The Adventures of Being and Making

The Adventures of Being and Making

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Letter from Mom, Happy Sweet 16!

Dear Carmelinda

You are our sweet Carmelinda who turning 16 this today!!!!  Like all parents say, “They grow up so fast!” That pretty much how we feel as we celebrate 16 years.

I remember the first time I laid my eyes on you. My eyes teared up and I was in shock. You were so beautiful. So tiny, 6 lbs 2 oz. The first Sunday we took you to church we dressed you into a white preemie outfit. That was the Sunday we dedicated you to God.

At the hospital
The Sunday you were dedicated. 




















I was so ready to be a mom. I had been counting the years and months until that moment. My goal was to get my bachelor’s degree, that way I could focus on being a mom. After 7 years later, I felt like it was time. I mentioned it to dad, hoping for a “yes, I’m ready!” Instead I got, “I’m not sure I’m ready!” I couldn’t believe it! Dad said, he needed to make sure he was ready to be a “dad.” Dad took it seriously, he took three months to pray and ask God to prepare him to become a father. He was working with youth at the time whom some of them had come from broken homes. Dad didn’t want to hurt you with father wounds like he had seen other fathers do. 



After three months of anxiously but patiently waiting, we were both ready. Our friend, George told us, “having a baby is like driving 100 miles and hour and crashing into a brick wall!” We didn’t have to wait long until we found out I was pregnant! I was so so so happy! I think dad was in shock. And yes, our lives changed forever.

But we were so excited it was hard to keep it secret. Our pastor finally told us we better announce my pregnancy before it came out before we were ready. I was eight weeks pregnant by then. Everybody was so happy.

I remember the day when we found out you were a girl! My friend, Lisa, and Grandma Stauffer went with us to see the ultrasound. After the appointment, I bought you your first outfit, the one you wore leaving the hospital.

Before we knew you were a girl, we had your name picked out already. I always knew if I had a girl, I wanted to name her Carmelinda. Dad was in agreement. Your second name, Joy, came later. So thank God you were a girl! 

Carmelinda means a beautiful garden. As we have seen you grown, your name fits you more and more. A garden is beautiful if it’s cared for. But at the beginning one just sees dirt. But the gardener knows there is something beautiful that will come up after some time.
When you were little we didn’t know what you would be like. But little shoots started coming out as you grew. We noticed you liked music. You and I sang a lot together. I played music while you slept. We also noticed you liked animals. We had a chocolate lab named Caleb that loved you from the start. We noticed you loved going out with Dad on dates. You and him have such a special relationship as a result of all the time and dates you and Dad have had. We noticed you liked to talk. I loved to hear you talk and talk and talk in the back seat of the car while I drove. I noticed you loved having tea parties with Grandma Stauffer. You loved watching movies. You loved to travel. You were so creative. You loved coloring and painting. We also noticed you had a love for Jesus. You would lift your little hands and praise Jesus and dance in the isles at church.



When you were two years old, someone prophesied over you, “I see a light and the light just keeps getting brighter and brighter.” This has rung true as we watch you grow and mature. You are an influential person. You attract many people. There is something you hold that others want. Your light is getting brighter.



Once you started school we noticed more changes happening in your garden. You were a fast learner. You loved learning.  You were smart. You enjoyed being with people, especially all the people that came through the ministry. You were so adaptable and made friends easily. You also learned Spanish quickly.





School came easy for you. You have always been responsible and disciplined with your homework. While in middle school, one of your teachers commented that you were the only one in the class that was friends with everyone. That made me feel so proud of you. You loved Lighthouse, the school you went to.





Graduation from 9th grade 

Church was a place you loved to go to. You couldn’t wait until Saturday evening when it was time to go to church. Our church had a wonderful children’s program where you learned so much. Your love for Jesus was evident.



As you have become a teenager, it’s been so much fun. You are a joy to be with. I love hanging out with you. This is where you’re second name becomes evident. Not only are you a joy to be with but I also am filled with so much joy as I see your talents and abilities and gifting’s come out. You are an amazing artist. You play the ukulele and the guitar. You have a beautiful voice. You are good at Math. You are so creative. I also love watching movies with you, especially, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Oh and let’s not forget about shopping!



