Day 4 – Play Day with Sponsored Students

Our day started early again this morning, as we ate breakfast and spent time together as a team in devotion.  Our primary facilitator, Val, leads our morning group time, walking us through what God says in His Word about justice and mercy toward the vulnerable.  It prepared us for our day in La Concha, volunteering our time at the local health fair, where children and adults come to see Dr. Karla and her team for reduced cost services.  The lines were long and the need was great.  Our medical team performed and assisted with a wide range of medical tasks and procedures.  Some team members drew blood and took specimen samples, while other helped take sonograms and assisted in other women’s health procedures.  A couple members assisted the dental staff with oral health education and tooth extractions.  The rest of our team engaged with the children in song, dance and play.  We have a wonderful team of translators with us all the time who help facilitate communication and relationship with the residents of the community.  However, we’re also learning ways to love and serve without our words.  The Nicaraguans love having us here and are so willing to share their hearts and lives with us.

Tonight, we will be preparing for the weekend ahead, as we bring 60 college students over two days to a college retreat to encourage them to remain committed to their studies, despite the pressures from their families to stay home and care for their parents and siblings.  We will join them in teaching and worship, and cover them in prayer before sending them back to their universities.

We very much appreciate your continued prayer today and over the next several days.  It has been

Mel


Day 3 – The Embodiment of God’s Faithfulness & Love

Today was a great day.   We started the morning with a devotional continuing the theme of justice.  We have been looking at how our view of justice compares to God’s version of justice and how we to see it as He does.  We were looking at Zech. 7:1-10 and discussed how “ritual without obedience and justice fueled by mercy is empty” and how mercy is what forms the relationships that allow us to bring justice.  An important note is how the justice we are speaking about for the vulnerable is not all purely “fixing” and “making things right” but instead coming alongside people, encouraging them and building a relationships with them.  This really showed up at the parks where we took the kids who are sponsored by team members or other TPCC people.  The kids were so joyful, appreciative, witty, and like any other kids you would meet.  They were eager to know and build relationships with their sponsors or people from their sponsor’s church.

In the evening, we went to church and that was such an incredible experience. Something that was talked about in the team prep meetings,  was “God is their life” and that was so apparent.  When they have very little – they still have God and that light shined so bright in them.  Their band and our 4 musicians leds worship, some of the kids from the church sang solos as their expression of worship, Madison and Jeannie helped with offering and prayer, and Zach Graham read the Word and preached.  Lynette shared a praise for the high schoolers and young adults that are rising up to lead worship for this church and bring their friends and neighbors to know Jesus.  When we started coming to this church, many were just children running around.  We are thankful for God’s work within this church and the people He is bringing to His kingdom through the faithful people there.

After returning from church, we sat around and discussed the next day’s events and laughed while telling stories from experiences we have had thus far. The group dynamic of this team is so great. Today we learned and experienced many things. Some of those include; the value of spending valuable and genuine time with the needy to provide for them spiritually and emotionally, that God shines through any and all circumstances, that heavy rain on tin roofs is louder than the falling mangos, and that it is more clear than ever that God’s hand is on this team and we are so thrilled to be partnering with Him in Nicaragua.

-Emily Hainer_


Day 2 – (Part 2)

This morning, our 6 team medical group went to the medical clinic in Los Brasiles to assist Dr. Karla in whatever capacity she needed.  Dr. Karla is only in Los Brasiles once a week to offer free medical care for the community, so she had a long line of children and adults anxious to visit with her.  Integrated with the medical clinic was Agape, the school in Los Brasiles that provided special education services.  We were given a tour of the facilities and introduced to the staff.  We assisted Dr. Karla in providing routine medical treatments to elementary students at the school down the street.  The students were so joyful and well behaved.  We had a blast with them!  We were able to spend more time at the medical clinic and with the children with special needs.  Dr. Karla is a delight to work with!  She is very knowledgeable, joyful and has a huge heart.  She feels called so strongly by God to be here.  We had a productive morning at the clinic before meeting back up with the rest of our team at the church.

-Hannah Lee-


Day 2 – (Part 1)

Our day started with worship and a challenge to consider what it means to walk with God. Throughout our team prep, we have talked about how we should not think of this week as a mission trip, but rather the beginning or deepening of a life on mission.  Trips come to an end, but our walk with God needs to be a daily, intentional walk alongside Him. We looked Micah 6:8 and what led up to the verse:

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,[b]
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Our team broke into 2 groups for the morning – 1 part did community outreach along with Pastor Wilber & his wife, Maritza in the community of Ciudad Sandino.  6 members, made up of people in the medical field or college students in the medical field went to help Dr. Karla at the school in Los Brasiles.  In the afternoon, we  played and did active worship songs with 40 children from the church and community at the church in Ciudad Sandino.

Jake Felton summarized his experience of delivering bags of food as a way to do community outreach well…..

“Today, our team was able to witness the direct impact of God’s work.  We delivered bags of food to very needy unchurched in the community and brand new attenders of the local church.  Each time, we began by letting them know the gifts were from God and by asking how we could pray for them.  We used this as a time to invite them to the next church service and the kids’ event we were doing in the afternoon.  It has been quite the juxtaposition traveling from Indianapolis to Ciudad Sandino and seeing people living in extreme poverty. Despite this, the people we spoke with in their homes and at the church seemed to very grateful for what little they do had.  Needless to say, our efforts to bring them food, given by God, was met with tears of joy and humility.  These people truly have an understanding of how simply the pursuit of happiness can be achieved.  Happiness is found in God, of course, but happiness is not a destination.  Their happiness is found in their struggle to pursue their faith in the Lord and to see Him provide.  It is truly a blessing to be a part of God’s plan.”

