Sunday, July 31, 2005

on the road again...

Well, Daddy left early this morning, around 6:45am. I think they are going to go a different route than the one they came on. It will only mean one border crossing, which should shave up to an hour off of their trip. Please keep daddy and Bob in your prayers. Pray for their safety and for a safe arrival, to be alert and healthy. Thank you.

Last night was awesome. After the group left, I led the girls in a few songs of worship and then translated as Bob gave the message of the Father's love. Words can not even describe how powerful it was and the impact that was shown on the girls faces. One teenager was convicted to forgive her family. Just last week, she had mentioned not even remembering how her mother's face looked. Healing was prayed over Bárbara and Caty, and I have never seen Caty shed tears like I did last night. She was touched and it was so amazing!! Darlin was reminded of her leadership qualities and how she will use them to preach to thousands and they will be saved. I don't think she really understood then, but she wrote it down and one day it will come back to her. It was really a great night and Bob did a great job.

I'm trying not to be sad today. I am, but trying just to keep praying for them. I know Daddy will be back soon, with Jami and Haven.

Where did July go?

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Daddy's visit

It has been such a wonderful visit with daddy!!

He arrived Thursday morning with his friend Bob Watson, at about 2:30am after deciding not to stop and sleep at the border. It was such a blessing that they didn't get sleepy at all during the whole trip.

I had Thursday and Friday off, so Thursday we went to visit friends at Casa Aleluya and had lunch and dessert in Antigua. We were so stuffed after that, we just hung out with the girls and played. No dinner.

Friday we headed out and went to lunch at a very nice hotel/restaurant in Zone 1 of the city. Bob had eaten there before and wanted to treat us. It was so good. I recommend the coconut cream pie! Afterwards, we went to meet a friend of Bob's, Mario, who is a dentist here in Zone 15. He was such a nice guy and will find to be a great help, if I ever need anything. He even offered some help in finding a car for me and before he came over for dinner last night, he already had two cars lined up for me to pray about. Not only that, but he said he would take care of the insurance and making sure the car was in good shape. This is something that I have been praying for and waiting for to buy a car. So, I am very, very thankful. Plus, the cars sound like either one will be a great deal.

Today, Daddy and I are downstairs with the older girls. Laisa is coming in a while and we are going to look at a house that will be for rent soon and probably eat lunch out. Mary is so awesome that she has offered to stay downstairs while I am gone, since Daddy's here, so I can spend more time with him. Also, Courtney offered to stay the night down there tonight, so I can stay over at my house with daddy since he leaves early tomorrow.

A group is coming tonight and bringing pizza, so it should be a fun time. Joanne asked Bob if he would speak a word to the girls tonight and relationships with God. I believe it will be a great experience for us and especially the girls.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Yesterday, we took the girls on a field trip to Mayan ruins in Tecpán and Spanish ruins in Antigua. We were meant to leave by 8, which turned into 8:40, so even from the get-go we were running late. The trip to Tecpán went smoothly. The girls were excited to see where I used to work, since we passed Casa Aleluya on the way, I was able to show them.

We arrived, and can you believe that the entry fee for 'gringos' is 25 Quetzales and for Guatemalans it is only 2!! Raúl was able to talk them into a small discount since we were from a children's home. We ate a small snack of fresh fruit, and ran for the ruins. I've been before about 5 years ago, but it seemed better kept now than before. We had a ball with the girls, climbing up and over the pyramids and temples. It really is a neat experience, that I believe I take for granted sometimes.

We ate lunch at their picnic area, where I slid down a hill and landed hard on my bum and scraped a big hole into the palm of my hand. My hand still really hurts. I'm just trying to keep it clean. After lunch we headed to Antigua.

We soon discovered that it wasn't going to be as easy as it sounded. When we arrived in Chimaltenengo, we were abruptly stopped by traffic. We were there for over 2 hours. For those of you who don't know, driving straight through Chimaltenengo is about the same as driving straight down the parkway straight through Huntsville... not even..., Hazel Green, and it took us over 2 hours!! We thought we weren't going to be able to go to Antigua, but Joanne gave us some extra time. But we were too late. All of the ruins were closed either on Mondays, or by 5pm. It was a fun trip though, but I am so tired!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

girls' night out!

