Thursday, December 30, 2010

I was at the hospital yesterday getting some information signed for Grace and I saw this little boy with his grandmother. While I was waiting for about an hour I kept looking at this little boy. It was weird I felt like I knew him but I didn´t know how. Well eventually his grandmother comes over and ask me if I know him. I told her that I did not know him. She begins to tell me about her grandson and that he has been at the house of hope before for malnourishment but he is now here at the hospital for an infection in his mouth that is causing him to not want to eat. She told me that he has not eaten in 5 days. All the hospital did was take blood and tell him to go home. From the minute I saw him I could tell this boy was very sick; he was too weak to walk , and he was very malnourished.So without calling or asking anyone I said well bring him to the house. The grandmother agreed so I called someone to come get us in the mule because there was no way he would be able to walk home. As the mule pulled up the grandmother takes the little boy off her back and hands him to me. This is when I realized how bad this little boy really was. He is probably 6 years old and I had Grace sleeping in the carrier so I could not even use my full strength to pick him up but with ease I picked him up and put him in the mule. He probably weighed 30 pounds or less. With another volunteer there who speaks Spanish and some Miskito we got more of the story. The mom of this little boy has a new boyfriend who is not the father of this little boy so she no longer wants this little boy. She had only been feeding him coffee in hopes that he would die. The grandmother realized what she was doing and took the little boy home with her. After she had him he got a bad infection in his mouth and did not want to eat. So for at least around 2 weeks this little boy has not eaten. Once I him home all the missionaries here were having a bible study at our house. Two of the women are nurses so they took a look at him and said oh no the hospital needs to admit him. So one of the women calls the doctor at the hospital and tells her this little boy is on his way back to see her now. Then we all pray for this sweet little boy who in his eyes you can see has lost hope, he has given up the fight, and we send him back to the hospital. He was admitted when he went back and will probably be there for at least a week.
I am so thankful that the Lord took charge in this situation and He is doing the impossible. The Lord put people in his life yesterday who could do something about his condition whether it was pray or love on him or giving the doctors wisdom. He is the ultimate healer and I do believe just as he brought Grace back from her malnourishment that He will do the same for this little boy. He will use this little boy for HIS GLORY! This little boy is going to have a long road to recovery not just physically but emotionally and spiritually too. I want to ask all of you to pray for him throughout the next few months.

I saw him at the hospital this morning and he was sleeping which is amazing because he also has not been able to sleep so this was a amazing thing to see!!

Second day in the hospital I could not get a very good picture of him

 10 pounds heavier (40 lbs) almost ready to be released

Friday, December 24, 2010

Elizabeth's Home - 14 people live in this one room

Idias  is a little boy who is 7 years old who I begged to stay at the house of hope this summer because he already had two older brothers on the street and I was scared he was going to go soon.  Well he is living at the house of hope now and last week I ask him to take me to his house to meet his mom. She lives in a one bedroom house that's probably 10 by 10, no electricity or running water, 2 beds one with no mattress, no bathroom , a open well outside with dirty water. She lives in this one room with around 14 people. I went in and she gets out the only chair their family owns. She tells me to sit down in it. All the children are outside playing soccer I fight my biggest fear and let Grace sit on the dirty floor with chickens running around and play with her 2 year old son. She begins to talk to me and then goes over to her children's school books and dig through them to find her hidden family pictures. She keeps them here so that they are not lost or stolen. I noticed that she did not have any pictures of her whole family (she is a single mom of 9 kids) so I told her that I would come another day and take a picture of her whole family. We left and a few days later I ask her son to take me back to her house. We go and again first thing she does is say something to her daughter in Miskito and next thing I know she brings out the chair for me. Then she again says something and her daughter brings out a play purse full of jewelry. She tells me to pick something out of the bag to have so I picked out a necklace and she says oh but you need earring so I picked out some earrings and then she says oh and you need a bracelet so she gives me a bracelet. The whole time I am says that's good this is plenty but then I was reminded that this is the nicest thing she has to give this means so much to her that she could give this to me as a gift so I gratefully accept the jewelry. I take a picture of her family and they are all so excited to see themselves on the camera. This family is the poorest of the poor. When I talk with Elizabeth I am reminded how much better it is to give than receive. She gave to me even though she does not have much to give or food to feed her family. She was still willing to give. This Christmas I pray that we all find some way to give like Elizabeth!

