Friday, June 20, 2008

Coming Home...

Well, my last night has creeped up on me and tomorrow I prepare to say my final good-byes...

Tonight I was in the kitchen with one of our younger boys giving him his asthma treatment before bed when all of a sudden I felt myself overwhelmed with the idea of not being here the next night to say goodnight to these kids or the next or the next. Tomorrow night I will find myself back in Friendswood...far away from Roatan and far away from these precious, mischevious children. I tried to stop it as the tears started forming but before I knew it I was balling in the kitchen, Kerry just staring at me helplessly as he held up his asthma mask that covered his nose and mouth. "What's wrong," he asked. "I'm just sad because I'm leaving," I said. "You don't have to leave," he said..."you don't want to leave." "I don't want to leave Kerry but I have to..."

I'm feeling the only emotion one can feel when they say goodbye to a place and people they've grown so fond of and fallen so in love with...I'm sad and I'm going to miss these kids a lot...

Thank you again to all of you who have supported me in this journey with finances, prayer and support. I wouldn't have been able to make this journey without it and I thank you all for providing that. Sunday at Ecclesia Clear Lake we will be showing a video that Alison and I made while she was still down here and talking a bit about our time here..I'd love to see whoever can make it there that night to watch it..Church starts at 6 pm..just email me if you would like to attend and are unsure of location..I'd love to see you there and talk about my time here or feel free to contact me on my cell phone-832-231-5177

Peace & Love,

Friday, June 6, 2008


This has been a sad week...Ryan and Taryn left on Monday and Lucia left us yesterday. I had a child like breakdown after Lucia left...I wasn't really breaking down over her departure in particular but rather an accumulation of emotions that hit all at once. I'm starting to understand on a very small scale what it must be like for the children to have people here leave them that they get so close to. It's not my first or last experience with having people I love, care about and grow used to having around leave but it doesn't change the fact that it's hard. It's part of life and I'm not sure it gets any easier. We are called to be relational people as we are sons and daughters of a realtional father..but their is no guarantee how long those people and relationships will last and be present. Saying goodbye may be one of the hardest things to do and it doesn't necessarily mean that person is countries apart..sometimes we say goodbye to people who are physically very close and even worse far away in other ways...anyhow, enough of my spill on goodbyes...

Today I have mainly been parading around our youngest, Jeffrie, who cracked me up for most of the time I was with him. I wish I could properly describe these kids. They are all so unique and full of so much personality that I feel my descriptions don't due them justice. The funny things I catch each kid doing at various time creates a constant source of entertainment and laughter. I'm quite confident I have never laughed so much as I have in the past ten weeks or been so amused by a group of children. One of our younger boys was playing with the puppies the groundkeeper's dog had and as he held the puppy as if he was a tiny infant he tapped me on the arm to make sure I was watching the puppy and him as he anounced, "Look the puppy is looking at me cause he thinks I'm cute." Then he proceeded to tell me to be quiet so he could rock the puppy to sleep...

As usual I hope all is well back in H-town! My parents, sister, and brother in-law come to visit the island one week from yesterday and the kids and I are very excited about the visit! I look foward to showing them around this place I now call home...

Peace & love,
Naseem :)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dear God...

Tonight I got owned in a mud fight. Actually, that's been the past three days now. The rain has come pouring down on Roatan and we've taken full advantage of playing in it. Some of the younger kids don't know how to play properly i.e. throwing mud in the eye and the older boys took full advantage of getting to beat the girls up..they didn't hold back at all. I got thrown down and nailed down to the ground more times than I can count..mud pushed all over my face and in my mouth..they were ruthless! I think I will have mud caked in certain parts of my body for weeks to come. All that said I have created some amazing memories the past few days. Tonight after the mud war six of us went down to the ocean and swam in it to clean off. The sky was lighted up by the storm headed our way and it was glorious even though I cried like a little baby going down to the beach because I was scared of the dark and the nasty, barking dog. All the children, except Sarah who starts real school Monday, will be home for next few weeks for summer break. I'm preparing myself to lose all remaining sanity! Also, as of Thursday we will be down three more volunteers. Our amazing Canadian couple leaves us Monday and Lucia heads home to Houston on Thursday. Leaving Brett, Tonya, Scotty, Leslie, and I here. Cutting our work force nearly in half from what was...

