Melanie Gonzalez

Masterpiece Fitness

Last Day :(

So it came to our last day in Colombia. It was a long day and I was sick as a dog. I tried to fight the feeling I was dying all day because I knew my hours left with the precious children of Colombia were coming to an end.

The first place we visited was an Emergency Care Center. When we arrived the children we in the middle of their Praise and Worship for the week I am really sad I missed the praise and worship I heard it was so great and inspirational to watch the kids. But at that time I was trying not to vomit so I was sitting outside with a fellow mission buddy who wasn’t feeling great either. Once the kids were done they came out to the courtyard where I was sitting. And the playing began. It is amazing on how fast the kids take you in and want to play with you. I met a young lady Joanna. She is 14. Joanna almost refused to speak in Spanish. She tried her hardest to only speak in English. Taking my dictionary and looking up anything she could. She was abused by her mother and that is why she was at the center. Joanna was very to the point and showed little emotion. I put my arm around her and at first she was a little surprised and looked at me like she was scared but then quickly began to smile and then would not let me stop holding her or her hand. We didn’t get to stay at the center long after that or at least not long enough. I felt that way about everywhere though. There was just never enough time.

We made our second stop right across the street to a house that houses 26 teenagers who have ‘aged out’ of the institution system. In order to live in this sort of house the kids must go to school full time and work full time. They are very few houses like this so most of the ‘aged out’ children do not have the opportunity to go to houses like this. They are fairly new. This is the type of house Orphan Hope will be opening with the money raised at our marathon February 11.

Our next stop was another emergency care center that housed younger children. The top floor was babies. I got the chance to meet a 5 month old Mirriam. She was a doll! She was small for her age and showed signs of Down syndrome. The director of the house told me she was very ill when she first arrived and that the mother was addicted to drugs. Also in the house were young teenage mothers who were orphans themselves there were also a few pregnant teenagers. Down on the bottom floor there was a lot of rough housing going on with the toddlers. All in all it was a great time. I will not lie, I was trying to think of ways to sneak Mirriam home in my purse the whole time.

We then loaded up in the bus thinking we were headed to dinner and the airport but we got a nice surprise. The bus turned down the alley where Amparo de Ninas is! We were all overjoyed. We were told we only had an hour to hang out with the girls. When the bus stopped in front of the gate the bus driver honked the horn. As we piled out of the bus on the other side of the tall gate you could hear the girls screaming with joy and running to the gate. I was overcome with emotion. That feeling in that moment sums up my entire trip. Hearing the running of the girls and the exciting screams; that feeling is hard to describe. I put it in the category of the feelings I had the day I married my wonderful husband or the two days I welcomed my beautiful children in the world. You feel so honored that these amazing kids would be that happy to see you. And you feel blessed to be there and you feel so small. I really felt like God was just waiting on the other side of the gate for us.

There is no way to describe how I feel about my experience in Colombia. I cannot wait to go back. I pray everyday that God gives me the wisdom and courage to bring about all the changes in myself and my life that he showed me I needed to make while I was there. Any time I now let the petty problems of my life get me down I think about that moment outside the gate of Amparo de Ninas. I know that God has plans for the orphans in Colombia. There will be huge changes in the children and in the country; I pray that I get picked to be a part of those plans in what ever capacity he has for me.

Amparo De Ninas… oh no its almost the end

The Wednesday after we visited the boy’s orphanage 19 children came to visit us at our club. 10 girls and 9 boys. The boys were all from Amparo de Ninos. Jefferson was one of the nine boys so it was really great to spend time with him again. All of the kids wanted to go swimming. So that was the very first activity. You know the saying, “Love is the Universal Language” well I think there needs to be an addition to that saying, “Love and Play is the Universal Language” because let me tell you swimming races and chicken fights need no translation or explanation. Honestly, I did not think we were going to be able to get the kids out of the pool they were having so much fun. But a call for lunch did the trick.

As we sat and waited for lunch a few of the boys started feeling ill. But we quickly identified it was just them being worn out. Being in the pool for about 3 hours and all the excitement was a little much to handle. I tried to remember the last time one of my kids got sick after too much fun… I couldn’t recall a time, and I am sure it has happened. But the reason I could not recall a time was because my kids are pretty prone to having a good time. I think we take things like that for granted. As a parent I strive to give my kids a good time when I can so they are used to it. And these boys were not used to that kind of fun. The day went by so fast. As all the days did you felt like you just didn’t get enough time with the kids.

