The Road

These are the stories of the challenges, obstacles, and triumphs we are experiencing in the process of raising support and moving to Honduras.

We Won’t Be Home With Bells On

We Won’t Be Home With Bells On

No Bells

I had it all planned out. Christmas was going to be wonderful. We were planning a trip back to Lynden and we would be there for Christmas Eve, Christmas day, and for the whole week after. Someone even offered to buy our tickets home. I was looking forward to family and friends, peppermint mocha’s and oliebollens, sweaters and boots, cold weather, and maybe even some snow. My facebook status would read: “Trim the tree and wrap the presents, turn the Christmas music on, cause Christmas I’ll be home with bells on.”

The Plan

When we left Lynden this summer, we were almost 100% sure we would be returning for the holidays. This made it a bit easier to say goodbye since I “knew” we would be returning in just a few short months. When Kimberli came to our home almost one month ago now, we put a hault on our plans to return home; because we weren’t sure where she would go if we left. We then had the idea of taking her with us. But that would take months to get her a passport and all the needed paperwork. After talking to Alvin, it was decided that she could stay with his family over the holidays while we returned home. Back to the original plan: home it was!


Chad never felt a peace about going back. I just kept pushing him saying, ‘we need to go back,’ ‘we need a break.’ He obliged and we decided we would spend about 8 days in Lynden for Christmas. But in my heart, I honestly did not feel a peace about it either. Something, or rather, SOMEONE, kept telling me, “You are not supposed to go. You need to stay here for Christmas.” I kept ignoring God, trying to justify that going to Lynden for Christmas was the right thing to do. But I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I couldn’t ignore God anymore. I needed to be obedient. So I went and told Chad what I was feeling, and after much prayer and many tears, we made the difficult decision to not return home this Christmas.

Trust and Obey

It’s amazing how hard it is to trust and obey God sometimes, especially when you want something so badly, and He is telling you you can’t have it. But it’s also amazing how His way is always best. I know this because of the overwhelming sense of peace I felt when we made the final decision to stay here for Christmas, with Kimberli. Today was one of the best days we have had since she has been here. Lots of laughing, lots of smiles, and lots of fun. And even though we would love nothing more than to spend Christmas with our families, we know that this is exactly where we are supposed to be this Christmas season.

Putting up our Christmas tree! Asher and Kimberli were all smiles!

It’s Good to be Back

It’s Good to be Back

The famous Arch Street in La Antigua, Guatemala.

We’re Back

We arrived back in Honduras on Saturday, Oct. 15 from our two weeks of Spanish Language School in Guatemala. If you read our facebook statuses, you know that our time away was a bit challenging for us. Whether it was severe back pain, sickness, house issues, or bad news from home, we got hit. Satan attacked us every which way he could. It was obvious that he didn’t want us to learn Spanish. Because he knows that once we do have this language perfected, we WILL use it to glorify God. And that is the last thing Satan wants.


Even though our trip was challenging, our Spanish classes went great! We both feel like we gained more knowledge on this language that we so badly desire to speak. We were put with the same teachers we had last year, and for three hours a day we practiced Spanish. The first hour of our lessons was mainly just Spanish conversation, while the other two hours was spent on instruction and questions that we had about the language. We are by no means where we would like to be, seeing that fluency is our goal. But we are well on our way!

Us with our house mother and some new friends, Judith and Amanda, that we lived with for two weeks.


Our goal now that we are back home is to continue to practice, practice, practice! Anyone that has ever learned a language will tell you that the best way to learn is to practice speaking it with a native speaker. This is difficult for us both, as we become a bit afraid when put in a situation where we need to speak the language. Basically, we lack the confidence. But through prayer, we hope to overcome our fears and do all we can to become speakers of this beautiful language.


Back to School

Back to School


To those of you who have had to learn another language, you know the difficulties that entails. Chad and I are experiencing extreme discouragement right now with our Spanish speaking and comprehension abilities. It’s true that we have come a long way, and we have learned a lot in the past year. But just when we think we have gained a better understanding, we get tongue tied when wanting to speak, and our jaw drops when someone tells us something and we have no idea what they just said!

Heart Breaking

This breaks our hearts because all we really want to do is communicate with the people we are ministering to. It is very difficult to sit with a crying teenager, wanting to give her words of encouragement, but nothing comes out. It’s frustrating to see a dear friend in tears after a church service, wanting to speak into her life, and then again, nothing comes out. It makes us sad, angry, and extremely frustrated.

A picture of some of the classroom building where we will be going to school.