I heard from my dad yesterday. He believes it will be Thursday when he gets to come to Guatemala. Please pray for his safety and that it all works out how we hope.

Last night, Joanne gave me permission to take all of the interns to Antigua for the evening. We left around 3:30pm. First thing after we parked the van, it started pouring rain! We were all dolled up too! Well, sort of. We were in skirts and what-not ;) We ran to the artisian market and the girls shopped for souveniers. I was the only ones that didn't come out of there with at least three bags of stuff.

I talked the girls into wanting to eat at Frida's restaurant under the arch. It has amazing food. I think so anyways. But when we left, it was pouring rain again!! We got so soaked and took refuge under the arch and decided to wait for a taxi. We piled in a taxi and went for our vehicle. We wanted to get dessert and coffee at Café Condesa, and got soaked in completing our desires. But that cheesecake was well worth it. Too bad I don't like any hot drinks though. It was so cold and we were so wet!! Mary even lost her flip-flop in a puddle in the middle of the street. Everyone around was watching us and laughing! It was a great time. I'm glad I could take them before everyone starts to leave, starting next week. They are an amazing group of young women. I'm glad to have been able to know them.

prayer request

... of the most urgent kind!!

The situation with Wendy is still not resolved. The court sent Melvin (the dad here) to her school to get her, which should have been done by the courts in the first place. The principal of the school would not hand her over, with good reason, Melvin is nothing official, he just had some official papers. Then the time went on and Wendy's mother came to get her from school. This is not good because she had no idea that the courts were trying to take her back. When the principal of the school asked Wendy if she would rather go home or to the orphanage, she answered, "To the orphanage." Her parents were shocked and apparently angry over this. Melvin contacted the courts and they agreed to send someone official to get her. Melvin came back without her, but we expected her at any moment.

To days later, she is still not here. We believe that they are having trouble finding her because her family has hidden her. There is no way of knowing if she is in danger or not. Especially after stating that she didn't want to be with her family anymore. Who knows how they reacted to this. Please pray for Wendy. Pray that she be brought back here quickly and that she be kept safe in the meantime.

I will update about her as soon as I hear something.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Wendy Johana Ortega

I'm trying to wait here patiently for a phone call from the courts. They called to see if we would take back Wendy, a girl who lived here when I was here last year. She left through the court and they gave custody to her aunt in Escuintla. Well, Wendy called to wish Rebeca a happy birthday a few weeks back and told her that she was living with her mother and stepfather again. (he was the reason she was with us in the first place) So, they investigated and found that to be true and are, as I type, going to take her out of her school and bring her here.

I am so excited to see her again. My heart is glad that she will be here again, but saddened because I know that Wendy, and any child, would rather be in their home with their family. I have to trust God in this, but I do believe that she will be better off here. Otherwise, why would He bring her back here? I'm so excited that I've already started putting together stuff for her. I'm just worried about her heart. I know she will be sad, but at least she is coming to a familiar place where people love her.

In other good news, Bárbara's adoption is moving right along. Well, actually she has been adopted and given her new name. We were waiting on her new birth certificate, so we could get her passport and an interview for a visa to the States. Yesterday they called and said there was a bump in the road because there was no proof of her father's death. (which there was a death certificate) So, Joanne went today and it seems that she'll be coming home with all of the papers ready. So, she could be gone next week. Keep praying for her. She is having a hard time. This weekend she complained of pain in her lungs and back. But she went to the doctor day before yesterday and she said nothing was wrong except for stress, so she gave her a muscle relaxer, I think, but it made her sleep all afternoon.

No word about when my dad's coming yet, but I'm hoping that he still is coming. I hope in it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

How you doing?

I feel so good right now because I have lots of good news!!

#1. (least important) I bought a new mouse today for this computer so my nerves will not hate me anymore.