The next two days we spent at Amparo De Ninas. The first day I right away met a teenage girl, Dayan. She was a spit fire. She wanted to know everything about me and tell me all about her. She wanted to know all about America and told me how she wanted to move to LA, and then she said Orlando. You could tell she was so excited. She had only been at Amparo for 2 months. This was the second time she had been put in an institution due to abuse. But you could not tell she was abused by her glowing awesome spirit.

On that day there was a Quinceanera (15) planned for 8 of the girls. There was a Catholic Mass and then a party. All of the girls were in dresses and everything was decorated. It was really a good time. There was lots of dancing. I even got my son to dance with one of the girls.

I got to meet a young girl who may possibly be adopted by a great friend of mine and that was nothing less than awesome! I will not say much about it only because I know there are rules on what information is public and what is not. And I do not want to hinder that situation in anyway. But if yall could keep all of these kids who are in the adoption process and the families adopting in your prayers.

The second day we were able to take the girls out of the institution into a park about 3 miles away. The park was beautiful. It was really nice to have the girls out and playing. I have to admit I was kind of out of it that day due to some sort of devil cold. That is what I am referring my sickness in Colombia as from now on, the Devil Cold. After the park we once again had to say our goodbyes. I cannot express how hard the goodbyes really are….

Amparo is in the city and you drive down the dirt alley to get to it. I can’t even explain how it looks you really need to see pictures. The gate to Amparo is tall and the brick walls on either side have broken glass as makeshift barbed wire I guess. There is police that patrol the alley with Rottweilers. And in the field next to the institution is a field filled with Rottweiler. It is a very sad and scary looking place. I say all that to say. Telling these smiling spirit filled young girls goodbye and leaving them in that place makes it, if possible, even harder.

My next blog will be about my last day in Colombia. I will also include what I felt my mission was or what God was having me learn.

Church & Amparo De Ninos

The third day we were in Bogota we attended worship service at the church Liliana and Hector pastor at, Comunidad Cristiana Fundamentos. It was such a powerful service. It started with a breakfast they were so kind to make and serve us. The service started with the singing of the Colombian and American national anthems. It was such a great way to start the day. The church was so welcoming. Liliana and Hector’s daughter, Heyli led the music and Matt did the sermon. It was one of those services where you can feel the holy spirit the entire time and you are not ready for church to end when it does.

Jose, the director of some of the institutions joined us for the service and then asked us to visit one of the emergency centers. The emergency centers are where the children are first brought before they are taken to an institution. They are usually not there for long, I think I remember someone saying usually no longer than a couple of months. The particular emergency center we visited was in the city. It housed boys and girls of various ages.

When we first got there the boys welcomed us. They were between the ages of 10 and 15. A few minutes later we could see the girls walking down. The front of the building was entirely windows. The girls were lined up and looking at us. And of course they were all smiles.

But something unexpected happened. I was looking thru the window and there lined up with the other girls were about 3 or 4 little girls. They couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 years old. And I guess for the first time I realized we were not in Colombia to visit only preteens and teenagers but little girls were orphans too. I had to keep myself from being visibly upset. I didn’t have very long because shortly after an entire line of young boys came walking up.

Like everywhere we had been the kids were so excited to be with us. Laura, a girl who was there with an older and younger sister took my hand and showed me around. One of the very young boys once he found out we were from the United States asked if we were from Las Vegas! I laughed so hard. We only were at the emergency center for a short time but it was very difficult to leave.

I didn’t do much the rest of that day. As a matter of fact I took a nap. I was pretty emotionally spent. I spoke with Maddie that evening on the phone. That was even hard. Hearing her little voice reminded me the voices of the children I had spent the past few days with and how they didn’t have mommies to be excited to hear from.

That Monday and Tuesday we drove back into Madrid to visit Amparo de Ninos, a boy’s institution. I have to say out of all 3 institutions we visited I felt the most at home at Amparo de Ninos. I think it has something to do with mothers and sons. The first half of the first day the boys had a huge program for us. They were so delightful and it was said that the boys were not only excited we were there but they had been excited preparing for our visit. Later in the week one of my mission mates, Karen, said something that really tugged on my heart. I am paraphrasing but she said something like she is there for every function her kids are apart of and these boys were excited to put on a show for us and she felt blessed to be there for them and sad they do not have parents to watch them…. I totally just butchered her insight but I hope you understand her point.