Here We Go

So after much thought and prayer, we have decided to go back to language school in Guatemala for two weeks (October 1-15). We would like to go for longer but this is the most feasible for the three of us. We will each be doing 3 hours a day of Spanish studying, taking turns looking after Asher while the other is in class. We will also be staying with a local family this time. We chose this option for many reasons. For one, it will be much cheaper. Also, all meals will be provided so we won’t have to worry about not having a frying pan or whisk or can opener when cooking dinner in a not so cooking friendly apartment, like what we experienced last time!

Extra Cautious

However, this does mean that the three of us will be sharing a room for 2 whole weeks. It means yet another transition for Asher of not sleeping in his own bed. It means we bring our “loveable, yet rambunctious and picky eater two-year old” into someone else’s home. It means we have to be that much more cautious of his running around and his “not so quiet” voice. Did I mention he is two years old?


While studying this language is difficult, we continue to rest in the fact that we have only been here one year, and that it usually takes 2-3 years to become fluent. We also take comfort in knowing that God will give us the desires of our hearts, in His timing. So we appreciate your prayers once again as we go on yet another adventure. Oh, and if anyone wants to come and meet us in Guatemala and babysit Asher for two weeks, let me know! :)

This is Asher when we first got to Guatemala, exactly one year ago.

This is Asher one year later. Look how big my boy has gotten!

We’re Back

We’re Back

We went to the girls home a day and did their nails. They did ours in return. We had so much fun!

Back Home

Okay, so we’ve been back for almost 2 weeks now. But this is the first chance I have had to sit down and write. We’ve been busy since we’ve returned to Honduras, as we’ve had visitors for the past 8 days. We had some friends from our hometown come down and see the ministry. We had a lot of fun with Caleb, Hannah, and Aurora and enjoyed showing them Manos Extendidas.

We’re Hondurans

We also are proud to say that we are official Honduran residents. We are very excited about this as it was a very long, and not to mention, a very expensive process. This will make our lives a lot easier living here now so we are thankful to have that out of the way. However, now that we have our residency here, we are required to have a Honduran license. Chad spent many hours obtaining his driver’s license and he now has it in hand. As for me, I still have 90 days to get mine. And I might just wait till the last minute as Honduran law requires you take your driving test with a stick shift, and I do not know how to drive a stick! So an extra prayer or two would be much appreciated.

It's hard to believe that this little guy is almost 2! We got him this wooden xylophone as an early birthday present.

Let’s Celebrate

This is a celebratory month as well for us. We have many birthdays, including Asher’s 2nd birthday on the 19th, which I have already begun planning. They also celebrate the Day of the Child here on September 10, which is a very big deal. And we have the Honduran Independence Day on September 15.  And since we are now “Hondurans,” we will join right in on all the festivities.

That’s it for now. We continue to be amazed at how God continues to provide for us. Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers. Until next time…Dios les bendiga!

Our Weekend With Osny

Our Weekend With Osny

First Weekend 

Our new "Daughter."

We had our first weekend with Osny and it was amazing, yet heartbreaking at the same time. Both Chad and I have so many emotions were going through right now, that we are still trying to process. We first saw Osny at church on Friday night. I could tell that she had been through a lot upon our reuniting. She looked a little thinner, and somewhat pale in the face. She also was very emotional, in tears for most of the service. Alvin later told us this was because she felt so happy to be back in her home church. I was glad they were at least tears of happiness.


Osny came home with us after the service. I could tell that she felt a little uncomfortable and also a little shy. So I tried to break the ice with what little Spanish I do know :) I also wanted her visit to be as comfortable as possible for her, and I wanted her to feel at home. The week before I had gone out and bought some toiletry items for her to use while she stays with us. I could tell she was thankful for this. She went to bed early that night after I am sure what was an emotionally exhausting day for her.


I was up early the next morning because of a little boy who decided to wake up at 4:30. Osny was up not too much later than me. She told me that at the shelter they have to wake up at 4:00 during the week, and 6:00 on the weekends. So waking up early is normal for her. After being used to a life of chores, she immediately set to work cleaning the house. I couldn’t believe it! She did the dishes, swept and mopped the floors, and emptied the trash. I just wanted her to sit and relax! And while I was making breakfast for us, I went upstairs to get her, and I noticed she had made our bed. I don’t remember doing that all before 8:00 when I was a teenager.

