Digyana, Wendy, and Julissa Bring Excitement to Mission Trip Meeting!

On Thursday, January 12th, Digyana, Wendy and Julissa participated in an event at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Renton.  St. Andrew is planning a Mission Trip to NPH Honduras in July, and this meeting was the third in a series of informational meetings to equip travelers with information about the trip.  Also attending were Laura Useche, Kristen Bagley, Stephanie Schuler and Carol, each bringing the experience of their many trips to Honduras and other NPH homes.

The meeting included a tamale dinner prepared by Roger & Judy Paulsen, who had the experience of preparing tamales during their November trip to Rancho Santa Fe.  It’s safe to say the meeting had the potential to be “dry and boring”, had it not been for our guests.  The girls each described their experience at NPH, and led the group in learning a Spanish song.  Their energy and enthusiasm were contagious, and their desire and courage to use their English was amazing — they did great.  They, along with Laura, Kristen, Carol and Stephanie were able to address all the group’s questions with informative examples from their personal experience.

The St. Andrew group is extremely appreciative of our guests’ willingness to take time from their busy lives to contribute to the success of our July trip.

Thanks to all!!!

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Surprise Visit!

I am so very happy because last weekend Stephan and Ross came to visit Seattle. Before they came I felt a little sad. My godmother Vicky and her family had invited me to Portland, but then Thursday night she told me “I’m sorry Wendy but you can’t come to Portland.” I asked if she was ok and she said yes but that her father-in-law and mother-in-law needed her. I said it was ok and that we will have more opportunities to visit. I told Mary and she said not to worry because this weekend there will be snow.

FRIDAY: Mary said to me “Wendy you need to finish all your homework and other assignments. I asked why and she said she had a surprise for me! I was so happy I said “ok!!”

SATURDAY: I finished all of my assignments in the morning and went to mass. Then I went to Julissa’s house because I was going to stay the night and Julissa wanted a haircut.

SUNDAY: Mary and Matt came to pick me up at 11:00am took me home to find my surprise, my great surprise! Mary toll me to go to the door, I was smiling so big, and oh my god Stephan and Ross were at the door. We gave big hugs and I cried, I could not believe they were there. I never imagined they would come so soon. It was a great moment! We went to get Digyana and she cried too. She asked why I had not told her and I said because it was a surprise for me too! we all ate, visited the space needle, and talked about how we felt in Seattle. We then went to the Restaurant Palomino then returned to Julissa’s house. We played dancing and soccer video games.

MONDAY: We went to our school, Seattle Central Community College, because Stephan and Ross wanted to see where we study. The school was closed so we just played in the snow. Julissa, Digyana, Emir and I were there, Jean Francois was not because he was in Portland. We drank coffee, talked, walked, shopped, window shopped, and ate dinner. We did a lot of things! The Schulers and Kara came for the dinner and ate with us.I was so happy. After we ate we had to say goodbye because they were going back to Honduras. I want to say thank you so much to Stephan and Ross for coming, I will never forget this. I love you both. It was a big surprise because everyone knew of their visit except for Digyana and I but I loved it. Thank you to everyone who made it possible. May God bless you all!

 Written by Wendy in her own English

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Julissa’s Host Family Experience

I had been here in Seattle for three months, and my experience with my host family has been great! Seattle is very beautiful place, it reminds me of Guatemala with its mountains and forests, but the weather is definitely not the same.

I remember that the two first weeks were very difficult because everything was new for me but my host family helped me with everything. I have had many new experiences with my host family. Now I know about American Football, because Max played for his school’s team. I don’t understand everything about it but I like going to the huge stadiums where there are a lot of people screaming. It was a fun experience, because in my country the most popular sport is Soccer. Now I know that the American Football is fascinating.

I also went to the high school state Volleyball tournament. Kate was on the varsity team, she is a great player. I like Volleyball more than American Football, but the two sports are very good.

Carol and Bob always are teaching me many things. Bob taught me some important words English that are good words for me to know. Carol taught me to bake. I love knowing how to bake some cookies in the oven. My favorite bread is brown bread. This kind of bread is so delicious.

Christmas with my host family was so happy. The traditions are different but I liked them. I liked the mass in St. Louise Parish. There were a lot of people there. Christmas dinner with my host family was so amazing. Then we had the gifts, they gave a lot of gifts, I was so happy.

Recently I went to Leavenworth, Washington with my host Family for a few days. This town is so nice and I saw snow. We went to the park and walked around in a lot of snow. Strangely I didn’t feel so cold. This experience was very fun.

I hope that I have more experiences with my host family, they are very nice people. I really appreciate being able to spend this year with my host family. I like being with them.

Written by Julissa in her own English

The Feast of the Epiphany

Last Sunday, Father Tom celebrated Mass with the Leadership Group, their host families and mentors. It was a wonderful evening of prayer, celebration and great food!  Wendy and Emir shared some thoughts on how Three Kings Day is celebrated in Mexico and Honduras. See Wendy’s thoughts here and Emir’s here!

As a community, we celebrated the progress of these five Pequeños, both in their English abilities as well as in their personal growth as emerging leaders.

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2nd Anniversary

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti.  At 4:53pm today the leadership group invites you to pause and enter into a time of prayer and remembrance, wherever you are. 


