The Hayes Zoo

Our Purpose

- to know God and use our entire lives in service to Him.

- to stand in the gap through prayer, giving and service to viable ministries in Latin America.

- to be transparent helpers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, using our resources and skills that through the Holy Spirit, we might encourage and equip those who have less.

- to share a living perspective from Latin America to our churches, friends and family in the states and beyond.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Obviously, with a title like that you know that this is Faith writing and I am trying something new. We'll see if it's simple for me or not. :) Windows to my world and all that.

FOR TODAY Monday, July 27, 2009.

Outside my window...I see the empty field that has become my children's playground. Rocks, dirt and open space = an old fashioned 'fun zone'. At least it isn't full of the bulls and cows like last week.

I am thinking... that it is hot and muggy. That and that mosquitoes serve NO PURPOSE other than to cause me to practice self control in my words and actions.

I am thankful for... new mercies, because I need them.

From the learning rooms... we are officially on summer break. It really the very first one my children have had. :) That is one of the down falls (or is that up sides? ) of homeschooling - you never really stop working on things. I have plans to finish the last bit of the core that we side stepped a bit with bilingual school. That will start in a couple of weeks.

From the kitchen...
There are people visiting the area so we are eating communally. Meaning? I'm not doing it all. Tonight is taco salads and the salsa is made, the avocados are on the counter waiting to be made into guacamole and the lettuce is soaking. Mmmmm....

I am wearing... grungy clothes (favorite old navy t-shirt $2 second hand and hand me down capris - that are looser on me than they use to be - YES!) as it's a home/work day. I don't dress up a whole lot for cleaning those bathrooms. I do have on makeup, earrings, and lipstick though.

I am creating...
a menu plan. Which might be an effort in futility as every few days the options change at the market.

I am going... to go to bed early tonight! I'm feeling a tad too old to be burning the candle at both ends these days.

I am reading...
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It's the next book in the British Literature core that I am doing with my mom just for personal enrichment!

I am hoping... that someone in this town wants kittens as ours are getting old enough to leave the nest.

I am hearing...
not much right now which is a miracle plain and simple - it's usually car alarms, yelling, horns blaring, parrot squawking, and the rest of it. The quiet is quite unusual.

Around the house...
Natalie is painting. Janelle is working on the salsa for tonight. Riley has dug out the erector set that we got him for Christmas 2 years ago.'s like Christmas all over again! Alan is finishing up design plans on a bridge before he has to run out there again this week and I am soaking veggies and trying to get this blog post out before it is no longer MONDAY.

One of my favorite things...
Magnolia perfume that my sister bought for me while we were visiting her in Portugal last year. Was that ever a wonderfully exotic (weird) castle and a horrifically expensive bus ride back down the mountain. Amanda (friend from England) was even there!!

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Pray for friends in hard places.
Read my Bible in both languages before the world starts knocking.
Cook for honored family and honored guests.
Talk in both languages.
Write to those who've loved on us.
Hug my children before it gets too hot to touch anyone.

Oh - and I have to make that phone call to get an appointment to finish that dental disaster...I mean work...that I still have to have done. Boy, will that be an update. Yikes...

Here is picture thought I am sharing... this is a shot of some "roads" that we were on yesterday while visiting a church in one of the small villages. Road is a very generous term for this section...this is the right hand lane folks. The left isn't much better.

I have no idea why Alan's truck is always rattling. (sarcasm is really thick right now in case you were wondering)

'till next time...


If you'd like to join the fun here is a link to set up your own day book. The Simple Woman

Friday, July 17, 2009

Random thoughts because....well....

my brain is running in several different directions.

Such is the life that we live apparently.

Country wise:

In case you haven't heard the political situation here is once again a tad unstable. We were planning on leaving yesterday to Santa Rosa in loading up the rest of the Wards' things and horse and heading to Balfate today. 'No can do' was the motto for yesterday, today and maybe a bit more. Roadblocks and protests and backlash oh my. I, frankly, can no longer get my mind around it so I'm not going to try. We're just watching, waiting and praying for good balance between wisdom and being stupid.

House wise:

We have new floor. I wasn't sure a couple of weeks ago if we were going to get to enjoy it but I can say it is a dream to sweep and mop. And look at. Amazing the change. Vale la pena.

