Sunday, December 30, 2007


There is a 13 year old boy, Eddy, who has severe aplastic anemia and is need of a bone marrow transplant. Cheryl had been looking into medicine that could help him instead of the transplant, considering the transplant cost around $300,000. And the medicine is $9000/day for 7 days. Well, last weekend he became really sick and was put in the hospital. The only way he was breathing was from a tube...and the decision came whether to take the tube out or not. His mother talked to Eugenio and he told her if Eddy was that close to letting go, then it was best to take the tube out and let God take care of him. So his mother decided to take the tube out and prepare for his death because the doctors said taking the tube out would ensure death. So they took the tube out and told his mother to take him home because they were no longer responsible for him. So we got a phone call saying that Eddy had died. A couple from the U.S. got food and drinks together to take to his house (b/c that's what you do here when someone dies. you sit up all night and eat/drink. alcohol if your non-christians. coke if you're Christians). So the couple heads to his house and goes in to see Eddy (thinking he was dead, mind you) and the lady gasps when she sees him breathing. Turns out, by taking the tube out Eddy got better!! He had a hamburger that night, and the next day he was out Christmas shopping!! Crazy how if we put our trust in God, he allows takes care of us!...We went to visit him and he looks like a healthy 13 year old boy. Cheryl got him to say a little testimony on video, so I'll see if I can upload that sometime soon. I said a prayer when we heard that Eddy had passed away. I asked God if we were going down the wrong path (looking for the medicine) that he would allow Eddy to get better and I would try to help us get on the right path (there has been someone step forward interested in being a donor). It's just that we need to pray for God to open some doors: for the two to be perfect matches (doctors don't want to do an operation without a full blooded sibling b/c they say he will reject it, and Eddy doesn't have any full blooded siblings), for doctors who would donate their time and skills, and for a hospital to do it. These are big requests to fill because the operation is so expensive, but we have a God who can do it all! I fully believe if God has laid it on a person's heart to donate, then He has already provided the perfect match. But please be in prayer with me and let's watch God perform another miracle in the life of a Nicaraguan child!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


*since i talk about him all the time, i thought i'd throw up a few pictures of Chele so everyone could put a face with a name.


i haven't seen Chele in over a week. and i'm not sure why. this past monday, Luis and i were supposed to start helping him with school. but he didn't show up. he hasn't showed up at the house in general, either. nor has he went to Elliot's house (Chico's fiance) where they usually hang out quite a bit. i'm not gonna say i'm worried because i really don't think i am (plus the fact that the Word tells us not to!), but i am concerned. i'm concerned that he's safe and healthy. his brother, Wilmer, did come by a couple of days ago and he said that Chele was at the house with a headache. which could be true. and it could be untrue......Wilmer says his mother is at the house, and the other 3 (Chele, David, and Alex) say she is in Managua. plus, Wilmer and Chele do not like each other. so you can never really tell who is telling the truth...but i want to know that Chele is ok. Chico and i were gonna go to his house to check on him a few days ago, but Chico is busy with this man that is staying at the house for 2 weeks. so i guess i'm out of luck until Chico gets time...since i can only string a few words of spanish together and i don't think that the taxi guy would understand me. then i would be out in who knows where, lost and not able to ask for help!!! :) please pray for Chele. pray for me, to not worry. and pray that God breaks Chele's heart. There was a lady from the Educational System that came today to test and see if the kids are ready for the next year in school. And she said that starting in January, she could help Chele at a school that is free and that in 3 years he could be finished with primary school. i'm trying to figure out how you motivate a 15 yr. old guy. did you get that. #1 he's 15, a teenager. and #2, he's a guy. i ask, what can you do with that!?!?!?!? lol...but seriously, how do you motivate someone to learn!? and to value education and learning!? so please pray that God works mightily in Chele's life!!

