Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wednesday and Honduras

Our bus broke down on the way to the village. We hung out on the roadside for about two hours. It was a long day, but yet, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Our team came together for two hours and enjoyed life. We made lemonade out of lemons. (Our radiator hose blew, so they had to take the truck back to the city and made six different stops trying to find the one piece they needed.)

I gave away the blanket my mom had made to Lydia for her seven month old daughter because she had reminded me of the baby I take care of here. They both babbled and tried walking holding on to hands.

I shared my testimony at this village.

My name is Cathy and I accepted Christ when I was seven. He's always been my Savior, but the past few weeks, He's shown me more of who He is. I'm a worrier. I get anxious and scared about everything. I was terrified to fly. But what I've learned is there is power in only one thing...the Holy name of our Father, Savior, and Spirit. He alone is my Healer, Provider, Redeemer, Protector, my Refuge. I then read Psalm 91:1-2 - He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.

I pray that He alone can be your rock, refuge, and rest.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tuesday in Honduras

For me, Tuesday was the biggest was emotional - good and bad. My journal starts at the end of the day, it was easier sometimes to process at the end rather than during. Plus, I think I'm still processing.

Sitting right now in the hotel courtyard and it's raining. What a beautiful sound. It's hitting the green and yellow tarps above me. At our first distribution, we were at a camp. It was gorgeous...similar to Hawaii I was told. When we would present the puppet show and songs, sometimes you just clicked with a few of the kids. Granted, I had limited Spanish, but as a teacher, you just know when you click. I had wanted to take a photo with these two kids, but once one kid heard the word photo, this happened.

At the camp, this grandma had approached me and wanted something...anything. However, since she wasn't on the pastor's list, it wouldn't be wise to go against their wishes and it could also start an uproar. It broke my heart.

However, my brain got the best of me and by the time we had finished lunch and had our free time before the next distribution, I was thinking negatively and needed to get out of the funk. Before getting back onto the bus, I picked up a stick, put my negative thoughts onto it and threw it to symbolize letting go of it.

I'm so glad I did because God blew me away at the next village. Our team leader asked me to pray for Iso who had had some pain and by the end of the prayer, she said it was gone. It was such a privilege to pray for her and with others praying simultaneously in Spanish. (That was one thing I noticed different there than here. When others prayed, many voices prayed at once. Here, my friends and I tend to do popcorn prayer rather pray all at one time.)

God didn't stop there. I ended up talking with the pastor's wife in Spanish to the best of my ability. I found out she was a Sunday School teacher, so I ended up giving her chalk and crayons. They were so thankful that after we had taken them part way home, they requested me and a few others to be in a photo with them. It was an honor!

However, as we were packing up the boxes and getting ready to leave, a man came up and asked if we had any shoes. Unfortunately, we were out. He needed them. His shoes were coming apart at the seams. I could see his skin through the cracks. Since I had big feet...I thought maybe he could try mine. Through a translator, I found out that he was refusing the shoes because he was more concerned about what I was going to do. Oh precious man...if he only knew how many pairs of shoes I had back home that I don't even wear. After loosening up the laces, I am pretty sure he was able to wear them. It was such an overwhelming, amazing, giving feeling...not because I gained anything for it, but just knowing that I was being obedient. And while I wanted to have a photo taken (not to show off, but for remembering), I chose to let it go. Without me knowing, my friend had taken some photos and I stole them off Facebook. I'm so glad I have these remember that I have so much. I can give. Selfishness does not become me. Life is really not that bad.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Honduras continued

First off...this is my 500th! I hope you current readers will stick around for another 500!

Monday - At our first distribution, I was irritated. After we sing songs, perform the drama, give a testimony, and pray for the people, we set up the distribution. First, the families get their picture taken (families are decided by the pastor beforehand). This can often be the only photo they might have (we use a Polaroid type camera). Then they go through the line. The first day, I was with the shoes. It's hard to just hand them a pair. I looked at the family and had to decide who needed the shoes the most. What floored me was the difference when I go shopping and what they were doing. I am never handed just one item in a store and that's it. I take my time, walk around, grab what I want to try and then go try it on. If it doesn't look right, or fit right, I don't get it. I hardly saw people say no to what we gave. I'm assuming that if it didn't work, they might pass it on to others (at least I'm hoping). I also had brought some necklaces that I had made and just didn't wear. I gave these away to children and women.

