Friday, November 26, 2010

una semana

Time goes so incredibly fast... i dont know if it´s just here, or everywhere. in 7 days ill be home with my family. Im so thankful, but also very sad to leave Casa Hogar. This being my 3rd year, i feel as if the kids and Casa hogar are a part of me. God has been so gracious in allowing me to be here this long, to survive 6 months, to keep me healthy, to keep me sane and loving the kids and Mexico. He has protected me, strengthened me, and has only made my desire to be here even stronger. Dont think that im not excited about being back though. I know that my time is up, my support account is running out :) and God wants me to be home. ... and i think my arthritis will kill me if i dont come home in 7 days.

So i ended up having the 2 little girls an extra 8 days and i was so thankful for those precious days. again,... it was difficult, stressful, funny and tiring.. but i love those girls and enjoyed being able to care for them. not that i cant care for them even now... but its different because im not tecnically in charge of them anymore.

Tomorrow will be my last saturday, ,... my last time going to be the beach with all the kids. I think the older girls and i will go out for tacos tomorrow night. Today we helped put up a (fake) tree in the office and decorate for xmas! that was a lot of fun it made me get into the christmas spirit when i saw the flashing lights. Yes i know thats not what Christmas is about :) but it did make me excited and thankful that i was going to be able to pass xmas with the fam, buy a tree, decorate, make cookies... etc. I do hope to spend christmas in Casa hogar some year though:)

right now as i think about leaving i need prayer that God will put my fears at ease. that i will know deeply that the Lord is taking care of the kids, that He is always watching over Casa Hogar. I hate to leave.... not that my role here is doing so much, but i do pray that the God sends someone to watch over these girls and boys. That He sends someone to love them. I want these kids, more than anything, to know how loved they are by me, by the other workers, and mostly by Jesus-and that the love of Jesus actually changes their hearts, lives and decisions each day.

thank yall so so much for supporting me. i hope im not talking (writing) to myself here.. becasue i hope that yall know im very appreciative of people that give of their time and money to see the kigdom of God grow.. thats what i hope and pray is happening at Casa Hogar. Thank you again and p`lease pray for my last week to be a sweet time. Pray that i dont get too sad, that the traveling back goes well, .. but mainly continue to pray for Casa Hogar and the kids.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

less than a month

Being here this long has been such a blessing. It´s been the most tiring, wonderful, painful and amazing 5 months. I dont really know what i do day in and day out.... when the night comes and the bell rings sometimes i try to think back on the day.. what was i doing all these hours?? where did the time go??
These past few weeks have been spent on talking to kids, playing, running, jumping, biting, hugging, calming  the fighting boys, taking all the little ones for a walk and to the beach, saving baby kittens, getting gum out of hair.. etc. you name it.

Also, since tuesday i have been in charge of Beth and Elsa ( the two 4 year olds). Wow. It´s very different being in charge and responsable for everything they do. Its mostly different because I dont get to play play with the 8-9 year olds as much since im constantly looking after the little ones. Every day is different with them.. every minute is so unpredictable, their attitudes are so flip floppy that i never know if one second they are going to cry or laugh. Getting them to sit and eat (without crying and pitching a fit) has definitly been the most difficult thing. But like i said, every day is different. One day it will pass that they both are crazy and crying, and we all spend an hour staring at the food-untill they suddenly decide to stuff it all down in 5 seconds and then they walk out like little princesses as they dry their tears.
Its also been a lot of fun. I love waking them up in the morning, getting them ready for school, doing their hair, seeing them off, being there when they get back, doing chores with them, playing, reading, napping, brushing teeth, pj´s, praying. I love the night when they are super content and we all read (their attention span is about 3 minutes) then they each pray and i pray. I love them so much and I hate to leave them . But they are definitly anything but little princesses. They fight constantly, hit, take things, tell on eachother, and throw incredibly dramatic temper tantroms. They need so much love... just like every child, and im very blessed to have this time to love them.
I do ask for tons of prayer as i still try to love on all the other little ones. It´s so tough loving kids all the time. ...and sometimes my patience runs so thin, some times my body cant take any more, and sometimes (I hate to say it) but i dont care enough to talk, discipline, or love.
*just a side note -This whole experience just within thesepast few days has made me insanely thankful for my mom. Its made me realize how much it takes to be a mom, how much she has, and how much i was/am ungrateful at times for the love she gave/gives me. and shes not done loving me, my siblings, her grandkids, and the foster kids she and dad care for. *
Sometimes i think im ready to ¨be a mom¨.. but i am soo lacking in the love, maturity, patience, and care that it takes to be a mom. But  i do love them all individually for specific reasons. they all have their little ¨bichos¨or ¨stuff¨about them,... but i love them and i need to rest and believe that Jesus is fighting for them and loves them more than i do.
theres a lot more to write... ill be around tomorrow ¨resting¨ (haha) till the little girls get back from school so i might be able to make it over to the computer again. please keep praying. Thank you all for the constant love, thoughts and prayers. >Ill be back soon.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So there are about 5 more weeks left. time is flying by...
there was a new change of pace for me and the kids the past week when a team came. but it wasnt just any team.. it was MY team with my dad and sister! I cant really explain how excited i was even just knowing my dad was going to be there. but then when i saw my sister peak around the corner in the airport i lost it and did my whole crying over the top and embarrasing everyone around me thing. It was great to have that week with the my daddy and big sister and im SO THANKFUL for the people that made our time together possible. Thank you so much!!
 i know ill see them and everyone soon,.. ergo i didnt cry my eyes out when i said goodbye.