We lift up in prayer:

      The people of Haiti

      The hundreds of thousands who lost their lives and their families

      Molly and Ryan and their families and friends

      The staff and volunteers of NPFS Haiti

      The children and youth of NPFS Haiti

      All of the numerous NPFS outreach programs

      Jean Francois


May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we will live deep in our hearts.

May God bless us with anger at the exploitation of people and the earth so that we will work for justice, equity and peace.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer, so we will reach out our hands to comfort them and change their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with the foolishness to think that we can make a difference in the world, so we will do things which others say cannot be done.













Emir Shares His Christmas in Seattle

Christmas is a time to be with family, enjoy each moment together, to gain few more pounds, open presents and also a season of love.

But this is other theme. Right now I am going to talk about my first experience of Christmas here in the USA. In the morning of December 24th we had a little brunch for Elias’ birthday, he is four years old and the youngest of the family. In the afternoon we walked to a park close to the house. We played tag but I got tired very quickly because I am a little old, I was just kidding, I think it was because I need more exercise, but I’ll talk about this in another occasion. Next we went to mass at 10:00 pm; it was a wonderful mass, especially because the music was excellent. When the mass ended we went home and straight to sleep.

On December 25th, Christmas, I woke up early because I felt a little bad. When I went to the kitchen the boys jumped with happiness because they were waiting for me. Karen told them that they could not see their stockings until I was there, so we saw what Santa had left us. Then we waited a little more for Dave to get back from church to open the gifts for Christmas with the whole family. Then we had a Dinner just for us, we ate very well, and Karen gave us a crown to wear during the dinner, it was funny.

I hope to everyone has had an excellent Christmas and I would like to reflect on what Christmas is. I am not sure where I heard this but, “Christmas isn’t presents, food, party or vacations. Christmas is love, family, hope, time to be together, and the most important thing about Christmas is be grateful for all the moments, situations, and things in our own life, both bad and good.”

But I have been thinking about this, I think that it’s true, but also Christmas is a good date because after Christmas we only have few days to end the year. This is amazing because we can change, forgive, and forget all the things that we have in our heart and be better each day.

My best wishes to you in this year, 2012, and thanks to all those people who support us and are with us every moment.

Happy New Year

Written by Emir in his own English

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Our family here in Seattle!!!

Digyana reflects on her experience in the Leadership Program thus far…

We are at the end of the year, about to start a new year. So many things have happened, goals we have reached, happy moments with our families, one more year of studies. We are so far away from home, from our NPH family which has seen us grow, the one who sees our progress, the family that has always supported us when we needed it.

This year God granted us a lot of love, peace and many opportunities. A year where the leadership program started, here in Seattle, Washington.  We are all working so that the pilot program will be a success. We have participated in many leadership groups, we have participated in retreats and many other activities.

We are all living with a different family, but all very special families that have given us a warm welcome into their homes. We have had many happy moments, celebrating special events such as the gala, celebrated to fundraise money for our NPH family. Thanks giving, Christmas, and now, New Years…

In every moment they are here for us, asking us about how it went in our English class, helping us out with our homework, taking us to the doctor, to our appointments with the dentist, skiing in the mountains, sharing our teenage lives when we like to go shopping for hours without getting tired, trying their best to give us a happy and merry Christmas, baking cookies, watching movies together, even arranging their schedules to fit our own, supporting the leadership program. Also how we share our faith in God, just how Father Wasson did with us. We must never forget that God is the one who guides our steps and illuminates our lives.

I am sad to be far away from my family, but our families here make us feel better. From time to time they comfort our tears, watching them run down our cheeks as we think of our friends, siblings, and our great NPH family, our boyfriends and girlfriends, all of this we have shared with our families.

That is why we thank each one of our families here!!! We hope you receive many blessings and that this New Year 2012 may be phenomenal for each and one of you. May God’s love and Father Wasson’s live in our hearts forever.

(See a video Diyana and her host family made after a visit to Leavenworth, Washington here!)

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Volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank

Wow!  We are so happy because today we went to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank to work as volunteers.  This is a very interesting project that gives food to poor people in Seattle.  We worked with the boxes, packing up different products like bread, salad, tomatoes, fruit, beans, chips and cakes.  In conclusion, there were many products.  The instructions were to only give one for each person, but some people wanted more . . . So it is very difficult when the people don’t have anything.  But I liked this experience very much, I learned a lot there.  I am very glad to work at this project.  The other people who volunteer there were also very friendly.

Written by: Wendy (in her own English!)


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Wow, estamos muy alegres porque hoy fuimos a trabajar al Food Bank de voluntarios.  Este proyecto es muy interesante.  Da comida a toda la gente pobre (bajos recursos económicos), nosotros trabajamos con las caja, empacando diferentes productos, pan, ensalada, tomate, frutas, frijoles chips, diferentes tipos de pasteles.  En conclusión había muchos productos.  Repartiendo las instrucciones era que solo debíamos de dar un producto, y que iba a haber personas que pedirían mas.  Y un hombre me dice dame otra, y yo le dije lo siento solo es una y él me dice…POR FAVOR, es muy difícil cuando la gente no tiene nada.  Pero me gusto mucho colaborar ahí aprendo mas como persona. Las personas que trabajan ahí son muy amables.