Wednesday, August 6, 2014


I never knew Hunger before
Nor the many faces that she held
And yet still I never saw her coming my way
Passing closely by every day
In the image of a happy child

I didn’t know she’d be hidden
Behind the eyes of a courageous mother
Choosing coffee over nourishment at every meal
For that one meal they may manage a day
Just so her children can fall asleep without pain

I guess I just never thought
I’d find her so clean and put together
That she’d be thriving in a nice sturdy home
Alongside the pride of an eldest son
Determined, driven, desperate
To make up for his father’s failure and fault

So how did I not think
I would find Abuse as her only companion?
I must’ve been blinded by ignorance
Asleep in this blissful dream of poverty
Just so that I might rest
Peacefully oblivious to her world of suffering  

Saturday, August 2, 2014

coming back home

                Since I’ve last written, much has happened.  We’re almost into the fourth quarter of school now, my vacation has come and gone, and our missionary house got a little pick-me-up with some very energetic and fun summer volunteers.  The kindergarteners still talk about how they miss Profe Cherry y Tomate--an endearing nick-name they came up with for him because of how red he turned when he would laugh or get tortured when they would all decide to tickle him (but you know how much they love you Michael!) and my middle school English class always brings up how fun Profe Jackson was.  I’m beginning to think they did a better job than me, honestly.  

                Being back after a month long visit to the States is strange in many ways.  I didn’t realize how accustomed I’d become to ice cold showers, always sweating…always, power outages, the water…and the lack of water, and always, always eating beans.  I had some readjusting to do, but it gave me some time to reflect on the mission itself and what my personal mission here is.  Without a personal mission in mind, I think it’s pretty hard to keep yourself sane here.  

I can’t help but wonder what everyone back home is thinking now as they are starting to hear about all that is going on in this country.  Thousands of families are sending their children stateside with the hope of a better life.  It’s the same here as it’s been for years: poverty, a lot of abused, neglected, abandoned kids living on the streets, women who have been left to raise and somehow feed their kids on their own, no jobs, the main income coming from family working illegally in the States, a corrupt government, drug trafficking, human trafficking, sexual abuse in a never-ending cycle, and a very distinct line between the rich and the poor. I think that last one has become something I’ve only recently noticed more of in the last few weeks.  

                I’m in training for a new job as the Administrator of Finances here at the Farm and part of that job entails making trips to San Pedro Sula every 2 months to pick up donations, medicine, and buy things you just can’t find in Trujillo or even La Ceiba.  Last week I went to go and learn the route and the city.  What I was expecting out of one of the world’s more dangerous cities was not what I’d consider the medieval version of the wealthier parts of Miami.  Everything was just so nice.  It was clean, people had iPhones, they were walking around in suits, heels and fancy shirts with nice purses.   For the first day that is what I saw.  Even from my view off the balcony of the Seminary we stay at was not what I would have ever considered Honduran before.  I was staring at a suburban street with actual street lights and a big house across the way that could have been placed anywhere in Tampa and be considered normal.  The one difference is the walls around the houses, which are stucco, painted and quite beautiful, and the barbed wire on top.  And if for some reason you happen to miss that, on the corner of every house’s fortress wall, there is a tower that you can only get into from a hanging ladder for the security guards.  The only word Patrick and I could think of to describe it was medieval.  

                The next day we went to the Market in San Pedro to find a few things and, while it was still in the nice part of town, the difference between the rich and the poor was very clear.  I know you get this in any city, but you don’t just see naked toddlers being raised by raggedly clothed, starving children in abandoned buildings behind the dirty, infested streets of the market in just any American city.  After living here for a year, I’ve been able to form friendships with many different types of people.  I know some wealthier families in the city and some pretty poor ones just next door.  I want to ask the rich here if they know what the rest of their country is like and if they realize that people here are actually starving and dying because of bad water or lack of.  Do they know just how badly the gang violence and drug trafficking affects the future of the children here? But isn’t that hypocritical of myself?  I don’t know what goes on back home.  If someone asked me about the poverty in Appalachia or the inner-city, would I get it?  

                Our kids at the Farm have a very different future from many of those in the poor class if they choose to take what they’ve been given and run with it.  We really are raising some quality young men and women here.  They all have their immature stages, but one thing I notice with the older ones is that they really do rise to the occasion when they suddenly become the oldest kid and therefore the leader in their house.  For some of them I’ve seen a little spark go off in their mind and the change we see with the way they handle their everyday life suddenly becomes more organized and clear.  It’s like one day they just get it.  I pray that happens for all our kids one day.  And I pray that happens for me and my class as well as we approach the final months with our “oldies” and prepare to become the leaders of the missionary community. 

                I was reminded recently about the mission of the Farm when I asked how this place is still alive and running.  This year alone, there were a number of things that happened that could have shut it all down.  And in the past 18 years there have been a number of threats to the continuation of this organization.  The foundress of the mission, Zulena Pescatore, puts it in very simple terms for us.  The founder of the mission itself died a whole year before any children even arrived.  He held the vision of it in his heart and he died before the Chapel was even completed.  And still, it grew and blossomed into the beautiful organization it is today.  Times are tough and there are plenty of reasons for us to say that we can’t go on and shouldn’t be here anymore.  Our children don’t have that luxury.  There is no backup plan for them.  This is it.  So with this renewed hope in my heart, I’d ask for all of you to please keep the Farm of the Child in your daily prayers in general—specifically the children we serve, the mission, and all of the employees and missionaries living and working here every day.  

For more information on the Honduras exodus crisis, check out this article:
Washington Post: Honduran President: 'U.S. has enormous responsibility for immigration crisis'