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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Homeward Bound! 1 comment

Our Team:

It was a short night and an early morning!  Our alarm went off at 3:30 am and we were loading up at 4:15 to head off to the airport.  Despite long lines for tickets and customs, we were on the plane in plenty of time, and on our way back home again!

There was a HUGE line for customs in Houston, causing us to barely reach our gate in time for takeoff ... We were relieved to have an hour's delay before takeoff, allowing us all to grab a bite to eat (since none of us had eaten yet that day).

The flights were relatively uneventful, filled with plenty of sleep, and quiet reflection time for each of us.  We were sad to leave our friends, the beautiful people and places of Nicaragua so soon.  But it was also nice to see our families waiting for us as we walked through the doors at the airport!  It was a warm welcome back home again!

We are all so thankful for this opportunity ... to be able to serve and to be served ... to work to help to bring about change, while being changed ourselves.  God is good!  We give Him all of the praise and the glory for this experience!  We pray that He will continue to reveal Himself to us as we remember this experience and process all that we have seen and experienced.  We so feel blessed!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Goodbye ... Rain ... Markets ... and more! 0 comments

We spent the morning at Monte Hermon, interacting in a variety of ways.  We began the day with devotions with the High School students.  Then we played soccer with the Grade 8 students, made a craft with the Grade 6 students, and finally we closed our time together with a school-wide assembly to share and to say our goodbyes.  It was hard to believe we were already saying ‘goodbye’ to our new-found friends!

In the afternoon we headed for the market to purchase gifts and items to sell for the fundraiser for next year’s HANDS team.  It was cloudy and overcast, which we had not experienced yet here.  The rainy season is just around the corner … but we experienced one of the early rains.  It began to sprinkle while we were driving.  By the time we arrived at the hammock shop, it began to pour! … Within no time, the water just flowed!!  It was quite something to see!  Not long after, the rain stopped and it once again became hot and muggy!!  It was fun to experience and watch a downpour here!

We purchased a variety of items at the market for our family and friends, as well as for the fundraiser that will raise money for next year’s team!!  We had fun!

Back at the Nehemiah Center we spent the evening meeting with Peter, Trudy (our hosts), Lennin and Lesther (our translators) from EduDeo Ministries to debrief a bit about our time here.  Then we worked to get everyone packed.  We finally headed to bed to catch a few short hours of sleep before getting ready to head HOME!  

What an incredible time we have had here!  So much to think about and to process!  We are so thankful for all of the people we have met and the opportunities we have had to spend time among them!  We are blessed and changed because we came .... Thank you!

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Monday, April 16, 2012

MONDAY! 0 comments

Another GREAT day!!

We started off with an early, 6:00 am breakfast and we were at the school by 7:00.  We began the day by playing soccer with the Grade 7 class …. what a blast!  It is terrific how sports can help to cross the language barrier and open up communication in a fun and different way!

We then went to the Grade 5 class where we shared a story with them and made a craft with them … we colored together while we worked to communicate with one another.  

Next we went to the grade 1 class where we took turns singing action songs and children’s songs to one another … their smiles and their energy are absolutely infectious!  We had so much fun!

Our classroom time with the older kids included a time of devotions and then sharing with each other what we have learned while we have been together.  What a great morning!  We can hardly believe that tomorrow is our last day here … and we know that we are not ready to say goodbye!

Our afternoon took us back to Bautista Libertad where we worked hard and painted more perlins … 30 in all!  We have finally figured out a system and we have gotten much better at working together to finish them in an efficient manner.  The working conditions are really hot there, but no one complained and everyone worked so well together!

On the way home we stopped at the store to buy snacks for the evening.  It is a bit of a treat when we stop a ‘la Union’ to be able to buy chips and pop, or something sweet as a snack for the evening! 

Our evening was filled with preparing gifts to give to our friends tomorrow at Monte Hermon and beginning the process of packing and preparing for our return home.  We also had our regular time of devotions and reflection together in the evening.   — We have truly appreciated the encouragement and support we have received from our family and our Prayer Partners through their letters and notes … it has been a highlight of the trip and a meaningful part of our devotional time, in which we have been encouraged and supported! - Thank you!

Tomorrow will be an emotional day as we say goodbye … we have been so blessed to have been able to be here!

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Church and the Beach! 0 comments

Church and the Beach!

We enjoyed attending church this morning with our friends at Monte Hermon!  

Our team shared the skit that we had prepared together on Ephesians 4:29 and also sang the song “King of Heaven” for the congregation (including attempting to sing part of the song in our broken Spanish!).  We were challenged by Pastor Daniel Aragon in his sermon, based on John 20:19-29.  And we enjoyed the worship and time praising our same Lord together!  It is encouraging to know that no matter what language we speak, together we are unified in praising God!

After church we spent some time visiting and reuniting with friends in the congregation.  We returned to the Nehemiah Center to get changed and ready to head to the beach!  

The PACIFIC OCEAN!!  We all enjoyed the hot sand, the REALLY salty water (I think we all ingested our fair share!  Blech!), diving into and under the crashing waves, and relaxing on the shore!  Josh rented a surf board and worked hard to be able to stand up and “catch a wave”. What a beautiful afternoon!!  We had yet another nice meal together, under a large “tiki-type” shelter.

We bought some necklaces and jewelry from a local family that sells their items on the beach.  We enjoyed bartering with them, and purchasing some unique and beautiful jewelry!  :)

The trip home allowed us to again enjoy the beautiful scenery of Nicaragua … taking in sights such as a local rodeo, a beautiful sunset, interesting vehicles like those that combine horses and people standing together in a truck, loads of sugarcane piled high on trucks (Peter reached through the window and snagged one for us off of a truck!  :),  and the beautiful faces of so many people.  We feel so blessed to be here!  We have had a terrific time so far … and can hardly believe that we only have a couple of days left!  

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