Monday, May 27, 2013


I just watched a you tube video called Landfill Harmonics about taking trash from a landfill in Paraguay, making instruments out of it and teaching impoverished youth how to play classical music.  It is a beautiful story of redemption.  How many other redemption opportunities are waiting for people willing to take action in love?

This past weekend was one of harmonics...

Friday, Suzy, Alejandra (our new social worker) and I drove through the crowded streets of downtown Tegucigalpa, "El Centro."  The streets are narrow, dirty, teeming with people selling goods on the sidewalks, hurrying along with small children, a few drunks with toothless smiles wave a bottle at passers by, taxis weave in and out expecting everyone else to get out of the way, re-purposed school buses belch out diesel fuel and passengers.  We twisted our way through the streets, passing a park taken over by drug addicts, pimps, and pushers.  Finally we arrived at a barely inhabitable rehab/safe house called Misioneros de la Calle (Missionaries of the Street) on a dirt road.  We entered through an alcove with people above us and a grate dripping...something... down on unwary visitors and picked our way to the door.  A guard unlocked the door and we made our way into a dark, dank bunk room.   The beds each had one filthy sheet, some mattresses were too big for the frame and drooped over the top.  Suddenly, Jasmin threw her arms around me, shouting, "Amanda!"  Jasmin, as you may remember, is the 
Jasmin, Suzy, Olimpia
mother of Lester Alexander at the Children's Home. She struggles with drug addiction.  I haven't seen her for months, the last time was at a medical brigade where she appeared beaten up and strung out.  On Friday she was happy, healthy, and full of life! Thanks be to God.  Suzy introduced me to Olimpia, a 13 year old girl, who has no business being at an adult facility.  Suzy is feverishly working to rescue her and add her to her ever growing family at her house.  We were there, however, to pick up Wendy and her 3 year old, Darwin.  Wendy agreed to give us custody of Darwin.  We were taking them to  Juzgado (Children's Court) to finalize the paperwork.  (Success!)
Darwin asleep in his new bed!
Wendy also has a 20+ day old infant.  We are encouraging her to give Angel to us as well.  She isn't ready for that yet.  Wendy's mother helpfully (not) commented that Angel 
hasn't received enough of Wendy's "calor" (warmth) yet.  Oh, and we learned Wendy is HIV positive.  We still hope to get Angel.  Suzy, bought some Popeye's chicken and gave it to Olimpia as a "deposit" on her promise that Suzy will rescue her.  All of these women and girls (there are a couple other minors we are working to help) could be considered "throw aways" by society. To us and to the Misioneros de la Calle, they are beautiful children of God.  Safe house harmonics.

Saturday afternoon began with a joyous reunion at the Children's Home.  In 2009, we received a newborn named Linda.  In 2010, when Suzy returned to the US for a visit, Social Services inexplicably picked Linda up and took her away.  The leadership team frantically tried to find her, or at least information
about her.  After being rejected by a potential adoptive mother, she was adopted by a US couple working at the embassy almost one year ago to the day!  They brought her to the Children's Home so she could experience some of her heritage.  She is now an adorable 4 year old who gave the playground quite a workout!  The family is leaving soon for Malawi.  We said good bye with joy knowing Linda is safe, happy, and deeply loved.  Children's Home harmonics.  

Saturday evening, Suzy and I took off again.   This time we drove ... up.  Sometimes, it seemed we were driving straight up...again up a dirt road with more ditches and potholes than surface.   Our destination was a church in Nueva Capital - a barrio perched above Tegucigalpa.  It is impoverished, dangerous, and undesirable.   Most Hondurans wouldn't dream of going there.  Years ago, one of Suzy's Missionary School graduates, Silvia, followed God's call to what was a squatter's settlement on the side of a mountain.  With nothing but faith she went.  We arrived to give missionary testimonies in the church she established named, El Cordero!  (The Lamb and the name of
The children of El Cordero claim the
nations of the world for Christ
our school and the missionary training school! Our children are Los Corderitos de Dios, God's littlest lambs)  It was filled with families and more children and youth than you could count.  A throw away place?  Not even close.  A place of joy, love and faith, rocking out to praise songs and Silvia exhorting her parishioners to heed God's call to the mission field.  "There are two kinds of missionaries. Those who go down into the well (the mission field) and those who hold the rope of support."   Silvia answered her call and the fruit is abundant.  Barrio harmonics.  

Alley leading to the church
Sunday morning, we piled into Suzy's car again.  In the car was Suzy, Mari, Sammy, and me. In the bed of Suzy's new truck were Sallie, Lucy, Mirza and Josselin.   We headed back to El Centro to the church Jasmin and the Misioneros de la Calle attend, also named El Cordero!   We tacked back and forth on the narrow, unmarked streets looking for it.  At Mari's suggestion, we put all the kids in the cab with us for safety.  We started asking people on the street and taxi drivers where the church was.  Many shrugs, some vague directions, "it's that way," from people who clearly had no idea.  We were getting discouraged but did not want to give up.  Jasmin, Wendy, and most of the women from the safe house were returning from an Encounter weekend.  The church was planning a joyous welcome for their return.   We wanted to be there for Jasmin.  Separately but concurrently, Suzy and I offered up a prayer, "Please help us find this church."   Within 3 minutes, Suzy asked a family walking down the street if they knew the church.  "We are going there now!"  They hopped in the back of the truck and led us to a parking lot, again dank and dark, under a bridge.  I was a bit uneasy for the first time all weekend.  Nevertheless, the parking attendant who could have passed for a drug addict or criminal, assured us he would
Filled with the Spirit
watch the car, which he did well and cheerfully for $1.50.  The family led us to a sort of building - an open air grid with commercial booths (tiny restaurants, hair salons, stores) shuttered closed.  We snaked our way through there until an alley way led us to the church.  In we went.  This congregation was mostly men.  Men whom you would fear if you saw them on the street.  Men whom you would assume are gang members, drug addicts, or criminals.  Instead, they were men raising their hands in praise, closing their eyes in prayer, weeping with joy and gratitude for their Savior.  We met two young men, residents of the Misioneros de la Calle men's safe house.  Like Olimpia, they do not belong there and need to be rescued.  More precious lambs on our list to help.  Soon, Jasmin and the other women burst into the room, dancing, singing, twirling, weeping, filled with the Spirit, renewed and full of hope.  Jasmin hugged the stuffing out of us before she joined her sisters in Christ.  
Downtown harmonics.

This is your opportunity to harmonize with us.  Hold the rope of support for the missionaries "in the well."  Pray daily for those needing rescue, give thanks for the rescued and pray for guidance, strength, and patience for the rescuers and pray for hope for us all.   

He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again, as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.  2 Cor 1:10-11.

Jesus harmonics.  Thanks be to God.