Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We made it. After 2 days of travel from Altona to Toronto and then to Honduras. We had to spend a day in TO and decided to go to the Toronto tower. After hours of waiting in lines we got to the top and back down. It was a fun day. The kids have never been on a subway so evenm the trip down town was fun for them.

So yesterday when we arrived in Honduras it was sunny and warm. But within a few hours it started to drizzle on and off and ended up raining from about 2 and lasted all night. But in the morning we woke to sunny clear skies and we had a great day.

After lunch we headed down to the casa Roc orphanage. When we got to the yard there was no one around and so we just walked into the yard and found them in the house. They were happy to see us and were very happy we had arrived. I immediatly took the ten month old baby from Marie's arms and she told me the baby was blind. They had gotten her from the hospital after the mother had tryed aborting her. She was a tiny very adorable baby. Afer hloding her for a while she fell asleep and I asked where I could put her. They showed me the crib and I placed her in there and went to spend some time with the other kids.
Lenard and Marie are so open and welcoming. Its as though they know that God is sending people and they need help and so they live with an expectant heart. I felt like we have known them for ever and they acted the same.
After putting the baby down I asked the kids if anyone would like a hug. Well for the next half hour I was in my glory. I went from one child to the next holding them and hugging them and asking them about themselves. These kids are not shy and soooo luvable. Even Dean said thet it was hard to leave them and would be so easy to take one home. Good thing we can't because they can't be adopted. So we will come back still a family of 4.
While we were hanging out Marie asked what we do for a living and when I told her I was a hairdresser and I had brought my scissors, she looked surprised and asked if Lenord told me they needed someone who could cut hair. I said no he hadn't said anything and she smiled and said how great it was that God provides for them in just that way all the time.
They talked about their lives a bit and and how they run the orphange and it sounds just how I would do it. Tomorrow we will go back for the day. Miranda is excited to play with their daughter Joy who is also 9 and go swimming with her again.(We took the girls and Colton for a quick swim before we headed back for supper.

I will try to update more at the end of the week. Internet is hard to get to and very expensive.( I'm not proof reading this to save time so sorry for the spelling)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Honduras Orphanage

We are off to Honduras. We will be spending our time helping at an orphanage. Check it out at http://www.casaderoc.org/casacielo.html.

At this time we don't know what we will be doing exactly, but it doesn't really matter all that much. We know that it will be great whatever we do. We decided that we will not be bringing our laptop with us. We hope that our Ipod will be enough to check our e-mails and if possible we will update the blog at an internet cafe.

We ask that you pray for safety for our family as we travel for the next few weeks and that our time there will help us to grow and learn. Also that we can be a blessing to the people of Honduras.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Family Travel with Purpose

Have you ever wondered what is inside the shacks on the side of the road in Central America or Mexico?

We have traveled for 19 years to 8 different countries and many different locations in those countries, we have always talked about wanting to know more about who is behind those cardboard and tin walls. What is it like to live in a house like that and how can we help. We have always felt like there has to be a way to help even one person or to get to know their story.
A few years ago we started hearing more and more about Ray Loewen, Build a village and what a difference that they are making in a country called El Salvador. We thought we have to go, we have to go and make a difference in this world that we travel through instead of just driving by. To just go and sit on a beach was not enough anymore.
We contacted Ray and asked if we could go as a family to El Salvador and work there. It took a bit of convincing on our part and also on Ray’s part for MCC to give permission for us to go because we wanted to bring our 5 and 9-year-old children. But go we did and it will forever stay with us, the people we met and the friends we will never forget in the small town of La Linea, El Salvador. We spent 2 weeks digging trenches on the side of a mountain in 35-degree heat and living in a house just like the ones we had seen driving through similar countries. We fell in love with the experience of giving back to a God who so blesses us every day.
Since 2006 we have spent our winter vacations serving instead of just hanging out and we LOVE it. We love the relationships we make and also we love the hope that we can show the people we meet who possibly have never even heard of our God. Some of the people we have met live a life of hopelessness that we never really understood before and now we are in the process of learning and also of watching our children learn how we all have the power to make a difference in the lives of others.
We spent part of our time in the winter of 2007 on a remote island in Panama. We visited a small indigenous village of the Ngobe. This trip was geared for children to learn how they have gifts that God has given them to share with others and how these gifts can bridge the gap between culture and language. We saw how this is very true. The children (the indigenous and ours) spent days getting to know each other through play and song. We showed them love and acceptance that they have never received from many others in their country. We taught them “Kidz” style the story of Jesus. We also brought them gifts of “Beanie baby” and “Hot Wheel” cars that local people sent with us to give. With these gifts we placed a Spanish children’s bible story. They loved this Christmas present and loved to read the story.
We ourselves learned so much from the people in Costa Rica and Panama. We have always walked away from these trips having learned so much about God and His love for us. We pray that we have also left that same gift with the people we meet.
To see more about how your family can make a difference go to www.kidzreach.com and there is also a link to a YouTube movie you can watch about our trip.

