- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: February 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Great Day

Pedro and the atty. met with the new judge. They took him to lunch. He told them that he really appreciated who we were. That we kept up with the kids who were with us, even after they shut us down. He said most of the orphanages, and there were 188 that were either shut down or shut themselves down, did not care enough about their kids to even keep up with them. He said he would read our paperwork today and tomorrow and then on Monday call CNA and ask them what we need to do to start taking the kids back. He also said he is there temporarily until they assign him a permanent judgeship, but he wants to keep up with us so he can send his kids to us. He was very positive and it was so nice to have a government official say something nice about us. Pedro really liked him.

I Am So Excited

Gary and Sylvia have arrived along with Antonio, a great Guatemalan man who helps alot of the medical teams that come in. . They met with Pedro last night and went and bought $2000.00 worth of money. They love our volunteer house in Panajachel where they are staying. They are planning to see 200 Mayans a day and do four days worth of clinics. They are going to hand out 200 numbers and you have to have a number to be seen. This will prevent people from having to wait all day and then not get in.We are working in two communities. Los Robles, our community , and San Andres. We will take people from other communities tho. Pedro is helping get everything set up. Jose, our guardian, is acting as town crier and spreading the word to the Mayans. We need 3 Spanish/English translators and 2 Katchikiel/Spanish translators. We have 2 doctors and 5 nurses and 8 other people on the team who will do the pharmacy, crowd control, color with kids,etc.
Pedro has a court hearing with the judge today. She is new and has replaced the judge who for 12 years has given the orphanages crap. We have heard the new one is a good one. He is taking her to lunch with our atty. They are going over our story and asking her to help us reopen. Can't wait to hear from him. CNA says anyday now, but there anyday is really any year now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Our Big Clinic

Bottom picture is of my son Joey and his newest daughter and my oldest daughter Jenn's new baby. Joey has two other daughters. he and his wife Crystal were the ones that kept 3 of my teens when we went to Guatemala in Jan. The next picture is of my oldest daughter Jenn. Jenn is the one who writes the thank you notes to people who donate to us. We have just started this and if we missed you, just give me a gentle reminder and we will get one sent to you.Jenn has four children total, two boys and tow girls. The last family picture is of my husband holding our grandson, Sam, who is Jenn's youngest.
We have a wonderful team of people in Guatemala arriving today who will be doing four days of general clinics Mar. 1,2,3, and 4. There will be 15 of them not counting the translators. They are buying $2000.00 worth of meds to give to the people who need it and can not afford it. The first two pictures are of Gary and his wife Sylvia who lead these wonderful teams. We will have more pictures of the clinics to show you. I sure wish I could be there and not stuck on this mountain with 3 feet of snow and more coming. But finding a babysitter to take on 8 kids and the mountain is hard. As it is, it is taking my husband and I both to manage everything with the fierce storms coming our way. Next year we have decided to live in Guate for Jan., Feb., Mar., and part of April. Anyone know someone who wants to live on top of a mountain during the winter? it is really pretty up here. Rent free for feeding my goats and chickens and dogs.
I need a donor for the meds for the pediatrician coming the middle of march. Any takers?????


I have chosen as my theme for this blog families. Because that is what it is all about. Whether you are a "normal" family with bio children or a large multi-generational and transracial family like mine or a put together family like our orphanage children, we all want love and a sense of belonging.
The first picture is of two of my daughters, Scotia and Emmie. I am lucky enough to have 11 daughters ranging in age from 4 to 32. Did I mention I have 7 sons, ages 42 to 8. I started young. The next is of my daughter Erin's children, my grandchildren. Erin helps us with our projects in Guatemala and last year this time she and Katie [ the little blond ] started our elementary school children's lunch and tutorial program. Mark , her husband, kept Addie and Marcus, the twins.
The next pictures are of Brenda and her family and her home. Brenda was one of our children at the orphanage. She is now 14 and we have a person on this group, Bill T. I am talking about you, who is providing the funding for her to go to school. Her teacher is a friend of Pedro's and tells him she is doing well and making good grades. Brenda is living back with her mom, her older brother and two younger sisters. The mom has no income and they are very poor. There is a picture of her home. The mom is in the picture with the pink tank top. She has a large growth on her arm [ you can see it in the picture]. She needed treatment but can't afford it. The other day she passed out on the floor wile trying to cook and Brenda called Pedro hysterical. Pedro had someone come get her and take her to the hospital. We agreed to pay the expense. She has been treated and is now home. Anyone who would like to contribute to this woman's medical bills as she needs more treatments or to the other two children's school scholarships, let me know as we need more help to be able to help this family.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finding the Kids

