Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone is ready, or almost ready for Christmas tomorrow.
We have started celebrating Christmas already here in Honduras. We started with a lab Christmas party on the 14th. I had the 5 lab employees over to the house and we had lasagna, salad, bread and apple pie. :) And of course secret santa.
Gloria was my secret santa.

Everyone at my house.

Last Friday (20th), they had the employee Christmas party at the hospital. All the employees are invited for a nice dinner with singing, Christmas music, and of course presents and candy. I didn't volunteer to help this year, since in the past, we have still had patients in the afternoon. They had an enjoyable time. 
Table with employees :)

Missionaries serving the food.

On Saturday, I was able to attend the wedding celebration of one of my best friends here in Honduras. Diana, my Spanish tutor, who taught me Spanish for my first 6 months here, got married on the 10 and celebrated with friends and family on the 21st. It was so exciting to see their relationship develop after her waiting of 32 years for the man of God that the Lord had for her. It was a joyous celebration.
Diana and I.

Cutting of the cake

Calix and I with Diana and Gerardo

Friday, November 29, 2013

Another with Leukemia

Last week, we sent another child, Julio, from the hospital to Tegucigalpa, the capital, for probable Leukemia. We gave him a blood transfusion on Friday, then they had the weekend to pack and get ready to leave for the capital. He arrived last Tuesday to the hospital in Teguc and received the diagnosis this week after about a week of testing. His blood was sent to Guatemala for specification of the type of Leukemia he had. He has probably from what I can tell AML, Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The most hope for these kids is a bone marrow transplant which they don't do here in Honduras. His mom, Sandra, is with him and is very concerned. She is very anxious and concerned for her son. She left 3 kids behind to bring him to Teguc. She is already ready to leave and desperate to leave. They have told her that he will need to be inpatient for 10 months before they are able to leave.
Erlinda, Osiris' mom, has been taking her everywhere and teaching her the ropes of having a child in the hospital with Leukemia. She says that children with the type of leukemia that Julio has almost all die. She hasn't seen one yet that has lived in her 5 months of being at the hospital. They say there is a 50% chance that the treatment will work. That's not very high odds.
Please pray for this family.
Pray for:

  • healing for Juilo's little body
  • hope for mom Sandra
  • wisdom of Erlinda as to how to encourage knowing there is not much hope
  • wisdom for the doctors treating Julio
  • Julio and mom Sandra at the hospital

Rain rain go away!

Well it's been raining for 3 days now, since Tuesday night. Yesterday we had a little pauses from the rain and then it would start again. Rained all night last night and all day today without stopping. (As of this morning we had gotten 15in of rain in the last 56 hours). The rivers are flooded and at times are impassable. Some of the lower lying streets are flooded as well. Went to see the river in Lucinda today and it was about waist high as people were crossing on foot. Employees were bringing clothes so they were ready to stay the night if needed. (As I am writing this, it has stopped raining...hopefully for good and we will see the sun tomorrow!)
With the large amounts of rain have come the power outages. Also, the water system here at the children's center needs all new tubing, but the hospital doesn't have the money right now to fix it. So, I have been blessed with water a couple of times since Tuesday. I try to take advantage and shower and wash dishes when I have water. I have been collecting rain water to flush the toilet and wash dishes when needed.
When the rain comes, it gets cold. Cold here is in the low 70's. This morning it was 70F in my house when I woke up. This is when we break out the sweaters, slippers, and warm blankets. With the humidity and very open houses, it always feels colder.
Taking advantage now of the electricity and internet.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Honduran Elections