Elizabeth and some of her kids

The Waits family ( a missionary family in Puerto Lempira) with Elizabeth's Kids

Legos of Love for Christmas

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Today I took 4 of the older kids to the prison with me to celebrate my birthday we made 6 cakes and all the kids made Christmas cards for each prisoner. When we got there Mel came outside and gave me a huge hug and said Happy Birthday! He was all dressed up in his nicest clothes and shoes. When I got inside I realized that the Lord had this planned all along. The Catholic Church was doing a church service and then after giving lunch and coke to the prisoners. This gave us a chance to visit with all the men while they ate. Then after they all came and we gave the each one a piece of cake and a Christmas card. As we sat around and talked while they were eating Mel told me why he was so dressed up today. The guards told his to get ready that He was going to get to leave today!! After 5 years 11 months and 10 days, he is getting to go home to his family to his country. I was so excited for him but at the same time sad to know I might never see him again. The guards did let us take a few pictures so I will be able to let y'all see once I get back to the states! As we left we got in the mule and the 4 kids I brought were so full of joy I can´t even explain it. They were laughing and had huge smiles on their faces. They ask me if we could please come back again. They said they made friends and were all talking about going home and making presents for their new friends and bringing them back. Also another thing not even one of them ask for cake, I did give them a piece and one girl ended up giving hers away. This filled my heart with so much joy to be able to give to people who never get cake but also to see Jesus in these children that they would give and then want to give more. I am looking forward to many more trips with them to visit our friends!

The chapel at the prison

giving out cake I love the smile on Thelma's face here

This is my friend Mel all dressed up for his release day!

This is Rodrigo a House of Hope kid getting to visit with his mom

Saturday, December 18, 2010

okay so here is the biggest news after 3 days and about 5 hours at the hospital searching for results... Grace is HIV negative!!!! Thank you all for praying for her!

Please continue to pray for her health she is still having ear infections pretty much constantly and has 2 busted ear drums right now. She is having weird whelps all over her body. Since I arrived they say she is a new baby that she doesn´t even look or act the same, that she is so happy!!  They shaved her head because her hair had a lot of bald spots so she pretty much looks exactly the same as she did 4 months ago. She can almost walk and can even walk if you just hold one hand. She says mama a lot but does not use it as my name.
Everything here is great its been kind of cold (65). We only have 16 kids in the house right now so it´s very quite.
I went to the prison and the guards are going to let me have my birthday party there and bring cake I am very excited about that to be able to get to know the people there better!

I will update more later sorry I don´t have much time. My church is having a Christmas play tonight!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


On my first trip to Honduras I remember walking through the hospital to just see things with Katrina. We walked through the entrance straight into the emergency room. Okay, so first of all this hospital is pretty nasty, needles on the ground, dogs running through the halls, no air, so it’s hot and smelly. So we walk in straight into a little boy maybe like 8 years old who is in a comma. Of course everyone knows Katrina and Katrina is always so willing to stop and talk to everyone. So we stop and talk to this family Mom, Dad, and I think another child was there. So they begin to tell us that their son had fallen out of a mango tree. Everyone in La Moskitia climbs mango trees to get food. So this little boy routinely climbed a mango tree and fell out. He was in a comma because he hit his head and from what I understood had fluid on his brain, his family did not have the money to pay for a plane ride to another city where there was a doctor who could do the surgery. So they were pretty much just simply waiting for their son to die or a miracle. Miskito’s do NOT cry… they are very strong and to cry shows weakness, This woman was crying.  So Katrina prays for the boy and we place our hands on him. I remember placing my hand on this boys feet and I am praying LORD show me he is going to be okay just let him slightly move something anything LORD let him be okay. His foot flinched under my hand and I just knew he was going to be okay! Well the next time I saw this boy he was squirming all over his mom was holding down his feet and his dad his upper body as he began to come out of the comma. A few days later when I was again at the hospital and he wasn’t in his bed like usual so I ask and Katrina when I got home and she said well he may have been moved to children’s or he died and she said I am pretty sure he died. Well turns out he did die.

