Finally, on day 4 of our trip, we have found the time and internet access (thank-you Ginny and Cecil!!!!) to finally post our first blog!!!!
The Spirit is very strong in this wonderful country, and the Glory of God is absolutely all around us. From the beautiful mountains that surround Western Nicaragua, to Lake Managua, to the absolutely beautiful Nicaraguan people (the children are so beautiful), our senses are on overload so far this week.
The best way to probably post the blog of 4 days is to briefly outline each of our days below.
Day 1: Great flights from Indianapolis and Miami (over the Florida Keys, Everglades, Cuba, and the Caribbean Sea) provided so many visual examples of God and his beautiful creation. Aside from a language barrier almost keeping one of our team members (David) from entering the country, everything went as smoothly as possible. We did get to travel out to Ciudad Sandino (at city of 150,000+) to see Wilber’s church that we are working with to see the progress of the new church building.
Day 2: Wednesday morning started with our travels around Managua attempting to find supplies for our tree that is the product of Rod and Barb’s teaching. We bought PVC pipe, wire, and chicken wire at Wembly’s market in the city. After our shopping trip, we paid a visit to Rey Solomon School (Oscar’s school) to work with some of the kids in Marvin’s (an English teacher) classes. We had the opportunity to work with 7th and 8th grade students in the classroom. That evening we were blessed with the opportunity to worship with the people at the church in Ciudad Sandino, and were all incredibly moved by the way God has blessed this place. The passion of the people in the church was a very uplifting and humbling experience.
Day 3: First day of teaching for Rod and Barb in Pastor Alfredo’s church in a town called Nueva Vida (a town of 100,000 people that was created overnight in 1998 after Hurricane Mitch which brought massive rains for 6 straight weeks and displaced all of these people). The teaching of the Tree of Spiritual Growth was directed at church leaders mainly in Pastor Wilber and Pastor Alfredo’s church. Very interesting experience for both Rod and Barb as neither one of them had ever had to teach with a translator (his name is Aaron, and is an absolute blast). The tree was built, and the teaching centered around establishing good soil and roots to build a strong tree. Great message, and very well received by the people there. We traveled back to Rey Solomon School to work again with the students (again, mainly Marvin’s English classes). Great day at the school, and also had a chance to see more of the kids and a little bit in the special needs classroom. Finished the day with a wonderful discussion with Cecil about the relationship between Traders Point Christian Church, Nicaragua Resource Network, and Nicaraguan Pastors. Beginning to figure out how these three pieces will interface and work together.
Day 4: Second day of teaching brought us more participants (amazed at the numbers of young children which is AWESOME), and Rod and Barb focused on the bark and trunk of the tree. Had a time of prayer at the end led by Pastor Alfredo and Pastor Wilbur where people came to have their emotional and physical “scars” prayed on. Very touching, and so many people came to have their pains heard by God in prayer. After the service, we split into two different groups to go and meet with Darrel’s sponsor children (Tony and Yarelis) and Lynette’s daughter’s sponsor child (Yorlani). Darrel took his kids to lunch for papusas (you’ll have to Google it) and Lynette was able to take her child to lunch at Tip Top (which was a chicken place). Yorlani lives in a town called Las Brasiles (a small town of 10,000 people just outside of Cuidad Sandin0). In that town there is a Children’s Home named Hogar De Fe (Home of Faith), a church called Joshua 1:9 and a school called Joshua 1:8. Much more rural and spread out than Ciudad Sandino and Nueva Vida, but very similar in the quality of roads and homes. The evening brought us the wonderful visit of Pastor Beltcer (the bishop over 30 church plants here in the Managua area) and Pastor Wilbur and their wives (and Pastor Wilbur’s two sons). We had dinner and fellowship with them (including a trip to get some ice cream…), and afterward had some discussions on the needs of Pastor Wilbur’s church in Ciudad Sandino, and bounced some ideas that we had to meet some of those needs.