After the program I got to know a boy Christian who is 11 and as cute as they come. He was very quiet and sweet. He only told me he didn’t have parents, he nevr explained why. He did say he had an older brother but from the information I got, I think his brother ran away from the institution. We sat together for lunch and his friend Jefferson and another friend joined us. We sat with Kim and a few boys she was with. When they brought our food Kim and I put tried to cut our meat with our plastic knives. When the boys saw hw we were eating they immediately tired to do the same. It was very cute watching them imitate us. What made it more funny was the beef was pretty tough and we were all having a hard time with it. The boys really tried to be polite and cut their meat up. We eventually told them they could eat how they wanted and they all picked up their meat and started gnawing on it. It gave our end of the table a pretty good laugh.

The rest of that day and the next I spent with Christian and Jefferson. They were so easy going and sweet. They gave me a complete tour of the beautiful property and joined me as we all watched cows get milked. When we left on the second day I was sad to leave my new boys but felt a peace about leaving them. I am not sure why I was so at ease to leave. I felt God placed on my heart to really try and see if I could help Jefferson and Christian find family. So any of you out there that have ever thought of adoption you need to call me up I can tell you about some amazing boys!

Santa Maria

The first two complete days we were in Colombia we visited a girl’s institution in a small town outside of Bogota in Madrid. The institution is Santa Maria. I can’t remember the statistics of how many girls live there or their ages. But I can remember their faces. So many smiles, you could just feel the love. When we first arrived some of the girls who have had the opportunity to have visits from OHI teams before ran to our bus and were yelling out some of the boys names. You could hear “Mateo, Mateo!” and “Tyler!”

I stepped off the bus with Tate and I was very shocked to realize the girls were very interested meeting Tate, I was taken aback. It was the first time as a mom I saw females interested in my son. Thankfully Tate is a little too young and in embarrassed to recuperate the excitement. When we first arrived we walked thru the art rooms and the girls had a loud speaker system playing what I could only guess was Spanish pop. They sang and danced as all girls do.

Sometime in that first morning I met Sandra. I can’t even think of the words to describe Sandra. She has a terrific smile and the greatest freckles. She led me around the property my taking my hand. She is 14. My Spanish at the time was not as developed (not that I can use the word developed to describe it now) so I am not quite sure of her exact situation. She told me, I think there was some abuse by family. When she described why she was there she was crying and I wasn’t going to make her repeat her story just so I could know the details. I just hugged her and tried to show her that somebody cared for her. Over the next few days we did a lot of hugging. Lots of playing too, she wore me out! We played volleyball and Frisbee and soccer and basketball….. And in mountain air all of that is pretty hard to do.

Sandra introduced me to some of her friends. One in particular pulled on my heart. A young girl, 14, she showed me her arms were she had repeatedly cut herself from her wrist to her elbows on both arms. Between our broken Spanish and English we talked about how awful that is, and she promised she doesn’t do it anymore. I then found out she had a baby. The baby was one, and she thinks he is in another institution. I didn’t know what to say. I looked over and I could see my son in the distance playing cards with a group. My son, the same baby I had as a teenager he was there with me. I was so fortunate and blessed to have an amazing family and support system I got to keep and raise my baby. And now 12 years later he is with me in Colombia on a mission trip. And this young girl did not have that opportunity and she wasn’t sure where her baby was. All I could do was hug her.

I hugged those girls a lot. I just wanted them to know I cared. The second day I was there, all I could think was how happy these girls were and by my standards they had nothing. We took a tour of the institution by the President of the organization that runs Santa Maria, Jose V. (I am not going to butcher his last name by spelling it wrong) That man has a great heart for the children on Colombia. You can tell he is trying his hardest to make sure the children get everything they need including Jesus.

As much as I cried while in Bogota, I think I laughed twice as much. Being around the children was such a blessing for my heart. Sandra was so sweet and you could tell she was so concerned about me having a good time. The last day she asked me twice if I was going to adopt her. I was so sad I had to tell her no. I made sure that she knew I would be praying for her every day. And now that you have read this blog you have to pray for her, and all the children out there without homes. You thought you were just going to be reading about my trip and now I have roped you into the cause.

