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,