During lunch, the team asked Pastor Wilber and his wife to share how they came to faith in Jesus and how God has worked to bring the church to Ciudad Sandino.  Their sharing was a true testimony to God’s great faithfulness to answer prayers and direct them through good and hard times. They shared how important it was for our team to come because, as pastor and wife, they are very busy looking out for the needs of others and their family.  It is refreshing for them to have others who come to encourage them.  The team prayed for them and praised God for all He is doing in and through this church.

After lunch, 4o children came for a special play day with games, soccer, art, bracelet making, balloon volleyball, bubbles, and a kids’ worship songs in Spanish, led by our own, Gabe Schaffer.  Ask him to sing, do actions, and play the guitar to “Father Abraham” .

 


Day 1 – Young Adult Nicaragua Team

Our arrival to Managua was quick and we couldn’t believe that we had started the day in one country and ended it in another. We were excited and eager to work, so we accomplished much in the first afternoon and evening.  We made up gift bags for our college student retreat, purchased food and put food bags together to take for outreach visits into the community surrounding the church, purchased lunch supplies for the team, & sorted supplies .  After our orientation and this flurry of activity, we were blessed with a delicious meal made by the wonderful cooks at LaQuinta Primavera where we stay.  Our evening ended with songs of worship and a devotion where we discussed what it means to “put on Christ” by opening our hearts to His Word and reflecting Him through our actions.   God is so good and we are eager to see the work He brings us in the coming days.

-Ashley-


Day 5

Every morning the sun rises and creates the most beautiful scene on the mountains right outside the Back2Back campus, where we are staying, and this morning was no exception. This was an amazing way to start off our day with our usual activities of small group time, quiet time, and trauma competent care training.

Today was a little different than what we have been doing all week. Today we stayed on the B2B campus and did work projects to help out the people involved in the Hope program as well as the staff here at B2B. Some groups worked on the soccer field that was recently added to the campus. They put concrete around the soccer goals to level them out. Another crew added dirt to the areas surrounding the goals, which was the first step to have a grassy knoll on the B2B campus. Next, the cement crew worked on the  construction of a patio near the pool. This location would be used for the meeting of other missions groups staying at the B2B campus. The third group painted. They painted houses for the staff and the kids in the Hope program and also touched up every previously painted nook and cranny on the B2B campus.

After several hours of hard work all around the B2B campus, we went to El Pollo Loco for dinner, but instead of just some average chicken, we found out what Jesus’ love tastes like. In whole, our group ate about six chickens and every wing and leg was delicious. Needless to say, their chicken is crazy amazing and the perfect way to end a hard work day. After dinner, we went across the street to get dessert, where every person got a little cake of their choice.

When we got back to the B2B campus, we went to a session with Jed, a staff member, about staying connected once our trip is over. We heard Jed’s story and a previous Hope student’s story. Both were powerful and moving. In all we learned that being a “supporting character” is very important in staying connected to this trip. A “supporting character” is someone who encourages, helps, prays for, and loves someone even in the hard times. This message moved a lot of us tonight. It was an amazing end to the day.

Stay Tuned for tomorrow!

-Just dudes being guys aka Mary and Hanna


Day 3 & 4

Day 3 – After breakfast, another TCC training, and a devotional on JOY in our lives and how we can share that joy internally and externally. Following devotionals, we headed straight to the Douglas Children’s home and got to work. Luckily it wasn’t as hot as yesterday, so we were able to work harder and longer. Lunch was some delicious chicken burgers with watermelon, japanese peanuts, and apples. During lunch, several of the crew members were not themselves. After many hours of hard work in chemical and gas fumes from the cleaning supplies and the powerwasher, there were a few naps taken to shake off any weird headaches and it took a couple hours to fully recover but we finished out the day strong.

Day four started out with breakfast and then another great TCC training. Following training we dived into a great lesson about finding HOPE in God’s word and the power of transformational hope. This was a perfect transition into our finishing of work projects for the next two days. Fence posts were planted, bathrooms were powerwashed, and the sand crew mixed concrete for a new building on the campus. We finished and had lunch of sub sandwiches, orange slices, and chips at Douglas. After lunch we headed back to the main campus (LDM) and got to swim with the kids from Douglas and celebrated a birthday of a girl named Dana who lives at Douglas. Dinner included a variety of incredible, fantastic, and nutritious tacos and an amazing dessert of fried tortilla topped cinnamon sugar. The night only got better as we shared extended worship with the other church staying on campus, over an hour of singing, praying and independent spiritual growth. Words can’t describe the power of the Lord’s presence in Monterrey tonight, and many, if not all of our hearts were moved and redefined by this night. Following the break of the gathering for worship, Jack pulled out his guitar and the TPCC crew held our own further extended worship on the porch of LDM. After a night of lifting up our hands and acknowledging God’s plans for the rest of our week and future, we are refueled to start tomorrow with refreshed and full hearts.