my lungs still hurt, I was very congested and I have asthma… but anything for the kids… right! We got to the park and started playing jump rope with the girls. We ended up playing tons of different games with the girls like red light green light, duck duck goose, and a few Spanish games that I had no idea what they were. The boys (and Leanne) played soccer. It was a very eventful day as Nate took a dramatic cartoon-like fall in the air and onto his back and Enrique injured his manhood… ouch! The kids in Honduras know how to play soccer and they do not take it easy on the gringos from the States. It was a very intense game! [PlayingDuck Duck Goose with the girls [Boys playing soccer and scoring a goal! [Poor Enrique...]

Most of people on the team thought that it was the best day because we really got to spend time with the kids and get to know them. I loved the day too but I was distracted the whole time so I didn’t bond with the kids as much as everyone else. I was distracted because there was a little black puppy at the park. My goodness… I am going to start crying just writing about it. The poor baby was so weak. It came up to me when we first got there and I immediately bonded with it. I gave it some water in one of the Frisbees and it drank it like it had not had water in days. It was too weak to drink all the water at once though. She fell down in the shade from my body and tried to follow me to stay in the shade when I went to play with the kids. Because she followed me into the crowd of children she got stepped on so I went over to the side so she would stay away from the children and not get hurt. That is why I didn’t get to bond with the children as much as everyone else. But some other, older girls came and sat with the puppy so I was able play with the children half of the time. I knew I was not supposed to touch stray dogs… especially sick ones but I couldn’t help it. I only pet her a little but honestly, that is my BIGGEST regret so far. I wish I had picked the puppy up and really pet her and loved her. She is God’s creature too and she so badly wanted to be loved. She was on her last whim and I wish I would have shown her extra love (the same way you love on your dog the day before it gets put to sleep at the vet). I still think back to the puppy and pray that it has either found nourishment or that it is now in heaven being loved by Jesus!

[The sweet puppy who I fell in love with - also the spots on it were from the sun, not disease]

We came back from La Canyda and had lunch than went out to do one more home visit. When we walked into the house, Leanne connected with one of the women on such a deep level…it was incredible! They had not met before and Leanne does not speak Spanish so she did not whisper any words into this lady’s ear, but immediately joy filled her face as she saw Leanne. She headed straight for Leanne and wanted to stand next to her. At the end of the home visit she gave everyone hugs but when she got to Leanne, they both started crying and embraced each other for a few minutes. It was so beautiful to watch the Holy Spirit speak through their hearts, where no words were even necessary but a relationship deeper than words was made. I asked Leanne how she knew her or how they had become so close. She told me she had no idea, she walked in and immediately felt connected with this woman. That moment was the highlight of my day. I would be cheating everyone if I didn’t take a moment to share with you all how great Leanne was this week. This was her first mission’s trip and she embraced it whole-heartedly. On the first day when we were given salad and everyone was afraid to eat it. Leanne ate everyone’s so that the cooks would not be offended. She didn’t even like what was in the salad but ate it anyways. Every singe day Leanne embraced what was given to her. She was so excited about everything and her energy and joy was contagious not only to the group but to the children and families that we met as well. She was such a blessing to have on this trip, just watching Leanne made my week better! It was also fun seeing her bond with the children. It was so easy for her to run up to a kid and tickle them or start a game of soccer as we walked to the church. The kids absolutely loved her and it was so great to see how much she loved the kids. Leanne fit in so perfectly in Honduras that I think that if she did not have a son at home, who she loves more than anything, she would have found a way to stay in Honduras!

[Leanne completely in it with the boys! She never stopped living every second to the fullest!]

Back on track… after the home visit, we got to play with the children for a little. It was very funny because one of the little girls started crying when she saw Pastor Pablo. We were asking what was wrong and she said she was scared of Pastor Pablo because the last time she saw him she had to get a shot. I guess children are the same no matter where they live.

When we got back to the hotel we debriefed and planned for the next day. We would have 4 hours to spend playing with the children at the Teupasenti care point. We wanted to plan games and activities so we would not be clueless on what to do. I had suggested playing hand games (since that is one of my go to games with them) but the group said it was not a good idea because of how aggressive the children were. They compared them to the children at La Canyada who sat quietly and kept their hands to them selves. I had the craziest reaction inside my head and just shut down. I am telling you guys, I think I might be insane!! My defense mood went up and I got real irrational inside my head. I had bonded with the kids last year and suddenly I felt like they were all my own children. I saw them as spunky and silly and just really good at behaving like children and enjoying life. I felt like everyone else who had agreement that they could be pretty intense were basically saying the kids were wild beasts who couldn’t be tamed or trusted. I wanted to scream and run to my room and cry because my feelings were hurt that anyone would say anything against any one of the children. I wanted to yell, “Well you guys are stupid!” “Kids who are well behaved are boring!” “You guys just prefer the La Canada kids because they’re easy and you’re afraid of a challenge.” So needless to say… I got pretty irrational inside my head! But we made plans and I kept to my self. (Disclaimer: The team in no way was implying any of that and had a very good point because the kids at this care point do get in a lot of fights. The kids were also making it a game on the first day to see how hard they could slap the gringos’ hand. The team absolutely adores the kids and was just making a wise call based on what they had seen the other day. They were very justified in their statement and in no way meant that they didn’t love the kids… I just took it the wrong way. Maybe I was tired!)

[Playing hand games with some of sweet girls. It caught on quickly to the rest of the kids around.]

Saturday was out last day in Teupasenti. It was my favorite day of the entire trip. The morning didn’t start out great because I tried to clear my plate and eat my plantains since no one else would eat them for me. My breakfast ended up in the toilet bowl after I tried my hardest to keep it inside. And now plantains have been added to the list of things I will not eat while in Honduras.

After breakfast we went to the Teupasenti care point and had 4 hours to just play with the kids. We had tons of games planned but it was raining pretty hard and most of our games were planned for outside. We went into the church and the children put on a little show for us where they sang some songs. It was so sweet and made me so happy!