We love having fun!
I now see beautiful flowers in your garden. Not all of them are up yet, but their colors are definitely showing. You have been cared for by us and others such as teachers, church, school, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. Most of all God has taken care of you. He is your gardener. He knows when you need watered or when the weeds need to be pulled out. The weeding part can be a bit painful. But I am certain that with God’s help you’ll be ok.
Today, I see you as a beautiful young lady, inside and out. You have beautiful black hair, dark skin, black eyes, oh yes, that comes from me!  Your personality is full of joy. You are a great communicator (that comes from dad), a leader, smart, creative, sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and you love Jesus. 




God is preparing you for so many wonderful things. He created you for a purpose. He’ll have to reveal that to you in His time. You have so much to give to your Heavenly Father. I see you as valuable in His kingdom.

God is so good to us by giving you to us. Grandma Stauffer told me one time to enjoy each stage with my children. I have tried to do that. And now we enter another stage. It’s an exciting and scary stage for me, I must admit. But I am looking forward to what shows up in your garden in this next stage!

I love you so so so much! 
Happy Birthday, honey! 

Love,
Mom 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

With Passion


22 years ago I married the man of my dreams. I was attracted to him because of his passion for life. And of course, his looks. The first time I saw him he was wearing black pants, tan long sleeve shirt and cowboy boots. It was probably his cowboy boots that stood out to me the most! 

Over the years, I have fallen in love with DeLynn’s passion over and over. I love watching him preach and teach. His passion for the love he has for Carmelinda is evident in their relationship. And the way he’s tells me he's still head over heels in love with me is not only shown through his speech  but his actions.

About 5 years ago, my health became priority when I had lost my zest for life. DeLynn put aside his passion for ministry and immediately focused his passion on me, his wife. He dropped everything for the love of his wife.

The picture I have in my mind is of DeLynn kneeling by my bedside, crying out to the Lord, on behalf of his wife. He cried out loud, prayed out loud, and sang out loud, pleading to God, He would spare my life. DeLynn was carrying a weight almost too heavy to carry. It’s was a very painful picture etched in our memories.

It was a dark several months. But God heard the prayers of my husband and my family.

Months later God gave me an incredible vision. I saw myself lying in bed. It was dark all over. Then all of a sudden, I saw a bright light shining through the darkness that shone on myself. I saw DeLynn kneeling by my bedside. As time passed, suddenly DeLynn’s image turned into that of Jesus. It was Jesus kneeling by my bedside interceding on behalf of my husband and family.

The verse that came to me was the following….

 


I am thankful for DeLynn, so thankful. I am thankful and grateful for his love and passion for me. It’s a passion that I have been blessed with, a passion that has changed me. Without his passion, I would not be here today. It’s a passion given my God.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Least of These

Two mornings a week I (Gloria) have the privilege of serving some very special ladies, babies and children that have recently changed my life. Some might call this reaching out to the poor. And although they are needy materially, I've realized their greatest need is Jesus.  This is the first chance I've had to work so personally with the “least of these.”




The Least of These: We might wonder who he is referring to when Jesus says, “the least of these brothers of mine.” Who do you think would be “the least”? You might say it’s the poor, the homeless person who is living on the street or under a bridge, it might be the person who is living on the fringe of society, or the person who is ostracized from society because of crimes they have done, people who can’t take care of themselves because of drug problems. It could be the pregnant teenager that has been rejected by her family. 

                       


As I started thinking about this term, “the least of these,” the Lord started speaking to me. He reminded me that my service is ultimately not to the poor, but to Christ Himself. The picture that comes to mind is me washing Jesus’ feet as a symbol of servanthood.  My heart would be so full of humility, gratefulness, and ultimate joy. This is the attitude I should carry as I serve the “least of these.”




When it comes to serving the “least of these” money becomes a challenge. Money isn't everything! Too often people think that giving money is the only way to help a person in need. How thrilling to see a story where money is not the most important thing. There are so many times I am faced with wanting to help my clients pay their rent, electric or water bill. And there are times when my clients comment that neither she nor her children have little to eat. 

So often the verse God gives me is the following,
 “Silver or Gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk… It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him” (Acts 3:6,16 NIV)
I may not have all the money in the world so what do I have to give? The greatest gift in the world! Jesus Christ.


