I am filled with joy to report I am back in Honduras! I
have had several reunions, eaten way too much Honduran food, and discovered to
my relief that my Spanish is about what it was when I left. Attending
church at the Children’s Home for the first time was wonderful. It had
been a year since I last attended church in person, a year since I had taken
communion. The little kids have gotten bigger, we have several new
children, and some of the older children have moved to the transition program and
are living in houses around Tegucigalpa. Other than that, it was just the
same. I really felt like I had been to church the week before. It
felt like home. As I felt the breeze and watched the trees sway outside the
window, I thought about the Holy Spirit. A feeling came over me that this
church experience was just like God, who is, was, and ever shall be. We
change, we come and go, we move closer or away but He is always steadfast,
always faithful, always the same. Thanks be to God.
After a couple days at Casa LAMB, I moved to the Children’s Home.
I am living with the medium boys! Being the mother of two boys, this is a
perfect fit for me. I have begun helping at our bilingual school, Joy Christian
Academy (JCA.). All the schools are
closed in Honduras. In the infinite wisdom
of the local officials, we are not allowed to use the beautiful, large,
well-appointed school just down the road from the Children’s Home. We explained it is just our children but to
no avail. Instead, we have changed the
house at the gate, where Angel was living, into JCA. It’s like a sequel to the movie, this one
called, “Honey, I shrunk the school!” Two
teachers are living at the big school and coming in each day. The others are teaching via internet. It isn’t optimal but it is working. We also have had to shorten the school day
due to fewer teachers. Jen is on her
honeymoon with Jacob and Lariza is in charge of all the other kids’ schooling
via computer. She is working a very long day.
Every time I walk into her school room, I see tons of kids hard at work
at the computers. Lester Alexander blurted out last night, “Amanda, I like
school!” I nearly fell of the stands at the cancha. Obviously, Lariza is doing a great job!
are all hoping the schools will open soon but there is no word from the
officials. We have a new Director of Joy Academy. She is going to approach the officials again. I work from 8-2:30 with ages 3-12, grades pre-K – 5th. In the morning it is “A” says ah, ah, ah. In the afternoon, it is “The scientific method is the way…” Sheesh!
Valentina are babies, Enma, Mabel, Melissa, and Monse are in the little girl
Angels cabin, and Suyapa is in the medium girls cabin. All are adorable and seem to have adapted
well. Monse who is 4, doesn’t
speak. Melissa has serious kidney
problems and is being treated for her condition. Mabel and Enma are in JCA and are
holding their own learning English while doing their work.
Living with the medium boys is a hoot. They really are sweet and anxious to be of
help to me. I can’t carry anything, not
even my water bottle. I have been
reading them books at night, which they love. Right now, The Napping House by Don
and Audrey Wood is their favorite. If
you have a young child in your life, I highly recommend it. Last night we were
at the cancha playing volleyball and soccer.
It was dark as we walked back and Alex was holding my snazzy little
flashlight. When we got back to the
cabin he said, “Amanda, when you die will you give me your flashlight?” “Sure,” I replied! Another Alex story: One day I was walking up to the cabin. Several boys came running up to tell me another one (who shall remain nameless) had thrown some rocks at my car. (I don’t think he was aiming at my car.) I spoke solemnly to the child and said it made me sad that he had thrown rocks at my car. Alex followed me into my room. “Amanda,” he said seriously, “it is just a car. It is not family. I would rather have a family than a car.” Amen.
|My house mates!|
Another challenge I have had is getting accustomed to schedule
here. The boys get up at 5! There is no question that they are up and on
the move! We eat dinner at 5 and bed is
at 8. I enjoy a couple of hours of alone
time. By 10 I can’t keep my eyes open!
There are many advantages to living at the Children’s Home. One is you get to experience things you wouldn’t otherwise. For example, one evening I walked into the baby house in time for their devotional! Dulce, our cook who is working there until teams return, was leading it.
|The devotional begins||Showing pictures from Bible story||Camilla rocks out to the song||Victor in prayer|
Evening activities are another benefit of life at the Children’s Home. One evening all the kids were at the cancha playing futbol (soccer,) volleyball, and just hanging out. I was on the stands surrounded by a bunch of the teen girls and some younger ones. No social distancing was going on, we were cheek to jowl! Suddenly, from behind me a tongue licked my face from my jaw to my cheekbone. I shrieked and turned around. All I could see was Nahomi! I said, “Nahomi!” in an accusing but joking way. She couldn’t speak she was laughing so hard but her little index finger was waggling furiously back and forth proclaiming her innocence. The kids were doubled over laughing. The real culprit, Negro the dog, had fled. The best part of that “traumatic” experience was hearing one of the teens who suffers from depression and rarely smiles or even interacts, absolutely belly laughing. I will offer my face to a dog licking any day to hear that beautiful sound. The Lord definitely works in mysterious ways and has quite a sense of humor!
I spend Friday nights and Saturday at Casa LAMB. After a year of solitude, I find I need some during the week. As much as I love the kids, when I am there it is a constant, “Amanda!” “Amanda!” “Amanda!” Last weekend, I was doing my laundry. My excuse is that I was fuzzy brained from fatigue. Anyway, I was in the kitchen while the washing machine was churning away. I reached for my phone. Not there. I assumed I had left it upstairs. “No problem,” I thought, “I’ll get it later.” When the wash was done, I was moving the clothes to the dryer and guess what I found… My cell phone had fallen into the washing machine when I put the clothes in. I WASHED MY CELL PHONE! Miracles of miracles, it works just fine. I have never been a fan of Apple products but I must say, I am impressed with the iphone. It is truly Amanda-proof. Maybe Apple should use me in a comercial!
Julio is living at Casa LAMB so I get to spend some time with him too. This morning he made me breakfast! Before heading back to the Children’s Home, I am going to search for some supplies to do science experiments with. I have never taught science so this is a bit of a challenge, not to mention finding the supplies. Wish me luck!
The question of the moment is when can teams come back? At this
point, we are comfortable with vaccinated people coming. We will have to discuss further whether teens,
without vaccinations, can come. Everyone
is dying for y’all to return. Hang in
there with us and pray! And get vaccinated as soon as you can!
There are rumors here that the vaccine from Russia may
arrive. Pray for that, or any vaccine. It is an election year so
maybe that will motivate candidates to get the vaccine into the arms of the
people. Everyone is vigilant here about COVID precautions. EVERYONE
wears a mask. To enter a store you have to walk over a mat soaked with
disinfectant, have your temperature taken, and get a squirt of hand
sanitizer. When you enter the Children’s Home, they disinfect the car
tires and your shoes!
Being back is wonderful. I am having a blast. I am surrounded by people I love and who love me back. The weather is great! The most wonderful part, by far, is returning to my call from God. In March of 2007, He called me to “Go to Honduras,” and I made my first mission trip. In spring of 2010, He said, “Move to Honduras,” and I did in January of 2011. Spending a year in limbo, away from my call was so hard. I am so thankful to be back here serving the Risen Lord. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, better than answering God’s call with a resounding YES! I highly recommend it, wherever, whenever, how ever He calls you.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8