Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Visiting Friends, Homecoming Surprise, and Growing Family

Life is never boring in our house!  There are always lots of people, lots of laughter,  lots of fun, and lots of surprises!  However, this past month has gone to a whole new level of joy!

Mid-January, we were very blessed to have a week long visit from some very dear friends from Ohio, Sam and Debra Silvers.  Their first night here, God showed off His handiwork by giving our neighboring volcano an awesome display of shooting lava.  Deb and I shared coffee on the roof top and talked about our upcoming newborn grandsons.  Deb and I had breakfast with Krishauna at her house.  Daryl and Sam did ministry together.  The four of us, along with Dale and Anita Beyer, shared a dinner at a restaurant with a beautiful view of our town and mountains.  What a wonderful visit it was!

On January 26th, Daryl and I were able to surprise most of the family with a 4 week visit from Carissa and Taryn!  They had to leave Uganda to renew their visas, and a last minute change of plans brought them to Guatemala.  (Long story, short--it was cheaper for them to fly home to Guatemala to renew their visas than it was to do the necessary changes to renew their visas there in Africa.)  Even though it was unplanned by us, God knew and it turned into a great blessing for all of us.  It had been 6 months since we saw Taryn and slightly over a year since we saw Carissa.  And they were able to be here for the birth of Brittney's baby!  So much fun!!!  They will be heading back to Uganda this week.

This past month Hogar de la Esperanza grew again.  We accepted 3 year old Genesis into our home and family.  As a result of her cerebral palsy, she was unable to stay at her previous home.  She is very beautiful and most of the time, very happy.  Welcome, Genesis!

Our last piece of big news is the birth of our third grandchild!  On February 3rd, Brittney and Joel gave birth to Christopher Caleb Caal Fulp.  (In Guatemala, the baby takes two last names...the father's name and then the mother's name.)  Brittney and baby are doing well!  What a miracle childbirth is! And what a blessing Christopher Caleb is!

God continues to surprise us and overwhelm us 
with family and ministry!  

He is good!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

You give God an inch, and He takes a mile!

A few days ago, we were sitting around the dinner table talking about how God has used us and our home to carry very sick children to the arms of Jesus. We were remembering the days following Esperanza's death, and how we said to God, "This is so hard, but if You ask us to do it again, we will."  And, in line with the character of God, He asked us to do it again...and again...and again!  As we discussed this, Daryl smiled and said, "You give God an inch, and He takes a mile!"  We all laughed and kept talking.

Over the next 24 hours, I thought about a lot about Daryl's comment.  And he was right!

When Daryl and I got married (over 28 years ago!  Wow!), we told God that we never wanted to accept or turn down a job due to the salary.  We gave Him that inch, and the mile He took: We had several pastor/youth pastor positions in which the salary was...well, not high.  But, God did great things in our lives during those years, and we wouldn't change it for anything.

God asked us to care for children who needed a family. We agreed, and He gave us 23 foster children in a 13 year period.  He asked to adopt, and when we said "yes", He had us adopt five children, in addition to our five biological children.  Then we told him that we would move to Guatemala and open up a group home for orphans with special needs, in addition to working with families who need help.  And now look what He did!

Image result for long journey

But what if we had NOT given Him those inches?  Look what we would have missed!

Reflecting back over my life, I know there were times that God asked me to give Him an inch, and I didn't.  I remember one specific time when He asked me to share my faith with a co-worker.  I was very young, and this co-worker was older and a man; I was intimidated, so I didn't do it.  There were different times when God asked me to give Him an inch with my finances, but I didn't.  There are many other examples.  But, oh, what if I had listened?  On what adventurous mile would God have taken me?  It's too late now to go back and do it over.  But what I CAN do is learn from my past, and always give God the inch that He desires in my present and future.

As we enter a new year, I would encourage you to give God the inches that He asks of you.  If you don't, He won't take a mile.  He won't even take an inch.  And you can stay "comfortable" right where you are.  But you will miss the joy and excitement of the mile-long GREAT ADVENTURES that He has planned for you!

Image result for long journey

Give God an inch, and He will take you on the mile of your life!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


"Are you really going to make two of your children move to another country in the middle of their senior year of high school?"
"Will your special needs children get as good of health care in Guatemala as do in the US?"
"Adolescence is such a difficult time to make a transition like this."