Pedro had a very interesting week-end. He did undercover work with the police in Guate City until 3am Sat and 4am Sun. They found some more kids being used in sex trafficking. He also found a woman who told him the Fernanda was being used like this. He has not been able to check it out or find her. On the way home form the city, he went thru Cocales as we have been trying to locate Luis. Well guess who was selling drinks to people in the raod? LUIS. So he is going on Thurs. to talk with Luis and his mom who has him selling the drinks.
Herardo called and wants to come back, but he is 18 now so don't know what we will do about him. Juliana, who is 16, is marrying some lowlife.nother
Still working on our papers and they are still coming. We have a big medical clinic next week.
I have a woman in the states, Wendy that's you, who is interested in fundraising for a safe house for kids involved in sex trafficking. I have located a place in a small pueblo that would hold 20 kids.It is located so the kids would not be found. It would cost around $400.00 for rent and utilities. Another $750.00 for caregivers and security. Another $750 for food and water. that is per month and for 20 kids. Does anyone want to help with this project?


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I had a heart Until I became a Missionary

I loved this quote by some unknown person. And I think you have to be doing service oriented work in a third world country to truly be able to relate to it. But since that is what I am doing and since I lived in a third world country for 3 years, I can totally relate. I am going to quote the following from a woman whose blog I read who is doing humanitarian work in Haiti. She and I understand each other. Seh is responding to hearing this quote for the first time.

"At the time, it seemed an odd statement. Seemed a bit backwards. But the longer I'm here, the more it rings true. Don't get me wrong. I love it here. In so many ways, it is life-giving. It is EXACTLY where I want to be and EXACTLY what I want to be doing. BUT... I totally get that statement. At times it must appear to others that I really do not have a heart. When I pass begging street kids in Port and just don't even make eye contact anymore. When I don't feel obligated to take in a kid or find a solution for school. When I feel like, "yeah, that's not my problem."

It's interesting because I don't think it's me becoming "jaded." I don't think my heart is calloused. I don't think I'm becoming desensitized. In fact, I think it's the opposite. I think it's that my heart is so incredibly OVER sensitive and overstimulated by the UNENDING need. I think my heart simply realizes that if I am going to be able to survive here for the long run, it needs to protect itself. It's simply a survival mechanism."

I too wonder sometimes about my heart. It used to be different when all I did was dream of opening an orphanage or feeding the poor or running a clinic for people who never have medical care. But that was before I actually did all those things.But that was before my daughter and son were held up by 6 men with AK47s. Before we were run out of our lakeside home by banditoes that felt it was no longer convenient for us to live there as we would see them when they robbed the second homes of wealthy Guatemalans. That was before a government official who does not like the fact that we educate and love the Mayan children decided to shut us down and throw them back into the streets. That was before it has taken us months to get paperwork that we have been told 50 times we have already been approved for. That was before Fernanda hugged me and told me she could not wait to come back to us where she was safe. That was before her dad put her in the hospital and then she ran to the streets. That was before we almost saw her dead body in a morgue. That was before the Mayan mothers we give free milk to rioted because they wanted more than we had. That was before I had faced the reality of running an orphanage and feeding programs in a third world where the goverment is corrupt and the people so desperate for simple things like giving their babies milk so they don't die.

Have all these things and many more I can't think of right now changed how I feel about working and being in Guatemala. No I just love it and the people more and more and dream and plan and try to raise money to help more and more of them. My heart is their heart and sometimes I feel I am more there than on this snow covered mountain. I know I am supposed to live in the states at this point in my life and I would miss my grandchildren terribly if I weren't. Just this last week-end we had 15 of our 18 children and 5 of the 7 spouses and 12 of the 17 grandchildren together for two baptisms and two baby blessings and celebrated 6 birthdays. No way I would have missed that. But as I was going to a 3 year old granddaughters birthday party, I was waiting to hear from Pedro about Fernanda and the morgue. I am glad my life is so rich. I would not have missed the family life or the work in Guatemala for anything. I love them both. And feel richly blessed for the opportunity of both in my life.
Does this amke sense. Hope so.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's not Fernanda

Well the morgue visit is over. It was not Fernanda, but another 14 year old girl. She had been stabbed many times and had one breast cut off. Pedro then went with the police and found two 12 year olds and two 13 year old being forced to do prostitution. They took the girls with them and the courts will assign them to an orphanage.