Many of you have heard about the Honduran elections and wonder what is going on down here. Well, there was lots of military personnel and police presence even in the rural areas such as here on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, many of the local churches spent in prayer and fasting for the elections on Sunday. Sunday, it was forbidden to have meetings before 5pm, so we moved church to the evening. Most people just recommended not going out of your house. (We didn't even make it to church Sunday evening...it rained and the river flooded and was impassable.)
So, the candidates for the elections were some interesting characters. The Libre (Free) party was created by the EX-President's (Mel Zelaya-who was thrown out in 2009) wife named Xiomara. Yes, his wife was running for president! Which meant, he was pretty much running again but through his wife. They are very much wanting a dictatorship and was the issue why he was thrown out. They go along the lines of communism and socialism, very much involved with Hugo Chavez when he was alive. What the uneducated here don't understand is that this is not freedom, but bondage. I was praying that either one of the other candidates would win. This became a very strong party here with lots of support and the final election was very close between her and the winner. Some still think it was fraud.
The other candidate that was big was for the Nationalist party, the more conservative party. He is actually the one that won. His name is Juan Orlando and will be the next President of Honduras. Some think this is the safest thing for the country right now, some think it's the worst thing for the country. God knows best! One of the things he has already done, many Hondurans don't like. He created new hourly work contracts here, which means that Hondurans now can work for a company part time making less money than they were before. After the minimum wage was almost doubled 2 years ago, this has created a way to keep employees.  In the states, we are used to working hourly and this is nothing new. The Hondurans though think that their rights have been taken away. So, this is the new president and some are not happy.
The other that was in the running was Villeda for the liberal party. He did get some votes, but not like the others. Don't know much about him and what he stands for, just know he is part of the liberal party.
So, yes this was a very pivotal election in Honduras. There was rumor of communism, socialism, riots, uproars, fighting, even possible intercountry war. I think because of this, God's people came together and prayed and God heard their prayers. People say that even if things are investigated that the results can't change now. There has been fear of the Libre party upraising and creating problems. Up until now, there is nothing really different.
Thank you for all your prayers.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wow...has it really been a month?

So...just realizing that it's been a month since I posted to my blog. Lots of things have been happening to keep me busy.
Sydney left about 2 weeks ago now after a wonderful 7 weeks in the lab with us and living at the house with me. It was a blessing to have her. She helped cover 2 employee vacations.
Osiris, remember the little girl I asked for prayer for, well, she came back to visit with her mom. They came from Tegucigalpa for 5 days and came to visit us at the hospital about 2 weeks ago. Heather made her a cake and we celebrated her. She is doing well, weak at times, but taking the Chemo treatment well. Doctors seem to think she is responding well, according to mom, Erlinda. We took up another donation for them and were able to send them off again with just under $100...amazing. We have very generous employees. We also brought Osiris' two younger siblings to the Children's center here where they can be better cared for during their time in Tegucigalpa...they are very sweet kids.
Heather and Osiris enjoying the butterfly shapped cake Heather made for her.

Osiris and I the day she came to visit
Last week I was honored to be the madrina (godmother) for one of my employees daughter at her kindergarten graduation. They were the second class of kindergartners to graduate from the El Camino Bilingual School (the school that part of the hospital ministry). It was a wonderful celebration with lots of great food! Can't celebrate anything in Honduras without food. :)

2nd Graduating class of El Camino

Rosa and I after she received her diploma.

Rosa with her mom, Sandy

For the next month, I will be translating at church every Sunday. A missionary's mom who is visiting is teaching our adult Sunday school class for 5 weeks. We started today, and I think it went pretty well. We had one lady come to Christ. I am so amazed at the work of the Holy Spirit that works through language barriers and poor translators to bring people to Christ. It's amazing. God is so good! I asked Lucy to come and pray with her and pray for her. Her name is Luicila. You can be praying for her and her growth in the Lord. Her husband, Rogelio came to Christ last Sunday. God is doing an amazing work despite difficulties we have had at the church lately.
Cindy teaching with me translating.

Luicila-a new daughter of the King!!! :)
Please pray for the message to be clear that Cindy is preaching out of Ephesians about our identity in Christ. Please pray for wisdom in translating and that the Holy Spirit would work despite my short-comings.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bible day

Today is Bible day here in Honduras. A day to celebrate the Word of God and the power that it has for salvation, for transformation, for comforting, for manifesting love etc. A day to celebrate the freedom we have to own a Bible and be able to freely share the Gospel. A day to remember to pray for those nations where owning a Bible is illegal. A day to remember to pray for the translation of the Bible in languages that do not have Bible translation yet. A day to remember to pray for those persecuted for bearing the name of Christ. A day to be thankful for the written Word of God, for the ability to read it and study it.
The church participated in a parade today for Bible day. We made signs and marched from one village to the next singing hymns and then had a church service to finish off the evening. It's so neat to see the Hondurans rejoice in the freedom they have to own Bibles and share the gospel.
So, I want to ask you to pray...pray for those who have never heard the gospel, pray for those who are yet to have a Bible in their own language, pray for translation and translators of the Bible, pray for those who are persecuted for the name of Christ, pray for those who live in countries where owning a Bible is illegal, pray for those who will never own a Bible and memorize the pages they can get their hands on, pray for God's Word to penetrate hearts with the truth.

Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105 

Independence Day

Independence day in Honduras is September 15th and is celebrated with parades and typical dancing. They also celebrate September 28th with cultural night, the day the soldiers actually reached the capital and Honduras was truly declared independent. I was able to go to a little of both. The 15th I was on call and had lots of patients in the hospital with labs. The 28th, I had a friend's birthday party to attend. Here are a few pictures.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Please pray!

Please pray for a little boy (9) in my Sunday School class who is in surgery now as I write this. He had a gun shot wound a couple of years ago and has had missing bone in his right humerus for several years now. He is having surgery by a visiting Orthopedic Surgeon to do a bone graft so that he will hopefully have more function of his right arm. Please pray that the surgery will be a success and that he will have use of this arm later in life. He was very nervous and not wanting the surgery this morning. In the picture he looks happy, but this doesn't show all the tears he shed today.
Ready for surgery

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thursday night

Thursday night seemed just like any other with Missionary Fellowship. Sydney and I got home after fellowship and had some chai tea and were reading books. All of a sudden, she said Christine, there's another tarantula...oh and he was huge. When I went outside to get the machete, he hid in a corner. Set up a footstool on top of the kitchen table so I could reach to the ceiling. I didn't see where, so just went poking around with the machete until I found him. I lightly hit him about 5 times before he jumped down at me and hit the floor. I let out a huge scream!!! Then didn't want to get off the table! Finally went and put tennis shoes on...incase he came crawling toward me. Then, took me about 2 minutes to get the nerve up to smash him...he was way bigger than the blade of my machete!!! Ew gross.
kinda blurry, but you can see he was huge.

My heart was racing so fast after this!!! It took me forever to fall asleep.
This is only part of what is living in my roof. We also have rats and Iguanas.
The iguana that sleeps in my room some nights.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Settling back in

I arrived in Honduras in the middle of the night on Tuesday. After 2 1/2 hours of sleep and 5 1/2 hours on 2 different buses, I finally arrived back at home on Wednesday afternoon. I was greeted by many hugs from all the kids from the children's center. I arrived with swollen feet, probably from all the sitting and heat, so didn't do much on Wednesday.
Thursday I started unpacking and had several visitors. Lucy (from Guatemala who helps at church) and Diana (spanish tutor and very good friend) came to visit Thursday morning. Spent the rest of the day unpacking and was called to the hospital that evening.
Friday...back to the hospital for clinic...and getting to hear the craziness of my time away.
Friday night...took 18 kids (with Liz and Alyssa who is helping now) from the children's center to a Coronation at the school. Iain has been really sick, so they were looking for a driver and I was just the person. :)
Reina and Andrea ready for the program to start

Norma and I taking pictures

Liz with her girls

Leaving the park for the 1/4 mile procession to the school.

The crowning of the  new school queen.

Another special wedding.

For my last weekend in the states, I was privileged to attend the wedding of a very special friend, Jennifer. Her and I met in Honduras at Hospital Loma de Luz in the summer of 2005...8 years ago! Crazy. I had just graduated from the Medical College of Georgia with my degree and she was leaving Honduras to go to medical school at the very same school. She knew that asking me to come to her wedding was almost impossible. However, I just extended my trip in the states by about another week and was able to go. :)
Jennifer and John's first dance.

Jennifer and I.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Family time

The past couple of weeks I have been in the states and had wonderful family time. My sister graduated from her Dental Assistant program on Saturday, August 27th. She was so excited. I was so glad to be able to attend her graduation.

Monday the 29th, my grandmother and uncle came in from New York and spend the whole week with us. They came in for my sister's wedding, but it was great to spend some extra time with them since they stayed at the house with us. The whole week before was lots of preparation for the wedding and tying up last minute details.
On Friday we spent almost 12 hours at the church decorating and getting things ready for the big day on Saturday. It was alot of fun making it pretty like she wanted. It was also alot of work!!! We were exhausted at the end of the day. We made the bouquets and boutonnieres and corsages with flowers we bought. We had to put the centerpieces together, set up the tables and set up an archway that my sister wanted in the church.
On Saturday...the big wedding day...we got up early for Mom and Shannon to get their hair done and be ready for pictures in the park at 10:30. Then we headed to the church. Got there early to do some last minute setting up, and then ready for the ceremony. It was beautiful.

Oh and I have to add one more detail...