Image result for sacrifice on an altarThese are just a few of the comments we heard seven years ago when we told our family and friends that we were going to be moving to Guatemala.  Some people were shocked, and maybe a little disturbed, that we would ask our children to make such a sacrifice.

Well, here we are, getting ready to complete six full years here in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Guatemala!  Have our children made sacrifices?  Sure, they have!  And they still are...

-They left behind a lot of friends...some of whom don't keep in contact anymore. (Difficult.)
-They don't get to spend much time with their grandparents who live in PA...only an occasional visit from Grandma and Pappy.  Their other grandma went home to be with Jesus a few years ago, and the kids were unable to go to NC for the funeral.  (Sad.)
-Our daughters who live in the States are going through early adulthood with parents and siblings far away.  They are having children of their own, without grandparents beside them to help. (Hard.)
-Carissa and Teisha finished their senior year of high school just a few months after moving here.  So, because we knew so few people here, they had no graduation ceremony or party.  (I feel terrible about that.)
-Taryn and Jeremiah turned 16 years old here.  They cannot drive or get a job here.  This has been a huge sacrifice, as they watch on facebook as all of their friends in the States are driving, working, and gaining more independence.  (Really hard.)  They have been back to Ohio only one time to visit friends.
-Joshua, Kimmie, and Jonathan have not been back to the US since we moved here; they remember   very little of life in the Untied States of America.  (Maybe not always such a bad thing.)
-It is much more challenging to find good health care here for spina bifida and cerebral palsy.
-Our kids have to share their rooms, their toys, their home, and their parents with 12 other children, and very needy children at that.  (Wow! Big one!)
-Our children have watched as four of their "siblings" have died.  True, they went on to perfect the arms of Jesus.  But that is a LOT of loss for any child to face!

Am I complaining?  No!  (Well, in my weak times, I do complain a little.)  Do the kids complain? Hardly ever!  Yes, they recognize the things they are missing.  And I'm sure at times they feel that loss.  But, wow!  They are troopers!  God made kids to bounce back with force.  If you raise your children to love and serve have His heart for people and is AMAZING what they can do...and do it with peace, joy, and excitement.

But what have our children gained?
-The knowledge and experience of another culture.
-A second language.
-Learning about poverty, malnutrition, special needs, death...and God's heart for all of these.
-Many more siblings!  And, believe it, or not, a large family has many, many advantages!
-Learning how to help care for younger siblings.
-Seeing God answer prayers in an amazing way.
-And the list goes on..
Jeremiah said it best a few weeks ago when he told me that he has gained so much more than he lost when we moved here.

As I said, the kids do have days when the feel the sacrifice more than other days.  But I don't see that as a bad thing.  It is important for children to make sacrifices; otherwise they grow up thinking they deserve what they have, and what others have, and so much more...and that never leads to good things!

Image result for the crossGod sacrificed His Son, to death on a cross!  Can't our children make a few small sacrifices to help benefit others who are in so much need?

Do your children a favor!  Help them to make some sacrifices for the benefit of others!  It will benefit your children as well!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Last Two Years...

Image result for computer frustrationSo, you may have noticed that I haven't updated my blog in over two years.  :(  I would like to give you some really good reasons for why that has not happened.  But...really I have no excuse.  It has to do with a full schedule, lack of priority placed on my blog, and (mostly) the fact that I am quite technologically challenged.  When I can't figure how to do something on the computer, I close it, and walk away...which makes it difficult to keep up with a blog.  Either way, in the past, quite a few of you have asked that I keep a blog and post regular personal updates on our lives here...that focus on our family...since Daryl's blog focuses on the ministry side of things.  I decided that I really need to do a better job, so here is my second attempt!

A LOT has happened in our family in the last two years! New children joining our group home, children passing to the arms of Jesus, and children being adopted into their forever homes.   Fulp children becoming teens, teens becoming adults, flights to Africa, weddings, grandchildren, and much more.  There is never a dull moment in our home and family!  I will try to give brief updates with pictures to help you catch up.

Hogar de la Esperanza Update:

The children in the group home ARE part of our family, so it is difficult to separate ministry from personal.  At the present time, we have 12 children in our group home.  Quite a few children have joined our home since my last post.  Three of our children were adopted into their forever families. Thankfully, both sets of parents are Christ followers, so the children are in great homes.  Difficult times for us, but such wonderful times for these three precious children and their families.  We praise God for adoption!  "God sets the lonely in families!" (Psalm 68:6)  Two of our sweet little ones went to their eternal homes with Jesus since my last post.  Again, difficult times for us, but such wonderful times for these two wonderful children!  We praise God for perfect healing!

