Monday, September 17, 2012

Has it really been 6 months?

Shhhhh.  Do you hear that?  No, really, wait.  Hear it?  That’s silence.  Like what’s been going on with the blog for the last 6 months.  My apologies!  Time has certainly flown by, and now the leaves are changing color and I’m going to be 50 years old in 10 days and I’m really wondering just where all the time has gone?

Yup, 50.  It’s really kind of freaking me out.  That’s a half a century after all, and with me being the analytical, statistical type you know that I know that means 2/3 of my life expectancy has already passed by.  Poof, gone, just like that.  My mother always used to tell me that time would seem to speed up as I got older, that the years would not always crawl by like they felt they were doing in my teens, but that someday I would wonder where it all had gone.  She was right, like moms sometimes (usually) are.  I mean seriously, I qualify for AARP?  Are you kidding me?  Those discounts aren’t enticing me, though.  Well, maybe a little, but not enough yet to sign up.  But hey, you didn’t come here to listen to me complain about turning 50 or to witness a midlife meltdown.  You probably wanted an update on Honduras and our transition home and just what is going on with all that.  So I’ll do my best to bring everyone up to speed on what’s been going on over the last 6 months.

Most of you know that we moved back to the States, to Tigard, in June.  Getting the things that were coming with packed and out was a challenge as we were unable to find a shipper taking domestic cargo from Honduras to the states.  So, we rounded up a bunch of less than 62” boxes, packed them to the 50 lb weight limit, and started sending them home as passenger cargo with teams and people visiting from the states.  I think we are down to just 5 boxes still stranded in Honduras but they’ll get here eventually. 

The majority of our household items were given to Ana, cook and teacher at Micah.  Many of you participated in helping to build her a house in Villa Linda Miller which she was able to move into in July.  Ana stopped me the day before I left Honduras and asked if we could talk.  I assumed she wanted to say something about the furniture, but what she said instead completely blew me away.  She told me that she had been at Micah when I had shared my testimony (about 9 months earlier, I had no idea she was there) and that by hearing how God had rescued and restored me from the sexual abuse I suffered as a child, she was given hope of healing.  She said that for the first time in her life she did not feel dirty, or like she was a “bad” person.  She went on to say that she wanted us to understand what the home furnishings really meant.  You see, she and her 2 children had lived in Barrio Buenos Aires for years.  And for years they had prayed that the Lord would find a way to get them out of the danger that the barrio is.  As each year passed by, her children lost a little more of their faith in God, until they had almost none left.  Pray, why pray?  God isn’t going to do anything to help us.  Then teams came, and a house was built, and now they each had their own room, with their own bed, and for the first time in their lives they weren’t going to get rained on at night while they slept.  God did provide, in His time, and the faith of her children had been restored.   

Do not underestimate the impact you are having on others.  Give with abandon. Share your story transparently.  Leave the results up to God.  The blessing that Ana gave me, by sharing a 15 minute conversation of how her life had been impacted, is immeasurable.

The next day I boarded the plane with 3 of our 4 kids.  Brian had left a couple of days earlier with Jake and flown to Albuquerque New Mexico, where they drove Jake’s truck and a U-Haul trailer to Oregon.  Traveling with a dog, a 10 year old, a 14 year old, and a 17 year old girl that can’t speak English was, uh, interesting.  Oh, and the 16 bags we had with us.  Yah, that was fun. 

We arrived to our home in Tigard on June 12th and for those of you that weren’t in the house when we did, Pastor Steve shot a short video of my complete break down.  We have always known how incredibly blessed we are to be a part of such an amazing group of believers.  But when I walked in and saw this house, this perfect house for our family, filled with furniture, and dishes, and spaghetti in the refrigerator so I didn’t have to cook that night, it was so overwhelming.  The burdens and stresses of the previous 6 months preparing to come back burst the damn and I was a sobbing, snotting mess.  Mary Hunter had the mucous laden shoulder on her sweater to prove it.  And just to echo what I said previously, do not underestimate the impact you are having on others.  Your generosity, in time and possessions and prayers blessed us beyond anything we could have ever hoped or dreamed of. 

That’s when “transition” began.  I think that’s a strange word for it, though.  Webster’s gives the definition of transition as:  movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change.  To me that conjures up an image of a flowing type of change, which is not what the first 6 weeks here in Oregon proved to be.  I had convinced myself that while it might not be a piece of cake, coming back and settling in, that transition would be no problem.  Instead, it was more of a jarring, abrupt, smack in the face, and I found myself wandering around in a fog, a very unrealistic kind of reality, wondering if I was dreaming or if the last 3 years had been a dream.  It was very disorienting and unsettling and, well, I didn’t like it. 

