“Hotter’n Hell Hundred” Bicycle Ride

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Saturday, August 23, 2014
Wichita Falls, Texas

My husband, Randall participated in this past weekend in the “Hotter’n Hell Hundred” Bicycle Ride, in Wichita Falls, Texas. This is the 33rd year for the ride. The temperature was to be around 105 degrees Fahrenhei

t. The ride was started to celebrate Wichita Falls Centennial, 100 miles in 100 degree heat celebrating 100 years.

There was 7,137 participants, 5,504 men and 1,633 women participating in the various distances. This year there was a lady who is 82 years old, and has rode in all 33 years!

We got up bright and early and headed to out to the starting point, at 5am. Randall had purchased us breakfast, and it was a nice time for him and I to talk and spend a little time alone without William and Precious. I had been in Kansas City visiting family with William and our 13 week old puppy Precious. They stayed in the car and slept. There was a lot of people that had slept in the parking lot in the back of trucks, vans, or in tents on the ground.

Well it was getting close to 7am, when Randall’s group was to start out, the “Hopefuls”, the group that “hoped” it could make it the full 100 miles. Several people stopped to look at Precious, and one lady asked if she could pet her for good luck, as she had to leave her dog at home for the day. Well Randall was off to a great start, but by the time he got to the first rest stop he had already had two, yes two flat tires. He called and asked me to get him two new tubes and a new tire, and was hoping he could make it to “Hell’s gate” by noon (requirement of the ride to finish the 100 miles.) I was luck and found someone open that early in the morning, and got the tubes and tires and headed out to find him at rest stop two on the 100 mile trail.

It appears that after the first rest stop, he zigged when he should have zagged. He said he was “following the others”, and ended up getting off the 100 mile trail and onto the 50 mile trail. William and I both think he did it on purpose, because there is no way he did not see all the signs that we telling him which way to go on the “50 mile trail”. Oh well, after William and I went hunting around the 100 mile trail for Randall, he called to tell us he was on the wrong trail, so we back tracked along all the riders. We finally caught up with him at the last stop of the 50 mile trail.

It was nice and hot, and there was a lot of people at the rest stop taking breaks, getting drinks, and just getting encouragement to continue for the last 10 or so miles. We visited for a few minutes while Randall took a break. Then we watched as he headed on out of the rest stop, and we went ahead to the starting/finishing line.

Precious was driving, well Precious and I were driving to the finish line. When we got there were walked around a little before we headed to the finish line, as we figured we still had a while to wait. Everyone loved Precious, they were asking to pet her, and what her name was, and they all loved her. I wanted her to not be scared of strangers (like her parents are), and I think she will do fine, as she was happy to be petted by anyone that wanted to pet her.

So William, Precious and I found the finish line, and we were waiting in the sun, and watching to see Randall coming across the finish line. They were announcing who was coming across the finish line, and sometimes just the city they came from. There were a lot of people that came from Missouri to ride. It was neat hearing where everyone was from. Several would bounce their bikes up and down as they crossed the finish line. We had moved up to the side of the finish line, and when I saw Randall, I ran to the end, so I could get a picture of him crossing the finish line. You could see he was tired and glad to be finished.


 

MS150 Springfield, Missouri – September 6-7, 2014

Well, that’s 50 miles down, and that ride was to get him prepared for the ride next weekend, September 6-7 in Springfield, Missouri, for the MS150. His plan is to ride not only the century loop on Saturday, but also on Sunday as well. This is the last year that they will be doing the two century loops. We will be heading up North on Friday for the ride. I will be praying that he will be able to complete not only one century loop, but two. It has been two years since he did the MS150 in San Antonio, and he did the Century loop there, but was so tired.

Randall is still looking for donations to for the MS150, he has to raise at least $200 to ride. Please help him, even a $1.00 will help him get towards the goal. You can make an online donation at http://bit.ly/1sR3bq9 .

See you after the MS150!

 


 

More Pictures from the Hotter’n Hell Hundred

Does Child Sponsorship Really Work?

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Does Child Sponsorship Really Work?

June 21, 2014
By Lisa Pickering

062214_0012_DoesChildSp1.jpg            Some people wonder if Child Sponsorship really works, and how can anyone really know. Sponsoring children through Compassion International for the past 6 years has been an experience that sometimes is really hard to explain, but I always knew in my heart that it really works. This week, I got a letter from an 8 year old boy, Kener David Cabrera, that the Sunday School children at my church have been sponsoring for almost two years, which is a testimony that Child Sponsorship really does work.

         Kener’s mother recently gave birth to his little brother, so I received a letter written by his older sister, Mabel. I want to share the letter with you to show you how Child Sponsorship really works! Mabel wrote:

“I want to thank you for the love for my brother”

        In the letters that are sent to Kener we tell him how much we love him, and continue to pray for him and his family. Mabel continues to let us know how our letters have affect Kener.

“Let me tell you that he has changed very much, he has applied more in school, and has learned very much at the project. He has changed very much, his character is much happier and playful and his is respectful. He likes to draw and he likes the worship song ‘The Spirit of God’. ”  062214_0012_DoesChildSp2.jpg

       Hearing that he is learning much at the project, is confirmation that the goal between the Project centers and Compassion International is really working as it should. After meeting some of the teachers at the centers this past February, I know that they have a great love for Christ and for the children, and work to show them this love. The centers are all church based, and the programs center around Christ, the church and the children. This is what helped me to pick Compassion International for my donations.

       Each letter from the children usually tells us that they are continuing to pray for us, and they will send a prayer request. When we write, we send our prayer requests, as the children like to know how they can pray for us. Mabel wrote:

“Kener asks you to carry us in prayer so that God may supply each need in our home. We are always praying for you and your families.”

       If this letter is not an example of how the Child Sponsorship works, I am not sure what is. I know when I visited Kener it was so much fun, and you could see the love for each other that the children expressed, even when they had never meet each other before today. There was no jealousy, or competition between the children to share my time or love. It was so nice to have six children around me who not only wanted my attention, but wanted to share the time with the others as well.

       If you sponsor a child, if you ever have the opportunity to go on a visit to see them, I strongly recommend that you do so. It will change your life for every. You never know how the visit will impact your life as well. I have never felt so loved and cared for.

For more information on Child Sponsorship visit www.compassion.com or leave a message.

