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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday - Our Last day at the Work Site 0 comments

Our Team:

We had to pack everything up this morning, since we would head back to the Nehemiah Center in Managua after finishing our work today.

     After breakfast we were on the road back to Chinandega and the school to continue painting. We worked hard and finished 4 of the classrooms, after having completed the entire front of the exterior of the school yesterday. Again, the heat was difficult to work in, but everyone did a great job of taking breaks when needed, drinking lots of water, and working hard to complete the job. The team did a great job on the work site!

     We went out for lunch together and then traveled to see Lesther’s house and meet his beautiful family. After a stop at Lesther’s, we traveled to Azarias – the first school a Gateway team had worked at (5 years ago). We met Martha, the Principal of Azarias, who has a heart of old and who serves God and his beautiful people in Nicaragua so faithfully. She is such a dear soul, and simply lives out the love of Christ to every student AND staff member that she comes in contact with. One cannot help but immediately feel loved by her, and inspired by her! We brought some balls and sports equipment for the school and visited the tiny building – amazed at the number of students housed in the tiny school. Such a ministry!

     Nilda lives just down from Azarias, and so suddenly it was time for us to say our goodbyes to her. We visited her family’s wonderful home and then said our thank yous and goodbyes before heading back to the Nehemiah Center.

    After supper it was time to begin the packing party. There was a LOT to be packed in preparation for our trip home! We all worked at packing our own items, as well as packing the items purchased to bring back for next year’s team. We had the last of our cold water showers and headed to bed for a few hours of sleep before beginning the trip home. … We simply cannot believe the days have gone by so quickly, and that it is time to say goodbye to this place and these people!  

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday at the Work Site 0 comments

     This is the first time any of our teams have traveled to Leon and on to Chinandega to visit or to work. Although Peter tells us this is the hottest part of the country, we are still excited to see another part of Nicaragua.

     We drove for about an hour until we arrived at Centro  Comunitario El Shadai, a small little school in the middle of a small, village area. We met the Principal and some of the teachers from the school, as well as the Pastors from the church and school. Because this week is Semana Santa, there is no school in session so there were no classes or students present – only a few interested children from the area.

     Our job for the next two days is to put a fresh coat of paint on the front exterior of the school and to paint the inside of as many classes as we can finish while we are here. We quickly got to work – sanding, sweeping, cleaning, cutting, rolling and painting. We are a large group and we worked quickly – our greatest obstacle was the extreme heat we were working in. We were thankful that the large covered gathering area shaded us for most of our work.

     During a break the Principal took us for a walk through the surrounding neighbourhood. This was much different than what we have seen or experienced yet. This area is very poor. Houses are small, rough and primitive; many are made of corrugated tin, cardboard, and black plastic. Sewage runs along the side of the dusty streets. Even the dogs look unhealthy and poor. Peter told us that most of the people living in this area were displaced due to Hurricane Mitch (in 1992?) and have never since recovered. With little to no opportunity for work, they live in a continued state of extreme poverty. We were humbled as many people waved to us, smiled at us, and as the children came out to play with us as we passed through the neighbourhood. It was an eye-opening experience for our group.

     We continued to work until the late afternoon when we cleaned up, and headed back to the guesthouse. We were thankful for supper, fun in the pool to cool us down, showers to clean us, and devotion time together. We have also been spoiled in this guesthouse by having air conditioning in our rooms at night!


Student Highlights from Monday


Wow what an amazing adventure this has been so far.  I’m so blessed to have my brother, father, aunt and friends by my side throughout the entire process.  Today we had the opportunity to help support a school that is very poor, and we chipped in by redoing the painting of the whole campus, in which EduDeo will later chip in with new windows and steel bars.  As we were painting the compound, I felt really overpowered by the fact of how fortunate we are as Canadians.  Some of us are struggling with our pay, or what to wear or even the current social gossip.  But today was about realizing how we need to constantly count our beans and be joyful and thankful for each bean And it couldn’t have been a better day to learn that today, and to conquer that reality as a team.



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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday 1 comment

We were excited to be going to church and worshipping together this morning! We went to a church named “Verbo” – a lively and upbeat worship experience! Although we did not know the songs, we did our best to keep up with the worship team and sing along as best we could. When it came time for the sermon, they had headphones for visitors to be able to use so they could hear a translator translate during the sermon.

    We came back to the Nehemiah Center after church for lunch and to pick up our luggage and supplies for the next two days. Then we headed off to the beach!

     We spent the afternoon at Pochomil Beach swimming in the Pacific Ocean, jumping in the waves, trying to surf, and enjoying the sandy beaches. We had an early supper ordered on the beach and then we headed off to Leon.

     We settled into the Phoenicia Guest house, where we will stay for the next two nights while we work at our work site. The guest house has a wonderful pool where the kids were able to swim in the evening before having group devotions and settling down for the night.


Student reflections from Sunday:


I felt amazing today. I thought it was amazing to see how free people were in their worship at church today. People were dancing around and singing and not worried about how other people might see them. The message was awesome too. The pastor talked about not being passive in our spiritual walk, and I felt like that is something that spoke right to me today and for my own journey. I thought the message was honest and simple, but very understandable and good (thanks to the translator). I really liked the beach, I liked jumping over the waves, but the salt water stung my eyes so I went searching for seashells. Our new hotel has three people to a room instead of 8, so that’s awesome. Overall it was a great day.


It was an interesting experience at a new style of church service. The worship seemed so out there. Dancing, drumming, loud singing - an outward expression of how Christ is to the people experiencing the worship. One man in a yellow shirt was so enthralled by the music that he was jumping up and down and waving his arm everywhere. It was a way different experience than what I am used to from home. The waves at the beach were bigger than any I’ve seen before. They were strong and could take you under if they wanted to. It was fun trying to keep a foot on the ground because deep holes where you couldn’t touch would seem to pop up. The experience there was phenomenal. I’m so glad that I’ve had this past week to get to know my team and all of these little experiences that we share together allows us to grow closer as a class and learn new things about each other that we didn’t know before.


We got to go to a Spanish speaking church today. It was really cool. There were people dancing in the aisles. The whole experience was so great. From the songs to the sermon, I’m glad I got to experience that. The sermon was in Spanish, but there was enough I could pick up on that I could still really enjoy it. We went to the beach. We had a lot of fun in the water. The waves were big, the water was quite brown - ew… I had lots of fun with all of our classmates in the ocean. I got to lie in a hammock until we had supper, it was so comfortable. The food at the beach was amazing. I had chicken (again). Delicious! We traveled to Leon where we are staying for the next two nights. It was a long ride, but we had fun singing and listening to music.


We went to church at Verbo today. It was crazy! People were dancing, it was loud, the drummer was really good. It made my hair stand up. We had a long bus ride to the beach. The ocean was fun. It was nice to go into some cooler water. I thought it would be hotter. We tried surfing. The waves were huge, and the board was way too small. Every time we got on the board it was two feet under water and wouldn’t float. The food at the beach was great, it’s been good this whole trip. My ears have been plugged quite badly for the last couple of days, but today I had some relief when they popped. They still hurt, but I can hear. 

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

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