This was the point where I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take that something so curable in the States would cause a child to die. It would be a simple surgery. How could this happen to this boy. I could do NOTHING. This is the first time in my life I think I was actually desperate for the Lord to do something. For the Lord to show up and do something that only He could do!

When I went back I found why the Lord had shown me that little boy. He was teaching me to be desperate for him.
I would end up many days back at that same hospital desperately crying out for the Lord to heal my daughter. As I held her only a few feet from where that little boy's bed was, her arms stuck with needles her blood being drawn nurses giving shots, as she screamed while I held a  nebulizer to her face. I would get to know the doctors, nurses, and people through this hospital but with a new sick baby, Grace. I would cry out in my bed at night for the Lord to heal her body of any diseases. That the Lord would use her for His Glory.  The Lord did answer my cry and Grace has a happy ending she is now a beautiful healthy growing girl. I still am praying for her health and an disease that she might have would be destroyed from her body.

I remember getting sick and calling my parents and asking them to tell any and everyone to pray I would get better. I did not know at the time I would have a disease that hundreds of thousands of people die from each year. That by the time the symptoms showed up I had parasites running through my blood for 3 weeks already. I did have to go to the doctor but I  do believe the Lord was the ultimate healer through this because a few hours after getting the medicine I was back to normal.. a little tired but I was working the next day. That doesn't happen it takes weeks to recover.

I remember taking a girl to the hospital who had both legs amputated this girl wanted to see her grandfather. Since she couldn't walk I drove her in the mule. Well right when we pull up as its getting dark outside the mule stops. We decide to just go in and visit ... quite a long visit. We come out its pitch black dark. There was only Miskito men around. I can't walk home alone, she can't walk that far. So I begin to desperately pray again. Desperate for the Lord to show up. Well of course He did, we got jumper cables.. a car drove up.. I chased it down... I tried to explain how to jump the mule off when I didn't really know how to do it much less explain it in Spanish... The 5th time it worked and we drove away praising the LORD!!!

I think that in America it is so easy for us to go day to day without ever truly crying out to the Lord until... something doesn't go our way.

We don't have to worry if we don't have food for dinner we can just go pick up fast food. We don't have to worry about being thirsty we can simply turn on the faucet.
We don't have to worry if our children will see a doctor if they get sick.
We don't have to worry about the pharmacy having medicine if they do get sick.
We don't have to worry about having clothes for tomorrow, we have closets and drawers full.
We don't have to worry where we will sleep tonight, or if we will get a bed.

But in La Moskitia every day, every step, every minute, the people are desperate for something to happen.

During this desperation I believe the Lord does show up. When there is nothing we can do , when everything is out of our control. When we just turn control over to him! He will make himself known!!

 However, He does have a plan and He does know the end so His answers might look a little different than ours. His answer might be wait, or something totally opposite, or an absolute no.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

and I'm off ( well kind of)

I will be leaving in a few days to head back to Puerto Lempira.. my heart is so full of joy that I can not even explain it!! I am so ready to see my sweet baby, to hold her, to kiss her sweet little face.
I have 2 huge bags packed full of things for her from my CMDS class ( thanks girls!!) I can't wait to dress her up and to put bows in her hair, read books to her, and go on walks around town with her! I am so ready to see each House of Hope kid's beautiful face to hug them and play with them. I am ready to hear Spanish and Miskito. I am ready to be woken up at all hour of the night and morning to serve. I am ready teach. I am ready to see my friends, my pastor, my church!  I could go on and on.  I am praying that the Lord fills me with overflowing love, joy, patience, and energy!

I will be doing several things while I am there besides living at the house helping take care of 60 kids, helping work at the store, and teach preschool. I will also be meeting with several people and asking a lot of questions that will provide the answers about my families future. I will hopefully be finding out answers to a lot of the very important decisions that will be made concerning Root Ministries and my family over the next few months. I want to ask you to please pray for all of these decisions, that the LORD would give me supernatural wisdom about each these things!! Thanks in advance for your prayers!

