Category Archives: Nicaragua – June 2013
Today’s devotion was centered on what would happen when we get home. Ginny explained how her main goal for these mission trips was not to have people say “That trip changed my life” but rather “That trip changed my lifestyle.” We talked about practical ways to change our lifestyle- little things that could make a huge impact. Our prayer is that each one of us could implement a practical lifestyle change to impact those who are struggling around the world.
Next we headed out for our last work day of the trip. On the agenda today was food distribution and painting. Nicaraguans dilute their oil-based paint with gasoline so it was a little smelly, but our team worked hard to finish painting the special needs classroom at the Joshua 1:8 school.
The Hogar de Fe orphanage is located right next to the school, so we made a quick visit there to see the children. We were reminded before this visit that this is the home of these children and we should not treat them like they are animals at a zoo for us to look at. This is emphasized by the orphanage’s name: home of faith. The word orphanage is not a very nice word in Nicaragua, so they instead use the word ‘hogar’ which means ‘home’. The way the children played and shared mangos made it feel this way.
Susan, Hali, Francois, and Wendy were able to accompany our NRN missionary, Ginny, to deliver a bed to a Joshua 1:8 family. What an awesome experience! The family was appreciative of the bed for their kids to sleep on. It was humbling to be welcomed into their home, love on their kids, and assemble a much needed bed. The four of us will certainly never forget this precious family.
After running into a small wedding procession, we made our way home. As a surprise, we printed photos of our group and gave them as gifts to our facilitators and translators. Along with the photos, we signed cards for them. The last bit of the night was spent at the local ice cream shop called Pops expressing our gratitude to these instrumental members of our group. As we prepare for our departure in two days, we begin to reflect on all God has taught us this week and all the ways He has blessed us.
Our day began with a devotion focused on what it means to have a rich relationship with God. We discussed being obedient and generous; the difference between happiness, contentment and joy; as well as the fact that giving to the poor is not an option – it is a command. Our team left praying that we would spend our day as obedient servants of our Father.
As we arrived for our final day at Rey Salomon, there were some heavy hearts knowing we would have to say our goodbyes to some precious kiddos and fabulous teachers. To our surprise, today was a special day at the school! The entire school was participating in a program honoring the teachers. We were able to enjoy singing, poems, and traditional Nicaraguan dances. What a fantastic treat! The entire school being at a program also gave the sponsors on our team another chance to spend time with the beautiful children they sponsor.
Lunch was another special event for our team. We treated the vocational class and their teacher to lunch. The location was a surprise to all of us…we ended up at an El Salvadorian restaurant! This was a new experience for many! The staff was very hospitable and quickly sat our group of 35. The vocational students are learning how to bake and cook in class and the cooks at the restaurant allowed them to come back to see how they made our meal. They loved it! Our meal consisted of a variety pupusas – a traditional El Salvadorian dish. It was quite delicious!
After lunch we headed back to Rey Salomon to show the teachers our appreciation. We enjoyed cake together, played games,and presented them with gifts for all they do for the kids with special needs at their school. After appreciating the teachers, many of us were able to spend more time with kids playing volleyball.
Most of us will be praying that God allows us to return to visit these amazing people again. I (Wendy) know that today ended with tears. Meeting Brianna on Wednesday, and seeing her again today, was an answered prayer for both of us. She asked me several times when I was coming back and told me that she didn’t want me to leave. I can only continue to hope that God will answer our prayers and bring us back together again.
The Park: This morning we joined the children with special needs from Joshua 1:8 at the park in Managua. They enjoyed the time spent on park equipment, playing four square, and the competitive basketball games. What made the day most special is that their new buddies (from the Best Buddies program), joined them for the morning! What a blessing to see this new program already put into action!
Teacher Appreciation Lunch: Today we had an amazing afternoon spending time with the teachers of Los Brasiles School. We celebrated them and gave thanks for all the have done for their students and for us. They are extremely devoted to their jobs. God has truly blessed this community with these amazing teachers. We ate cake, played ‘get to know you’ games, and presented gifts to them. It was also a true blessing to pray for these teachers and pray scripture over them. The scripture we prayed over them was from Matthew 18:5 “As you welcome these children in my name you welcome me”. These teachers truly welcome these special needs children in the name of the Lord. What a blessing they are.
Sponsor Lunches: It was a great experience, not just for me but for my two sponsor boys (both named Moises) and one of their moms. All three couldn’t thank me enough. They kept asking when I would come back before we even left. The youngest, who is three, had been asking his mother if she would ever take him to Tip-Top, but he was unable to go. Once we pulled up to the restaurant, his mom said he was super excited! The oldest is seventeen and he is taking an English class. He told me it was his favorite and that he is doing the best in it so far. He has passed all of his exams. I told him how proud I was of him and he said, “Thank you” in English. Both of the boys have made such an impact on my trip and my life. I’m looking forward to seeing them again. — Kinzie
Though I don’t have an sponsor children (yet…), I had the chance to take a couple of kids out to lunch that are sponsored by my family friends. They were very quiet but also extremely grateful for the lunch we had together. The younger kids opened up when they saw the playground and had ice cream. They thanked me continuously and I felt so blessed to spend the time with them. They asked me and their sponsors to pray that they had enough food to eat. This humbled me as I continue to realize how fortunate we are that we always have more than enough. I hope that I will get to visit again, and hopefully have a sponsor kid of my own. -Lindsey
Church: Tabernaculo Agua Viva Tonight, we went to visit Wilber and his church. This is the sister church to TPCC. They welcomed us with open arms and took us to our seats in the front. They were honored for us to be there. We sang songs in Spanish and worshiped our God together. Our group sang songs in Spanish that we had learned throughout the week in front of the congregation. Pastor Wilber preached over Philippians 4:1. The message was about how we want to be missionaries but we aren’t always willing to listen to God and go. He said there are three things you must do in order to be a missionary: go, pray, and give. You don’t always have to go to other countries to be a missionary, you can be one right where you live. After the service, we spent time taking pictures and laughing with the children. They loved being tickled and seeing their pictures. Their smiles and laughter refueled us tonight. Gracias Señor!
Sometimes by day three a large group can hit a lull, but we left our nightly debriefing with a sense that this particular Wednesday marked more of a Marvelous Midweek, not a let down of energy. We were back at Rey Solomon today, but not until after a breakfast of yummy French toast and time on the porch with Ginny. Today’s devotional begged us to consider the concept of “enough” and not one of us could keep from asking the question “How much is enough?”
We started our morning bright and early with a wonderful breakfast cooked by Yolanda and Juanita (the AMAZING cooks at La Quinta Primavera). We never go hungry here at La Quinta, that’s for sure. Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and fresh juice daily…muy delicioso! La Quinta is a beautiful environment and we are very blessed to have a relationship with this place.
Today we broke from our first morning meeting knowing that our day would give us a glimpse of oppression. We were challenged to ask ourselves is this trip just a “good idea” to do something to help change that…or is it really biblical justice like that commanded in Luke 4:18? Like the faithfulness of Job, this team believes the latter. The faces of the children, families, and teachers told us so.