Lily's kids

Lily's kids

Monday, October 27, 2014

11 Things

11 Random little things that make Bolivia an adventure!

1.Most everything comes in a bag shampoo, ketchup, even water...                                       
2.Unless it’s fresh squeezed, all the packaged juices are mixed with soy milk.                       
3.No one uses seat belts.. usually you just stand up in the back of a truck and hold on for dear life.                                                                                                                                     
4.You know you’ve been gone too long when chocolate starts to taste too sweet                  
5.Sardines start to taste good. Sad day for the gringa                                                                                                       
6.Sunrises are unbelievably beautiful                           
7.Every dead animal is edible. “We killed a porcupine! Let’s go cook it!!!”                 
8.You get used to having about a million nicknames... “Leelee Flooflady”                           
9.Feet are never 100% clean thanks to dirt roads                                                                     
10.Everyone freaks out whenever there’s an airplane overhead. It doesn’t happen often.   
11. You end up trying lots of new foods... snake, armadillo, capybara, cow stomach, liver, ants, worms...
God bless!!!
Lily Fluharty

Friday, October 24, 2014

When they suffer in silence

My heart was very heavy this past weekend. Domestic violence is something that doesn’t have a name here but happens very often. It’s something that is “normal” and swept under the rug. “He won’t hit me again,” they whisper. But then a few minutes later more tears slip down their faces as they let the words slip out, “I can’t do it anymore. I know it will happen again.” 
I have seen it in the street as a woman stood with blood dripping down her face, calling out the name of the man who had left her barefoot and bleeding.
I have heard it as I tried to comfort the friend crying on the other end of the phone after her boyfriend had just beat her up for the first time and left her alone.
I have hugged her after he had hit her in the face and wanted to choke her before telling her to get out of the house. 
It hurts to live in a culture where abuse is common and not addressed. It’s hard to look for grace and forgiveness when the cycle continues. 
“I love him. I just want him to love me.”
“I don’t want my daughters to grow up seeing this.”
I feel helpless in these situations. My heart feels heavy. I want to so much to help and fix things but I can do nothing. I pray. I pour out my heart to God asking for peace and healing. I comfort. Trying to listen and continue pointing to Christ and His perfect plan. This world is hard. But God’s love is stronger and His faithfulness is bigger.
I can’t give these women answers. I can’t fix their problems. I can’t heal their pain.
All I can tell them is God loves them. He see’s every tear. He can heal hearts. 
Please be praying for the women here in Bolivia. Women who are many times stuck in sad cycle of domestic violence and abuse. They have suffered it from parents and relatives and now from boyfriends and husbands. They are hiding in silence but are not alone as the majority of the women I have talked to have experienced this violence. Please pray that God would give them peace and also boldness to stand up for what is right and to stand up for themselves and their children. To go to pastors or go for help. 
Please pray that God would heal these broken relationships and families and the broken hearts. God is a God of healing and of forgiveness and by His stripes we are healed!
In Christ Jesus who wraps us up in His loving arms,
Lily Fluharty

Monday, October 20, 2014

They are His!

One of my little ones was sick this week with a bad cold. It hurt me to see her not feeling well. I ended up wrapping her up in my arms and we prayed together and she just lay there with her head against my chest listening to me pray. A huge feeling of protectiveness swelled up inside of me. I hurt when they hurt. No, they aren’t MINE. I’m not their mama. But I do love them like crazy with a fierce love. They are God’s and He has blessed me with this special time with them. These precious babies who have already suffered so much pain in the first few years and months of their lives. They’re tiny, vulnerable, looking for love. 
My chubbiest munchkin wraps her arms around my neck multiple times a day and squeezes as HARD as she can just so I will hug her back. All she wants is to feel loved. It breaks my heart to see her searching, searching after being abandoned and unwanted. Even though she is now loved and cherished, she is still fearful that one day the love will stop and she’ll be left alone again.
I can’t fix their colds, their tummy aches, or their hurting hearts. I can’t heal the scars they carry that some of them don’t even realize they have. I can’t fix the desire they will have for a mommy of their own. All I can do is continually give them back to God and love them as hard as I can. I can tell them of God’s love for them and show them my own love. They are not forgotten. They are not unwanted. They are not unloved. They are BEAUTIFUL. CHERISHED. PRECIOUS. And God loves them because they are His!
 Much love,
Lily Fluharty

Saturday, October 18, 2014

YAY! Update!

Beautiful, sunny day filled with a bunch of the teenagers from Casa de Esperanza, bridge jumping into the clear water, good food and lots of laughter. I'll post pics later but what a fun way to spend a Saturday. 

I love love love spending time with the older kids! They are hilarious and even though there is sometimes drama (how could there not be with 20+ teens haha), they ALWAYS make me smile. 

