Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Journey with a Friend. The love for the children

It's Wednesday night and I feel tired, but uplifted by the journey so far. I love seeing the kids and how they have slowly, but surely, warmed up to us. I would like to share a little bit about my friend Lorena. She has accompanied me on this Journey to Guatemala. I was super excited when she expressed interest in coming with me, but it was even more exciting when she finally bought her ticket. We stay up late almost every night talking about the day. I feel so blessed to share this experience with someone.

Lorena has made a little Friend at the Hogar. Her name is Larissa and she started calling Lorena "mama" We all thought it was a little funny, but later we found out that Lorena looks a lot like Larissa's mom. We keep reminding Larissa that Lorena is "Tia Lolo" and not "mama" She follows Lorena EVERYWHERE! I was observing Lorena the first full day we were here and it reminded me of something very special; that's how God wants us to be like. Always with Him. 

I am going to miss her very much when she leaves in a few weeks and I will have to make an extra effort to stay connected. One thing that I have enjoyed is staying up late talking about our day and telling our life stories. I don't like being by myself so I'm going to have to convince one of the workers to stay with me or better yet, stay with the kids in their room :) 

Serving in Guatemala all the way from Alabama

Yesterday there were these beautiful people who came to the Hogar to serve. We are super grateful for them because not only did they come to play with kids, the came to fix the sink!!! One thing that has been brought to my attention is that there re things that break down and the women here don't know how to fix these things. Only one knob worked, but even then it was not easy to open. The pipes from under the sink was also leaking and who knows for how long. Well God sent these beautiful angels all the way from Alabama to serve. The men fixed the sink while the gals held baby Amy, played with the kids and helped by hanging some laundry :) the men had to leave twice to the store to buy the necessary things for the sink and let me just say that it was not an easy fix. He said "I don't know how, but it's fixed" it was God guiding his hands, for sure!!! They also brought diapers and wipes. Wipes here are gold and the one thing that they run out of, so we felt super blessed to get some wipes. 

Proverb 22:9 "A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor."

They will for sure be blessed! Thank you friends for what you have done here in this Hogar. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Update #2 on Diego

My sweet little Diego is getting so big. He is such an independent feisty little guy. He's 18 months and he eats by himself! I have noticed that he loves a rocking horse. He rides that thing as if he is trying to go somewhere. He has to be reminded to slow down. He is walking, but I have noticed that his right knee turns inward due to the unnecessary surgery that was done on his knee when he was rescued. I was informed that he is still having problems with his stomach :( A lot of testing  has been done, but no true diagnosis. 

On the 15th of August he will be going home to his grandparents. I think it's phenomenal that he will be reunited with family. They are from a remote village which indicates that they are very poor. My heart is troubled by this fact. Will Diego be safe? Will he be taken care of? Will he  be able to see doctors and be provided medical health? I know that I am not in control, God is! I get sentimental just thinking of scenarios, but I need to remind myself if God's promises, Of His mercy, of His grace. He will not abandon Diego. His story is a miracle! He survived being thrown as a new born in a septic tank! The odds were against him, but God was there watching over him and here is, 18 months later. He won't let me hold him, but I'm hoping that he will meet me half way before he leaves and I can get a good picture of us together :) 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Orphanage day 2

The weekend has been amazing thus far! Saturday afternoon we arrived at the airport and we were greeted by 2 beautiful women from the church in Guatemala. 

Betzy is to the left and Karla to the right. We stayed with Betzy Saturday night and went to church with her Sunday morning. On the way to service she got a flat tire :( a taxi driver stopped and helped her put on the tire. 5 months ago people donated money to buy her new tires and the front tire now has a huge hole in it. Her life convicts me because at 72, she does not work, but he sells her inheritance of beautiful glass and crystal antiques to make ends meet as well as to  have money to give to church (tithe and special contribution). I reassured her to to worry about the tire because God will provide. Let's just say she got a new tire ;)

Sunday after church we came to the orphanage (Hogar) to drop off our things, play with the kids. 

This morning we woke up to kids screaming, crying, laughing ❤ we played with them, made breakfast and they are now playing outside. 