Lisa, Child Advocate for Compassion International

“Tell a child – I’m here for you”

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Compassion Sunday 2014

Compassion Sunday is “an annual event for churches across the U.S. It’s an opportunity for members of your church family to personally sponsor children who live in extreme poverty, and help them find new life in Jesus.” (www.compassionsunday.com)

September 2012 I presented Compassion Sunday at my church, and had one child sponsored, and got another family setup as a Correspondent Sponsor. They were both so happy to be able to encourage the children.

This past February I was able to visit my Compassionchildren, and was so happy to talk about my experience with anyone, and everyone at church. I had brought back several packets of Honduras Children from the trip, and was so excited that three of these children were sponsored by members of my church. (Check-out my Honduras trip blog.)

So, when it was time for Compassion Sunday to be advertised, I was asked by a member, who has sponsored with Compassion for years, if we were going to have a Compassion Sunday. We talked to our vacancy Pastor, and he said we could. So, we set the date, and of course it was our new Pastor Stinnett’s first Sunday as our pastor.

May 4, 2014 was Compassion Sundayat St. Peter Lutheran Church. Christi (a new sponsor) and I gave a presentation to the Adult Bible Study class about Compassion International. I am not a person who likes to get up in front of a group of people, so I was so nervous. Christi was my encouragement beside me. I talked along about my experience with Compassion International and child Sponsorship. Christi talked about her sponsor child “Karla” and Emily talked about Katy and her sponsor child “Helen” and Anna talked about her new correspondent child “Aileen”. It was great to have such a group of wonderful sponsors.

Well, I am happy to say that as of writing this post, we have had five children sponsored out of twelve children! This a 500% increase from last Compassion Sunday, and I am so excited, as I believe God has used me and my trip to Honduras to reach out to the hearts and minds of the members of my congregation! There are several other children who members are praying over. Please pray that they decide to sponsor them!

I am happy to say that there are at least 16 children who are being encouraged by members of St. Peter Lutheran Church!!

Letter Writing

Now, that we have so many sponsored children, we are working on getting a Letter Writing meeting setup, so we can all get together once a month and write our children. If you have any ideas for letter writing, I am always looking for ideas. I am sad to say that “Ourcompassion.com” is being discontinued as of the end of June 2014, and there has always been such great ideas of paper crafts, and website information to help me with writing.

Thank you to everyone who said I am here for you”

Lisa’s Compassion

Operation Christmas Child ~ Shoeboxes

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Operation Christmas Child

Shoeboxes

Christmas 2013 OCC Logo

St Peter Lutheran Church participated this past Christmas season with Operation Christmas Child (OCC).   St. Peter Lutheran collected 21 boxes for children, both boys and girls.  Each box was tracked with a unique barcode so we can see where the packages were sent to.

Follow-up

I received a letter from Legendary Baptist Church, that gave a breakdown of the OCC Relay Center, and the boxes that they had collected, and it was amazing at the number of boxes from our lake area.  The number collected by each church or organization or individual varied from 2 Shoeboxes to 300!  Legendary Baptist collected 300 boxes!  The goal was 923 shoeboxes, however, they exceeded this by collecting 977 shoeboxes from the lake area.  The East Texas area collected over 32,000 shoeboxes for the children.   Last year a new collection center came to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and they processed over 400,000 shoeboxes.  The boxes were sent countries like Peru, Honduras, Mexico and other smaller countries.

Our Shoeboxes destinations

Several of our shoeboxes went to Mexico –

Twenty-seven percent of Mexico’s 116 million people are 14-years-old or younger. In the 2013-2014 season, 714,358 shoebox gifts from the United States will be delivered to children in Mexico, which first received the gifts in 1995. Since then, 7,444,818 children in Mexico have received a shoebox gift.

Several of our shoeboxes went to Honduras -

Thirty-six percent of Honduras’s 8.4 million people are 14-years-old or younger. In the 2013-2014 season, 146,832 shoebox gifts from the United States will be delivered to children in Honduras, which first received the gifts in 1996. Since then, 1,947,506 children in Honduras have received a shoebox gift.

Several of our shoeboxes went to Peru –

Twenty-eight percent of Peru’s 29.8 million people are 14-years-old or younger. In the 2013-2014 season, 208,656 shoebox gifts from the United States will be delivered to children in Peru, which first received the gifts in 1996. Since then, 1,682,698 children in Peru have received a shoebox gift.

Several of our shoeboxes went to Panama –

Twenty-eight percent of Panama’s 3.5 million people are 14-years-old or younger. In the 2013-2014 season, 85,008 shoebox gifts from the United States will be delivered to children in Panama, which first received the gifts in 1996. Since then, 1,030,161 children in Panama have received a shoebox gift.

Christmas 2014

Legendary Baptist Church is looking for anyone who would like to volunteer for the 2014 at the processing center in November/December, please call their church for more information of the dates and availability when they come available.

Thank you to everyone who helped bring Christ and Christmas to a child in Poverty.  Let’s start thinking about packing those boxes now.  And when you see something on sale that would be great in a shoebox, pick it up, and get started, as it is never to early to start thinking about Christmas!

If you have questions on how you can help, please email me, leave me a message here, or see me in Church on Sunday!

Lisa’s Compassion

 


From the Samaritan’s Purse website:

MISSION STATEMENT
Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ.

The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/


 

Honduras Trip – Day 6 – “Fun Day”

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Honduras – Day 6 – “Fun Day”

February 7, 2014

By Lisa Pickering

Fun Day in "House Tree"

Well it was finally time to get to meet the rest of my Compassion Children, Kener David, Elizabeth and Sharon.  Genesis and her brothers also came, since they live close to Tegucigalpa where we would be meeting for our fun day.   Everyone was so excited we could not wait to meet the children.  Some of those who were on the trip were there to see their sponsor children for a second or third time.  Others, like me were going to meet them for the first time.

We go up and got ready bright and early.  We headed off to “Jungle Jumps in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  Jungle Jumps is a large children’s playground, with lots of inflatables, Tree House, gym and private park.  It was so nice.  Alexis reserved the entire place for us, so no one else would be around.  It was really fun, and the children got to run around and do things they normally would not be able to do at their homes.

Genesis & BrothersWhen we first go there, all the sponsors were so excited and waiting for the children to arrive.  Genesis was the first to arrive of my sponsor children along with her two brothers.  They looked a little scared, but excited.  I am sure Genesis was still in shock that she had a new sponsor who was actually there visiting her.  She had only found out the day before that she had a new sponsor.  I am sure she was still in shock.  I was glad that her brothers got to come with her, since her middle brother is not part of the Compassion program.  There were a few other children from her center, and one of her teachers, and the pastor’s wife came as well.Kener

Kener David was next to get off the bus of my sponsor children, and his mother and a teacher from the center had come with him.  His mother was pregnant and expecting his baby brother in a couple of months.  (unlike in the U.S. they do not have a due date, but track how long their are pregnant, so she was due sometime in March.)  Compassion has him going by “David”, but I found out that he actually goes by “Kener”.  By the end of the day, I definitely had that down pat.

