Dear Precious Prayer Partners:
Thanks so much for your faithfulness in praying for every need that I mention to you. I wanted to be sure and tell you that God is very clearly answering your prayers. About 2 hours after I sent out the email about the freezing weather and needing your prayers for the sun to come out, the sun DID come out and it has not been cold since (now almost two weeks later). We are having BEAUTIFUL days and the kids are finally getting over their colds and coughs (most of them anyway). The other thing that was immediately answered was about Jonathan. The day I sent the email asking for you to pray that he would quit crying and become more happy, HE DID!! He made a dramatic turnaround and is so content now and smiles all the time — it is amazing to see prayers answered so quickly and I thank you so much for your great support in that way.
We have not all been home at the same time now for almost two weeks. Erick was gone to Tegucigalpa and returned just as Carlos’ grandmother came for him and then Fernando and Marta left for Jocon for a few days (which turned into a week because Marta came down with a bad cold and stayed to get well). Fernando is in Yoro for another 5 days because he had a fever and couldn’t return with Marta today either. Also, Jose’s mom came to get him for his surgery on Friday and took Samanta with her as well. Evidently, their father has a job and she has to prove that they have 3 kids so he will be forced to pay her some money each month. So they will be gone for the entire week yet. I don’t know if Jose will be able to have his surgery or not. He still had a runny nose but his chest sounded clear after taking another round of antibiotics.
Yesterday, Carlos returned with his grandmother. She had told me they would return on Saturday and when they did not come, I started thinking that she had changed her mind. But they showed up yesterday (Monday afternoon) and he was so glad to get back to “his house” as he told his grandmother. She is such a sweet lady and knows this is the best place for Carlito right now. She will come each month to see him and I will pay her $4.00 round-trip on the bus so that she can come. They are desperately poor and she could not come if we did not pay that $4.00 — it still amazes me how very very poor these people are. Carlos didn’t cry when she left but started crying around bedtime last night. He was very tired though and I think that was the main thing that caused him to start bawling. Also, Vanessa had talked to her mom on the phone and was sobbing on the front porch afterwards and it was quite a mess with kids crying everywhere. Poor Vanessa is so sad and misses her “mommy” and yet has to be here until her baby is born. Please continue to pray for her. I don’t know what God has in store for her life but it will be GOOD because she now belongs to HIM!! Her mom still cannot find work and so could not even come for the monthly visit this month. I told her to borrow the money on February 7th (our next visitation day) and I will reimburse her when she gets here.
Everyone is doing well and happy now:
(1) Jonathan (1) took his first steps the day before yesterday and he is practicing every day. He seems happier when he can get up and walk like the other kids.
(2) Cesar (3) is doing well. He still has a bad place on the back of his ears and we have finished up his antibiotics today and also he had an injection but it still looks very bad. Please pray for that to heal SOON!!
(3) Blanca (5) is such a sweet-spirited little girl. She is always loving on the babies and is so obedient and cooperative. She will love going to the new school next year and she will be our first one to try it out. They will teach her English even in kindergarten so by next year I will have someone to talk to in English sometimes. ha.
(4) Fernando (3) remains the LIFE of the house. Somehow when he walks in the room, everything always comes alive!! He is so sweet and easy to train — he sits about 5 minutes on the couch and his whole attitude changes dramatically. I am so thankful that God sent him to us and got him out of his environment there in Yoro.
(5) Carlos (3), as I said earlier, is doing well and happy to be home. His grandmother said he cried for me while he was in Tegucigalpa and last night he was crying for her. I know how he feels exactly. I cry when I leave Honduras and when I leave my family in Georgia too. We just have two homes! By the way, we FINALLY know Carlos’ full name and his birthday. He will be four in June. We were guessing that he might already be four but he is just one month older than Fernando.
(6) Samanta (2) seems to be doing better all the time. She has learned to quit crying everytime I have to say “no” and she is very smart. She has learned her colors even before the other older children.
(7) Jose (1) is such a happy little guy. He loves to be held and that is the only time he whines — when he wants some more loving. He laughs out loud all the time and is soooooo smart, it is scarey sometimes. He is so tiny still (16 lbs.) so it surprises me when he understands everything I say.
(8) Cokey (1) is doing great and is talking more every day. She too is so tiny that you don’t expect her to understand your directions and then to answer you. She is so joyful all the time and gives lots of kisses and hugs. Pray for her though because her cough just will not quit. She has no fever and I ended up putting her on a children’s antibiotic because she just can’t quit this bad cough all night. It seemed a little better last night but I would appreciate your praying for her — I’m hoping for some more immediate answers to that prayer and maybe I can sleep through a night again! ha.
(9) Eidy (3) is quite a little honery girl. She is so full of life and is very similar in personality to Fernando but she doesn’t obey as quickly as he does. She always sounds so cooperative and then turns around and does whatever she had intended to do. I just love her to death though and she will just have to have a lot of strong boundaries because she is very sanguine. I was the same way and didn’t seem to learn from day to day and had to receive discipline for the same things over and over again! But she is a doll and I love her so much.