[The kids singing, dancing, and preforming some o their favorite songs for us]

The boys and girls split up and even though it was still raining the boys went outside to play soccer again. The boys are serious about their soccer. Leanne decided to stay with the girls this time. The girls stayed inside and colored and painted nails.

[Painting nails!] [Working hard on coloring pictures]

Oh my goodness, the day was so fun! I could have played with those kids forever! I could go on and on about every single little girl that I interacted with and how amazing she was but I am aware that this blog is already way longer than it should be so I’ll just highlight a few!

We met one girl who wants to be a translator when she grows up and is already taking English classes… she was awesome! Stephanie is going to sponsor her. She could hold a basic conversation with us and said that she had a very strict English teacher. She was so funny! The day before she was joking around with Nate because he was wearing a salmon shirt and she kept telling him that his favorite color was pink. [Shierl, our little translator with Stephanie her new sponsor.] I also got to hang out with Katia (my sponsor child). When I saw her the first day she was sort of standoffish and didn’t really seem like she wanted to be around me. But this day, she was attached to my hip and I was so grateful.

[Katia and I]

I had a few girls who hung out with me and I absolutely adored them! It turns out that my sponsor child and Luis’s sponsor child are best friends. After nails we played some other games and than everyone had to go outside unless their sponsor had a present to give them. I had Katia, Mike had Lourdes, and Luis had Nahomi. I felt bad that the rest of the kids had to go outside but I loved having one on one time with Katia. [Me hanging out with some of the girls]

I was touched that everyone in our group picked up a sponsor child or 2. Along with picking up a sponsor child (if they did not already have one) a few people made such tight bonds with a few of the children. Stephanie bonded with this little girl Karla, who already had a sponsor, but she would crawl all over Stephanie and squeeze her so tight that Stephanie couldn’t breath. I think she squeezed so tight that she chipped off a piece of Stephanie’s heart and Stephanie willingly gave it to her to as a token of love.

[Stephanie and Karla giving us the thumbs up!]

Then there was Taylor who was playing with Karla’s little 2-year-old brother. He had not been bathed in days and smelt so bad but Taylor’s heart was so open to loving him. Pastor Pablo said that that was the most love that he had received in his entire life. Taylor was throwing him in the air, kissing him and tickling him. They were both so happy that my heart hurt. (Has that ever happened to you? Your heart is just so full that it literally hurts?)

[After playing with this boy for 30-45 minutes, he finally fell asleep on her.]

Ingrid picked up her sponsor child Brenda during a home visit but she did not just love on her little girl, she spoke life and love into the entire family. Seeing Ingrid with Brenda and her sister was like seeing an Ingrid who forgot about time and schedules. She looked as if she could have lived in each second with those girls forever. They clung to her as well. They hung onto every word she said to them. It was such a beautiful thing to see.

[Ingrid and her Honduras family.]

Luis saw his sponsor child, Nahomi. She had a sad story that we found out about upon arriving but seeing the way Luis got on her level, looked in her eyes, and told her that he loved her was like nothing you have ever seen before. Nahomi has probably never had a safe man who cared about her the way Luis does. She has probably never seen the love in a father’s eye the way Luis looks at her. He treats her and cares for her as if she is actually one of his children.

[Luis and his baby girl!]

Solina and Enrique picked up sponsor children as well. It was pretty cool because Enrique had bonded with this one child while playing soccer and Solina was inside talking to the mother. They both wanted to sponsor the child and when they got together and found out it was the same boy! Seeing the two of them and they way they interested with all of the kids can’t help but make you happy. There is no doubt that they are amazing parents. Solina was so caring for each one and took lead when necessary but spoke life with every word she said. The girls listen to Solina and she has this cool way of engaging all the children when she talks. [Solina leading games in La Canada, making the girls laugh and smile.]

[Solina teaching the girls as they colored. After this, she went around to each child and spoke love and success into their lies.]

Enrique is a quiet man but when he is with the kids, he is so fun! He cares about each child and can be fun and gentle. When the boys were playing soccer he saw the little ones who couldn’t keep up so he took them to the side to play games with them. Seeing him with the children just made me pray that those boys will not forget their time with Enrique, that they will grow up and desire to be a man like him, they will care for their wives the way Enrique cares for Solina and they will remember the way Enrique made them feel and share that kindness with others. [Enrique engaging the smaller boys in a game since they couldn't keep up with the big boys.]

Ms. Cathy picked up a sponsor child as well. She had a talk with him before leaving and told him to behave, to be obedient, and to be a leader. I’ll come back to that story in a later blog but a small preview is that what she said stuck and he really changed so he could make her proud. [Ms. Cathy and her sponsor child]

Nate picked up a sponsor child and they bonded quickly as well. He said from the moment he saw her, he knew she was the one he was supposed to sponsor. She had a sponsor last year but the sponsor could not continue paying for her so they dropped her. She was so happy to have a sponsor again. [Nate with his sponsor child Genesis and her little sister Angie. Nate is also modeling his favorite color pink shirt.]

Mike already had a sponsor child named Lourdes. His story is probably my favorite. He was so excited to meet her. Before we even went on the trip he was asking to see pictures of her from last year. She was very shy this year but every once in a while, she would look up at him with adoring eyes. I wish I could have gotten a picture of it. He gave her his present and personalized it for her. While the rest of us who were giving our children presents loved our time with our children but did it quickly because we knew we had to leave, Mike soaked in every second he had with Lourdes. It was so clear how much he loved that child. He wanted to sponsor the rest of the children in her family (but unfortunately they already had sponsors). He wants to come back and spend more time with her. Maybe I am crazy or just very hopeful but I have this gut feeling that Mike and Mia are going to play a huge part in Lourdes and her family’s lives and they are going to make a change!

[Mike and Lourdes after giving her presents.]

