Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Progress in Heart & Home

This spring and summer has held more than enough to do around our house. With gardening and other outdoor projects our whole family has been kept amply busy! But most of all we are endeavoring through these activities to grow our characters. So here are a few pictures to update you on our progress. :)

Planning the landscaping attack!

Team Mason prepares the garden beds

Hanging baskets for Mom and Dad's anniversary
The lone pond enthusiast! :)
A garden carved out of the forest - literally!

Some of our first veggies!

Garlic scapes
They're ripening!
Hauling hay... top of the pile!
Rock pathway in the works...all hauled by hand

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Adios Honduras!

Our intention to post a final blog on our experiences in Honduras got lost in a blur of "life" that met us when we arrived home in Idaho, not to mention the fact that we left our chief "blog specialist" in Honduras. (We miss you Glesni, for SO MANY reasons!) Thanks to Kiera, we share a last collage of  memories.

I gaze out the tinted pickup truck window at the sights of Honduras for the last time as we attempt to dodge the abundant potholes that line the road to the airport. Fruit stands boast their colorful array of produce as we lurch over the numerous, and sizable speed bumps that make their home in nearly every village. Along the way, we also pass people wandering the streets trying to make a livelihood selling various items. Small houses interspersed with the occasional large one crowd the roadside. Some with only a blanket to cover their doorway and a leaky roof and others with a sturdy door and bars over their windows. My eyes don’t want to stop feasting upon the beautiful, lush, scenery that surrounds me. I long to stay here in the place I have called home for the last six weeks, a place where I hear the echo of my name being shouted as I walk across the orphanage campus. But I know also that I need to return home. The friends I have made here have etched their way into my heart. Memories flood my mind holding little hands, smiles uncontainable, a water fight while cleaning the visitors’ kitchen floor, playing soccer with bare feet in the dark, and so much more! 

Yet at the same instant reality hits home, as we pull into the airport parking lot. People, speaking a language different to my own, bustle about the airport as we check in our luggage. Before going through security we briefly stop by the Baleada Express for one last treat. Yum! Definitely a hit!:) As we enter the departure area we hear over the loud speaker, “Robert Mason, please make yourself known.” Dad is required to supervise an additional suitcase search, while the rest of us proceed to our seats on the plane. Dad arrives a little while later, much to Mom’s relief. The complication was due to Andrew’s harmonica! For the second time his harmonica has been cause for inspection. Not sure why, considering one is lodged in my backpack as well! Thankfully it was not any great matter. 

The flight to Houston gives me time to reflect. One thing that strikes me is the sheer poverty that abounds. Families endeavoring to eek out a living in the mountains, whose houses are the size of our living room, who have minimal possessions, and have to walk a distance for their water. Poverty surrounds these people while I live in luxury by comparison. And sometimes, even yet, I am not content with the blessings I have, and desire more. But actually I need less stuff, less of myself, and much more of Christ. Because I realize when Christ takes control of my life, He will take out my emptiness that causes me to crave more, and replace it with something much more fulfilling — His love that causes little children to have that infectious joy!

Helping the "Tile King"

Andrew welding a rack for cafeteria trays

Afternoon activities

Distributing school supplies

Making kites

Baleada experimentation

Painting the cafeteria rack

Monkeys in their new home

The view from Cielito

Monday bread baking

Sharing clothes 

The ride back down the mountain!

Adios Honduras!

Monday, March 11, 2013

You should…

If you haven't ever ridden in the back of a pick-up truck while bumping over crazy pot-holed roads, you should…

If you haven't ever forced yourself to take a freezing shower at 4:30am on an equally freezing morning using a bucket, you should…

If you haven't ever been surrounded by people talking a language foreign to your own, you should…

If you haven't ever experienced the inexplainable beauty of uncomplicated third-world life, you should…

You should.


Life has taken a little different turn for me. I am still in Honduras while my family is back in the States. Spending an additional five weeks here was not on my horizon at all when we arrived back in January, but my God loves to work out unimaginable possibilities.

So I'm here spending time absorbing knowledge from a midwife while helping in a local hospital, learning new cuisine from my Honduras friends at the only vegetarian restaurant in the country, and helping five precious children in a tiny mountain school (among other things).

I'm learning to an even deeper degree, that true life is a life of service—and it's a life I love.

And when God gives you an opportunity, regardless of what it is, you should too…

Part of the outpost that I call home right now
Students and teachers

Their beautiful organic garden

Some of my friends… :)
Morning view
The restaurant, La Canasta de Vida

One of my friends in the hospital

Monday, February 25, 2013

"My" Casita Kids

There is so much I could tell if only I had the time… At least I have my faithful journal to remind me later of all that is transpiring. But I want to give you a little glimpse into the lives of a few of my friends on this campus—especially at the Casita.

The Casita is a lot of things in a small place. In the Casita are kids who are at the orphanage permanently, and kids who are only here temporarily—usually because of malnutrition issues. When I first arrived here there were 17 kids in the Casita. There have been transitions even since I've been here though.

Two cuties, Nixe and Micol, were able to return to their parents two weeks ago. It is especially thrilling to see kids reunited with their parents since for so many here that isn't possible.

Noe was scheduled for surgery while we were here only to have it postponed indefinitely because of a slightly stuffy nose. It was disappointing because as soon as they do surgery on his eyes, he can return to his family.

Melanie is also at the Casita because of malnutrition issues, but she is looking really good and can hopefully return to her family soon.

Genesis left the Casita permanently to live in the Hogar (girls dorm) which she was excited about.

Ramon has had severe malnutrition issues in the past. They are working to help him gain weight. Because of his traumatic history, he is not talking although he is almost six years old.

Erwin just arrived last week and is missing his family. I've made friends with him and am trying to help him adjust to life here.

Nayeli, Arturo and Gisel are the cutest little "family"that have absolutely stolen my heart. I would adopt them if I could. :) They are permanently at the orphanage because their mother can't take care of them.

Kevin, Migel and Yeferson—true bundles of energy—are always imagining some new way to play, and despite the occasional squabbles, they are a lot of fun. :)

The five babies, Jesus, Berlin, Jose, Fernando and Loany add lots of extra noise and lots of smiles too. :) I believe they are all here permanently also, but I'm not positive.

I have been privileged to love these kids and spend time with them almost every day. They each have a special place in my heart. I'm going to miss them all tremendously…

In the mornings I usually assist my new friend Vanessa with a little preschool that she does for the older Casita kids. Starting two weeks ago, however, Kevin, Migel, Arturo and Nayeli are in the "real" school, so we mainly have the little ones. I have also spent time with Clarisa, Rosa, Rosita, Lily, Hadasah, Yeny, Alejandra, Diana, Jeimy and other girls here. I love them all. I just wish I could stay with them all longer, but I'm thankful for the opportunity that I've had.

It makes me think of the verse in Matthew. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." And my "inasmuch" doesn't only apply to these faces here in Honduras, but to everyone, everywhere whose lives touch mine.

May I ever remember to reflect Jesus…






Nayeli and Gisel
Lily and Yeny


Alejandra, my violin "student" :)