“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”.


Keny sees a world that is completely different than what most of us perceive. His reality has given him much bigger obstacles with a higher degree of difficulty than most of us have. Why? The circumstances of his birth took him to a group that is different, and special. The innocence of his condition helps him to see the good side of life in spite of his condition. Read the rest of this entry »

On September 15th Honduras celebrates their independence day with a parade. From the beginning of the school year, the independence day celebration is one of the most anticipated dates in the year for our children. The anticipation begins to build in August when, with much excitement and practice, they prepare for the big day. They prepare by wear colorful and stylish costumes and practicing their marching and folk dance skills. Those who play instruments practice for the marching band which performs in the parade. Read the rest of this entry »

Marathon FC And Our ChildrenAs Hondurans, we share a great passion for football. Now, the World cup it´s taking place in South Africa and for the second time in our history, Honduras had the opportunity to participate. Our children also love football, that’s why we wanted to please them with a special visit on Thursday. The football players from Marathon, which is a team of first division in Honduras, cordially agreed to come to the institution and learn about our work in benefit for malnourished and homeless children. Read the rest of this entry »

Wendy Now And Then

Wendy Now And Then

By Nelly Leiva*

I still remember the first day I saw her, it was two years ago. She was nine years old. And what called my attention at that time was her big smile. She looked very happy although she did not have any hair it has fallen up because of her malnutrition. Wendy´s family brought her to Pan-American Health Service because of her heath. Wendy´s interest was to study, she refuse to go home with her family because she wanted education. She had been denied going to school.

Later, in that day I met her, I listened that she had anemia and simultaneously was undernourished, but despite of this, she wanted to attend to school, covering her head with a small hat. She had a purse for her books, she began to attend classes. Her greater dream became reality. She was the older girl of her class, she persevered to become one of the best students, and she did it, obtaining very good grades. Now, two years later, Wendy was moved from the “casita feliz” where she received medical treatment to the girls dormitory. She is my new roommate.

Read the rest of this entry »

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