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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Clearview - Reflections 0 comments

Our Team:

Our journey home started on Saturday morning in Nicaragua, included a 10 hour stop over in the airport in Mexico City and an overnight flight to Toronto.  The need for a daylight departure and the long stopover were reminders that although we felt safe and well looked after, this country we have grown to love is still in need of prayer and restoration.  

I am filled with gratitude as I reflect back on the trip.  The team worked well together and we learned from each other.  I am thankful that we stayed healthy and free of injury.  My heart is full as I think about all the people that we met and worked alongside.  I am so thankful for the prayers and concern that we received from our church, family and friends.   

Our theme verse for the trip was  1Peter 1:22b which says "love deeply, from the heart".  And the people we met made this very easy.  They were hospitable and friendly and it didn't take long before we were sharing laughs and making connections despite our language barriers.  We also had the privilege of hearing the life stories of those we interacted with.  We heard real-life accounts of how Jesus protected refugee children and watched over isolated and injured soldiers. These stories deepened our friendship and grew our love for one another.  As well we met with those who worked alongside our youth, who fed and loved them when they were so far from home.  I can't forget the growth of friendships within our group. Tying rebar and digging holes give you lots of opportunity to learn who can make the best animal sound or hear about the best family vacation ever.  It also gives you an opportunity to hear about struggles and heartaches.  And pray with someone who is mourning.    I have heard it said that when you go on a mission trip you get more out of it then you give.  And for me this was true.  I went in expecting to share the love of Jesus and I did, but I returned knowing in a deeper way His love for me.  

I have a feeling that this won't be our last ClearView HANDS trip.  So if our story has inspired you at all please ask the Lord if he will send you next time. 


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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Clearview Day 10 EduDeo 0 comments

This was an Edu-Deo mission trip.  Edu-Deo is committed to seeing communities transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and doing their part in that broad vision with a mission to advance Christ-centred education for children worldwide.  That still sounds quite broad and therefore Edu-Deo has worked mostly in Nicaragua, Belize, and Dominican Republic with some minor activity in Zambia and Ghana.  

The Edu-Deo Nicaragua commitment works perfectly with the intentional missions commitment that ClearView Church has with that country.  Our 2019 team is the second HANDS team that ClearView has sent to Nicaragua, the last one having gone in 2014.  HANDS stands for “Help Another Nation Develop Schools”.

In a nutshell Edu-Deo helps existing Christian schools in developing countries, and in our case, Nicaragua, expand or renovate and sometimes new Christian schools to start.  All Christian schools must be members of ACECEN - Association Centro Education Christian Evangelical Nicaragua, an association of Christian schools akin to the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools.  This holds schools accountable and gives Edu-Deo comfort about finances, educational standards and a solid Christian focus.

On the ground in Nicaragua, EduDeo has a project manager, Lester, and a coordinator, Nilda, both based at the Edu-Deo Nicaragua office at the Nehemiah Centre.  They find new projects for the Canadian board to approve and then arrange for materials, labour and equipment to construct the project, supported by funds from both the school and Edu-Deo.  HANDS teams such as ours are encouraged to join in the construction and to help build relationships, and are much valued.  Lester and Nilda arranged for all of our needs, bussed us around and were a great source of local knowledge and guidance.

What we saw as a result of Edu-Deo’s  efforts are more children getting access to Christ centred education and usually at higher standards of educational excellence in Nicaragua where they can least afford better education and where values and morals seem to be diminishing rapidly.  Our prayer is that communities continue to see positive transformation with Edu-Deo and our support.

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Clearview Day 9: Some Reflections on Our Time in Nicaragua 4 comments

Yesterday was the last day at our work site. Although the project is far from finished we were privileged to be part of preparing the foundations for the two classrooms. We look forward to seeing pictures of the completed rooms filled with pre-kindergarten children.

Today we had the opportunity to visit two of the schools where EduDeo has done considerable work in the past and one school where six new classrooms are currently under construction. It is gratifying to see the impact that EduDeo donors have had in providing these school facilities. It was powerful to hear from the three principles who shared their stories of God’s faithfulness during times of significant hardships, personal challenge, and political turmoil. Please continue to pray for the students, teachers, and principals in Christian schools in Nicaragua.

As we complete our time here and reflect on everything we have experienced, we are very much aware that this trip is not so much about what we have accomplished - how many holes we have dug, how much re-bar we have tied, how much concrete we have poured, how many purlins we have washed and painted.   Rather, the significance of this trip is much more about how WE have been impacted. The life stories of those who worked alongside us this past week, of the school Principals we met, of the VanderWees and Holtrop families have given us great cause to praise God for His faithfulness. We look forward to sharing some of these stories with you in the coming weeks.

Tomorrow morning we leave Nicaragua and fly home, with a 9 hour layover in Mexico City.


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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Clearview Day 8: The People of Nicaragua 3 comments

The people of Nicaragua 

Not only are we here to help build a school but we have the privilege of building relationships with some wonderful Nicaraguan people. Let me introduce you to them:

Lester, our driver fled Nicaragua as a boy with his family many years ago. He returned later as an adult to the country he loves and is working for EduDeo as a project manager, driver and guide. 
Nedi, our construction superintendent has built many schools with EduDeo. We sat with him for lunch one day and listened as he told his amazing story about some of the military strife in the past and how he overcame great difficulties and became a believer. 
Nilda, the project coordinator and translator really helped us on the job site.  She was also our boss as we scrubbed and painted steel purlins (beams). 
Over lunch the principal, Angela and her administrator, Carlos answered our many questions about the history of the school. We also heard from the pastor, Roberto from the church here. Amazing stories! We then had the opportunity to bless and pray for them. 
Mirabel, an excellent helper with us on the purlins. 
Heidi, Genesis and Rosemary, the local girls who loved to come and help and hug us 
Lourdes, our amazing cook at the Nehemiah Center who serves us so graciously.  

Our experience with the Nicaraguan people has been one of warmth despite the underlying concerns of the unrest that has occurred. We have found that our presence here has really given hope to these people, since we are the first team from out of country to serve in Nicaragua in 9 months.
Knowing them has changed us and enriched our lives - thank you!


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