Monday, May 30, 2011

SURPRISE Bridal shower!!!

Last week Monday the women here at Pinares threw me a surprise shower! It was so much fun! My care group leader, Jess, told me that we were going to have dessert together instead of doing our regular study because we're almost done. When I got there the door was closed (rare) and there was lots of talking inside. When Andrea came to answer the door the only people in there were my group. Jess then pointed to the counter which was covered with desserts. She pointed again and there was a sign on the counter that said "Congratulations Rachel!" Suddenly people started pouring out from behind the couch, the counter, and the bedrooms on either side! I was truly surprised!

We enjoyed a great time of fellowship and I received advice from the married women. They knew I wouldn't have room for much stuff to take back, so they all brought recipes to share with me! I'm so excited to start making them! Let me share with you one of my favorites:

Recipe for a Happy Christian Marriage:
Each and Every day use the following ingredients:
Make sure you put Jesus 1st and then all things will be added.
1 gallon or prayer
1 gallon of reading God's word
1 gallon of praising God for his many blessings
2 cups of encouragement
2 cups of kindness
**Always stir well with the Golden Rule**
2 cups gentleness
1 cup consideration
1 cup courtesy and thoughtfulness
2 cups of communication
1 cup of contentment
1 cup of understanding of one another's faults
1 cup of understanding of one another's needs
season with cooperation
3 teaspoons pure extract of "I'm sorry" when needed
Add all the things you like to do together
Sweeten well with plentiful love and affection

Here's the wonderful group of women!
Honduran style. (no smile)
I will miss them all so much next year!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sugar on Top

Yesterday was most likely my last day to the stadium market. (tear) I came needing bananas and eggs, and left with 3 bags full! Sometimes I just can't help myself... I'm more dangerous in a grocery store than I'd ever be in a shoe store! I walk in and start imagining all of the yummy concoctions I could make! Needless to say, when we got back, despite how tired I was, the kitchen was my playground for the next 3 hours or so.

There's a recipe that my best friend sent me a while back and have been itching to make! For the real recipe check out: Thank you, Joy, for the inspiration for this one!

My new favorite thing to listen to while baking is scripture being read. Go to and check it out! Yesterday I listened to Jeremiah prophesy to the Israelites. I started out making granola... it takes an hour to bake, and anyone who knows me in the kitchen knows that there's usually something in the oven, something on the stove, and another thing keeping my hands busy!

While that was baking, I started on the bread. I started with a wheat flour based dough (mostly because I love wheat, and partially because I only had a cup and a half of white). While that was rising-and Jeremiah was telling the Israelites that they would die to disease, famine, and the sword and that birds would eat their flesh (Jeremiah 16)-I started cleaning all the veggies we had bought at the market that morning, and chopping some of the old ones for a fresh salsa to bring to the potluck last night. A few people are leaving this weekend already so this was most likely the last one. Next I made a garlic cabbage and noodles dish. (I had an hour to let the dough rise, remember.) Mom, it's similar to yours, but substitute the brown sugar for garlic and onion. So... I guess similar and completely opposite at the same time. Other than the fact that the recipe I found called for an over the top amount of butter (1 cup), and the fact that I used some strange Honduran noodles that seemed to stay rubbery yet still started to fall apart, it turned out pretty good. Granola's done! Yogurt, berries, and warm granola on top for lunch! Love it!

Then, onto the dough. Ready to be turned into a fantastic loaf of cinnamon bread!

Rolling it out. No, I don't have a rolling pin here, and I forgot to ask my neighbor if I could borrow theirs, but the glass worked just fine!

Coat with melted butter and generously sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top. (I started to cut and then remembered to take a picture, ha!)

Cut the dough into strips and then into squares. This makes the wonderful "pull-apart" layers in the bread.

Then stack the squares in a loaf pan and let it rise again.

While this was rising and the Lord was telling Jeremiah that the Israelites were like good and bad figs, I chopped the delicious pineapple we bought at the market, finished the cabbage and noodles, and Adam came back and wanted some lunch (no surprise there).

And finally, the cinnamon pull-apart bread was done! It reminds me a little bit of mom's monkey bread, only in layers and not little rolls, but still delicious!

I drizzled it with some powdered sugar frosting. Yum.

A happy brother. :)

This one's going to be a new favorite recipe for sure!

God bless! I'm off to make Baked Blueberry Oatmeal for breakfast!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Writing on the Wall

In our apartment there's a blank wall. Painted purple, ultra bland. It's the one in our bathroom vanity area... the one that we look at over a hundred times a day, each time we look in the mirror, each time we pass through to go to our rooms. So, we've decided to spice it up a bit and cover it with verses. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (ESV) We've chosen to take the last part literally. Here's a picture of the start of our progress. Our goal is to fill it up by the end of the school year, writing on the wall and committing to memory the word of the Lord. I'll keep you updated with our progress!

Friday, May 27, 2011


I had my last basketball practice last night. It was almost a surreal feeling--partially because I found out 20 minutes into the practice that I wouldn't be having any more, and partially because I've been coaching since about week 3 of being here, and now it's over.

I know in these next couple of weeks I will experience 'lasts' almost every day. Strange to think back to when I came, when everything was fresh and new, I was marveling in the firsts. It seems like yesterday, but it feels like ages ago at the same time. The memory is so vivid, yet the changes that have happened since those first few weeks remind me of the months that have passed since then.