Breaking Hearts

I took Osny with me to Walmart on Saturday to get some groceries. I asked her if there was anything she needed and she just said yes, but wouldn’t tell me what. After probing her, she finally told me that she needed some jeans. We later learned that while Osny was at Casitas (the government orphanage) some of the girls had took a scissors to most of her clothes and ruined them. They were jealous that she had “nice” stuff so they trashed her clothes. I also learned that those same girls had taken her makeup and broken it all into tiny pieces. Our hearts were breaking for what she must have gone through while at Casitas. Later that day, we took Osny, along with some friends from church, to the waterslides and out for pizza that night. We also learned that Osny has been having severe stomach pain, especially when she eats. She can’t keep food down and sometimes throws up after eating. And no, it is not bulimia, which we thought at first too. But whenever she eats, she has pain. The shelter has taken her to the doctor, but not a good one, so the diagnosis is unclear. We are praying that it is not cancer, which is what her mother died from years ago.


We have fallen even more in love with Osny after having her this weekend. And what brings joy to our hearts is that she felt loved too. After hearing about her makeup being trashed, I offered to buy her some new things, if she would just give me a list. She didn’t want to. So I sat next her, hugged her, and told her that she is part of our family. With tears in her eyes, she told me that she hasn’t felt this loved since before her mom died. WOW.

Cute Story

I am going to end by sharing a cute story about her. On Saturday night, Asher had woken up around 1:30. I didn’t hear him at first but when I got up to go get him, I noticed his bedroom light was on. Osny had gotten up with him and was reading him a story. My heart melted.

Keep Praying

We wish that Osny could be with us every day, so we could take better care of her and give her the continued love that she deserves. And maybe someday she will. Osny continues to struggle with some demons from her past and we are praying that she soon experiences the freedom that she already has in Jesus Christ. Please pray with us for Osny.

I love this girl.

A Quick Update

A Quick Update

Tis’ the Season

Mission team season is currently among us, which means we are busy, busy, busy! The ministry has been hosting short-term mission teams for the past several weeks. We have a team every week in June and July, with a few days off here and there. There is currently a team of 12 here from our local church (North County Christ the King). They have been rebuilding the walls on one of the Feeding Centers and visiting all parts of the ministry. We feel so blessed to have them here and are sad to see them leave (on the 6th of June).

Mommas and Babies

The beautiful "baby bundles" that were put together for the babies in Honduras.

I took the ladies to the hospital today and we handed out many “baby bundles” to new mommies and their babies. I am so humbled by those that donated their time and skills in putting these beautiful bundles together. I remember one of the new mothers saying how thankful she was that we came, because she literally had nothing for her new baby. Another mother was thankful for the diapers we handed out, because she was using a t-shirt to cover up her baby’s bottom. So to ALL who have ever donated anything to the hospital ministry, your gift is more than appreciated. You may not get to see it first hand, but I can tell you that you have blessed these women and their babies, and shown them the love of Jesus. Thank you.

Marriage Woes

We are asking for a prayer request that God strengthen the marriages in our church here. The married couples have such broken marriages and it saddens us. If someone who had never met any body in our church came there, they would have NO idea who was married. They don’t sit by each other, talk to each other, or touch each other. Part of it is a cultural thing with the way they show affection (and I mean none), but the other part is just brokenness in the relationship. And being 16 or 17 or 18 and married doesn’t really help either! The first Monday of every month is “couples night” at church, with a message on marriage. Alvin has asked Chad to give the message this coming Monday. Please pray for words of wisdom. Please pray for Chad and I to be an example of a godly marriage. Please pray for walls to broken and relationships restored.

Well there is your quick update on our hectic lives right now. Thank you all for your prayers and support. We truly could not do this without you and we appreciate you all so much. To God be the glory!

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;


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


Final Thoughts on Guatemala

Final Thoughts on Guatemala

Early Saturday morning our flight leaves for Tegucigalpa, Honduras. As we prepare for the next step I want to reflect a little on this last one.

We’ve been in Antigua for just about a month. Those who have followed us on this blog and Facebook know this has been a season of adjustment for us. And there is no way around it, adjustment is hard. Change is hard. But through it all one thing we know, God is God and God is good. Each day as we have faced new challenges he has shown up with the grace we need for that day. Through this we have been learning just what it means to rely on Him.


Before we left, while we were moving out of our house and feeling the tremendous stress and pressure of it all, Trina was laying in bed feeling overwhelmed when she had this vision of a frog. Through that the Holy Spirit reminded her of an acronym using the letters F-R-O-G which stand for Fully Rely On God. She shared that with me and it has become a kind mantra for us. Often when we feel overwhelmed, stressed out, scared, and lonely we remember the frog and we remember we must Fully Rely On God. It isn’t easy but it is exciting. We feel incapable and unqualified for the work ahead but we know we are where God has called us and with each day we learn more and more what it means to rely on him who called us.

