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.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pretty soon the banner will change....

as we will be leaving Honduras and moving again. Back to Mexico, to new adventures on this little road trip we call life.

So this week???


Alan and Allen went to Monte de la Virgin again to see the FINISHED bridge and to do some adjustments on the cables. I promise there will be pictures and a blog post from Alan at some point. He showed me on our teeny camera and the video of Allen driving across and I promise, it's really cool.

Selling off of things.
Delivering of things.
Letting go of things

Packing again.
Packing the truck.

Visiting lots! See - there is always a silver lining. :)

The plan (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) is to leave Wednesday. It will take us around 4 days of driving through three countries and the border crossings therein to get to Mitla. If you would pray for safety, sanity, simple and quick border crossings (with no major fees) that would be wonderful and we would be ever so thankful.

I will be very glad this time next week. :)

This too shall pass has become my favorite phrase...


Friday, November 20, 2009

Foodie Friday...


It's here again and I've still got 'nuthin'. Shoot.

Actually I'll tell you a little food story instead.

This has to do with birthday cake. And trying to make specific birthday cakes in third world countries where ingredients are not only challenging to find...but a wee bit off tasting.

As yesterday was my husband's 40th birthday, the celebratory meal and cake planning and preparation began on Thursday. Actually it began about 3 months ago with the 'hunt and hoard'. You see, my husband has had a very specific cake for every one of his birthdays except for the few years after he left home and didn't go back to visit for that special day. I remember when we'd just starting dating, his birthday was coming up and so I volunteered to make him a cake and which flavor would he like? Well....he responded, 'I have a special cake and here's the recipe!' (He wasn't quite THAT direct about it.... :) )

Anyway - I have now been making that specific cake for 15 years or so....except for the first year in Mexico when I realized 2 weeks before hand that those ingredients were. not. available. in. Madera. Oooooopppppsssss. Thus began the tradition of 'hunt and hoard'.

Hunt for ingredients starting in JULY.
Hoard found ingredients 'till November 18th when you make the cake.

Me explico??

Well....this year I was doing good - had found 2 cans of cherry pie filling, yes, THAT cherry pie filling, and they were stashed in the cupboard.

Had my recipe for making Angel food cake from scratch (!).

Could. not. find. cream. of. tarter.

Finally, just called Trish and begged some of of her. She graciously lent it to me. :)

Forgot to grab the cream cheese but thankfully there was ONE box left in all the stores here. Powdered sugar - yes, found the was wwwwaaaaayyyy in the back. I wonder how long it's been there. No - I don't want to know. Never did find the Honduran version of whipping cream but thankfully I had 1/2 a bag left over from last year's cake. I figured I could s.t.r.e.t.c.h. it.

Started to bake. 12 egg whites beaten 'till they form stiff peaks by hand was not physically possible for me. They were more like slightly rolling mounds. Oh well. Added the rest of the ingredients and baked away.

The cake came out about 1/2 as high as it should've been. Dratted stiff peaks. Guess they were more important than I thought. The cake didn't quite taste like angel food either. Oh well. This frosting covers a multitude of sins, er, odd tasting cakes.

But the frosting tasted a mite strange too. EGADS. What do I do??? Add on more cherries. At least the cherry pie filling tastes like what we remember. It's imported.

It didn't come out looking as spectacular as my mind's eye. I think I'm aiming too high...still.

But after a day in the fridge, it came out okay. Everyone liked it - most importantly, the birthday boy.

Honduran birthday just have to adjust the taste buds a bit to the south.

And for your recipe boxes should you wish to add it....

Cherries in the Snow
1 Angel food cake, sliced into three rounds (for layers)
1 can of Cherry Pie Filling

1 8oz package of cream cheese
1 cup of powdered sugar

Blend 'till smooth

2 packets of Dream Whip mixed according to directions.
1tsp. vanilla

Mix, then blend in the cream cheese mixture 'till smooth and creamy

To Frost cake:

Lay one layer of Angel Food cake on a pretty plate
Top with a small amount of frosting and three (ish) spoonfuls of cherry pie filling
Lay next layer of cake on top of that. Repeat.

For top layer cover generously with frosting covering entire cake. Then drizzle remaining Cherry Pie Filling all over the top - letting some dribble down the side.

Refrigerate at LEAST 8 hours. This is a very important step and one it took me a few years to remember to include. It makes a big difference.

This cake is fabulous. I don't just love it because it's RED and white either....:)



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Feliz cumple....

Today - November 19th is my husband's 40th birthday. 40!! -and I'm quite glad we get to celebrate him.

I just hope he makes it home from the bridge site before the day is over so he can eat this cake and fancy dinner I made. :)

Care to send him a note????

Here's to celebrating big days in exotic places!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Change seems to be our status quo...

and you'll see why in a moment.

