The view from my house

just cute kids


Aaron and Carla came by to say hi.

It was nice getting to spend time with them.

Aaron is kind of like a pied Piper of art…and has spent time in the past encouraging kids in children’s homes in Guatemala to put pencil, pen, paint or watercolors to paper and tell their story. So, of course, when he came by here, we had an impromptu session, and really good results.


The only Constant...

Maybe you wonder why I have written a bit about prayer. We have a new President and Congress here in Guatemala. Changing governments invoke the awareness of futility of Human institutions and the need for Divine interference and guidance. Some of you my age might remember the “Who” song about the new revolution and new constitution, where they tip their hat…then…”Get on my knees and pray we don’t get fooled again”.

That’s about how I feel about Guatemala’s recent Government changes, as the various needs remain, and we watch the maneuverings by interested parties, as the new players get in position.

Some folks have asked me if Adoptions will continue, and that is the big question. It seems like there are indications that the new government has made some arrangements with the present group of lawyers who have controlled Adoptions these last few years, and there is talk of modifying the law that was passed in a shotgun wedding type fashion last December.

The definitive answer is “who knows?” But we are continuing to hope that we will be able to find families for the children who need a family. Good news is that Selvin and Lupita are on their way to a great family who are experienced “Adopters” and POSSIBLY Herlinda also.

Meanwhile, it is a great time to try to encourage the local churches to get more involved with Orphan programs, and my desire is to see church based Foster care and Day care centers spring up around the country. Of course, I want someone else to do it, and so ask you to join with us and pray to the Lord of the harvest for MORE workers, Guatemalans and Americans!

Here is Selvin with hie new Glasses in class

Here's Lupita with Christmas Doll


From Peter Panagore again

In the gospels, the teacher says, "Believe in me" five times. The word "follow" is used 34 times. "Follow me," the teacher says. The persons he meets say, "I will follow you". It's by following that belief grows.


The paradox of prayer

I have been thinking a lot about prayer lately. Some times it has been my last resort, to my shame. Sometimes it has been my only plan, when faced with things I do not understand. As I have meditated and meditated on meditating ( yes, my brain goes in those kind of circles!) I was reminded of an atheist friend who said that the proof that Christians are dimwitted egomaniacs was prayer: that we expect God to alter the laws of the universe to conform to our wishes. Ouch. Too often, I have kind of done that. But that’s not the kind of prayer that God has asked for in his instructions. And as I pondered that atheist’s rebuke, I started praying; “ God, please alter my wishes to conform to the laws of your universe!”

I certainly don’t understand prayer. I don’t understand my wife, either. But I depend on and enjoy each more than I can explain.

A wise friend wrote this, giving me a glimmer of insight, and I want to share it with you:

"Prayer is about the process, not the end product. In focused prayer, ego falls away; self goes unnoticed; time seems non-existent; worries leave us. All that matters is God. All that matters is being in the living flow of God's beautiful presence. "
(Peter Panagore http://www.dailydevotions.com/)

And, as we come into that relationship with Him, he does things!

We cannot express how much we appreciate the prayers of God's children on our behalf.


You’d think we were experts by now.

At least it feels way too familiar to be arranging another small body’s internment. The precious part of Esmeralda is hearing right now all about why she was born; directly from her maker’s mouth. But the little body left behind needs to be taken care of in a manner befitting the dignity of its eternal resident’s status as a child of God. The children we have buried over the last few years all came with a less than complete set of papers. They would not have been with us if all had been perfect for them and their poor families. So every one is a little different, and a little complicated, and needs a different manner of handling the paperwork at the hospital, the morgue, the municipality, and the Cemetery, where the people in charge do not like out of the ordinary processing.

