Tag Archives: Honduras

Our Desire to Adopt + Visiting My Little Lambs Orphanage

When I was 12 years old, I lived in a tiny town in the south. Kentucky to be exact. Almost everyone in this town was white. I had never heard of anyone adopting, much less from another country.

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0001.jpg

 

But then a neighbor down the street adopted a beautiful little baby girl from China. I remember seeing her, holding her. And I remember thinking, this is awesome!!! This little girl didn’t have a mommy and daddy and now she does!!!

I quickly went home and tried to talk my parents into adopting. My parents, who already had 5 kids, and were in their fifties at that point. Needless to say I didn’t convince them, but that is when God put adoption on my heart.

When  I was 12.

God put adoption on my heart so strongly, that in the same conversation that Lukas asked me to be his girlfriend, I asked him what he thought about adoption. He probably wondered where that came from. “So, what do you think about, you know, us…” He says shyly. And I respond with, “Yeaaa, so what do you think about adoption?” Something like that. Pretty funny when I think about it.

But to me it was a deal breaker.

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0019.jpg

Three years ago, we almost started the adoption process ourselves from Nicaragua. But then… God led our hearts another way, and soon after, I was pregnant.

I used to always wonder what people meant when they told me they were working on adopting.

But now I know.

It’s such a complicated process. Where you and your family are in life, the house you live in, your age and health, there are so many factors to take into account to get the process going. There are so many decisions to make before you even technically START the process.

Lukas and I are in our own journey right now hoping to start the adoption process this year. We are still praying about whether it will be from the states or another country. But we are so excited and are trusting God to lead us.

Which brings me to…

I have always wanted to visit an orphanage… to have the opportunity to just love on the kids, love on the ones who have been left, who have been hurt, to show them in just some small way that they are seen, that they are important. That they are loved.

So last week was a big deal.

I finally got to visit an orphanage that I have been praying for for months. My Little Lambs, in Siguatepeque, Honduras. You can check out their website here.

 

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0010.jpg

I walked up to the abandoned gate with a friend, and her kiddo started shouting out. A few minutes later, the kids started running up to us, so excited to see us. They wanted hugs, they wanted to play ball, they wanted to hold my hand. These 10 precious kiddos who just need alot of love, and need to know about God’s love.

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0014.jpg

 

It breaks my heart to think that these kids don’t have parents. No hugs and kisses from mom and dad. No tucking into bed at night. Most of these kids have suffered from physical or sexual abuse. Most of these kids arrived at the orphanage only with the ragged clothes on their back, scared, confused.

I look at them, and I think about how God loved us even when we were orphans, alienated from Him because of sin. How He adopts us into His kingdom through His Son Jesus.

How He made a way for us to be a part of His family.

And it makes me rejoice in my own adoption into God’s family. And it also makes me want these kids to know how much God loves them.

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0013.jpg

Marcus and his wife Martha have been with the kids on site for 6 years. I am so thankful for their faithful ministry. 

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0015.jpg
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0016.jpg
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0017.jpg
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0018.jpg

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0020.jpg

They seriously cracked me up!

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0012.jpg
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0002.jpg

This kitchen was just built by a missions team. It is so much better for the kids and their needs! Bigger, more functional.
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0003.jpg

The Living Room, two flat couches. A friend just brought in a home made ping pong table the kids quickly moved into this space!!
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0004.jpg

The Boys room. Beds lined up in a row.
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0005.jpg

The Girls room.
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0006.jpg

Sadly, almost all the swings and tee totter are broken now, but that doesn’t keep the kids from having a great time!
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0007.jpg
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0008.jpg
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0009.jpg

Each kiddo had such a sweet personality. I can’t wait to go back.

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0033

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0031

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0034

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0032

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0021.jpg
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0022.jpg
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0023.jpg

One of their favorite games!
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0024.jpg
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0025.jpg
my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0026.jpg

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0028.jpg

my-little-lambs-orphanage-honduras_0027.jpg

Would you commit to pray for the kids of My Little Lambs Orphanage? Pray they get to hear the gospel and would know the Lord. Pray that their physical needs are met. Pray for parents for them. Pray the adoption process in Honduras would get easier for them.

If you feel led to donate money, they have a Youcaring account set up here. If you would like to help in some other way, please shoot me an email! (contact info in the speaking tab)

Happy Thanksgiving! + Our Life in Honduras

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! 🙂

It’s strange to be celebrating thanksgiving in a country where no one else is celebrating it – school goes on, work goes on… unlike my 20+ years experiencing it in the states and all the hype leading up to it.

