Psalm 34:8

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

Monday, October 19, 2015


Yesterday was an amazing Sunday.  It was the kind of Sunday that you wish for when you go to bed on Saturday night -- a peaceful one spent with people you love and enjoy.  It was the kind of Sunday that carries you through the rest of the week.

Yesterday before dinner, I spent about an hour sitting in a rocking chair outside of Casa Verde, overlooking the valley view that is so familiar to me.  It is one of the most beautiful views I know.

As I sat, I spent some time reflecting on this year and I thought to myself, "How did I get here?"  Do you ever have those moments?  I laughed to myself as I thought, "Only God could have done this, and it is beautiful."

So many changes have taken place since I first stepped foot on the property of the Good Shepherd Children's Home in January 2012.  Over 3 and a half years later, my life is drastically different from what it was then.

But the children I loved back then have also changed.

Children who once came up to the top of my stomach are now taller than me.  Boys' voices have dropped.  The little girls I played make-believe with underneath kitchen tables are now gaining new, curvy figures and preteen girl attitudes.

It is amazing to watch their lives unfold.  And I get to stop and look back on it with such gratitude in my heart that God would allow me to live life with them.

I get to be their teacher, their friend, their mentor.  I get to spend Sunday afternoons with them -- being silly and playing games and making memories.

Oh, what a privilege this is.  I love my job.


A few months ago, I did a Time-Lapse project.  I gathered some pictures I took during my first trips in 2012, and I had the kids help me re-create them.  It is so interesting to see what has and hasn't changed in 3 and a half years.  I have loved seeing those changes, and Lord-willing, I am excited to see more in the years to come.

Lester -- Then: 10 years old.  Now: 14 

Jennifer Yolany -- Then: 12 years old.  Now: 16
Armando (my Honduran BFF) -- Then: 13 years old.  Now: 17
Me Then: 20 years old.  Now: 24
Casitas -- Then and Now

Brother and Sister Lily and Lester -- Lily Then: 5 years old.  Now: 9

Jorge -- Then: 13 years old.  Now: 16
School Stage -- Then and Now
School Basketball Court -- Then and Now

School Flag Pole -- Then and Now

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Downside

There are so many great, picture-worthy, make-you-smile moments that happen every day in my life here in Honduras. And in the day's hustle and bustle, I have probably started to take them for granted.

-- A child unexpectedly putting his little hand in mine as we walk from point A to point B.

-- A girl reaching her hands up to me, to give me a wildflower she just picked.

-- Laughing with the teenage girls over silly, teenage girl things.

-- Hugging children “good-night” before I head to dinner.

I truly love my job, my co-workers, and the kids I serve. They are a blessing. These experiences that I get to have are a blessing.

But there is a definite down-side that is painful to deal with for anyone who lives here – kids, tias, missionary staff.


We live in a home for children whose parents either cannot or should not take care of them. Many of these kids have been here for over a decade – for the whole part of their lives that they can remember. Other kids came when they were older children or teenagers – they remember what life was like outside.

This is their home for now. And this is our home for now. We get to love them. To hug them and to kiss them. To speak Jesus into them.

But we don't stay here forever, and neither do the kids. We don't know how much time we have with them. Every day is a gift.

Sometimes the kids leave, and oh, it breaks my heart when the opportunity to love them is taken from me.

In the 3 ½ years that I have been involved with Good Shepherd Children's Home, I have seen many kids arrive. I have been able to literally hold babies as they ride across the “threshold” of GSCH for the first time. I have been part of the welcoming committee for wide-eyed children who don't know what is in store for them at this new, strange home with new, strange, white people.

But I have also seen many kids leave. Kids whom I have loved. Kids whom my heart has cried for and been burdened for. Even as I write this, tears are welling up in my eyes.  This reality is heart-breaking.

I still think about those kids. I see their empty desks; I miss their energy in my classes; I miss their hugs. I miss knowing exactly where they are. I miss being a part of their lives. 

Even when I know that a child is going to a better home (with their parents, with a different children's center that can provide for their specific needs, etc.), it doesn't take away the hurt of knowing that I will no longer be able to see them and know for sure that they are okay.

It is the worst part of living here. But it forces me to know that God has a plan and that he will never leave them or forsake them.  That is really the only thing I have when a child leaves -- my faith in my God, who is always loving us, always watching over us.