Three weeks from today I will be back home in Houston. It's so weird to think about. This place is home to me now and these kids feel like part of my family. I can't even began to grasp what it will be like to walk out the doors of this place on June 21 and board a plane for Houston. Every day these little rascals grow on me more than I ever thought possible. I've gotten to the point where I know excatly what will make each one smile when they are sad or how they will react when they are mad. I know each ones scream just as well as their voice. They are my family, at least for awhile, and I love them dearly. When I was putting the younger boys to bed the other night Gabriel, our most mischevious little rascal, was praying and it was the most precious thing and I found myself fighting with all my might to not tear up during it. It went something like this Dear God, thank you for today, thank you for making us, thank you for (insert everything you can think of), and then I heard his small, little body thank God that no one hits him heart broke and when he was finished and looked up into my eyes I just smiled at him full of love and heartbreak and trying to fight back tears. Then Kerry prayed and Gabriel asked if he could pray one more time because he forgot something. Dear God, thank you for making us cute. Yes Lord, thank you...

Peace & Love,

Monday, May 26, 2008

You Gettin' Me Mad

Today has been incredible! I spent the day snorkeling, reading, and eating some pretty damn good food in West End soaking in the beauty of this Island that I'm blessed to call my home. Let me restate that initial was incredible but tonight was a disaster! Wanting to sit outside and continue enjoying the beautiful scenary I brought my computer outside where Nolan, who was throwing rocks, ended up hitting my computer. Now the screen of my computer is ruined...sorry dad (this is his computer after all, not mine). In the end it's just a computer, just an EXPENSIVE material possesion..but really..COME ON-this would happen to me!

To keep you all up to date on the boys and school they officially started today. However, this is just a test run week so if they do well this week they stay in and if they don't..well, you get the picture. Sarah was not approved for school due to how far behind she is so things are not looking good for her and the whole school situation. All the ninos are done with school Friday and out for the summer..Lord help us all! But the school the boys got into runs all year long and only has a two week summer break. Also, some of the kids may end up in summer school due to failed courses, so we'll see. Alright, enough briefing on school..I'd like to share with you some thoughts I've been having.

A book we have been reading collectively called Discipling Nations has made me evaluate my agenda, my worldview, my opinion of things and what I label is right in comparrsion to the Christian worldview. Awareness that they don't always match up and keeping that in check. All that to say I have been thinking a lot about outsiders coming in and wanting to impose what they see as best for these kids. I don't doubt good intentions are behind peoples imposing thoughts and ideas. But the reality is that what's best to us in our eyes as Americans usually doesn't match up to what's best for these Honduran orphans. It's easy to try and think we can fix their lives by imposing ours but that's missing the point. It's a constant battle trying to remind ourselves that our ideas and our opinions don't necessarily benefit the recipient. I'm too tired to go more into detail about the matter but hopefully you get the idea...

Anyhow, sorry for not keeping up with the blog..I've been playing outside more at night and am too tired to blog when I get in. Maybe Alison can post from back home and let you all know what she's been up to :)

Peace & Love,

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dream Big!

Well, Alison left me...jerk! Jason suggested I retitle the blog All By Myself (On the Island) but I feel like that sounds a bit too much like the title of a Lost episode and I'm one of the few unaddicted fans of that show. Don't worry I have full faith I'll buy them all on DVD at one point and spend a solid few weeks wasting my life devoted to watching every episode. As Juno would say, dream big!...