Since timing has never been our strong point - we also have new (TO US) furniture. Another missionary family was relocating back to the US so we are ecstatic to be the proud new owners of couches that our whole family can sit on. Even have a spot to sit to offer company! We sat down and '''''aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh'''''' was heard all around. I have a stack of books to read for school (catch up on) with the kids all snuggled around.

My house is very clean and dusted with all the changes that have been happening here. SEE - silver linings in a cloudy environment.

Work wise:

Alan is at this very moment welding up a few of the last pieces of bridge re-enforcements for the Mapulaca bridge project. There was a trip on the books for today and tomorrow but those pesky roadblocks and potential other issues put that on the back burner.

Pastor's conference finished up yesterday so the BIG BROWN BUS is back to a plain ol' truck. He did manage to find a new route to Santa Rosa yesterday in taking several of the pastor's to the bus station there. SEE - more silver linings.

The Quelecasque food delivery (Special Needs families) was earlier this week too. The kids and I were able to go this time. It was a smaller delivery because of another trip out there in a couple of weeks and it was a good thing. The river is too high to cross with a vehicle these days so the ladies meet Alan at the bridge and WALK things back. (2 hours on foot ONE WAY) Thankfully, there was one guy with a vehicle on the other side that was willing to load everyone up in his truck (for a small fee) so they didn't have to walk back with all the boxes of food.
****There is a lady out there, Margarita, that is beginning to suffer some major issues with Epilespy. If you would pray for healing and wisdom in finding help for her she would be so thankful. ****

Mental Health wise. :)

Psalm 16
Keep me safe O God, for in you I take refuge. I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord, apart from you I have no good thing," As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight. The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods. I will not pour out their libations of blood or take up their names on my lips. Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup, you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let you Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

I read this this morning. I thought it rather fitting. I actually thought it rather fitting for lots of situations and friends in situations.

I like that part about my heart instructing me even at night. But I do find a bit of terror at that thought because some days I feel my heart telling me something I KNOW is contrary to God's word and it toys with my mental capacity and coping skills. Hmmm....I believe my heart needs a bit of discipline as for the focus. Work, work, work; and then remember to rely on what I know, not what I feel.

Which is a beautiful lead in to the next random thought.

Faith is a noun; a proper one in my case. However, I'm going to exercise it as a VERB. In spite of the chaotic-ness of our lives, situation, physical state, mental state...GOD doesn't change.
Thank goodness. He is faithful - that is an action that insinuates current, purposed action. Because if we were going on the daily 'meter' of how I felt, acted, or what I said - boy howdy would we be in trouble. If you doubt and dare try to put me on some 'other plain' because I'm writing this or living how we do - just ask some friends that I've been whining to...or my husband. :) I'm working, and it's HARD work I'm telling you, at looking to God's promises and not the current drama that surrounds me in various mediums.

I'll leave you with another piece of wisdom I read this morning from Halley's Bible Handbook.

Habbakuk 3 - Habbakuk's Prayer A cry to God to again perform His miracles, as He had done in the past. Yet Habakkuk speaks with sublime resignation and confidence in the eternal security of God's people (16-19). The lesson of the book is, "The righteous will live by his faith' (2:4). Faith is the ability to feel so sure of God that, no matter how dark the day, there is no doubt as to the outcome. For God's people there is a glorious future. It may be a long way off, but it is absolutely sure. Thus, in the midst of his gloom and despair, Habakkuk could be an optimist of the first magnitude.

Now - THAT is the biggest silver lining of them all.

Abrazos a todos...


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Another day....another creature.

Riley loves animals. Anyone who has been around him for more than about 2 minutes knows this. It gives him a certain 'celebrity' status here as MOST NORMAL people DO NOT pick up and inspect anything in the insect or reptile family. EVERYTHING is poisonous they say. So the fact that my son not only wants to touch it but actually CATCHES it, INSPECTS it, and then SHOWS it off - well...he's famous.

Now the neighbors are starting to 'collect' things for him. Oh boy....

Today's creature:

What do you think it is????

You must know that when MY son shows up at our door begging to be let in to show me 'somthin''with a huge smile, a neighborhood buddy, and a BIG BEAN SACK semi-dragging on the ground - MY response is - "TELL ME WHAT IS IN THE BAG. I WILL NOT OPEN THE DOOR UNTIL YOU CONFESS."

And - "No, no's okay." does not get the door opened for you....

Post confession...


The snapping kind.

And yes, I did make up that word thankyouverymuch. Isn't it descriptive??