Elizabeth NayliaNext, was Elizabeth, but she does not go by “Elizabeth” she goes by Naylia.  She came with her dad and a teacher from the center.  He dad and her teacher were both a little more quiet and stayed in the background most of the time.  Naylia gave me a pretty picture in a frame that she made, of herself.  I love it!  I was so happy.

Finally Sharon got off the bus, and when she saw me she came running.  She gave me a big, big hug, and was so happy to see me.  Her grandmother came with her, along with one of her teachers.  He grandmother gave me a gift, of some of the snack foods that they eat in Honduras. Not sure what DSC_0664they were called.   Sharon also had made me a little book with pictures of her, and her baby brother.  She was trying to tell me all about it, and the translator was working hard at telling me.  Sharon talks about as fast as I do, so if we could only have understood each other, we would have know all about each other in a matter of minutes.   Her grandmother told me that she was happy that I was Sharon’s sponsor, and that I had come to see her. I asked Sharon if she thought I would every come visit, and she said “Yes!” because she had “prayed that I would come visit.”  That is such great faith, and it almost makes me feel guilty that I didn’t write more often.    She also was not told I was there until Monday (just a few days before).

Well, with all 4+ children, we were ready to go inside Jungle Jumps and have some fun.  We went inside and found a place to put our stuff down, as I didn’t want to give them all their gifts at the start, I had given each of them a small gift at the beginning when we meet.

WOW!  All five us fit across! And down we go!

WOW! All five us fit across! And down we go!

Bottom of slide taking a break for a moment.

Bottom of slide taking a break for a moment.

So, they all started off and went to the big slide, and up and down they went.  But at first Sharon was shaking her head and saying “No, No, No”, but finally she went up.  Then all four of the children were calling my name and motioning for me to join them.  I was not sure, but off I went.   (Ok, note, the slides are not made for adults, and my big feet kept sliding on the “step ropes” and I would fall down, taking anyone behind me with me. )

Later we found out that normally anyone over 12 are not able to play on the slides, but the owner was so impressed with what we were doing, and how we had come from U.S. and were taking these children from the poor areas to have a great day.  She was in tears, and said next time, she was going to keep her kids out of school for the day, so they could come and see the love and caring that others had for those less fortunate.   I can not describe in words the emotions that were there that day, it was so uplifting and fun.

Well, Sharon and Naylia were holding hands, and you would have thought they new each other for years, not just meet for the first time.  I had not really even wrote about them to the other in my letters.  Of course it was the three girls and Kener, but he was like the little brother, and you would hear “Kener, Kener, Kener” all the time.  Of course you also heard “Lisa, Lisa, Lisa”.  At one point we were counting to three (tres) and then going, but, one time when I was up at the top of the slide, Sharon said “one, two, Three”, and wow, I was so impressed. She knew more words in English than I did in Spanish.

In one bounce house, it was just the five of us, so I said “Alto, Alto”, which means Stop.  Then I counted 1, 2, 3 in Spanish and we all jumped up at the same time.  I was so much fun.  They would not let me take a moment to rest, however, Sharon and Naylia did go get me a drink of water at one point.  That was so sweet.  I was running all over the place with them, and we didn’t need to know much of each other’s language to understand the fun.

DSC_0805 DSC_0799At one point we went into the big House Tree, (AKA Tree House) and it was really neat.  I was pointing to the camera, and Naylia to get a pictures, and she had the look on her face that said she was tired.  (Well at least only for a few minutes.)  We didn’t have a translator in the tree house with us, but Sharon’s teacher was everyone we were.  I think she was having as much fun as the kids and I were.

At one point, some of the other Sponsors asked me how I was doing it, running and laughing with all four or actually six of them, and I really didn’t know, other than it was God’s doing.   I did tell Alexis that they may need to put me in a wheel chair in the morning to get to the airport. I may not be able to move.   I didn’t care, I was having too much fun.

DSC_0899The kids did stop to eat, and I was just trying to catch my breath, that I just grabbed a couple chicken strips, to eat.  I had plenty of time to eat when we would get back to the hotel.  Sharon was telling her grandmother that she had some little burns on her elbows from the slides.  Well, her grandmother was well prepared and pulled out a little salve and put on her, Sharon made a face that told me it burned a little.  It was so funny.  I was smart and kept my elbows up, so I didn’t get the burns, but all four of the kids did.DSC_0902

They had cotton Candy, or shall I say “Sugar sponge”.  They loved it, and were so excited to get some.  They stood in line very patiently waiting for it. You could tell they all loved it.

Well, I grabbed the translator, Bismark and told him I wanted to take the kids off to a quite place to give them their gifts.  We sat down along the side of the building, and I gave Sharon, Naylia, and Kener each a backpack filled with lots of goodies.  I also had a Soccer ball for Kener and Naylia, and a Volleyball for Sharon.  I had them deflated to travel easier, and Kener found the pump and filled it up.  He was so excited, then he deflated the ball.  He put it on his head like a hat. I was so funny.  The Soccer ball had all the Sunday School children’s name in glow-in-dark marker to match the glow-DSC_0918in-dark ball.  Inside his bag the first thing he pulled out, was a Children’s bible, he looked at it and sat it aside.  I showed his mother and teacher that all the Sunday School Children had signed their names inside, to show him how many people were praying for him and his family.  You could see she was happy, but Kener, like any boy of 8 years, he was more interested in the toys inside.  He pulled everything out, and then put it all back in.  He put the backpack on, and even went through the tunnels with the backpack on.  (And we had filled it with lots of goodies from the Sunday School children, so it was heavy.)

Sharon and Naylia both were excited, as they both got a bible of their own.  Sharon’s grandmother said that Sharon had a small bible, but had lost it, so she really could use a new bible.  I feel every child should have a bible of their own.  There was also a lot of clothes in the bag, my Mother and Sister had helped me pick out the clothes, as my sister’s husband is Honduran, and his niece texted a family member in Honduras, and asked what kind of clothes the girls wear, and she said pretty much the same thing that she does. They were so excited, and I gave them each a bag of household items for their parents.  I know that little things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap are sometimes luxuries for the poor.