A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation.
The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for the rest of his life. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. “I've been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious: Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.” (Author Unknown).

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hoover Times

It is a joy to connect with all of you again. We count it a privilege to have you in our lives. Below are a few updates of our lives. Enjoy.



Carmelinda’s Corner
SCHOOL IS FINALLY OUT! This year has gone by so slow! I don’t know why though. One of the highlights of my school year was winning the basketball tournament. I may not have played the whole game, but it’s the support that counts! Besides that school has been pretty boring. What has been fun is getting involved with the church youth group. Christmas was kinda boring as well we just “relaxed” which means my parents slept while I did nothing. I did get a new watch and I keep telling my parents the time, by the way here it is 3:44! And I am really excited because I am getting new glasses since my prescription has changed and they are scratched up and old. I am also excited because we are going to the mountain on new year’s to see the gorgeous fireworks that light up the night sky threw out the city! Well I hope you and your family have a wonderful new year and may God bless you!

Carmelinda 13 years old 


The Big Move
The latest news is that we have moved. We found a perfect house two blocks from the national university. It's a five bedroom house, two baths, sun room, office, kitchen, a huge living room and a small dining room. We have two small lawn areas, almost big enough for the dogs. DeLynn takes Fred (our dog) on walks now to give them both some exercise! 
There are several reasons DeLynn and I moved. First, we are moving into a new field of ministry. We are starting a ministry with university students and so in looking for a place we wanted it to be close to the university. 



At the beginning of next year, we will be starting a Bible Study with university students using the ALPHA program. We will specifically be using the course ALPHA campus. ALPHA Campus has been tailored especially for college 
students and other young adults. The ALPHA course covers the basics of. It answers questions like: Who is Jesus? and Why did he die? The Alpha course lasts eight weeks, with a day or weekend getaway in the middle. Each week, guests gather for about two hours. They share an informal meal, sing a few songs, listen to a talk on how Christianity approaches the question at hand, and then gather into small groups for discussion. The talks each week act as a springboard for small group discussions.
To help us with this venture, a VIDA220 team of two guys and three girls have been assigned to us. They have been busy with surveying the area, prayer walking, and getting acquainted with the ALPHA program. We are praying that God sends us more workers to help us in this field.
We are extremely excited about starting this new adventure. It’s a calling on our lives that God has had on us for some time, but now that He’s giving us the green light. We are leaving it up to God as to what he does with this, but our prayer is to start a University church. Please keep us in prayer as we move into this new area of ministry.
The other reason we moved was to be close to El Nido, the new ministry Gloria is going to be involved with; more on this later in the newsletter.

VidaNet Base
Just recently, DeLynn was looking for a place to house our VIDA220 team, when he came upon a property just two blocks from our house. It used to be a small Japanese school. When he saw it he immediately thought it might be good for a base. Since we closed the other base in the mountains, we have not found one to replace it, until we saw this! We are grateful that the owner is giving it to us for $1,000 a month for 10 months. At the end of those 10 months, our hope and prayer is to the buy the property. The property is valued at $550,000.00 and she is asking, $300,000.00. The property is large enough for offices, staff housing, it has an apartment for a custodial couple or small family, storage, housing for smaller teams, dining room, kitchen, Vineyard church plant and a house for El Nido. We know this is a God thing and are amazed at His timing.

New Heredia Base 


El Nido
200 pounds of literature are coming this way! What a blessing for El Nido to be able to receive this. This will enable us to share God’s love to so many women that need Him.
At the beginning of November, I, along with our VIDA220 team, was privileged to attend a Crisis Pregnancy training course that was offered by an organization called Beautiful Feet International. And even though I have worked at a Crisis Pregnancy Center already many years ago, the information was so helpful. We all came away ready and excited to start!
While some of the representatives from Beautiful Feet International were visiting Costa Rica, I was able to sit down with them and share my testimony and my calling to start a Pregnancy Center in Heredia, as well, as dream about future centers. I have decided to join with Beautiful Feet International as an organization that will help me get started as well as provide accountability and encouragement for the ministry.



