I Can’t Even Imagine

I Can’t Even Imagine

This is beautiful Bessie, who is loved by many.

A Story to Share

Bessie is a beautiful 16 year old girl who is married to Carlos, who is 28. They are an amazing couple who work for the ministry of Manos Extendidas. After talking with Alvin this morning about Bessie’s family, I felt compelled to share their situation with you.

Not Your Ordinary Family

This is Alvin holding the baby girl just shortly after she had born. Bessie is to the left, and the 9 year old girl who cares for the baby is to the right.

Bessie’s mom, Suyapa, is 32 years old and has seven children with five different men. The oldest is Bessie and the youngest is an 11 month old baby girl, whom Bessie delivered in the back of a taxi cab. Bessie’s mom is not well and does not take care of her children. Just last night Alvin had to bring her to the ER after she had gotten into a drunken brawl and was hit in the face by a man and needed stitches. Right now you may be thinking, “Who takes care of the other children?” It was Bessie’s job to care for the other 6 children, which meant that she received no education. However, now that Bessie is married she no longer lives with the family and cannot care for them in the same way. She still sees them everyday and cares deeply for them, but the responsibilities of caring for the family are no longer hers. Her 9 year old sister Kimberly cares for the 11 month old baby, which means that she too does not receive any education. This breaks my heart. She is just a child herself and has been left with the major responsibility of caring for a baby. I can barely handle being a mother of 1 sometimes, and I am an adult!

Unbelievable

Bessie also has an 11 year old sister who is 5 months pregnant. She has been selling her body ever since she was 9 years old and this baby is a product of prostitution. She thinks the dad is a 50 year old man, who is one of her best customers. Even as I write this, I have tears in my eyes. Seriously? 11 years old? She will be 12 when the baby is born. Can you imagine any 11 year old you know being pregnant and becoming a mother? And on top of that, she suffers from epilepsy. This is dangerous for both her and the baby. The baby will have to be delivered by C-section because the mother’s tiny body cannot handle the labor. And if she were to have a seizure, it could kill them both. I can’t find any other words to describe how I am feeling. My heart is heavy, so very heavy.

Something to Think About

Look at that face! I am not sure of this baby girls name yet, but isn't she precious?!

Alvin and Nelly have been pondering the idea of taking the 9 year old and the baby into their home. As soon as Alvin left I could tell that Chad had something on his mind. I asked him what he was thinking and he said that he was thinking about the 11 month old baby. I was thinking the same thing. I kept thinking how it made so much more sense for us to care for that baby rather than that sweet 9 year old girl.  And I am sure Alvin would have no problem with us caring for the baby. These are just thoughts and we have no idea where this will go. I myself am busy enough with Asher, so I don’t know how I could do it with a 14 month old and an 11 month old. But it is on our hearts and something we are praying about. We appreciate your prayers for this family. As you can see, they need all the prayers they can get.

My First Project

My First Project

The Possibilities

Ever since our first Sunday here, three weeks ago, I have had it on my mind to create a nursery for our church. Currently we have a room upstairs that is used occasionally for the babies during the service. This room has so much potential to be a beautiful nursery but the ministry does not have the funds to put it together. Every time I go in that room I picture the possibilities of a place where God’s little ones can be in an environment of their very own, allowing their parents to enjoy the service. Also, we have church 4 times a week, with the weekly services lasting 2 hours and the Sunday service lasting 3! You can just about imagine how the children handle that. So as you can see, a nursery is something that is desperately needed!

The current room where the nursery is held.

An Answered Prayer

I have not stopped thinking about this dream of mine for 3 weeks now. So I know that this is something that God wants me to do. With all that said, I posted some pics of the nursery on facebook, and asked if anybody wanted to donate some money to help create the nursery that I had been dreaming about. The next day I received an email that was an answer to my prayers, and to hers! A very generous someone emailed me saying that she would like to help. She offered to donate all of the money she has made from her new crocheting passion to help create a nursery. This will be a great start to create a much needed space for those babies, so a big thank you to our generous giver!

Lots To Do

We are basically starting from scratch with the nursery so I have a lot of work to do. However, this is my passion and I am more than excited to begin. Throw in some paint, murals, rugs, cribs, toys, and etc. and we will have ourselves a place for those precious ones. Please pray for us as we go through this process, and let me know if you would like to help in any way!

Update on Amanda

Update on Amanda

Amanda this weekend at Alvin's House

Since posting the story of Amanda there have been a few developments. On Thursday she contacted Carlos, who is a member of our church and who also works in the ministry. Carlos and his wife met with Amanda and her mom. On Friday Alvin met with both Amanda and her mom. His purpose was to let her mom know that we would like Amanda to be able to come to church and to assure her that we are decent people who only want the best for Amanda. On Friday nights we have a church service and guess who was there? Both Amanda and her mom! I don’t think her mom was saved that night but she stayed for the whole service and heard a good word. Afterward Alvin was talking to Amanda’s mom and she was complaining that she didn’t know what she was going to do with Amanda for the weekend while she visited her “common law” husband in the penitentiary. Alvin offered to let her stay with his family for the weekend. So that is where Amanda spent the weekend.

All too often these stories don’t have a happy ending but in this case God is opening doors. Right now Amanda has to stay with her mom during the week but Alvin really feels that it won’t be long and we’ll be able to move her permanently into the Eagle’s Nest. Please continue to pray for this sweet girl.