Honestly i didnt really know how much the team and i were going to get done in Casa Hogar. But making a dent in construction isnt what its all about. What its about is just being there.. being an example of love even for a short time. Even if a kids can have a good time, play a fun game, and be held by someone for a few days- thats something. I know the kids were greatly impacted by the team of women and my dad. They all gave so much love to the kids, and Christ was just pouring out of them everywhere they went.. and i know the kids can see that. Its especially good for the new boys and girls that just came to casa hogar.
The friday night fiesta was a hoot. PiÑatas, hamburgers, and dancing.. you cant really go wrong. I had a blast dancing with the kids and i loved dancing with my dad-who is a great dancer btw-

these past few days since the team left have been filled with the same ol thing... and i love it! some stuff this week,...
-Mornings always vary... monday i went to help out the missionary family Donna and Irving with her 3 kids. The afternoon was the usual playing with girls upstairs ... we have recently been playing a lot of ¨school¨ which they love to do. Im either the strict teacher, or the disobedient student. I also have been reestablishing my hidden love for soccer and have been playing a lot with the kids. I hope to come back able to do some pretty sweet moves. Tuesday was kinda funny... because of a miscommunication i ended up not going to sobre el puente in the morning. Its interesting how God can totally change how you thought your day was going to go. waking up and thinking you know exactly whats going to happen.... then having everything change. I liked it though, and used my morning at Casa to help some kids that wwere there with homework. The ones that go to the public school came back early so i ended up having extra time with them as well. Besides playing school.. we love to play tag, make bracelets, read, tickle, play ïm flying¨, and sleep. I love these girls so much i cant imagine being away from them. I know i cant be here forever... i cant be their mom or even their sister. But I can be something in the time im here. i can talk to them, love them, and try to help them understand that Jesus loves them too.
each one of them is so precious. not only to me, but to God. He has taken care of them by bringing them here, and they are so blessed to be in a safe and secure environment with people that love them and friends to play and talk to.
They are so silly-they love to play and invent things, play jokes, run around for no reason, dance like maniacs. they are so smart- they love to read, draw, organize, do homework. They are so talented- some are incredibly athletic, some love to dance, sing, play instruments, make bracelets..
Im going to miss them so much. They need so much love and have so much love to give.

This coming up week starting monday im going to be in charge of the youngest 2 girls while the real ¨care giver¨is going to be in the US. Ill be looking after two 4 year olds... soooo.. pray for me. I love these girls so much and im really excited, but also i know im naive in thinking i wont get tired or annoyed. Pray for the patience that im going to need...
Pray for the patience i need now as i am living daily with almost 60 kids. Pray that i stay focused and that my mission will continue to be to share the love of Jesus through my words and actions. Pray that i use the rest of my time here, 5 short short weeks, to do the best i can, to remember that Jesus loves me no matter what, and to love the kids. Pray that i dont get too sad as time is running down, and that ill look forward more and more to be back with my church, family and friends.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

If you had asked me about 3 weeks ago if I wanted to come home in Oct, I probably would have said yes- that i missed my family too much, that the work was too hard, that the kids were too difficult, that the sun was too bright, and i was in too much pain physically.
But thinking about it now, I cant imagine leaving.... whether in Oct with my group that's coming, or on Dec 3 (when i actually HAVE to leave). I dont like thinking about not being here. The Lord has been helping and strengthening me a lot recently... just enough to get through the day, then i start all over. It's so tiring at times, it's hot ALL the time, and keeping up physically is tough. But my help comes from the Lord, and He gives me just enough strengh, patience, and joy to make it.
Being here longer than 2 months, I see things. some things that i dont want to realize about people, Casa Hogar, and myself. But also being here more than 2 months has enabled me to get to know so many of the kids. 10 new kids arrived in just a month, and i love them so much!
My days the past month have pretty much been like this: get up- go to (either) Sobre el Puente, Or the school Nuevo Horizonte. Recently ive been going to the school to organize and come up with a system for their "library." It's been fun. Ive also been able to sit in on the classes and see how the english teachers teach.
-so then i leave and depending where i went that morning i either get back aroun 1 or 3.
-after the kids at Casa get back from school and they have eaten, I go and play with the little kids. We play alot, from doing flips and running around, playing horse, playing barbies, cards etc.. you know, what little girls do..
-at 5 it's homework time, and it always varies each day how long ill be doing that. yesterday we did homework till about 7, but some days it's 30 min.
-afternoons are full of chatting and talking, playing soccer, buying little candies, etc..

