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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A final overview of a wonderful learning experience 1 comment

Our Team:

Our story:
After much prayer, fundraising and anticipation we flew from Buffalo to Managua on Jan 19/ 15.  We were met by our wonderful hosts Peter and Trudy Kuipers who in no time had us packed up and at the Nehemiah center - where we were settled for the night. 

The following morning we set off — suitcases and all for Leon. We picked up "our own Lester" and met his  family.  On the way we dropped off the luggage at the Davida conference center and then went on to Neuva Jerusalem—Jehova Shalom were we would do the majority of our work during our stay.  We were very warmly welcomed by the principal and her husband the local pastor. They were so very grateful for our presence because without the given supplies and our volunteer labour the work would have been impossible for the community to complete.  We were energized to get to work. Along with local labour headed by Ernesto we got to work digging out the hard dirt floors, wheeling it away, and painting steel girders. Over the next 3 days we were able to remove the dirt, put gravel/ sand into place, put rebar down in preparation for concrete on Monday and paint lots of girders. We were fed a home cooked meal every lunch hour prepared and served  by the principal as a means of showing her appreciation for our work — we were the ones being blessed by being there and seeing their commitment to Christ and Christian education! We just had to mention our desire for coffee on the first day and from then on it arrived every afternoon sweetened and black!  They were so good to us!  Every night we left the worksite exhausted and stinky to arrive a short distance away at our "oasis".  Davida was a beautiful haven where we enjoyed showers, were bountifully fed, and slept on our less than comfortable beds—but we had air conditioning!.  OH WELL - ALL WAS GOOD!  We were blessed to have Pastor Fred Vanderberg on our team who led us every night through a petition of the Lord’s  prayer and stimulated us in our spiritual walk.
 The next days were educational, cultural and relaxing.  Peter ably and concisely gave us a Nicaraguan history lesson. We visited 3 schools that had been worked on by other HANDS teams. I do not rermember them all by name however do know the impact of the EDU DEO program in the lives of these children! The school that team Niagara worked on 2 years ago in Managua stands out in my mind.  We were warmly welcomed by the pastor and his wife the principal. The original worksite was unrecognizable to us.  In it`s place stood a beautiful school –I could just imagine it full of Nicaraguan children getting a Christ centered education and bringing change to their community!.  This thought brought tears to many eyes! We felt so privileged to have been part of its construction and now to see the end result that God has so blessed! A memory wall full of pictures started off with a picture of the pastor praying over an empty piece of land—a stark reminder for us as well that every project we do must be brought to God in prayer first!
From there we went to a school the Smithville team worked on the week before.  We met up with Pim and Felix—nice to see them again too!.  This school as well is much improved over what it was before .  The school that Grimsby worked on last winter too was amazing—beautiful ready for hundreds of kids to receive christian education.  How awesome is that for our future generation!  With some guidance from ACECEN and Edu Deo Christian education is sustainable in Nicaragua!
Worshipping on Sunday was another blessing to us all — christians from different nationalities and ways of worship praising God together! There is only ONE GOD !
After a relaxing afternoon at the beach we saw REPARANDO — another reminder that one person can effect change with God`s blessing!
After an hour and half drive on Monday morning we were ready to get back to work—shovelling sand and grave, mixing concrete, wheeling, pouring, levelling, painting and tieing rebar. Having a few children around for a few days was so very nice – even though many of us could not speak the language — somehow communication still took place!  One afternoon we were suddenly invited to go and visit a man`s home across the road—he humbly showed us his home, made us feel welcome and had his young  daughter count to 20 in English. Wow again we were the ones being blessed!  After  3 days the floors of the classrooms and walk ways were done!  Landscaping made the site look so nice!  Most of the painting was done and all the rebar was tied!  At lunch time an inspector showed up and we were told to remove much of the dirt in the area we had landscaped to allow for drainage in the rainy season—so back to work!
At last we were done.  The principal, her husband, teachers, children and parents showed up for an appreciation ceremony.  We were so moved to hear children recite PS 23, sing for us and parents give us certificates of appreciation. They were so grateful for everything and still we were the ones that were blessed because of the experience!
The trip has once again been an enriching and life altering experience!  To God be the glory!
Rita Fluit

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Success 1 comment

Two extremely successful days.  Lots of hard  and very hot days but the results were fantastic. Both classroom floors were poured and the side walks are in.  Men and woman made rebar cages.  A lot of painting completed of steel channel. We were invited into a neighbor's house for a much needed break from the heat. Late in the afternoon the parents and the preschoolers  treated us to an appreciation performance. Because of our work and your generous donations this preschool will be available to 60 children.  The children recited verses from the bible, some even counted in English . We were introduced to the teachers and treated to some beautiful songs.A great week!

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday 4 comments

Joyful, energetic, loud , inspiring!  Church in Nicaragua was great.  We attended a Spanish service. Headphones were supplied for translation of the sermon. The music was a celebration.  Tomorrow we getting up early and back to work.  We are hoping to pour the concrete on the two classroom floors.  No WiFi in Leon.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Cultural Day 3 comments

We visited a school where construction was started two years ago.

A Niagara hands team at that time helped to start the work,  including digging foundations, tying rebar, and demolishing an existing building and foundation.

Some of the members of that original team are here and were amazed at the size and beautiful condition of this new school. There were tears of joy to see how God has worked through his people, Edu Deo and ACECEN in bringing education to Nicaragua.  This was a definite highlight for everyone.

Thank you for your financial and prayer support.



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