Thursday, July 24, 2008

Never a dull moment!

Currently I have a stroke patient who is suffering from SEVERE left neglect {basically, her brain has difficulty processing everything to her left so she stands looking over her right shoulder and thinks her head is straight}. When I walk with her I have to give her a million cues to make her aware of what is in her left field of vision. We are walking around the corner of the centre offices, where a huge piece of cardio equipment is. On our left. So for all practical purposes, it doesn't exist in her world. She can't see it. Now, this equipment is in serious need of oil... it periodically begins squeaking with every movement of your legs, God love it. So we come around the corner while another patient is working on it, squeaking away:
My patient: "What is that? Am I hearing a flock of Canadian geese?"
Leigh Anne (who is in the parallel bars with her pt right beside us): "Nope, that's just your Canadian therapist!"

Bufftruck Day

Brett spent the day building a house to replace one destroyed by a fire:

typical Torch house

putting in the floor...
apparently Mark is "supervising"

crowd of ninos that inevitably gather :)

Judy and Katie went to the warehouse for day two of stucco removal proving that you can't keep a good bufftruck down!
taking a MUCH deserved break from hammering..

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

KFC with the Mololoa kids...

Although Torch has been doing this for years, this was my first chance to play in the KFC with my kids from Mololoa. SO much fun! Climbing through spaces not intended for anyone taller than 3 ft and sliding down hearing nothing but the laughter of children getting a chance to act like a child for a few hours... amazing! This was the only chance I got to see my kids from this village.. no words can describe the feeling when they run in the door and see you and run towards you arms open wide, calling you by name... I wonder if they stop and wonder what I'm doing as many times as I think and pray for them? With every trip I take to Honduras the place in my heart that stores the most treasured moments, where you wish time would stand still if only for a few mintues, so that you can absorb all the emotions going on in that exact moment, grows bigger and bigger. I imagine it's alot of what heaven will be like...

Oh yeah baby...
it's four stories tall complete with a soccer field!
{guess where Brett was most of the time?}

Carmen & Judy

Aren't these "masks" absolutely hilarious?!

{this one's for you KT!}

Hospital Esquela

This is Julio. He's four years old and has been coming for chemo treatments for about a month. He wanted me to put ketchup on every bite of chip he ate... seriously, every BITE! I think he's part Canadian :)

Good Shepherd Children's Home

Leslie doing manual labour :)

Sneaky little guy

all the kids want to use your camera...

playin' in the water

Monday, July 21, 2008

This is as close to cool as I'll get in the PT world...

Congratulations Jeremy!! He is the newest PT/ATC for the Chicago Bears. And will henceforth be referred to as "my BFF from PT school" :)
{No seriously, I'm just a proud "sister"! }

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Carlos... Edwardo... Saul... Deisi...

One of the great things about returning to Honduras every year is getting the opportunity to see how time brings change and growth; in the people I go with on the trip, the people we serve & work with in Honduras, and the country itself. I really love watching people recognize and develop into their potential {go figure with the field I currently work in :)
In 2002 Brett and I met Carlos, and subsequently his younger brothers Edwardo & Saul, and his mother Deisi. Over the last six years we have come to love this little family as much as one can living so far away and not speaking the same language. Through God's provision they have moved out to Santa Ana, and soon will move back to Teguce with a dear friend. It is amazing to see how God's hand has been over them, providing and protecting. All three boys have several "Torch" friends, thankfully. They need to be reminded how much they are loved, and that it's okay to stop and be a kid. Especially in a world where kids assume adult roles far too early and too often in life.
This year we got to hang out with the boys for a couple of days and nights, easily one of the highlights of our trip. Saul became Brett's shadow and would literally be no more than five steps away from him. Which also brought out the most common English phrase from Carlos "Where's my brother? Where's Brett?" I wish they could have stayed with our team all week...
I never take as many pictures as I want to have when I get home, but here they are:
Carlos- 17
Here is that sheepish grin that melted my heart the first time I met him...

Edwardo- 15
Mr. Joe Cool :)

Saul- 10
possibly the shyest child on the face of the planet!

Deisi & Saul

Carlos & Saul asleep in the back of the truck
after doing cement work at Good Shepherd

I think our relationship with these boys is one of the best examples of how love conquers all....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back from Honduras

The first week back from Honduras is always the hardest for me... The reverse culture shock never gets easier with time, and I am a very slow processor. I have to purposely allow down time once the trip is over to go through things in my head and in my heart and figure it all out.
Honduras trips are really not a sacrifice for me. The person I love more than anything comes with me on the trip, we haven't left kids at home with someone to look after, and being away from family for as long as we have makes two weeks in a third world country really not that bad as far as saying goodbye for a few days. I know we'll catch up eventually. It's all good. I get to go to one of my favourite places, with a lot of my favourite people and serve my God whom I love. To me it's pretty much a no brainer. Every day I wake up praying I'll go where God needs to be that day and be open to give and receive His love with the people He places in my day.
I've been going to Honduras since 1996. One thing I never want to be is apathetic to it all. It can be easy to do after thirteen trips... I try to be intentional about watching people who are on their first trip to remember how I felt the first time I saw something... observe others while they are serving and delight in the pure joy of giving of your total self.
When I found out we would have an opportunity to go the city dump, I knew I needed to go. That it was an experience that I could not miss out on. So big was the lesson God was showing me He had me go on two different occasions.

There are about 150-200 people who live and/or work in the city dump. Men, women, and children. Covered in garbage. Living in garbage. There were easily more vultures there than people. Dogs. Cows. All digging through garbage. To survive. Some came to find items that could recycled so they could earn a living. Some lived right there with their "houses" in the background of a bus handing out sandwiches, cookies, chips, oranges and bags of water. To be Christ. To reach out to those who have been forgotten by the rest. The untouchable.

How has the world gotten to a place where this is okay? When do we dig deeper and realize that we are to blame for them being there? For there being no other option in their lives? That this is the world we've help to create? How many times has satan used only the fact that I do "mission work" once a year in Honduras as a stroking tool for my ego when I'm challenged to give more, sacrifice more. As LC would put it "living simply so that others can simply live"?
My most precious memory from being there was not captured on film to my knowledge, but will be engraved in my memory forever... Despite several roadblocks, Brett INSISTED that we give everyone the opportunity to wash their hands before eating. With some buckets full of water, a bottle of dish soap, and some towels my husband reminded me that we are ALL made in His image and are to be loved and respected.

Friday, July 04, 2008

God is good... all the time. All the time... God is good

Just checking in for a quick Honduras Torch update... Our trip continues with several opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who need Him.
We have washed the hands of and fed those who live in the city dump, served on construction & stucco removal teams {yes, I am a bufftruck!}, painted the warehouse, delivered food bags among communities, visited the city orphanage and the blind school. It is amazing what can be accomplished when people come together for a common cause - reaching out to those in need, and no one wants the credit - to God be the glory!
We will have our clinic tomorrow and possibly another work day on Sunday before heading to Tela for our retreat on Sunday. Continue to pray for our strength and endurance while serving here.
Dios los bendiga!