Well, the day, and week were coming to a close, and I was so sad to have to say goodbye to Sharon, Naylia, Kener, Genesis, her brothers and the parents and teachers.  I would loved for the day to go on for ever.  They were so sad for the day to end as well.

I can say one thing about these six children, first Genesis brothers were very protective of her, and kept a close eye on her. You could see the love they have for each other.  And you could see the love and caring that each of these six children had, by the way they treated each other, and how you would think they were cousins who got together at least one or twice a year.  I was so amazed, and could not wait to tell everyone about my visit.

Well, my Honduras Trip has come to a close, and I have taken a while to write this blog, as it was a trip of a lifetime, and I would tell anyone that is able to make a trip to see their sponsor children, to DO IT!  It is more valuable than all the money in the world!  I thank God everyday that I was able to make this trip!

UPDATE:  I will be going back to Honduras in October 2014!  To see all five of my sponsor children, and now six sponsor children!  It will be close to Sharon’s 15th birthday, her “quinceanera” the time when in Latin Countries they celebrate girls changing from a child into an adult.   I wish my husband and son’s would go, but someone needs to stay home with “my babies”, Duke & Princess, and of course “old man” Harley.

 

Previous Posts

Day 1 – HO372“ ~  “Day 2 – HO330”  ~  “Day 3 – HO330”  ~ “Day 4 – Travel Day“  ~ “Day 5 – Headquarters“ ~ “Day 5 – HO272

 

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Honduras Trip – Day 5 – Part 2 – HO272

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Honduras – Day 5 – Part 2 –  HO272

February 6, 2014

By Lisa Pickering

HO272 – Colonia Jose Angel Ulloa

After lunch at Power Chicken, we headed to HO272 North of Tegucigalpa.  We were only going to spend a few hours at the center, because of the danger in the area.  We would need to leave before dark to make sure that everyone was safe.  It is sad to think that these children live in such a dangerous area, but considering Honduras is called the “Murder Capital of the World,”  that means that there are a lot of these children that deal with gang wars on a daily basis.  I am glad that Compassion works with the churches in these areas, as they are very important to make sure that these children do not join a gang.  They need to know that Jesus Christ is there for them and that He loves them. For those who have been following my blog to learn about my trip to Honduras, we are on the downhill side of the trip. After Day 5 at HO272, all that is left is “Fun Day” while the highlight of our trip, also the sad point as well.

At the Project

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When we arrived at the center, they guided us downstairs to a classroom.  The pastor and his wife came in and were introduced to us.  They started a video on Youtube.com, “Nuestra Nueva Casa Parte 2“.  The video is written in Spanish, so I used a online translator to translate.   Continue reading

Honduras Trip – Day 5 – Part 1 – Headquarters

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Honduras – Day 5 – Part 1 – Headquarters

February 6, 2014

By Lisa Pickering

Thursday was going to be another great day. First, we would go visit the Compassion Honduras Country Headquarters, and see how everything is processed and handled.  Then we would go to HO-272 to visit with the children, and Hilary would do a home visit to her friend, Sandy’s sponsor child, and I would visit Genesis at her home.  Since there was so much information, I decided to divide Day 5 into two parts, Part 1 – Headquarters (Below) and Part 2 – HO272 and Home visits.

Headquarters

We traveled to the Compassion Honduras Country Headquarters, and we got a better understanding of how they process our letters, the letters from the children, and register or remove the children from the program.DSC_0503

We learned how the Children’s pictures are taken, and processed for the new packets or for the updates to the sponsors.  They explained that when the picture is taken at the bottom is the child’s number, and there is a certain amount of space at the top, bottom, and sides of the pictures.   The boys hold their hands out in front of them (down by legs) so that all fingers are showing.  The girls put their thumbs in their pockets, and fingers out.   They review the pictures, and not anything that the sponsor may ask about.  If the child has a cut or marking, they will contact the center to find out what had happened to the child, and then note their file. If there is any problem with the picture, they will let the center know, so they can take new pictures.

DSC_0505After listening to them explain the picture process, it explained a lot.  Most of the little girls when they would pose for a picture they would put their hands on their hips and smile.  The boys would put their arms down for their picture.    Know I understand why most of the girls have their hands on hips, and elbows out.  I know in Sharon’s picture, she had a little bit of attitude, with her head tipped to the side.  I love it.

Then they talked about the process when a child is leaving the program.  Sometimes it is sudden, and they really do not have much information.  The best time is when the children are graduating from the program, and they put together this packet from the children that talks about what they have learned from the Compassion Centers and what they plan on doing with their lives.  It has a lot of information, which a sponsor will want to know.  While I do not look forward to the day I have to say Good-bye to “my girls”, I do look forward to reading their report.  I hope and pray that I will have helped to make a difference in their lives.  (I know they have made a difference in my life.)

Then we talked with a lady about the translation process for the letters.  There are several translators that come in each week to pick up between 100-200 letters to translate.  There is one lady that comes in and gets 500 letters a week to translate.  They translate both the letters from the children and to the children.  Then a quality control sample is taken, about 5 letters per 100, to make sure that they are being translated correctly.

After the letters to the children have been translated, they are logged into the computer system, and noted.  The letters are traced every step of the way from the moment they are received in Colorado, to getting to Honduras, to being translated, to being sent to the children.  They have a good tracking system.    They have a large wall full of “boxes” to sort out the letters for the different centers.  Then a report is printed, and each letter is verified against the report, before being packaged to be delivered to the centers.

DSC_0499 DSC_0497Hilary, pulled out a packet from the center of one of her children, and pulled out a letter, and wouldn’t you know it was one of her letters to her sponsored child.  She was so excited.  Later Grace asked her to pose for a picture, and she grabbed a packet from another center that she has a sponsored child at, and again she pulled out her letter.  God was present, and was letting us see how this worked.

Next they showed us how the letters are tracked, and it shows when a child entered the Compassion program, and how many sponsors they have had, and how many letters they have received.  (Of course a sponsor can call Compassion, and get this information.)  Since I had Genesis packet in my bag, I pulled it out, and we looked her information up. I am her third sponsor in about 2 ½ years, and she had been waiting for over 4 months for a new sponsor.  She has received a few letters, but not very many.  It was sad to think that in such a short time, she had so many sponsors.  Well, God willing that is done, and she will not have to worry about not having a sponsor or letters.

