November 28, 2011

Immanuel HANDS team in Nicaragua – November 4-12

Immanuel HANDS Team:

The Immanuel team of 13 people left at 6 a.m. on November 4, 2011 from Buffalo airport for Nicaragua. We had a good trip and arrived there to be met by Lester and Peter Kuipers. We all piled into the van and were met with our first impressions of Managua. For some it was overwhelming and for others who were there for second or third times in was interesting to see if there had been changes. When we arrive at the Nehemiah Center we had orientation and got to know what was in store for our week in Nicaragua. Our evening closed with early lights out and off to bed, we were bushed.

Since we arrived on a Friday, both Saturday and Sunday were spent as culture awareness days and were interesting with lots of sites to see and impressions to absorb. We soon realized that Nicaragua is a beautiful country with interesting geographic features. From the Pacific Ocean to the volcanoes and the jungle like growth of trees and shrubs it was all breathtaking.

On Monday we started at Elim Christian School in a suburb of Managua. The roof of corrugated steel was quickly removed and then the whole place could be painted. The painting included the inside, outside and all the trusses etc. Everyone pitched in with the painting and much was learned about the quality of Nicaraguan paint as well as thinners etc. Having two professional painters on the team proved to be an asset and a few trips to the paint and hardware store proved enlightening.

Some members of the team spent time with various classes of students and helped teachers while our construction leader fell out of a tree and injured his shoulder and therefore had to wear his arm in a sling for the rest of the trip after having been seen by the doctor at the Managuan hospital. After all the painting a new roof was installed by the 2 Nicaraguan workers and they did an awesome job.

The school was finished of all that we could do by Thursday, and the students gave a closing ceremony at 10:30 a.m. and we said good bye by noon. The balance of the day was spent seeing the technical facility at Nejapa as well as 2 more schools that have been or will be worked on and then we went to the local market.

On Friday we drove to Leon to meet with various members of churches and we shared different programs that each church employs.

Various evenings were spent in listening to either Steve Holtrop tell us about the history of Nicaragua, watching a video about Guatemala and their struggles with poverty as well as hosting Nica Made and seeing what they produce. Also every evening we enjoyed devotions as well as lots of singing since we had 3 musicians in the group.

Our trip ended on Saturday a.m. and we were off for home. It was good to have been there to see how EduDeo and the Nehemiah Center are making a difference and that the worldview of Christ in everything is having a wonderful enriching impact on the Christians who live there.

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