The time had come to say goodbye and everyone in the group was crying (except me). I knew I would be going back so I didn’t need to cry but there was still a feeling of sorrow because I loved the kids so much and wanted more time with them. These kids are so sweet! I would be more than happy to tell you their stories if you are interested in sponsoring one of them, please let me know. We said good-bye to the children, ate lunch at the hotel and than drove back to Tegucigalpa. Taylor had a very hard time leaving. My heart hurt watching her as she accepted the heartbreak of leaving Teupasenti and saying goodbye. Once we got back tour rooms we cleaned up and got ready for dinner. We went Tacontento that we dad not go to last year. It was cool but the best part was that they had these watermelon drinks which are probably the best thing I’ve ever had to drink! It tastes like you are drinking a watermelon. The funniest part about them is that their Spanish name sound very similar to sangria and Ms. Cathy thought that Karen was offering Sangria. She said nnoooo… well if everyone else is doing it! Hahaha!!! [Watermelon drink!]

Sunday was our last actual day in Honduras as a team. We went to pastor Daniel’s church in the morning for a 3 hour service (although it didn’t feel very long at all). The children from the Los Pinos care point (which we visited last year) come to the service so we got to see all of them. It was so nice having a small reunion with so many of the children I loved and remembered. My favorite thing though was to see Kenia. I met Kenia last year when she first started going to the Los Pinos care point and was filled with sadness and hopelessness. She couldn’t talk without crying and was ashamed of her past and believed she had no future. She had not accepted Jesus into her heart. It was so hard being around her because you could see how much emotional weight she was carrying. She didn’t smile. She thought that she was unworthy of love and no one would want to sponsor her. I went back to the states and had her hard on my heart. After my mom got a bonus at work, she talked to me because she knew how much I cared about this girl and she said the money from the bonus was God’s money, so she picked Kenia up as a sponsor. A year later, I did not even recognize Kenia at church! She came running to me shouting my name with the biggest smile on her face. She dances uncontrollably and raises her hands during worship; she is always smiling and truly does have the most beautiful smile ever! She is in school and is dreaming again. She is so filled with hope and love and she is so filled with Jesus. Seeing Kenia was such a highlight of my day! I am so thankful that I was blessed enough to witness what a change Jesus can make in 1 girls life.

After church we went to a restaurant and ate pupusas, a popular Honduran food, and than went to a place called Valley of the Angles. It is a shopping center where you can buy hand made souvenirs. It was raining when we got there so we got coffee first and took our time. After everyone had gotten their souvenirs and presents for friends and family, we went to a nice restaurant (which is really a house) and had a steak dinner. I am telling you, this is the best steak I have ever had! It is the perfect way to end a mission’s trip.

[Some of the Art work that was being sold at Valley of the Angels]

The time had come to send the group home. One last morning devotion and we drove to the airport. I said good-bye to the team and watched them walk through security. There was no fear or sadness as I watched them leave, instead, I felt like I was the lucky one, I was the one who got to stay. And as the last person walked through security, I was no longer a part of the Action Church mission’s team… I belonged to the Casa de Oración Familiar (Family House of Prayer) Church. I was ready for my adventure of a lifetime to begin.

[The streets of Tegucigalpa]

[Two of the girls walking me back to the hotel]

[Karen andGianna, my two new sisters!]

[Taylor and I playing jump rope with the girls in La Canada]

[Hanging out with some of the girls at La Canada.]

[Solina, my mentor and my little big sister.]

[Mike killing it with the kids on a home visit.]

[Hanging out with this little sweet pea!]

[Serving the children at the Teupasenti care point.]

[In Teupasenti]

[At La Canada - Luis doing magic and capturing a life style in a picture of a shoe.]

[Me with some of the girls at the Cevadilla white field.]

[This little cutie pie... this picture cracks me up!]

[Pastor Pablo - this amazing man took us through the week! He does so much for the children!]

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Chapter 3: The Time Has Come – My Week With Action Church – Part 1

July 22nd, 2017

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. – 1 Peter 1: 13

Tuesday morning we met at the Action Church Offices at 3:30am. I was exhausted after not sleeping the night before and emotional after saying goodbye to my sister. But I was still excited so we hopped in Greg’s van and he drove us to the airport very quickly. Everyone joked about how scary Greg’s driving was because it was so fast… I laughed because I knew that Greg’s driving held nothing on the driving in Honduras… he was just preparing us for what was to come! Once we got to the airport, we checked our bags and went through security. We had breakfast at BK and Starbucks then got on the plane. I was surprised because I thought our group would be sitting together, or if not all together, I thought I would at least be sitting next to someone from my group. However, we were scattered through out the plane. I figured that was fine because I wanted to sleep anyways. While one hour and than another 3 hours isn’t necessarily a lot of time to sleep, I would take what I could get.

The lady who sat next to me started talking to me like she wanted to have a conversation but I was not having it. I felt bad but said, “wow that’s great I am really tired because I haven’t slept.” She clearly wanted to talk because she asked me why I was tired and where I was heading. Then, I acted like a little brat and said, “It’s a long story, goodnight,” put my head against the window, and closed my eyes. …It’s not the best way to start a long-term missions trip were my purpose is to love… but the beauty of God is that He can use me in spite of myself and my rude, greedy tendencies.

We had almost no lay over so we had to rush to our make our next flight. It was weird because a few of us were not assigned seats on the flight. Thankfully they were able to find us seat but we were the last to board. We had the option of watching movies on this flight since it was 3 hours. Naturally, I put on the live action Beauty and The Beast but I fell asleep before “Bonjour” had even finished. I knew I was doing that gross kind of sleeping where my head was back, my moth was open, I maybe drooled a little, and I kept jolting awake whenever I realized I was sleeping but thankfully Solina was sitting next to me and I knew she wouldn’t judge me for it. I slept for about 2 hours on the plane but that was really all I needed because I was pumped and ready to go! We were all worried for Taylor because she had never been on a plane before and would have her first experience landing in Tegucigalpa (which is one of the scariest places to land because the run way is very short… it was described to me as being close to a crash landing but that’s a lie because it has been incredibly smooth both times for me). Taylor was great, she said she was watching everyone else’s reaction and if they didn’t act scared than she held it together.