*a fun Monday*
-On Monday I accompanied the Preschool from Nuevo Horizonte on a field trip to the Naval Port(?) where all the boats are. It was so much fun! Honestly, i had a blast. I was in charge of Beth and Elsa (2 four year olds from Casa Hogar.) the base was full of Marines.. and Every time we passed anyone in a uniform  beth and Elsa said "buenos dias Marinero! Como esta!"-("Good morning Marine How are you!" ) it was adorable. We went on a huge boat but didnt even take off. and within 10 minutes i had to get off and just stand by the side of the boat because i got "sea sick." It was kinda embarrasing, and i hated to leave them, but i also didnt want to throw up. I just stood by the boat and waved at Beth and Elsa for the last 30 minutes of their boat tour. We got done around 11 30, and all the parents came to pick up their little kids, and i took the 4 kindergarden Casa hogar kids back home with me in Taxi. that was fun too, b/c beth and elsa were singing the whole time.  It was a good bonding day especially with the little girls, and i was very thankful that the other preschool teachers from Nuevo Horz. allowed me to go. We got home earlier than the other kids, so the 4 of them came in my kitchen and drew and watched a cartoon.

Not every day is full and exciting. some days im so tired that by the time I go upstairs to play with the girls i end up crashing on one of their beds instead.

well this computer is about to die, i have to go. im going to see my dad in 11 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

   For those of yall that are not Mexican and dont know, tomorrow is Mexico´s Independence day and also Bicentenial celebration. they go all out on food, decorations, fireworks... no one has work or school tomorrow. It should be pretty crazy. Besides going to Sobre el puente in the morning im not planning on going out. wr are having a fiesta at sobre el puente the 15th, and then the 16th Casa hogar will have a fiesta with everyone from the church. Obviously ive never been here for this holiday, but i did see pictures from last year and the party looks  really fun. traditional dances, tons of food, tons of people.. im really excited.
  Recently I have been going over to the missionary couples´house to help babysit, to eat and be encouraged. I go to sobre el puente in the mornings with Irving, the dad, and go to the house to hang out and help Donna, the mom. They are an amazing couple, great parents to 3 beautiful children, and so helpful in giving me spiritual encouragement. Im very thankful for them. I talked recently to Donna about how it can be a bit disheartening working in casa and sobre el puente. I want so much to see an overnight change in some of these kids... i want to see these street kids live a drug and pain free life, thrive and have a future like every kid should, and be changed by Jesus. i want these kids of casa hogar to see how much i love them, how much Jesus has already done for them. I want them to love Jesus, me, and love eachother.
  Please please pray for the kids at casa hogar and at sobre el puente. The Lord can do incredible things and i know He is working in some of these guys and girls. Pray that I keep trying to witness to them. I have seen that with some of the kids, the older girls especially, my words cant do anything. Nothing i say can get through to them. It doesnt matter how much i try to love them, they only try to hurt me and others. It doesnt matter how much they have at casa Hogar, they refuse to see the good in their lives. I know that my words are not powerful enough to break the years and years of walls built up.. only Jesus and His words are strong enough to break them. I love these girls so much. therefore i will continue to forgive and love them, be there for them if and when they need me, and I will try to use the words of Jesus to get through to them. Most importantly i need to continue to pray for them. I am no different than them at all, so please continue to pray for me and my soul as well.
   This post is a bit shorter because im baby sitting at the couples´s house and the twins are screaming bloody murder... also its shorter because this is mainly the only thing thats been on my heart recently. Please pray for these kids and continue to pray for me.

pray for mexico - and !!!!VIVA MEXICO!!!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

almost sep 15!!

Hi yall.
 Since the last time i wrote the kids have started classes, I´m back at Sobre el puente in the mornings, and homework is basically all afternoon. I love getting up at seeing the kids leave for school. They have the cutest uniforms here in Mexico!  I dont understand why in the world schools would make them ever wear white, but all their uniforms are white with green pants, or red pants.. and they have to keep them super clean all the time. It´s interesting, and a little distressing seeing how similar the schools here are to the schools in France...from what i remember of france. I went with the kids about a month ago to their middle school, and today I went to one of the high schools just to see how it was. And I can say that it is ALOT different in the United States. It makes me a little nervous because I always said i wanted to be a´n english teacher here in Mexico...we´ll see.
 Like i always say,.. I really cant change anything here on my own, and sometimes my powerlessness is a little depressing. sometimes all I can do is continue in the little things like helping with homework, helping make food at sobre el puente, playing uno with the street kids, laughing with them, singing with them, .. playing soccer at casa,... I know God can use me in the mundane day to day stuff.
 But my patience and my good attitude collapses at times, my temper gets the better of me, and sometimes it is so frustrating living with kids. But it´s good to hang out with the older guys and girls too,. and recently ive been enjoying cooking and listening to music in the kitchen with some of the older ones. God has blessed me with some great times here, some difficult ones to learn by, and has given me great friends here.

In these past two weeks i have realized that the reason i have felt so consumed by the hard times is because i have been lacking personal devotional time. It´s good to realize again and again how important it is to read the Bible. .. which is what i had been forgetting these past few weeks. I wake up incredibly early and have no problem journaling and praying,... but as far as reading the Bible, I had been putting that off. I think it´s because i thought that i had read it all and didnt need to read it again so soon. But today and yesterday I started reading the Old Testament, probably for the first time in a LONG time, ... and you know what it´s actually really really interesting. It´s not full of stories of perfect people who performed miracles. The more I read the more i realize that it´s really full of stories of sinners who suffer from what we all suffer from...pride and unbelief. and more importantly it´s about how God´s grace was true then, and it´s true now. The more i realize how much of a sinner i am and how much Im forgiven, it makes it easier to forgive these kids at times.