Saying goodbye that day was probably one of the hardest goodbyes I have ever been thru. It was sad because I am not sure what the future holds for Sandra or any of the girls at Santa Maria. It was sweet because in two days a group of girls without families showed me just how important love and support is in life. Every child deserves love and support and I can only hope that I God uses me to show that to children who do not have it.

Do not worry & My Daddy Busker

Well hello, or hola! Blog has not been updated in a while but considering the past 11 days I have had, I have a lot to say. I am not quite sure how to start or how I will possibly be able to tell you all everything that happened but I am going to try.

Tate and I left last Thursday, for our trip with Orphan Hope International to Bogotá, Colombia. We did not know too many people we joined on the trip. We knew David Attaway and I knew Matt Bullen but other than that we joined 40 strangers to a strange place one continent away. I very soon realized just how amazing the 40 strangers were and how blessed we were to be in their company.

Another realization I made early on was the purpose God had for me to be on the trip was not what I thought it would be. I thought I was going to Colombia to love and hug on orphans. I thought that I would some how be a blessing to children, and once I was done I would be able to pat myself on the back. Well the very first day I knew right away that my life as I had been living it was not all God wants for me. Frank that first ride back from St. Maria Institution shared with me his vision of helping the children around the world. I told him that I felt like God had great plans for our fitness ministry, Masterpiece Fitness but I was scared to take the plunge. And then he shared Matthew 6:25

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink: or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”

WOW! Jesus himself told me not to worry.

The whole week I was gone, I knew God was preparing me for big things. I am not sure what those big things are, but I know I need to be ready.

It would be so much easier if I was still on the mission trip. It is a lot easier to know what to do and be in God’s will when you are surrounded by 40 Christians and you are doing God’s work. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed this morning when I woke up and realized the only reason I had to get up was to grocery shop. So I am asking you all to pray for me as I figure things out and not worry about all the unimportant things.

You might be disappointed I did not dedicate this blog to stories of the amazing children in Colombia. I promise, you will get them all this week. J

As many of you know. I lost my Grandfather the week before I left for Colombia. My Daddy Busker was my Dad’s dad. He was a great man, and I wanted to share the stories I read at his funeral for you all they will give you a glimpse into the man he was”

William Busker went by many names: William, Willie J, Bill, Daddy, Daddy Busker, Busker and when Gramby was mad it was Will-um!

For a brick layer he had the softest hands. He would constantly say that he was uneducated and not very intelligent but he knew everything about anything. He was tight with his money, until you needed something, he’s help out anybody, give you the shirt off his back.

His hair was always perfectly combed and his clothes pressed. He taught us all to camp, fish, drink and all about the stock market. His smile was amazing and his laugh incredible.

Daddy Busker was a mountain of a man. He meant so much to each of us, and we could all tell you thousands of stories about him. When we decided we would all write down our favorite story of Daddy Busker, John Walsh said it best Daddy Busker IS a story. Here are a few stories we would like to share.

From Deborah Jo – Oldest daughter

One year for our annual Easter camping trip Daddy was in charge of firewood. Of course he did not BUY any wood, he picked up boards and wood off the side of the road somewhere.

When he threw the PAINTED wood on the fire the multi colored sparks were beautiful until we all realized the smoke was full of toxic fumes!

Daddy was never allowed to be in charge of the firewood again. Our annual camping trips will never be the same because our “Wagon Master” is gone.

From Jim – Son in law (Deborah Jo’s husband)

Back before Jo and I weren’t married but had moved in together. William had never really talked to me at all and really didn’t know anything about me.

We showed up for a party at Sham and Kirk’s house where William was holding down a conversation with some people by the pool. When we walked up to him he said to the people he was taking to, “You remember my Daughter Deborah Jo don’t you?”. Of course they said “Yes”.  He suddenly got a little uncomfortable when he realized the people were waiting for him to introduce me.

He kind of stuttered a little bit and said “Oh and this is Jim Finlay. He’s Deborah Jo’s, uh, uh, uh………..company”. From then on whenever he introduced me to anyone I would say “Pleasure to meet you. I’m Deborah Jo’s company”. It never failed to crack him up.