Where we are supposed to be

And how do we know this is where we are supposed to be? Believe me, we have both questioned our sanity and had many moments of serious doubts wondering if we had just made a colossal mistake. On the other side of those doubts God brings about moments of clarity. We see how God is moving in ways we could have never guessed. We hear stories on a weekly and sometimes daily basis of things God is doing back home as a result of us leaving. It seems weird and at times doesn’t make any sense but the fact is we had to leave to get out of God’s way. I’m not even sure this is making sense so I’ll say it this way, many times I hear a story of how God is working and I know in my heart that it would not have happened if we were still in Lynden. I’m reminded of I Corinthians 1:18-19 “For the message of the cross if foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.'” God likes to work in ways that don’t make sense to us so we know it is God and not us.

Dick’s Kids

One of the highlights of our time here in Guatemala was the Saturday we spent with Dick Rutgers. Trina wrote about our time in a previous post but I want to share a little different story. When we were at Hermano Pedro, the orphanage for children with disabilities, Dick brought along a few of the kids he calls “his kids”. These kids are mainly boys, although there are a couple of girls, that live near him who he has kind of adopted. In all I think there are around 12 of these teenage kids. Most of them come from pretty rough backgrounds. Most have been abused, their parents have died or abandoned them, or any number of hardships have fallen on them. But at Dick’s place they have a safe haven. And something truly remarkable is happening.

Chad with one of Dick's kids

These kids are a huge part of Dick’s ministry. By living among them and befriending them he has created a sort of family unit. He gets to share Jesus and speak into their lives in a way no one else can. He takes them to church on Sundays and to youth group during the week. But it isn’t that he is just ministering to them, they in turn are ministering to the children at Hermano Pedro and around Guatemala. Dick speaks very little Spanish so these kids have become his translators. And when they aren’t translating they are right there with Dick picking up the disabled children and playing with them. And that is what we got to witness. At Hermano Pedro these kids were pulling the children out of their beds and playing with them and loving them. These kids are the hands and feet of Christ.

There is a huge lesson to be learned in watching these kids. If anyone has a reason to be bitter and feeling sorry for themselves, it is them. But they aren’t and why aren’t they? Now I think our logical response would be to give Dick the credit and say that because he has loved them and valued them they have overcome their bitterness. And that might be partly right; however, I know bitter people who have a lot of loving family around them. No, the reason they are not bitter is because they have learned how to serve others – to love others. When we serve others we get outside of ourselves and we stop feeling sorry for ourselves and our bitterness goes away. Instead, the bitterness that accompanies self-pity is replaced by a joy so profound it is able to heal our deepest wounds and cover our most intense sorrow. And this is why we are so anxious to get to Honduras.

A Life Full of Joy

Our time in Guatemala has been good and necessary. We’ve learned a lot of Spanish and it has helped us in our transition to a new life. But the one thing that’s missing is service. Other than hanging out with Dick for that one afternoon we haven’t been connected to any ministry. Trina and I know the joy that comes with serving others. It is why we are here and why we can’t wait to get started. These next few weeks will bring about another transition and our lives will be tossed in the air once again. It won’t be easy. There will be days we wish we were back home. But this we know: God is God and God is good, we are where we have been called, and there is great joy in serving others.

A Day to Remember

A Day to Remember

Imagine This

You are a child with a disability, unable to walk, maybe even unable to see or hear as well. You are an orphan with no one to hug you, speak to you, and even love you. You lay in a bed in a room with 20 others just like you. You lay there for 20 hours a day. Your body is stiff and hard from being in the same position all day long. You were a very thick diaper that is maybe changed once a day. This is your life..all day, everyday.

Herman Pedro, located in La Antigua, Guatemala.

Hermano Pedro

Some of you may be in tears about now, I know I was when I witnessed this first hand on Saturday when we went to Hermano Pedro. This is an orphanage/hospital for the disabled children, youth, and adults in Guatemala. It is located in La Antigua and houses around 240 people.  Dick Rutgers, a second cousin to Trina and a Lyndenite himself, has lived here for 11 years. This is his home. He is the man that has given these people a wheelchair. And when they get the chance to be placed in one, they couldn’t be happier!

The Way They Live

This is Henry in his bed that he calls home. He is one of the few who is very coherent and is actually a very smart little boy.