 In closing... Ill be continuing to go to Sobre el puente in the morning, be in Casa in the afternoons. I need deep continuous prayer that I realize more why God has brought me here and what He wants. i need prayer to be able to stay true to my ministry here, to love these kids with all my heart and to want the best for them. I need prayer to love mexico... because its hard to not get frustrated with the culture differences.  I need prayer for my arthritis.
 Thank you all for supporting me. Im very thankful for this time here. Im thankful for my family here in mexico and the church, and im thankful for yall, family and friends, back in the states. I love you all.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

im not dead

hey yall. its august 21 ... i know.. i havent written in what, like a month or so. woopsy. Believe it or not, there is alot going on. alot of random happenings during the day. alot of canceld internet cafe trips... hair cuts, going to the beach, playing Halo, reading, and hanging out with the kids gets in the way of me leaving. If anyone wants to bring me a computer down here that would always be appreciated. while youre at it could you bring me a few pair of shorts too.
  But serioulsy, everything is good. health wise im fine. I could use a few more veggies in my diet but who couldnt. There are always things i want to share with yall. Even during the day sometimes i think about what im going to write. There has been alot thats happened so far, but ill just share with yall a few things recently.
. yesterday an outting to go running with one of the kids turned into me taking 15 of the smaller boys and girls and a few bigger kids to the beach for about 3 hours. It was so much fun, and on our way back we stopped and got about 35 mangos from someones tree. a few of the kids and i had passed by the previous week and the lady invited us on the roof and even provided us with her huge stick-basket thing to get the mangos down. yesterday was alot of fun... and when we got back to Casa Hogar we had a huge evening of peeling, cutting, and eating mangos with salsa. it was delicious but apparently causes bad diarrhea... i guess we ll find out.
 The kids all start school on monday.. so they are all enjoying the relaxation of these last days. with the rain and all.. relaxing means literally just sitting. theres alot of sitting going on right now. im loving it too... sitting and playing halo. sitting and talking.. sitting and making bracelts, watching tv, reading, hanging out.. My kitchen has been used pretty much regularly as the entertainment room for the girls. they always make fun of me because i dont have any food other than milk and cococrispies from the previous group. i eat what the kids eat and when the kids eat so i dont buy food. but that has been fun having them in the kitchen. Relationships are growing, especially with a few of them.. but its still so difficult because none of them are constant. i guess im not constantly content either.. or constantly nice... But it has been a struggle with the girls especially to continue to be there for them every second and to be a witness. The Lord is teaching me to be faithfully forgiving and kind even when they are not.. He is teaching me to be strong, to be wise and compassionate.. to see situations through their eyes... to not be so sensative. he has given me courage and endurance. Its very comforting to know that He is for me and not against me. He is fighting for me.
  school starts on monday... so what does that mean for me. I have no idea really.. What i think that im going to do is in the mornings i will either go to Nuevo Horizonte-the christian school- to help out with the missionary english teachers, and or i will be going to Sobre el puente-the street kids ministry- in the morning and coming back to casa Hogar in the afternoons. when the kids get back they have a mountain of homework that needs to be done, then chores, eating, hanging out, and they go to bed earlier. we have enjoyed some great late nights... but now the partying is over and bed time is going to be 8 i think, and no more sleep overs till the weekend. But i will be pretty busy with the school, sobre el puente, and helping with homework. Honestly this is a very rough plan of what might happen. ill let yall know what im actually doing when the time comes.
  As much as i miss school work-not- im very happy to be here at casa hogar. as much as i miss my family and friends, church and town, i feel that God is really going to bless the rest of my time here. im not counting down my days, but im trying to enjoy each one and live it for the glory of God. I do a pretty bad job at glorifying Him in every situation... and it s insanely tough loving at all times. But God is so good and restores my strength every day.
 Pray for these kids. Pray that God changes their hearts and lives. Pray that I can be a witness to the boys and girls, the younger and older ones.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

is it really JULY 27! i cant believe i would already be home right now ... probably in the hot tub or eating a salad... reading a book , or talkin to the padres..
but im still here and im SOOOO GLAD i get to stay for 4 more months. I think about the things ive learned, the good and bad, tough and easy times, the relationships and conversations, the food ive eaten, the people ive met, and progress in construction, and the adventures of living in mexico- and im so grateful for each day God is allowing me to stay. I continure to learn that i cannot plan anything, and situations are completely out of my control-but thats kinda awesome because God has better things planned for me than i could think of, and He is taking care of me.

since the last time ive written alot of things have happened -
-. we had an amazing time with the Macon, Ga. group. Not only was i able to say ýall´all the time-and it be ok.. but the leaders and the kids on the team made the week very enjoyable, stress free, and fun for me, the rest of the interns and the kids at casa. i did almost lose about 2,000 pesos of the team.... but it ended up being in a hidden ripped out compartment of my pursebag :) but it was kinda nerve wracking.
-. i just got back on saturday night from a camping trip with Sobre el Puente. Sobre el puente, for those of you who dont know, is another mission to the world ministry here in Acapulco, for the street kids. i think i have explained it though.. so we went 12 LOONNNG hours to Guanajuato with about 12 kids and 6 leaders-including 3 of us interns. a good time was had by all :) i was able to get to know the kids more. there was plenty of time for good conversations and fellowship, bracelet making, and tossing the was very stress free for us interns becasuse we were not in charge of anything. we helped any way we could... but that wasmainly with translating, being there for the kids, and talking to the team members. (a team came from texas to work with the kids, do crafts, devotional, etc.-they were amazing and such a blessing to everyone). i did get bad sick on friday.. throwing up, sleeping on the bathroom floor... the works. but after another 12 hours on saturday we finally made it back home. I say ´home´because i literally was dying to get back to casa hogar, and when we did get back i felt like i was home. i couldnt see the kids until sunday morning, but when i did see them i was so happy. it felt like i had been gone for a long time.

