GIVINGAt Thanksgiving here thinking back over this fading year, we stand in awe at God’s ability to preserve, protect, and provide.

Just a few of the blessings we are thankful for:

Andrews University School of Architecture and Design’s 15 graduate students who are working on a Master Plan for our 100+ acre campus that will strengthen our mission: “Breaking the cycle of poverty and ignorance through nutritional rehabilitation and education.” For 40 years our village has been pressing in on one side and in the last 5 years it has engulfed us. Praise God for creative expertise! Read the rest of this entry »

Dilia and her mother, the day she came to the Casita Feliz

La Casita Feliz – the heart of the Pan American Health Service Nutritional Rehab Center – is decorated for Christmas. On the wall is a mural where Santa Claus is pulling a sleigh filled with presents… except these presents are the photo of each of the 32 children who are patients receiving nutritious foodand tender loving care. What a precious gift each childis!

This Christmas is a particularly special one for Dilia – the most fragile patient to be admitted to Nutrition Center in 2013 – it will be her first away from her family however it will be a happy one regardless, for she has received the gift of life and restoration of health. In her short 13 years this very small teenager has experienced the extreme effects of hunger in ways that few can survive. Dilia arrived at la Casita Feliz on October 31, 2013 having been referred to the PAHS program by another nutritional rehab program in the city of San Pedro Sula.

Dilia’s medical treatment had begun sometime in late September when she was admitted to the acute care government hospital in the city with third degree malnutrition – extremely swollen and bloated by the protein deficiency in her body. Additionally she was profoundly anemic and presented with a parasite infestation. Worst of all the nutrient deficiency had an effect on her neurological health and she had cerebral atrophy and the motor and verbal skills of a one-year-old baby. The medical personnel knew she would need long-term care and they eventually found placement at PAHS.

The irony is that Dilia’s struggle for survival was waged on the fringes of the most prosperous city in Honduras – its industrial capital, San Pedro Sula – on the edges of the river where thousands of families, seeking a way out of extreme poverty, gather in hopes of finding a better life for themselves and where in many cases their misery grows instead of dissipating.  Such is the story of Dilia’s mother, a woman who collects plastic bottles and aluminum cans from the garbage to sell in order to have money to feed her three daughters. She relates that many days she would return home empty-handed and experience the pain of watching her children suffer hunger pangs just like herself.Dilia smiling after two weeks in our Campus

To make matters worse Dilia suffered from a speech impediment and although she had been referred to therapy which was free of charge her mother could not manage the logistics of transportation when she could barely feed her children.

One month after her arrival at the PAHS Nutritional Rehab Center in Peña Blanca, Dilia – who had been getting around in a wheelchair – took her first steps unaided. The love, good food and motivation received from her caretakers have made a profound difference in her life. Her mother came to visit shortly after Dilia started walking. Hardly able to believe what she was seeing her eyes filled with tears as she repeated: “She’s walking”.

Dilia’s speedy recovery is miraculous and a joy to behold. Perhaps soon she will be able to be more self-sufficient and be able to enjoy a childhood which hunger has stolen from her.

“Mommy, I want a baleada,” (the Honduran version of a “burrito.”)

“Mommy, I want to jump on the trampoline.”

“Mommy, I want juice. Mommy, I want candy.”

I looked down into the faces of 6 little girls surrounding me at their school Open House. Instead of feeling annoyance at the whining sounds directed at me, I felt pure joy!

Our family was just finishing up a month of volunteer work supervising children’s activities at the PAHS campus. We had become acquainted with the children when we came as part of a volunteer building team months before.

Why was their whining sweet to me? Because you cannot whine with that intensity at someone you don’t love, someone you are not 100% sure loves you back unconditionally. Their whines meant one thing to me — they truly meant “Mommy” when they called me that!

People ask me, “What do you do in Honduras?”

They want to hear about some amazing building project, a medical/dental clinic that helps hundreds of people a day, or at the very least an energetic vacation bible school in the evenings. These important activities God has called others to do. What He called our family to do is very simple and may seem unimpressive….to model and provide the love of family and a home for these beautiful children who are separated from their own parents and homes for a variety of reasons.

No, it is not impressive. It is not the type of calling that fills one with pride in the re-telling of mission stories when returning home, but it is a calling of deep joy and immense satisfaction: I am called here to be “Mommy.”

Our days are filled with homework, applying band-aids accompanied by hugs and kisses, attending school functions, fixing healthy snacks, playing — and just plain being there. We have had many children sitting around our table at night, learning (hopefully) manners and how a family functions in a home. We have been able to enjoy the normalcy of life…baking a cake to take to a class party, watching “our kids” play soccer, seeing “our kids” in the school program, talking to the teachers to know what is happening at school and how the grades are going. No, it is nothing extraordinary, but it is the very “ordinary-ness” of it that makes it so special. Sometimes God’s greatest gifts come in very simple packages….and that is what He has given us here in our Honduras home.

“As far as lies in your power, make a home for the homeless,” Ellen White reminds us. “Let everyone stand ready to act a part in helping forward this work. The Lord said to Peter, ’Feed my lambs.’ This command is to us, and by opening our homes for the orphans we aid in its fulfillment. Let not Jesus be disappointed in you.”

I am honored that God has called us to serve by just being a family.

I am honored to be called “Mommy”.

 

I had the opportunity to attend the Convention of Adventist Services and Industries (ASI) in Sacramento, California this past August. I witnessed how God continues to give food and support in these times of crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Friends —

With grateful hearts we are celebrating the 50th Holiday Season for Pan American Health Service in Honduras. Nestled near the shores of Lake Yojoa, our beautiful campus remains surrounded by the Hunger Haunted Hills filled with treasures — Something of Value — lives of precious children rescued from hunger and abandonment. The challenge is being met with your support! Read the rest of this entry »

For over half a century, the Pan American Health Service has been devoted entirely to the physical and spiritual care of children in Honduras. Our physical focus is specifically for children afflicted with malnutrition. This disease is a pathological condition that is the result of lack of food intake and excess metabolic expenditure. The end result is the physical consequence of starvation. Read the rest of this entry »

The  Honduras government is on alert due to the dengue epidemic that has been driving down the country in recent months.

The numbers of people infected with this disease surged in recent weeks due to constant rains that have hit these days have helped to increase the deadly mosquito breeding sites. Read the rest of this entry »

“Mommy, where’s my dad?” It’s the question that day by day five-year-old Max asks his mother Lola, one of the 15 single mothers who seeks refuge at PAHS. Lola simply evades her son’s question and changes the subject. Just like she did, her children are growing up without knowing their father. Four decades ago, at the age of two, Lola came to our children’s home. She was not malnourished or sick, but her mother did not have the resources to sustain her. Lola was always characterized as a devout and responsible lady. She finished her high school and received the opportunity to study at Unadeca, the Adventist University of Central America located in Costa Rica. Read the rest of this entry »


You can write to us at:
Pan American Health Service , Inc.
PO Box 888
Keene, Texas 76059

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