Just being in the airport made me excited, the pictures on the walls, the mountains out the window… after all the time I had spent wanting and planning to go back, WE WERE IN HONDURAS!!! We waited forever to get through customs and than found Karen, Oscar, and Pastor Daniel. It was so great to see them again. We went out to lunch and then checked into a hotel for one night. We would be driving two hours to Teupasenti the next day but it was too late to make the drive that night. Since we were in Tegucigalpa, Karen and Oscar took us to see the Christ statue that looks over Tegucigalpa. My favorite part about the statue was that Jesus is pointing His toes. It was fun to see, but to be honest, I was too antsy to enjoy it because I was ready to see the kids and get started. We went to the mall for dinner and than got a very needed good night of sleep!

The Jesus Statue pointing His toe

Wednesday morning we woke up, had breakfast and went to devotional with Pastor Daniel.  We were going to be driving to Teupasenti and serving there for the majority of our stay. Pastor Daniel drove separately so he could some things done but he left us in the hands of Karen, Josue, and Gabriel. I knew Josue and Karen from last year but Gabriel was new to the team. He was working as a translator. He taught himself English by watching YouTube videos… I’m not going to lie, it makes me a little jealous that I have taken two semesters of Spanish plus tried multiple programs and still only know how to say, “Hi my name is Cami, I don’t speak Spanish,” and this kids is over here teaching him self fantastic English on YouTube! Anyways, we drove a very bumpy 2 hours up the mountains with our ears popping the whole way and a few people getting motion sickness but luckily we got to stop and have a coffee and potty break to make everyone happy. Honduras coffee is better than any coffee you can find in the States by the way.

Everyone got acquainted with the Honduran driving style. Here is what I have learned about driving in Honduras: it is very different than driving is in the U.S. Stop signs are suggestions that are normally passed over, stop lights are almost non existent, staying in your lane/1 car per lane isn’t a thing, driving on the edge of a mountain is common, and playing chicken with people, animals and other cars is a fun game to play. They don’t use blinkers or check their blind spots and they drive so close to other cars or to people that if you opened your window and stuck a finger out, you could touch whatever was next to you.

Once we got to Teupasenti, we checked into our hotel and Ms. Cathy and I got one of the lucky 2 rooms with warm water. We had a few minutes to toss our stuff in our room and than it was lunchtime. Pastor Daniel and Gianna (his daughter) got there in time to join the group for lunch. After lunch we got to work. We headed over to the care point and got to feed the children lunch. (I was amazed to find out later that the facilitators have to keep track of how many registered children were fed and how many non-registered children were fed. I could barley keep track of which children had already gotten food because there were children who were coming and going and moving around or asking for seconds the whole time. I thought it was a big deal just to not miss a kid much less to keep track of how many and know the children well enough to know if they have been officially registered yet.)

The kids loved the spaghetti

Serving and feeding the children at Teupasenti

We got to watch them do their devotion and play with them for a little bit. It was fun getting to see kids that I remembered from last year and getting to meet new ones too. Katia, my sponsor child, was there but she did not really want to hang out with me. I remembered that she was shy and figured, oh well, I am here for all the kids not just one. I still love her but she may not remember me and might need some time to warm up.

We did not get to stay for long because we were going to attend a round table meeting. It was the first time that they had had a meeting like this. There were representatives from many different organizations that were working to solve a myriad of issues suffocating Teupasenti as well as representatives from the government. Everyone introduced themselves and told us what they do and then began discussing tons issues and I think it got pretty crazy. I can’t really tell you what it was about because everyone was so passionate about their cause that there wasn’t really any time for translation so it was all lost to me. The take away that I got was how cool it was to see how many people are passionate about the children and families in Teupasenti and how they are working to make a difference.

After the round table we went to do a home visit. A home visit is when we go to one of the houses of a family at the care point. We meet them and they show us their house. They tell us about how they live, what is going on and any prayer requests they have. We always bring a bag of food to give to them to make a meal and than we pray for them. My group got to visit the home of an amazing woman. She volunteers at the care point and helps make the food every day. She takes care of her children, her grandchildren and also takes in the children whose parents have abandon them. Before we left Solina told her that I was staying for 6 months so she told me to take a picture of her 2 year old that was sleeping so that I could see him in all his glory when he was awake. (Skipping ahead 2 weeks, when I was back in Teupasenti, I saw her at church and she remembered my name and gave me a hug but her baby was sleeping again.) She was an incredible woman with such a heart for God!

Sleeping baby at our first home visit

We went back to the hotel and had dinner than returned to the church (which is a part of the care point) and attended a short prayer service. By the end of the day, I was very happy to be back but I was also feeling very uneasy about my Spanish. Half of the people in the group were bilingual so I was feeling w very unprepared and useless. Watching everyone else engage in amazing conversations and follow everything that was happening brought a huge cloud of insecurity over me. I started wondering why I thought I could do this. But than I grabbed my bible because I knew that I could be pushed down by lies or I cold be lifted up in truth. I started remembering all the things I was thankful for like non-verbal communication, being in Honduras, and having a great group. I was so thankful for Solina who was with me the whole time, always translating in my ear or making herself available to me if I wanted to talk to a child. I told my group during debrief how uneasy I was feeling and cried… my dry eye spell was over! Unfortunately, all my crying had a weird effect on my body and I could not sleep for most of the night because I got very congested and kept waking up. The time that I did sleep, I kept having a reoccurring nightmare (which was actually pretty funny) that one of the little girls from the care point had stolen my laptop and was burying it and ruining it. The funny part was that I didn’t even have my laptop with me in real life for her to steal. But I kept waking up wanting to go grab Karen or Pastor Daniel so they could help me go get it.