If you want to buy a Turkey here to celebrate, don’t worry, you’ll only pay $100. Blueberry pie? Only $10 for the canned blueberries. It’s pretty funny how they mark it all up for the U.S. Americans 😉

But today I’m waking up thankful regardless. Thankful for the country I’m from and the country I’m currently in.

I am so excited to share with you today what our everyday life and experiences have been looking like while we are here in Honduras! We have been doing so much I can’t believe we have been here for a month already.

Every Sunday bright and early, Lukas, Wilder and I jump into these Land Cruisers with our missionary friends the Pattersons, and drive two hours up this little dirt road into the Honduran mountains.

Well, we did, until one of the Land Cruisers broke down, but you can read that adventure below… 😉

Honduras-Trip_001.jpg
honduras-trip-t-046

Honduras-Trip_010.jpg

The roads might be difficult and bone jarring (think of the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, multiplied by 3, and extended to an hour) but the views are SPECTACULAR.

Honduras-Trip_039.jpg

Honduras-Trip_003.jpg

Honduras-Trip_009.jpg

We pass friendly people and always get a smile and a wave on the way up.

Honduras-Trip_015.jpg

Proof058
Honduras-Trip_002.jpg

Honduras-Trip_006.jpg

When we get to the little village of El Buen Pastor, we walk around and visit friends in their homes. This is one of my favorite parts because the people are so friendly. It’s so fun getting to know them.

honduras-trip-t-053

Proof025

honduras-trip-t-047

Honduras-Trip_016.jpg

Honduras-Trip_004.jpg

Here’s the little church, El Cordero De Dios – The Lamb of God. Right now it’s a temporary wooden structure building, but we are hoping to help raise money for a building. I will be posting a video about that soon!

Proof030

Proof026

Proof060

Honduras-Trip_005.jpg

Proof061

After we visit friends, I teach a teen girl’s Sunday School class. The girls are so much fun and I have really enjoyed getting to know them! It’s also challenging my Spanish speaking skills which is great. I have a translator but I do all my own worksheets in Spanish, and of course I want to be able to chat with the girls during class.

Proof059

Honduras-Trip_008.jpg

Honduras-Trip_012.jpg

Honduras-Trip_007.jpg

Everyone here LOVES Wilder and he is such a champ and loves giving high fives and smiles. He spreads so much joy.

Honduras-Trip_017.jpg

One of our many adventures includes breaking down on the way home from church one night. As you can see the roads aren’t that good and so one of our cars broke! It was quite the adventure figuring out how to get to the next village, but eventually we did. And then of course, it started to rain 😉

Honduras-Trip_018.jpg

A family in the next village offered us shelter from the rainstorm, and a place to wait while we could find transportation back home. Along with a roof over our heads we were treated to hot yummy sweet coffee and enjoyed the gorgeous sunset through the rainstorm.

I don’t think I will ever forget that night.

Honduras-Trip_020.jpg

honduras-trip-t-049

Honduras-Trip_019.jpg

And then there is the beautiful campus we are staying at in Siguatepeque. The campus houses many things, including a seminary.

Honduras-Trip_030.jpg

The morning view from our front porch …Honduras-Trip_021.jpg

Honduras-Trip_023.jpg

Wilder LOVES the puppy and dogs here and they love him! Honduras-Trip_024.jpg

Wilder also enjoys playing with rocks and sticks and having room to crawl around.Honduras-Trip_025.jpg

Lukas has been volunteering his time to make alot of needed furniture around campus including desks, tables, and even rocking chairs! Our friend Elijah is a great help!

Honduras-Trip_026.jpg

Honduras-Trip_027.jpg

Before we stained them, they look even better now 🙂

Honduras-Trip_028.jpg

Wilder helps by riding the motorcycles. Or so he wishes!

Honduras-Trip_031.jpg

His favorite thing to really do is play with all his friends here, especially his best friend Iris.

Honduras-Trip_029.jpg

Along with helping at the church every week, we are helping around campus, and taking family photos for the missionaries to use for prayer cards. We’re also leading youth small groups on Tuesday nights for another Bible Study. honduras-trip-t-052

Honduras-Trip_032.jpg

Lukas and I walked into town the other day. It’s very interesting what they do and don’t have here.  For a simple cheap lamp it was like $50, so Lukas decided to just make one himself. Most of the cars and clothes are all shipped from the states.Honduras-Trip_033.jpg

Honduras-Trip_034.jpg

Honduras-Trip_035.jpg

Honduras-Trip_036.jpg

Honduras-Trip_037.jpg

Honduras-Trip_038.jpg

Another adventure we went on last week was hiking up to a beautiful waterfall.