Here are more pictures of today's playtime with the kids. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Last fundraiser before departure

This past Saturday was the last opportunity I had to sell jewelry. There was a women's day at church and other vendors were invited to sell their product. Typically, I don't sell much when there's other vendors. 

Driving to the event, I will admit, I was feeling a little faithless. I prayed on my way there and asked God to allow me to sell at least $100 worth to pay for the bus that will take the children of the orphanage to the medical mission that will be held at the church building in Guatemala City. As soon as I walked in the door the first vendor was selling jewelry. It wasn't handmade jewelry, it was one of those catalogue type. Many women came to my table to look and I made sure to let them know where the funds were going. At the end of the night I counted the money and it was A LOT more that $100. I laughed because, once again, God wanted to show me that His plan is bigger and my thoughts are not His thoughts. My goal has been $1000 and throughout these 6 months there have been many donors and buyers. Therefore, the amount raised was double my goal :) WHOA! I went and bought vitamins, cough syrup and some Airborn tablets for the nannies. 

I still have a handful of things that I still need to complete before I start packing. I can't wait!!!! Sometimes the clock goes too fast and other times I feel like Friday night will not be here. EEEEKKKKKK I can't wait!!!!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Proverbs 31 Bracelet and medical missions.

One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible (ok I have a handful of many favorite scriptures that I go back to) is Proverbs 31:10-31
The section is called "The wife of noble character" 
A few months ago, possibly a year ago. Hahaha! I know, but time now a days goes by way too fast. Any how, a coworker asked me to if I could join her youth group for one day and teach the girls how to make a bracelet. I was really excited for this opportunity to not only show them something that I love to do, but to be able to share the skill with a scripture as well as the mission. My coworker wanted to make a bracelet that represented some of the things mentioned in the scripture in proverbs 31. 
"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. (Proverbs 31:10, 16, 18, 21, 22 NIV)
Red, green, yellow, white and purple. After that session with the girls I eventually came up with my own version of the proverbs 31 bracelet. 

I changed the color sequence a little bit and the charms that I use the most say "peace", "love" and "hope" and sometimes instead of peace I will use "faith". Along with the cross I always make sure to have my "handmade with love" heart charm

One of my favorite part of Proverbs 31 is in verse 20

"She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy" (Proverbs 31:20 NIV)

To me this is a reminder of why Handmade with Love is what it is today. It's not this huge company, it's not this profitable organization it's just a mission. A mission that reaches out to the poor. A thought popped in my mind about it the other today as to how Handmade with Love connects the people who buy the product to the children and adults who are being helped through the sales. The shoppers may probably never meet these young children at the orphanage or the families who are being provided vitamins and other medications from the medical brigade but it's the knowing that they contributed to something greater every time they put on that bracelet or those earrings or that necklace. The product is just that, product. However, the result that God turn it out to be is what it's important. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

One more week! Orphanage here I come

It has been  a very busy month. I've been busy making jewelry, staying up late  trying to complete my continuation education hours for my speech assistant license, driving out to Long Beach selling jewelry, picking up family members from the airport, doing progress reports for my job, and the list goes on. It may seem that I am complaining but I am not, I'm actually super thrilled to be able to have the opportunity to be away for five weeks. I'm constantly thinking about Guatemala and the activities I want to do with the children. I've also been thinking a lot about little Diego and if he will still be there when I arrive. It's all in God's hands and I will still give all of my heart to the mission. 

My friend is still selling jewelry on her Etsy account and she's having a "sale" for one week since I will be leaving soon. I'm super grateful for having her in my life and for her willing heart to help me provide things that are needed at the orphanage. Visit her site and take a look! 