Selina, Enrique, Ingrid and I matching during debrief

I may not have slept well but I was still ready for the next day to start… sick and all. We did our morning devotion with breakfast and were told that we would be visiting a white field in the mountains that day. A white field is a place that is being developed to become a care point. Children at white fields get fed twice a week (and for many that is the only times during the week that they eat) and go to the care point to play and receive spiritual guidance. Children’s Cup provides manna packs for the children and works with the white fields so they can become true care points in the future. Children’s Cup helps develop and construct the care point location and establishes certain activities that are necessary if it will be a care point. Feed My Starving Children Organization donates the Manna Packs to Children’s Cup that are fed to the children. This organization created a meal that was very high in nutrients but could also be easily made in 3rd world countries that lack many of the cooking necessities we have in the States. The meal also had to be able to be easily stored for long periods of time, and easily transported. We were told how even being fed twice a week had improved the children’s nourishment, weight, and energy ten fold. Children’s Cup always begins by meeting basic needs like food so that children’s brains and bodies can function and are nourished enough so they can attend school, comprehend lessons and most importantly Children’s Cup feeds their physical need so they children’s spiritual hunger can be satisfied as well.

We drove to a white field called Cebadilla, which means the onion in Spanish. It was way up in the mountains. We went on dirt roads that were very bumpy and dusty. Because of the rough terrain, we had to take trucks which meant that 8 of us would have to sit in the back of the truck. I went in the back with Solina, Taylor, and Leanne. They had tied some benches in the back for us to sit on. The ride there and back was very fun but also a bit scary because the benches would tip every time we hit a bump… which was often. We said hello to everyone we drove by and had some really really great girl bonding time.

Getting ready to go for a ride into the mountains

We got to the care point and lunch was still being made so we did a home visit. My group went to the care point’s cook’s home. She makes the food from her house and than carries the big pot over to the care point because the program location is has not been able to build a kitchen at the point yet.  She told us about her life and how much change there has been since the program began. She said that it was a miracle because so many of the children were sick and starving but now, thanks to the program, they are being provided with food. With the two meals a week, the children are more active, gaining weight, participating in school, and playing with each other. It was really cool to hear about how much it had changed their lives and it wasn’t even a fully functioning care point yet. We gave her the food, prayed for her and her house and headed back to help serve the children.

Kitchen used for cooking

The children had to bring their own bowls if they wanted to eat so the ones who had dishes got served first and then would share bowls with others. Taylor and Stephanie served the food and the rest of us handed it out. The kids got about 2 tables spoons of the rice and soy manna pack food and the smallest bit of broth. I know Taylor’s heart was breaking as she looked at the small amount of food she was allowed to serve. The meals were maybe 3 or 4 bites per child. Many of the children wanted seconds which was heartbreaking because we had to say no so we could feed the all the children. But, our team witnessed a miracle. We were watching the pot empty quickly but saw the faces of many hungry children still waiting to be served. There was no way that we would be able to feed every child. Finally, Taylor scooped the very last serving, scraping the bottom of the pot and looked up and said, that’s it, there is no more left, and sadness settled over everyone. Nate took the bowl and announced that was the last child who hadn’t been fed. God continued multiplying the food until the very last child was served. The miracle left us in awe of God’s sovereignty and love as we watched the children clear their plates.

Taylor and Stephanie preparing the food for the children

Boys eating their food

We brought presents to give the children and handed them out after they finished eating. We gave every child a brush, a bouncy ball, a coloring book and some crayons, and we gave the girls necklaces. The gift giving got a little crazy because the children were supposed to leave after they got their gifts but we ended up giving away 150 brushes to 80-some kids. That was stressful! But seeing how happy the kids were with their gifts made it worth it. We also left a bag with the facilitator with other toys like chalk, a soccer ball, Frisbees, and a few other things. We played with the kids for about 10 minutes before we headed out to do one more home visit before leaving. I was amazed to see how much the children loved something as simple as a bouncy ball. It was as if it was the best thing they had seen in their lives!

Playing with bouncy balls with the kids

Handing out presents to the children

The home we went to was very different than the 2 previous homes we had been to which were filled with God’s presence and hope. This home was filled with despair and shame. It was clear that the owner of the house was under a lot of oppression. She told us she did not go to church and was very hesitant about having us enter her house… but we did. After we presented her with the present of food and soap, we asked her if we could pray for her. She acted hesitant and said she did not know what she wanted prayer for. She could barley speak; all she could do was nod her head as Karen made suggestions about prayer requests. Karen took the lead in prayer and as she spoke the healing words of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and love for this specific person, we witnessed the weight lifted from her shoulders. By the end of the prayer she was in tears and hugged us but the hug was so much more than just a hug. I don’t know if I can put it in words, but it was amazing to see the change before and after Jesus’ name was spoken in her life.

Home visit

After the home visit, we drove back to the hotel in the back of the truck again and had lunch. We had a few hours to rest after lunch and my chest had started hurting pretty bad. I found out it was because I got dust in my lungs but between that and being super sick, I wasn’t feeling great. So I used those two hours of break time to take a nap. I was sad though because a few people from the team went upstairs and started a small worship time. I woke up to the music but that was their last song! They had an awesome time of worship and praise that I would have loved to be a part of but Jesus knew I needed to sleep.

Our last big activity for the day was going to the Teupasenti radio station. Stephanie had prepared a message and was surprised when after sharing her message, she had 20 minutes of answering questions about our church, its missions, and future plans. She did amazing and I was impressed that she knew all the answers and held conversation with such ease!