 For weeks, my Elementary Music students have been learning a song called "God is Watching."  They have been singing it loudly and proudly during Monday Music class, and the lyrics say this:

“God is watching, watching over you.
Twenty-four Seven. Watching over you.
Your life is in His hands, Woah Woah.
He's got great big plans,
'cause He's watching over you.”

I pray that this truth will stay with my students for the rest of their lives -- that no matter where they go, they can remember the time Ms. Bailey taught them that God has a plan, and he is always watching over them.  While it is hard to let go of children that I love, I am so comforted by the fact that here on Earth, they can never go where God is not. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Crisis of Time


Kevin, a first-grade boy, came up to me after lunch yesterday. He wrapped his little arms around my waist and rested his head on my stomach. As I hugged him back, he looked up at me and asked in his cute, Honduran, first-grader voice:

Why don't you come visit me more in my casita?”

He has asked me this before. Each time I smile and say that I will come soon. And I try. But time often gets in the way.


A couple of times a month, I am asked this question:

Bailey, will you give me piano lessons?”

Every time I hear it my heart sinks. My response is always, “If I had all the time in the world, I would love to give you piano lessons. But unfortunately, I can't.”


Last night, one of the North-American teachers walked home after a particularly difficult night. He was physically and emotionally exhausted. He had just spent hours with the children at the casitas, helping with some difficult questions and circumstances.

After sharing his heart with those of us who were in the room, he made a comment:

And if you walk up to the casitas right now, there will be at least 10 kids who are mad at me because I didn't spend enough time with them today. I feel like a one-man band. I can't do it all by myself.”


I live on the campus of a children's home that currently houses over 100 children. Of those children, 74 are my students. There is not possibly enough time in the week for me to spend quality moments with each child. And as a result, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and overworked.

I feel burdened for the hearts of these kids. I want to spend time with them and to know them each on a deep level. I want to visit each of them in their casitas, but I can't.

It is a crisis of Time.

I get up, I teach, I spend time with kids, I go to dinner, I go to bed. That's about how each day goes.

I think the most rotten thing about Time is having to choose.  

Do I to spend my hour before dinner with the teenage girls or with the younger boys? Do I choose to give English lessons to a woman who eagerly wants to learn, or do I lead a bible study with the teenage girls who are hungry for God's word? Do I spend intentional time today with the girls or with the housemothers or with my fellow teachers?

It seems impossible to choose. But somehow I do.

As I laid in bed last night thinking about the Crisis of Time, a verse came to my mind.

Matthew 9:35-38
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'”

I am quite sure that Jesus felt like a “one-man band” at times. He was surrounded by sheep with no shepherd – by people who were hungry for truth, but he couldn't possibly see each of them. There wasn't enough time. So he trained workers, and he sent them out. Then his workers trained more workers who trained more workers, and so on.

It is a privilege to be a worker for the Lord here at Good Shepherd Children's Home.

While Time often overwhelms myself and my fellow workers, I am reminded that God is the one who will bring the harvest at its proper time. We are only seed-planters and seed-waterers. God is the seed-grower. 

And I pray for a plentiful harvest.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Real Talk

I love my job. I love my students. I love my kids here at Good Shepherd Children's Home.

I have been here for 5 months now, and my time for this year is halfway over. That is crazy to me!  As I look back on the past 5 months, I am content. The Lord has grown me and shown me His purpose for me. I feel useful to His Kingdom here at the home and at the school. 

I have had some amazing conversations with some of the girls about their faith, and I have talked with them about some hard questions.  I know that nothing in their hearts will change because of me. I am a Seed-Planter and a Seed-Waterer. God is the Seed-Grower. 

Can I get an amen?

I am content with how the first half of the year has gone.  But I am also evaluating my time and my efforts, and I know that I can do better.

I have been obedient in many of the things God has called me to, but I know that I can be obedient in so much more.

While I am here as a full-time teacher, my ultimate purpose on this earth is not to teach Music and English. It is to teach about the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.  Because I love them and desire the best for their lives here on Earth, I want them to have a great education -- and I hope that I can provide a well-rounded education for them in Music and English classes.  

