Thank You.

Dear Stacey.

It has come to our attention that you have been largely unthanked for your incredible contribution to the ministry Corazón Para Honduras, the people of Honduras, and the Kingdom of God. We would like to thank you for your tireless dedication to excellence, outstanding love for people, willingness to engage in difficult questions, and strength of character, resolve, and desire for transparency.

Your contribution to the department has enabled this year to be a tremendous success. You surely are an uncelebrated hero and have allowed us to accomplish tremendous strides over the past three years. Regardless of physical condition or geographic location, your commitment has been unwavering. Your attention to detail continues to help us in our daily work. Even though you may not currently be able to work in the office, please know that your impact continues in our daily work even today. Your fingerprints are on every file and project; your persistent voice that encourages integrity and a holistic view of people is forever whispering, encouraging us to do better and love harder. Your impact continues to grow even though you may not be here with us physically.

We know that the work that you now have is of equal or greater importance and of even higher demands than your previous assignment. Please know that we are here to support you in your daily work and know that you care deeply about the success of this department.
We love you, miss you here at the office, and are so thankful for you.

Department of Community Development
Heart to Honduras


Alida Adjusting

Many have asked and continue to ask how Alida is adjusting.  She is doing great. She has not stopped being happy and healthy.  She has already experienced the hot and sticky as well as the cold and wet.  She has slept in just a onesie to stay cool and in a fleece sleeper with a sleep sack on top, gloves, and a hat to stay warm.

The biggest transition we have had to deal with is the time change.  It is only a 2 hour time difference so relatively speaking not a big deal.  Alida was on a great routine going to sleep at 9pm and waking around 6-6:30am.  So…she of course did a great job to sticking to that by going to sleep a 7pm here and waking at 4:00am.  She also started waking around 2:30am for the first few nights.  We have slowly adjusted her timing and are doing much better.  She is going down around 8-8:30 and waking up at 6-6:30.  We knew we needed to establish a routine & consistency with Alida from the time she was born because nearly nothing else in her life is consistent.  She and we have thrived on consistency.  We are thankful for wise advice that we were able to tap into as far as raising her.  It has not been easy.  Many days in the past 5 mo. we were ready to break down and pull our hair out, but it sure pays off.  She has settled back into her morning and afternoon naps, an evening castnap, and 9-10 hours of sleep at night.  This has extremely helped us keep our sanity!  

The other transition was feeding.  Stacey has been exclusively breastfeeding her.  When we moved here the sudden change in diet, stress, and activity did affect her milk production which sent us into a spiral for a few days until we were able to get more fruits, veggies, and meat into her diet.  Even with Alida eating more than 8 times a day she was not getting enough, Stacey’s milk production plummeted.  With no veggies, fruits, dairy, or meats it is hard to produce the milk needed for a 5 mo. old.  She is now back up to speed.   Pray that it will stay that way and we are able to get a hold of the food she needs to keep up production. 

We think it was a great experience because we, again, by living with the people and like the people very quickly understood why most of the women are not able to exclusively breast feed.  People continually told us how “gordita” (chubby) they thought Alida was, they would ask us what we feed her.  When we responded just breastfeeding they were shocked.  It is very hard for women to exclusively breastfeed on the local diet and no refrigeration.  Not many people are starving here, they get food.  But, it is just not the right kinds of foods.  Rice, beans, and corn tortillas are not enough to keep up with a hungry baby.  This has opened the door to talk with the other women in the village who are breastfeeding about the importance of a healthy diet for mom.

Many asked ¨How are you going to have your baby there with no electricity?”  We figured plenty of people all over the world do it every day, including all of our neighbors, so we would adjust.  The reality is that it hasn’t been very different.  Really, we don’t need electricity for anything related to her.  We have flashlights to care for her after dark and a battery powered breast pump. The only thing we miss is being able to store breast milk in a frig/freezer.   So we just have to be sure to use the fresh breast milk within 6 hours.



What is your family?
Some say it is only this:

Or some include these:

Or even all the blood relatives.

But, we hope and pray Alida grows up knowing that God intended “family” to be SO much more.  
We have been blessed to experience a bit of “His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven” both in Dayton, OH and here in Honduras.  Living as God commanded us to as brothers and sisters and in community is sometimes a very hard thing.  You don’t know where to start or how to get “plugged in.” You almost always have to initiate it.  It is messy, it takes time, it takes A LOT of love and patience. No one is perfect and no one is exactly like you and certainly wouldn’t do everything the way you would.  True love is a decision to put the needs of another above your own.

Our Dayton, OH family has known us for over five years and already poured out a ton of love on our little girl starting even before she was born. Lots of prayer and support, listening to us in our hard times and transitions, sharing baby clothing/items, spending time with us, meals, free babysitting, and much more.  We didn’t go to the grocery store for the first time after Alida was born until she was 4 weeks old because of all the food our Dayton family provided for us.  That was TRULY helpful!  It was selfless giving, no strings attached or expectations.

Our Honduran family is another one that Alida is getting to know.  Late last Monday night “grandpa” Fredy drove up with a friend in the dark in the rain to deliver a handmade crib made from left over wood from church projects for Alida to have a place to sleep. They insisted on getting it to her as soon as it was done. 

Uncle Erick constantly sings worship songs to make Alida smile and tell her about “Dios”.
“Grandma” Argelia visits with us at her place or ours and sends over a meal from time to time. 
Shy Uncle Nahun even comes in, washes his hands and holds her, calls out her name when he is working outside, and she follows his movements as he helps daddy in the yard.

And really the rest of everyone has shown incredible respect for Alida and us by asking before doing something, washing their hands with soap before ever touching her, and quietly leaving when it is time for her to eat or sleep.  We have been surprised and blessed by the selflessness of the people.  They all call out her name when they see her and shower her with smiles and laughs.
She has an endless number of siblings...

We don’t have any blood relatives in Dayton where we lived and we certainly don’t have any here in Honduras, but God is good and HE provides.  People ask us sometimes how we do it without family, and honestly we don’t see it that way.  We do have family wherever we are.  It is the body of Chris,t our brothers and sisters in HIM.  We had to work hard to establish these relationships, they don’t just happen.  You have to plug in, you have to offer first, initiate, be pro-active, look for it, be a willing participant, pray A LOT, think of others above yourself, and above all develop a selfless love yourself first. We are not perfect, we fail our brothers and sisters too, but we are able to forgive each other and love again.  Why?  Because Christ’s love, forgiveness, and sacrifice compels us. 


Photo of the Week: Las Lomitas Sunrise

View of yesterday's sunrise from our garage on the side of our home. Taken facing North.


Wounded hands.

Warning: This post contains some graphic images.
I was wading across the soaked soccer field a couple of weeks ago on a sunny Sunday morning, feeling like a very manly man with my pink baby daughter wrapped to my chest when a kid came running up.

Kid (Looking like he needs to tell me something): "Hi Kaleb. Good morning."
Kaleb (Suspicious of what Kid wants to tell me): "Good morning. What's up?"

Kid (Spitting it out.): "My brother wants to know if you sew people up?"
Kaleb (Inwardly squirming.): "I'm assuming you mean give people stitches. If you mean that, then all I can say is that I never have, but could be willing in the right circumstances. When did he cut himself?"
Kid: "Just this morning."