Honduras-Trip_040.jpg

Honduras-Trip_041.jpg

Honduras-Trip_042.jpg

Honduras-Trip_043.jpg

The views overlooking the mountains were breathtaking.

Honduras-Trip_044.jpg

Honduras-Trip_045.jpg

honduras-trip-t-051Finally, here’s a panorama of where I love to take walks before sunset. 🙂

Stay tuned for more of our adventures…and thank you so much for your prayers and for keeping in touch with us!!

 

4 Surprising Things I Learned Living in a Tiny Honduran House

11074474_656402942680_3578611764696903524_n
Guest post by: Lukas VanDyke

There’s little place to escape when you only have 360 square feet.

Suzy, Wilder and I  just passed the two week mark of our two month foray living in a tiny house in the mountains of central Honduras. We have been spending time visiting villages where the houses are all made of mud, have a single spigot in the front yard for water, and the bathrooms are a made of a couple blankets hanging around a bowl and pipe that drain into the river.

For us, however, although the space is small as you might note in the photos, we do have all the modern conveniences. Electric stove, fridge, sink, bathroom and shower etc.

What is interesting though, is that most of the things for our little house were brought in from America, shipped down in suitcases with missions teams one piece at a time. Things that are difficult to find here include doorknobs with locks that work, sinks and faucets that don’t leak, bathroom fixtures, curtain rods, or pretty much anything else that can’t be easily fabricated from scratch. There are some furniture stores, but since they also import a majority of their inventory the costs are exorbitant.  Want a curtain? You better know how to sew. Need a table? Well pull out your hand saw and try your hand at wood working. In fact after visiting over a dozen stores I just came to the conclusion that if I wanted a lamp I was going to need to make one.

So although our space looks very normal, it was quite the feat for the missionaries who put it all together. Each and every aspect needed to be shipped from the states and assembled together with the rest of the pieces fabricated by local craftsmen or visiting teams who came down here. No quick runs to Home Depot for a missing doorknob.

In fact one of the big things I have been working on here is building a lot of different furniture for various spaces. A few of the pieces I have been working on include the table, desks and lamp you see in our little house which after we leave will be used by visiting speakers when they come down. I’m also working on things for the dorms for students attending the seminary, and furniture for the offices and other ministry related spaces. If you’re interested in helping fund different projects you can click the link. The more wood I have, the more things I can make while I am here. 

But enough back story. What have I learned from living in a 360 square foot house?

  1. You can’t escape. There is no retreating to a far side of the house to be alone. You are there, husband and wife and child, forced to work out your differences and talk things through right away. Although this can be a little difficult at times (especially since Wilder can’t talk) It’s really good! It forces you to be one with each other and on the same page all the time! I recommend everyone try this.
  2. It’s easy to clean. At home I know it’s easy for us to let the dishes pile up. But when you only have three plates there is nothing to pile up. You need to wash them if you want to use them again. You also can’t just close the door and move into another room and leave your projects spread out. You need to clean up each and every project as you go. Two-thousand square feet also means two-thousand square feet to dust, mop, sweep and vacuum. Three hundred and sixty square feet means… well you can do the math.
  3. Simplicity is freeing! When you have one meals’ worth of dishes, one week’s worth of clothes, one shelf for books, a single coffee mug, and one chair for sitting, all of a sudden a lot of decisions related to stuff go away. You’re left  so much more free to LIVE YOUR LIFE instead of spending time managing all your stuff.
  4. You can still do ministry. So far we have had a number of meetings, Bible Study small groups, as well as coffee dates and meals with people here. Somehow it all seems to work. Just because your space is small doesn’t mean you can’t have people over! 

Over all for me I feel such a freedom from the chains of being tied to so much unnecessary things and space.  

It’s a breath of fresh air. 

– Lukas VanDyke

{Guest blogger & husband of Suzy VanDyke!}

Do you live in a small house? What are the struggles you face? What are the blessings you see? We would LOVE to hear from you in the comments below!

Little_House_Honduras_0001.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0002.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0003.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0004.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0005.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0006.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0007.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0008.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0009.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0010.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0011.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0012.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0013.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0014.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0015.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0016.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0017.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0018.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0019.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0020.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0022.jpg
Little_House_Honduras_0023.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0024.jpg

Little_House_Honduras_0025.jpg