 But I want more for them.  I want to prepare them for eternity, too.  I want to help them grow in their relationship with their Savior Jesus, because that is what will stick with them long after I am gone.

Yesterday, as I sat outside Casita 3 with some of the teenage girls I love, I started a conversation.

“I will give someone a Coke if you can tell me the Gospel.”

“What?” They asked, smirking.

“Do you know the Gospel?” I asked them. “If you can tell it to me, I will give you a Coke.” I replied.

Each girl promptly began her best attempts to win the contest. Each answer contained truths, but incomplete truths. 

One girl said, “The Gospel is when you tell others about Jesus.” Yes, I replied, but what IS the gospel that you tell them?

“It is that you give your life to God and he saves you.” Yes, but how?

“The Gospel is that Jesus died for us.” Yes! But why did Jesus have to die?

All of their answers were so familiar to me, because I used to be in their shoes. I knew a lot about Jesus and about the Gospel. But I had no clue how to present it to someone else. 

Once we had established that none of the girls could give me a complete presentation of the gospel, I asked them another question – still offering a Coke to whomever could tell me the answer.

The Question: Why did Jesus have to die?

(This is a question that I didn't understand for a long time, so I wanted to know if they understood.)

“To save us!” Yes, but why did he have to die to do that?

“God said he had to die.” Yes, but why? What was the purpose?

“So we could go to heaven.” Ok, but why did Jesus have to die for us to go to heaven?

Oh, how I sympathized with them! I could feel their curiosity growing as they searched their brains for an answer. Finally, on Yolanda's umpteenth try, she said:

“Well, in the ancient times, the Israelites had to kill lambs to wash their sins away. But now we don't have to do that, because Jesus came.”

She came the closest to a full answer, so I gave her a high five and told her she'd won the Coke.

Then I told the girls the Gospel.

We are sinners. Every one of us. There is no one that can say “I have never sinned.”

(Actually, one of the girls tried to tell me that she never sins. I promptly reminded her that she had lied to me just that morning.)

We lie; We treat others badly – whether in deed or in heart; We are prideful, we are selfish, we are rude. So often we want nothing to do with God. Because we are sinners.

And our sin deserves death.  (As I tried to quote Romans 6:23 “The wages of sin is death” to them in my imperfect Spanish, I accidentally said, “The glue of sin is death.” That gave us all a laugh. Then I moved on.)

Something has to die for our sin – something has to pay the penalty, and it should be us! The Israelites had to kill animals for their sins, yes. But it still wasn't enough. They were counted righteous by their faith.

But here's what happened. God sent Jesus, His son. Wholly God and wholly man, all at the same time. He never sinned, but he gave his life as the final sacrifice for all of us sinners so that whoever believes in him and puts their faith in him will have eternal life. We get to wear His righteousness, so that God looks at us on Judgement day and sees His Son.

Jesus died. For you, for me.

Then guess what? He rose to freaking life again! Why? Because he is God – and he lives for us, Interceding on our behalf before our Father in heaven. What a Savior.

I am leading a Bible Study on Friday with the older girls to answer their questions about the Gospel and to help make it more clear to them. I see myself in their confusion. I grew up being told about Jesus, and so did they. But like most of them, the Gospel didn't become real and personal until I was in high school and college. God used some special people during that time of my life to speak God's Word into my heart, and I pray that I can bring some of that clarity into their lives.  This is discipleship. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

When Love and Law Collide

I am a teacher on the campus of a children's home.

I live, eat, and play with my students Every. Single. Day.

I love my students so deeply.  But wanting the best for them causes problems, and I'll give you an example.

I first met Nohelia in 2012, during my first trip to the Good Shepherd Children's Home. 

I did nothing to reach out to her, but she clung to me without relent – literally clung to me. If I had a free hand, she held it. She used to wrap both of her arms around my waist and not let go. But I grew to love Nohelia.

Exhibit A:  My second trip in 2012 -- I had to pull her arms off of me so I could walk.

A few weeks ago after church.

 Fast-forward three years.

I am now living at the Good Shepherd Children's Home, just a few minutes' walk from Nohelia's house.  I have invested a lot of time into Nohelia's life, and our relationship has grown so much. 

She normally walks me to my classroom everyday, hugs me the moment she sees me, and stays at my hip.

