Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why Honduras? Part 1

Why Honduras???

This is the theme for our Summer '11 mission trip.  This is on our reflection journal and our t-shirt.  Our focus scripture is Isaiah 45:12: "It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts."

I will address the title in just a bit.  I have had my first week off from school and you would think I would be blogging almost every day, but I spent this week trying to get my house back in order from the total chaos of the last week of school.

On Tuesday, I had to take Nick to the rental car place very early. I was up early and everything took off from there. I took a 8:30 Zumba class and then I ran 9 different errands all before 1:00!!  I won’t bore you with the details, but it was a little of this and a little of that.  Every day this week, I went to a Zumba class, did errands and worked on my jewelry. 

 The Clarksville Downtown Market has gotten lots of publicity and that has really helped with the traffic and that has equaled to good $$$$ sales for me!!!  It also means that I need to work on replacing my stock throughout the week!!!!  I shouldn’t really call it work though because I LOVE doing it!!!

 This is a picture of one of the homes that we build.  In the U.S., it would qualify for a simple shed, but it provides a nice home for a well-deserving family.  If you ever go with us, you might be asked to do what these young men are doing!!! (Luckily, they don't expect me to climb up on the roof!!)

More good news:  I have sent my $1400 check to pay for the house that I’m building.  That sounds a little bit odd and “braggy” to me. You can't hear my tone, but I'm actually saying that with amazement.  I want to give God the glory because without Him, my customers & my church family contributors it couldn’t have been done!!!! GOD IS GOOD ALL OF THE TIME!!! (Sorry the pictures are out of order, but I don't have the patience to swap them around!)

 Here I am in my booth.  You may not be able to tell, but I'm sweating like a pig!!!!!  It is way too hot for June.  Can you say sweat equity???????

I sit here on Saturday evening on June 4 with only 19 days until I leave to Honduras and I want to write a few blogs focusing on some of the specific works our mission group supports while we are down there.  You readers out there can also have an opportunity to support these groups also.  I will explain how later.

 In today's blog, I want to focus on one of the mission works in Honduras that we work closely with. Mi Esperanza is Spanish for "My Hope".  Below you see a link to their website.  Here you can read more about their good works, their success stories and learn how you can support them further.

Mi Esperanza:

Mi Esperanza is a 501c3 non-profit organization that began in 2002 and with a mission "dedicated to the educational, financial, and spiritual development of women living in extreme poverty with a vision to help break the cycle of extreme poverty." This fine organization achieves this mission by giving women training and education in skills that will enable them to support their families.  Mi Esperanza has classes in:  sewing, jewelry making, computer classes, cosmetology, pinata making to name a few.

We Torchers work closely with the missionaries that run Mi Esperanza.  They act as contacts in the area and often alert us to the specific needs of the people that they meet on a daily basis.  We also enjoy shopping in the Mi Esperanza shop.  The items are beautiful and well-made and we know that all of the profits go back into the organization.  Below you will see one of my first purchases, a gypsy bag.

Here I am with short hair on my first trip to Honduras.  Out of my 4 trips, we have had 2 retreats at the end of our trip.  Here was one in El Salvador.  (Wearing pink gypsy bag)

Mi Esperanza also supports and aids women by giving "micro-business" loans.  An average family in Honduras lives on $1,200 a year, so you can imagine how a loan of $100 would go.  If you check our their web-site you can read about real stories about women who have had their lives changed because of "My Hope".

 Maria, "the tortilla lady"

Read about Maria who started out making 200 tortillas a day, selling them and making $1-2 a day.  With "My Hope", she got a small loan, expanded her business and now makes 2,500 a day and makes about $25 a day.  That may not sound like much, but that is the average pay of a doctor in Honduras!!!!!!!

So, you may be asking, "How can I help?"  You can actually shop, purchase or donate on-line by following their link.  They have gorgeous purses, skirts, and jewelry. (Remember, you can also help my efforts by clicking on any ads that you see on my blog.  They are all safe and there is no purchase necessary.  I make a small amt. of $ for each click.)

Stay Tuned for Why Honduras? Part 2

On a side note, Nick and I traveled to Dickson to take care of some "Torch" business.  While we were there, we treated ourselves to our favorite catfish place, Twin Lakes Catfish Kitchen.  This place is wonderful, but you sure can't eat it every day!!!!!  It didn't disappoint.  If you are ever in the Burns/Dickson area, I would recommend the spicy catfish.  They serve family style that includes: fresh-cut french fries, mayo or vinegar coleslaw, white beans and hush puppies.  The spicy catfish isn't really spicy, but it and everything else is DELICIOUS!!!!!!

Until next time, I'm counting the days!!!!
xoxo PJ

Picture that I found when I did a search for a cool picture.  I'm pretty sure this is in Greece.  NICE!

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