Fulp Family Update:

Jonathan will be 12 years old this month...turning into quite the handsome young man.  Kimmie and Joshua both turned 13 years old early this year.  Teenagers already!  Wow!  Where have the years gone?!!!

    The three of them really enjoy their "3 Day Survival" activities!

Jeremiah, 16 years old next week, is turning into a fine, young man of God.  In addition to his sophomore year of school, he loves to help out around the house, work with Daryl on wheelchairs, and travel with Daryl to minister to families.  

Taryn turned 18 this year, graduated from high school, and flew to the other side of the world to follow God's call.  She is spending one year in Uganda, working with various ministries, and seeking God's call for her future.

Carissa has been living in Uganda for over a year now.  She is working on opening a home for girls with special needs.  However, she is running into problems with finding the necessary answers to get things rolling.  Please pray that God will lead her to the right people to make the vision and call a reality.

It is so nice for me, as a mom, to see my girls together, since they are both so far away from me.

Teisha married Wesley and they have a beautiful daughter, Allison, who just turned 2 years old. Teisha is a service advisor at Troy Ford, and Wes is a welder at Elite Enclosures.  They are living in Troy, OH.  

Krishauna and Andi got married last fall and they just moved to Guatemala. Krishauna is teaching one of the boys in our group home, while Andi is studying Spanish and getting accustomed to life in Guatemala.  They are living near us in San Antonio for now, and are still seeking God for their permanent location, where Andi plans to be involved in sports ministry and Shauna in special education.

Ashley, and her son, Tristan live in Troy, OH.  Tristan is 5 years old and just started school this year.  Ashley works as an aid with in-home health care.  She is also pregnant with our fourth grandchild.

Brittney married Joel in January of this year.  They live and serve in San Pablo La Laguna, Guatemala...about 3 hours from us. Joel serves as the department head of Hope for Home Ministries in
their area of the country.  And Brittney has a classroom in her house to work with and teach some of the children with special needs from their town.  Also, Brittney is pregnant with their first child, our third grandchild!

Daryl and I stay plenty busy with our family, the group home, and the many, many families with whom we work.  Recently, we counted up the number of children to whom we gave birth, adopted, fostered, or raised in our group home.  We came to a grand total of 52 far.  Some days are full of laughter and joy...others days are full of tears and frustration.  But I wouldn't change it for the world!

This past July, we celebrated 28 years of marriage.  Twenty-eight years of great adventures together!  And, due to our wonderful staff and interns, Daryl and I are able to get away occasionally to spend much needed time together.

Just to show you what an awesome husband with whom God has blessed me...
Here are the lyrics to a song that Daryl wrote for me when he realized that we had reached 10,000 days of marriage.  Thanks, Daryl, for this great adventure!

Ten Thousand Days
(Wanda’s Song)
Time has passed so quickly as together we have aged
Chapter after chapter read as the Lord has turned each page
Our eyes now have some wrinkles and your wink still makes me blush
And still your beauty grows, and I still quicken at your touch
Day after day, year after year time has passed…
Chorus 1:
Ten thousand days of laughter, ten thousand days of tears
Ten thousand days of courage and ten thousand days of fear
We’ve walked ten thousand miles of journey down countless dusty paths
And as we stand here hand in hand there’s only one thing I can ask
I beg you, Lord… oh, please give us ten thousand days more
As we stood there at that altar ten thousand sunsets ago
There’s no way we could have ever dreamed or ever could have known
The life that waited for us or the places we would go
The battles we would fight together or the way our love would grow
Yet here we are… looking back on…
(Chorus 1)
Ten thousand days to understand
Ten thousand days to love
Ten thousand days to praise the Author of this story up above
Ten thousand days to learn and grow
Ten thousand days to try
And each and every day I remembered the reason why…
I love you. Oh, I love you…
As we pass another milestone walking hand in hand
I would make the choice to choose you time and time again
I don’t know what lies ahead, I don’t know what we’ll go through
But I know I want face another ten thousand days with you
And so…we’ll keep walking on though…
Chorus 2:
Ten thousand days of laughter, ten thousand days of tears
Ten thousand days of courage and ten thousand days of fear
We will walk ten thousand miles of journey down countless dusty paths
And we will stand there hand in hand and together we will ask
We ask you, Lord…oh, we beg you, Lord...please give us, Lord... ten thousand days more
We beg you, Lord...for ten thousand days more