This will probably be a very hectic excitingly busy month but I am ready for it!
I am going to try and blog, hopefully with pictures!! ( if not I will update when I return)
Also, if you would like to meet Grace and possibly other House of Hope children we will be on Skype on Saturdays at 2pm (hopefully... Internet and schedules are not too reliable there)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Truth Pandemic - Get the facts about HIV/AIDS and Adoption

Giving the gift of TIME

I was recently ask what is one thing that is different in Honduras that you have learned that could be a lesson to all Americans?

Well here is a HUGE difference that I see in our cultures. Miskitos and all Hispanics I have met invite EVERYONE into their home, they hug and greet everyone with a kiss, they know everyone by name and know all about their families (sometimes they know a little too much).

I could be walking down the street and have someone come up and just want to talk for 10 minutes, they don't know me I don't know them but it doesn't matter. I can see my pastor drive down the street he honks and stops and ask me about the kids. I can walk in the hospital and they ask me how is Grace. I can go to the store to buy ice cream and the lady calls me by name and knows exactly what flavor I want. I walk in church Sunday morning with 50 children and the women stand at the back and hug and kiss each child.

I met a lady on the plane the past summer. I am learning Spanish and she is learning English through her son as our translator we talked for 3 hours. After, the plane landed I had another flight to catch and she lived in that city so we exchanged emails and decided to keep in touch. Through out the summer we emailed stories back and forth. This time as I am traveling down she has invited me to stay 2 days with her family. I might be crazy she might be crazy but this is the love they have for each other.

All they have is family, all they have is friends, all they have is each other. So they put such a huge emphasis on relationships. They don't have gifts to give ... so they give time!

I think this is definitely something that we Americans could learn to do. I can go to walmart and see the same cashier and just say hey how are you? and nothing more.. but whats really going on in her life? I ride the transit with the same people every day... everyone has their i-pod in and is in their own little world. No one talks. I don't know their names their majors.

I have been going to a Hispanic church in Auburn and I LOVE it, the other night I was brought to tears when the people were talking about how alone they feel in Auburn. How Auburn is one of the top 10 cities to live in , its great for jobs, good neighborhoods, school systems. But this whole community of people feel alone. They are without their families, their friends, and American's do not reach out.

We love our families, our friends, but I pray we will  all start to reach out a little more to the people around us.


Friday, November 19, 2010

November National Adoption Month

47 times orphans are mentioned in the Bible, clearly orphans are the LORD'S heart, He says, " I will not leave you as orphans"

There are 147 million orphans in the world. They are not just some abstract number, each one is a REAL CHILD, a beautiful child, needing love, needing a family.

A few months ago I listened to about 20 teenage girls give their testimonies, of how they grew up in orphanages where they were called by a number, not a name. They went to bed each night all snuggling up together for warmth because there was no heat, they all cried themselves to sleep at night. They watched their friends die daily. These girls were all adopted by a man who now runs a home for the girls when they are kicked out of the orphanage. These girls now call him Dad. One girl said she had no hope and then her dad came it was the first hug she had ever had, the first love she had ever been shown ( at 16 years old). She said that without her dad she would have never learned about her Heavenly Father. She now travels with her Dad and speaks to raise awareness for orphans.
These were not just orphans in a video or a book, they were real standing right in front of me. You could see the love they had for their dad, but even more than that the love they have for their Heavenly Father. It is amazing what a touch, a hug, a kind word, and love can change lives.

I hope that you become an advocate for orphans and prayerfully consider what your role in adoption is.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act. Psalm 37:5

 PICTURES!!!!  I have been looking forward to this day since the day I came back to the states in August. Today was filled with all kind of emotions for me. I woke up excited. Checking to see if pictures were up every 10 minutes. I knew the volunteer from Honduras was home and I was so ready to see pictures of my baby. It was one of the happiest moments I have had in a while to be able to see pictures of Grace.It is a true miracle that a baby at 6 months old literally could not move and now at 10 months old  is sitting and standing in her crib! Seeing her grow and how big she is so exciting!! Only being able to watch her life for the past 3 months through pictures is really hard for me. But, I am extremely blessed to have amazing volunteers who email me updates and I will get to spend a month with her but still I am so ready to be there full time!

