Our day was filled with lots of excitement that consisted of classroom activities, teacher celebration and collaboration, and food distribution. We spent the day in Los Brasiles, where there is another Special Needs school sponsored by NRN. The school is currently being held in a rented out community center. However, God has blessed this community with the amazing purchase of land that resides down the road. This will allow the school to serve, primary, secondary, and special needs students. We continue to pray that God grants wisdom, peace, and swiftness to those involved in the building project.
Food distribution held a lot, as one would expect it would. It was at times deeply grieving to see the condition of the homes of our Nicaraguan friends. This, combined with finding out how far they travel, just to be at school every day, humbled every person in the room. Despite the conditions our friends face everyday, there was no hesitation on their end to extend intentional hospitality towards our team. They consistently offered us all the chairs they had to sit on, and often wanted us to be out of the sun because of the heat. After developing relationship, conversation, and prayer, we offered bags of food. Ginny, co-founder of NRN, consistently reminded the families that this is a provision from God, and that they should lean on God for all their needs, not us. It should be comforting for them and for us that we are not their source of hope. As humans, we make errors, mistakes and constantly fall into the traps of sin. God doesn’t. He is errorless, perfect, all knowing, and pure. He is the provider of hope through all things. He loves and cares so deeply for our friends here that our attempts do not even come close to matching His. It brings our team and NRN peace and comfort to know that they will always be taken care by the hands of God.
Our team was able to observe the love and passion that these teachers have for their students. In order to celebrate them and all their efforts, we held a teacher appreciation lunch for them. While paired off into groups of North Americans and Nicaraguan teachers we shared a meal, stories, and asked questions about each others lives. These teachers have taught us so much in the time that we spent with them. Their stories and perseverance are truly amazing and inspire us all. We are consistently blown away at the depth of love and care these teachers have for their students.
After the students have left for the day, we were able to gather and collaborate with the teachers. The barriers these teachers are up against on a day to day basis opened the eyes of all of us listening. There is no comparison. In the United States, we do not have to worry about whether our students will be making the 2 hour walk to school, if they have to provide for their family, or being able to pay the $35-$50 it costs to attend school each month. These are the barriers that Nicaraguan students face every single day. When the teachers asked for advice on how to advise their students, involve parents, or teach materials, our hearts were truly shocked. With so many barriers, these teachers preserver and insist on providing the best education they can provide. The Lord has started a fire in each of their hearts for this ministry of Special Needs Education and we pray that he never lets it cease.
We ended our day with prayer. We each paired off with a teacher and shared prayer requests and then intentionally took each request before God. The power of prayer is so so great. It was a powerful and emotional experience to be able to share that with the teachers, and we are grateful for the hearts of all the teachers that unabashedly serve the Lord with love. .
Today was a long and hot day, but having open hands and eyes led each team member to have a tremendous experience. We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters. We have been blessed in so many ways and appreciate all of your prayers. Tomorrow holds more excitement…check back for more updates!