Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ways You Can Pray...

1.  Still waiting to hear from the insurance about more therapy sessions for Matt.  We've gone down to once a week to stretch out the time.
2.  Schooling for kids...major issue.  To be honest we don't know where to put them!  We're asking for wisdom to know where to look.
3.  Summer job--I (Valerie) need one--wisdom where to look for that!
4.  Matt to be approved for FSSA  (Family and Social Service Administration) support--they will help him look for a job!
5.  Spring Break--there is no one around (even the neighbors are leaving).  Pray that we can come up with creative solutions to keep everyone busy and happy :)

THANKS for praying with us!

Saturday, March 22, 2014


    I have wanted to write a post on poverty for a while.  Having seen Honduras during and after a hurricane, small Andean villages in Ecuador, fishing villages in Indonesia, country life in China, village life in India and other countries, I feel I am able to knowledgeably comment on the subject.
    In other countries, children have no food because there is no money.  There is nothing to sell to raise more.  There is no excess.  Here, children don't get supper because the parents are paying for other things like cable tv, cars, cigarettes, etc.  In other countries children often have two or three sets of clothing, here I've been amazed at how many shoes, coats, and clothes kids have. (to be fair, it is much easier to get hand me downs here!!)  In other countries to receive help or aide because you are poor is rare.  In America it is the norm. (it does show that there are a lot of generous people here in America!!)  In other countries it is often impossible to work hard and pull yourself out of poverty--a lot of times this is due to lack of education. Although it is getting much harder, the American dream is still a possibility!
    It has been difficult not to compare the poverty of the world--to the poverty of Americans and American immigrants.  There really is no comparison!  It seems poverty is related to where you're located.
What God has been reminding me of is that it is not the financial state of the person that is important--it's the state of their soul.  He loves the Honduran living in a shack just the same as the Honduran living right here in Indianapolis. I've been focusing too much on the WRONG thing.  We are to help the poor no matter where they are. (As if living in a shack makes one more worthy of being helped!) I'm so thankful that Shepherd's focus is to help these children and their families not only come out of poverty and contribute to society, but also to come into relationship with a loving God!
My job is not to deem someone worthy of physical help, but to do something...anything that shows God's love and heart for the people I'm working for.

Thanks GCA!

On Thursday my very kind bosses at Shepherd let me have a day off.  We headed down to Greenwood to visit high school and middle school chapel.  Having never been to a chapel I was encouraged by how the students participated!
At the beginning of the high school chapel the students presented Matt with a check for over 2600 dollars they had raised at a basketball game and dress down days.  Three students also prayed for Matt and his continued recovery. (Didn't get any pictures of this because I was up front.)
Afterwards we got to visit Ana's old kindergarten class.  They had prayed faithfully AND made a very special banner.
Thanks GCA, we appreciate you SO MUCH!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Visitors all the way from Singapore...

via Wisconsin :)  We were overjoyed to have visitors from our church in Singapore.  After catching up we made plans to meet up in Chicago for Chinese New Year next year.  Thanks for making the long trip to visit.  Singaporeans are such great friends!  Ohhh and thanks for the two boxes of chicken rice mix!!  You made our month!

Spring Has Sprung!

After the longest winter in my memory, I was overjoyed to see some beautiful flowers peeping up out of our rather barren backyard.  It's fun to move to a new place and see what pops up!

The Lifeblood of Shepherd

Although Shepherd has some of the most dedicated staff I've ever seen, volunteers certainly keep things moving.  We had a large group from Olivet Nazarene this last week.  They were wonderful--doing classroom activities, working in the kitchen, doing some small building projects, and being awfully good sports with the 4 year olds.  (Here they decorated one of them with misc. costumes!)  Thanks to all who come to help and see what God is doing in the East side of Indy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Life Goes On...

-Ana got to participate in Samaritans Feet shoe program.  The volunteers washed her feet and gave her new socks and shoes.  She, of course, was delighted!! (Her volunteer is a college student from Olivet Nazarene University.)

-'tis the season for spring break amongst college students!  Thus, we have at least two volunteers in our room every day.  I'm trying to think of things to keep them busy!!
-We got to go to birthday party for our nieces/cousins.  The first time we celebrated with them in 12 years!!

-Matt's therapy sessions run out in a couple of weeks.  Please pray that the insurance is willing to extend his session amounts.  He is making great progress and we would love to continue!
-Mei Mei got her shots updated for free thanks to a very well organized clinic Casa Del Toro.  She was the star--got her picture taken lots of times for publicity!
-We got to spend a little time with my grandma.  Couldn't resist taking a picture with the quilt she pieced and I'm in the midst of quilting!

Thursday, March 6, 2014


we're still here, alive and kicking.
Some notable events include:
1.  a magician coming to Shepherd the day after the governor.  (sometimes we don't have much school!!)
2.  dinner with our neighborhood group--so encouraging to see a bunch of people willing to move into a hard place to SERVE!!
3.  working on Ana's Easter dress--will post pics.  soon.  As I only work on it about 20 minutes a day--it has taken me a while!!
4.  cleaned out the gutters in the garage (that hadn't been cleaned out in at least 5 years--and we have some BIG trees around here!!)
5.  Matt is walking without a cane or his leg brace!  He continues to improve.  Tonight I had him reading.  His speech is really clear--still just working on getting all the sounds out.  It is interesting how some of the smaller words are more challenging.  Keep praying for speech and a desire to push on.
6.  we were approved for the insurance's long term disability which is super helpful.
7.  I have fully taken over the 4 yr. old classroom and it has proven to be a challenging week.  Pray with me that I see the NEEDS behind the behaviors!

Have a great evening!

In school you're taught a lesson and then given a test.  In life you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.
Tom Bodett