Her bible teacher told me that when he asked the class to write down their favorite thing to do, Nohelia wrote, “Play with Bailey."

One of her roommates told me, “You know, Bailey, to me you are Nohelia's mom.” I told her that “sister” is a little more accurate and appropriate. A few days later, Nohelia came up to me with “Nohelia Wenger” written on her forearm in permanent marker. This girl had literally branded herself with my name.

Why? Because she loves me and considers me to be a part of her family – or rather, considers herself to be a part of my family. 

This is where things get tricky.

I am no longer just the “sister” who comes over to play. Now I am Nohelia's teacher, and I have to be fair in how I treat her as my student.

In the classroom, my love for her and my desire to make her happy doesn't matter. I have to give her objective grades, and the law of my job requires that I treat her the same as my other students.  There are rules that she must follow in my classroom.  And if she doesn't follow them, she has to deal with the consequences.

The problem is that Nohelia hates English class! She doesn't participate. She doesn't speak. She refuses to put forth an effort to do what she is supposed to do in class. And I finally had to lay my foot down.

On Monday, I gave Nohelia a bad report (this is the discipline report in our school for bad behavior), and she got mad.  It is Saturday, and she still hasn't spoken to me.

Nohelia doesn't understand that my disciplining her does nothing to change my love for her.  In fact, it is out of my love for her that I discipline her.

I want to see her thrive and succeed and be happy, but I have to be just. If I gave her good grades for sitting idly in class with a bad attitude and little participation, I would be a lousy teacher. And she would never learn to be a good student.

As a teacher, I have to discipline her when she does wrong – those are the rules, and they are in place to protect her and grow her into a well-rounded young lady.

But it sucks. 

Because now the girl I love – my student, my friend, my “little sister” – won't speak to me. 

She runs away from me; She refuses to listen to me; She won't even look at me.  And it hurts my heart.

As I walked back from lunch on Thursday – trying not to cry – I was reminded that this is how God feels about us when we choose to run from him. 

This is what happens when Love and Law collide.

How often do I find God's law unfair, unnecessary, and optional? How often do I put on a stubborn face and a stinky attitude, because I don't feel like being the person he wants me to be?

But the truth is that God wants the best for us. And he knows what the best way is – His way. 

But instead of understanding that and following him, we run. 

We don't look at God, we don't listen to his nudges on our heart. We refuse to pay any attention to his calling out to us.

And it hurts God. Because he loves us so much.

With Nohelia, I can feel just a taste of how God loves me. Love is a powerful feeling, but along with love comes a desire for the best. I want the best for Nohelia. So I will try to guide her in doing right. 

But oh, how I will mourn this stage of her straying.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The "Martha Moment"

Do you know her? Her name was Martha, and she knew Jesus. Yes, she knew him, and she loved him with all of her heart. One night, she invited him to her home for dinner, and I can promise you that she had a plan.  However, . . .

Something went wrong. 

Maybe her bread burned as she hand-placed each vine of grapes onto her finest silver tray. Maybe as she tended to her burned bread, the meat began to overcook. And as her anxiety started to rise, as frustration and disappointment seeped in, she bent her head down to cry, only to notice that her visitors had tracked dirt and mud all over her spotless dining room floor.

All I wanted was to make a perfect dinner for my Lord. She cried, tears dripping off of her chin. Why doesn't my sister help me? Should I have to do this all by myself?

Yes, Martha had a sister. Her name was Mary. And while Martha cooked and swept and labored, Mary sat. She sat at the feet of her Jesus.  

And when Martha asked Jesus if he cared that her dinner was going down the tubes while Mary just sat and did nothing, his response was, "Martha, Martha.  You are worried and upset about many things, but only one is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her."  (Luke 10:41-42)

Hello.  My name is Bailey Wenger, and I am Martha. 

 I love my Jesus, but it is hard for me to be still when there is work to be done, mouths to feed, a table to set. I love my Jesus, but it is hard for me to sit at his feet. Am I alone in this?  I ask myself, Why will no one help me? Should I have to do this alone?

And just like Martha, I ask my Lord,
Don't you care that they have left me to do the work by myself?

But rather than send help, my Lord calls my name.


But I'm too busy. I don't stop to listen. So he calls my name again, this time a little louder.

And I stop.