At lunch time, we stopped by this palm forest. We saw these leaf-cutting ants there (the kind you see in documentaries). They were amazing! The boys had a great time destroying their line and entering some chaos into their group. We probably watched these ants for 15 minutes. I wish I would have taken a picture.

At our second distribution, I met Sammy. He was at the first house that after I got out of the bus I talked with the family there in the limited amount of Spanish I had. I then made my way down to the school and Sammy followed. The school children got to go then to the presentation and we crowded into the church. It was stifling in there. After our puppet show, I headed outside. Sammy followed. Rachel and I began to make friendship bracelets with thread I had brought. I made one for Sammy and then we began having kids choose three colors and would make the bracelets. Suddenly, it began to rain. However, after being so hot, the rain was definitely refreshing! We sat in the rain for minutes and continued to keep making bracelets because kids kept coming and wanting one. Who were we to say no? Some girls then brought umbrellas and covered us up while we continued making bracelets. Then other girls came and were rattling off in Spanish...I couldn't understand what they were saying and there wasn't a translator nearby. However, we soon figured out that they were telling us that it was time to go...our group was leaving. We quickly got into the truck that the other guy drove with the bus and pulled out to wait for the bus. I saw Sammy looking into the bus and waving and I tried yelling his name, but he didn't hear me. I didn't get to say good-bye to him. However, I am hoping that next year I am able to go to the village or that we visit that same village again. I pray for and think of Sammy daily. He has a bracelet to remember me. I have his picture.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Honduras finally...

I'm finally back from visiting my dad and am able to post some of my journal entries while I was in Honduras. To those of you who read my blog and have already heard many of my stories, thank you! It means so much to me that you want to hear them. While I was visiting my dad, I was kind of bummed because they didn't really ask about the trip. My dad made the comment that people here need the help too, why go to Honduras. It was hard to answer him, because he isn't a walking believer. However, I am on a mission to collect more boy clothing and when we went to garage sales, he would help me check to see if there was clothing before we went on. That was thoughtful of him. I just don't know if he knows how to ask questions about the trip. I volunteered what I could...

Sunday 7/11

I finished reading your Word for the first time. What an honor (and to do it in Honduras)! I feel like now I desire to daily fill myself with your Word. However, I know I watch too much TV...therefore, maybe I could only watch one hour and use the other time to read more, give more, be where you want me more.

What glorious beauty surrounds me here. Let me soak it in! I've definitely missed out on what You've created. However, You can restore us, so Father may You honor where I am now and keep pushing me towards your will. I pray that this week holds unbelievable truth as well as amazing glimpses of your presence!

Psalm 92 NLT

1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to the Most High.
2 It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
your faithfulness in the evening,
3 accompanied by the ten-stringed harp
and the melody of the lyre.

4 You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!
I sing for joy because of what you have done.
5 O Lord, what great works you do!
And how deep are your thoughts.

We visited an orphanage and nutrition center today. My heart breaks! So many kids and so few adults to help. Who shows them the love? I think of how much individual time I give the baby that I watch this summer.

We went to a place called the River. Wow...shacks. Kids with nothing. Crowding around us as we passed out candy and bubbles.

At each village, a drama will be presented showing how Jesus heals. What stood out though, was when the director told the guy playing Jesus that in His perfect timing He'll heal them...they have to watch him. Isn't that true? God does heal us and give us what we HIS perfect timing. I can rest in that!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Onward we go...

Leaving the town where we picked up more of our team. Ready to make my faith true. Ready to embrace His strength and not be in control. Scary, but I hope it's freeing.

I keep grabbing for my cell phone to call, text, or just see if anyone has contacted me. I didn't realize how attached I was to it.

The take-off was rougher than I imagined or remembered, but overall, ok. I ended up holding this guy's hand that I know from home. I'm so thankful for him. He's the youngest of the family that was leading the trip (going to be a senior in college), but was probably the one who would be most compassionate. I surrounded myself with verses and cards that my friends had given me.