Friday, December 7, 2007


Don't Miss Him!
By Marybeth Whalen

"We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." John 6:69 (NIV)

I remember reading an account of the Christmas story that focused on all the people who came in contact with that young couple searching for a place to stay--the busy townspeople dealing with the crowds, the innkeeper too busy counting his money and taking care of guests to be bothered for long, the other travelers worried about where they would sleep. The author pointed out that so many of us still make the same mistake of rushing past the drama that unfolded in a forgotten corner of Bethlehem that night. Consumed with our own problems and issues, we glance away from the significance of Jesus' arrival to focus on a myriad of tasks. And in all our rushing and stress, we miss an opportunity to connect with our Savior in a whole new way.
There are only a few people mentioned in the Christmas story, yet we know that the city was filled to bursting with travelers and citizens. There was no lack of folks there who could have welcomed the Christ child. They just didn't stop long enough to look for Him. Though He was right under their noses, they scurried right past Him. I often wonder if those who were there that night later told the story down through the ages, "I was in Bethlehem that night, you know. I stayed just a few houses away from that stable. I could have seen Him if I would have known." Those folks could have stood in adoration alongside Mary and Joseph, and the shepherds, marveling at what God was doing before their very eyes. And they missed the opportunity of a lifetime.
And yet, how many of us say the very same thing about Jesus, even now? If only we had more time. If only we had more money and didn't have to work so hard. If only we weren't so busy. "Then Jesus," we say, "Then I would be able to really know You. Instead, I race past You, unaware. And I lose out on the opportunity to see You in the process, to touch You. To know what it means to utter" Immanuel, God with us. God with me."
Don't miss Jesus this year in all your busyness. Don't be like the busy citizens of Bethlehem who could have had a part in God's story if only they would have stopped long enough to look for Him. Make Jesus your focus this year and allow Him to show you how to slow down, to be less busy, less stressed. Ask Him what you can let go of. Ask Him to give you the courage to say no when you need to. Ask Him to help you have an encounter with Him like never before. What better time to do it than now, at Christmas, when our thoughts are focused on His coming. There has never been a better time to allow Him to come into your life, your heart. Look for Him around every corner, in every face, in every moment.

Dear Lord, Right now I am stopping to tell You that I do not want to miss You. I am committing to look for You everywhere instead of rushing right past You. I want to know You intimately. Thank You for coming to earth back then, and thank You for coming into my heart and life now. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

this was one of my devotionals for the day. i just thought i'd share it for all of you americans out there getting ready for the CHRISTmas season!...I've been looking forward to this Christmas since I knew I was coming to Nicaragua. Yes, I dearly miss being in TN for Christmas b/c of my family and friends, the cold weather, and the sense of hope you get through this season, but I don't miss for one second, all the rushing around, hopelessly looking for that perfect gift (or 20 gifts) for each person. I finally have an opportunity in my life to get past all the materialism of Christmas in America and get my focus on the real reason for why we have this season. Jesus. Cheryl and I have been reading updates on all the businesses that no longer allow "Merry CHRISTmas" in their stores, etc. But if you take away Christ, you have no holiday. you have no celebration. that's the only reason we celebrate, b/c of Christ. so what are they celebrating during our season of celebrating our Savior!? hmm. i wonder if they have thought about that?? they take the part that they like (the gifts), and trash the rest. we, as Christians, must show them that there is more than presents and gifts for celebration. we must celebrate CHRIST!!! Don't miss him!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