#2. (most important) I talked to my dad last night and guess who he's coming to visit next week?!? MMMEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really don't think it has hit me yet. I'm excited about it, for sure, but until I get the call saying, "I'll be there such and such day at this time."

#3. (and this one isn't really good news, yet) but I'm going to buy a paper today, and not procrastinate, and call for information about cars that are for sell.

So, there you have it. My good day. And on top of it all, it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Have you ever seen the rain coming down in a sunny day?

If it wasn't for the promise of the rainbow, you would've thought the world was flooding. It has rained and rained, so much in the past few days. Down pours! I'm sure it's the affect the hurricanes are having on us. I'm not even sure where they all are now, or what their names are, but I can assure you that we know when there's one around. Sunday morning, I dropped the first group of girls off at church and just then Mary called. She said there was 2 to 3 inches of water in our living room! Since I had an hour until I had to take the next group of girls, I went back to help. By the time I got there she had already filled and emptied one bucket, by sweeping water into a plastic bowl and dumping it in, and she had almost filled a second halfway. I grabbed a bowl and a giant squeegee I found, like the things at the gas stations to clean car windows, rolled my pants up, kicked off my shoes and jumped in. All together we filled about four buckets and then Courtney and Elizabeth came over with a wet/dry vacuum and got the majority of the rest. We dried the floor as much as we could with towels, and left for church. By last night it was dry. Gib says that the towel which is shoved under the door that leads to the roof must have been loose and it came from there. It was quite an adventure and one great way to start the day. We were all laughing about it as we worked. Especially when I almost fell twice and so did Elizabeth. I wish I would've thought to take a picture.

I need to take more pictures.

I talked to Jami last night and found out that Daddy is safely in Honduras as of last night. They had to wait out the storms, I think.

I ran this morning again. It has been about twice a week for three weeks so far. I'm also finally reading Courtney's book, The Count of Monte Cristo. I love it! I am so addicted! I can't put it down. I'm not much of a leisurely reader, but I have read more than a fourth in two days. I'm sure I'll finish it this week, and on time too because Courtney leaves on the 2nd.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

kay butter and will towan

I'm talking to my sister, Connie, online right now! I got to see her, Will, Clay, and even William on webcam! My fears were relieved because as soon as Clay saw me on webcam he lit up and I knew he knew who I was! Later Connie told me that he was making faces at me from the hall and laughing at himself. heheh. That is so adorable! They are getting so big though. I can't believe it. I can't imagine how they will look when I see them again, for real. But at least this way I know they'll remember me.

I took the 9 older girls to the ushers' meeting at 4 and we got back FINALLY about 6:30, ate and were done just in time to watch the movie. That's were they are now.

My throat is still sore, but no more stomach problems so far. I even jumped a minute on the trampoline with Ceilin the littlest girl. After I got off, I watched as another intern tried to do a front flip unsuccessfully, while Ceilin shaded me under an umbrella. She is truly a doll.

Poor Astrid got her hair cut by a lady yesterday who chopped her hair into layers and gave her a perm. The poor thing was in tears as we tried to straighten her hair today. She is a strong girl who rarely cries, but when she does it is something that has really upset her. I felt so bad for her, but what can we do? It just has to grow. We gave her some bobbie pins to pin back the unwanted bangs, but the rest she'll just have to learn to live with for a while.

I haven't been to tutor in a week or so. I saw a friend of mine, Brennan, at Pricemart a few weeks back and he told me that the Osborn's were moving. I didn't get a chance to call before they went to the States, so I thought I would have to wait until they got back because I didn't know where they had moved. I knew the subdivision, but not the exact house. I wrote Steve about it and found out that they hadn't moved, so I'll start again this week. I have missed those kids!!

It would be so much easier coming and going if I had a car already. I love the walking, but in the rainy season, it just makes it hard. But I know there is one out there for me, I just have to be patient. I have a few numbers from the classified's but I don't know enough about cars and plus, I'd have to have a ride to go look at one. It's frustrating, but it will happen.

I've never believed that getting wet in the rain would make you sick, but I got soaked three days in a row this week and yesterday my throat started hurting and was worse this morning. I was also up all night with stomach "stuff". But life goes on...