I had day off today with Lucia and spent the extent of the day getting eatin' alive by bugs, as usual, and shooing away Islanders trying to sell everything from necklaces to fake Armani sunglasses on the beach taking me for a "cruiser" wanting to buy overpriced souvenirs. Well, I did buy a necklace...but hey, it was only $10 and I have to support the economy here, right? Apparently the ninos were going CRAZY today and yesterday was no exception to that. Perhaps their's something in the water here or perhaps Alison carried the small amount of sanity in this place back home with her to Houston..thanks a lot Alison. Let's all hope that tomorrow is a day without screaming, hitting, throwing, slapping, or whining of small children..yet again, dream big-Juno style! Also, on a positive note it looks like the three kids we homeschool are FINALLY going to real school! This will be a huge stress relief for those of us here that teach them as well as a great opportunity for the kids. It's all around great news! Anyhow, I hope all is well back home. Just to keep everyone up to date my new arrival back in the States will be June 21 and then I'm off to Iran from June 29-July 17!

Peace & love,

Saturday, May 17, 2008

swan song

Well, tonight is officially my last night in least for now, anyway. Tomorrow I head back home to Houston. It's a strange mixture of emotions: in some ways I am looking forward to being back and in some ways I am sad to leave the island. I'll try to post at least once to let y'all know how I am adjusting to being back in the States. Naseem is going to keep posting after I've left so be sure to keep checking back for more updates on island life. I feel that the children's home is moving in a positive direction and I would encourage y'all to keep the kids here in your thoughts and prayers.

Thanks so much for accompanying me on this journey. It's really meant a lot to me that people have kept up so faithfully with our posts. I'll be seeing you all (or a lot of y'all, anyway) soon.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Be Thirsty No More

Today has been a long day. It's been nothing out of the ordinary, it's just felt very long...sometimes I swear more hours are added to certain days. Tonight the kids have chosen to use their usual amount of never ending energy and exert it in mainly negative ways instead of positive ones. Screaming, hitting, crying, slamming doors...the whole spill. On a positive note last night Ricky, the oldest boy, chose to sit in the living room with Alison and I after the younger kids were in bed and sit and talk with us as we looked through pictures. I felt like his usual air of pride, typical teenage brattiness and disrespect had been stripped away, at least for that brief moment, and I got time to bond with the real Ricky for the first time since our arrival in March. I don't expect to experience it very often with him but I was thankful for it...

Yet again, sorry to disappoint but I'm putting off finishing my blog on living missionally. I feel a lot of pressure the more I put it off...I promise I will do it one day...I need to re-gather my thoughts so I can best articulate them. The past week or so my sleep habits have been very interrupted. Between incessant itching from bug bites and my mind that won't shut up I feel like the hope for a peaceful, restful nights sleep is beginning to get hopeless. The other day at the beach I borrowed Alison's IPOD and played Robbie Seay's Beautiful Scandalous Night and I felt overwhelmed with God's presence as I listened to that song and stared out into the vast ocean that I'm fortunate enough to have located in my front yard. I've listened to it about twenty times since. There's something about those lyrics that I can't get out of my mind. The song starts off...

"Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified
Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flows
For you and for me and for all"...

I just thinks those lyrics are full of so much beautiful, freeing truth. As you all know I teach three of the kids here at the orphanage. The most frustrating thing about teaching the kids is the lack of motivation to do most things here, but it feels especially, to learn. They just don't see a reason. I think some of them have it in their heads that they are never going to amount to anything and don't see a reason to try. It's such a fatalistic mindset to live with and such a debilitating one. How many of us to live with this mindset? Perhaps for us it's not that we feel we'll never amount to anything and as a result lack wanting to learn, but we feel like whatever thing it is will always be there and so we must live with it. For the kids it's that they will never get anywhere so they settle for that, content in that and never feel the motivation to try for anything better and live their lives this way. Clearly you can live your life this way but how fully are you living life with this mindset? Of course that is an opinion based question, however as a Christian I think we are called to be living life to the fullest. I have full faith that our Father wants the best for us in every aspect of our lives. He doesn't call us to live simple, easy lives but he wants us to live freely in him. C.S. Lewis remarks that, "that the only fatal thing to do is sit down content with anything less than perfection." Don't be mistaken..I'm not claiming God asserts that we are going to ever reach perfection but I do firmly believe it is through Christ we are freed and whatever stands there in our way holding us back from doing so he wants to free us from. "Kneel down on the shore, be thirsty no more, go under and be purified.."

peace & love,