Melissa (Director of Beautiful Feet) and I

Since my new adventure has started, I have enjoyed sitting back and just letting and watching God work. I heard God telling me from the beginning that this will all happen in HIS timing. I just have to be patient. So I have purposed in my mind not to run ahead.
One of the most miraculous things that has just happened is that God has given El Nido its own place! Plans were to share space in our home. We were going to divide our home so that El Nido could have a couple of rooms and share the living room as a waiting room, but God saw things differently. The new base Vida Net will be renting has a house that is perfect for El Nido. So now, El Nido, will have three consultation rooms (where one of them will hold an ultrasound machine being donated), a waiting room, an area for children to play while they wait for their mothers, an office for myself, a baby boutique, two bathrooms and a receptionist office! I am SO happy.
There is a team coming from Ohio at the end of January that is coming to help me get El Nido ready to open. The house will need to be painted and a few repairs will need to be done, but other than that, it will be ready to move in.

Here are some prayer requests regarding El Nido:
1.       That my donations from the States would all be able to get here. I cannot start with what I have because I don’t have enough.
2.      I will find the volunteers needed, especially those who will do the counseling.
3.       That God would continue to provide financially for El Nido.
4.       Creativity as to how to attract women to the Center.


 Partnering
As mentioned before, a VIDA220 team is helping us for the next 5 months. They have been with us a month already. Liz Swagart, who is the leader of the team, is from Plain City, Ohio. Elena Vachon is from Glendora, California. Elena used to live in Ohio and her and her family used to attend the Spanish church my father, Elam Staffer is associate pastor of. John Winston is from South Bend, Indiana. Dina Molina is from Shiroles, Talamanca. Jose Luis is from Carbon, Talamanca.
We have enjoyed our interaction with this team. Pray for them as they learn to live with each other (it’s like being married to each other!) and as God speaks into their lives and as they learn more about themselves and God while ministering to others.

VIDA220 students 


Prayer Requests:
1.       We are currently raising money for our family. Please pray we can raise the sufficient amount to cover our costs.
2.       Pray for our new endeavors, that God would take control of it all.
3.       We are also continuing to raise money for the ministry. Pray God continues to provide for all our costs; VIDA220, El Nido, PVM, Base Heredia and Base Talamanca.

4.       Pray that God provides more workers for our new church plant. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

El Nido



“El Nido” in Spanish means, “The Nest.” When looking for a name for this new ministry I did some research on birds’ nests. Here is what I found...

Birds look for places to build their nests that provide shelter and freedom from predators. Birds construct a wide range of nests, from simple scraps on the ground to elaborately woven nests of sticks and grasses. Some are camouflaged and some are out in the open. Some are big and some are small. It all depends on the bird, and where and how it lives!

El Nido is a new door God has opened up for VidaNet to step through. El Nido will be a pregnancy resource center opening in January of 2014. And just like a bird’s nest, El Nido will be a place where women can feel safe; a place where they can experience peace, away from the storms they are facing. We want it to be a place where they can come and talk over coffee; a place where they feel free to share what’s REALLY happening in their lives.  Trained counselors will be available to listen and give Godly counsel.
El Nido will also be a place where a mother can receive education. El Nido will be offering a Earn While You Learn Program. This program gives a mother the opportunity to earn clothing and furnishings for her new baby while developing parenting and life skills. EWYL has proven to be a very effective program. The lessons are presented using DVDs, worksheets, reading and verbal information. Our clients will see, hear and read the information, then take home homework lessons that reinforce what they learned. When this information is presented by a parenting instructor who they come to know and respect, the results are dramatic and life changing. Long term relationships are able to be established that allow them to make a difference in their client’s lives with God’s love and wisdom!

El Nido will be located in Heredia near the national university. Just as a bird chooses where to build its nest, we are hoping to find a site that will be perfect and adequate; a place that has enough rooms for counseling, storage, a small living room, and who knows what other surprises God has for El Nido.

The goal of El Nido is to share God’s love with every client. History has shown that women who find themselves with an unexpected pregnancy are more receptive to hearing how God can help them make changes in their lives that will benefit themselves and their unborn child. This is the time when El Nido can come along side of them and support, love, and disciple these women.