You are worried and upset about many things. But only one is needed.” He says. “Sit at my feet.”

But, Lord. There is work to do!

“Sit at my feet.” He says again.

I was reminded of this passage of scripture today as I had one of my “Martha Moments.” 

Like Martha, I had a plan for my day, and I had looked forward to it all afternoon. My plan was to cook yuca (cassava) fries. I had all the ingredients, I had prepared my recipe, and I had thought about it at least 104 times. Not only was I excited to try this new recipe, but I was also excited to share it with my fellow teachers. It was going to be a fun little afternoon project, or so I thought.  However, . . . 
Something went wrong. Then another thing. Then another thing.

I walked into the kitchen to see a pile of dishes on the counter beside the sink. I saw a stove top that was covered with splattered oil from Saturday night's breakfast-for-dinner.  Then I noticed the hundreds of ants crawling all around the sink.

One thing led to another thing, which led to another thing.  Yes, I was frustrated.  But I am a Martha.

I can handle this. I thought. As long as I still get my yuca fries.

I put dishes away. I cleaned. I sprayed Raid (a girl's best friend). And finally I was prepared to cook.

As I made the first slice into the yuca, my heart sank. It was rotten.  What was supposed to be a beautiful white yuca root was speckled with green and brown rot.  I reached for the other piece of yuca. It was rotten too!

I didn't yell.  I didn't cry.  I didn't say anything. I threw the yuca away, washed the knife, went to my room, and crawled into bed. I was frustrated by the dishes, the dirty stove top, the ants, and the rotten yuca. As I laid on my bed, I asked, Why, Lord? I had a plan. This was what I was doing today. I had a plan!

And into my disappointment, the Lord whispered, “Bailey, Bailey. You are upset and worried about many things. But only one is needed. Sit at my feet.”

I didn't even know what that meant, but I knew what he wanted me to do. 

Now that my plans for the afternoon were ruined, I crawled out of bed and made the 5-minute walk to the houses of the Good Shepherd Children's Home.  My first stop was Casita 5 – the older girls.

I walked in, and I sat.

I talked with the girls as they ate their dinner. We laughed together and joked together, and before I left Stephany looked at me and said, “Bailey, I like it when you come to our casita.” I like it too, I told her. A few minutes later, I heard my name being called from Casita 3 – the younger teen girls.

I walked to the bench outside of their house, and I sat.

Nohelia walked up to me, laid something in my lap, and ran away. I immediately knew what it was. It was the embroidery project that she has been working on for weeks. Until today she wouldn't let me see it. I saw first the white lace that she had sewn around the beige cloth. Then I saw the red rose and the green leaves. Then I saw the words. “Amigas, Nohelia and Bailey.” (Translation: Friends, Nohelia and Bailey). I melted. I gave her a hug and told her how much I love it and how much I love her.  

Then the girls and I walked to the soccer fields together, and we sat.

I sat as Kristhel braided my hair. Then I braided Kristhel's, Oliveth's, and Heysell's hair.

As I braided each girl's hair, I asked them questions.  “Tell me about your life. What do you believe about Jesus? What have you been thinking about lately?” Most of them didn't give long answers, but I loved spending that time with each girl, individually.   If I had made my yuca fries, I would have missed it all.

As the sun began to set, I stood up to leave.  

The Lord whispered.  Don't you see that this is better?”  

And I answered, Yes, Lord.

Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I am a Teacher. I am a Learner.

When I have a conversation with a States-side friend or family member, I am usually left very encouraged.  Everyone is so uplifting to me.  But I can't help but to often feel that their idea of my life here is sometimes different from reality.  I am living in a place that I love, yes.  I am surrounded by children I love, yes.  I am doing God's work, yes.  But it is not all peachy-perfect.  I love what I do, and I love teaching my students Music and English.  But I am learning just as much as they are.

I am a first year teacher.  I make mistakes.  I have a lot of moments where I stop and think, "The way I am teaching right now is not working, but I don't know how to fix it."  There are moments when I have to finish what I've planned for the day, knowing that it did not work.  There are times when I try to teach a grammar point, and I fail to explain it well.  It is hard to realize that sometimes I am the reason that my students don't understand their work.  I have to stop multiple times in the week to re-evaluate my strategies.  I have to tell myself, "I know that was a flop.  But what can I do next time to make it better?"