(10) Erick (10) is doing so good and is such a sweet helper. He is mowing the lawn right now as we purchased some used lawn mowers and he loves having that job. There is so much land here to mow so he will be busy continually I think and I hope he contines to love doing it. ha. He will be in 4th grade this year and is determined to study better and make his “B’s” into “A’s”. He is so smart and will be able to do that with little problems.
(11) Eduard (13) is doing so well here and we are praying that he is going to be able to stay with us this year and go to school here. (Please pray for this with us and I will explain more below.) He is such a huge help and has helped Erick to learn to like work. Eduard goes everywhere with Pastor Carlos and has learned to do some work around here as well as spend good time with a godly man. I am so thankful for that influence in Eduard’s life and I know that God brought him here so that he could grow up in his faith in the Lord Jesus and understand what all he received the day when he accepted Christ.
(12) Vanessa (12) , as I said, needs prayer for patience and loneliness for her mom right now. Her baby is healthy and BIG and so we are trying to work on arrnagements for her to have the C-section in April. My missionary friends said that one of the doctors at the Evangelical Hospital has an intereset in helping her and maybe he will take care of all of this without charge. Pray for that please. Vanessa loves to organize and just cleaned out all the cupboards for me today and also the game/puzzle/colors closet of the kids. She is a great help and I am so thankful for her.
(13) Marta (21) is an ANGEL as all of you know who have met her. She never complains and works continually to keep things going here for me. I am amazed at God’s goodness in sending her to me. Please pray be praying for her. I passed out pictures of most of the kids while in the States so you can pray for them, but I dont want people to neglect praying for Marta. She is going into the 8th grade this year and has to complete two more grades before she can enter into the nursing school in Siguatepeque and we really hope she will be able to do that.
(14) ME (almost 51) need more energy!! ha.
I know this email is long but I wanted to give you a quick update on all the kids so you can really be praying for them and to update those of you who have chosen one of them in particular to pray for daily.
Marta returned from Jocon this afternoon with yet more bad news about the happenings in that little village that I love so much. As you know, it is a very violent place and very corrupt — homosexuality, alcoholism, abuse, etc. One of the young boys (14) was found dead and had been tied up and raped and tortured. Three of his friends told the people that Angel and Moma (one of the cousins in “my” family there) had picked them all up and told them openly that they planned to kill them. The three others jumped out as the car was going but the young boy, Enan, was between the men and could not escape. Usually when there is a murder like this (since there is no law in Jocon), some of the family goes after the killer. But in this case, Moma is part of the family I lived among and everyone in the area is afraid of that family and so they cannot go kill Moma for fear that there will be a war between the families. It just makes me sick what happens there and things are apparently getting worse. In the past, there has been a lot of murder and suicide, etc. but never killing of children. This is why I need you to pray fervently that Eduard’s mom will understand that he does not need to return to Jocon to live. She misses him but he needs to stay here where he is safe and can grow up spiritually and live to tell about it. I am so concerned about that village and the things that people have to live with there every day. They don’t know what life could be like and they accept some horrible things as just the way it is. Please be praying for the people in that village and that we will be able to reach them as these children here return to their families one day with the gospel of Jesus Christ and that in the meantime God will change some hearts for Him and change the village as a result.
This afternoon we will have news on the well. Pastor Carlos has done a great job in scouting out various companies that have good reputations and talked to people that have had wells drilled by them, and he will talk to the three companies today and see which ones will come down in their prices for us. He is a real businessman and I am so thankful for that. He started work on building the other storehouse underneath the water tanks. We need to move the things out of the apartment where we have been storing things because we need that space for more Sunday School classes. God is growing up this ministry so fast and we are out of places to teach people. We are hoping to get a big pavillion built next summer so we can have some adult classes under there on Sundays as well. Many of my adult neighbors cannot come at night to our services on Thursdays and Friday nights because they cannot walk back to their little houses in the mountains after dark. So we really need a place to teach them on Sunday mornings as soon as possible.
Pray for the men’s meeting on Saturday night. Carlos did several meetings on marriage with the men and has several of them signed up to get married to their women soon. This Saturday they will have the meeting up in the village because he is going to meet with the men and their potential wives and talk together about marriage. He is going to do some activities with them on communication and see how much they even know about the women they have lived with all these years and had many children with. . . i. e. what is her favorite color, etc. He is so excited to train them and we really will appreciate your prayers this week for that. There will b e about 30 couples I think and maybe all of them will get married when we plan the day in the near future for that. We plan to rent the bus and take them to the municipal office together and then come back to the church and celebrate their marriages afterwards. This week they are having the meeting up in the village because both fathers and mothers will be at the meeting and we cannot babysit 200 kids for them here. Thanks for your prayers for this big event.
I guess I’ll close before y’all fall asleep reading this LONG email. I am so thankful for all that is going on and we are so blessed to be part of the great things God is doing in Honduras. Keep on praying — it is working TREMENDOUSLY!! Pray too for a van as soon as possible. We need some transportation and are eager to see what the Father has in mind for us.
Love you each and thank God always for your constant encouragement and prayers,
In His AMAZING GRACE,