After dinner, Pastor Pablo (who owns the hotel and is very involved in the ministry of helping children) showed us a slide show he had made. The slide show showed us the 4 white fields in the area (that he discovered and brought up to Pastor Daniel) and gave us information about each. It also showed us the Teupasenti care point and how far it had come since it opened as a care point until now.  He shared his future dreams for the point with us and finished it up with pictures from missionary groups that had come and helped out. The Action team from last year was in it a few times which was fun to see!  It seemed like a long day between being sick and not sleeping well the night before so I went to bed immediately after.

A view from the top of a mountain looking over the city of Tegucigalpa

Scenes from the home visit

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Chapter 2: The Clock Is Ticking Down

July 20th, 2017

I know I am so far behind on blogs so I have 6 to post and I will be trying to post one every day this next week and than I’ll do my best to stay on top of it! Sorry!

June 27th was coming quickly, but I had planned everything out in advance so it should have been simple to pack everything up, hang out with everyone one last time, and get a lot of rest the night before leaving. But if you have ever heard the saying, “you make plans and God laughs,” that was the testimony of my final week in Florida.

I had my last day working at Disney Swan and Dolphin about a week and a half before leaving so that I would have some time to get things done and hang out with people. I am so grateful for everything that I learned there, I made great friends and learned a lot about hospitality. I will miss everyone (including the baby ducks)! I also had one more day at universal right before I left. It was not my last day, just my last day for 6 months. I will be able to keep my seasonal status as long as I work, or have a brush up, as soon as I get back. I am so incredibly thankful for that. Our show director came to watch one of the shows and told me that it was the best show I had done yet. He had so many nice things to say. I was so appreciative but also kinda bummed that I had finally nailed it and now I would be leaving and have to come back and build up my skills again. But I guess if I never had anything to work on, my job would be pretty boring. Brynne came to my final show so she could finally see me and than we had some sister time playing at the park and I finally got to see the new parts of parade! I am seriously so happy for all of the old candy girls who got trained in and are now starlets! They are rocking it and could couldn’t be prouder! Brynne and I also got to have one final sister day at Disney. It had been a long time since we had gone. We took the morning to get things done and than spent the afternoon playing at the park. It was so much fun!

I have the best friends in the world, they made it so easy for me to leave because they were so supportive, but they also made it so hard because they are so amazing. I have never had a group of friends that have been so good for me! They encourage me, call me out when I’m acting a mess, and help me grow! I loved the time I got to spend with them before I left. They threw me a surprise party one night. I thought I was going for bible study but instead, I walked in and we celebrated every holiday that I would be gone for. I was surprised by the party but even more surprised how much I meant to them and how much they meant to me after such a short time knowing them. They are my angels that God sent to me! I could go on and on about how awesome they are but then I would just be bragging!

The hardest thing about leaving was saying good bye to my family! My parents had booked an Alaska cruise long before I knew I would be going to Honduras. The timing did not work out well because they left 6 days before me. That meant I had to take them to the airport and say bye to them there. So I had to send them off instead of them sending me off and because they were in the ocean, talking was difficult. It was hard trying to figure out the little last details before leaving without them and then it was hard not having them there to hug one last time. However, because they were gone, Brynne (my sister) and her dog Lilly came and stayed with me until I left. We had a lot of good sister time. We ate at all of our traditional sisterplaces and watched movies. Those last few days with my sister still bring tears to my eyes because they were so special. I don’t know how I am so lucky to be blessed with amazing friends, amazing parents, amazing dogs, and such an amazing sister… Jesus loves me!

I am so thankful that God brought Valari and John into my life. They are watching Bella for me and are such an answer to my prayers. I always say I think I have the best dog in the world but I understand if no one else agrees. While Bella can be a sweet heart, she can also be a horror. She just has a lot of little idiosyncrasies, she is very high maintenance, and she gets greedy sometimes. But… she is my baby. She has been through everything with me and loves me in spite of it all. So leaving her with strangers wasn’t easy. Thankfully, Valari and John came along and got to know Bella. We did trial runs and acclaimated her to staying with them. And than something amazing happened, they came to love her as much as I do. Valari told me, “Cami, we’ve seen Bella’s bad side by now, but we still love her, we can’t wait for the day every week she comes over.” Her words made me feel so good!!! It was exactly what I needed to hear. Even better, Bella loves them too. While all of this is comforting, she is my baby and I miss her so much. Dropping her off was so hard. I thought I would be able to do it quickly but boy was I wrong.

I had been on top of my game with lists I had made and meetings scheduled… but then… all of this stuff came up last minute that I hadn’t planned for. I was getting 2-3 hours of sleep every night of the week before leaving. All I wanted to do those final 2 days was hang out with Brynne and sleep. It had finally started kicking in that our sister time was running out and it made it so hard to get anything done. But if you have ever packed your bags a month early (and packed them for 6 months), than you know you have to re-pack and re-check everything because things have been taken out and other things can’t be packed yet. Then there is the problem of fitting things into a suitcase and keeping it with in the correct weight. On top of that, my suitcase broke 2 days before leaving so I had to get a new. It was 30 minutes until Brynne was supposed to drop me off at the church and I was going on no sleep and still packing. When we left, there was a lot that I hadn’t done that I had wanted to do but thankfully I got everything done that I needed to get done.

I stuck the last thing in my suitcase while Brynne had started putting my bags in her car. It was time to go so Brynne drove me to the church. Even though she had to go to work in a few hours, she had stayed up all night with me so we could have every single last minute together. We said good-bye and for the first time in probably a month, I cried. (Something had been going on where I just could cry anymore… it’s a long weird story) The finality in saying goodbye to Brynne and knowing that our sister dates were put on hold, popped the cork and I couldn’t stop the tears from building in my eyes and slowly dropping down my face as I quickly tried to wipe them away. We said good-bye, she left, the team prayed, we loaded up the bus and were on our way.

My Last Day at Swan and Dolphin

The Action Team Ready to Leaving at 3:30am

Bella at Valari and John's

Last Night With the Puppies

One Last Sister Day at Disney

My friends prepared an entire Thanksgiving meal.