:::CHELE::: more story this week involves the God send of my life, Chele. he is like part son, part brother, and part friend to me. but i've never felt so concerned for someone like i do him. it's more of what i imagine a mother to feel. i want to adopt him (he's 15 yr. old). anyways, he is a very troubled teenage boy. I can’t remember if I’ve really gotten into detail about him on the blog, so I’m just gonna go through it again in case I haven’t. He is one of Gabby’s brothers. He’s 15. He can’t read, write, count money. His mom works in a bar, his dad is in one of the neighboring countries. His mom has left him and 2 of his brothers before, while she went to Managua. And they had no means of money for food. His mom is a joke from what I’ve been told. I want to meet her, and Cheryl has been saying she wants to go talk to her, but we haven’t had a chance yet. I really want to meet this woman who could neglect her children like she has. Back to Chele, he's gotten into quite a bit of trouble in the past. But I say that he hasn’t lived for 15 years, he’s survived. He has a lot of anger that has built up in him. He gets mad all the time, but it usually doesn’t last long and he’s smiling again… he was living in the house when I got here in November. We would hang out all the time, which I figured out was as nice for me to have someone as it was for him to start acknowledging that someone truly cares about him. Don’t want to get into everything that happened, but he was told that maybe he could come around during the day and go to his house at night. Then a day or so later, it was decided that he would have to go to school for a month before he could come back around the house. So that meant no contact with him for a month, which didn’t make much sense to me considering what I’ve sensed God placing on my heart. But I have tried to obey, but still trying to figure out how I’m supposed to accomplish what God has given for me…well, this past Friday we were taking some people home and decided to get Elliot (Chico’s girlfriend) from the gym and take her with us. When we did, Chele was there and I asked Chico if he could ride along with us. So then we went and hung out at Claudia’s house for a little while for Charlie, Benny and Pam to say bye. Then we came back to the house and Cheryl, Charlie, Chico, and I started talking to Chele. He said he was not going back to the school (he had been 4 days in a row and seemed to be doing really well). But he said it was hard (mind you, he’s never been to school so I imagine it is very difficult, especially to be disciplined when you’ve never had to be). He started talking about how his life is misery. He didn’t want to talk about his mom and family. Charlie talked to him about giving his life to Christ. Chele said he’s prayed it over and over, how many times does he have to do that. So I’m not sure if he is saved or not. It only takes once, if he meant it. But he just doesn’t understand what it means to be a Christian. I’m thinking he may think becoming a Christian is a magic pill that will make everything bad in his life disappear. So pray for us in how we deal with him, and the wisdom to talk and mentor him. And for us to give an accurate picture of what a Christian life is. Because I think that’s an obvious problem with what he’s thinking when he prays the sinner’s he had given up on school. BUT, I talked to him, and got him to agree for Luis and I to help him with schooling. Luis has a master’s in Spanish or something along those lines, and he cares about Chele too. So I’m excited to get started with us teaching him. I say us, like I could teach him Spanish! Ha! I’m just there for moral support and love, and maybe to catch a little Spanish learning myself!! J …and after we all talked, Chele came in the house and ate dinner. Charlie loved on him a lot that night which made me SO happy. I finally felt like someone cared as much for Chele as I did. It’s been brought up more than once, me and Cheryl and then Charlie, that Chele really needs a psychologist or a Christian counselor. Something to help him get all that anger out and the neglect that he’s experienced. So does anyone out there with that experience or degree feel led to come to Nicaragua for a while!?!? There truly is a need for that here in Nicaragua. Cheryl has said there is no where for teens, like Chele, to get help and counseling for the lives they live. There is a couple of places, but they are for alcohol and drug abuse, and thank God, Chele doesn’t have those problems. I thank God for that!! He really is a good guy, deep down. And if he could see that he is valuable and worth something, and loved. Then I think he would be more likely to excel in school. And spiritually. He’s gotta know that he’s lovable, before he’ll believe that God loves him. And I KNOW that one of the main reasons I am here is to show that love to him. Please pray for him. And for me. It’s very hard for me to know how and when to ask if Chele can be included, or when I can see him, etc. I will not give up on him. I am not everyone else in his life. I am Jesus in his life. Big shoes to fill so pray big!!!!