Glad for ground. Glad for being in another country where all I'll do is watch for what God has in store. The beauty and majesty in the air is amazing. The colors as the sun set as well as the towering clouds were beautiful. We flew over with four other groups going to Honduras. I pray that Honduras sees the love of God through us.

Thinking before the trip

I journaled while I was in Honduras. I am starting to post my thinking, but am also going to be visiting my dad and won't have access to the Internet (at least fast Internet).

Background info - Cried every day from Wednesday to Wednesday...Thursday was the first day I could talk about leaving without crying.

Thursday - 7/8 - Driving home from the theatre tonight, I felt the peace. Today was the first day I could talk about leaving without crying. Anytime I began to cry, I said out loud, "In the name of Jesus, NO!" There is power in His Name. I pray I keep seeing it. A great friend told me I may not feel strong, but Christ's strength is in me. I can do this. I can step out of the way and I can let God show me Him. Let me rest in you Father!

Friday - 7/9 - 24 hours. I equate the feeling right now with the night before a race. Anticipation, nervousness, the double and triple checking bags. I'm ready for more of your presence Father. I'm ready to let you be what I draw to for strength. I need you to prove to me that you can be my Protector. I need you to show me that You can take care of me. I believe.

Saturday - 7/10 The day...As we drove into the parking lot, my friends K and M came to give me a small encouraging send was so appreciated.

Monday, July 19, 2010

10 for 10 Update

This year, I am trying something new. I have 10 goals. And some of you will get to help me with them (my running friends)! This will also help me become intentional, I believe.

1. Read three professional books
  • Daily Five by The Sisters (as they are known)
  • CAFE book (by same authors as above)
  • Boy Writers by Ralph Fletcher
2. Run 5 5K's
  • Due to tendonitis, I am in a boot and will be walking one this morning (I think it still counts, right?) - Did it in about 45 minutes
3. Run a sub 30 5K
4. Pay off debt to dad (and thus, be debt free except my mortgage)

  • uh, yeah, I'm debt free!!!!!!!!!!
5. Go to Honduras on a mission trip (scared of flying)
  • Have my passport now and will pay my first installment tomorrow
  • Have paid half of the trip
  • Went on trip...Wow! I am so glad I went...there will be tons of posts about it.
6. Clean off all of the clothes off my floor and have them put away
7. See a movie by myself
  • Saw Date were definitely funny, others a little uncomfortable. I do enjoy Steve Carell though.
8. Give blood 4 times (one down and three to go)
  • Signed up for my second one - it's sponsored by CW25 for The Vampire Diaries - I'll let you know how that turns out :)
  • Have given twice and will only be able to give one more due to traveling to Honduras in July.
  • Have A+ blood...maybe that's why I am so smart! :)
  • Gave three times and because of traveling to Honduras, cannot give again till next year. However, if I go to Honduras again next summer - which I am planning on doing - I can't give until a year after I get's a vicious cycle!
9. Write my compassion children three times each this year
  • wrote each one once so far
10. Finish reading whole Bible (on track to finish mid-July)
  • About two more weeks and then the OT is finished! On to the NT...excited!
  • Reading the NT right now - in the gospels
  • Finished the first day I was in Honduras - How cool is that?!

I'm back!

I'm back from Honduras! I'll be posting my journal as well as photos, videos, and the thoughts that I have as I process them. I'm glad to be back, but part of my heart was left in Honduras. The people we met, as well as the ones we worked with have a special place in my heart and if I could, I'd go back tomorrow. What a difference from two weeks ago. Thanks to all who prayed and continue to check back in.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I Got Married!!!

Okay, not really...but kind of.

I went to a nearby town today to pick up a friend from the airport. It worked out that I had the afternoon open and she needed a ride and it would be a great opportunity to catch up since she had moved away.

I stopped at Target for last minute necessary items for Honduras. Noticing that my gas gauge was a little on the low side, I stopped to get gas nearby before heading to a friend's apartment to hang out until my friend's flight got in. I grabbed the ATM card (sorry Dave) and my phone to let my friend know that the flight had gotten in earlier and wouldn't be able to stop and hang out with her, shut my door, and headed to the gas pump. And then I heard it...ding ding ding...honk. Click went the automatic door locks. Normally, this is not a problem, but when you leave your keys in the is. keys, no purse, insurance card with information to call emergency roadside assistance is in my glove compartment, and I don't have the number for my insurance agent. Hmmm...what's a girl to do?