Right now, I feel like I'm in between. I'm obviously not back in the states, yet I feel that with each day that passes, a part of me shifts more and more in that direction. As I start to reconnect with my family and friends back home and complete what's been going on here, I pray that the Lord will bless this transition. Change can be difficult, and I know that amidst the joys of returning, there will be hard times too, a reverse culture shock so to speak.

Please join me in prayer for the teachers and students here who are also experiencing "lasts."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Adam's Here!!!

My little, big brother arrived on Sunday! We spent Sunday and Monday together at the school, meeting some of the kids and my friends here. He's spent the last 3 days in the city working with our friend Aben Claros. High School evangelism, house visits and teaching English have filled the last few days for him... as well as trying to remember as much Spanish as he can! It's been fun having him here to experience what my life's been like the past year. We hope to do some hiking, scuba diving, hitting the town, going to the market... and whatever else comes up along the way!

Please pray that these last few weeks here will be a blessing and we can live each day to the fullest!
God Bless!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Saturday, Janice and I went to the stadium market in the city. It was fantastic! Being that it was the end of the day and everyone was trying to get rid of their produce, we got some pretty sweet deals! When we brought it back to our apartment and laid it all out after cleaning it all, it completely covered the table! What a blessing to be able to get so much fresh food! I don't think you could ever get this much in the states for only $25. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Psalm 119

I read Psalm 119 this morning and was inspired by the repeated emphasis on the law of the Lord, his statues, his commandment, his precepts, his testimonies, his word. Nearly every other line speaks of it starting with the first one: "Blessed are those whose way is blameless who walk in the law of the Lord!" (v1) and it continues throughout...
"I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." (v.11)
"Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors." (v24)
"Strengthen me according to your word! Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!" (v28-29)
"Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways." (v36-37)
"The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep your words." (v57)
"It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statues." (v71)
"Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day." (v97)
"Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble." (v165)

I hope that you will be encouraged just as I was this morning in spending time reading the Bible. It is the inspired word of the Lord and we should "meditate on it day and night!" The Lord speaks to us through the word and when we "neglect our Bible," we "will shrink" and are missing out on what the Lord has to tell us!

May God bless you today and may you listen to what he is telling you in his word!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

This might just be my favorite sunset picture...

I took this picture in Tela, Honduras when Jared was here visiting. We later walked out on the dock. It was breathtaking! If I hadn't already been dry and dressed I would have jumped right in the clear blue water off the dock!

And my favorite thing about sunset pictures... there will never be two pictures exactly the same. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A week together!

What a blessing it was last week to have Jared come to Honduras! It was so great to have him meet the wonderful people here, see the school, and meet some of the students... places and people that have made such an impact on my life the past 9 months! It means so much to me that Jared was able to share in my experience here, even if it was so brief.
Jared came in at midnight on Friday night... and then had a 45 minute delay! But, after so much anticipation, he was here! And an exciting week began!

My friend Laura and her boyfriend David came with to pick Jared up at the airport and then spend the weekend with us. Jared's first day here we went to the beach in Tela. The weather was beautiful and the hammocks were perfect. We spent a lot of the day in the water and the waves, and then went to town to get baleadas and ice cream for dinner.
I love him!

We went to Pulapansak, a beautiful waterfall, on our way back to Tegucigalpa on Sunday. We loved going under and behind the powerful force of the water coming down! We were able to do a little clif jumping into the river too! On our way back, we stopped at a Tilapia restaurant on the shores of Lago Yajoa. Fresh fish dropped into the deep frier and plopped on the plate. It was really tasty!

After spending Sunday and Monday at the school and meeting the students, Jared and I headed out to Copan for the rest of the week. We were able to relax and do some excursions. The best part was sharing the experience. Instead of telling each other what happened that day, we were able to spend the days together.

The first morning there we went on a 3 hour horseback ride, up the mountains to see a Chorti village and a small ruin. Then we headed back down along the Copan River, soaking our feet and legs because of our long legs and the short horses!

We stopped at a coffee plantation... Jared ended up buying some unroasted coffee and roasted it when he got home. It turned out great!

In the afternoon we went to the hot springs! Super hot water poured out of the rock and was channeled into a series of pools. One of them had a "Mineral Mud Bath" that we tried out.

Our second day there we went to the Copan Ruins. It was incredible to see the structures that had been built so long ago! It rained a bit on us in the morning, but we enjoyed walking around the ruins.

Overall, it was such a fantastic trip. Copan is so beautiful! We hit up several coffee shops, restaurants, and found a beautiful place to watch the sunset the final night. We are more excited than ever to get married, and praying for patience, knowing that this time of waiting is preparing us for when the time finally comes! The last day Jared was here marked 99 days until the wedding!

Of course it was sad to say good-bye, but unlike before, the Lord has blessed me with an internal peace. He is filling me from within, and I am resting in the arms of my heavenly father. It's crazy to think that I've already been here 9 months and there's only one more to go! Whereas the beginning portion of the year marked numerous 'firsts,' this last period will mark the 'lasts.' Honduras and Academia Los Pinares holds a special place in my heart and I hope to make the most of the little time that is left.

With Joy in Christ.