p.s. He came by tonight…and he said he was going to Honduras and/or El Salvador tomorrow to work with a friend. Please pray for his safety. He has no papers, no i.d. nothing. And so technically, if he gets caught I think he could be sent to prison. But before he came around here, that’s the life he lived. He would travel with men to those neighboring countries and would just hide when they crossed the border so he wouldn’t get caught….that’s another prayer request, I want to get his papers. I think he has a birth certificate, but it’s in another city (he doesn’t even know his birthday!). But, truly, if God ever allowed him to be adopted, then he would need them. (plus if I get his Christmas present bike, then he’ll need an i.d. …b/c you have to carry papers on the bike to verify it’s yours and so he’d need an i.d. card to verify he is who he says he is).

drama, Drama, DRAMA!

well...benny, pam, and charlie left yesterday. and i can say there was more drama in that week than i care to repeat ever again!...the first of the week started off fine. the saturday they got here, we had our thanksgiving party for all the kids that have been to the united states along with their families. all the moms got up and shared their story of what was wrong with their child and how they are healthy now.
...charlie and benny did alot of work around the house while they were here. benny made a ramp for wheelchair access into the house. funny thing though, someone had thrown a bag of beans into the rocks that were used to make the concrete and so now we have beans that have surfaced in the ramp! hope we don't grow beanstalks on our ramp! :) Benny also fixed the ceiling in my room. there were a few panels hanging down and so now it's fixed and i can sleep with the light off. what if i'm scared of the dark!?! :) Benny also put some screws in the door to my shower. i'll have to take a picture to show you how it's set up (oh wait, i can't. more on that story down below). anyways, there are two doors to my bathroom. and from one you walk right into the shower. well, there wasn't a very good lock on the door and so it could've opened at any time while i was in there. a little nerve racking, especially when someone is walking by the bathroom and says hello to me!!! LOL. that's quite a feeling too. me in the shower and chico or cheryl walking by and says "hey brooke". oh well, guess that's nicaraguan life! :) but at least now there are screws that keep the door closed. but i guess i have to live with the cracks in the door and the people walking by!!!!
...Charlie took one of the walls off the kitchen and pushed it out a little more to give more room for the cabinets he built. that way we don't have to use the freezer as a storage place...Pam, Cheryl, and i painted half of the house. we used a beige, taupe color. i was a little worried on the first coat b/c it looked a little pink-ish. but after the second coat, it looks like a new place. it actually looks like a house now (at least where we have painted). we ran out of paint and the paint store didn't have anymore of that color. and didn't know when they would have it again. but we found another paint store that looks to have the same color so i think we're gonna try that one. i can't wait to get the rest painted and the trim finished. we're gonna paint the bottom trim of the walls a rust color, along with the doors. once we get everything finished, i think it's gonna look really nice!
...let's see what else good happened before i get to the drama...we went to a village one day to show benny and pam what it's like outside the city. we sang some songs, benny gave a little devotional message, and then we had a pinata. while we were there, cheryl found a little girl that she recognized. i don't remember her real name, but the name she wanted it to be was Jennifer so that's what we call her. about 3 years ago, Jennifer came to live with Cheryl for a week b/c her grandfather was abusing her and the Ministry of the Family asked Cheryl to take her and give her the medicine she needed. the medicine was only for a week and then the Ministry of the Family came and took her back...and now it looks like they have put her back in the same situation. because she is back at the village, her grandfather is still there, and the scared look (Cheryl showed me a picture of her 3 yrs. ago) is the exact same look that her little sister has now! we're really worried that these little girls (and possibly their mom) are in an abusive environment. please pray for them. Cheryl is thinking about going to the Ministry of the Family to ask them what happened to the little girl to see what they tell her.
...wednesday was Pam's birthday. and so Cheryl got the Mariache band to come by and play 10 songs! that was fun!! everyone was dancing and having fun. then we had cake and ice cream, and the adults got to have the pinata. actually just pam, cheryl, and me. i was the one that knocked it down. but we were blindfolded. that's an embarrassing feeling, swinging at thin air most of the time. after that, we walked to central park and walked around for a little while.
