Our theme for the week is “We brought everything with us including the kitchen sink”(Explanation later).
Our team consisted of eight adults: Leaders, Rod and Barb Duncan and Andy Hensel and support members, John Hensel, Teresa Thompson, Paul and Carlene Strawmeyer and Darrel Schierling. Darrel arrived the morning of the 18th and spent some time getting some supplies for the week and the rest of the team arrived around 7:15 p.m. Getting through customs for the larger group was a new experience. NRN has asked us to bring a kitchen sink and a garbage disposal along for the kitchen at La Quinta where we stay while in Nicaragua. When these items went through the scanner at the airport they; immediately drew the attention of the custom’s agent. The agent wanted the box opened to see what was coming into the country to determine what the tax should be. It became very difficult and was requiring a lot of time for the group to get the agent to understand what a garbage disposal was. It was finally decided on the tax and the team was able to get the items through customs after signing a few papers. Before leaving the U.S. the airlines had been contacted to inquire what the cost would be to have the sink brought along as an additional piece of luggage because of it’s dimentions and the estimate was around $150, however when the team checked it in at the airport they were only charged the regular extra baggage charge of $40. It is amazing how God works in the little things we encounter along the way.
Sunday morning was spent going through all of our bags, sorting and arranging all the items for use during the week. We also spent time preparing for our evening seminal at Pastor Oscar’s church. Some of the group went out to Cuidad Sandino(our partner church) and visited with Pastor Wilber to determine what projects he wanted us to do during the week. It has been amazing to see the work that God has done there at that church. A year ago in March there was one piece of property with a very small two sided tin structure that served about 30 members and today there have been three additional lots bought around that property a concrete structure about six times larger than the tin structure, bathrooms, a shower and across the little alley a house had been bought where pastor Wilber and his family reside. Church attendance has risen to between 60-100 people.
Sunday evening we held our first seminar on the topic of “The Tree of Spiritual Life” lead by Rod and Barb Duncan. Pastor Oscar had told us that he was expecting around 75 members. Praise be to God we had over 130 attendees. It was very encouraging to the team to see a strong family presence, men, women, young people and lots of children.
Today we returned to Cuidad Sandino and began working on the project at Pastor Wilber’s house which involved building a drainage system
for his backyard to accommodate rain water, kitchen sink water and the shower. At times it was a challenge getting all the right supplies and required a number of trips to various hardware stores. Tonight we will return to Pastor Oscar’s church to finish the seminar on the “Tree of Spiritual Life”.
Please continue to pray that we will see how we can partner with these churches to support them in their outreach to their members and community. We continue to look for ways that we can see God’s will for us this week and be ready to serve wherever he leads us.
It is hard to imagine that our week here in Nicaragua is coming to a close soon. The last few days have been filled with lots of amazing experiences. You will have to stop one of our team members sometime to hear in detail what has been happening while we have been here.
Wednesday we began the projects at Pastor Wilber’s house. We have been able to dig, place new drains, and cover up the ditches in the last two days. It has greatly improved the drainage for shower and kitchen sink. We were also able to help clean up his back year in the process. The other project has been to redesign the back porch with steel 2X4 and replace the roof. This has required painting the steel posts, cut them, and weld them in the new design which will strengthen his back porch area which also serves as their kitchen. We still have some electrical items to replace and fix at the church building.
On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings Rod, Paul and John have been conducting a seminar over discipleship with 25 men from the two churches there in Cuidad Sandino. It has been very encouraging to see these men from the church learning about been men of faith and commitment to their community. To hear them sing last night was very moving. I am sure it was heard throughout the immediate community there at the church “Tabernacle Living Water”.
Today the team is continuing the work on the projects and the ladies are preparing to minister to a group of women from the same churches tonight and tomorrow night. Pray that God will use their testimonies to encourage and provide support for many of the issues that face the women here in Nicaragua.