Friday, July 22, 2011

So I decided that its time I updated everyone on our life. A lot has happened in the 2 years it's been since our last post. We're back to the States and we've been living with Shaun's parents trying to save enough money to buy a house of our own. And the biggest change of all is our sweet little Landon! He'll be 2 in October!!

Last July Shaun became the youth pastor at our church, Five Forks BIC. He absolutely loves his job. He frequently comments, "Can you believe that I get paid to do this?" It keeps him busy and he's still learning the ins and outs of pastoring such a large youth group (about 120 7-12 graders!) but he's having a great time learning.

I have the pleasure of staying home with Landon everyday. It's such a blessing seeing him changing a learning everyday. As any parent of a toddler knows, he keeps me busy all day and I often end the day thinking, "Did I accomplish anything today?" I decided to try my hand at gardening this year. We planted broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, cantaloupe, zucchini and yellow squash. Everything was doing really well until the groundhogs decided to snack on my broccoli and squash plants!!

For the past 2 weeks Shaun and I have been super busy and it will be nice to actually see each other for more than an hour a day next week. Each year the youth in our area participate in a week long service project called the Chambersburg Project. They stay at a local school all week and during the day they go to houses around the area and fix them for the owners. Each of the families receiving help are either disabled or low income. Shaun spent everyday out working with the kids and then he was there for the evening program.

I'm directing VBS again this year and the last night was last night. We had about 210 children come out each night (sun-thurs) and about 90 adult volunteers! Our theme was Big Apple Adventure and we had an awesome time!

This coming Thursday we leave for a much needed vacation!! We're going camping at Friendship Village in Bedford, PA. It will be great to spend a few days away with no commitments!

I'll end this post with a more recent pic of our little family :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Baby shower/birthday party

On Sunday the 26th of April, our family threw us a baby shower since we won´t be here when the baby comes. (By the way, for anyone who hasn´t heard yet, Jenny is 4 months pregnant with a baby boy!!) It ended up being a baby shower/ birthday party since my (Jenny) birthday is on the 27th.

It was hysterical at the baby shower because they made all of the guys blow up balloons and stuff them in their shirts where they had to remain all evening. We played a game where Shaun and to feed Jenny from a baby bottle filled with soda. We were racing against 2 other couples to see who could empty the bottle first. We finished in second place. We also played a bunch of other games, we had some food including a delicious cake and we even got some gifts. It was a wonderful cultural experience and we had a blast! The only requirement our family gave us is that we need to come back when our baby is walking so they can meet him!
The cake

The tradition in Honduras is that you are supposed to take a bite out of your birthday cake before they cut into it. But as you attempt to take a bite, someone always smashes the cake in your face!

Shaun.....he´s enjoying being pregnant way too much!

It was a pretty big party

This is us with our amazing host mom, Gollita, and one of the outfits that she got for our baby.


For the past three weeks we have been working at a school called AFE...this stands for Amor, Fe, Esperanza. The school is located right beside the city dump and was started 9 years ago by a gentleman named Joeny. Many people live at the city dump and they spend all day digging through the trash and garbage looking for paper, cardboard and plastic bottles to trade for money. They earn about 5 cents per pound of paper and earn about 1 - 3 dollars per day. They also dig through the garbage looking for clothing to wear and for food to eat. They eat what they find. We had the opportunity to visit the dump and see all of the people digging through the garbage. We took water along to give to the workers and as soon as we stepped out of the car with the water we were almost mugged because people were so desperate to get water. In fact, Leo had to drop the bag of water he was holding because he was getting surrounded on all sides and getting pushed around. As the trucks with garbage arrived at the dump herds of people would jump up on top of the trucks to be the first to dig through the garbage.

The children that attend the school at AFE are from families who live and work in the dump. In fact most of these children attend school in the morning and go to work in the dump all afternoon. Most of the children do not shower, they are dirty and smell bad. They wear the same clothes day after day because they do not have anything else. The school was started in an attempt to get these kids out of the dump and give them a chance to do something different with their life.
Jenny and I taught four first graders (Maria, Dania, Paola and Carlos) who ranged in age from 7 - 11 years old (many of the children do not know their birthdate or age). At first we were told that these four students were learning small words. But Jenny and I quickly realized that they did not even know the alphabet. So for the past three weeks Jenny and I have been teaching them the alphabet...and we are excited to report that three of them know pretty much the entire alphabet!
The four of us (Shaun, Jenny, Gina, Leo) also taught a gym class together. Each day we would take a different age group and we would have one hour of gym class. We played a bunch of different games with the kids and they absolutely loved it.
All in all our time at the garbage dump and school was very eye-opening and something that we will not soon forget.
Some of our 3 grade gym class buddies

Shaun playing "Pato, pato, ganzo" (duck, duck, goose) with the first graders

Jenny and.......Jenny. This cute little girl was in our 2nd grade gym class and believe it or not her name was Jenny too!

Shaun and Gina playing "freeze tag" with the sixth graders. In this picture Shaun in the one on the ground "unfreezing" one of the girls!

This is a picture from up at the garbage dump and you can see all of the people gathered digging through the garbage. Also you can see hundreds of vulture looking birds circling above.

Friday, April 24, 2009


For the past 2 Friday´s we´ve been working at an old folks home in Centro called Ceder. There are not very many ministries for old people. Most of the ministries are usually for homeless or poor children which makes this ministry kind of unique. A major problem they have in Honduras is that many older people are abandoned by their families when they can no longer make money for the family. They are left out on the street, homeless, and to fend for themselves. It is this group of people that the founders of Ceder have a heart for. Most of these people do not received visitors, not even from family members. Aside from finances, one of the major needs of this ministry is simply for people to come and visit to talk with the elderly. It makes me think about the nursing homes in the US and how often I and many other people neglect this generation of people.