For the last few months we've been sensing change. First, we've seen on the horizon that the full-time projects we've been mostly involved with and needed for here in Honduras either winding down or being completed. This, coupled with the increased cost of living and traveling for us to be here working in Honduras, has led us to feel that our time here would be coming to a close.
To begin with we assumed that meant our time in serving as 'on the field' missionaries would be finished also. In some sense there was great sadness for us in this as we've come to realize what a privilege it has been and is to live a life of service in this way, but we're also wanting to hold OUR plans very lightly so that God's plans are served through us. We have begun the process of looking for work in the USA. As we have been praying, searching for jobs, and seeking council from 'wise' friends, we were presented with an opportunity as we make our trek back to the states.

****I will tell you that when you pray for direction and God's best sometimes it's a quiet answer....but sometimes it's beyond your wildest dreams.****

Our friends in Oaxaca, Jim and Jamie Loker, have asked if we would consider helping them with some projects in their ministry. I'm going to copy you on a note that they sent on our behalf, because they explain their ministry and hopes for our part in it better than I can.

The focus of our ministry is providing materials for non-literate, unreached people groups. So far we have ministered in more than 40 different language areas of Oaxaca, recording audio New Testaments and dubbing the Jesus movie into as many languages as possible. We partner very closely with Wycliffe Bible Translators, who produce the written translations. At this point we have a sense of urgency to reach the remaining people groups with the gospel message in the only way they can understand it - in their own language, and in an audio form. We have been praying for more workers for the harvest here.

That's where the Hayes’ come in. We have asked Alan if he might consider stopping in Oaxaca on his way back to the U.S. to serve with us as a recording technician. The first step would be to get his family settled here close to us in the little Zapotec town of Mitla (half-way between Tlacochahuaya and Tlauitoltepec if you are searching for it on a map, haha). This will be a very healthy, supportive environment for both Faith and the kids after the recent uncertainties of living in Honduras
. Alan himself will possibly need to travel to a village to set up a make-shift recording studio where he will work with a local Oaxacan recordist to produce an entire dramatized New Testament on a device called a Proclaimer. Ideally Alan will be busy recording, editing, publishing, and finally distributing these audio Bibles to small listening groups that will hopefully become new churches.

Amazing isn't it? Just when we thought we were done - another chance to serve. For how long, we don't know but we're excited all the same.

We are planning on leaving Honduras at the end of this month. Most of the projects that Alan is needed for are either finished or finishing by then and we would like to have our family settled (now...what is that again???) by Christmas.

Of course, if you remember that is right about the time the new elections should be happening. We're continuing to watch the 'scene' and would appreciate prayers for wisdom in our timing.

So, the process of culling things, mentally packing and all that is happening. My mind is in several places and languages all at once. Civil War time period for the kids' school, Honduran politics, needs and packing, food because everyone still wants to eat each day, and finishing well here.

We never said this would be a boring adventure. I think we've made good on that promise.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Foodie Friday...

I got nuthin'.


Mostly because the camera is with my husband who is currently on his way to the Copan Ruinas with the team who is on their way back to San Pedro Sula and then off to their homes in the states.

We've had a GREAT time with them and though we were sad to watch them drive off...we are grateful for the time they spent here.

It's been a busy week with them coming and going but it's been a treat. The 'off-roading' they've done just to get from point 'A' to point 'B' has been enough to cure anyone of feeling the need to get out and experience the wild side of things. Mud clods bigger than Alan's fist (on the top of the truck) and muck filled tread was a small witness to the kind of day they had.

Fun stuff...

On another topic....did I mention here that we're moving???? That's another fun road trip that will be up and coming. Stay posted.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Foodie Friday

Fruit. To be more specific - Maracuja. Passion Fruit in English. This is what we've been told. My several sources. This is NOT what I expected from something called Passion Fruit but...

Oooohhhhh - they can be entertaining.

It looks like it has fingers of it's own.

See -

This is one that Alan was given in the campo (little teeny places, like a village...) and he brought it home to share while we had Bert and Kalin over for the evening.

Kalin was very encouraging for me to GET PAST THE LOOKS OF THE THING.


You basically cut it open then suck on the seeds to get the....flesh off. You can chew the seeds too - vitamin packed, I'm sure. Then eat that other inside part...shiver, shiver....It tastes really good but man, I am a texture gal and this was a bit of mental effort for me to get past that point.

Taste isn't everything.

My children wouldn't touch it.


Maracuja - You were good, I'm just not all that passionate about you....


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Being a good way.

The following YouTube video is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for those who don't want to be challenged.

I will admit that I have not been able to stop thinking about it. Alan and I watched it the other day for part of our church service and's still resonating with me. Haunting me a tad bit, if you will.

Causing me to ask hard questions. Examine things. Be accountable for things...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Words in your heart language....