-well my time is running out on this computer and i dont have 10 more pesos. there is tons more i could write and i know i need to be more constant in my updating. i think because of the camping trip all my plans and priorities got out of sorts. i love you all please continue to pray for casa hogar and the kids.

Monday, July 12, 2010

no manches

Where do I begin. ....
  It´s been a while. I apologize for that. We had 2 weeks with no teams, and although you might be thinking that we have been bumming around for 14 days- that is false. The first week i went to sobre el puente with samone, and week 2 was full of activities planned for the little kids. And i learned alot of stuff this week that i never would have thought about.... ie.
1. it´s super scary trying to do a bible lesson with 13 little mexican kids.
-the interns split up and took on some lessons each day and had a craft to go with it. My lesson was about some of the miracles of Jesus (water to wine, feeding 5,000, healing people). we divided the kids and they all put on their own little skits of the miracles. it was super cute and i think they enjoyed 'acting' it out. but it is scary trying to communicate with a bunch of mexican kids... and to do it in a mature and authoritative way.
2. they all love candy and watching movies- so if they dont listen, just threaten to take one of those away.
-after the lessons and games we had movie time with candy. that was fun and a good time-mainly good because it gave us interns a break after about 5 hours of nonstop activities with the little ones. the all really love watching movies, and eating fruity lollipops that are covered in chile powder....
3. I have a heart for doing construcion and really missed it these past weeks.
-i had to watch some of the older ones doing construction while it was our week to be with the younger kids.. and i was a little sad i couldnt help out at that point. but the day finally came TODAY and we had great construction time. The team is here now, and all 26 of them and 2 interns helped clear away sticks, breaking them, putting them in trash bags to be hauled off.. some others were busting part of the wall so that trucks can come in and take away all the rocks and rubble thats crowding the place where the new boys´s dorms are going to be. the work today was exciting, and i was glad to see progress happening. i was also SUPER happy because today i got to use a machette for the first time in a long time! i dont thin i had used one since Peru 3 or 4 years ago. But today i had a ball busting up sticks and logs. i have some nice new blisters that are forming over the old blisters from last year.
4. i like telling people what to do :)
- kinda a joke. more like... i like leading people-when i know what im doing (which isnt a lot). But i do enjoy helping out the teams, getting them situated, learning names, explaining things to the leaders.. its all very fun. Im thankful for the team here now, and i know casa hogar and the kids are as well. I think the main thing us interns will be telling this team to do is to slow down. They all all mostly in high school.. full of energy.. always running an playing soccer.- and the kids love them. But please pray that they all stay healthy and safe and strong throughout the whole week. They cant go dying on us on day 2.

But i have been learning a lot. mainly about how i need to rest. I tell the teams and the other interns to take a break, a siesta, to go rest. yet I rarely do. So i need to continue fighting against my urge to do everything, to be everywhere, to not miss anything,-.. and i need to rest in the fact that  the Lord is going to use me where I am and i dont need to worry so much. It´s a daily fight though.. to make myself slow down and not feel guilty when i dont do something or dont go somewhere. I have also been rediscovering that God loves me individually and personally. seeing and knowing that love is the only thing that enables me to love other people. So please pray that just as Christ loves me, i am now free to love others.

Friday, July 2, 2010

july 2- coffee helps alot

i say that coffee helps alot because... well yesterday we (again) lost power for the morning and i didnt get to drink any coffee :) so i felt like i was in a funk all day. It was tough walking down the hill, doing to Sobre el puente with Samone, trying to sing and keep my eyes open, then come all the way back to casa and be here for the kids and interns too. I think the Lord was showing both me and Samone that we need to rest sometimes. The night before we had slept upstairs with the girls, gone to bed late, woken up early, probably had played soccer the day before.. and we were just bookin it all week. I think it is good to slow down sometimes and to rest in the realization that we can do nothing alone.. but our help and strength comes from the Lord.
 With that in my mind and heart,... we DID have electricity this morning and i was able to have 2 nice cups of coffee before we headed out this morning. Samone and I both felt alot better and it was a blessed day going to Sobre el Puente. It was one of the boys´birthday today... so we all celebrated that together. He wentout to buy tortillas, and when he came back we had balloons, cake, and presents. Afterwards he told us that this was the first time his birthday has ever been celebrated. He just turned 18- and this was his first birthday.Icouldnt really think about that at that moment... but ive been realizing how selfish I am when i think of my birthdays- how i think that i deserve something. He was very grateful today for everyone and everything. He is this amazing young man, plays the guitar amazingly, draws, sings... he´s just incredibly gifted. Please pray for his life. that he will be able to live one more year. That the Lord will open his heart to hear the gospel. That he will see that there is someone that loves him even more than the workers at sobre el puente do.
  I have been encouaged greatly by going to sobre el puente this week .It´s been hard to think abot theguys and girls when they leave. I have to put their lives in His hands. There was a girl that came today with her one year old, gorgeous, baby boy. I gave them both a haircut.... then we said bye to them later. Please pray for this young mother that is trying tocare for her baby while living on the street.
  tomorrow another intern is coming for 2 weeks. Im going to head to the airport to pick him up. then the Next week week is the week with the younger kids. We have tons of bible lessons, plays, and games all planned out... then the next week a team from Macon is coming..... sooo there is ALOT to pray for :) I know this post was kinda splotchy...and ill try to write more next time. love and peace.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