In poor little Esmeralda’s case, her mother’s absence was a problem while she lived, and then after she died. We literally only have the judge’s order that placed her in our home as official paperwork. We had been asking for a clarification of her birth certificate since she arrived at our home. It never arrived. So, as far as some of the paperwork is concerned, she will be filed away as “Feminino X X” and with part of it, “Esmeralda, approximately 4 months old, with possible last name of Tomin Guarac”. So we were grateful for the help provided by our funeral director. It was sadly ironic that he had lost his one year old daughter last week, and we buried Esmeralda not far from her.

On the flower box on her burial niche it says “Esmeralda Our jewel is now an angel"


We are glad and sad to be here

The call came from the Children’s Court, asking if we had room for a 7 month old baby. She was a little malnourished, they thought. Her mother had died in childbirth, and the father was an alcoholic. She arrived listless and VERY tiny. 6 pounds. So glad someone made the decision to intervene. We are feeding her with a dropper every 15 minutes, and after 4 days, her color is improving, and she is perceptibly fleshing out. Please pray with us for little Alicia.



Early in the morning the bell rang. Sure enough, the police were bringing the little girl the Justice of the Peace had called us about almost 12 hours before. The JP had asked if we could take her, because abuse had caused enough wounds that she needed medical attention. They weren’t exaggerating. Apparently they decided to take her to the hospital before bringing her to us, and so she arrived at 5 AM. I guess she was up all night. Even being rescued is an ordeal for poor children.

Clothed in a sweater and long pants, she looked like many another child walking around on the streets of Guatemala. . But under the dirty clothes, were stitches covered by a bandage on her leg, and she arrived with prescriptions for pain and infections due to the burns on her arm and chest. Head to toe, she has old scars and recent injuries.

All day, as we interacted with her, whether feeding, or bathing, or simply speaking with her, the pain was clear. A vacant smile, quick attentiveness, and worried pause before answering questions … all indicative of abuse. All day, our presence was followed by wide eyes. It seems like she is evaluating each adult as we draw near. She is trying to take in the foreign environment where children were playing, and laughing, and rambunctious…and adults hugged, and fed and helped instead of hurt.

Each time we asked who did this, she answered “mi mama…es porque…” giving a reason for each burn or bruise. At the end of the day, she declared to the girls in her bedroom that she never wanted to leave us. So many mixed emotions swirl in all of us as we care for her external and internal wounds. Hearts welling with love for this timid child, and broken by the pain recorded on her little body. Outrage. Glad she is with us. Pity. More anger as each new sense of the pain she has endured surfaces. It is good that our job is not to judge, or even understand what agonies were in a mother to make her do this. Like Shyrel said to Nicolasa, the caretaker who finally succumbed to a flood of tears as she rebandaged this little girl: “This is why we are here”

So, off to the Dr. and more prescriptions, and further exams. But the hope for her well being lies in more than what modern medicine can bring. So please pray for Gladys. And please pray for us. Your prayers and God’s Grace are the remedy.


Feliz Año Nuevo

Sorry for the long ramble free time. Perhaps it coincided with your being busy enough through the holidays to not miss news from down here. I have no excuse…but maybe a [rambling?] speculation that many of the pressing issues in our life in December and then into January had in part to do with legal issues, and in-process cases. Knowing what to ramble about, and what to keep quiet about has never been my forte, and so I self edited … completely! We are out of imminent attacks and dangers to ourselves as far as we know, and our judicial actions will probably go painfully slow. The children who are in our care who have legal issues remain “in process” for the most part…and so it goes.

BUT I do have one good ending to report! A little boy came to us who had been in the final stages of his adoption to a young American couple. He became sick, and either his lawyer or his caretakers made the bonehead decision to take him to the national hospital, where there had recently been an uproar about children and adoptions. So the spooked social workers mandated him to the Children’s court judge, precipitating his arrival at our home for temporary care. This also took him completely off the radar of the poor prospective parents. We are told nothing about the situation of the children who come to us, and didn’t know what had happened until the adoptive parents finally were told where their child was. It all wrapped up in the first hearing, when the judge could plainly see all was on the up and up, and gave the child to his parents. We will always feel attached to him, and are happy he will be with this family!