July 27, 2013

Mountain Paradise - Nuevo Jerusalem

Just 4 Teachers HANDS Team:

This morning I climbed into the back seat of a rental 4 wheel drive pickup. It took me up a steep and windy road filled with ruts and bumps. As it climbed higher, the view got better and better. The view was stunning - God's handiwork on display. All around me I saw lush green plants and trees, many of which I had never seen before.

When the truck had driven as far as it could go, my team and I got out of the vehicles and were welcomed warmly into the community of Nuevo Jerusalem. It was a a privilege to interact with various members of this community and share their excitement and joy in what they were doing. The people I met today may not have much for material possessions, according to our standards, but they are the first to tell you that they are not poor. They have their hands, their minds, their work, and their relationships with one another. The also demonstrate a deep faith in The Lord. They plant their crops and The Lord sends rain.  Their reliance on the Lord and His faithfulness, their relationships with one another, and the warm atmosphere of their community was a positive example of what it means to be a member of the body of Christ.

Submitted by Kimberly Duursma

*****

Today we met a small community way out in the rain forest that are in the processes of building a new community.  All of them previously did not have their own land, but through a process of a land bank being set up, they were able to purchase land, and are now farming for themselves.  The land that they own is out-of-this-world beautiful. Everywhere you look, there is another surprise of life waiting for you to discover.  The people work incredibly hard there.  They do all the farming by hand, and walk all their produce out on foot.  It's not an easy life.  And yet, I found myself feeling quite jealous when we met them, of the simple lifestyle and beautiful place they live in.  Realistically, I know I probably wouldn't last more than a week in their shoes.  Most of their farming (coffee, corn, coco), is done on very steep hillsides. The farmers sometimes have to walk, up to an hour on very muddy trails, just to get to their land.

When we first arrived, I shook the hand of a gentleman in the community and thanked him for inviting us in.  In the four words he spoke and one look into his eyes, I could sense that this man was a close follower of Jesus.  As the community introduced themselves to us, I was so struck by the humbleness of the people.  They were so honouring to us, by the way they thanked us for coming, and by the way they welcomed us into their village.  It made me feel quite ashamed of my own culture, and the number of times I could think of when I did not receive visitors in this way back home.  These people don't have many material belongings, but I was the one feeling poor.  What a beautiful community. It was definitely they who blessed me today.  I hope sometime I can bless them back.

Submitted by Kaily Stevens

*****

Traveling in two 4WD vehicles, over winding, rocky and oh so steep roads, we were transported to a place of indescribable beauty.  Lush tropical foliage covered the mountains and valleys, the sounds of the flowing river and the chatter of birds filled the air. A secret paradise of sorts, far from the busy streets of Managua. Our team gathered together under the shade of a tin roof pavilion with some members of Nuevo Jerusalem, a land bank community of 24 families. There we were warmly greeted, welcomed and honoured by our hosts.  Prayers were offered, smiles exchanged, stories were shared. We sampled freshly baked bread from their outdoor ovens.  We shared the space with animal friends such as chickens, dogs, goats and pigs. We climbed steep inclines to see a family farm on a hillside with crops of bananas, plantain, coffee, cocoa and corn. I was overwhelmed with feelings of joy and peace and even a longing while visiting this community. So far away from so much of "our world" but so richly and deeply connected to God, one another and God's creation.  Hidden blessings...may we seek opportunities to find some for ourselves.

Submitted by Barb Buldyke

Comments:

Alice Plug-Buist
Jul 29, 2013 at 10:32 am

Thank you for sharing these great perspectives!

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