May 23, 2013

April 20

Almonte HANDS Team:

Hello from Nicaragua again, time for another update

We have been able to enjoy a variety of cultural and fun activities the last couple days and have been blessed to see more of this beautiful country and meet more beautiful people.

Yesterday we visited a vocational school located here at the Nehemiah Center (NC) and met some of the workers and leaders there.  It's purpose is to teach work/practical vocation skills and train up servant-leaders that can go out and multiply and train others. They teach blacksmithing, welding and metal working, culinary skills, sewing and auto repair.  Very awesome ministry and they produce amazing results.

We had an amazing 'history/geography/political' presentation by Steve the NC director, he condensed about 300 years into an hour or so.  It gave us an excellent primer to understand a bit better how the people we are meeting and interacting with think and see things from their cultural and historical background.  We spent some of the afternoon in Managua at a public market and the old Presidential Palace ruins..and generally just being  tourists and enjoying the sights and sounds.  Like livestock on the highway shoulders, street vendors galore, iguana's and armadillo's for sale along the roadside (for food, not pets) and much more.

This morning we headed south and travelled up to a nearby village where they specialize in pottery crafting and learned about how they make their distinctive works of art. We were disappointed that none of us could figure out how we could safely get back more than only a few treasures stowed in our  onboard bags.  The next stop was the zip line course out in the mountains which everyone agreed was completely awesome.

We then continued south to Granada and had an excellent lunch and took a boat trip out on Lake Nicaragua and then saw a few local sites at the town square and marketplace.  

Staying cool is a constant consideration, it is very hot, high 30s, pretty muggy.  Open areas with a breeze are cherished. Thankfully no sunburns. Agua (water) consumption is at an elevated level.  We have been able to find some fantastic local coffee shops and some of us (you probably know who) have enjoyed some delicious Americanos… Healthwise some of us have had a few struggles dealing with the constant heat and adjusting to the diet.  A few of us have had some 'down' periods but thankfully nothing really serious. Hopefully a bit more rest tonight and tomorrow and some 'meds' will put everything right again.

Our devotion times have been a real blessing as we have worked through Philippians and had some great dialogue about our love and unity and how we can serve those around us.  

The language is a definite barrier and it can be frustrating at times but we are trying our best and trusting God to do the rest.  Today we enjoyed meeting the wife and young son of our translator, Lester. He is a great resource for the ministry here and we can't imagine how we would get along without him.

We are looking forward to worshipping with a Spanish church tomorrow and then a time to relax at the ocean.  We are thankful for all your prayer support as we are away, please don't let up.

Have a wonderful Lord's Day.

Brent (for the team)


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