Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 5: Honduras 2012; MATTRESSES!!!

To say the kids at Mama Tara's orphanage needed new mattresses was the understatement of the century! When I first walked into the girls room in Dec of 2011 I was overcome by the odor... I was painting murals on the bedroom walls to brighten things up. I spent a lot of time getting acquainted with this odor. Even with open-air-windows their was just no escaping the hot smell.
 Diapers and pull-ups aren't a luxury they can afford in Puerto Lempira... think about that for a moment... The young children who aren't fully potty trained or sleep-potty-trained... well... they wet the beds like any other kid. 
Now look at their mattresses. No pee-pee sheets... No vinyl coverings... For some not even sheets. Now think for a moment that the kids all had lice that you could visibly see when hugging them. Take a close look at those mattresses that are years and years old!  Very porous .. we have all seen commercials showing us what our mattresses can look like over time (bed mites). These mattresses are probably a bed bugs dream come true! It made me so sad! 
My kids continually kept coming in to see what I was doing. Several of the older girls had been sitting on the beds watching me paint. When Pierson and Maylin came in I didn't allow them to sit on the beds with the other children. I felt terrible and self-righteous and hoped the girls didn't see through my thoughts. I tried to play it off as "it isn't polite to sit on other people's beds"...  ??? Can you blame me???

Yeah, I know... speechless right? 
This picture is one of the boys beds along with all of his possessions... yes ALL of his possessions. 
 The beds were pretty rickety as well. They shook dangerously far in any direction you pulled. In the girls rooms the beds are three high. They swayed at least a foot when whoever slept on the top bunk climbed the ladder. So for several days we worked hard at replacing boards and shoring up corners. Even the kids pitched in to help hold things in place while we worked! 
We replaced old slats and added a few more for extra support. Can you imagine sleeping on this with just a thin piece of foam? Me neither! It makes my back hurt just looking at it! Clayton gave a thumbs up after shoring up one of the boys bed!

Then the glorious day arrived!
The new mattresses had arrived!!! Praise the Lord on High!!! After we left last year we decided that mattresses were a MUST have! Our church began to raise money to get a mattress for every kid there. During that process I called Tara our missionary friend in San Pedro Sula to ask how much it would be per mattress. She wasn't exactly sure so she started calling around... Before I knew it an Organization called "Orphan Helpers" had donated 30 slightly used, but VINYL mattresses. Hallelujah!!! All we had to do was pay to ship them to PL! If you have been reading my previous posts about this trip you know that getting things to PL is not at all easy or cheap. But none-the-less we raised the money and wouldn't you know they got there in time for us to put them in the kids rooms before we left!!! How great is our God?
 When the truck arrived with the mattresses. Everyone was excited! Look on top of the truck! that is "E" literally doing back hand springs over and over on top of all the mattresses! Talk about being 'flipping excited'!!!

 EVERYONE pitched in and carried the mattresses into the main room. It truly was a joyous occasion!
 The mattresses were in GREAT shape! We were thrilled. We used Clorox water and scrubbed them down as the journey there had left a bit dirt on them.
 Perhaps the coolest part was that Linda (the Awesome girl who moved in with them just a few months before we arrived, and who is staying for 5 years!) had the forethought to number and label them all! Each kid was assigned their own mattress to take care of. It was THEIRS!!! This was in hopes they would really want to take care of their mattresses. This also helped assure that they wouldn't get stolen!
 Linda labeling the mattresses. 
 Then came the fun part! Putting them on their beds! 
These are some happy happy faces!!!
 Linda said that she had never had such an easy time getting the kids to bed as she did that night!
They were all excited to sleep on their new mattresses!
Thanks, Tara at ROOM,  Orphan Helpers and Bethel UMC for making this happen!
You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. 
Proverbs 3:24
Side note; Our plan was to burn the old mattresses in the trash pile but the women who worked there wanted them to take home. Before long there were all kinds of people asking for them!?
Chew on that for a moment...  : (


Kristi said...

I chewed on that last thought...Can we sponsor a mattress drop for all the staff of Mama Tara's?

My eyes have been opened, we can't just walk away...

-joy said...

This is just beautiful! I'm so glad that you are still blogging about your trip and the details!! What a difference this will make in SO many ways. Moral, health, confidence, better sleep leads to a lot of betters!! Thanks Traci.

Eco-FX Blog said...

Good to read your report on the mattresses. Easy to see that there is a REAL need..and the you, the group, and the support team at Bethel are truly making a difference. Please keep me/us informed on other specific needs where we may assist. Very sobering to better understand the situation, and easy to feel the joy of children. God is good.

Saundra Shultz said...

What a privilege and joy it was to see God's work in action. To have the mattresses arrive while we were there was amazing. Makes me cry when I think of the joy of those precious children when they were put on their "own" beds. Thanks be to God!

Andrew McAllister said...

This is such a great thing to do! Congratulations! It must have felt wonderful (and smelled much better) when the mattresses arrived.

Michael Green said...

I immediately felt for the children in that orphanage, and am really glad to know that there are people like you who extend a helping hand. Good quality mattresses might be common for some; but for these kids, it’s something they would forever be thankful for. I salute people like you. More power!

Michael Green

Aniyah Bautista said...

Nice! The children at Mama Tara's orphanage must've been grateful to you guys. Now, they can sleep comfortably because of those mattresses. I admire you and the people behind this project. You guys are the reason why they have bright and wonderful smiles on their faces. :)

Laura Francis said...

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. best mattress brands 2012