April 11, 2012

What A Welcome! - Day 1

Gateway HANDS Team:

We have had a full and wonderful day!

     After waking up and being served a great breakfast at the Nehemiah Center, we went to our partner school of Monte Hermon.  Imagine our surprise when we drove up to see the ENTIRE SCHOOL lined up in a large circle around the edge of a field ... clapping and waving, waiting for our arrival.  We were immediately humbled to feel so welcomed!  One by one, we walked around to every student and staff member, saying hello and shaking their hands!  WOW ... it was an emotional and meaningful beginning to our time with Monte Hermon!

     Our morning was filled with touring the school and meeting all of the classes ... As we entered each room they would stand up and greet us in unison, welcoming us and asking God to bless us.  Again ... we were humbled by the kind welcome and the warm hearts of the people here.  We were able to meet students and staff, to learn the stories of each of the teachers, and hear some of the information and history of the school throughout our visits.

     We spent some time interacting in a classroom with the older students in the school.  This year Monte Hermon does not have any students in grade 11 (they graduate students in grade 11 in Nicaragua, not grade 12 like in Alberta), so we enjoyed some "getting to know each other activities" with the grade 9 and 10 students.  What a full, but great morning at the school!

     After lunch at the Nehemiah Center we went to the work site of "Bautista Libertad".  This is a school that is attached to a church.  While the church itself is quite large, the available classroom space for the school is really lacking.  The school has over 300 students in attendance, but has very few classrooms.  The building project will add a second level to an existing building, giving them 2 more classrooms!  Our job for the day was to paint steel "perlins" or support beams, to keep them from rusting after they are put up.  Of course, it was hot while we painted, but the group had a great attitude and worked hard!   

     We returned to the Nehemiah Center for supper.  Then we sorted through the many suitcases of supplies that were donated for us to bring with us.  Later we had group devotions, time set aside to journal, and now time for bed.  

     It has been a great first day and already we feel incredibly blessed to be here!  We are so thankful for safety in our travels as we came here!  We are so grateful for the many people praying for us ... Thank you!  -- We feel your prayers and we know beyond a doubt that God is watching over us!  

     We have had a great first day!  We are tired and ready for sleep ... but thankful for the wonderful start to our time here!  


PS ... Pictures will be loaded later when we have a better internet signal  :)


Apr 11, 2012 at 3:21 am

Glad to hear you're off to a great start. You're meeting lots of people, which is cool, and doing useful work. Thanks for representing us all. Praying that God will bless you and those you encounter.

Apr 11, 2012 at 10:18 am

Thank you for the update Mrs. Lehman! Sounds like it was a wonderful first day! We continue to pray for your safety, good health and for you all to be a blessing to all you come in contact with! Love'n Hugs to All

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