...another cool God story...karla (mario's mom) asked Cheryl to go look at a house. and Cheryl said to be open, she would go look at it. so me, her, and charlie went. but the house was smaller than the one we're in and they wanted $10,000 more dollars. BUT, while we were there, they were telling us about a little boy that couldn't talk. and while we were there, he just happened to come by. and so we look at him and the little dangly thing in the back of your throat, he has two. well, it looks like two. we've read up on it and while you are in the womb, it starts as two and meets to form one in the middle. but his never met, so he has two. it's sorta in the same family as a cleft palate, but different. it causes him problems eating and he can barely talk, and has a hard time hearing. so we're currently trying to get a doctor that can look at him and determine if there can be a surgery or not, and what else could be done for it. i told Cheryl, we thought we were going to look at a house, but instead God had planned for another child to come into our hands., we went to the promotion (aka graduation) of karla's oldest son, Jose. he graduated from primary school (6th grade) and afterward, she took us to the house of a child who has cerebral palsy. he's 9 years old and probably weighs around 25-30 lbs. i need to put the picture up that cheyrl took, b/c he is seriously skin and bones. they haven't kept up with his hygiene b/c all his teeth are rotten and need to be taken out. they don't feed him food, only formula (hence why he weighs what he does). he doesn't even have a mattress to sleep on, the frame of the bed is made up of the stuff like the back of rocking chairs (at least the ones down here) and that's what he lays on all day long. they never get him up. he wets himself and since there's no mattress or anything to catch it, it hits the floor and makes the place stink. it really is a pitiful situation. but the problem here with medical conditions is ignorance. they have no clue what to do for these children. and they don't take them to get the help they need, not saying they could get it here, but they don't even try. Magaly was in the same way when Cheryl found her. her family did nothing, they actually crippled her by not helping her learn to take care of herself. before she came, she couldn't eat by herself, dress herself, etc. but now she does all that and more! please just pray for all these that i've mentioned. pray that God gives us wisdom, that his will be done and that we merely join him where he is already working! now for the drama of the week....let's the middle of the week...Eli lit a mattress on fire right outside my bedroom. while benny and pam were putting the panels up in the ceiling, i caught sight of a redish-orangish glow on my door and i go out my door to find Eli with a look of shock while the top of a pile of mattress is on fire. i start panicking and trying to go get some water, and meanwhile, benny got the mattress and got it outside to the yard and stomped it out. if i hadn't caught sight of it when i did, the whole part where my room is could have been on fire!!! needless to say, Eli spent most of that day in his bed. along with Gabby, who apparently told him to flicker the end of the lighter (she had gotten it out of my purse and gave it to Eli).
....then the next night, Cheryl, Pam and I were in the kitchen getting dinner together. the bread had been in the refrigerator and was almost frozen so Cheryl put it into the microwave for a few seconds. well, people down here don't know how to use twist-ties and the bag had been torn and then tied into a knot to close it. so Cheryl didn't think to look for a twist-tie. well, there was one on there and it caught fire in the microwave. who caught sight of it in the microwave? none other than yours truly! everyone is trying to burn the place down and i keep saving it!!! lol :)
...and then the personal drama for me, when we were taking benny, pam, and charlie back to the airport yesterday to go home, we stopped at a On the Run gas station and ate in the little restaurant place on the side. so there are 5 people sitting at my table, and i put my purse on the side of my chair, which was right against me and right beside Luis who was sitting beside me. well, we get up, ready to leave and i go to get a purse that is no longer there! someone stole my purse. if that weren't enough that someone took my wallet, along with that, they got my camera and mp3 player that were also in the purse. i am a little sad when i think about it, just b/c it was my stuff. but, in the end, it was just "stuff". but please pray that whoever it was does not somehow steal my identity! that would be bad...but hopefully i can replace the camera sometime b/c that is my way of showing you all life in nicaragua.
guess that's enough for one very long blog!! i'll try to get some pictures off cheryl's computer of the ones i've mentioned in the blog and get them put up in the next day or so.
much love!