We shall see how much more I will be able to fundraise before I leave. Eeeekkkk 9 an a half more days!!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fundraiser; jewelry for diapers

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (Luke 17:6 NIV)

Yesterday was such an adrenalin rush! There were two jewelry parties right after 2 church services. The first one was in the city of Carson and there was approximately 3-4 hundred people there. I was given the opportunity to speak for a few minutes regarding the mission and I was super nervous! I kept having to pray to relax! After the first party, it went super well! I have an overall goal to fundraise these past 6 months and I was a little over half way and after the first party the goal was almost met. We then drove 30 minutes north to the next church service and I was also able to share about the mission. The crowd was less, about 40-50 people. In my mind I knew that since there were less people, we probably would not sell that much. Well, God totally threw me out of the water because not only did the jewelry sell, we sold more than the previous party!!! When we got back in the car and counted the money, all I could do was scream! I was so excited because I know where this money is going towards. 
This woman bought the most jewelry. I was super encouraged to see so many people come to the table to look at the jewelry, but most importantly the message of the poor was spread. I hope that at least one person was inspired to do something for "the least of these"

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Jewelry making machine.

Every free time I get I use it to make jewelry. It has been a very busy week and it's only Wednesday but I have 2 jewelry parties scheduled for this weekend. Family is visiting from Mexico for the next month and two of my little cousins have been helping me organize my beads as well as putting beads together on the string to make bracelets. On Monday I had a coworker and two of her friends come over to help me make some jewelry. this was very helpful because I was able to accomplish more than I thought I would. I Still have to make more necklaces and earrings but one day at a time. My friend Carolina was able to put several of my pieces on her Etsy website and through word-of-mouth She has been able to sell several bracelets. I have completely ran out of turquoise beads which means I need to stalk up! I was thinking about what I was going to wear tomorrow for work and realized that I haven't done laundry. Ha!

A good friend of mine came into my job today and dropped off two boxes of diapers. Lorena, who is going with me to Guatemala for the first three weeks,  is actually going to ship a huge box of diapers to the orphanage in Guatemala. There is a company whom her mother ships with to El Salvador and it's quite reliable. Our goal is to fit as many diapers as possible in this box and use some of that money from the jewelry sales to ship the box. Friends and family have donated diapers and that's how we are able to maximize the money that's coming in through jewelry sales as well as other people donating financially. 

I have about 16 days left and I get excited and nervous anticipating the departure. Soon, very soon. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bracelets and much more!

The next three weeks are going to be super busy. Today was spent working then making jewelry. It was 5 hours of it! I have family visiting and one of my little cousins was helping me out, then a coworker came over with 2 of her friends to help. I was able to get 20 bracelets done as well as two necklaces. That is definitely more than what I can do by myself in 5 hours. This upcoming Sunday I will be having 2 jewelry parties and I'm super excited to be able to spread the news of the mission to a new group of people. The following weekend I will be selling jewelry at a girls night out for a church event. There will be other vendors there and it will be an opportunity to network. Making jewelry is definitely something that I love to do. It relaxes me and it gets the creativity juice running. I have $500 left to fundraise but I have faith that I will be able to surpass my goal. We are also sending a large box of diapers which we are hoping to have people donate dipers to send. so far we hace 2 large Costco size boxes to send. 
I have been able to witness how God has opened floodgates in the past and even now. I strongly believe that for the sake of spreading the news it will continue to impact others or hopefully encourage others to do more for those in need. Living in fancy Orange County can definitely put a layer of fakeness and we can forget that there is so much need out there in the world. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

handmade with Love, jewelry for diapers.

Greetings my friends!!! ok I honestly don't know who follows this blog, but I am getting closer to getting a total of 1000 views!!!! This makes me feel so blessed, because I know that the word is being spread. hahaha, even if it's the same people viewing it over and over again. 

A friend of mine whom I have known since high school, has offered to put some of my jewelry on her Etsy account. I was so ecstatic to find out that she was willing to do that for me. My prayer is that it sells so that more diapers can be bought for the orphanage in Guatemala, but most importantly, the word for the mission is spread. My desire in all of this is that God will be glorified and it will produce something in someone to go and serve the poor. Maybe God is calling you to go in the mission field or He wants to use what He has given you to help others.

The trip is getting closer and closer and the closer it gets, the more nervous I get. I can't wait to play with the children and be Lilly's assistant in whatever she may need in the Hogar. her sacrifice has really inspired me to lay down my life for these kids, though I know it's going to be a process where I need to work hard towards.