I had to be at Shadow this morning at 6AM to substitute for Libni. It amazes me how even when the girls get an extra hour and a half to sleep they are still up at 6am. They are not normal teenagers, that's for sure. I, on the other hand, will pretend to sleep even when I can't, if I have the extra time.

I'm taking the older girls to the church this afternoon for an ushers' meeting. They actually are ushering tomorrow. I'm the only one here this weekend that drives, so I will take the ushers early and come back for the rest, and bring them home in two shifts as well. I like to drive though.

My dad left this morning for Honduras. Please keep him in your prayers this month as he won't be back home until the middle of August. We're trying to plan a very short trip by bus for him to come visit me or me to go visit him. Either way, I hope it works out. I really miss my family.

I'm planning an online date for tonight with them. I've sent them an e-mail to let them know. I just hope they get it. I may get to see my nephews on webcam. I can't wait. I hope it works out.

Well, I need to get back downstairs.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

tour or detour...?

Elizabeth and I went to the artisian market today to buy a quilt for Jill, the girl I roomed with last year here. She is engaged, so this will be a present from the home. So, Sarah and Courtney were off today so they asked if they could go. I really want a quilt for my bed, like I have at home, but I had will power and only bought two woven belts and a postcard.

We had to pick Miriam up from school afterwards, but since I was coming from a different direction, I wasn't sure how to get there. It wasn't that I didn't know where it was from there; it was that I couldn't get there from where we were. I could even see the road we needed to get to, but with all the one way roads and dead end roads and circle roads... anyway, we finally made it only about 15 minutes late. We had missed lunch, so we took Miriam and went to McDonald's drive-through for a burger.

Joanne will take the 4 interns that haven't been to Monjas tomorrow to visit. Her and Gib will be apart these three weeks that Carroll is gone, so I know that she will take any chance to go visit him. They are apart so much because of the home here and the building progress in Monjas. It is such a sacrifice for their mission here. I know that God will bless them because of their faithfulness.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

another day.

Carroll left today for the States for three weeks. So that leaves Joanne and I in the office with Elizabeth helping some as well. With Rebeca in the States also, it can get crazy.

This morning I took Miriam to the school where she does her practical work. (She is studying to be a teacher) I had only been to this school once before and I wasn't driving. I tried to pay attention to how to get there, knowing I would be going someday, but that was weeks ago and I couldn't remember exactly. I even dreamed about it last night, all night. A very stressful dream. But it seems that God wouldn't allow us to get lost. It was pretty neat how it worked out. We thought we had passed the turn off, so I was trying to turn around somewhere, which just isn't as easy as it sounds here in the city. You may have to travel a mile or more before you come to a place to turn around and go the other direction. Plus, not being familiar with this part of the city as much, I wanted to be extra careful, especially with Miriam. So, I turned down some road to try and turn around and Miriam shouts, "THIS IS IT!!". We were never lost after all! Isn't that amazing?!?

The next question was how to get home from there. I remembered vaguely the way, so I ventured out. I hit the Aguilar Batres, one of the main roads, but was heading the wrong direction. I knew where I had to go, just not how to get there. I even passed the turn off, but there was no way to get over there. I had to go all the way down to Roosevelt, which is like, THE main road into the city and by that time I just decided to go the way I knew best, to Periferico to San Cristobal. I finally made it home with no problems at all, and was even welcomed by Mary (my house mate) with some fresh made pancakes. MMM!!

Last night, the interns invited me along with them to go out with Alfredo from church. He is such a nice guy and always takes the interns to movies, out to eat, and things like that. We were going to this really cool place called Cuatro Grados Norte, but on Monday nights I guess there isn't much going on. So instead, we went to Los Cebollines, a really great Mexican restaurant in Zone 10. Courtney, Mary, and I were acting something crazy too, in the back seat of the car. Elizabeth rode in the hatch back, and Julie in front becuase she got car sick on the way. It was good times.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Prayer request

Please pray right now for my auny Paula and her family. She lost her oldest son last night, after losing her husband only 7 months ago. My cousin Matt was around 37 years old.