 

From Kerry – Granddaughter (Deborah Jo’s Daughter)

Daddy Busker always wanted the best for his family.  Gramby and Daddy Busker have always been there for me, through thick and thin…and those of you who know me in this room today know that there was a lot of thin!  

There are many fond memories of this incredible man and I wish I could share them all.  One of my most recent fond memories is when I married John in 2008 I asked Daddy Busker to walk me down the aisle.  He proudly accepted and said it would be an honor. 

I will never forget standing there as our wedding party was walking into the church and Daddy Busker looked at me and said, “Kerry girl, you look beautiful” as he patted his hand on the small of my back very gentlemen like. 

He stood tall and proud that day and was serious about his responsibilities.  As we stood there waiting for the church doors to open he said, “Which foot would you like to start with and would you like to hesitate between steps or just walk?” 

He wanted our walk to be perfect and it was.  I have been blessed to have my grandparents be such a huge part of my life.  My Daddy Busker was one of a kind.  He will be greatly missed and I love him so very much! 

From John – Grandson (Kerry’s husband)

When I first became a part of this family five years ago, it did not take me long to see that Busker played a big roll in the way this family was shaped and molded. 

 The first time I met him it was apparent that his family values were important.  An example of his devotion to his family & friends was camping for forty plus years that created memories which will never be forgotten and traditions that will last forever.  And I feel truly blessed to be a part of his family.

 

From Jeremy – Grandson (Deborah Jo’s son)

 

Busker like to call me Good Time Charlie and when we were camping we sat up around the fire all hours of the night like we were best friends-at least that's what it felt like to me. 
 
One year, late at night Busker tripped and fell into the fire. I saved him from the fire and after I realized he was ok I told him, “Not sure if I was ever in your will but I'm thinking I'm a shoo in now,” he just laughed.
 
Afterwards he was so worried about his coat being melted-and I'm positive it was at least 30 yrs old.

 

 

From Carrie – Granddaughter (Jeremy’s wife)

From the very beginning Busker made me feel like one of his own. Coming from a family with very few close family ties, the Busker clan has showed me what it truly means to be a family.

Through the years, William Busker created and headed a wonderful family full of love and support and it’s a truly rare and beautiful thing to behold. I was blessed the day that I became a part of his family. I loved him very much and will miss him always

 

From Sham – Daughter

I know everyone thinks my daddy was tight with his money, but when I was 16 mother was going out of town for about a week and daddy didn’t want to drive me back and forth to my little summer job, so he just bought me a car instead.  Worked for Me!

There are so many wonderful things to say about my daddy.  He was a loving and giving man.  He taught me so much about life and how you are supposed to live it.   He loved to share stories about the old days and he never met a stranger.

The most important thing to him was his family and I AM his Little Berry.   Since I was a little girl, I enjoyed spending time with him and playing games.

Daddy down on all fours while i rode on his back bucking and making horse noises.   Camping was my favorite.  Fishing, hiking, playing dominos till all hours of the night.

 I loved dancing with my daddy.  Ask mom, he was as smooth as they come.  He was more than a dad, he was my friend.   Breaker One Nine, It’s your Little Berry over and out !!!!!

From Kirk – Son in law (Sham’s husband)

I could write a book on the memories I have with Willie J, but I guess I will start wih the most important one, the first time Willie J came into my life.

It was about 27 years ago when I went to pick Sham up for our first date

I knocked on the door and Willie J answered with a pistol in his hand (he said he was shooting bad guys on TV), it still scared the daylights out of me, he looked me up and down and said “dang, your bigger than the other boyfriends” broke into a smile, stuck out his hand, and said William Busker come on in. That was the first and almost last date I ever had with Sham.

Willie J taught me a lot about life. About camping, guns, travel trailers, how to make the best waking sticks, and if it was broken don’t buy a new one, just rig it up…. It will work just fine, and many other things, but the most important thing he taught me was about family and friends. Willie J loved his family dearly and always put their needs before his own.

If there ever was a situation where you could really have two fathers in life, this was it.

Willie J, I love you and I miss you.

From Zach – Grandson (Sham and Kirk’s son)

He was always there, willing to listen. He had a new story every time I talked to him. He was a rock, as good man as they come. A man who always put his family first and loved us so very much. I miss you so much Daddy Busker, we all do.

From Tyler – Grandson (Sham and Kirk’s son)

Daddy Busker attended my football and baseball games. I loved when I would do something good and Id look in the stands and see a huge smile on his face. Even after bad games he smiled and told me, great job. I am going to miss that.

