Soy Sarah… Madre de nueve J
Dear Friends and Family,
Hi there! In case you’ve forgotten, my name is Sarah and I DO still exist! 2 weeks have passed since I last posted, and I have a very crazy, ridiculously wonderful, challenging, complex explanation as to WHY!
You see, the last time I posted, I was blissfully enjoying relaxed time of organization on “my side” of the clinic with my God-given helper, Hayley, while also helping Christa and Nohemi with various tasks most days. Since Thanksgiving, things have progressively grown more and more crazy. Nohemi was granted permission to leave the property for 4 days to visit her extended family with all of her 3 other siblings and father (who visits occasionally). When this occurred, Hayley and I stepped up our game and worked non-stop to cover Nohemi’s kitchen/cooking duties! It basically took 2 of us to keep up with one of her in the kitchen (no joke)! On Thursday of last week when Nohemi returned, I found out about an incident with the girls and their more-or-less “boss” of the one room. I was called into Pastor’s office that night to be asked if I was willing to begin “caring” for the girls but in their dormitory! My original intent with this trip was to prepare the clinic for habitation and stay with the girls in their dormitory to learn more about them/spend time with them/etc. But I know how “my plans” usually are in the eyes of the LORD, which is why I try to always seek His will and be open to His leading & directing! SoooOOoo, on Friday night after Hayley left, I carried my mattresses over to the girls’ dormitory with a few other very small possessions/essentials (alarm clock, flashlight, pillow, Bible…) and spent my 2nd night ever with the girls in their style of living! And it only took ONE night for the LORD to completely change my mind!
I was basically thrown into the lions’ den… the old boss didn’t explain anything to me: the schedule or routine, what is to be expected of the girls as far as work (they are on break right now from school through January), or ANYTHING! So, I hopped right in, praying all the while, trying to do my best for Jesus! And what I saw that night and next morning sickened me (and my heart) more than I could bear. Here I was, with this strong desire to help these girls and change so many things, but in an environment so NOT conducive to change! I searched in my Bible early the next morning for answers from the LORD and read about Solomon preparing the house of the Lord in Chronicles… I didn’t know then what I know now when I prayed this, but I told the LORD to help prepare me to build an acceptable HOME for His glory as well! Little did I know, my home would open its doors within hours after reading and praying over those verses! I spent several hours at the clinic that morning after setting the girls up to do their respective jobs… I poured my heart out to Christa about what I saw and asked for her counsel, as I felt very strongly that I could provide for them better in the UNPREPARED clinic than they WERE being cared for in their dormitory! I took some time to shower and pray more, while Christa prayed for the Lord’s wisdom to really “rain” down on me…. After drying off, I couldn’t shake multiple verses in Proverbs out of my head (If it is in thy power to do good, withhold it not… and to know to do good, and do it not, is sin). Praise the LORD, He truly went before me on this trip providing me with everything I would need to get started with these precious girls… Because of the Lord’s provision and His giving people, I KNEW it was in my power to provide for these girls, and I’d be worse off if I didn’t start right away! I called Pastor Chungo and asked him to stop by for a chat… with his blessing, my heart and head started going a thousand times a minute and hasn’t quite stopped yet!
I walked over to the girls dormitory to speak to Elisa about Pastor Chungo and I’s decision. And what was soon to follow broke my heart, angered me, and made me even more determined to get the girls in the clinic. As I explained that I would only be taking the 7 oldest girls of the one room that I was “boss” of for a night, to start, a game started to be played of basically bargaining other children off. I wanted to start with the oldest girls first because all of “my” rooms in the clinic are not vacant or usable yet, and also because I thought it wisest to acclimate the oldest girls first so they can learn the ropes and help with the younger girls (of the different room that I wasn’t boss of for a night) when they would make the move to the clinic. While I stuck to my guns at first, or tried to, I eventually gave up of sorts and willingly accepted the girls that were being (more or less) passed off to me. Hence, to start, it was decided that 9 girls would make the move on that Saturday afternoon, December 1st. I started by asking them to bring all of their possessions down to the clinic. I RUSHED to make sufficient room to occupy 3 of the rooms. As they came down with their cardboard boxes and stuffed pillowcases, I scrambled to empty dressers I had neatly organized so that their things wouldn’t be lying on the floor (as we needed floor space to put their mattresses down… since I still don’t have bunk beds). After bringing all their possessions in one trip (by foot and carried in their own little arms), they started bringing their mattresses… aka, moldy, deteriorating, quite disgusting objects that slightly resemble mattresses. However, without having new mattresses OR bunk beds, I had no other choice but to plop them on the floor, place some clean sheets on top, and just thank the LORD for a clean floor J! While going through their bedding that they brought, I chucked quite a few (if not all) of their pillows, some blankets, and several mattresses (because theirs are so thin, they use several)! Since Saturday, I have literally still been non-stop with the girls but praise the Lord for every minute! I rushed to get them all organized Saturday night so that we could at least function come Sunday morning to get ready for church! They all bathed, one at a time, in our ONE bathroom but with a HOT showerhead attachment and with their very own shower caddy with a bar of soap, bottle of shampoo, comb, brush, toothbrush with a cover, and toothpaste. I wrote names on EVERYTHING… and my permanent marker is still one of my best friends during my days this week!