Fernanda and child trafficking

I posted on my blogs about Fernanda being sent home to her abusive dad when the Pgn Atty. shut us down. Then about how I saw her in Oct. and she begged me to let her come back and live with us. I told her absolutely as soon as I had the stupid piece of paper we needed. Then she went home to her evil father who beat the crap out of her and she had to be hospitalized for a week. After that she ran. Pedro and I started giving the police some extra cash for gas and bullets [ yes they have to buy their own ] for them to hunt for her in Guatemala City where her dad lives.
I started getting a hankering to broaden the base of what Safe Homes For Children does and include working against child trafficking. I did not know which direction I wanted to go in. I had not mentioned any of this to Pedro. But as I was child who was used in porn and prostitution and I know the horrors of it, I wanted to do something. Well we jumped into it today. Pedro just called me and said the police had called him to come into the city; they had found something. He is there now. What they found was a dead girl who has all the same looks as Fernanda. She is at the morgue and he gets the delightful job of going and deciding if it is her. If is not, they told him there are four groups that are using 13 to 15 year old girls for prostitution. When they turn 15, they get them pregnant and send them to another country and sell the baby. He is going with the police to see if Fernanada is among them. If he finds her, she will go with him to a safe house.I love Pedro; wish he had been there in my childhood.

The above pictures are of Fernanda. One of her and one of her being overjoyed seeing Eva her former nanny.

Friday, February 05, 2010

thank you

We are being so blessed with volunteers and donations. I was so afraid with Haiti needing so much that no one would be able to give to us, but one day I realized that HF can take care of everyone and quit worrying. The next day I got a call from a group wanting to take us on as their yearly project. This project includes a $20,000
building project. Plus a field trip in June for the kids and the next day a community party. This on top of the new clinic we are building with the donations from another group. We had the ground breaking ceremony last week. I hope to send pictures soon. Then another call from a CO youth group wanting to come down and do 2 days of building raised beds for our gardens. Then a FL youth group coming down to do the same, then a UT youth group coming down to do the same. Then a UT Spanish class that collected donations and $100.00 in change for our feeding program and wants to raise more. Then a couple of UT men who have been helping in another country and want to help us. They are going to buy the meds that our pediatrician who is coming in Mar. will need for her clinics. I spoke with her yesterday and was so impressed with her concern and due dilligence in finding out what the people will need. Then there was $400.00 from paypal on my yahoo acct. this morning from two different people. That does not include the two other adult groups coming in Mar. and April who will do medical clinics and construction and donate $2500.00 to each project. Or the regular payments that another group give to our feeding programs or the other people who give and have given faithfully for several years. Or the second hand store that gives nice clothing and other things every month. Or my new volunteer coordinator who is going down in Mar. with volunteers of her own to help or the WWOOF volunteers who go down and do alot of grunt work. Thanks everyone. Also my daughter who will keep the stats on our ever growing feeding program and student sponsorships. My other daughter who does the thank you notes. My other daughter who helps with the accounting and my other one who takes some of the donation calls. Plus all four of those daughters run our business so we can donate our time to this. because of that, we have no need to take a salary . So 100% of what you give goes to our programs.
I was so worried because our situtation in rural Guatemala can be as bad as haiti without the earthquake. People starve to death and kids are permanently damaged because of malnutrition on a regular basis. i won't worry any more and want ot say a big THANK YOU.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

our Guatemala trip

This last Jan. trip we had the pleasure of seeing one of the babies that had been at our orphanage. If you have been following my blogs for a couple of years, you will remember him. His name is Edwin. We first heard about him one evening as my family was sitting down to dinner. Pedro called me and said there was a new one day old baby on the way to the orphanage. He had been found on the side of the road on the way to Chichicastenago. My family got to vote on the name for him. The kids suggested Landon and several others I can't remember. I had named the last one so I did not vote. My husband suggested Edwin and I went along with him. Edwin it was. As soon as we finished eating, I rushed over to the orphanage with my 13 year old daughter and left my husband to do homework with our kids. The baby was adorable and soon our family started keeping him along with Noe during the day. We found out that his paperwork that was on the side of the road said that his name truly was Edwin. His bio mom had given him that name. My husband's spiritual ability shot up in my eyes. Edwin and Noe were very much a part of our lives for the next 4 months until we returned to the states. Then the government did their thing and the kids that were adoptable were tossed into the government orphanages, Edwin and Noe among them. Edwin stayed there for a year until the woman in the picture holding him stepped in with her husband and adopted him. They took possession of him in Aug, 2009. She said he was so sick he had to be immediately hospitalized. He had so little calcium, translated formula, that his teeth have not come in altho he is almost two and he has scars all over his body where the doc says boiling water or maybe oil was spilled on him. His parents run two second hand stores in Pana where they sell clothes from the USA. They love him very much and he loves them. I am anxious to get Noe back with us. But at least Edwin's story ends happily. We got to visit with them for a couple of hours while there.
The other pictures are of our volunteer house that you can rent if you come to Pana and work with us. it is nice and safe. We loved staying there. The last one is of my 5 youngest adopted children. They were adopted from the USA at birth. We took them with us this last visit so we could stay longer. They loved being there. We paid their airfare and their expenses out of our personal money as we do all our expenses while there. 100% of your donations goes to the programs in Guatemala.