The Turnaround

A lot has been going on in Nicaragua over the past few months and I have fallen behind on my blog entries! The good news?? I have lots of stories to share!

But where to start?! How about one that will spread a little joy? Good. I’ve got just the one.

Guiselle is one of my favorite kids in the whole country. (Yes – I am allowed to have favorites!) I met her and her sister at a very impressionable and delicate point in their lives. I’m not going to go into their whole background now (you can read the entry yourself here), but there are two things you need to know: Read the rest of this entry »

Update on Harvy

Be still my yearning heart. Be still and know.

I have long pondered what to share in this post. I know what I wish I could say, but I don’t know how to share what I must say. My heart cries out within me yearning to tell a different story, a different outcome, to tell you about a knight in shining armor that is on his way with Read the rest of this entry »

Learning from Harvy

Harvy has had cancer for the past 5 years. It has been a hard battle that has taken its toll on both him and his mother, Sylvia. They found out he had the disease when he was 14, so almost all of his teenage years have been filled with IVs, chemo, radiation, and hospitals.

But through it all his faith, and his mother’s faith, has persevered. They are, put simply, an inspiration to me and many others.

Currently the doctors Read the rest of this entry »

Dinner Time

The house was packed for a special dinner, full of the wealthy and influential of the city, each convinced of their own superiority over the others. It was a beehive of activity as they clamored for the best seats, all wanting to be as close as possible to the same man.

Still more were gathered outside the house, trying to even catch a glimpse of this man that had the whole nation captivated. I was one of the ones outside of the house. Like everyone around me, I Read the rest of this entry »

A Moment of Truth

I was sitting in a chair holding a piece of paper watching a mother speak to her daughter. Smiling from ear to ear, I felt a joy deep down inside starting to form. It was a moment I had been waiting for, more than that, praying for, and that others had been praying for too.

For four years we had prayed for this and it was finally here. Read the rest of this entry »

Speaking in the Silence

I was sitting in silence, away from everyone and everything. “Finally a chance to unwind,” I thought to myself. I was on my bed – one of the top bunks in the room where we were all sleeping – and everyone except Heyner, one of our supported children and the little boy in the picture to the right, was in other rooms or outside. Heyner was as tired as I was (which is a miracle itself!) and was laying there quiet in his bunk – the one directly below mine.

And so I sat there soaking it up, happier than Warren Buffet in a dollar store.

It had been such a busy day. We had been hosting teams of Americans for the past 9 days and 5 of our supported children had been with us the past two days. I had thoroughly enjoyed all of it, but listening, talking, translating, parenting, and driving had left my brain worn out and I needed to recharge for a few minutes.

Silence Broken

Just as I started to really relax Read the rest of this entry »

A Little Thursday Joy

Well, it is finals week here at SMU so my blog writing time has been taken up by paper writing and studying for tests. (It’s as fun as it sounds!) HOWEVER, that does NOT mean I can’t still share a little joy!

Here are a few pictures from food and school supply deliveries to some of the families in our single mother program. For those that know our families – you Read the rest of this entry »

Breaking the Sound Barrier

Today’s entry is the second half of a two part entry. Just to remind you who we are talking about, here is the intro from the last blog:

“We have to go now!” he barked.

Her eyes widened. Her fear was palpable as she looked down at the ground. The smile that had just covered her face had been replaced with a worried scowl. Then she looked back at me. Her eyes carried a great sadness, conveying sentiments that words surely could not adequately express.

She began turning to run Read the rest of this entry »

Standing for Change

“We have to go now!” he barked.

Her eyes widened. Her fear was palpable as she looked down at the ground. The smile that had just covered her face had been replaced with a worried scowl. Then she looked back at me. Her eyes carried a great sadness, conveying sentiments that words surely could not adequately express.

She began turning to run and for me everything else around us blurred. The world froze and nothing else mattered. All that counted was this moment.