The picture to the right is of Amanda at Alvin’s house yesterday. I know it is a terrible pic but I did that on purpose. This is still a fluid situation so as a precaution I’m not going to share any good pics of her right now and I’m also not using her real name.

Who rents their 8 year old daughter for porn?

Last Friday we were supposed to get another girl to come live at the Eagle’s Nest, our home for teenage girls. She was to be released from the juvenile detention center into our custody. But as is often the case, the paperwork didn’t come through so we expected to get her on Monday. Here is Amanda’s story.

Amanda’s Story

Amanda is 14 years old, just about to turn 15. At the age of 8 she was raped by a female friend of her mother. Shortly after that her mom began “renting” her out to the porn industry here in Honduras. They would drug her and take photos of her, molest, and rape her. She cannot count the number of times she has been raped. One of the rapes resulted in a pregnancy when she was 13. Shortly after, the abuse was discovered by the authorities and she was taken into the custody of the child and family services of Honduras. She was placed in an orphanage called Casitas or Tiny Houses. While in Casitas her mother had custody of her baby. When the baby was 11 months old the mother decided to move out of town to shack up with some guy so she abandoned the baby with an aunt. The aunt was feeding the baby whole beans when the baby began choking on one of the beans and died. While in Casitas Amanda got in a fight and sent to the juvenile detention center.

Monday morning Alvin, the director of our ministry called the juvenile detention center to see if we could pick up Amanda. They said Amanda had been released on Sunday but they didn’t know where she had gone or with whom. So Alvin and I went to Casitas to see if they had brought her back there. After asking several people it became apparent she had not been brought there. After a couple more calls Alvin found out that the judge had released Amanda into her (the judge’s) custody. We were coming to the conclusion that something strange was going on.

Tuesday Alvin finally got more information. It turns out that Amanda’s mom had contacted the judge and threatened the life of the judge and the judge’s daughter if Amanda wasn’t released back to her. The judge complied and released Amanda to her mom.

Today, Wednesday, Alvin and I went riding through the part of the city where we believe Amanda’s mom works and lives to see if we could find her. We have no idea where Amanda is. We know that Amanda is profitable for her mom and may very well be back in the same terrible situation. We haven’t given up and hope that we will be able to find her and rescue her. Please remember Amanda in your prayers.

Honduras Beginnings

Honduras Beginnings

We’re There

We arrived in Honduras early Saturday morning (Oct. 23) after two short and successful flights. As the plane landed we were both excited and nervous to finally be home. We had been praying and waiting for this moment to arrive for so long and it was hard to believe that it was actually here! Our comfortable lives were behind us and we knew that in many ways life would be much harder. Nevertheless, we felt ready for the task that lay ahead and for the adventure to begin.

Mi Casa es Su Casa

Our living quarters for the past week, at Alvin and Nelly's apartment.

We have all heard the saying, “Mi casa es su casa” (My house is your house).  But I have never seen those words truly carried out until we came to Alvin and Nelly’s home. Since many short term mission teams visit, they have two bunk houses, with a small apartment below. This is where we have been staying for the past week. Alvin told us several times: “That apartment is just your sleeping quarters. Our home is your home and you are family.” So we spent a lot of time in their home, eating their food and drinking their coffee. However, we were not the only visitors of the Anderson’s. Alvin and Nelly, along with their two teenage daughters (Nelanie and Amy), have an open door policy when it comes to helping people. In the week that we stayed with them, I can remember at least 10 people that stayed in the bunkhouses and were in and out of their home throughout the week. Now that is what I call hospitality!

Praise Report

Our car that will be a huge help when driving up the rough terrain to the Feeding Centers!

One praise to report is that we found a car! Alvin was looking in the newspaper for us and came across one that was a great deal and even under what we had budgeted for a vehicle. It is a Nissan Xterra, 4X4 (which is very necessary here), AC, automatic, and in great shape. There is a lot that needs to be considered when buying a used car here. Alvin had his mechanic look at it and even he couldn’t believe the price they were asking because it was in such great condition. Alvin and Pastor Marcus made the deal for us so that they wouldn’t ask for more seeing that we were American. And the car is ours! We are very thankful that God had His hand in this and provided us with a  great vehicle.

More Adjustments

Our new house which is located in a very safe area in the city.

Again, this has been a time of adjustment for the three of us. We have been living out of suitcases for over a month now, and are getting by with little resources. Since being here we have realized how “easy” we had it back home. There were so many conveniences there that we do not have here. BUT, we are thankful to announce that our house search has come to an end and we are finally moved in! However, the house came with no furnishings or appliances so we had to go out and buy everything new. We basically had to start over, and are still in the process of making our house a home. It might take some time, but we are slowly getting there.

We Will Follow You

We appreciate your prayers as we again go through a transition period. We are excited to have this place feel more like home. Until then, it is an adjustment that we are trying to get used to. But the words to this song help remind me that this is definitely where God has called us:

“Where you go I’ll go; where you stay, I’ll stay; when you move, I’ll move;

I WILL FOLLOW YOU

Who you love, I’ll love; how you serve, I’ll serve; if this life I lose;

I WILL FOLLOW YOU!”