cafe freeze

-so a cafe freeze is this amazing slurpy-ish, coffee/ice cream drink that we get at the OXXO( basically like a 7 11). I fell in love with them the first year i came.. and i have already had my 3rd since being here. those who dont like coffee would love them. and it only costs about a dollar 60 (compared to something not even as amazing at starbucks for 5 dollars). aaannyyways...

 The team left today. It was emotional for the kids and the group. The team members mean alot to these kids and have really impacted the orphange and Sobre el Puente ( the street kids ministry). The week with them was fantastic in fact that 3 of them are not leaving :) the girl who left her passport on the bus has to stay until friday. Rachel, her mother, and brother, are going to be with us for 5 more days. Please pray that they will see this time as an opportunity to continue sharing Christ with these kids. .. and that we will all just go with the flow these next few days.
 Speaking of going with the flow... The interns and I went to the beach again this Sat. morning with a few of the kids. I was really tired, but went for about an hour in order to chill with one of the kids that had left Casa Hogar but was going to come to the beach to hang out with the kids. So we went and had fun climbing rocks (getting some scrapes) and jumping into the water. I seem to always underestimate the power of waves and the sharpness of ocean rocks.. and i think all of us came back with a few cuts. But it´s all good no worries (mom) ;) It was fun. Right after a quick shower and some food some of the interns got to go to 3 of the boys´soccer game. That was so much fun!! Bus rides are always semi sketchy and you never know exactly why we are stopped at some store for 15 minutes... My patience is definitely tested, but as i looked back at the boys who are about to be late for their soccer game but are being super chill, .. i become less frantic and learn how to go with the flow. The game was really great. 'our boys' scored 3 out of the 7 points, and ended up winning big time. We took them to the OXXO (7 11) to celebrate.. and we all got cafe freeze/gatorade/huge bottles of water/gum. I think we just got back about 30 minutes ago and im super worn out. .... but yet if they are playing futbol at the casa ill probably join ;)
  I actually have not been playing soccer alot, minus on wed. Wed was the teams day off and they got to enjoy acapulco for the afternoon with some of the interns. .. while I and the others had our free day. My idea of a perfect free day is staying in the Casa and chilling... maybe going out and buying a bonafeena (gogurt ish thing). So thats what i ended up doing and it was really great. Playing soccer for 2 hours=an insane workout=really dihydrated.. but really fun.

  -I did want to share about the week coming up (mon-fri). Samone and I are going to be going to Sobre el Puente for that week.We dont have a team this week or next, but have some great things planned for them which im really excited about!!Buuuuut.. Samone and I have the opprtunity to go to the street child´s ministry and try to be a blessing to the workers and the kids there. This ministy is so important and I have seen how it has been doing incredible things for these kids who would otherwise be on the streets all day. The poverty, and insane sufferings of these guys and girls really affected me last year. It was really hard to be a part of that ministry where I see so much is needed, then leave, see the same kids on the street just hours later, then go to Casa Hogar and try to minister there as well. Like i said before, Im not superwoman, and I got really bogged down with my lack of power and also with just sadness and depression. Even going back for ONE DAY  on thursday, all those thoughts and feelings came back, and I became really nervous that this was going to be too much for me to go for a week. -and it will be too much for ME. .. but not to much if i call upong the Lord to give me strength. That night some of us interns that share a room prayer together, and that was very encouraging. Please pray that as Samone and I go to Sobre el Puente we wont concentrate on how much we are unable to change the guys and girls, but instead we will see how we are given this week to simply love them. The staff there is incredible and I feel so blessed to have gotten to know them last year. The kids are all new since last year.. and im excited about getting to know them this week.

Thats all for now. Im doing well physically... i still have arthritis, need more water, need more showers and need more sleep :)

peace and blessings. Thank you all for allowing me to be here and for helping these kids and this orphange. Yall are instruments of His hands. Dios to bendiga

Monday, June 21, 2010

day after father´s day

Hi yall,
I know I´m the worst updater ever! But know that I am well ;) I have been able to talk to my family recently, and that was very encouraging. Even though I typically do not get home sick, it is difficult being away for so long and not be able to call or see people anytime I want.
 That´s not really what I wanted to share about though.

-(just a random, fun day)-
The interns and I took 3 of the girls to the nearby beach on saturday.. just 2 hours of swimming, getting smashed by the waves against rocks ;) looking for crabs, finding pretty rocks, and walking down the streets of acapulco. It was a sweet time that we got to share with just a few of the girls who had finished their chores and wanted to come. I love days like that. It´s always good to get out of the orphanage with a few of the kids and just play. The girls were really sweet and we had a great time. Personal times with the kids always strengthens relationships and helps the girls see that we care.. and it´s just fun hanging out with them. So... Then I was able to get on the bus and go down to the store for a bit just to buy some yogurt and shampoo.