I am a teacher.  But I am also a learner.  Yes.  I have tough moments.  But I also have those moments a teacher longs for.  I have moments when a student who is usually quiet and reserved chooses to participate.  I have moments when my community students finally start to understand and enjoy learning English.  I have moments outside of class, when my students come up to me speaking Spanglish.  These moments are what I look forward to each day! 

Let me tell you about some of these moments . . .

English Classes

Students Becoming More Comfortable with English

Many of my students are embarrassed to speak English.  They may understand fluent English, but they are too shy to speak it.  Lately, I have seen wonderful improvements in these students' desire and ability to speak.

1) Eliza is a student from the Home that I had trouble with last year.  She sat in the very back of her 5th grade class and refused to talk or participate.  This year she is like a completely different student!  She volunteers not only to write things on the board, but also to answer questions out loud.  The class did skit presentations last week, and she smiled the whole way through -- something that she would have dreaded last year.  I am very proud of her.

2) Johan is a community student.  He is new this year, and he knew no English when the school year started just 5 weeks ago.  I remember the first couple of class periods.  He sat in the front of the room and said nothing, because he understood nothing (I try speak only English in my classroom).  But something clicked in him during the second week of classes, and he started to love English!  He blurts out answers, and even when they are wrong I don't mind.  I know that he is giving a good effort! 

Johan is on the right.  He drew himself and his classmate, Luis, on his paper and wrote, "Johan is taller than Luis.  Johan is stronger than Luis."  They were both laughing so hard at this.
3) Oliveth is a girl from the children's home that has a lot of deep issues, but she has been getting better.  She and another classmate have been very disrespectful and insubordinate in my class.  But one of the other teachers, Sara, told Oliveth that if she behaved in English class, she could have a marshmallow.  I would have never expected a marshmallow to make such a difference in her behavior!  On Friday, Oliveth walked into the class and immediately started preparing for the presentation she had to give that day.  I helped her a little bit, and she did great during the skit!  I have underestimated the effect of a marshmallow.  Ha!

Oliveth is on the far right.  She laughed her way through her presentation, but I was proud of her and the rest of her group.  These 3 students rarely behave or participate, and they all stepped out of their comfort zones for the presentation.

Skit Presentations

My 5th and 6th grade classes did skit presentations last week, and most of them had a lot of fun!  I know that it can be hard to stand in front of your peers and speak a language that is not your own, but each student pulled through and got a good grade. 

Here are some pics of the skits:

Music Classes

Lower Grades

My bilingual students (K4 - 4th grade) have been learning the song, "Children of the World."  When we had class on Monday, they kept asking me, "Can we do the Children of the World song?"  I had to assure them that we would do that at the end of class.  It was so sweet to hear their little voices singing, and to see their hands raise up and down as they did the sign language that went with the song.  It made my heart happy.   I also brought my guitar to school and sang "This is the day that the Lord has made" in both Spanish and English with them.  My 3rd and 4th grade classes will sing it on Wednesday during the morning assembly. 

Upper Grades

The 7th through 9th graders have enjoyed learning how to play the cup game.  My 9th grade class, especially, has gotten good at it!  I am excited to introduce them to Boomwhackers this week.  Boomwhackers are plastic tubes that are tuned to a scale, so you can play music by hitting them on your leg, your hand, a table, etc.  It is also a great color-coded, visual representation of the musical scale.

All for now!



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Week One Done!

It is hard to believe that I am already in my second week here at Good Shepherd Christian Academy! 

Let me tell you a bit about my classes!

Music Class

Before school started, I was very nervous about teaching Music.  I want Music to be a class that my students look forward to each week, but I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make it fun for them.  How wrong I was! 


The Bilingual grades (K4-4th grade) have been learning a song called "Dios Nos Ama" (God loves us).  The kids LOVE this song.  Many of them have approached me outside of class to sing and dance the "Dios Nos Ama" section of the song.  If they get nothing else out of my class, I hope they will always remember this song that says God loves them.

My 9th grade class is learning how to count rhythm, and at the end of class one day I divided them into three groups.  One group tapped quarter notes on the table, another group clapped half notes with their hands, and the last group tapped sixteenth notes on their legs.  It was UBER-simple, but they were so excited to be making "music" together!  One of my students from the community -- a teenage boy named Ruben -- leaned back in his chair and exclaimed, "Que lindo!" (How cool!). 