So as for being there full time...

God is so good!! To be honest I have been getting slightly frustrating saying "Lord I know this is something that you have called me to do but its not happening there's no way I can move" All donations are amazing ( don't get me wrong a dollar is more than I had) but I did not have enough to even buy a plane ticket yet.  Let me tell you, DO NOT ever underestimate the power of the Lord. He says oh you don't think I can make it happen watch this --- a donation to live for 6 months. 6 months literally. Not just me but Grace and up to 3 more children, rent , food, EVERYTHING. I was in shock and still am. This is the God I know the provider. This is the God I know who says step out in faith and I will make a way. This is the God I know who has the plans who has the answers, who just says to me be obedient.

Little by little progress is being made and I will continue to say I have no clue how all of this will work, I do not have all the answers, nor do I have all the money, Grace is the first Miskito adoption ( so no one knows how that works) BUT I serve a God who knows and I step out in FAITH and say Father lead me!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

For I know the plans I have for YOU!

Today I looked through some old pictures. These are of some mission trips that I took starting when I was 14 through last summer. It is so amazing to me to look back and see how the Lord was preparing me 7 years ago for this very time. You can see I always have been drawn to the children each country I have been too. And from the last picture you can tell I am always very sad when its time to come back to the states. Also, another crazy thing is that He put it inside of me to want to learn Spanish from about the same time. I remember I always loved Spanish class I had this like internal drive that wanted to learn Spanish so bad I even took classes at the college at night. 
I am so thankful that the Lord has (and still is) continued to work on me, and teach me more about Himself, and show me how He sees His Children, to get me to the point where I can go and don't have to leave after 2 weeks.  This just goes to show that His plans are SO much greater than our plans. I don't understand sometime the things that are going on now, but in 7 years I might be able to look back and to see what the Father has been planning right now. I have no clue what He is doing but I know that it is going to be something greater than anything I could ever imagine!! His plans are far beyond my own!!  I would have never guessed as a 14 year old that I would be adopting a baby before graduating college.That I would start a ministry. That right after graduating college I would move thousands of miles from my family and friends to one of the most remote places in Central America and take MORE orphans into my home. All I know is that I am very excited to see the "Future" He has planned for Root Ministry, for my family, and for the people La Moskitia. I continue to pray Father, Your will be done, Your Kingdom come!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pictures of La Moskitia and Puerto Lempira

So many people have been asking me what its really like in La Moskitia, so here are some pictures by Nanni Fontana.
 La Moskitia
Puerto Lempira

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Grace's Story in The Corner News!

Grace's Story- Beauty from Ashes

In 2009, I went to Honduras for 2 weeks without knowing anyone or where I was going. I ended up in La Moskitia. A region that covers the east coast of Honduras and a little of Nicaragua. This region is the poorest most corrupt region in this area of the world. It is a part of Honduras that is looked down on by the rest of the country and mostly forgotten. It is separated from the rest of the country by jungle ( its a 2 and half hour plane ride to a city). La Moskita also has its own language which is another barrier. Puerto Lempira where I will be in the only city with some electricity and running water. My heart was broken for these people so I went back this past summer for 3 months. This is when I met Grace, and knew that this is where I am supposed to be.

Grace was a 5 and a half month old baby brought by her grandmother House of Hope looking for help for malnourishment. I named her Grace. When she first came to the House she was suffering from severe malnourishment and weighed only 8 pounds. Her skin was dying, literally falling off in sheets. She had worms under her skin -- worms that you can only get from the dirt on the ground. Her arms and legs were so stiff that she couldn't move them. She had been left alone for so long that it was almost like she had arthritis.