Then the next part was the saddest of the information that we received, it was the file cabinet of un-sponsored children letters.  When a child loses a sponsor, or is first entered into the program, they fill out the “Yellow form” the “introduction” letter. So when a sponsor is found, they can send the letter to the sponsor quickly.  This is important, so that the contact with the new sponsor gets started.  It was sad to see so many “yellow forms” in the file cabinet, two drawers full.DSC_0501

We were shown how new children who enter the Compassion centers are processed.  The children must have a birth certificate to enter the Compassion program.  Their parents or caregivers fill out an information packet that gives some of the basic information about the child and their family.  They are only allowed to make a certain amount to be legible for the program.   The other families members are listed as well, and what type of home they live in, and if their parents work, what they do for a living.  It was nice to see how this information is gathered.

Several of the sponsors on the trip brought packages for other sponsors, because normally you can not send anything except paper gifts, up to 1/4″ thick.   It was nice to see that there were a lot more children who would receive a nice package from their sponsors, who could not make the trip.

The nice part of this visit was meeting the staff that handle all of the letters to/from Honduras Compassion Children, and how they are processed. It gave me a better understanding of what that piece of paper goes through  before it gets to the child, or to the sponsor.  I wish more sponsors could understand this as well.

Implementation Department

Implementation Department

Then we left that part of the office, and went to meet those working in the “Implantation Department”.  They work with local churches who would like to be part of the program, to make sure they have what is needed, and understand what their part of the program is.  They assist the churches if a special project is needed, like the bridge at HO372.

Implementation Department

Implementation Department

We got to meet the “Finance Department” employees, and talked to them about how they handled all the financial needs of children and centers.  They said that we were their first visitors in years, and they were happy to meet us.

Finance Department

Finance Department

power chicken 2

Well, it was time to go, and we were getting the privilege of eating at “Power Chicken”.  The owner of Power Chicken was determined to get out of poverty, so he started small, and worked to be a famous and popular restaurant in Honduras. It is a fast-food restaurant, but the food does not taste fast-food, and is served Family style.   While eating, we talked about what we should expect on Friday, AKA Fun Day.  After enjoying the food, we headed to the next project, HO-272, Colonia Jose Angel Ulloa.  I would get to meet my new Sponsor Child Genesis, and get to do a family visit to her home.

More information in Next Blog Post “Day 5 – Part 2 – HO272″

 

Previous Posts “Day 1 – HO372“ ~  “Day 2 – HO330”  ~  “Day 3 – HO330”  ~ “Day 4 – Travel Day

Honduras Trip – Day 4 – Travel Day

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Honduras – Day 4 – Travel Day

February 5, 2014

By Lisa Pickering

Well, after the long and emotion day Tuesday at HO330, we had headed back to the hotel.  When I got back to the hotel, I started crying again and fell down to my knees and asked God for his assistance for Cristi, and thanking him for bringing us together.

Tuesday night back at the hotel, it was time to pack and get ready in the morning to leave San Pedro Sula, and head to the capital city of Tegucigalpa. It was about a four hour drive between the two cities.

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DSC_0379Before we left San Pedro Sula, we got a chance to go to a “Market” to get souvenirs to bring back with us.   Issac was great help in find a Jersey for my nephew, Dexter, and Brother-in-law, Jimmy.  You see Jimmy is Honduran, and loves soccer, so I wanted to get them matching Jerseys.

Then it was time to try and find something to bring back to the children in Sunday School.

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Alexis was great, and he helped me get a really good price on some small coin purses for the girls, and leather bracelets for the boys. (Alexis was wearing one of the bracelets, so I figured if a grown man like him would wear one, the boys at church would like them as well.)   Well, by the time we were all done in the Market, I had found gifts for everyone.  I found a couple of beautiful crosses to bring back to our Sunday School, and a small decorative knife for my husband, Randy.

Travel Day

After going back to the hotel, making sure we had everything, we loaded a van with our suitcases, and we got on the bus to head “down” or is it “up” to Tegucigalpa?  We were heading South (down), but going up in elevation.  Hilary and I sat and talked about our day at HO330 and the fun that we had. It was so much fun, and I figured, that if it was that emotional meeting just one child, what would Friday be like, meeting three?

DSC_0439 DSC_0438 DSC_0434 We drove by the largest  natural lake in Honduras, Lago de Yojoa. (Lake Yojoa). The lake is about half way be San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa.  The lake is very pretty, and it seemed like we were going about it on the way to Tegucigalpa.   A little further down the road we stopped for lunch at La Florida Restaurant.  The food was very good, and Alexis told us that they grow all the food organically.  We had plantain chips, with lunch, and it was very good.   At the end of Lunch, Alexis gave us ladies each a rose.  That was so nice.  Everyone bought some Honduran snacks before we left the restaurant.   There was lots of pretty flowers outside the restaurant.

When we got to Tegucigalpa, we got all checked into the hotel, and again Cissi was my roommate.  It was so nice, we went up to our room, and talked again about all the things we have seen and done so far on our trip. This was really the downhill part of the trip.

Reflection and debriefing Time

We meet together for dinner at the hotel, along with time to debrief and reflect on what we had seen and what we have done for the first four days.  Each person had a different outlook on what they had seen and done.

My reflection was meting Cristi and seeing her transform while we were there, from the shocked and speechless, to having fun taking pictures, and talking a lot.  And the possibility that I was bringing out a love of photography in her, and I look forward to seeing if that is something that will develop for her.

Others talked about the love that we received from the children, and how they were not scared or afraid to talk with us.   Or that the last couple of days was just a taste of what Friday will be like.

Afterwards, we went back to our rooms, and it was time to sort out the rest of the items in our suitcases.   Anything left that we had brought for the centers would need to bring with us the next day, and then of course the gifts for our sponsor children were left.

Planning for next day

The next day we were going to visit the Compassion Honduras Country headquarters.   I had brought several gallon ziplock bags from other sponsors to be left for their sponsor children.  There were a dozen or so packages.  I know that there would be a lot of surprised children the next time the letters were delivered to the centers.

I had decided to sponsor another young girl, Genesis from the next center that we would be visiting.  I was so excited, so as I sorted out the last of my gifts, I found a few items that I could give to her family.  I had one more family gift for a home visit, and Grace had informed me that I would get to visit her at her home.  I was so excited.  It is one thing to meet the children at the center or fun day, but to be able to visit them in their home, is really special.  This will give me more of an idea of how and where she lives.  (More about the visit later.)

Wow, It was hard to get go to sleep that night, but I was all so emotionally draining, that once we shut off the lights, it seem like it was morning in a flash.

