We continue to have incredibly busy days, with the team being split in many directions. We started Tuesday morning with the full team on the bus for a visit to Rey Solomon. For many of us, it was our first sight of where so many of our sponsor kids are in school. Oscar spent an hour giving all of us the history of his work, and his vision for the next few years. It was interesting to see the school after hearing several of the college students Monday night talk about their experience there and how it prepared them for college.
From there, the group went to Ciudad Sandino, Wilber’s church, where Andy and the other men worked on lighting and wiring, Barb, Connie and I worked with Meritza and her women leaders as they prepared for and led a 2-hour Vacation Bible School based on the material Barb taught them Sunday afternoon. What an amazing group of women! They took the materials and the ideas Barb provided, and improved them, expanded them, and created a wonderful 2 hour experience of drama, crafts, verse memorization, and Bible discussion on the Book of Esther. These Christians are so hungry for God’s Word, they will take what we offer, and run faster than we can keep up.
After a quick dinner back at La Quinta, Rod, Barb, Connie, Mark, Darrel and I went back to Wilber’s church for the first night of teaching by Rod and Barb while those who worked on the lighting and wiring all day stayed back at La Quinta for an evening of rest. It was the first evening of service in the building since we painted and installed the lights – a beautiful place! Cecil also brought the leadership of Alfredo’s church for the session. Rod and Barb spent 2 hours reminding the group of March’s lesson (spiritual trees and how to grow them), and then introduced the topics of Godly character, which will be further blown-out over the next couple nights.
Wednesday morning, a work crew took off for the church in Ciudad Sandino, while Darrel and I took off for Rey Solomon to distribute sponsor gifts. Late morning, Ben, Andy, Jim, Cecil, Rod, Barb, Mike and Connie joined us and we took the sponsor kids out for lunch at a local McDonalds.
For many, it was not only the first time in a McD playhouse, but the first time ever at McD. We were joined at lunch by Marvin, english teacher, and his wife and we learned one of the bad sides of life here, when a group sat near us, and stole Marvin’s backpack with his camera, school records, grading records, etc. An unhappy reminder of how tough life can be here.
After we dropped the kids off back at Rey Solomon, Cecil took Rod, Barb, Connie, Mike, Isabel (translator) and I to Belser’s church in the Oriental Market. What a crowded, bustling, mass of humanity! I can never describe quite what that looks like, but those of you who have been here understand how overwhelming that experience can be.
Back to La Qunita for a quick dinner, teaching team took off for Wilber’s for the evening session, while several of us took another trip to La Union for more food and drink for Thursday night’s teaching session. We also sorted through and bagged 30 bags of food that John had picked up, for distribution on Thursday. The teaching team got home about 10:00 after another successful session. The crowd grew from approximately 35 Tuesday, to nearly 80 on Wednesday. We’re preparing for at least 100 Thursday night.
Thursday started with another scattering of the team. Darrel, Buz and I headed to pick up Wilber, Meritza and the boys to take them over to Ciudad Sandino. We delivered several bags and tubs of school supplies, baseball equipment and other donated items to their home before the drive to the church. Jim, Ben, Jake, Connie, Mike and Isabel went with us to Las Brasilas to see the school, Joshua 1:8, the church, the orphanage. We dropped off 3 bags of materials and then headed back to the church. From there, Derrel, Aaron and I went back to the Oriental Market to Belser’s to deliver sponsor gifts. While we have been doing that running around, John Sima and Cecil led teams who delivered the food bags to families around the church in Ciudad Sandino.
Tonight, all of us will be going back out to Ciudad Sandino for our final night with the people of Wilber’s church. Besides teaching by Rod and Barb, we expect there will be significant time of worship, of prayer and then we say “hasta luego” to all our new friends. Can’t say “adios”, because I believe I will be back and I prefer “see you later”🙂
Tomorrow will be a day of exploring more of Nicaragua. The full team will once again be all together, and then early Saturday it will be off to the airport to head home. I’ll post again once we get back in the states. Until then, continued prayer for strength and safe travel will be appreciated.
Love to all our families and thanks for your support!