You read earlier about the living conditions of the people that live in Hermano Pedro. This is literally how their lives are spent each day. Some do have family that visits them, but a majority are orphans who were “given up” because of their disability. Some parents, mainly single mothers, don’t necessarily want to give up their disabled child, but taking care of that one may mean that her other children will starve and not be taken care of. Some babies are even thrown away. I can’t write that last sentence without crying. I met a child who was literally found in a dump. He was probably thrown away because of his disability. I stood by his side and looked at him as the life in his eyes was gone. I reached my fingers in his little jail of a crib and wrapped them around his. I spoke to him but there was no response. My heart breaks for that little boy. In the crib next to him was another little boy. He too was lifeless when I passed by him. However, this time, when I wrapped my fingers around his, there was a response. He began to move around and even wimpered as he craved, what I believe, was a mother’s touch. I pray for God’s blessing upon these children.

Hungry Children

Chad and Dick holding both Jose's.

Next we went to the Malnutrition Center, located in the same building. These children are not disabled but come to Hermano Pedro because of severe malnutrition. They are literally starving. We were not able to go inside this ward because we had Asher with us; but Dick brought out a few children for us to visit with. We met two little boys, both named Jose. They were such sweet little angels that I wanted to take home with me! In the picture to the left is Chad and Dick with both Jose’s. The boy that Dick is holding is 4 years old and weighs 25 lbs. That is what my Asher weighs and he is three times younger! Dick also brought out a little girl who was 6 years old and weighed 16 lbs. I remember crying when I saw her ankles, for she had to have her socks taped on so they would not fall off. Praise God that these children were brought in to be taken care of and fed!

So Worth It

So as you can see, it was a difficult and heart wrenching day for us. However, it was also rewarding because we knew that this is definitely where God wants us to be. We won’t necessarily be working with disabled children, but we will be working with the starving and broken. Never have I felt so sure about the journey that God is leading us on. I am so thankful for the road that we are now traveling. And I will fully rely on HIM everyday, because I can’t, and will not do it without Him. To Him be the glory.

Mommyhood-Guatemalan Style

Mommyhood-Guatemalan Style

As many of you read in our last post, life in a different country has definitely been an adjustment. However, things are beginning to get a little easier as we figure things out, and time seems to be flying by. We are only in Guatemala for 2 more weeks and then off to our new home in Honduras. I thought I would share a little about life as a mommy in a different country; and how God has been speaking to me during this transition.

Talk About Change

I have discovered that being a mommy in Central America is going to be a lot different than being a mommy in America. There is a lot that I have to learn and I am continually seeking God’s wisdom in doing so. I feel weak at times and discouraged when I think of the difficulties of raising a child in a different country. But God reminded me just this morning in my devotions (Joshua 1) to “be strong and courageous.” That phrase was written 4 times in that chapter, so I think God is trying to tell me something.

Things Have Changed

Asher in his new highchair, which cost us about $28...but so worth it!

So many things are different here and a lot less convenient than back at home. For example, bath tubs are pretty rare here which left me wondering how I was going to give my baby a bath. I could give him a shower but I was afraid that the water would get in his mouth and he would swallow it…which would not be a good thing here. So Chad and I put our heads together and came up with a way. We boil a big pot of water, stick it in the freezer to cool it down a bit, strip Asher, stick him in the shower, and sponge bathe him with the boiled water. Definitely not as easy as back home, but it works and we are thankful that we can give our baby a bath! Also, for the first week and a half that we were here, meal times with Asher were a bit of a struggle. We had no highchair for him so we would just feed him on our laps, which you can just about imagine the struggle with that! I would almost be in tears every meal time because he would not sit still and would walk around with food in his mouth and spit it out. But praise God…we finally were able to find a highchair for him! We will have to sell it when we leave, but it has already been so worth it.

Peace and Quiet? I Think Not

As mommy’s, we all long for peace and quiet when our child is sleeping. Around here, that is just not possible. If it’s not a loud firecracker going off at 5:00am, it’s a chicken bus driving by and rattling our apartment walls. If it’s not cats giving a mating call outside your bedroom window, it’s a noisy neighbor down below (you can hear everything in these apartments).  And with every noise comes an anxious me, worried that my Asher will awake from his nap or his night sleep.  But once again, my worries are pointless because God continues to answer our, and your, prayers. Asher is still taking two 1 1/2 hour naps a day, which is much needed for all 3 of us to stay sane! And he has slept through the night the past three nights. He does wake up super early, which isn’t always fun. But we really have nothing to complain about.

A chicken bus is just a transportation bus. There are many here in Antigua.

Again, we thank you for your prayers and we covet them daily. We are so excited for this challenging road God has led us on and we look forward to all that He has in store for us!