Thursday, November 3

Gifts that Give hope

Want to do something different this year for Christmas?

Check out Lancaster's Gifts that Give Hope Fair, happening November 20th.  Read the below for more information, or click on the link Gifts that Give Hope.

Lancaster’s 4th annual Alternative Gift Fair is an opportunity to give back to the larger community and honor your loved ones at the same time. Instead of purchasing traditional gifts, participants honor their friends and family by making meaningful donations to local and global non-profits while improving the lives of others who are not on anyone’s gift list!
Participating in an alternative gift fair is a great way to make a difference this holiday season. At the fair, learn about the many local, national and international non-profit organizations making a difference in your community and world. Choose from a list of tangible gifts, such as a flock of chicks for a family in Haiti, food for an orphanage or life saving medicine and medical supplies. You will have an opportunity to choose donation items from thirty carefully selected participating non-profits. 

Not only will you be able to make a big difference, but you can enjoy a wonderful blend of food and beverages from Rachel’s Creperie, Café Chocolate, Upohar Ethnic CuisineRafiki's Cafe, Cocina Mexicana, Rice and Noodles, Square One Coffee, Stroopies and Tortina Bakery.

Live items include jewelry from BEAD FOR LIFE, an organization that provides impoverished Ugandan women an opportunity to earn a living by making this beautiful jewelry out of colorful recycled paper. 100% of the proceeds from the sale go to BEAD FOR LIFE. 

Fair Trade Items include Divine Chocolate, Delicious Peace Coffee, Olive Oil from Palestine and a variety of Tea. Fair trade aims to use sustainable business to break cycles of poverty and dependency in the developing world. We all have a conscience, and we want to give people the chance to use it when they shop. 

Wednesday, November 2

How one word changed our lives

He never babbled as a baby.

I remember feeling a tug in my heart, wondering, fearing, that something was wrong.

As the months passed by and I waited, prayed, for a simple "ba, ba" or "da, da", utterings I heard other babies spout so easily, and people waved off my concerns when I had the courage to say them, I continued to wonder, deep down.

When he started speech therapy with Early Intervention, they said, yes, he has a delay, but he's bright, so it won't take long.

Again, the months slipped by, and a word would appear.   Elated, I breathed easier, thinking my fears were unfounded.

Until several days later, the word disappeared, and my hopes were dashed.

After eight months of therapy, the speech therapist mentioned in passing, I think he has speech apraxia.

I nodded dumbly and thought, Okay, he has a speech delay.  She didn't offer an explanation and I didn't ask.  I thought if it was important, she would say so.

Another month passed by, and she stated it again, more clearly, and with more emphasis this time.  This time, I looked it up.

Words like neurological condition, speech motor disorder, special needs, learning difficulties, and intensive speech therapy for years took my breath away.

Maybe she's wrong, I thought to myself.  I looked at the symptoms.  No or little babbling as an infant.  Saying a word and then "losing" it.  A large gap between receptive and expressive language.

Oh no.  I was right.  This is much more than a speech delay. Sometimes I hate it when I am right.

What is speech apraxia?  Basically, his brain has severe difficulty telling his mouth how to make intelligible sounds.  It is a medical condition, not a delay.  Kids with a speech delay would eventually learn to talk. Kids with apraxia will never learn to speak unless they have therapy.

Our 2 1/2 yr old son started intensive speech therapy this past week.  Thankfully, his speech therapist has 20 years of experience with apraxic kids.  This is key, because normal speech therapy measure will not work on our son.  And he will need years of therapy.  She tells me sympathetically that he has a long road ahead of him.  We all do.

What does this mean for our plans to return to Nicaragua?   We don't know.

We have been praying that God would heal our son, remove the necessity of having speech therapy a few times a week and save me the work of running around.

But He has yet to answer our prayer, at least in the way we are hoping.  and we have asked God to show us if we should plan to return to Nicaragua next summer, as we had been thinking.

So far, He has been silent on the issue.

Our family is our most important ministry.  We want our son to be able to communicate. He wants to communicate.  So we will stay until God answers our prayer, either through divine intervention or therapy.

Our future is unknown, but we can have peace, because we know Who holds our future.

Our "baby".   He is 2 1/2 yr old and currently has one word, "momma"

Prayer requests:
Pray that we could have strength to keep up with all the appointments.
Pray for wisdom as we learn how to discipline and work with our son, who understands much but is increasingly frustrated with his inability to talk.
Pray for patience and grace for all of us, as we work through all these issues.
Pray for sensitivity to God's spirit, as we seek to know the next steps.

Tuesday, November 1

a clothes forest

Living overseas in a third world country means we became accustomed to doing without many modern being the dryer. 

Something that seemed so necessary when we lived in the States before, is now....not quite so necessary.

This week our basement looks like the above, a forest of clothes, since we have no dryer and there is snow on the ground...feels like our home in Nicaragua :)