Happy Birthday! They know me so well! A princess birthday party!

Happy 4th of July!

The Best Friends A Girl Could Ask For!

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Fundraisers

March 28th, 2017

(more…)

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Chapter 1 – Why I Am Going Back

March 28th, 2017

This is my story of how I got to where I am. This is how I know that this is a calling from God and not just something I decided to do. I read in a bible study that, “only Jesus can dramatically change something that has been true of you since birth.” Well, that is exactly what happened:

Almost a year ago, I was sitting on a couch in tears as I told my church missions group about my hesitations concerning the weeklong mission trip we had all signed up for to go to Honduras. You see, I had figured I would go on one mission trip so that I could say that I had been somewhere but now knew my true calling was here, in America, indoors, in air conditioning, and in my comfort zone. I thought it would be a ‘one and done’ type of deal. But even so, there I sat telling my team how much I dislike bugs, outdoors, nature, the sun, sweating, what a picky eater I am, how I actually quite like wearing make-up and feeling pretty, how much I like to control the situation and have a plan, along with so many other things. But most of all how my fear of the Spanish language and my brain’s refusal to understand and/or speak it had me convinced I could not withstand a week in Honduras. If you know me even a little bit, you know that this trip was a stretch for me. If you don’t know me, I’ll explain with this example; I do not like going to the beach because I think it smells bad, it’s to hot, it is guaranteed that you and anything you brought with you will be sandy and dirty for days to come. The is just too honest of a place for me between the bathing suit and not wearing make-up, all in all, it is not relaxing, it is too much nature. (Please don’t get me wrong, I am not a negative person, I am just allowing you inside my head, which, is very very dramatic!). Many times before leaving I had people ask me why I was going and tell me there were better trips for me, or I was going to die if I continued being me. But I toughed it out, I can do anything for 1 week!

One thing about me that has always been true is how much I love children. We were going to care points to play with children so I though it would make up for all the discomforts. But, I quickly realized that I overestimated my non-verbal communication skills. We had quite a few Spanish speakers in the group who ran up to the kids and immediately got them playing a game of tag. I laugh a little now thinking about how silly I looked trying to play tag with them but really just chasing myself in circles. I figured no one wanted to play with a stranger who couldn’t even introduce herself so I kinda hid in a shadowed corner and watched (like a total creeper). I felt so uncomfortable, I couldn’t talk to anyone and I couldn’t see how God could use me, I didn’t understand why He had sent me! I put my sunglasses on so no one could see the forming tears as I asked God to do something amazing. Suddenly a little girl ran over and touched my hip than ran away laughing. With the touch of my hip, God performed a true miracle! Within no time I had kids sitting on my lap, giving me hugs, and teaching me Spanish. They were just allowing me to love them as they showed me love in return. By the end of the day, I had mud caked up to my knees, I was pretty sure I had given some lice a very warm welcome on to my head (as I had children’s heads on my shoulders and my head on theirs), and I had collected a few bug bites since my sweat had washed away any and all bug spray I applied that morning. But here is the crazy part, I couldn’t go to sleep because I was so excited to wake up and do it all again! I loved those kids so much from just one day and very little actual communication. I felt like the blind man from John 9 whom God rubbed mud on his eyes so that he could see clearly. This feeling was not just a fondness, it was not pity for those less fortunate, it was not being caught up in a moment of emotions…it was true and supernatural love that can only be felt through the power of Jesus Christ Himself!

To spare the rambling and book writing that I’ve started, I will summarize the rest of the trip. We left the first care point to visit a second one. I felt sick! Whether it was carsickness or the pain in my stomach that there had not been enough time or a combination of the two, I don’t know, but I was certain that I would not like the second care point we visited. All my insecurities came rushing back and once again I was frozen with fear when we arrived. Even if there was a translator present to make a conversation possible, I forgot that I knew how to talk to children, I felt like a very rude mute. But of course, silly Cami, you would have thought that I would have learned by this time not to challenge God’s ability to show me blessings! I came across 1 John 3:18, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Oh, how that verse touched me because it was what God was doing in me. Love “in truth,” I still can’t get over the power behind those words and how perfectly they were delivered to me. I fell in love with these kids just as much and had one girl break me down in tears because I could not contain how much I loved this newfound sister in Christ!

By the end of the week I was once again sitting with my team crying but I was crying because I felt I had left such a big piece of my heart in Honduras. I wanted to throw a 3-year-old temper tantrum and refuse to get on the plane. The time had gone by too quickly. Life wasn’t the same. Ever since I got back to America, I have truly struggled, feeling it was not right, me being here. So I have lifted Honduras in my prayers every day and asked God for a way to go back and do the work that was left undone, to do the things He was so clearly pushing me to do.

Skip ahead almost a year and my church announced they would be traveling to Honduras twice this year, once in June and once in December. As excited as I was to go back, I also felt choked up when I saw that each trip was only a week long. I knew I had a calling on my life that wouldn’t leave me alone until I took action, so I did. I started planning a way to be in Honduras for a long period of time, to go and make an impact and dedicate myself fully to serving God. By the grace of God, I have seen mountains begin to move and miracles happen as He has opened certain doors and shut others. While it has not been easy and may be one of the hardest and scariest seasons of my life, I can see His hand on it.

I am so happy to announce that I will be traveling to Honduras with the first Action Team at the end of June and will not return until the second team returns at the beginning of December. I will be staying in Honduras for 5.5 months, assisting with administrative work, helping improve the website and connecting children with sponsors so they can afford to eat, go to school, have health care and learn about their importance and value that was given to them by the One who gave His life for them, Jesus Christ. I hope to help establish new activities at care points like a dance program to draw children off the street and into a safe place. One project that I would love to work on is a video system so that sponsors can get to know their children without having to travel. I want to create videos showing their life and have personalized messages for the sponsors. I will be working with Children’s Cup as a part of the outreach team at Casa de Oracion Familiar.