It's times like these that I most want to be with my family.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Amanda Panda

Bárbara started calling me "Amanda Panda", so a few of the other girls have picked up on it. So, now Ceilin (the 5 year old) just calls me "Panda"

hehheh. so. cute.

Friday, July 8, 2005

Good night

I feel so worn out tonight. The girls are watching a movie at the moment, so I snuck out to update my journal.

This morning Mary and I went to play soccer. We shot goals for a while and passed it back and forth, but couldn't really figure out how to play one on one, so we just kept passing. It was really fun though. I feel like I walked back and forth from the home to my home today as well. Which isn't a far walk, just up and down hill... both ways. My shins hurt. Then a group came today that have been working in Monjas all week, so Elizabeth and I practiced our flips on the trampoline. I've almost got my back flip and an ariel cartwheel!!

Something strange happened yesterday. It just really made me realize how much control God really has.... TOTAL control. I was in the office all morning by myself. A social worker from Jutiapa called and asked if we could take two girls who were there at the court. I'm not authorized to make that decision, so I asked her to leave a number and I would get right back to her. I called Carroll, who called Joanne, who decided with Carroll that we would take them. The lady had given me two phone numbers, and neither were working. I was trying like a mad man to get back in touch with that lady. Trying to find the right number. If I couldn't get in touch with them, they would send the girls to another home. I finally after an hour got through and they had already placed them somewhere else. I felt so sad. But I knew that I wasn't in control of the situation. I didn't find out until Saturday morning that another new girl had come later on that afternoon. If those other girls had come, this little girl, Glendy (11 years old) couldn't have come. So, that tells me that it was all in His plan. What does that tell you?

I have to say that the other new girl, Ceilin, who came last week is here with me and asking me question after question after question. She is so cute. I will have to take a picture of her next week to put on here. (Daddy, you will love her to death!!)

run forrest, run!!

I woke up early this morning and ran. I used to run downstairs on the treadmill on my time off, but Carroll took the treadmill to her casita when she moved out. These new interns have gotten me motivated. Most of them run or at least do some sort of exercise. I really enjoyed the run so early. It was so nice outside. I just couldn't make it up the hills; I had to walk. I actually ran into Jullie, an intern. We both had the same idea, I guess.

No one is in the office today. Carroll is off. Rebeka is in L.A. visiting her sister, Elizabeth is helping out at P.E. class, and Nora, the social worker, well, I never know when she works and when she supoosed to be off. Today is my day off too, but I didn't have much to do otherwise this morning, so I thought I'd at least come in until after lunch.

We're waiting for a phone call from the attorney about Bárbara's case. This will let us know how soon she will be going to the States. It could be as soon as two weeks. Please continue to pray for her and that situation. She is excited, but so nervous too

Thursday, July 7, 2005


We received a new girl, just as Carroll suspected, we lose two and gain one.

This little girl is a young one. She is only 5 years old. Her name is Ceilin and she is a live wire. So full of energy. The other girls upstairs got a little tired of her getting all of the attention at first, but now they seem to be getting used to it. Elizabeth has already taught her to do a flip on the knees on the trampoline.

Sandra did leave last Friday. I wrote her a letter to take with her. It's not like Evelyn, who since she was older, I gave her my phone number so we could keep in touch. Sandra is only 9, so I just have to pray that God will bring us back together someday. Just like he did with Yasmin and I.

Last night, my patience was tested. I wished that I was the kind of person who cound confront someone when they are upset, but I seem to always give the benefit of the doubt. I was sitting in for Libni downstairs, while she ran some errands. She said she would be back between 6 and 7. She showed up about 8:30. The girls were already in bed and since Courtney was doing dialysis down there, I came up to the office to help Miriam with her last minute homework. We had problems opening one program on her disk and then the printer wouldn't work and then we finally got one open and then we had to print it off the other computer... and finally after almost an hour we got it done and I went home at 10:00. This was after waking up at 5AM in vane because Miriam didn't need me to take her to school. So needless to say, I was happy to see my bed.