Nicaragua Special Needs Trip Day 3-4

First, we (the bloggers) should apologize for our silence on the blog last night – we had an extremely busy day and a late night so we didn’t get a chance to blog! We will try to make today twice as interesting to compensate. But now that we have a chance to stop and decompress, I (Lindsey)thought I’d sit down on the porch as it rains and catch you up on our last two days.
Yesterday, we started off the day at Rey Salomon with a church service for the children in the special education program. One of the highlights was watching Stephanie, a young woman with Down syndrome, participate in a dance during the service. She is part of the group that performs together. Some of the members traveled about 2 hours to come for the event! Stephanie and the rest of the group are a shining example of what inclusion should look like. It is absolutely amazing to see how quickly inclusion has grown recently in Nicaragua because these individuals were previously seen as outcasts and were often hidden away from the public. Isabel, another dancer, stressed to us that she does not practice before she performs. She prayerfully trusts God to work through her when she dances. She truly does have an amazing gift too! The service wrapped up with another powerful time of prayer. If nothing else, these prayer times are a model of the unshakeable faith that these Nicaraguan families have.
Next, we were able to host a teacher appreciation luncheon for all of the individuals involved in working with the special education program. Following a circle worship time and teaching, we all enjoyed Tip Top, a very popular chicken fast food place in Nicaragua. A few of us got the chance to sit in on a classroom where all of the children with special needs were enjoying reading some stories. As they all laughed together and enjoyed their time, I was reminded of how easy it is to be happy when you slow down to enjoy the simple things. Sometimes we get so busy in America that we forget to stop and enjoy the simple joys that God provides for us.
The next part of the day consisted of rotation stations. We had a photo booth that included lots of goofy props that made the kids smile. We had a craft station where kids made bookmarks to send to their sponsors. We had a parachute station that made our team nice and sweaty as we roasted in the hot church. Obviously the most exciting station was the snack station because who doesn’t like Oreos? All of the kids had so much fun. In true mission trip fashion, we had to be flexible when we had finished our activities and still had an hour left to entertain the kids. The Hokey Pokey and endless Little Sally Walker made me almost sure I wouldn’t have a voice when I woke up this morning.
I had a chance to sneak out during rotation stations and help deliver gifts from sponsors to some of the children. They were so excited to see what their sponsors had sent and it was really cool to see some of them use some of the English they were learning in school (plus I didn’t mind that I could finally really understand some of them)! It’s amazing how a simple gift can really make their day and how truly grateful each of them were.
The last part of the day (yes, this is still day 3 we are talking about here) consisted of a movie night. We showed the Son of God in Spanish and the courtyard ended up being really full. It was very well prepared and even better received. With no energy and stinky clothes, we packed up all our stuff from the day and headed back to home base.
This morning, Tina started off the day with a devotional that reminds us that because we are half way through the week and getting pretty tired, we need to be weary of losing team unity. She shared Ephesians 4:1-3 with us to emphasize this point. We loaded up the bus and headed to Los Brasilles, where we helped with a service that ministered to the parents of students with special needs at Joshua 1:8, another school. The service started with some music and Theresa gave another eloquent message. Pastor Wilbur gave an inspirational message about how he grew up with polio. He is now married and has two children. His son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome 11 days ago and his peace through the process was such a model of faith for all listening. He managed to really capture our attention through his humor as he joked that he could lift both of his “feet” (crutches) at the same time, unlike anyone else in the room. Even through many trials, he has kept firm in his faith.
We heard a testimony from a woman who has a daughter with spina bifida. Many doctors told her that her child would not live to 12 years old. Her gap in her spine was about 3 inches long, and children can’t live long as a gap like this grows. Her daughter was one of the first clients that Dr. Karla had in the clinic that Traders Point helped to build through the Christmas Eve offering. It didn’t take long for God to work through this young girl as the gap lessened without surgery. God is so good! They are just waiting on confirmation from an orthopedic doctor to ensure that she will not need surgery. The mother also shared that one of her daughters was at home and sick in bed. She said that she prayed for the medicine the girl would need to feel better and by the time she gave her testimony, she had received word that her daughter had gotten the medicine. All while she was worshipping with us! God does some truly amazing things and He never leaves our side. This woman showed that constant prayer would pay off, as long as you remember that God’s timing isn’t always instant and exactly when you had in mind. The service ended with prayer and we enjoyed lunch and some soccer at the church.
Because the students with special needs had the day off due to a teacher appreciation day at the school, we headed home early to rest a little and start preparing bags for food distribution tomorrow. We also had some time to have a nightly devotion, which proved to be a very effective and powerful time to share what the Lord has been doing in some of our team members’ lives this week. It was so great to be able to praise God for all He has done and will continue to do. Keep our team in your prayers as we continue to work hard. We would appreciate it if you would pray that our team continues to function effectively together and that God would keep us healthy and safe.

One response to “Nicaragua Special Needs Trip Day 3-4

  • Granny

    “Do not come any closer,” God said, “Take off your sanddals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5

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