 

From John Thomas – Grandson (Trey’s son)

When Gramby and Daddy Busker where gone during the summer, Daddy Busker would always ask me to make sure his lawn was mowed while he was gone and of course I would say yes, what’s a couple hours a week during the summer?

 Well, I would always forget until my Dad told me they would be coming home in a couple days and I would freak out and run the mower down the street to get on it…… Of course the grass would be damn near a foot tall and a 2 hour job would end up being an all day affair.

Then eventually I’d make it over there after they would get back and Daddy Busker would ask how many times I cut it. I never lied, I always said I almost forgot and mowed it right before they got back but he would always pay me for 2 or even 3 times.

The last few years since I’ve been gone, just about every time I walk into the house he always offered me a drink. Did a couple times, thanks to him I actually like Kaloha. And every time he saw me he would always say he was glad to see me home and healthy then hand me some money and tell me to buy a burger or something on him……. Who makes a $200 burger?

 

From Melanie – Grandaughter (Trey’s Daughter)

My favorite times with Daddy Busker are just the times he spent with me. From teaching me how to fish, or telling me stories from the old days. He knew how to make me feel so special.

I can remember once when I was a little girl, he took me to the bank to get into one of his safety deposit boxes. I remember walking into the bank and EVERYONE told Daddy Busker “Hello Mr. Busker” I remember thinking, Man! My Daddy Busker is so important, everyone knows his name.

 I don’t remember what he was getting from the deposit box or if he was putting something in. But I just remember feeling like I was the granddaughter of the most important man around.

This past November my dad was in the hospital and Daddy Busker and Gramby were with me and Debbie as we waited for test to be done. We were sitting in a hospital waiting room and Daddy Busker was flipping thru a magazine, when he asked. “Hey Mel, what do you know about this Retenol stuff? I have seen a few commercials about it and I want something that will get rid of a few age spots on my face.”

I could not believe this 80 year old man wanted to get rid of age spots. I wanted to laugh, but I answered him as seriously as I could because I knew he was seriously asking the question.

 

From Eloy – Grandson (Melanie’s husband)

Daddy Busker could never get my name right. I was either Elroy or Leroy and not ELOY my actual name. After a while, we all stopped trying to correct him. So he would call me Leroy, and I would say’ “No sir, it’s Leroy Brown” and he would always get a kick out of that.

 

From Tate – Great grandson (Melanie and Eloy’s Son)

When we would go camping, Daddy Busker always took me down to the fishing pier to “fish” for treasure. He had a large magnet tied to a long rope and we would drag it on the bottom of the lake and pick up stuff. We would get pocket knives, name tags and coins. I appreciate he took that time to sped with me.

 

From Maddie – Great granddaughter (Melanie and Eloy’s Daughter)

My daughter is only 4 and is not sure what is really going on. She knows her Daddy Busker is going to live with Jesus in Heaven but I don’t think he understands what great memories she will miss out on not having him around.

But I think if she did understand, her favorite memories of Daddy Busker would be all the jewelry he has given her.

Maddie is a little shy around people. Even with family, at family functions it takes her a while to warm up to everyone. Over the past year or so, Daddy Busker realized that if you give her jewelry she would warm up real quick. So at every holiday or family function he would always have a little something for his Maddie Girl.

These have just been a few of our favorite stories, there are so many more to remember and be shared. At this time if anyone else would like to share a Daddy Busker story please feel free.

Thank you all for being here, and celebrating the life of my Daddy Busker.

2120 to go….

Colombia is getting very real, we have received our passports and we are starting to collect money. Between the awesome donation from the church and the loving donations from friends and family we are $520 away from our first payment due Monday 25th and only $2120 away from our total! We are so thankful to everyone who has helped out. If you still want to donate scroll down and click the donate button. Love you all! Now I’m going camping ;)

Mission Trip Update

Hello everyone. I want to thank you all for your support that Tate and I have received over the last few weeks. Everyone has been so encouraging. We are very excited about our trip. I just wanted to give everyone an update. Our first payment of half of our trip plus our deposit will be due on Monday April 25th. So we are busy asking for donations… in case you have not figured it out, this is me begging for money :)
On April 30th we will be having a garage sale at our church with my Sunday school class. All proceeds from the garage sale will be going to Tate and my trip and also a great guy in my class, David who will be going on the trip. I will be sending out more info on the garage sale shortly. But if you want to start cleaning out your closets so you can donate to the garage sale I would be grateful!
If you feel led to donate to Tate and my trip I have set up a pay pal account to accept donations. Any and all donations would be appreciated.