 

More information in Next Blog Post “Day 5″

 

Previous Posts “Day 1 – HO372“ ~  “Day 2 – HO330”  ~  “Day 3 – HO330

Honduras Trip – Day 3 – HO330

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Honduras Trip – Day 3 – HO330

February 4, 2014

By Lisa Pickering

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On Tuesday, we got to go back to Compassion Center HO330 for a second day of fun. We were providing lots of activities for the children, similar to VBS type activities. We had all kinds of fun things to do from drawing, finger nail painting, face painting, balloon’s, card games and more.DSC_0217

Well, for Hailey, Lorraine and myself, we were more excited than the others, because we were getting to meet our new sponsor children for the first time. And the children had not been told they had a sponsor yet, so it was going to be a memorable day for all of us.

Hailey was getting to meet Kathy, and I was getting to meet DSC_0828Cristi for the first time. We were so excited when we found out the girls would be there in the morning. Well, when I was introduced to Cristi, she had this surprised, shocked, stunned look on her face. She didn’t really know what to say. She just kept looking at me like she was in a dream, and that it wasn’t real. I was later told by the director of the center that I am Cristi’s first sponsor, and she had been DSC_0849waiting for a long time.

At first I thought that we could sit down (with a translator) and learn more about each other, but she didn’t know what to say, and it was hard to find answers. I had brought three little camera’s for my sponsor kids to use on Fun day, so we could see things from their point of view. I had brought two of them with me to HO330, so I got one out, and with the translator explained to Cristi how to use the camera. I told her to go take pictures of whatever she wanted.

Well, Cristi really started to warm up, and was having fun taking pictures. She started to bring her friends over to me, and would point to me, and then smile. She was telling them where she got the camera. She was so excited. Well after a little while, we realized that we needed the flash on inside the building, but since I had set it up in Spanish, I was not able to figure it out. We went to Mark (a camera pro for Compassion), and asked for his help. Well, he was too slow for Cristi, so she pointed to my camera. After a few pictures, I put the strap around her shoulders, and let her take pictures.

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Off she went, around the center taking pictures. She was having fun. Then she asked to go with the group of boys that were going to the Futball (Soccer) field to play against some of us crazy Americans. I got the small camera from Mark, and off we went. Scarlett (one of the translators) went with

us, along with Isaac (another translator) to the Futball field. It was a little bit of a walk, and when we got to the field there were 2 armed security guards at the field. Cristi just walked up to them and took their pictures (she was braver than I would have been). We were told that the security was to keep squatters out of the field, as it is available to everyone in the community.

security guards

Security Guards at the Futball field near HO330

It was fun watching Cristi taking pictures of everyone. She really has a way with the camera, she would squat down to take pictures of everything. She would turn the camera sideways to get a better picture of people. Cristi loved to find things to take pictures of, people, me, me, me, and even some cows that were walking across the field later in the day. Normally, I am the one behind the camera, so I have very few pictures of me, but now I think Cristi took 1,000 pictures of me that one day. My camera is set to take multiple pictures in a row, quickly. When Cristi motioned that she wanted to take my pictures, I would hear, “click, click, click” a short pause and then “Click, click, click, click…….” A dozen times or so. Most were of the same pictures. I have even pictures with silly faces, as I was talking and she would sneak up and take pictures.

Teacher

One of the Teachers of HO330

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Futball with Cows

Futball game with Cows grazing across the field

Well, Cristi stated asking me questions, and I didn’t know what she was asking, so Scarlett would translate for me. She was telling us that she didn’t want to go to school. And she kept asking about the fun day on Friday. Scarlett kept telling her she had to go to school. See the children were just going back to school, after Christmas. So when it was time to go back to the center, so the children could go to home to eat and go to school.

Cristi, her mom and Lisa

Cristi, her mom Iris, with me

Cristi and her Mom

Cristi and her Mom

Cristi and Kathy both decided to stay at the center for the rest of the day, and skip school. Well, Cristi didn’t tell her mom that she was staying. All of a sudden, Cristi’s mom, Iris left work to come look for Cristi, because she had not come home to eat and to get ready for school. The director of the center told her that Cristi had a new sponsor, and that I was there visiting with Cristi. Iris was very shocked, and had the same look on her face as Cristi did earlier that day. She was very happy to meet me, and that I was her new sponsor. After we took a couple of pictures together, off Cristi went to take more pictures. She had told her mom that I was letting her use my camera, and away she went.

Scarlett told me that Cristi was calling me her “godmother”. That touched my heart. Iris talked with me after Cristi left (with Scarlett translating), and she said she had to go back to work, but she told me she was glad that I was Cristi’s sponsor and that I was her first sponsor. She gave me a big hug before she left, and again said “gracious”.

Joel & Grace talking about the organization of the center children's paper.

Joel & Grace talking about the organization of the center children’s paper.

Well, after the rest of the children left the center to get ready to school, the director was talking to us about the filing system that the centers have for the children. It was very neat and organized, and recorded everything. Any parent would love to have something this detailed for their own child.

Cristi painting her nails.

Cristi painting her nails.

Well, Cristi didn’t want to just sit there, so she went to paint her nails. I followed her, and when she finished her nails, we found some nail stickers to put on. She had fun, and then she decided she wanted to paint my nails. She did a good job, and Kathy was painting Hilary’s nails as well.

DSC_0927The center feed us again, and then they brought the two girls food as well. Afterwards, it was time for the next group of children to come to the center. They were so excited, and you could see other children looking in the window’s (bars, no glass), wanting to come in, but were not able to. It was sad to know that there are children who are not able to come to the Compassion center because there is not enough room, or their parents will not let them.

The next group of kids started playing games and painting nails, coloring and a group of boys wanted to go to the Futball field. Cristi wanted to go back with the boys to the Futball field. So off we went. As we were walking, Isaac (one of the translators) asked me “what if I had brought out a desire for photography in Cristi.” I told him that if I did, it was thru God that we were brought together. As God knew us before we were born, and if this is what is in his plan for her, I would be happy for God to use me to bring out the desire in her.

When we go back to the field, Cristi and I were sitting down by the wall behind the Futball goal, and everyone told us to be careful, but they were not getting anywhere near hitting it thru the goal posts. It was nice and shady by the wall, and was a nice break to watch everyone play. This time they had enough children to play the entire field, so they played a lot at the other end of the field. Mark was the American’s goal keeper, so the activity stayed down there.

