I wasn’t surprised when the baby sitter told me that Zion can do more chin-ups than anyone at the local gym, (with the exception of one guy.) Zion is always surprising people with her strength.
I think she is made of pure muscle with a douce of sure energy.
9 years ago, I caught a glimpse of what she is made of… It was the day she was born and just after birth the doctor placed her on my stomach. To my amazement she lifted her head and looked right at me, as if to say “Hey Mom, I’m here!”
That little ball of energy has kept me on my toes ever since. I promise you for the first 6 years every picture I have of her is a blur….constant movement. I remember her first Easter, she was not yet walking. I sat her in the grass by the rose bush for a photo with her sisters. “Aw, how sweet!”, she leaned over to smell the rose….CHOMP, my rose bush was successfully pruned. Another day several years later, she challenged a little boy to a race, and then won. (She was wearing high heals!) The little boy’s Mom told him that he should be ashamed of himself. Earlier this summer she asked me to watch her handstand. Of course I have seen her do a thousand handstands, but she insisted, “You haven’t seen this one Mom!”, and proceeded to do 2 push ups while doing a handstand. This kid never ceases to amaze me!
(I have a video, it is posted on my Facebook page, seems my blog does not support video……sorry!)
(Luis turned 18 in May, he and I are pictured above. The photo was taken the night he graduated from YWAM’s Discipleship Training School.)
Luis is the first boy living at Hope House to turn 18 while in our care. This is so very significant because many boys his age become desperate as they near this monumental event and decide to leave and pursue life on their own. Not Luis, when that sensation came, instead, he determined to dig in and persevere. Instead of running away, Luis dedicated his life to God’s service and entered a discipleship program with a local ministry and is now serving God by working at Hope House! We couldn’t be more proud of him!
Luis, suffering great physical hardships because of the neglect he endured as a young boy, is mostly deaf, has extremely poor vision and a severe speech impediment, and yet those who know Luis are captivated by his giant smile and amazed with his thankful attitude. Luis is a shining example of God’s goodness and grace.
Beginning life so unlikely to succeed, Luis brings to reality this statement of the Apostle Paul: “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are…”
1 Corinthians 1:27
We are so proud of Luis for his accomplishments and for the man of God he is becoming. God literally took him out of a hopeless situation and gave him Hope for a better future. Now he is a living example of that Hope to the younger generation of boys at Hope House.
(It seems in the business of summer, hosting teams and travel I have failed to post a few blogs about Hope House. Please forgive me!)
There are certain milestones in a ministry which signify faithfulness and endurance. Celebrating five years of existence is one of those milestones. We are pleased to announce, on June 20, 2013 Hope House turns FIVE.
We are so excited about this birthday! As Hope House turns FIVE we celebrate more than just an institution completing another year of existence, we celebrate FIVE years of boys being placed in a loving home and learning to break the cycle of abuse and neglect; FIVE years of boys accepting Jesus into their hearts and allowing his love to heal them and then grow into hopes and dreams for a better future.
This birthday we want to say “THANK YOU!”
“THANK YOU” to a God for his faithfulness, protection, provision and guidance.
“THANK YOU” to the many workers, missionaries & volunteers who labor daily to make Hope House a reality.
“THANK YOU” to so many of You, who through your financial and prayer support are helping us “Give Hope to Those who have None.”
We are eternally grateful and so are the boys whose lives have been forever changed!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HOPE HOUSE!
We were in Panama City, an unexpected stop on our return trip from Honduras. Our mission complete, we had a few moments to process all of the events of the previous days. Looking out our hotel window I could see sky scrapers, the Pacific Ocean, and tons of boats, which I assumed were waiting to cross the Panama Canal. The cold air conditioning and the overcast skies were a friendly relief to the bright sun and humid heat of San Juan.
Compliments of the airline, we sat in a 5 star hotel. It was so odd to experience such poverty and riches in the same day.
Due to unexpected events, our return trip to Guadalajara would take a total of 3 days instead of one. (And after two days of travel and fourteen hours of sitting on a bus & plane, we were relieved to have arrived after our connection had departed.)
As a missionary I am amazed and a bit awe struck by the life we live. In the past week we had been on two boats, a hand full of busses, airplanes and countless taxis. We had walked the plush carpet of a 5-star hotel, the cement streets of a common town, the mud roads of a village and the sandy shores of the peninsula where a handful of christians live in palm huts and meet in a wooden church built by the community. We had slept in a tiny casita with a view of the Caribbean, visited all the surrounding Garifuna villages except the one accessible only by boat and seen both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in the same day. We had sat under a hut by the sea and sang worship songs in English, Spanish and Garifuna. Enjoyed coconut water fresh from the tree & opened with a machete. Met pastors and church leaders and discussed how we can help spread the gospel and help meet the physical needs of their people. Hugged and prayed with many local children. And after the sun went down I learned how to make pulali (pu-la-lee) a traditional Garifuna drink and baleadas (bal-lee-a-duhs) a traditional Honduran dish, while Rodney sat under a tree with the men sharing stories and many laughs.
As I write I can’t help but realize that my heart is full as I remember these events and think toward the future. Somehow God led us there and ordained us to help make a difference in the lives of the children and the community of such precious people. A people who possess few of the finer material things life has to offer, but are quick with a smile and enjoying sharing a hardy laugh. I am so humbled and glad to have met them. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
We sat in the dark of night drinking pulali, a traditional Garifuna drink. We were resting from the days events of traveling to villages and meeting many people. We were exhausted and yet there were others who awaited us. The muggy air wrapped around us like a hot wet blanket as sweat poured down each of us. My mind drifted over the days events, I remembered faces and dreams that were shared. As I sat, lost in thought, I noticed four figures approaching in the darkness: two ladies and two girls.
We waited and listened as one woman explained, in a language not our own. We tried to understand as many words as we could. They had come to seek our help for a little girl with a life threatening heart problem.
Thinking back I am reminded of how small I felt, and how humbled I was in that moment.
Who am I, that they would come to me for help…….for hope?
And then I turned to God…..”Who am i, that You would send me here?
What do You want from me?
Why am i here?
How can i really make a difference?”
Silenced with awe-
i awaited His answer……..
And then HE replied by reminding me of Ephesians 2:10
You are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do.
“That is who you are, and that is why I have brought you here.”