Meeting the New Girls

It was two weeks ago today that we were informed we would be receiving 4 teenage girls and a baby boy into Casa Hannah. The girls (Kayla, Carole, Anahi, and Joceyln) range in age from 15 to 17 years of age. We were introduced to the girls via Skype and the girls all seemed very nervous not knowing what to expect. We had a trip scheduled to go down on January 31st and stay through February 5th giving us a chance to build relationships with the girls. Some of our other girls were in school but I was excited to be greeted by Kenia and Abigail with awesome hugs.

As you can imagine our new girls were still stand offish not knowing what to expect. We met the girls in person and introduced the group to the girls. A few minutes later I received a call explaining two more girls were on the way. God's divine intervention made this possible. The two newest arrivals (Maria and Andrea) seemed excited to be in our home and hugged some of the girls as they knew each other from Casita (a govt run orphanage). It made the transition a little smoother as Maria and Andrea were more engaging with everyone from the group. 

As the weekend unfolded we were trying to hire a new house mom and get the girls to engage with each other without having a lot of drama. If you have raised daughters, you understand that teenage girls and drama go hand in hand. One would think we would have a ton of drama because of the number of girls, their backgrounds, not knowing what we expect, and just life situations in general, but the drama was not overwhelming. We hired a new house mom and told the girls how we were going to separate them. That conversation went well with all the girls, but we ended up switching one girl from Casa Hannah to Casa Ruth. The only problem was the girls were ready to get started in their houses and we had to get the one house ready to move in which would take us a couple days to get ready. We painted, fixed plumbing and lighting, and were ready for the move to Casa Ruth. 

Because the girls all have different traits and personalities, blending them into a family was both awesome and difficult as we tried to figure them out. All our girls have had difficult lives and have done an AWESOME job overcoming diversity, if I can even call it that. Many of them have been abused, physically, sexually, and mentally by people that they should have been able to trust. Little girls should be able to trust their moms and dads. I don't know how these girls are able to trust any man with what some of them have endured. It breaks my heart. It breaks my heart. One of my goals is to show them that they are princesses and need to be treated as such. 

When we first arrived, some of the girls had rough exteriors, not wanting to let anyone in. As the 4 1/2  days that we spent with the girls came to a close I saw transformation happen before my eyes. One of the girls that has great leadership potential had built walls to protect herself. Her rough exterior at times was to protect herself from being hurt and letdown by yet another person that said they cared. We were able to see glimpses of her real personality during the week. God used the church services on Sunday and Tuesday to begin a work that I believe will help her and all the girls be redeemed and restore their hearts and minds. We have an awesome local church there that accepts our girls where they are at and helps them get to where God intends them to be. Thank you CCR church!!!

Some of my highlights from the week. 
Catching chickens. OK the girls caught chickens and tried to show me how but it was still awesome even though I was a complete failure at it.
Birthday Party. Pinata's are always awesome in Honduras. How can you not have fun at a birthday party.
Piling in Honduran style to the mall. Building memories with the girls just by riding in a van and walking together as some had never been to a mall or a movie. 
Being duped by Carole and Anahi. Anahi was peeling a mango and was separating the pit from the mango. Carole talked me into trying the pit which she told me was good. Of course I believed her but I was instantly over the basket spitting and wanting to wipe my tongue with sandpaper. It got a smile out of Anahi who had a really rough day, so it was worth it. (Please pray for her daily as she is in her 6th month and is spotting)
Church service on Sunday. Bonnie preached and many people went forward but more importantly for me many of our girls went forward and we were able to pray for them as God surrounded them with his love.

Keith Barker