Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I praise God today for the community that I'm surrounded by. I know that I've mentioned this before, but the people here are so uplifting and wonderful. These are pictures from mid-February. The specials teachers (art, music, PE, resource, spiritual life) had a potluck lunch on a day that we had no classes but still had to work. The nanny that I'm with is Suyapa. She's one of the several nannies that I've become good friends with over this year. I talk to her often in between classes. We invited her to come and join us for lunch.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Track Meet!

This past week in PE all 1st-3rd grade students participated in a track meet in their classes! I created a block schedule to have each class for an hour. The students participated in the 400m dash, 4x200m relay, and a 50m hurdle. The track was about half the size of a normal track so the distance was a bit smaller, but it was more fitting for the younger kids anyway. They loved it! The best part was seeing them cheer each other on. We had runners, timers, cheerers, and then students who loved to run inside the cones all the way around with the racers, even when it wasn't their turn!

As a teacher, it was tiring, but worth every minute. One of the valuable things I learned was how to keep order in the chaos. They would get so excited cheering on their classmate that they'd forget when it was their turn to run. Or, better yet, the timers would get so excited they would forget to hit stop! or even start sometimes! I would remind them that they had "a very, very important job to do!"

Explaining the race order and organizing the runners. This is how I looked all week... with 4 stopwatches around my neck!


I praise God today for the success that last week was. I had never done anything like this and I was very happy with how it turned out. The only part that didn't go as planned, was being able to fit in the two jumping events they had practiced! So, the track meet is extended to this week too!

God bless!

2 1/2

Yesterday marked the two and a half year mark since Jared and I started dating. I praise God for such a wonderful man of God that will soon be my husband! I love you Jared!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Today I am thankful for examples. If you're like me, you've probably never thought about it before, but it's examples that help us understand things. As a teacher, you take a new concept and connect it to something that the students already know, their context, so that they understand it. Their context includes their language, culture, age, gender, beliefs, upbringing... for example, if I want to explain the word weave, I could say that their buses weave around the potholes in the road on the way to school. This is a context that they can relate to in order to understand the word.

God does the same thing.

What I've learned the most this year has come from the examples that daily life has given me in looking forward to what heaven will be like. The anticipation I've had to get married, to have visitors, or even to teach a certain lesson reflects the anticipation that I should have daily for Christ's return. Marriage itself is an example of Christ's relationship with the church. I believe that there are even more things which we brush shoulders with day by day that give us a glimpse of eternity... beautiful sunsets, a bird's song in the morning, the smell of the flowers outside my apartment... God demonstrates his glory all around us, a glimpse, an example of what eternal glory will look like.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Today I praise the Lord for the breeze that kept me cool despite the sun beating down all day! It was a perfect combination off sunshine and wind up here on the mountain. God is good :)

Monday, March 21, 2011


Today I praise God for culture. I could go on and on about this, especially after living in a different culture for a while. It takes a while for the newness of moving to wear off, then reality sets in as you try to fit in or find your place. Eventually, you learn to appreciate the ways that different cultures do things as you become a part of the culture, or almost :) I know that I'm not Honduran, but being here has opened my eyes to the different ways that people live out their lives on a daily basis.

The picture today is sushi that Janice and I made a while back... not Honduran, but still cultural :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Yesterday was Father's Day here in Honduras! A day when we all get to tell our dad how much we love them, and thank them for everything they've done for us; we normally give them a card, or at least just a hug. Today's praise is for my dad. I praise the Lord that I have a father who has raised me in the fear of the Lord, to love and serve him with my life. I praise the Lord that I have a father who loves me so much, demonstrating my heavenly Father's love. I am so blessed... I love you, Dad!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

for Friday...

Yes, I know... I already missed a day in my commitment to blog a picture a day. Riday was a fantastic day! In the morning we had a Father's day program with the elementary school. The students sang songs, one father told a story and another one gave words of encouragement to Fathers.

In the afternoon the high school held "Relampago," a soccer tournament held at Pinares with 4 local bilingual schools. It was busy, but a lot of fun! The Sophomore class was in charge and they sold all kinds of food and baked goods to other students and spectators.

"Specials" teachers enjoying the day without classes!

This is my picture of the day! This is one of my students with an obvious passion for soccer! I praise God today for enjoyment in the blessings he has given us, like a soccer game. We were able so spend the afternoon cheering on the Pumas and spending time with friends.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mora Berry Picking

Today I went up the mountain a ways with some friends of mine to get Mora berry (blackberry) jam. It is so beautiful up there! We were able to spend some time picking berries too! It brought me back to Michigan summers picking blueberries and strawberries... yum!

