Today was a day where we connected deeper with the social, economic, ecological and spiritual contours of Nicaragua. It was a day for us to deepen our understanding of the Nicaraguan land and its people, and a growing appreciation for how our home church’s partnerships can yield fruit that is lasting and enhances the kingdom of God.
Our day began by attending worship at a local non-denominational church called Verbo Eglesis Christiana in Managua. While the worship time was led in Spanish by a talented group of leaders, some of the songs were familiar to us and we could participate in our own tongue, creating a beautiful blend of representation of the church that crossed political and social boundaries. The liturgical rhythm was almost identical to our home church, creating another universal link that drew our hearts together in partnership and spiritual connection.
We then embarked upon a bumpy adventure deep into the forests of nearby Diriamba to visit the Gaia Estates plantation - a fully organic coffee, vanilla and tumeric farm that spans 100 acres of beautiful forest. We were fed a beautiful lunch that was made up of food normally served at traditional wedding feasts in Nicaragua, and sampled different coffees from various regions of the country (including directly from the plantation itself). What makes this plantation particularly special to us was the farmer's approach to sustainable forest and business practices, and the fact that our home church is moving to adopt coffee from this very farm for our own coffee consumption. Another beautiful example of partnerships that cross over political and cultural boundaries.
Finally, we ended our day with a visit to Mark Vanderwees (and his family), who is employed by World Renew at the Nehemiah centre and who are directly supported as partners by our home church. We had a wonderful opportunity, over dessert and informal discussion, to gain some valued insight into the life of a missionary family in Nicaragua.
Today’s experiences made us appreciate the value of partnerships and our connections with Nicaraguans that span boundaries and language and cultural barriers. This will serve as a sound foundation as we return bright and early tomorrow to the work site.
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