I am learning VERY fast and am so VERY thankful for the LORD’s strength a NEW each day! I would never tell anyone that I was equipped or even prepared for this journey and undertaking, but it is an AMAZING experience to fully rely on God at the start of each day for exactly what I need! The first couple of days, I think I personally got very little accomplished with organizing anything because I was being pulled in 9 different directions every minute. When I’m not addressing questions or explaining new concepts (of bathing, of bathroom usage, of proper care for personal items, on how to clean, on why we drink CLEAN water, on how to eat using utensils, etc), I’m disciplining, or hearing my name shouted, or being asked about playing outside/playing with puzzles/what we are going to do next! We are just now getting to a place where almost every girl has her own chores every day and is rather self-sustaining with her tasks, to the point that I can get some things done too, find time to eat (even though I’m still eating on the go), and even put some time into my own appearance! On our first Sunday morning, I chuckled as I walked out of the clinic with each young lady looking pretty well put together and realizing that I left with my “bathroom sandals” still on! GROSS! And today, Nohemi asked me why she hasn’t heard me blow my nose for the last couple of days (as we have a joke about my distinct nose blowing capability) and we chuckled hysterically over the fact that I haven’t blown my nose, oddly enough, in DAYS! I have certainly thanked the LORD many a times this week for Spanish books, puzzles, and markers… as they do WONDERS for idle children and allowing me just a few moments to accomplish single tasks that eventually add up to something!
Surely I’d be lying if I told you it’s been all glittery butterflies here… I’m banking on the Lord’s wisdom for every moment as I approach new situations in need of discipline, which is extremely out of my comfort zone but that the Lord has been faithful to guide me in! I’ve thanked Him already for progress I see, for hardened hearts hugging me within hours after correction, and for my stone-throwing friend, Fili, telling me one night that she “Loves me very much”. It’s been very difficult on Christa and Nohemi as well, because as of right now we are still sharing sides and I don’t have a kitchen yet! Nohemi has been cooking for almost 40 people, every day, at every meal time! On top of that, they’ve been organizing their side, so that I can start occupying the rooms that will become mine! We are using ALL of my appliances now, as you can imagine! And had a picnic table brought down so that my girls would have a place to sit! There are TONS of needs here that I’m lifting up to the LORD and trusting Him for… so I ask that you join me in prayer! It’s a HUGE step of faith for me, but I know He’ll be faithful through the end!
I really could share SOOoooOOO many stories with you all just in this past week, but tonight I dealt with a situation up until midnight and am writing this before I go into town tomorrow to grocery shop for my family of 9 for the first time! I’ll be taking one girl, Gladis, into town with me as a reward for good behavior this week, and please join me in prayer that when I return all of the 8 other girls are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing J. Prayerfully, I should be getting bunk beds VERY soon, potentially more dressers, construction for a bathroom underway, and begin parasite treatments all within the upcoming week! Please join me in prayer about my return to the states in February, and that the Lord will provide an able and willing heart here in Honduras to help provide for the girls in the clinic while I am gone, AS WELL as for the fact that my return to the states will only have to be a short while (2-3 months) to finish raising needed support! It’s a tall order, but “Faithful is He who has called who also will do it”! Amen!
I have hopes of posting pictures before Christmas! Please forgive me though if it’s much longer, as I’m a very slow-learning, time-pressed, slightly insane, blissfully unaware, grateful mother of 9!
They are ages 10-13, and their names are: Fili, Marilu, Gladis, Yaki (Wendy), Daniela, Mildre, Meydi, Celina, and Nuri.
All my love in the Lord and prayers for your strength in service to Him who is worthy!
|the only room with a bunk bed|
|my only organizing book shelf in my room! amen!|
|one room without bunk beds|
|our play station with puzzles, games, etc|
|makeshift closet using pvc pipe and 2 long wooden limbs for support|
|our new passage way from our side into our kitchen-ish area|
|the other room|
|at the tv station with 3 of my girls singing|
|the blessed white board|