I was marveling at the amazing-ness of the blackberries... they were HUGE! I praise God today for his creativity and intricacy of detail in everything he has made.

Pray for Tegucigalpa

So far this year, we have been blessed with little violence, few strikes, and no days cancelled because of unrest. Today is our first one. As a first year teacher, it is my first cancelled day of school! While I am excited about being able to sleep in, bake, go for a run, read, and spend the day doing things I love, it breaks my heart that there are people trying to resolve their problems with violence, and putting other people in danger, people who need to hear the message of Christ.

This is the email sent by our director yesterday afternoon:

Due to the threat of violent demonstrations on Thursday, March 17, all classes are cancelled. We do plan to have the Father's Day program and Relampago on Friday, March 18.

Debido a la amenaza de tomas violentas el Jueves 17 de Marzo las clases han sido canceladas. El Viernes 18 de Marzo planeamos tener el Programa del Día del Padre y el Torneo Relámpago.
Gene C. Smith, Rector

Please pray for Tegucigalpa today and the people directly affected by this.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


After school today I went to a candle shop called "La Luciernaga" (The Firefly) to look at candles to buy and use at the wedding! It is a small business that makes hand-crafted candles. They are made by women and the proceeds go to help women and children who are abused. I went with two other girls on the Rapidito, we got off on the side of the road and walked up the short hill driveway to the store. Once we entered, the pollution and dirty smells of the city disappeared as we were overwhelmed by the scents of the candles. As I thought more about this today, I came across 2 Corinthians 14-16 which says, "But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?"(ESV) We as Christians are an aroma to the world!

Today I praise the Lord for my sense of smell, and I pray that as I continue to smell what's around me, I may be reminded that others are smelling me through my actions and words! .

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I've been brought to my knees so many times lately I'm surprised they aren't bruised. Today I'm thankful for the way that the Bible guides us in the truth and reveals the hidden dirt. Through the most challenging times of life, through the deserts, God brings us back to him. When we are starving to be filled and parched with thirst, the Lord brings us back to his promises. (For more on the Lord's faithfulness while the Israelites were in the desert, see Deuteronomy 8.) This year more than ever I have found myself in the desert where God's truth has revealed the dirt inside of me that I try so desperately to hide: selfishness (aka: pride), insecurity, jealousy (aka: envy), frustration (aka: anger), delight in worldly pleasures (aka: idolatry or greed). That's more deadly sins than I care to admit, but through the strength of the Lord, I can be freed from these sins. I praise the Lord for the truth written in his word, the truth explained in books I have read, and the truth revealed through the Christians around me who are challenging and building me up in the Lord. As hard as it is to swallow my own pride, to those of you who guide me, I thank you for your guidance. I challenge everyone of you to look into your own lives today and ask the Lord to reveal the dirt and give you beauty for ashes. Pray that he may satisfy you and give you a garment of praise.

Today's picture is from the hunt I went on with my dad in the NWT. Amid the openness and barrenness of life represented in this picture, the Lord is there calling us back to him and back to the truth.

God bless!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Today I praise God for community. I am living in an amazing community of believers that is constantly building one another up in the Lord. What a blessing. Today's picture is an aerial shot of the school to represent all of the people that are here whom I love!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Que rico!

Today I praise God for flavor and that I am blessed with sense of taste. How often do we take for granted the fact that we can taste what we eat! Dippin' Dots was at Family Fun Day today and it had been a long time since I'd had one. Cookies-n-Cream was definitely a good choice!


I remember going to Family Fun Night in elementary and middle school every year. Carnival games in all of the classrooms, cake walk, candy, winning prizes, eating pizza... today was Family Fun Day at Pinares! The high school students are in charge of the games and all of the proceeds go to the school. It was out on the soccer field under huge tents. There were tons of different kinds of foods, games, candy, the Orbitron, a bazaar selling used items (I bought a purse for $2.50), futbolito in the gym, and people everywhere! Praise God for a beautiful day and a great time for everyone!

The girls I am with here are the seniors on my volleyball team. They are fantastic!

One of the games was to throw water balloons at teachers and other students. I took my turn from 12:30-1 and several of my students came to throw water balloons at me. We stood behind this fence which had barbed wire on the top that popped the balloons easily. This picture is from the last time slot of the day and a bunch of elementary kids are behind the fence with our principal, Mr. Osberg! As you can see, he also took advantage of the hair styling booth!

This is one of my Pre-Kinder students on the Orbitron! There was a line all day for the ride. I also got to hang out with Simon for part of the day. He's eating a charamusca, a frozen treat in a bag- kind of like a popcycle.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Yes, today was one of those days... you know, when you feel like you're really trying but no matter how patient you are, how many times you remind, it doesn't make any difference... when you stop and look at the situation as an outsider and think: this is chaos... when you blow your whistle and they look at you for a second and then keep talking, laughing or pushing each other...