Oh, wait, what is this?

Oh, wait, what is this?

"Jays big save"

“Jays big save”

We continued to watch the children and silly American’s playing Futball. Jay, as always, was being silly and goofy. We may not have been able to communicate in the same language, but who needs words, when actions, speak so louder than words. Jay wanted Sathy to take a picture of him with his “great save”. Oh, it looks great, but……. Then you get a larger area of the pictures, and can see it is staged, and one of the teachers of the center, was pulling his leg. Like I said, the “silly American’s.”

DSC_0375While Scarlett and I were talking, one of the adults, John, came over to the shade for a brake, he looked like he was about to die, his shirt was soaking wet. He sat down to rest. A few minutes later one of the Honduran children came over to rest, but his shirt was not soaked. Well, everyone else decided it was time for a water break, so they sat down to rest.DSC_0568

While they were taking a little break Sathy took a picture of Cristi, taking a picture of him taking her picture. Cristi then decided to change her focus of taking pictures to the only female on the field, Vicki. Vicki was on her honeymoon with her husband Gene. He had hurt his ankle playing Futball, but she was still at it. She loves to play.

Cristi's kick on goal

Cristi’s kick on goal

While everyone was taking turns kicking against the goalie “Jay”, Cristi finally took a shot on goal, and did really well. She said she plays on the girl’s team, and loves to play Futball, but I think she was having way to much fun taking pictures to care about playing that day.

We decided to head back to the center earlier than the others, so Cristi’s leader, Scarlett, Cristi and I headed back to the center. Of course, my other “little photographers” went with us as well. I had to get a second camera out, as the battery had died on the first one. (Not too many pictures were taken, but I think he just loved to look through the camera.)

At the center Cristi decided to color a little bit, and then played a couple games of Uno. She took some pictures of people playing Futball inside the center.

Jay jumpropeCristi & Friend jumping ropeFriend jump ropeCristi Jump ropeThen Crisit saw Jay playing with a jump rope, she had to get a picture (or several) of him jumping. Jay of course made all kinds of funny faces for her.   We took turns jumping rope. It has been a long time Lisa Jumo Ropesince I jumped rope, but I did not do too bad. You could see Cristi was having fun.  One of her friends was jumping, so she joined him in the jumping the rope.  They were good, and  they were having fun.

 
Well, as with everything, it must end. It was time to clean-up and put everything away. Most of the children had already Cristi & lisa end of dayleft. I brought in the gifts that I had for Cristi and her mom. As she took the items out of the bag, she just looked shocked.  She put everything back in the bad, and she couldn’t talk, you could see that she was about to cry. The director of the center was talking to her, and Joel was nice to translate. She said that no one had ever given her anything like that, and she didn’t know what to say, other than thank you.

Cristi was trying not to cry, and was not succeeding, and it was so emotional, it is hard to describe, but I was trying my best not to cry as well. Not that it was bad, but I didn’t want to end the time with her that way. After a little while, she was able to talk again, and she asked if she could keep the little camera, so she could take pictures of her families important events, like birthdays, and such. Wow, that was so sweet, and I wish I could, but I needed the camera for Friday. I told her maybe next time I could bring her one, and she said she wanted the same color (Red).

When it was time to leave, she gave me another big hug, and said “gracious” and then she left. I know her home is about a 5 minute walk, but I am sure it didn’t take her that much time. I am sure she ran home to show her mom.

You know, kids in America get little items, they look at you like, where is the rest. This was really not much, mostly crayons, pencils, writing paper, socks, and a few puzzles. If we gave our children gifts like that at the age of 10, they would look at you like you are crazy.

Well, after we cleaned everything up, I got on the bus, and the emotions of the day just hit me, and I started to cry. I had so much fun with all the children at the center, and with Cristi, that I really didn’t want it to end. Cristi had asked several times during the day to go to the Fun day, but when they asked her mom if she could go, she said No, it was too short of a notice. They would have to leave Thursday, drive 6 hours, stay at a hotel, Have fun day, stay at a hotel, and then drive back the 6 hours. I was sad that I would not see her again this trip, but knew we had a great time that day.

More information in Next Blog Post “Day 4 ″

Previous Posts Day 1 – HO372   and  “Day 2 – HO330

Here are a few extra pictures from Day 3 – HO330.

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Lauren let the children “paint” her face. She looks great!

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Cristi's nails all done

Cristi’s nails all done

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Cristi

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Honduras – Day 2 – HO330

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          Honduras Day 2 – HO330

February 3, 2014

by Lisa Pickering

The second day of my trip to Honduras, we went to Compassion Center HO330.  As usual Grace (our tour guide) send back some child packets of children for HO330 that needed sponsors.  Well, Hilary and I looked at them, and I saw the sweetest of girls, Cristi who is 10 years old.  I kept her packet and handed the other two to Hilary, who looked at them, and found a sweet little girl for her to sponsor as well.  Hilary was debating, and we decided that she would pass it on around the bus, and if she came back to the front, it was meant for Hilary.  Well, needless to say, she was back to the front, and Hilary thought about it, and finally decided to sponsor her.  The other packet was a boy, and he found a sponsor as well. The three kids were not at the center on Monday, but would be there the next day.  We were both so excited.

The first day we spent at HO330, was so much fun, and we got to play with the “babies”.  Compassion Honduras had just started the Child Survivor Program (CSP), January 15, so only a couple weeks had passed since it was started.  We got to see a lot of young moms with their young children, and even some pregnant moms.DSC_0076

When we walked in, we were greeted by the children and mothers, and they were waving Honduras flags, and cheering.  They were so glad to see us, and we were so happy to see them.   Once we were seated the older children of the program DSC_0082 danced for us.  The girls were so pretty in their blue and white outfits, with the Honduras Flags.  They were lead by their teachers.DSC_0083

 

 

 

 

When the girls were done dancing for us, some of the teenage girls/boys performed a dance/skit for us.  It was so moving, even though we did not understand the words (as they were in Spanish).  You could see that it was good vs evil, and of course the good won.  It was very moving.

The teachers all introduced themselves to us, and then the children went downstairs to their classrooms for lunch. DSC_0089Each day that the children attend the center, they receive a healthy lunch.  All of the sponsors got to serve lunch to the children.  It was really neat how organized the center was to be able to feed so many children in  a short time.  We took trays of DSC_0100food the different classrooms for the children, and then we took trays of juice to the children.  The center has bottled water to use for consumption to keep the children healthy.