I knew I only had one chance to get this right, but I had no time to plan or ponder what to do or say. Knowing I had to take action or lose my shot, I reached my arm out towards her to stop her, simultaneously praying for the right words and enough faith to do what I must.

She stopped her flight and Read the rest of this entry »

Hand in Hand

The sun was strong and I was hot. We had been outside for a few hours now and the sun was just starting to reach its peak in the sky. It would only get hotter from here.

So I did what any person would do. I found shade. And as I stood there under the blossoming leaves of the nearest tree I saw it. It was right there in front of me. I didn’t know when it had happened, only that now it was Read the rest of this entry »

2013 Trip Video

It’s that time of year again! We have completed our year end trips to Nicaragua and have a video to share! So take a 3 minute break from whatever you’re doing, turn up the music, make it full screen, and enjoy seeing pictures and videos of Read the rest of this entry »

Still Going Strong

I am back in Leon, which means I am back in the land of being able to get some wifi connectivity from time to time. A lot has happened since the last blog entry and, honestly, I don’t really know where to start or how to catch all of you up.

The past 9 days since the last update have been a whirlwind. We have been to two Read the rest of this entry »

Building for the Future

While we were working today I took a few moments to step back and just watch what was going on all around me. To my right cement blocks were being passed down to a man in a giant hole to create the bathroom foundation. To my left blocks were being used to build the walls of the school.

Behind me rebar was being shaped into what would become the cross-sections of the school’s walls. And in front of me tons (literally) of dirt was being dug up by shovels and moved via wheelbarrow to level the plot of ground and extend a future play area for the kids.

All those tasks were important, but it wasn’t what stood out to me. Read the rest of this entry »

And So It Begins

Hey everyone! I haven’t had the chance to write a full blog entry, but I did want to make sure everyone got a taste of what the SMU team has been able to do so far!

The majority of team arrived Saturday. I am still blown away by the fact that they were even able to get out of DFW! One of the team members has a picture of the departures board at DFW where every flight on the screen was cancelled except theirs (thanks God!).

When they arrived we Read the rest of this entry »

Traveling South

Today I leave for Nicaragua. I will be in the country for 18 days to host two groups of volunteers – one of my fellow MBA students from SMU, and the other our 5th trip of Aggies from Texas A&M. We will be helping to build the school in Leon, doing a census in Tipitapa, and investing in the kids.

I could not be more excited.

For 18 days I get to Read the rest of this entry »

Getting the Party Started

This is a short entry, but one I am very excited to share: THE SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROCESS IN LEON HAS BEGUN!!

Friday of last week was a day we had been waiting on for three years. Finally, after much dreaming, hoping, working, waiting, and praying the makings of a new beginning were upon us.

Walter gathered with key community members in Leon to clear the plot of land where the school would be built. Smiles were all around as everyone Read the rest of this entry »

Tough Mudder Race Video

Well, it is complete. We finished the Tough Mudder and have pictures and video to share. In the end, you helped us raise a little over $2,000 and we are all so very grateful!

A lot of people have been asking what it was like to run the race, if it was hard, if it was fun, etc. So, to show our gratitude and to answer those questions I put together a video from the head cam we wore during the race. I hope you enjoy watching the race as much as we enjoyed running it! Read the rest of this entry »

Tough Mudder Training Video

Well, it is that time again. Just like 2012, it is time to share our Tough Mudder training secrets. This year we have a whole new team (except me) and that means we have all new training methods!

I hope all of you have as much fun watching this video as we did putting it together – just be sure your sound is on to get the full effect! Read the rest of this entry »

Patience

Chop. Chop. Chop.

“This one is never going to cut loose!” he said.

“Patience,” the older man told his son. “Keep chopping. It will fall.”

Chop. Chop. Chop.

Finally, the tree limb came loose and fell to the ground below. It was the last piece they needed. Now they could finally have what they had never had before: a Read the rest of this entry »

2013 School Supply Delivery Video

Hey everyone! I am excited to share pictures from our annual school supply delivery to both Tipitapa and Leon! Read the rest of this entry »