View all HANDS Teams
Monday, January 16, 2012

Reflection on the HANDS team experiance 0 comments

Our Team:

Now that the Smithville Edu.Deo team has been back in Canada for 2 days, it’s a good time to reflect on our experience in Nicaragua:


It was very good! Our flights were on time. Our hosts did a fabulous job. The job-site at the Emaus Christian School in Esteli was prepared for us to get to work as soon as we arrived. Big thanks to Peter Kuipers and Lesther Gonsalez for this.


The principal and other staff at the school greeted us warmly. They not only worked with us on the site, but also took great care of us in a loving way. Our work-site experience began with prayer and it ended that way on our last day with them.


The team got along very well in spite of a few health issues while there.


We worked very hard digging 17 foundation holes for a new multipurpose facility at the Emaus school. These holes were 6 feet deep and about 4-½ feet sq. We had to simply remember we were there to serve, and do what was needed.


You cannot overestimate the impact a team has on a school community. Bringing the funds for the project is huge, but to actually show up and establish relationships and work along side them is just as important. You can only imagine what they are thinking when we leave on the last day as our van sliped out of view through the wall gates.


One of highlights of our trip was our devotion-and-sharing time in the evenings. The experience is also a faith revival time for many team members. What a blessing that is!

Many teams report this on coming back. That’s a wonderful thing.


It’s been 5 years since I have led a team to Nicaragua. It’s encouraging to see that the country has progressed. Changes are evident upon leaving the airport. The roads are better. The vehicles are newer. The busses are newer. The Managua dump has been cleaned up, and the people who lived there have been re-located. However, there remain many challenges in this country. Many children still do not attend schools due to poverty and ingrained attitudes. Even the government gets in the way.


There are opportunities for you to join a HANDS team and experience the richness of God’s mercy in your life and in the lives of children in Nicaragua and other countries.  The impact you can have is almost immediate. That is what excites teams to go again and again.

view full article…

Monday, January 9, 2012

Esteli Nicaragua 1 comment

Today we had breakfast at the Nehemiah Centre abd then all piled into the van for the long ride up into the mountains of Nicaragua to the northern town of Esteli.

We again worked on digging the foundations for the outdoor assembly/classroom are which will be quite large. The holes we are digging are about 4 feet square and 6 1/2 feet deep in heavy clay. There are fourteen of these to be dug. Needless to say, this is work that would be done by machine at home in Canada. But this is Nicaragua! 

We are here to simply serve and thayt is what we are trying to do. 

Our devotions are every evening so far. For the next 2 nights we are staying at the Paramount hotel. It is OK. Not a 5 star but clean.

On Wednsday afternoon we will be leaving Esteli for the time being and saying goodbye to our friends here and returning to the Nehemiah Centre in Managua. 


Peter Kuipers and LestherGonsalaz have been an inspiration to us.On Thursday "Learning Day" visiting some other schools and projects






view full article…

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First day in Esteli 0 comments

Drove to Esteli, a town in the mountains of Nicaragua. Great weather and everyone is healthy.


Began to work at the new classroom of the Emaus school. Digging holes for the foundations and began the work on the re-inforcing rod.


Great day!

view full article…

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Some thoughts 2 comments

A week from today we will be on our way to Managua, Nicaragua. W will be a team of 9 people. Our thoughts will be with our families back home and as well a few of our team members who are staying behind. We should be a team of 12 and were by summer's end.

Gerry Ridder, who has been on a previous HANDS team, was diagnosed with lung cancer and is now in a battle of his life with this terrible decease. His faith in our God is remarkable and inspiring. We pray that he will be spared for his children, friends and church family.

Kieth Tilstra was coming with us until his wife's doctor informed this couple the baby they are expecting could come earlier than expected. He wanted to be there for the birth. Totally understandable as this will this couple's 1st.

Shane Black broke his arm just under a month ago and felt it was best to stay behind. We are sorry about this as well.

We hope to blog on a daily basis  while we are in country. Stay tuned!


view full article…