But life doesn’t stop when you’re in the middle of a meltdown, so here we were opening up a business on July 1st, just 3 weeks after our arrival.  Technically the shop, 3G’s Automotive, wasn’t open until August 1st, but cars began rolling in from day 1.  We’ve been busy, steady, and that is a good thing.  The 8 am – 6 pm grind is another challenge to get used to, as I have been wired for several years to be at home with my kids.  Being here this summer knowing they were at home by themselves was a little tough.  But they’re older now, and it is what it is, you know.  All in all we really can’t complain.  There could be worse things than having work to do, right?  Like not having work, or a way to make an income.  Thankfully I have a husband that has a trade that can earn us a living anywhere.  And God is good.  He has blessed us with smooth sailing and work when we need it.   

Now 3 months after our arrival back in the good old U. S. of A. (and it is so good) the fog is beginning to clear.  Reality doesn’t seem so unrealistic anymore, and I’m starting to get into a rhythm of life.  The kids are back at school, loving it but beginning to see the benefits their time in Honduras gave them.  Ministry is not finished, Micah is not finished.  I am still involved almost daily with the Mama Jo’s Bakery, trying to smooth out the bobbles and bumps they’ve experienced.  We will continue to support and advocate for Micah as we believe in the work being done there.  The Lord has given us a daughter in Nohelia that stretches me and my understanding of the world quite a bit (give me a break, I have 3 boys!).  And now Marvin Morazan is here living with the Gellingers getting ready to see what God has in store for him.  It’s all very amazing, very humbling, and yes, somewhat unbelievable. 

We spent just a little over 2 ½ years in Honduras and a lot was accomplished.  Micah Tech was built and is a huge success, with Franklyn in charge and 22 students enrolled this year.  The bakery is up and running and we hope to see it become a viable business that will change the lives of these single moms.  Nightstrike was modified to include elements we practiced at Bridgetown.  Feet were washed.  Houses were built.  Tears were spilled.  And we were forever changed.  

If you were to ask me to summarize what I learned from Honduras it would be this question I have for you.

Do you know Jesus?

A week before we left we attended the funeral of Emerson, a 14 year old boy that had been a part of the tech program for awhile.  He had been murdered the day before, shot in the back of the head and found in a field outside of town.  I had never gone to any of the funerals before, but I made myself go to this one, and I observed and took in everything I could from that scene.  From the soccer coach who told me of Emerson’s great talent that was now lost, to his brother who was completely stunned; the sister brought in by 3 armed policeman in handcuffs, freed from jail for a few minutes to pay respect to her dead brother’s corpse; to the street kids high on glue claiming they were the one that had killed him, to Belen high on glue sleeping on a bench in the funeral home instead of in the dirt on the street.

As I looked at Emerson’s body I thought about all that had been “accomplished”…the Tech school, the bakery, Nightstrike.  All of it.  I thought of all he had done, or possibly done in his life, from robbing people to using drugs.  And as I stared at that pale face I realized that none of it mattered.  None of it.  The only thing that mattered was whether he had met Jesus before the bullet.

He had.  One month before his death Stephen Kusmer (Micah missionary) had the joy of seeing the Holy Spirit break down the walls of Emerson’s heart and make him a new creation in Christ.  Knowing that I could truly say Rest in Peace, Emerson. 

So we’re back and like I said, ministry hasn’t stopped, I doubt it ever will.  We are developing an idea for Tech Night here at the shop reaching out to at risk youth.  I was taking some pre-req’s in the hope of returning to school, but that will have to be on hold for now.  And we’re waiting.  Waiting to “transition”, to heal, and to see what God has in store for us next.

We are so thankful for each and every one of you that has prayed and paid for us to do the work God had in Honduras.  Thank you for your faithfulness.  May God pour out His blessings on you all. 






Anonymous said...

I've met Jesus. He lives at the Wiggs house.

Tiago said...

I love South America. The Caribbean is gorgeous, but what I love most are South Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. I have rent apartments in buenos aires for a while and travelled several times all Río de la Plata region. They have a wonderful weather, a very smart and educate inhabitants, an European culture but much fun, etc. You should go and chck by your own eyes what I am telling you.

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