I walked into the gas station and said, "I pray that there are angels who can help me unlock my keys from my car."

I could not have been in a better location. Across the road was car dealer upon car dealer. Along came John - a man who worked for Kelley Automotive Services. He told me he would go over and get a slim jim and try to unlock the car. Apparently a locksmith won't unlock your car unless you have proof of registration (um, glove compartment).

My friend, who I was going to visit, graciously went and picked up my friend from the airport and was going to head then over to the gas station to keep me company. She had found my insurance agent's phone number for me and I called (Friday at 4:57 p.m.). Thankfully, he answered and while I was getting information to see if my emergency roadside assistance (again the number was in my glove compartment) covered lock outs, John was on his phone calling Triple A. He stated that his wife had locked her keys in her car and could they come and unlock it...what a dear man!

He had to run some errands (he had taken the day off to buy food for a catering event tomorrow and also happened to work at this gas station part-time - What are the chances?) and left his ID and Triple A card with me as well as his cell phone. I was to call him when they got there and he'd come back.

Side note - I looked at his ID and he was from Ohio...the thought did cross my mind that he was making all of this stuff up. Turned out he lived right over the state border and it was a closer drive for him to get to the town than for me. back to my adventure!

About twenty minutes later, Triple A showed up and within five minutes I was in! My friends had shown up in the meantime and we all had a great laugh! John left and I left him a small thank you at the gas station and told him I would pay it forward. Apparently at one point in his life, he had had a flat tire on a busy interstate on a Friday night and had had a broken arm. It took him three hours to change it and not one person had stopped to help. He decided then and there he would help anyone who needed it.

I am so thankful for John's generosity tonight. I am even more thankful that as my trip to Honduras approaches (less than 24 hours), God once again showed me His provision. Tomorrow He gets to show me how He protects me, no matter what.

I won't be blogging while I am gone, but am planning on journaling and blogging that when I get back as well as posting pictures and video.

Please pray that God's glory be shown...that I step out of the way and let Him shine. Pray that the Spirit leads what we say, do, and how we act towards others. I think that right now one of the hardest things for me is to imagine what it's going to be like. I am a planner by nature and having never been out of the country, I have no idea what to expect. I have no schema. It's kind of scary. However, my God is the same here as He is there and thanks to a special friend who reminded me of that, I am excited to praise Him there!

Excited to share with you afterwards, reader.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


My sister and I took our mom to Jersey Boys...She's never been to a musical and we knew she would love the music. It was a really nice day.

Had to laugh at the my sister knows a lot of Jersey vocabulary. :)

None of my family is in this photo, but I loved the bench at the garden where my cousin got married.

My sister and I...aren't we gorgeous?

Yeah, I'm hot...literally, it was roasting that day! ;)

My dad and his wife came to the wedding. I think we might have been looking at another camera.

My sister's boyfriend fits in so well! I love that my sister got in right when she did, plus I love my neck photo!

My grandpa and my sister and I...he's 91...amazing!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010


Tonight I decided to relax in the great sunny outdoors on my hammock! I swayed in the breeze. I listened to nature. I read a book. Thankfully, I still kept an ear open to nature as I heard bits and pieces of the tree that I was under creaking and breaking. A twig fell right beside my head. I brushed it off, kept reading, and then looked up. I'm glad I did...there, right above me looking down wondering why I was in his way was a large, gray squirrel.

I hightailed the hammock out of the squirrel's way and finished my book. All ended well in my backyard.


If crying burned enough calories to lose weight, I'd have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Not going to lie. It's still tough. I've found some great verses and have had some amazing friends step in and pray with me and text me encouraging bits.

I'm glad to know I'm not alone in facing fears. I know we all have them. It'd just nice to know that someone is facing the fear right along with me and I wouldn't feel like the only one who is taking such large leaps. I know there are a few other on the trip that are a little apprehensive like I am (is little the right word?). I will be journaling as I am on my trip and then blogging those entries when I get back.

Again, a huge thanks to my friends who are standing beside me as I take one small step each day towards living a life of no fear.