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. 

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