Both boys faces dropped 2 feet when I announced it couldn't live here. It might eat a cat. I don't care what they say. They recovered the minute I said if they wanted to keep it they would have to set up it's new house at Franklin's house. His mother is going to lllloooovvvveee me.

Of course I made them wait until I got the camera and took lots of pictures. :) I'm such a good mom. The girls and I 'oooohhhhhed and aaaaaahhhhhhhhed' like a good fan club does. When Dad came home all the neighbors told him to go to Franklin's house to see what Riley had. Famous I tell ya....

I do think maybe this has cured Natalie of wanting a turtle though. :)

Here's another picture or two of the latest catch at the hotel in Belize. Riley is famous there too...or is that 'infamous'?

I hope this kiddo realizes we live here for more than just the opportunities for him to see various wildlife, but it is hard to ignore this little side benefit.

Oh my.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Around the world in 80 hours...

Okay - so we didn't go around the world....just around a few countries.

90 days comes really fast these days. As you may (or not) recall we have to leave the country every 90 days to renew our visas because we prefer to stay on the right side of the law. We have to go all the way to Belize because of the 'grouping' of several Central American countries so this makes for a long road trip. We love our truck...really we do. But after 16 hours (one way), the roads here, and the haggling at the borders; the glory of having a vehicle (plus the trailer don't forget) is waning...

The trip came about rather suddenly as you may remember we've been a bit buried in some governmental chaos. Rather distracting it was. Plus - because we never do just one major thing at a time, our house was being remodeled. (Landlords idea - NOT mine.) New floor tiles. EVERYWHERE.

Before and after shots commencing....(I can't believe I'm posting pictures online of my house in this condition...although I am slightly impressed that I can move my entire house from the various rooms it is into a space the size of my old kitchen in the states. Of course we couldn't really function like that as you will see...)

Day 1 ish...

Living suite....

So in amongst moving out of every room while still living here we were reading news online in Spanish, talking w/ friends and neighbors trying to get an idea of the coming wrath, so to speak. Add in trying to determine if we could get across the country to help our friends move too. Our part in that hasn't happened yet; next week. Every day we moved a new room, had 3-5 workers, landlords, friends, and family here 'helping', and tried to live in and amongst it.

It was nuts.

Thursday - a truck full of 'supplies' showing up without us realizing it was going to happen.
Saturday they started in.
Major government shake up Sunday.
Rest of the week - construction.

Alan - working some here and there when they (AH and AS) could leave town, and (AH) working on the designs of buildings and bridges. (Doesn't this look like a nice engineering office???)

Me - trying to stay sane.
Saturday night 5:30ish they finish and leave.

The floor is beautiful and will be really nice. The dust was amazing but 'vale la pena'.

So - as Alan and I are trying to move back in Saturday night....literally....we look at a calendar and realize - "SHOOT! Our visas expire during a week where we have to be here! Special needs family's food deliveries! Pastor Training School! Dentist appointments (more blog fodder for later)! Getting ready for a team coming down! Bridge meetings/plans needing to be delivered! When can we leave and still be on time with everything??? Hmmmm....tomorrow morning????????? YEP! That's it."

Oh my heck. Not to mention that there were rumors flying here there and everywhere that big stuff was going to come down. "Convenient! We'll just leave at o' dark thirty after the curfew is lifted for the night and be at the border first thing!"

Did I mention that our house was still in major disaster mode?????????? But - it's amazing what you can do when you have to. I stayed up 'till 2:30am to get everything ready and semi-put back together for two reasons. One - I didn't want to come home to THAT and two - just in case we couldn't get back, I didn't want anyone seeing THAT. Yes, I know I have a pride issue to work on.

I don't remember much of the drive out. :) Everyone did great (I guess) and when we got to the border we realized that our visas expired a week before we thought they did so we would've been in trouble had we waited. Hmmmm....timing.

So now we're home; and legal again for another 90 days mas o menos. We are unpacking, doing laundry, grocery shopping, and finding out how thing are here after a week being gone. We'll let you know when we figure it out. For now go to the La Gringa's link on the side bar. She's able to stay on top of things better than we are.

These next couple of weeks will be busy as all that stuff listed above will commence shortly (tomorrow). Thankfully I don't have a construction project to balance at the same time; at least I don't think so.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

of politics and such ...

Note - I have received several comments on this post, asking if it is ok to link to it. Please do - feel free to link this post, forward this post, and do whatever else to get the word out!