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


A few months ago, I wrote a blog about God giving us the desires of our hearts.  Sometimes, God gives us something that we want, a blessing, just because He loves us and He likes to see us happy.
However, we need to be reminded that it is not about us.  Sometimes He chooses not to give us our desires…maybe for our good, maybe for a bigger plan, maybe because things just happen.  Well, this has been a month where my desires have taken back seat to God’s bigger plan…as they should.


Before our group home opened last fall, Daryl tried to prepare me by reminding me that there was a good chance that eventually we would experience death in our home, since we would be taking in special needs and medically fragile children.  Little did we know that we would experience that two times in the first 10 months that our home was open.  Just 6 months to the day that we lost our sweet little Esperanza, our 14 year old Thania went home to Jesus.  She had always been medically fragile, but her death was sudden and unexpected.  She went from a simple cold to respiratory distress faster than I have ever seen.  She was laid in the arms of Jesus on her way to the hospital on Sunday, July 6th.
This was certainly NOT our desire, but it WAS God’s plan. 


Then just a few days later, we experienced another very difficult and traumatic time in our home/family.  It has left us with some challenges and some decisions to make.
I certainly did not plan or ask for that to happen, but it did.

Then the following day, Yenifer (one of the girls in our group home) started having grand mal seizures…16 seizures in two days.  We were never able to confirm the cause of the seizures, but they were scary for Yeni, us, and the other children in the home…especially at the end of such a traumatic week for us all.
Again…not in the plan…not the way I wanted to end the week.


I often don’t understand why God does things the way He does.  If He is all-powerful (which He is), and if He loves us (which He does), then why doesn’t He always give us the desires of our heart?  Why do bad things happen to us?  Why is our family struggling with hurt and pain and tears?  I don’t understand, but the nice thing is…I don’t have to understand.  It doesn’t matter if I understand or not.  The fact is:  It’s not about me and my comfort.  It’s all about God.   He is in control.  He is the author, the illustrator, and the star—really the only important character.  What happens to me and my family on this earth is very, very insignificant next to God’s ultimate plan.  Yes, He loves us.  And, yes, He enjoys giving us the desires of our heart.  But our desires should, and do, take back seat to His ultimate plan.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Our Changing Nest

Many of my friends and family are experiencing the empty nest.  Well, at 47 years of age, Daryl and I are no where close!    As some of our older children are leaving the nest, other younger children are joining the nest.  At this point in our lives, our children (biological, adopted, and living in our group home) range from 2 years to 24 years of age.  And the empty nest is no where in sight!  I’m not complaining…just stating a fact.

But as the older daughters are moving on, I am reminded again that the children that God puts in our nest are not really ours.  They all belong to our Heavenly Father and He allows us to take care of them for the time that He determines.  Some are with us in our home for only a few short months; others for only a few years; and others for 20+ years.  They are all His children, given to us for a time to love, nurture, teach…and send on to where He calls. 

A brief update on those who have left the nest or are getting ready to leave:

Brittney is presently in the Ohio, having just finished her student teaching for her elementary ed/special ed degree.  She has worked hard over the years and is now reaching her goal.  We have missed her greatly over these recent months and are very anxious to have her return to Guatemala in just a few weeks.  She will live with us and help in our group home for a couple of months and then she will be moving to San Pablo La Laguna (about 3 hours drive from here), where she will be starting her ministry with special needs children and their families.  This is a very poor community, and they do not speak Spanish.  Brittney will have to learn yet another language (Tz'utujil) and a very new life style.  But she is so excited to follow God’s call there.  Please pray for her—for direction in ministry, friends at her new home, peace, provision, and God’s power to carry her through.  Please see Brittney’s blog, Reason to Sing, in my blog list to the right, to follow her ministry.

Ashley is still living in Ohio with her husband Dustin and their

 son,Tristan.  Ashley is working at Advance America and Dustin is working his way up the chain at ConAgra.  Tristan will be three years old this July and is working at keeping his parents busy!  Prayers for their family would be appreciated.