English Class

English class has gone well, so far.  I have resolved to speak all English in my classes and to have my students speak all English.  Since my students come from both the community and the children's home, their levels of English-fluency are varied.  The children from the home understand and speak a lot of English, while the community students understand almost none.  It has been a challenge to find a way to bridge the gap between the home kids and the community kids, but I am learning!


I have a new 6th grade community student named Johan.  At the beginning of the week, he said almost nothing, and it was clear that he didn't understand anything that I said.  By Friday, however, he was volunteering to write sentences on the board!  I was very proud of him, and I am glad to see his excitement to learn English.


I have been trying to build relationships with the older girls in Casita 3 and Casita 5.  I have found that one key to their hearts is movies.  We watched both One Direction movies a couple of weeks ago, and the other day I took my movie case to their Casita and let them choose one.  They chose my favorite movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  I was more than happy to watch it with them!

I hope to start some bible study time with a few of the girls very soon.  I am looking for girls who want to learn more about God's Word.  I would appreciate wisdom in what to teach them.

So long for now!

With love, 



The sunsets here are beautiful.  I walked outside a few nights ago to try to capture it with my camera . . .

This is where I live, with 6 of my fellow teachers!  We share rooms -- each room has a bedroom and bathroom.  

This road is right in front of our rooms.  We get to wave "Hola" and "Adios" to anyone who passes by.  The trees you see in the background are Orange trees -- they come in handy for afternoon snacks!

One of my 5th Grade students, Henry, writes a sentence on the board.

Yolanda, one of my 7th grade students, works on Math homework.  She needed my help with long division.

My lunch buddies

Another lunch buddy -- Josselin. 


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

FOUR "Little Things"

Once every couple of days here, something happens that I don't want to forget. It's usually nothing major.  Just something small – the way a child laughed at something I did, a meaningful conversation I had with one of the teenagers, etc. There have been a couple of those "little things" lately that I wanted to share.


There are 6 new siblings here at the home, and I have had the opportunity to bond with one in particular – her name is Mercy. Mercy is very quiet but incredibly sweet, and she is coming out of her shell more and more with each passing day. When new children come to the home, I often try to make a point of reaching out to them. So from my first day here, I tried to foster a relationship with Mercy.  A couple days ago, she ran up to me and latched herself onto my leg. I had to figure out how to walk with this new little thing latched onto my side!  She is precious, and I pray that I can speak God's love into her heart during my 10 months here. 


One of the other new siblings is named Errykson.  He is 11 or 12 years old.   As I was standing in the lunch line one day, a young boy (little Fernando) walked up to me and tugged at my shirt. 

“Bailey?” he said.

“Yes, Fernando?” I replied.

Fernando pointed to Errykson, who was in the front of the line. “Errykson – the new kid?” 


“The new kid, over there. . .  The one wearing the hat and the dark shirt?” Fernando wanted to make absolutely certain that I knew to which Errykson he was referring. I assured him that I did.

He continued, “El dijo que usted es bien bonita."  Translation:  He said that you are very pretty.

I couldn't stop myself from smiling. “Thank you!” I told Fernando. Then, the little messenger walked off to communicate my “Thank you” to Errykson. For the next few minutes, all of the boys around Fernando and Errykson started smiling and looking over at me.  It was funny and cute, and it made my heart happy.


My next "Little Thing" happened while I was in town Sunday with the teachers.  We were all in a store, shopping for various supplies we will need for the next 10 months. I was walking down an aisle when a young boy (maybe 13 years old) said in English, “Hello!”

“Hi!” we replied, not paying much attention.

“Are you the teachers that live in Zamorano?” he asked. 

“Yes, we are.” I assumed that he had talked with one of the other teachers in the store (We stick out with our white skin). 

“Oh, ok! My pastor live in Zamorano,”  He said.   His English was very broken, but I love meeting kids like him around town -- kids who are learning English and are happy to find a North American to practice with.  I did not expect his next question, however.

“Are you Christians?” This question made me pause, then smile.

“Yes, we are!  We love Jesus!”  I replied.