Yes, I caught the bouquet...doesn't matter, does it, that it was only me and my 16 year old cousin. ;) She ended up on the floor. It was fun!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

God's graciousness

Wow, what an exciting weekend it has been. Friday night we had a wedding at the church for a young couple that just came to know the Lord about 3 months ago. They were not content living together anymore without being formally married...one of the great works of the Holy Spirit. It is a privilege as a church to get behind couples and help them be obedient to the Lord by committing to one another in marriage. God is so gracious.

Marvin and Maria waiting to hear husband and wife.

Praying for their marriage.

me with the bride and groom.

Yesterday we had the second annual Hospital Loma de Luz road race. It was to benefit the indigent fund here at the hospital. This is a matching fund that helps our really poor patients with their hospital bills. It was lots of fun. We had 28 people sign up to run. It's fun to see the Hondurans run since it is not very cultural.

A few racing toward the finish line. :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

last few weeks

Update on Osiris: She was found to have leukemia. :( She has ALL or Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She started her Chemotherapy about a week ago. She has received blood and platelets along with the Chemo to keep her levels up. Her dad was actually able to go visit her for a night. She has started a 3 year course of treatment according to the oncologist who is taking care of her. Please continue to pray for her and her mother Erlinda. Pray for healing and the finances they need to get her the treatment she needs.

Got to paint my new Sunday School classroom with a team that was here. They helped us paint it a nice cheery yellow.
New classroom and the guys working to build a cement base for a water tank.
Last week the kids were out of school for Student's week. I took the kids from the children's center to church for a bible school put on by a visiting team. They learned bible stories, did a craft, sang songs and played games. They had fun...it was too bad I was only able to take them 1 of the 2 days they did it.

kids listening to the Bible story

Kids playing a game outside

Famous Duck, Duck, Goose-boy did they have a blast.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Please pray

Please pray for a little girl named Osiris (8years old) who Dr. Joel sent to Tegucigalpa yesterday. She has been inpatient at the hospital for 2 weeks and is just not getting better. Her bone marrow is not making cells like it should and so all her blood counts are down, her Hematocrit, her Platelets, and her White blood cells. Dr. Joel sent her to Tegucigalpa for a bone marrow biopsy to see if she has Leukemia which is what it looks like.
The family is not very well off financially. The dad works, when he finds work, for about $5 a day to feed a family of 7. The mom (Erlinda) is a christian and is really finding her joy in this time in the Lord. We were able to send them off yesterday with some money for the trip, some snacks, and most important with prayer. We had taken up a donation from the employees to help with their trip. I am always so proud of how generous our employees are when we do something like this. All the employees fell in love with her while she was here inpatient. I got a phone call from her mom last night at 10pm that they had arrived in Tegucigalpa and were waiting in the emergency waiting room to be called back.

We drew Osiris' blood first thing so they could leave for Teguc. She has to wear a mask to protect her from things other people could pass to her since her immune system is compromised.

She pulled the mask down really fast so I could get a picture of her face.
Please pray they would see the people that the need to.
Please pray they would find out what Osiris has and be able to treat it.
Please pray for continued faith and perseverance of mom Erlinda.
Please pray for the Lord's strength for Osiris for whatever treatments and procedures she has to endure.
Please pray for work for the father to be able to sustain his family in this time.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sunday School classroom #2...done!!!

After a week and a half of construction on my Sunday school classroom, it was done and ready for use on Sunday. What an exciting thing to dedicate this classroom to the Lord for His use. We had a prayer and dedication Sunday morning before splitting for Sunday school. The kids were so excited to be in their new classroom.
Some of the kids from Children's Center checking out the new construction with me.  :)

Prayer of dedication

First Sunday School class in new classroom.
I just have to say I am so in awe of God's faithfulness. He is sooo GOOD! It seemed impossible to build these new classrooms. We had spent a lot of the offering to put the tile in the church, so didn't have much. These classrooms were going to cost about $600 each. That's more than we have in the offering. That's a lot of money, Lord. How is this ever going to happen. We worked together as a body doing activities: raffles, selling baked goods, yard sale, etc in order to raise the funds. Wow, I am so in awe of God's awesomeness. We were able to build 2 classrooms in less than 3 months.

This week, a team from the states will smooth out the cement walls and columns. Next week, they will paint it, so that it is pretty. They will also pour a cement floor in the 3 Sunday school classroom that doesn't need to be rebuilt. This will finish the project of rebuilding the Sunday school classrooms that we have worked so hard for over the last several months. I will re-post pictures of them painted sometime next week.