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While the children were eating some of the sponsors were “entertaining” them.  DSC_0131Ok, Jay was being really silly, and so was Mark.  Jay was going room to room, spinning a tray, to see the classroom that cheered the loudest.  Then he was showing the kids this “trick” of two fingers on one hand, and one on the other, DSC_0114then he turned around, and the two fingers went to the other hand.  The kids were laughing, and one young boy next to me was mimicking Jay’s action.  No words were spoken, but you could see in the facial expressions what he was saying.  I agreed, Jay is goofy.

One of the classrooms, the teacher was having the children make “fruit of the spirit roses” out of pipe cleaners and toilet tissue.  DSC_0138They were all trying to figure out how to get the pipe cleaners twisted the right way.  Meanwhile one of the translators and a couple sponsors were trying to figure out the order of the Fruit of the spirit’s in both English and Spanish for the children.  DSC_0144This way they could write the English on one side of a leaf and the Spanish on the other side.   We were trying to help the children get them made.  Of course we had one “sponsor” who sat in the back, and would not acklnowledge that he was encouraging the boys to be silly.  One of the boys made a pair of glasses from his pipe cleaners instead of making his rose.

Later in the day, one of the young girls brought her rose upstairs, and gave to me.  I will cherish this rose.  DSC_0180

DSC_0179A little later, a young man gave his rose to Cissie (my roommate).  We were both honored.

In another classroom was Mark (another one of our guides) who was being really “loco” or silly in one of the classrooms.  They were sitting on an old mattress on the floor, and were making all kinds of silly faces, as we took pictures.  He was even sneaking and taking pictures of the girls sitting around him.  The children loved to look at the pictures on the camera.  Again, no words were spoken, but a lot of emotions were shared.

CSP – Babies

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We were called upstairs to visit with the CSP moms and babies, as it was almost time for them to leave the center.  The babies were so sweet, and little gifts of stuffed animals, blankets, socks, and little outfits were given to the mom’s from the sponsors.  The mothers were very nice, and let us hold their little babies.

ODSC_0153ne little girl kept crying, and didn’t stop.  When we got close she started crying louder, and tugging on her mom.  The director of the center come by, and said that “she always is crying”.  We hated to see a little baby crying, she was so sad looking.

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Later in the day we were going to breakup into groups and go see the homes of some of the mothers.  But first they wanted to give us some more information about the CSP program, and the statistics of children living in poverty.  Many of the poor, do not realize the importance of taking care of themselves while they are pregnant.  In their culture, the women, usually feed their husband and children before they eat, many times not having anything left to eat.  This is not good for their babies.  The women are encouraged to take care of themselves while they are pregnant, and afterwards.  The CSP program encourages the mothers to breast-feed their babies, as this is the best way to protect them from illnesses.  The mothers that were at the center, had no problem nursing their babies when they were hungry.

Women who are poor, often have to go to work as soon as the baby is born, and they do not always bond with their babies, because they have an older child in the home watching the child, or they are taken to another home to be watched while the mom works long hours.  The CSP program helps the mothers understand the importance of bonding with their babies.

When we were done, we ate the same lunch as the children had.  A tortilla with chicken and onion, with Pico on top.  It was really good, and filling.  I enjoyed this more than eating at the hotel restaurant.

Home Visit- Brenda

My group went to visit with Brenda on our home visit.  Brenda is 14 years old (15 on July 26th),DSC_0194 and is 9 months pregnant with a baby girl. She had participated in the Child Correspondence Program (CCP), until she got pregnant.  She lives with her mother Ola, and her brother who is disabled, and unable to work.  Her mother Ola, does laundry for others about 1-2 times a week, and earns about $5US per day.  This is what this family lives on each week.  Her older Son has his own family of five children, so is not able to help them.

The CSP program is a great help to the family, as Brenda is a high-risk pregnancy because of her age and because of the position of the baby.  She was scheduled for a follow-up appointment in a couple weeks from our visit.  (I wonder how her baby girl is doing).

When we asked Brenda what she is going to do after the baby is born, she said she wants to get a job in the clothing factory. Ola said that they will have to get a special permit for her daughter to work because she is under 18 years of age.  Brenda, did say that she would like to continue her education, because she has only finished sixth grade.

Ola and Brenda’s home is made of adobe and sticks, and is a one room home with a small covered patio.  When we came up the steep hill to visit, they insisted that we have a seat, and the translators told us to have a seat, that it was an honor to them to have us visit their home.  We left a bag of food for the family, for letting us come visit (about a week worth of sugar, flour, and such staples.)  We gave Brenda a very gifts for herself and the baby.

WDSC_0195hen we were leaving, we saw at the back of the house their “restroom” that was attached at the back of the home, it was made of odd pieces of rusting tin.  But I am sure this family is proud that they have one.  Of course they do not have running water, so I am sure it is nothing like what we are used to.    The family uses a cistern to catch rain water to use for cooking and cleaning.

While we were waiting for the other groups to join us, Cissi and I were looking out over mountain.  As we starting walking down the hill, we saw some cows just eating, and all of a sudden, one started walking faster and faster towards me.  I didn’t think anything of it, but one of the teachers from the center, warned us that they will bite. DSC_0203 So I moved fast, didn’t want to get bit.

Towards the bottom of the mountain, we were pointed to a well that the community uses to clean their clothes.  There were several women washing their clothes. No washer or dryers at these homes.  And their clothes were really clean considering they wash by hand.  The children’s school clothes consist of a white shirt/blouse and black skirt/pants.  And the white shirts were really clean.

End of the Day

Our children are often upset and unhappy because they don’t have what everyone else has.  The children we meet were very happy and loved to give hugs, and loved to have their pictures taken.

Well, back to the hotel after a fun day, and we were going to be coming back to this center again in the morning.  It was a very emotional day and really gives you a different outlook on how we live, I will never take for granted how lucky we are to have safe running water, and toilets that work.  The toilets in the compassion center, did not have running water, we had to get a bucket from the cistern to pour in when we were done.  We could not put the toilet tissue in the toilet, had to put in a trashcan, even at the hotel.

After we got back to the hotel, we walked over the a small mall to get some gifts for our new Sponsor children, and while you would think you were back in the US with all the same stores, the major difference was all the armed police officers walking around.  Especially around the banks.  We even saw one guy in camouflage with a semi-automatic riffle. Definitely different than in the US malls.

More information in Next Blog Post
Day 3 at HO330

Previous Post “Day 1 – HO372″

Here are a few extra pictures from Day 2 – HO330.

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