   There is a team here now, from Penn. way up north... so saying ÿall¨is kinda funny to them. They have been here before, and it´s great working with them for the 3rd time now. Imso thankful for the teams that come to Casa Hogar.. you who set aside your time and money to serve.. it´s a blessing to this ministry. Besides the supporters who are godparents to some of the kids, the only way that this orphange can function is through teams coming and providing them with money. It makes me sad that after this week we have a break with no teams for 2 weeks. The director of Casa Hogar was also sad and worried about that. Pray that the Lord provides casa Hogar with sufficient funds. They live day by day dealing with their lack of expenses.. getting by with the food they have just for the day. -yet they generously serve us and always share with us interns.
 So we have a team. And with that comes some funny times, (locking keys in the room, forgetting passports...etc) that reminds us interns of why we are here :) Patience is a daily necessity. I´m also thankful for the love  and the interests they show in each child... wanting to help the ones who have learning dissabilities, physical needs, providing them with clothes.. and just playing with them. The teams are also a great encouagement to me and the rest of the interns. Talking about Casa Hogar so much with the teams, about individual kids and situations, it strengthens my love for this place.
 Today is Monday. We woke up and started construction at 8. We are shoveling, pickaxing, and carrying rocks out of a trench that is being dug. It´s ultimately going to be the water system under the boys dorms... but it´s slow and streadily coming along. The beginning is always the most frustrating for me because I want to see what I am acomplishing right away. how much Im doing and what progress we are making. Ever since the first year, i have loved doing construction. Not only because it´s a workout (and i love to workout;) but because I want to see this orphanage built and reconstructed. ´But when I get frustrated that Im not accomplishing what I want to .. thats when i have to know It´s ultimatey not dependent upon me and my own strength. More than anything, ive been shown my weakness and my inabilities while being here. -my weakness when i rely on my own strength. My (arthritic)body can only do so much. And when I think im super-woman and that everything is dependent upon me, that´s around the time that the Lord shows me my weakness and my pride. Pride seems to be my middle name. And I pray that each day I become humbled as I realize my inabilities. These kids humble me and show that I´m not the end all be all. My spanish stammerings shows me that I have to allow myself to fail and mess up. My arthritis shows me all the time that I have to call upon God for strength. The other interns have shown me how timid I am when it comes to sharing my heart and my faith with others. This is a continuous thing... me realizing my weakness. But with that also comes the realization of how great and powerful God is. And I need to realize that each day. Im not going to change souls, but He can use me here now to show love to these kids. I might not be able to build rooms all by myself. But I can be a part of something great for this orphange.
   So anyway... after construction a few of the team members got to shower but then the water cut off ;) so that was funny. After we ate lunch (which was incredible) I tried to turn on the water hoping beyond hope that i could at least rinse off... and I COULD! the water lasted literally about 10 seconds... but that was enough to get the main layer of sweat and dirt off my arms and legs. It´s always interesting here.

Thats all for now. Keep Casa Hogar in your prayers.

Saturday, June 12, 2010 sorry i havent posted in a while. It`s been a little over a week now but it feels like ive been here forever.. in a good way. I think all the running around and going 100% is catching up a bit so yesterday and today ive been taking it easy-hanging out upstairs with the girls..drawing..watching peter pan:) I'm a little out of it right now so forgive my rambling. There is so much to write about. So many conversations and encouraging things that have happened just recently. It's still hard for me at times to communicate 100% fluently but recently the kids have kept asking the same questions.. 1-why am i here 2- what do i want to do with my life 3-and why do i have arthritis. Even some of the 11-14 year old boys have been asking me this all week and it's been cool being able to share with them. There has also been more spend the night times with the girls. Last night i was about to get on the computer to update the blog.. but one of the girls asked us to sleep with them upstairs .. so we went. we slept on the floor. straight up. At first i didnt think i would get sore or cold but ... i did :) the waking up every hour..the bug bites.. the 'freezing' night..... all that was worth it because i got to talk to 2 of the girls especially. They like for me to tell them stories so i was telling them about a vacacion i remember having in France. After the story one of the girls just started talking all about her past... then the other one did. I knew that God was using this time I had with the girls for me to open to them too and to encouage them. It's hard for me to say to 11 and 13 year old girls who have been through what they have 'God uses our struggles to teach us more about Him and His love'.. and 'we wouldnt have learned to.. forgive..or trust God.. if we hadnt gone through those things.' But I believe that the Lord is working in the lives of these kids. They are growing up in a safe place and are constantle surrounded by people and staff that love them. But please pray for these kids. the older ones especially.. that the Lord will change them and that they can lead the younger ones.        (ok so if you havent noticed i dont know how to put commas on this key board nor how to start new paragraphs... so bear with me)    What I just shared seemed like only one day. and you might be wondering what in the world I am doing here..especially right now when there is not team. But so far every day has been different. I have been cutting hair..hanging out with the interns having spend the night parties..  movie nights with the girls (which includes amazing mexican coke and many cookies). .. Ive been eating with the kids.. waking up early to help with  breakfast.. cleaning dishes.. doing laundry..-yesterday I had to go with one of the directors that deals with the interns. I was actually freaking out a little bit because the night before all she said was that we had to go to the office of imigracion to sign papers and stuff..... so i was thinking 'ok im getting deported or something because my papers arent in order.' well it's not that at all :) Nothing really happens the 'easy way' here in mexico (in my eyes) ... so this was more like a trip. -going from offices to offices.. then we ended up staying at one big acapulco business office to watch the world cup Mexico vs SouthAfrica =random ?  So once we had everything we needed we finally went to the office.... but .... it had closed 5 minutes before. So that was interesting :) To me being away from the Casa is way more tiring than staying all day with the kids. Even being in a car can be draining. But again.. the Lord used that time that i had with the director Melissa (who isnt that much older than me) and we got to know eachother alot better. She is an amazing person and has been doing a fantastic job taking over the position of Myrtille (although no one can quite replace her:)    I guess that's all for now. Thank yall again for yalls support of casa hogar and these kids.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