Last Friday, Gina and Jenny helped to bathe and clothe the women who stay at the home. Since I worked at a nursing home before I wasn´t very intimidated (like Gina was) because I know that they can´t do it for themselves anymore. Some of the women were very greatful while others weren´t sure what we were doing or why we were doing it to them and they became defensive. One lady threatened to hit me with her cane and another kept spitting on Gina.
Shaun and Leo had the opportunity both Fridays to shave the faces of the men. For me, (Shaun) this was a very humbling experience. Us guys are very prideful and we like to do things for ourselves. Furthermore, we come from a culture where personal space is very important and the prospect of touching and shaving another man´s face was uncomfortable. However the men were very greatful and I had a wonderful time getting to know them.
We also tried to do a Bible story and a craft with them. During the Bible story, one of the women really wanted to watch TV and Kimberly reading the story alound was bother her so she kept turning the TV volume up louder than Kimberly´s voice which made it impossible for anyone to hear. For us it was quite amusing. Then we tried to do the craft which was decorating a paper plate with tissue paper. Some of them just loved getting a paper plate and didn´t want to decorate it. The others wanted us to decorate it for them so we ended up doing the craft while the old folks watched and told us how pretty it looked.
All in all, it was a great experience for all of us and a nice change of pace from working with mostly children. We had a great time just getting to know them.
Shaun with his new found friend, José.

Leo actually met this gentleman who had lived in the Bronx, NY.

They got along real well!

In this picture are the 2 ladies we told you about in the post. The one with the cane is the one who was threatening to hit us and the other one is the one who kept spitting on Gina.

Jenny with one of the sweetest ladies you´ll ever meet, María.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Semana Santa

Semana Santa is one of the biggest holidays in Latin American countries. Everybody has off of work and school for the whole week leading up to Easter. In most cities they also celebrate by making "rugs" on the streets using colored saw dust. They use cardboard cutouts as to form designs and then stay up all night Thursday night out on the streets making their rugs. The whole street down through Centro looked like one big can see in the pictures. It is easier to see than to explain.

Then on Friday night they have a big procession through town on the street where they made the rugs the previous night. The procession includes men from the catholic church carrying represetations of Jesus' life, the saints, and the virgin Mary. They also have a few guys carrying incense and there is also a small marching band. The streets are packed full during this time, so you can hardly move, but it was a really neat experience.


LAMR stands for Latin American Missionary Retreat. We spent the weekend before Easter in San Lorenzo, one of the hottest cities in Honduras. This was a gathering of all of the BIC missionaries serving in Latin America, there were about 25 of us total. It was a very refreshing and encouraging time.

After having completed 4 months in Honduras which included two months of Language Study and 2 months of ministry it was refreshing to speak with other English speakers. It was also fun sharing stories about our experiences in our different countries. We also had teaching sessions on Ephesians, we had worship times (in English!) and these were very encouraging times.

During this weekend we also had a chance to go back to Orocuina, the city out in the campo. We went there for the church service on Sunday. It was probably 100 degrees and we had the church service outside under the trees. There were pigs and dogs walking through the service and once again because most of these people have not seen too many white folks we were very popular. It was really neat to see that even way out here in the backlands of Honduras they are worshiping and serving the same God that we worship back home in the United States. It helps you to realize the impact that Christ can have on a person´s life. These people way out here accepted us as brothers and sisters.

We also had a little bit of free time to walk around the city or swim in the pool at the hotel. Also for fun, one evening we had a talent show...everyone had to participate. Darrin Horst´s talent was my absolute favorite. He chose 5 people and took them out of the room. Then he came back in and setup two tables lengthwise against each other to make one long table. Then he covered the tables with a table cloth and placed items under buckets on the table. At the place where the two tables joined he had one of is friend hide under the table cloths with only his head sticking out and then he placed a bucket over his head. Then he brought the first contestant back in and told them that this was a race. They had to run down the length of the tables and remove the buckets and shout out the name of the object underneath. Unbeknownst to the contestant was the fact that a person´s head was under one of the buckets. I think all 5 of the contestants nearly had a heartattack when they lifted up this bucket. I wish we could upload video footage, because it was hysterical (our connection is too slow to upload video).


Our second ministry assignment was in a poorer part of the city called Nueva Suyapa. We worked at a school there for 3 weeks. The school was called Genesis. It was a pretty well organized school going from grades, Kindergarten - 12th grade.

Jenny and I spent the first 4 hours of the day tutoring kids in reading. All of it was done in Spanish, these kids were not learning English. I think we read "Huevos Verdes con Jamon" (Green Eggs and Ham) about 40 times...each day! By end of the 3 weeks we had become pretty attached to some of the students that we had been working with and it was sad to have to leave them. Gina spent most of her time working at the day care centers in the area and Leo was working at Jerico (where Gina and Jenny had spent the previous three weeks).

One of the highlights during our time at Genesis was the relationship we built with our lunch lady, Juanita. We went to her house everyday for lunch and she was an amazing cook, we actually got to eat vegetables at her house!! It sure beats all of the rice and beans we have been eating for every other meal. She also had a wonderful grandson named Paulo...he was the cutest 2 year old you would ever meet. He ate lunch with us everyday and became our entertainment. His favorite game was to name all of the fruits pictured on the table-cloth. But to him each fruit was cacahuate (peanut).

In the afternoons we did a number of different things. The first week we did a children´s program for about 25 - 30 second and third graders. We did a puppet show, a snack and a craft. The kids just loved it and wanted us to do it every week after that. We also got to spend some time working in a garden that they are trying to get started and also we helped work in a women´s baking group.