Add bridge jumping to my new skills! So much fun! :) 

Sorry for the lack of updates lately… I just spent two weeks without taking a day off because of elections in Bolivia and last Sunday I ended up in the kitchen cooking lunch for everyone… HOORAY!!! This Gringa didn't burn ANYTHING this time!! I'm a very distracted cook! 

The past two weeks have been tiring but such a blessing to spend so much time with my babies. They are learning and growing so quickly and I feel like I blink and their taller, or have another tooth, or lost another tooth, or learning new words, or crawling and sometimes I want to freeze time and keep them babies. 

Our newest little guy, Ariel, is doing AMAZING!!! He used to cry and scream ALL the time but is such a goofy, mellow guy in my house and really is sweet with the other little kiddos. 
Sabina has her two teeth coming in on top but not her front teeth so she looks like a little vampire. So adorable! 
Emanuel is talking up a storm and whenever he asks a question his voice goes up like 3 octaves! :) 
Mari Ros is a little bit jealous that she is one of the "big girls" and sometimes tries to put on a diaper and crawl around to get attention which means lots of extra hugs and snuggles for her. 
Peniel and July are getting so big and are hilarious to have conversations with! They are always playing dolls and have their babies in aguayos on their backs like the local Bolivian women. 
Javier, Juanes and Ismael are ALL reading and are soooo excited about it! Love these 3 and how goofy and helpful they are. Always making me laugh and helping out with the little ones.

So amazed by God's love and grace to me. Continually learning more about HIS faithfulness and so blessed to be able to rest in His arms.

At the end of November I'll be heading home for several weeks which I'm looking forward to! It's been over a year since I've seen my family and so excited to spend time with them before coming back to love on my kids some more… Excited to see God continue to work!

So that's my quick update… I'll try to post more regularly when I find time… :)

Lots of love! Thank you all SOOOO much for all your prayers, support, encouragement and love. Every comment and like on Facebook, the comments here on my blog, the emails and notes mean sooooo much to me. So encouraged by you all and thanks for loving on the babies here at Casa! They are unbelievably precious!

HUGS and HEAT from Bolivia!!!
Lily Fluharty

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Filled to overflowing

Beautiful eyes! Love my July!
My heart has been filled time and time again this week with God’s unfailing love. 
The newest little guy, Ariel, just moved into my house this past week. He was having a really difficult time in the other house and would end up crying almost all the time. We were a little nervous about him moving in. He’s 1 and just started walking and with 9 other little ones in the house it would be more work. As he moved in, I just started praying that God would bless little Ariel. I have been blown away by God’s answer to that prayer. Ariel has been adjusting so well to our home and to living with the other little ones. He is precious. He’s an eater and LOVES to giggle as I hand him anything to eat. There’s rough moments but it has been a joy to see him adjust quickly and enjoy our home. 
Roy with little Lily 
I watched in awe as one of my little kindergartners who has a problem with stuttering, read me a book perfectly without stuttering once. I just watched him concentrate and felt like my heart would explode.
I watched amazed as Lolina stood up and walked around all by herself. She wobbles and her steps are more like a baby’s first steps but it is amazing to watch. She was never supposed to walk on her own.
It’s moments like these where my heart slows down and I am amazed at God’s love for each of His children. In the craziness, getting things done, bathing 9 little munchkins, changing diapers.... sometimes I forget. But I really don’t want to forget because there is so much beauty in each moment we are given. 
Say cheese Emanuel!
Time flies. The kids are getting sooooo big. Peniel and July are having growth spurts and are so adorable as they talk and grow up. Emanuel is learning more and more words and LOVES being tickled. His laugh is infectious. My three kindergartners, Ismael, Javier and Juanes are READING!!! It blows me away! The twins were two years old when I arrived... Sabina is getting so big and is sitting up by herself without losing her balance :) and is ALL smiles. Mari Ros is as giggly as ever and loves giving HUGS to anyone around. Usually her hugs are pretty rough and the littler ones end up with tears in their eyes as Mari Ros hugs them as HARD as she can. Watching Ariel adjust and seeing him turn into such a loving little boy. He loves to give and receive kisses especially when there is food involved. :) 
BIG SMILES with Jacob and David
Love love love what God is doing. Amazed at His unending love and grace for me. I fall short but His love is stronger than my weakness. So excited to see Him face to face one day! Some of the sunrises here make me sooooo excited for the beauty of Heaven. I have never seen so much pink in the sky as I have here in Bolivia! It’s amazing.
Thank you all for your love, prayers and support. So excited to see God continue to work in the lives of these kiddos and in my own life! To God be the glory!!! Much love!
 In Christ who loves us more deeply than we can imagine,
Lily Fluharty