3 days in

 It´s Saturday right now and I´m at a little internet cafe with 3 of the kids. Ï arrvied Thursday night around 8 and instantly was greeted by the kids. It was so great seeing them again, i can´t really explain it. The night seemed like a whole day. I met the teams, met all the interns, said hey to kids, hung out with the girls upstairs, saw more kids, met the new ones.. then the interns had a meeting at our team leader´s house. Us interns got to know eachother for a bit then we went back to the casa... and i finally put my suitcase in my room and got to unpack a bit.
  Friday we jumped right in to construction then had an amazing meal with the team. The first bite of the salsa made me so happy I was there! The fiesta at night was alot of fun. Even though for some reason we didnt salsa dance, there was  a lot of soccer, uno, frisbee, etc. and the whole team took the kids to the store to get snacks. They also made a slide show for the kids to see. Some of us interns slept upstairs with the girls last night. we just made the floor one huge matress. I fell asleep immedietely :)
  Today I woke up and ate with the kids, played some, then helped with the dishes (which is a horrific sight but kinda fun to do).. then the other interns and i and Doug´s family went to the beach for our ¨day off¨. That was quite fun, but after the bus rides, the walking, the hours in the hot sun and the huge waves, i was very much ready to go back to casa and be with the kids. So I went back and played with some of the younger kids... then realized I had left my keys with the other interns who are still out. So I decided to come with some of the chicas to use the internet.
  Even though I cant remember everything that I do I want yall to know Im so happy that Im back. Please continue to pray that the Lord will strengthen my relationships with the girls here, and also with the interns. It´s great to be able to tell the kids I´m staying till December and Im so looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store these next few months. I´m so happy I´m not leaving in 2 months. I couldnt imagine. But it´s going to be dificult and draining and tiresome.. but also very rewarding.
  Besides the constant feeling of dehydration and dirtiness... this couldnt be better :) but even in those things im rejoicing that I can just be here with these kids.
Thank yall so much for getting me here.
besos y abrazos

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

day before takeoff

Before I leave I have to thank all my supporters who are making this trip possible. I would love to be able to say that I could go on my own and not have to ask other people for help. But I can't.. because without the financial support of my family, friends, and people in my church, trips like this would not be a reality. Not only am I grateful for the money that allows me to go :) I'm also thankful for the prayers and spiritual support. So thank yall for sending me to Casa Hogar. It will be my home, and for these next 6 months I will help with missions teams, hang out in the orphanage, make bracelets, salsa dance, and share Christ with the kids.
There's a lot more that goes in to being an intern.. a lot of unscheduled things occur. I'm expecting not being able to know what to expect each day. So pray that the Lord keeps me humble, takes away my pride, calms my nerves and keeps me healthy. But when and if I get sick, when the kids keep being childish, when I lose my temper, when I miss my family, and when I can't eat another quessadilla, pray that I remember to turn to Him for help. Just like I couldn't go to Acapulco without yall's support, I definitely can't survive these next months without the grace of God.
I'm looking forward to meeting all the new interns that are already working hard at Casa Hogar, and I'm SO EXCITED about reconnecting with 2 interns from last year! Please pray that we interns will remember why we are in Mexico in the first place... not for an adventurous summer, not to get a tan, and not to make little kids love us. But pray that our goal and mission remains to be sharing the gospel with the kids through word and deed, and showing them the same unconditional love that our Father has given us.

*Through December, I will try to update yall on my time at Casa Hogar. Please forgive my bad grammer, my run on sentences, and my spastic writing tendencies. I love to draw, paint, read, play tennis, eat tamales, and share Christ with kids... I am not a writer:) But I hope yall enjoy my periodical updates. I leave for ATL airport around 8am, should be taking off and arriving in Mexico City by 3, in Acapulco by 7, and at Casa Hogar by 8:30. ...but.. I'm expecting for not everything to go exactly as planned. ...

Dios te bendiga,

Monday, May 31, 2010

Pre leaving thoughts

...Some things I'll miss...                                                     
1-my family and friends                                                      
2-being able to throw toilet paper away                              
3-the hot tub                                                                     
5-painting and drawing                                                      
7-church services  

 ...Some things I'm looking forward to...
1-seeing the kids I've grown close to
2 early morning breakfasts
3-cold showers after hours of construction
4-riding in those taxis and buses
5-the beautiful mountains and beaches
6-walking up the hill to Casa Hogar
7-church services followed by cheese ice cream


Sunday, May 30, 2010

I'm leaving for Casa Hogar in 4 days!!!