While this seems like a long blog, there is so much I left out. I included a lot about how these children affected me because I wanted to show how Jesus truly changed me. He opened my eyes, changed my focus, and allowed my heart to grow. Things that have been trademark Cami are suddenly gone. The final point that I want to make is a big part of my experience that I left out of the blog for the sake of confidentiality, privacy, and respect of the children and families I met there. The work that Action Church did in Honduras was incredible. We did play with children but that is not all that we did. We spoke life to children and families who were not yet in the family of Christ, who had no hope and saw no value to their life. A care point is a place where children can come. They are living very impoverished lives in the slums where their lives are threatened in multiple ways daily. The amazing people who run these care points give families a place to go to eat, teach them skills so they can make a living without having to sell their bodies, give them fun activities to do, help them with school, provide them with sponsors so they can go to school, and most importantly, teach them about a God who loves them enough to die for them, who wipes their sins clean, who knows them better than anyone, what they have done and what they have been through and despite it all, loves them. They teach them that Philippians 3:14 is true, they can do ALL things through Christ who gives them strength, and He, Jesus our Lord and Savior is the only qualifier to have that freedom, that strength, and that love. Although this trip was such a great experience for me, I am not going back for selfish reasons, I am going back because I have seen the need that is there and God has put it on my heart to fulfill it.

Please, if you feel it in your heart, support me so that I can be in Honduras for an extended period of time. I need the initial cost of $2,000 covered as well as monthly support of a total of $1,500/month. Whether is $1 or $1,000, your money will not be unnoticed or unappreciated. Please look at my other blogs if you want to participate in any of the fundraisers I am doing. Also, please support me in prayer. I have posted a blog listing prayer requests I have leading up to the trip and will post more once I get there. Even more, if your heart feels led, please consider sponsoring a child! I would love to tell you more about each one and help you connect!

Thank you so much!

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Prayer Requests

March 21st, 2017
  • Financial Support – I have a lot of money to raise and I have a hard time humbling myself to ask for help. Please pray that God will work in the peoples hearts to provide me with the funds I need
  • Fundraisers – please pray for my fundraisers, that people will show up, they will be successful, and they will help me move closer to my goal. To pray for specific fundraisers please see my fundraiser blog
  • Bella – while I am away I need someone to watch my dog Bella. While I love her to death and think she is the best dog ever, finding someone to watch her is hard because she does not get along with other dogs nor does she like children. She needs someone who will love to cuddles with her but who can also take her on walks every morning. Please pray that God will send me the right person who will love her as much as I do and be the perfect fit while I am away. I am really struggling with leaving her because I love her so much but if I do not find someone to watch her, I will not be able to leave.
  • Speaking Spanish – I have been working on learning Spanish but partially due to my learning disabilities, learning new languages is very hard for me. Please join me in praying that I will be able to have a good understanding of the Spanish language before leaving, that it will only improve upon arrival, and lack of language will not hinder the work God has for me in Honduras. Please also pray for me to have the time and motivation to dedicate to learning and perfecting this language. This is a BIG prayer request because it has created quite a mountain that it seems I cannot get around. However, we all know that God gives us mountains so that we can see Him move them. So I am ready for faith and God’s infinite glory to move this giant mountain!
  • Friends – I am worried about being in Honduras after my team leaves me. My parents have described me as “a talker” and I am worried about having someone to talk to. Please pray that I form quick relationships and make life long friends (who speak English) so that I can debrief at the end of my day.
  • Living Situation – Please pray for safety in my living situation. Also please pray that I will have no problem adjusting to a new life style. If you just want to pray over my living situation in general, it would be very appreciated!
  • Food – I am a very picky eater and did not eat any kind of Mexican food in the past. Since God placed this calling on my heart, I have been working on teaching myself to like new foods. However, I am still a picky eater so please ray for God to help adjust my pallet.
  • My Missions Team – I will be traveling with 2 different teams from Action Church. Please pray that we can come together as a team to do Gods work. Please pray that we will be supportive of each other, and not let differences, annoyances, or frustrations break the relationship that God intends. Please also pray that each member will be prepared spiritually, emotionally, financially, mentally, and in every other way they can be. I am so excited about getting closer to these amazing people and they are already so close to my heart! Please keep each one of them in your prayers too!
  • My Words And Actions – Please pray that God prepares me for what is to come, that when I open my mouth I speak through the Holy Spirit rather than out of discomfort or even out of my own desire. Please pray that every word serves a purpose. I want to bring glory to God’s name. Please also pray for my actions, that I will not let homesickness, tiredness, laziness, sickness, or carelessness over power me. Instead let me be lifted up by those around me so that I can lift them up in return.
  • Safety – Please join me in praying for safety
    • Going to a 3rd world country can be very dangerous. I have heard stories that have had me frozen in fear. But God is greater and nothing happens without serving a greater purpose. Please pray for my safety, for angels to walk with me wherever I go. For safety in my living situation, transportation, and daily activities.
    • Please pray for safe travel. For my flights in June and December.
    • Please pray for the safety of my health. Because it is a 3rd world country, it is not safe for me to drink the water. However it is easy to forget about certain things like melting ice, fruits and veggies rinsed in it or brushing my teeth and swallowing it. Another concern of mine is the mosquitos, I am not a big bug spray wearer (though I will become one), and the mosquitos carry diseases such as Dengue fever, Chagas, Malaria, Typhoid Fever, Zika, and a few others.  And finally please pray for my health in general. As I am in a new environment, eating different foods, and exposed to new things, pray for my immune system to hold up.
  • Children and Families – I will encounter many different types of people with all different kinds of stories. Please pray for their safety and healing. Please pray that God brings the right people my way.
  • Fear – Please pray that I overcome all fear and spiritual warfare leading up to and while serving in Honduras.
  • Purpose – That I do Gods work and don’t forget about the reason I am there
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