Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Day in the Life

Dear Beloved Friends and Family,

Many of you have asked me at different times what a day typical day looks like for us. Therefore, I wrote this in February, having picked a random day.

2:00am Awoke and sensed a need to pray but instead of actually getting up, I scrunch up into a kneeling-under-the-covers position because it is cold. This is never a good idea because I end up sleeping in this very uncomfortable position instead of praying as I had planned.

5:15am Awoke again with a very stiff neck from the above. This time I get up, go downstairs, and praise and pray without falling asleep, thanks be to God. The reading for the day is John 17…. Jesus’ prayer for his disciples to be one as He and the Father are One.

6:30am The children are all scurrying around the house getting themselves ready for school. I am continually amazed by how independent they are. This works well since I am not exactly a morning Mom. I get a cup of coffee and make sure I hug each one of their necks.

7:30am Elvia and I head out to the Villa where she will supervise our local schoolteacher who now has 10 children in four different grades under her care. I am going to lead the staff in a Bible study and see what needs they might have.

8:40am Traffic is thick so it’s taken twice as long to get to the agricultural school where I buy flowers and shrubs for our first “informed” attempt at landscaping. Dorothy Washington, her daughter Addie, and her sister-in-law Christine (a landscape architect) were all here last week to help us learn about decorating with plants. I have just enough knowledge now to be dangerous. I’m thinking it would be good to invite Ely and some of the children in on this since I am perhaps a bit too far on the wild side when it comes to plants. My idea of a healing garden is a jungle…..I love the idea of things growing up walls and hanging overhead. I’m not sure that the majority of those living in the Villa share my ideas in this area!

10:00am On the way up to the Villa, we somehow miss getting onto the cement tracks at a very important juncture in the road, and the truck becomes stuck in two very deep ruts. We try to rock it out. No dice.

10:15am We walk the rest of the way up to the Villa which I am happy to do since I love hiking, even if it involves managing packages and odd items needed at the Villa. Elvia is not so keen on this outdoor experience but she doesn’t complain since she was the one to get the truck stuck.

10:30am The children are all in school so we miss the wonderful way that they all come running out to hug our necks, waists, or legs….depending on how tall they are! Ely and Hae Young are happy to see us even though they don’t come running. Photo at top: being greeted by the children at Jericho Villa.

11:00am Hae and I share coffee and she fills me in on the newest child’s adaptation. Her name is Jasmine and she was motherless due to a tragic suicide. I am not unacquainted with that pain and make a mental note to try to spend some time with her. I am thankful that she is no longer without a mother here at the Villa. Photo: Jamine (left) and Susana on family visiting day.

1:00pm Lunch is served. Its meatball soup made with boiled green bananas and corn flour. Never had this before but it’s delicious and even better with Kim Chee that Hae Young brings to the table.

2:00pm We gather for the staff Bible study. The study is called “Experiencing God” and I have taught this many times. I love this course because the Holy Spirit speaks to me afresh each time I teach it. I am excited to see what God will speak to us as we study His Word together. There are six of us: Ely and Dwight, Rosa, Patty, Hae Young, and me. We talk a bit about the importance of being united in Him.

3:30pm Dwight wants to meet to go over some of the plans for making the Villa self-sustaining. We need to focus on getting the apartments ready for more children. We are growing rapidly…..every week it seems that God sends us a child who is in great need of a loving family. We are trusting that God will provide what we need as we step out in faith to minister to these wounded children.

4:00pm The office calls to tell me that a woman from the streets wants us to take her 18-month-old daughter. The staff have quickly fallen in love with this little girl who has already spent half her life on the streets with her mentally unstable Mom.

5:00pm We are back on the road to Tegucigalpa. This time I drive to give Elvia a rest. During the healing adventure (which we call “the situation”), I couldn’t drive so everyone else drove me around like a princess. Princess days are over which we are ALL happy about!

6:30pm Helen and Susana come running to hug me as I walk in the door. I love these two little girls…they are two peas in a pod. It seems like we have known Helen her whole life and yet she has only been with us for a little over a month. Funny how God knits our hearts together so fast.

7:30pm Marlyn goes to the supermarket with Helen and Susana in tow. I am thinking to myself that I just might possibly have a few moments alone, since the boys are at Elvia’s house. A moment alone is a rarity for me. I am imagining making something yummy (think chocolate) when the doorbell rings. A neighbor needs a listening ear. The chocolaty something is forgotten.Photo: Susana, Isabella, and Helen (right).

8:50pm We all help put things away that the girls have brought home from the supermarket. Helen turns to me in the midst of it all and says, “Thank you, Mom, for letting me help.” I cannot even imagine what Helen has been through to make her so thankful for being a part of what so many of us take for granted. Thank You, Jesus, for bringing Helen to us. Thank You for showing us how an attitude of gratitude warms Your heart.

9:10pm Susana and I read from the wonderful Children’s Bible called The Jesus Storybook Bible published by Zonderkids that she just loves. My dear friend Helen Davis gave it to me when I was in the middle of “the situation” and it blessed me so. Now it is blessing my children.

9:30pm Juan Carlos says, “Mom, can you help me with my homework?” I say, “Sure, honey, what subject is it?” “Math,” he says. Panic strikes my heart. Juanca does not seek my help often so I really want to be able to help him and Math hasn’t been my strong subject since I had a Math teacher in 10th grade who I rubbed the wrong way. It’s only 7th grade Math but I start to pray fervently and silently, “Oh God, let it be something I remember and can explain to this sweet child of mine.” God answers that prayer. It all comes back quickly and I let out a sigh of relief. Photo: Noe (left back) and Juanca (far right) with their buddies at Jericho

10:00pm The little ones are in bed but Juan Carlos, Marlyn and I find Noe writing something on Facebook. We discover that he is writing someone we all know so we decide to help him wish Laura Tyler a Happy Birthday. Noe is good-natured about his Facebook time suddenly becoming a family event and we all end up laughing together.

10:30pm I am in bed but unable to sleep. I get up to write this hoping that it might be of interest to those of you who so faithfully pray for us, that it might encourage you to keep us in prayer. As I think over the events of the day, I continue to be so filled with gratitude not only for the gift of being alive but also for the privilege of being in this place at this time for His glory.

Isabella, 18months