Hey Everyone.

I just wanted to let everyone know that Vanessa went into labor last night and the little baby girl was born dead. It has been such a hard time for me and all of us. Please pray MUCH for us. It is just another hard thing to pass through but God is with us and will give grace. God is ALWAYS good and when there are circumstances when He doesn’t “appear” to be good, it is because we don’t have all the facts — He is sovereign and knows the future and every detail and so I have to rest in His goodness in this difficult situation.

Vanessa was having pains for about 2 days but just crying a little here and there. Marta kept telling me that I didn’t need to take her into the clinic last night because she didn’t think it was real labor yet. I just didn’t want to take a chance though so I called Carlos and he came out to pick us up at about 9:30. We went to the Evangelical Hospital in Siguatepeque just to have her checked (thinking all along that this was false labor and we would be back in our beds before midnight). The doctor on duty checked her and said she was already dilated 8 centimeters. They were willing to give us half-price to help financially but I didn’t even have that in the bank right now. We had prayed about it before and decided to go to the public hospital in Comayagua (35 miles away). The doctor told us that they could not find a heartbeat for the baby but sometimes that is just because of a lot of liquid build-up and makes it hard to detect. We rushed her to the hospital in Comayagua and then it felt like I was in a bad dream. I am used to being among the poor but this clinic where we took her was so run down, dirty, crawling with lizards and bugs, etc. I really hated that I had made that decision. The doctors were very abrupt and cold and it was a long night. We walked in with Vanessa in labor pains and the dark hallway was only about 6 feet wide. I was standing there holding her in my arms and there were 6 chairs there with other women yelling in pain waiting for their turn to get on the ONE examining table. All of a sudden an ambulance comes and pushes a stretcher with another pregnant lady on it right into the hall and squished Vanessa against the wall. We finally got into the examining room a while later and I sang to Vanessa, held her and fanned her hot face for several hours. During the time though, they made her get off the examining table at times to let someone else get examined and then put her back up there. When her water broke, they left us standing in it for about 2 hours before someone came and cleaned it up. I can’t explain how hard things are for the poor people here. It was amazing. The bright spot for me was the Honduran people themselves though. They are like one big family and all of them accept me instantly wherever I go. They all talked to me the whole night and were concerned for Vanessa etc. It is so sweet to have them treat me like family when I am really a stranger. These people here are so humble and precious. The doctor though was so blunt and just looked at the referral from Hospital Evangelical and said “the baby’s dead”. I said, maybe not, but she kept saying, no, it’s dead! When they finally took Vanessa back to the actual delivery, I couldn’t go along so I went outside and listened through the broken windows that went into that room. There were 3 others in there with her and every time I heard a baby cry, I was so hopeful that it was a mistake and this was her baby crying. But they came out about an hour later and said the baby was dead and wanted to know what we needed to do with it. There is no morgue to pick up bodies here and you have to take them yourself. That was kind of traumatic for me! We waited until 4:00 when they moved the women from recovery to the bigger part of the hospital 6 blocks away. They put all of us in this gutted out van that they called an ambulance and took us to the hospital. Vanessa was in there for the next 6 hours and we picked her up at 11:00 today. We brought the baby home at 5:00 this morning wrapped up in brown paper. Carlos and I were having a harder time than Vanessa. She never wanted the baby and never even had told us that the baby hadn’t moved much for about 10 days. She seemed so nonchalant when we told her the baby girl had died. Vanessa has always been so closed though about her feelings about the abuse with her stepfather, having a baby at 12 years old, etc. so I couldn’t really tell what was in her mind. Carlos and I cried on the way home and just kept choosing to trust God’s wisdom in all this hurt. When Vanessa came back to her room about 2 hours ago, though, I held her and she started crying. I know that God used my care for her during the labor last night to draw her into closer relationship to me. I told her as she wept that she needed to talk openly about her hurts and that God can heal them. I told her when she was ready to talk later, we needed to talk every hurt out and pray over her and that God could do his healing in her heart then. She nodded that she wanted to do that and so I am very encouraged that God is using this hard thing to bring her into a transparency that will help her grow and heal.

I know this is a long email but I just wanted you to know kind of what we are going through and thank you for your prayers.

I was so thankful during this nightmare last night that my absess was finally feeling better for the first time in 4 weeks and that was such a blessing to me. His timing is perfect. I don’t understand all His ways but I know Him and He is perfect so we will keep resting in Him.

There have been so many hard things lately with my pain and then some of us had a rash that would keep us up in the night itching. Financial struggles — which were my fault — (I okayed a few projects while I was still sick in bed without realizing the cost and so put us in to a bind for a while). The one project though that I am thrilled to have done is that we enclosed the ceiling in the living and kitchen areas in my house and that first night was the first time in a year that I did not fight mosquitos the whole night!! Yeah!! What a HUGE blessing.

Anyway, Satan has been busy attacking and discouraging and it probably is just a sign that God is up to something bigger and greater soon. We have a group coming in on Saturday and I am counting on God doing some great things through and in them. Just keep praying for us and thanking God for all the GOOD He is doing here.

I won’t go into any more news because this email is already too long. But I’ll catch you up next week on more about what is going on with the kids and the groups, etc.

Love to each of you and I give THANKS ALWAYS for your partnership with me in prayer and encouragement to see the Father making strong disciples in His kingdom work in Honduras.

Love in His Grace,