Day 2: Today I praise the Lord for his peace in the times of chaos, whether it's the minor chaos of the classroom or major life changes. This is a picture I took at our cottage this winter when everything was so still and covered in a fresh blanket of snow.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Season of Lent

"God created the universe—from galaxies to water spiders. He created the breeze that calms us and the hurricane that terrifies us. All of it is to show us what he is like, to display his glory and personality. BUT people have let themselves be blinded to the truth. Some take all of God’s creation for granted and say it just got there somehow—no need for God. Others worship the things that were created and don’t see God behind it." (Check out the full devotional at Desiring God: Lenten Lights.)

Aren't we all blinded at times? Don't we all walk past incredible pieces of God's creation and take it for granted? I don't believe that it just got there 'somehow,' but I still encounter God's creation every day all around me and forget to give thanks, forget to praise the Lord of the universe! For Lent this year, it is my goal to post a picture a day that represents something that I praise the Lord for, something that is a piece of his creation which I don't want to take for granted. It is my prayer that my eyes will be opened to more of his beauty around me and that I may use this as heartfelt worship. I also pray that you may be blessed by the pictures.

Day 1: I praise the Lord for the sky. Here in Honduras the sky is absolutely beautiful... and HUGE! The clouds float across the clear blue sky in the day and the stars shine against the black canopy at night. When I lay on the ground and try to comprehend the expanse of the sky, I cannot help but be in awe of the one who created it.

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." Psalm 19:1 (ESV)

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Rock!

Last week Monday we had the day off so I had the opportunity to go back to the Rock where I had taught English classes last fall. Brei, who is studying here at ALP this semester was able to come with me. The kids, as always, were adorable! The kindergarten had just gotten done with making their hand prints with blue paint.

Besides the progress in learning that I notice, including new books and more supplies, I was amazed at all the progress that had been done in the last couple of months on the building! What used to be one big room with a bumpy yard in front... they've now flattened out the yard and built 3 new classrooms! Although they still need doors windows and electricity, they are a huge blessing and are helping incredibly! The number of students has also increased from 24 to around 36! When we had gone before to teach the English classes, Julie and I were really praying about what the Lord's purpose in our teaching was. Knowing that we couldn't commit long term, it was difficult to see where it was headed and we prayed that the Lord would bless our efforts. And yes, Lord is faithful and works through everything. The English classes have not only continued, but they have increased! Another teacher from the International School in Tegucigalpa has taken over the classes and they have a regular attendance of around 40 people every Saturday from 1-3pm! I talked with the pastor and he was very encouraging, saying that we had planted a seed that was continuing to grow.

The rest of the afternoon we were able to walk through some of the neighborhood and meet people from the church in their homes. We walked up and down the mountainside between homes and up stairs for most of the afternoon, meeting people where they were at. Our guide through the neighborhood was a former gang leader who is now following the Lord. The neighborhood is still run by gangs and an incredible amount of violence occurs there. We were safe with our guide who is still highly respected throughout the area, but it broke my heart to hear their stories. Please pray for the people of Villa Nueva, that they may see Christ through the lives of people seeking to bring them the gospel, and that they may seek the Lord as well.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BAGOPE: bugs and gnats on people everywhere

Last weekend we had the amazing opportunity to go on a retreat to Bagope, a camp on the shores of Lago Yajoa. All of the high school and elementary teachers and their families went. We stayed in cabins, ate amazing food, and had a fantastic 3 days of worshipping together and growing together in the Lord. There were definitely bugs and gnats everywhere, but we kept the bug spray handy!

Saturday we went on excursions and I went to Pulapanzak. There is a beautiful waterfall there that a group of us walked under and behind! It was amazing! Feeling the power of the water coming down as we walked through it and the pull of the current against our legs as we walked through the pools... God is so powerful! His majesty is displayed everywhere. I couldn't help but bust out in song to "Eres Todo Poderoso" (You are all powerful)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

cLaSh DaY!

Last Thursday was a color day, meaning the students get to dress out of uniform, and Thursday was a clash day! It was hilarious some of the things students (and teachers) wore! On top of that, we had a lady come and sell ice cream during lunch! Yum! It was a super fun day and a great way to end the week before a long weekend! Some of the girls really got into the layers and colors!
It started to rain during lunch so soccer got a little messy :)

Enjoying some ice cream!
The Kindergarten had a transportation parade where they got to march through the school showing off their gigantic art pieces showing the different forms of transportation!