How can you help? 
Pray. Pray that God would provide a center. Pray for volunteers.
Financial Donation.You can help financially by giving a one-time gift or providing monthly. Financial donations can be sent to VidaNet Akron, OH Please earmark it: El Nido
$7,000 have been raised for this new ministry so far. The total amount needed is $30,000  I am anxious to see how God brings it all in! 
Volunteer. If you live in Costa Rica and would like more information on how you can volunteer as a counselor, or in many other ways, you can call Gloria at: 8347-5036
Donate. We will be receiving new or gently used baby clothes or items at two locations: 318 Willowbend Circle, Plain City, OH or 38 Skyview Lane, Lititz, PA  For any questions please contact Gloria Hoover at: 1-800-413-9818 or at gloria@vidanetonline.org

Thank you SO Much to all of those who have donated clothing and have given financial gifts. It has been such an encouragement to me. 


Note: The previous blog talked about the new ministry, Casa DaLuz. Casa DaLuz, has been put on hold due to a number of complications. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Casa DaLuz


Drum roll please! I’ve been waiting to announce something very exciting for me, Gloria. But I had to wait until my project was presented and approved to and by our board. But now is the time…

God has been getting me ready for this new ministry called, Casa DaLuz (meaning, Give Light House) (Da Luz is a word that Spanish people use when a woman has given birth.). It was while in REACH, a discipleship program, (20 years ago) that I was challenged to write out what I would dream of doing if God would allow me to do. My dream has been to have a home filled with mothers and children. This desire has come partly from my own adoption experience, but also just because I love babies and the excitment of teaching mothers to care for their little ones! Because of the focus DeLynn and I have had lately in establishing VidaNet, my dream has been put on hold.

Katherine and Dylan (6 months)
But when our “adopted” daughter Katherine came into our lives a year ago, my vision was rekindled. Her life has impacted my life in such a way, that I’ve come to a place in my life where I am ready to open this home where teenage mothers and their babies can be embraced and cared for. My prayer and goal is that they find Jesus in this process. I am ready to love on them and their babies and I can’t to see who God sends.

Casa DaLuz is a new ministry that will be under the umbrella DaVida. This ministry is a very special ministry for young women, ages 13-19 that are in their first pregnancy or already have their first child under the age of 12 months, who need a place to live. This ministry is for those young women who have little to no moral or financial support from their family.

Casa DaLuz would offer them a place to live, food, baby items and clothing both for the expectant mother and child, medical expenses, if needed.  To help them on their journey, parenting classes would be offered, as well as teaching them hands on job training for jewelry making, cooking classes, hair and beauty classes, and painting classes, and the list goes on. Spiritual input would also be given through discipleship classes especially to meet the spiritual needs of each of the girls. If the young mother would like to look for a job, we want to help facilitate that by taking care of her child while she works.

Future Casa DaLuz
In Costa Rica, teen age pregnancy is on the rise. On average 41 teenage women per day learn they are pregnant in Costa Rica, and relative to population this represents a rate 50% higher than the United States.  This statistic makes me want to help as many young women as I can. But to start out, right now the plan is to have a house for 4 girls. 

Costa Rican friends 
One of the fundraisers we are doing to raise money is selling beautiful headbands and barrets (examples shown below). Presently, these headbands and barrets are being made by myself and my Costa Rican friends. In the future, these headbands will be made by the young girls living in Casa DaVida. If you are interest in helping us either sell or would like to buy one of these gorgeous headbands and/or barrets, please let me know. ALL proceeds will go to project Casa DaLuz. 






I have a several prayer requests as this ministry gets started:
1.    A house for the young women
2.   Financial provision to get this new ministry started
3.   Lots of wisdom to make wise decisions concerning this new ministry
4.   Patience as I watch and wait how God gets this altogether

If you have any questions and or would like to help with project Casa DaLuz you can write to:

Sunday, January 27, 2013

NEVER ONCE


"Never Once"

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful



These are the words and song of our theme song celebrating 10 years in Costa Rica. Our hearts are filled with gratitude as we think back over the past 10 years. God has changed us so much. Never once were we alone. We look forward to what the next 10 years will bring! 


www.youtube.com/watch?v=de6M5iu3Ez8