Over the last week or so Eloy has been speaking Spanish to Tate and me at the house. So there is a lot of “Huh? I have no clue what you said” and “I understood clothes, but I don’t know what you want me to do with them.” I am sure we sound very funny, especially Tate and I trying to roll our R’s. This is going to be a great experience for Tate and me. I suspect it will be life changing for Tate. Honestly, I just can’t wait!
Thanks again for all of your Love and encouragement,
Mel

Mission Trip

AS some of you may know I have a very good friend Jenn who is in the process of adopting a 15 year old girl from Colombia. Through this adoption I have learned many things about the orphans in Colombia and let me just say it’s not great things. Over the past few weeks I have collected, with Masterpiece Fitness, feminine products for young orphan girls in Colombia and let me tell you; it was a great success! I cannot wait to get the picture of all the products we collected all together; the pile was described as 3 feet high and 5 feet wide! Unbelievable, thanks to all of you who helped out.

This past Sunday, Matt Bolen, the founder of Orphan Hope International spoke to my Sunday school class. (He is also the man who had the pleasure of taking all of those feminine products to Colombia) After hearing him speak I felt like I needed to do more. So June 16th my son, Tate, and I will be leaving for Colombiafor 9 days with Orphan Hope International on a Mission Trip. While we are there we will visit 5 or 6 orphanages, to share the Gospel and we will do crafts, sing worship songs, play games and many other fun activities with the children. One of the main reasons we will be going is to show love and affection to children who NEVER receive it otherwise. After the age of 5 the hope of a child getting adopted goes to pretty much nothing. And in a place like Colombia, the future of these non adopted children is pretty bleak. 60% of the girls who “age out” of the orphanage will go into prostitution and 70% of the boys will become criminals. Yes, very sad. I think that is the statistic that that got me. I can’t imagine being a young child and knowing that I had a 60% chance of becoming a prostitute. I can’t wait until I get to Colombia and hug all of those children and I can only hope and pray they will feel our love. This is all happening very quickly, and I really can’t believe I am doing it, but I am. Tate is equally excited, my sweet boys said, “I want those kids to know they are special, even though they do not have anything.”

 In preparation for our trip we are going to be fundraising. Our total cost will be $3200.00 ($1600.00 apiece).  I am still in the process of organizing fundraisers but I want to ask all of our friends and family, if you would like to donate to our mission trip. Tate would like me to tell everyone, he will offer up any services he can do, yard work, walking dogs whatever to try and earn money for his fees. We would appreciate any contribution anyone gives. I do not have any kind of fancy donation page, so any donation would have to be done like old style fundraising with checks. I will be updating everyone thru my blog how close we are to our goal. 

 More than monetary donations that we would appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers as we prepare and of course when we are in Colombia. Thank you all for your time! Here is the link to the Orphan Hope International web site if you would like to check it out, they do lots of great things, and you might find something you want to get involved in.  http://www.orphanhopeintl.org/

March 30, 2011

8oz Coffee = 2

2tbls Creamer = 60

Sugar = 30

I cup Oatmeal with fruit & Honey = 290

Breakfast Total = 382

 Chick Fila Char grilled Chicken Salad = 180

Buttermilk Ranch = 160

Lunch Total = 340

 Pot roast with Carrots and Potatoes = 350

Dinner Total = 350

 Fage Yogurt = 130

Snack Total = 130

 Daily Total = 1202

March 29, 2011

8oz Coffee = 2

3tbls Creamer = 105

1 Truvia Packet = 0

I cup Oatmeal = 200

1 tbls Butter = 100

Brown Sugar = 70

Breakfast Total = 477

 Chicken Salad & Fruit = 400

Sweet Tea = 35

Lunch Total = 435

 2 corn tortillas = 110

3oz Rotisserie Chicken = 170

2 tbls Basil Pesto = 35

Fetta = 40

Dinner Total = 355

 Fage Yogurt = 160

Snack Total = 160

 Daily Total = 1427