Krishauna is working hard to finish her classes up in 2014, so she can return to the States for a few months early next year to complete her student teaching.  She too is working toward an elementary ed/special ed degree.  However, in the mean time, she is taking a one-month trip to Ohio in July to complete some testing that is required for her schooling.  She is also helping out here in our home when she is not studying.  Please pray for Krishauna in her final leg of her education and pray that God will guide her to His perfect plan for her future ministry here in Guatemala.  Krishauna’s blog, entitled Unpredictable, is to the right as well.

Teisha has had a year of change.  She and Wes, her fiancé, are living in Ohio.  Any day now she will be giving birth to a little girl.  Her name is Allison Marie.  We would appreciate your prayers for guidance and direction.

Carissa is doing a wonderful job as co-director of Hogar de la Esperanza.  This position has given her some valuable experience and training as she prepares for her ministry in Uganda.  But now her time here is almost over.  She is planning to fly to the States in July to begin a time of speaking and fund-raising for her next big step in life—moving to Uganda to start her own ministry to orphan girls with special needs.  She is very excited to move toward this great call of God.  We are going to miss her immensely here at Hogar de la Esperanza, but Uganda is going to gain a wonderful young lady.  I’m sure she would appreciate any contacts that you can make for her to be able to speak to your church, small group, etc.   Please pray for Carissa—for direction and wisdom as she makes decisions for her future, for speaking engagements in the States, for provision of finances for her move and ministry start-up costs.  You can follow Carissa’s ministry by reading her blog, Less of me; More of You, in my blog list to the right.

The rest of my “little" ones will be staying in the nest for a least a couple more years. (Although, I have a feeling that those years will pass all too quickly.)

Thank You, Father, for Brittney, Ashley, Krishauna, Teisha, and Carissa!  Please help each one of them to know and love You from the bottom of their hearts.

Thank You, Lord, for Taryn, Jeremiah, Joshua, Kimberly, and Jonathan!  As they grow and mature, please help them to follow you with every ounce of their being.

Thank You, God, for Thania, Alejandra, Yenifer, Brayan, Rafael, Angelita, Christian, Esther, and Racquel.  Help them to know and love You to the best of their abilities.

And thank You again, Father, for the beautiful and precious life that you gave to Your little Esperanza, and all that you taught us through her.  Thank You again for holding her in Your perfect arms.

Thank You, Father, for the incredible nest You have given us!  And thank You for the changes that You are making to our nest…even though some of those changes are difficult!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I really enjoy just sitting back and watching our twins, Esther and Racquel.  They are 2 ½ years old and they are absolutely adorable!

The thing about them that fascinates me is how they cling to each other.  They are almost always together.  If you find one of them, you find both of them.  They look to each other to decide how to respond.  When I ask Esther if she wants to play with a certain toy, she looks at Racquel to see her sister’s reaction before giving her own answer.  When I give a new food to Racquel, she tends to looks at Esther to see how she is going to respond before deciding whether or not to graciously except the food.  Often they walk around holding hands.  I’ve even seen on a couple of occasions, where one of them stumbles and falls;  and instead of letting go of her sister’s hand, the second one falls right beside or on top of her.  Sure sometimes they fight and tell on each other.  But even then, there have been many times that they are holding hands while hitting each other with their free hand.

I am told that this is very typical of twins.  And these girls have had their world turned up-side-down, probably a few times, as they are moved from family to an orphanage to our group home.  I’m sure it is nice for them to always have each other there, someone to whom they can cling.

One day as I was watching these two little sweethearts walking and playing arm-in-arm, I started thinking about my relationship with Jesus.  Do I cling to Him the way I should?  Do I stay by His side at all cost?  Do I look to Him to see His reaction before I act?  Do I keep holding His hand no matter what happens? 

I am sorry to say that I fail at this many times.  I tend to walk solo.  I respond to people and circumstances without first looking at Jesus’ face to see what He thinks.  I tend to wander away from His side.  I stay in the same room so I can still see Him, but not close enough to His side to feel His every move.  Why do I do this?  I don’t know.  But I suffer for it every time I do it.  Fortunately, God knows that I love Him and have a sincere desire to follow Him.  So when I stumble, Jesus keeps holding my hand and helps me back up.  Thank You so much, Father.  And please help me to remember that it is easier to stay by Your side than to go solo.


My goal for today:  Cling to Jesus closer and tighter than I did yesterday.