I will preface this post be saying it is political in nature. As Americans living in a foreign country as missionaries, we would be wise to stay out of politics and focus on spiritual matters, so I will do my best to make this short. I will also preface by saying that I will not address the issue of who the Honduran president should be, and my words here are directed to neither the people nor the government of Honduras. My message is for the United States and its leaders.

I wrote in a blog post a year ago, as we were leaving Mexico for Honduras, that our time in Mexico had been spent as ambassadors, and that, probably more than anything else we did there, as we walked the streets everyday and as we paid our bills and interacted with the people in the grocery stores, our lives there were speaking to the people around us about our Lord Jesus and also about Uncle Sam. They saw us as Americans first, Christians second, and the things we did everyday were statements to the people there about Christ and about America. But, an ambassador’s job is bi-directional. As he represents one country while in another, he also brings petitions and grievances from his host country to his home government. As we have lived in Latin America we have had ample opportunity to bring the needs of our friends and the people around us before God; today I bring to the American people a need and a plea from the people of Honduras.

On Saturday evening, June 27, I called my parents in the US and talked to them for a bit. I told them that there was a political coup pending down here, and that things were likely to get dicey here for awhile. This, again, was Saturday night, the night before Zelaya was ousted, and the coup many in the country were expecting was that of then-president Zelaya effectively rendering the Honduran constitution impotent and setting himself up as a dictator in the form of Chavez or Castro. The expectation was that the encuesta – the public survey he insisted on holding on Sunday – would be held up as showing that the public overwhelmingly supported Zelaya in changing the constitution to his whim, beginning with the removal of term limits. By Saturday the congress and the supreme court of Honduras had already determined such a move would be illegal, would be a direct affront to the constitution of Honduras, and had stated that if president Zelaya moved forward with his plan to hold his encuesta, he would be arrested. The view by many Hondurans before this past weekend was – and still is – that Zelaya was a threat to the country, that he wanted to make the country like Venezuela, and that the congress was really the only hope of keeping him from doing that.

I will not claim to speak for the Honduran people; they are speaking for themselves. There are riots and protests going on in this country; there are people attacking other people and vandalizing businesses. There are also peaceful protests going on, people holding banners and flags and asking for peace and order. People holding signs and chanting, “we don’t want to be Cuba”, and “we reject Chavez and Ortega”, and “keep Zelaya out”. The later are the larger groups – the numbers in the press say 25,000 people, 50,000 people. These peaceful protests started a week and a half ago, protesting where Zelaya was going with Honduras. The former group is smaller, but noisier; violent. And this is the group that the world press seems to see and show. Whatever it was, the ouster of president Zelaya was not an isolated event done by a heavy-handed military in the face of the government and the citizens of the country. And not everyone shouting in the streets wants him back. All of the pictures included in this post have been taken in Honduras within the past week, and are of demonstrations against what the people here think Zelaya will do in power. If you doubt this, go to, go to Honduras, and look at the current papers here. Even if you don't read Spanish, the photos speak volumes.

I do have personal feelings about the situation here in Honduras; I have tried to keep them to myself and present only the facts of the case. Regardless of whether the current government was right in removing Zelaya, trying to forcefully restore the peg into the hole that expelled it will not work. It will certainly be the end of the government and military who expelled him in the first place; it will be the end of the free press here, and disastrous for the thousands of people in Honduras who wanted him out. And I believe long-term, it will be harmful to the United States I love. The embargos and sanctions that the US and other countries are threatening will be devastating to most of the people in this country - a kick in the face to one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere, who are doing all they know how to avoid going the route of Cuba and Venezuela. If Zelaya should be reinstated, let it be done via an impartial court of law, and only after considering all the facts of the case and with the voice of the people of Honduras in mind. And don’t make things worse for the Honduran people in the meantime.

The future of Honduras as we know it depends upon people joining us in contacting their president and other elected officials and expressing themselves on this issue. The ball is already rolling on this, and from where I stand, the path it's rolling down has no happy ending.

Our family came to Honduras to help the people here. In our time here we have been involved in a variety of efforts in helping the local churches here, in addition to humanitarian work. From the way things look right now, next week we will quite possibly be evacuating the country, fleeing not Honduras, not the political ‘coup’ that occurred Sunday, not the national police force or the military, but the policies of our own nation and the fallout from that. And as we leave, we will have to do so with heavy hearts and with apologies to a great many friends and people here for what our country is doing.

- Alan Hayes