To answer the question “what is inside the shacks on the side of the road”. There are real people inside of those homes, with real families who they love and they are doing what they can to survive.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why Travel?

I was given the gift of hearing two stories of parents going through one of the most trying times imaginable, the illness of a child. To most parents it would be the worst possible thing to have to go through. The first story was of a mother who has a little girl with Autism and many other serious health issues and the other is a family with a child named Elliot who was never supposed to live one day but lived 99 days. It is amazing to see how both families persevered through life and trusted that God would lead them through it.
There was no choice in either of these family’s lives, but to hope, pray and trust that God is in control and has a plan.
Once again it is a story that helps me to know that our choice is to spend time as a family. We don’t know how long we have on this earth. We have to do what we can to make memories and to do the best we can for ach other.
We were born with the traveling adventure in our blood. This is something, which is hard to explain – it’s just there. It’s something that happens to us. Maybe it’s even who we are. It’s not entirely rational or logical or explainable. It just is.

We have always been intentional about our own lives and our kid’s upbringing. We have listened to people talk about how great it would be to give their kids the education of living in another culture, but no one seems to actually carry through the dream (unless they are missionaries). We agree that the experience of living somewhere different, of living a life other than middle class suburbia is a great idea – so we are just going to do it! We want to show our kids something other, other than the “norm”. It feels like a gift we can and want to give them.
In many ways “the trip” will not be too different to our living here. We will just be our family doing what our family does! Only we’ll be in different locations. Instead of inspiring our kids through books, we will be living the story. Instead of a summer camping holiday, they’ll spend winter swimming in the ocean and hiking through the jungle. Instead of not buying toys here, we’ll not buy souvenirs there. We’re hoping to have the opportunity to serve at an orphanage on our travels. We will go and “be us”. We don’t think we will change the world, but we do hope to make a little bit of difference to people we meet along the way.
We love learning and learning takes many forms
. We love history. We can’t wait to walk on old cobbled streets, climb turrets of castles. We love language. It’s exciting to engage, to communicate, and to cross barriers, to understand. We have had fun learning how to do that in the past.

We love creation. Jungle and beach walks, sunsets, collecting things, shells, rocks, discovering geckos and bugs, snorkeling, fishing and scuba diving. We are learning to see God in all these things.

We want to bring to our kids’ attention the needs of the world. Of course we don’t need to look past our own community to find people we can serve, and our kids do take part with us in meeting the needs we come across. But there is also a bigger picture. And while you can see some of that bigger picture on a television screen, there is something about smelling the smells, seeing the sights, hearing the noises and actually interacting with real people that we hope will plant seeds in our kid’s lives that will grow with them and help lead them to a life-purpose outside of themselves. Although we talk about the conditions most people live in today, most kids do not understand. They do not understand *hunger* or *orphan* or *naked* or *homeless* or *war*. We cannot tell our kids what to do with their lives, but we can choose what we show them and pray that they will be even more grateful for the blessings they have and be moved to share with others, to live their lives for others.
Instilling gratitude in our kids is one of the jobs we have always tried to be aware of. We want them to be grateful for the country that we live in and the friends and family that we love. We also want them to be aware that there are many other people who do not know the blessing of freedom and peace.
Part of me is scared, that what we are teaching them will one day make it easier for them to move far away from us and I won’t see them often. But the other part knows that spending this time with them will also bring us closer as a family. Hope, trust and faith, these are the things that I continue to learn more about.

This Christmas we will be traveling to Honduras. We will be visiting an orphanage where we will learn another hard truth. The truth about God's little ones that are homeless and without a parent to take care of them. I know it will be hard to see in real. To see what we see on t.v. and I know we will once again fall in love with another culture of people and another country.