I was immediately drawn to Grace. This baby that no one in the House would touch, not even the nanny. Everyone else was scared of her because she looked almost like death and possibly had AIDS. But it didn't matter. There was something so special about Grace from the very first minute she arrived at the House of Hope. I felt so connected to her that I couldn't stand to be without her. I would keep her until the last possible minute, right before I went to bed, and then take her back to her grandmother's. I would wake up at 4:30 the next morning, after a restless night, go get Grace and spend time with her all day.

On the third morning Grace's grandmother came to me as I was sitting alone in a rocking chair. No one else in the house was awake yet. Her grandmother began to open up to me about their family situation. She told me that Grace's mother was dying of AIDS and if she did die, then the Grandmother wouldn't be able to feed the baby. She was laden with despair telling me that she "couldn't have another baby die". Within a matter of minutes I was "Grace's mom".

That day I moved Grace into my room and we shared my bed for about the first 2 weeks. I got up with her every hour of the night. I had to learn how to feed her, bathe her, and hold her. Miraculously she began to grow and move and babble. Within weeks she was rolling over and started to grab her bottle. She could even suck on her toe and was gaining about a pound a week! Grace was such a precious little fighter and her overall health and development was improving at alarming rates!

About a month into my relationship with Grace I felt like God really confirmed to me that this was His plan. I was feeding her breakfast one morning when she looked up at me -- as clear as could be-- and said "MOM" and went right back to eating. It was more clear to me than ever before that Grace is my daughter.

After a while Grace's grandmother came back for a visit. She took one look at Grace and said "gordita," or "little fat one". Grace's grandmother spent the whole afternoon with her, just loving on her and playing with her. When it came time for the grandmother to leave she brought Grace back to me playfully saying, "go back to mama". But then, with sincere generosity, she told me "she knows you are her mom". Grace's grandmother gave me a big hug and kiss and headed back to her village hours away by boat and by foot.

Later, Grace and I were on one of our daily walks through town and a lady came up to me and identified herself as Grace's aunt. She told me more about Grace's mom and I told her about how much better Grace looked and how much she had improved. The aunt informed me that she had never really seen Grace before now, so she couldn't tell how much she had grown. It just broke my heart. After that I took Grace for weekly visits to see her aunt who lives in Puerto Lempira. She gave me the mom's phone number and we tried to get in touch with her but never did. It is now thought that she is in prison in La Cieba.

Throughout the rest of my stay in Honduras Grace and I developed an even closer bond and I grew to love her even more. All of the children at the House of Hope are so precious, and every one of them is a miracle. But Grace is my miracle. The Lord has entrusted her to me for a time here on Earth and I feel so honored to call her my daughter.

It has been such a blessing to get to know Grace's family. I love finding out every detail about them. I can't wait to see how the Lord grows our relationship. I want Grace to be involved with her family as much as possible. She is my daughter now and it tears me apart to not be with her for the next 10 months. I am going to miss her first words, her crawling, and maybe even her first steps. She's going to call someone else mom. But I know that the LORD has a reason for me coming back school.

Grace is the inspiration for ACTS House. It was already my passion before I went to Honduras this summer; but now, having a daughter has made it even more clear to me that this is what I am called to do. I am called to open up my home to orphans, abandoned children, and street kids.

For me, Grace has been a picture of the Lord's love for us. Even when we are difficult, He still loves us. He still longs to be with us. He never gives up on us. His desire is to be with us every second of every day. When we are away He wants to be with us. He thinks we are beautiful even if the world says different. The world said Grace was trash but the Lord says she is a daughter of the King. She is beautiful!!!

I am still waiting for the results of Grace's HIV test, it takes a while because since she is under 18 months old she still has her mothers antibodies. Until then we are praying that Grace did not contract the disease from her mother. But even if she did, Grace still needs a mom and I will raise her. She will still be my daughter.

At this time, Grace is now 9 months old and weighs 15 pounds! She is almost crawling! She is growing hair and has four teeth. Greatest news of all she has a birth certificate!!!

I am going to get to go back to Honduras and stay with her for a month over Christmas break. I will get to celebrate my birthday, Christmas, New Years and Grace's 1st birthday all in Honduras (I'm super excited if you can't tell).