Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Brief report from Honduras

We are loving the warm days and cool nights of the end of rainy season in Honduras. It has rained most of the trip (making photography less successful) but the weather has really been beautiful, especially coming from New England winter!

We traveled safely and without any major challenges. The ease of travel without children was incredible! We receive word that the girls are doing just fine with the grandparents (hopefully the grandparents are doing just fine as well!).
Our trip has been a dizzying journey of exploration, trying to see as many aspects of the ministries as possible, meeting every single missionary, milking every minute of conversation for all it’s worth as we gather information and as those here understand who we are and the heart that God has given us for missions.

The Loma de Luz hospital is primarily outpatient with a small inpatient unit and limited resources. They do quite well with the resources that they have. The hospital has a cardiologist, several family docs, a surgeon, a pediatrician, an eye clinic (donated by the Lions’ Club), an empty ENT clinic, an empty dental clinic. They also have numerous children’s programs in close-by villages, a Children’s Center for children who are in dangerous social situations, a bilingual school currently used only for tutoring, pastoral training programs, youth groups, Bible studies, feeding programs… the list goes on and on as each missionary has their own project and interest.

We are certainly impressed with the need here and with how we could fit in. Several more things go into our decision, so we’ll share more later as it is made more clear to us as to whether this is our field or not!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

To Honduras!

Well, the blog is about to get a little more interesting for a short while at least!

Josh and I are headed to Honduras for about 5 days. We leave on Saturday. We leave the kids behind (!!!) with Josh's parents. They'll have a blast! I'm struggling with leaving them behind though. Gracie's been in much better health lately, few seizures, and no recent seizures requiring diastat, so she'll be fine... it's me... Missing even a day of my kids' antics is so hard on me!

We are going to Northern rural honduras east of La Ceiba on an exploratory trip to determine if this rural mission hospital is where God would have us serve for the next four years. Very exciting! See below for an email that I just sent out. If you are not on our email list and would like to be, let me know!

Pray us along our trip:
Depart Boston, Saturday Feb 21st at 11:30am, fly through LGA (New York) and Miami, arriving in San Pedro Sula at 7:55pm.
Saturday night: Spend the night with our dear friend Lourdes Molina in San Pedro Sula.
Sunday morning: Meet up with Leon and Judy Greene and travel with them to the hospital (over 5 hours away by road) either by private car or by bus (depending on if the Greene's car is running).
Monday through Wednesday: interview with leadership, explore, ask questions, meet people… (Walk the beach? Get some rest?)
Wednesday night or Thursday morning: return to San Pedro Sula (likely by bus).
Depart San Pedro Sula, Thursday Feb 26th at 3:25pm, fly through Miami, arriving in Boston at 11:55pm.

Information about Honduras:
WHERE? We will be in Balfate at Loma de Luz in the village of Quinta in the state of Colon.
TIME ZONE: Honduras is 1 hour behind USA Eastern Time.For current time and weather conditions in San Pedro Sula, go to http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/city.html?n=614 . San Pedro Sula is the closest big city but is a slightly different climate.
WEATHER: Balfate is on the coast and is generally in the 80's Fahrenheit. Rainy season is just ending.
HONDURAS?! Balfate?! Where?! Go to http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/americas/honduras.jpg for a detailed map of Honduras. Balfate is actually listed on this map – look along the northern coast half way across the country. We fly into San Pedro Sula (north-western edge of the country inland) and will drive through La Ceiba to get to Balfate. Honduras is bordered by El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.
Other info: The CIA Factbook at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ho.html is a great link for any country's data. This link will take you to Honduras' page.
Curious about Cornerstone Foundation? http://www.crstone.org/

Pray for Us:
1. That God's glory would be proclaimed as we travel.
2. To be like Christ.
3. Wisdom and discernment regarding God's will for our field of service.
4. Clarity of mind and speech in interacting with others.
5. That we would be an encouragement and blessing to those who come across our path.
6. Safety and health for all of us.
7. Healthy and happy girls with healthy and happy grandparents for the week.
8. Smooth travels, no trouble in customs with the equipment that we are bringing in for missionaries, smooth connections.
9. Peace (especially for Abby) as the family is separated from each other.
10. Rejuvenation and sleep!

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Gracie and I had fun making valentines for her classes - Gracie was intrigued with the hole punch but thought the rest was quite boring!

Our lovey Ana has quite the motherly streak in her - she loves her "babies" (has been found to be changing her baby doll's diaper, including wiping her bum!) and takes care of Gracie already. She carefully hands things to Gracie directly into her left hand (the only hand that works) and is eager to take her things. She's quite a help at 14 months! She was overjoyed to encounter this "real" baby, her cousin Ella, who tolerated being "cared for" very well!

My Gracie is such a beautiful girl! We are so blessed to have this gorgeous happy daughter! Look at this sleeping beauty! She looks fantastic in all the bright colors - I've become much more girly having this child in the house! Pink is not so bad after all! ;-)

Gracie has become ALIVE again off lamictal. She's now on two meds, Depakote and Keppra, and she has started waking up and being alert during the day, sleeping at night with less and less melatonin and coaxing and nighttime moans and groans. She's participating in school and now we're trying to play catch up with a lot of the skills that she lost or failed to progress on while she was doped up on so many meds for her seizures. She's still having seizures, but on the depakote they are mostly self-limited! This changes the game entirely!! If she can continue to have seizures that are NOT life threatening every time, we can live with this and it opens a lot more possibilities for her. That being said, I haven't been able to move her BACK out of our room yet, but at least she's out of our bed!! It has been so wonderful to see Gracie emerging again. Our neurologist is interested in trying a new med for her, but I think I will insist on taking her OFF Keppra if we try a 3rd med so that she's only on two at a time. Her quality of life was horrendous on 3 meds with limited seizure benefit! But here she is, character shining forth again!

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