This post is about language.

I had grand illusions (disillusions really) of becoming fluent in Spanish after just a bit. I was going to be immersed in the culture you know, so that instantly blesses me with linguistic talent right????????????


When we moved to Mexico originally, I knew how to say 'Buenos Dias' and 'taco'. ' Burrito'...'nachos'''Buenos noches' was in there, I think.

So what did I get to do? I listened. A LOT. To people, to neighbors, to the kids at the children's home, and to my own child (Riley) who seemed to be able to figure out speaking in Spanish without studying, the little stinker.

All that listening. In another language. That in itself is exhausting. I do THINK to this day I was understanding quite a bit after that first year but only by God's grace. Speaking it was something else. I was all backwards grammatically so that session in language school was.....frustrating. I could understand what people were saying but switching it around in my head was enough to drive me to tears on more than one occasion.

THANK THE LORD for patient, gracious people in my life during those first few years. :)

One thing that sticks out in my memory is our church. We miss our church. In Madera we wound up getting connected through an American team that had come to town to work with them and by chance (HA!) wound up checking out the children's home at the same time Alan was there working on something. He helped them with some questions and information and they invited us to come and visit them. The connections grew.

and they gave us their leftover Starbucks coffee when they left!! :)

Anyway....we met the pastor that their church was working with and found a church HOME. Juan Carlos and Yanira are family to us. We love them and miss them more than I thought possible. Even with language challenges we were able to have amazing fellowship!

An interesting thing began to happen as we would sit in church each Sunday and listen. First of all, Juan Carlos has amazing diction. I never quite made the connection why I could understand and make out the words he was using but found myself flabbergasted at grocery stores when I couldn't grasp what that veggie lady was asking me about! 'What in the world??? I was just in church and understood 90% of what was said! What is wrong with me??'

One day it dawned on me...

Context's all about context.

You see - in church, added to Juan Carlos' amazing dictation and manner of speech was that I knew contextually what he was talking about. Years of bible study and church services had given me a working knowledge of scripture (NOT implying I have it all figured out by any means...). The Holy Spirit was able to talk to me even through Spanish - and it added a layer to my soul.

A world of difference. Literally.

I have gained a world of understanding in trying to hear, learn, read, write, talk, and communicate in a language I DO NOT FULLY UNDERSTAND nor will ever fully understand. I've laid that dream down as I realize the more I learn, the more I have to learn. :) I also come to this with a 12 year, stateside, very good education. You may not ever experience this but take it from me - it's HARD. Harder than anything I have ever done.

Hearing and speaking English with other native English speakers sometimes makes me gasp for breath. Not only because of the fact that I have words spilling out of my mouth at the speed of light just because I can, but because I can communicate ME. And can understand THEM.

Now - with that contextual background and mental picture in mind, I ask you, what three things will last forever?

God's Word.

Anyway you cut it, that is what will last eternally.

I have never quite been able to understand or grasp the privilege of having a bible in ENGLISH. It's just always been there. In my heart language - the language where I think, feel, dream, wonder, process, talk, communicate, am.

As I talked about here, Jesus' words and ultimately the entire bible, is to us a direct line for 'how we shall live, move, and have our being' in this world so that we are prepared for what is to come. God's word is Him talking to us. Teaching us, loving us, reassuring us, encouraging us, leading us.

***Imagine if you didn't have it.
***Or were trying to understand it fully in another language with very little context.
***Where would your hope come from?

There are several ministries devoted to getting God's word into heart languages for the unreached. I'm going to direct you to a few.

The first is a family in Oaxaca that we came to know through our fabulous homeschooling curriculum but more than that, God has orchestrated a friendship, prayer partnership, and family for us with them. One of those gifts I received through technology that I won't discount. :) I asked her first for the links so I do this with permission.

This is their website: (going through some transitions) and Jamie's blog - you will enjoy her. She's real. She's funny. She's a talker. She has a heart for the unreached as big as the state of Texas where she's from. She will still love me in spite of that comment. :)

Their ministry involves getting portions of scripture translated into native languages in that region that has an incredible quantity of unreached people. Translated with the help of native speakers, then the scripture is put onto AUDIO players that are solar battery powered so they can push the button and LISTEN to God's word in their heart language. No need to learn an alphabet, no need to learn to read, or study for hours to gain a working knowledge of the language, because frankly, some of these people groups don't have that much time. They are dying out. Without hearing.

Incredible. And exciting. And crucial.

Here is a link if you would like to read about the actual devices they use - note: Jamie mentioned that the picture is incorrect.

Here are some more great links that Jamie mentioned to me.

I would encourage you to click on their links and explore the amazing ways God is reaching the 'nations'.

Hebrews 4:12-13
John 17:20-26

que Dios les bendiga which means may God bless your heart language,