Now he was smiling.  He touched his hand to his heart and nodded his head, affirming, “Oh, yes! Me too.  Jesus is my Lord!”

“Good!” I replied, happy to meet a little brother in Christ.

“He is a good Lord!” my new young friend added, still touching his heart.

“Yes, He is a good Lord!” I smiled.  How wonderful it was to meet a young boy in love with his Savior Jesus!


One morning after I had finished my breakfast, I was walking around to each table, saying “Buenos Dias” to all of the kids. Helen, one of the teenage girls, called me over to her table. Before I go any further, let me give you some back-story on my relationship with Helen.

When I was here for the summer in 2012, Helen and I became very close. We enjoyed spending time together, and when I left, we wrote letters back and forth. Unfortunately when I returned a few months later, I neglected to greet her as warmly as I should have. I was caught up in greeting all of the other children, and when I saw her, both of my hands were occupied with children leading me away somewhere. I smiled at Helen and said, “Hola!” I should have stopped what I was doing and given her a huge hug. But I didn't, and it hurt her. Since then, we have not been close. 

When she called me to her table, she asked me, “Bailey, are we still sisters?” 

“Yes,” I replied, not understanding why she was asking me this.

She wasn't satisfied. “No, I am asking you. Are we still sisters?”

I thought for a moment, still not comprehending.  “Yes, why not?” 

She laughed, and grabbed my hand. “Ok, because I found your letter.”

Then it clicked. She was referring to the letters we wrote to each other 3 years ago! We had called each other, “Hermana” (Sister).

I smiled. “Yes, we are sisters. And I still have your letter, too!” She grinned, and we hugged. It felt good to reconcile that friendship which had been strained for so long. We spoke about some other things, and when I left their table, I told her, “I'll see you later, sister.” She laughed and nodded.

These little things mean so much to me. Each little moment with a child fosters a relationship that opens up a door to share with them how much their Father loves them, and how much He wants a relationship with them.   I pray that these little moments become relationships of discipleship. Will you join me in prayer?

Pray for open doors to share God's love with these children.

Pray for God's guidance in finding specific older girls to disciple.

Pray that I can build relationships with the Tias (house mothers) and Honduran teachers.

Pray that the language barrier will cease to be a barrier.

Friends, thank you for your prayer. Thank you for your financial support. Know that through these things, you are making an eternal impact on these children and this country.

With Love,


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Good to Be Back

I am finally settled into my room here in Honduras! I arrived on Saturday with 6 visitors from my church (Getwell).  I have enjoyed tagging along with them, and they have all been so encouraging!

The other teachers arrived on Tuesday, and we were able to move into our rooms that night.  It is so nice to get settled back into our “Home Sweet Home.”  It feels right.   I'll give you a picture of the world around me at this moment:

I now sit on the floor of my bedroom, with the door open on my left side.  The sun is the only light I have in my room, and it is perfect.  I hear and feel a soft breeze blowing, and I hear the other teachers' occasional conversation as they sit just outside my doorway – reading, knitting, napping. . . 
This is definitely one of those calm moments that come every so often. Once school begins, many of us will be busy, and these quiet, peaceful moments will be much less frequent.

We met this morning at the school to see our classrooms, receive our schedule, and go over a few details about the year.  Some of us were a little overwhelmed, but it is so nice to finally see the reality of all that we have prepared for during the past few months.  Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare for the start of the year.

Picture time!

My view from the plane as we flew of over the capital, Tegucigalpa. 

The team was able to play in the game room with the older kids. This is a priviledge that the kids don't get to do often. So they had a lot of fun!

The team also helped to clean out some new classrooms. Cristian Joel enjoyed using the shop-vac to clean the walls. He was very thorough!

David, a team member, showed a few self-defense moves to the boys. They loved it!

This is Emilson. He and his twin brother Norlin came to the home a few months ago, and I was the lucky gal who got to hold Emilson in my arms on the drive from the child services building to his new home here at GSCH.

 Emilson and his twin brother Norlin:

My new classroom!  It has a long way to go!

This sweetie is one of 6 new siblings that arrived to the home recently. Her name is Mercy, and she is precious. My heart breaks at some of the horrible things she has gone through, but I am so happy that she has a safe home now. She will grow up learning about her Savior Jesus!

Hasta Luego, Amigos!