Category Archives: Nicaragua – May 2017

Day 7 – Living Out Justice

We have been learning that biblical justice flows out of a heart of mercy and a heart that truly realizes the grace and mercy that it has received.  Through the parable of The Good Samaritan, we also saw that it has a component of building a relationship and often going out of our normal path, in order to see a person’s whole situation and the impact it has on their physical &/or spiritual healing.  Time after time, we saw Dr. Karla live this out humbly as she would try to understand how her patient’s family situation and almost total lack of resources would impact these special needs childrens’ medical conditions.  Her young patients are the defenseless and the vulnerable that the Bible often talks about in relation to biblical justice.  When there is a need to be met, she can always tell us “the whole history and situation” because of her caring relationship with the families at the clinic.  She cares deeply about the hands that care for these special children and knows they are often the lifeline that God has provided to help with their day to day needs.  The 6 members of our medical team will go back to their jobs or school with “new eyes” for their patients because of the what they have been a part of here.

A number of our team members cleaned the medical clinic and added lots of cheery paint to the dividing walls which make up offices for staff, the pharmacy, entrance, and lobby.  Dr. Karla’s staff seemed so very excited to have things inviting for the kids who come.  The clinic is such an amazing resource…and one that is so rare in Nicaragua.

 

Half of our team split up and delivered gifts to kids who are sponsored by TPCC people back home.  Gifts were taken to TAV and Rey Solomon schools today.   As the children came individually, team members asked them about their favorite subjects, hobbies, and what careers they were thinking about.  They were told that we were delivering a special gift that their sponsors had sent for them.  The kids were giggly and excited to know they had a special sponsor who thought about them and who was praying for them.  They went away beaming about the gifts and care they had received.  This is such a wonderful way for people to be “on mission” even if they cannot come to Nicaragua.


Days 5 & 6 – College Retreats

 

 

We have been very busy with our 2 college retreats.  On Saturday, we spent the day with 1st and 2nd year college students from La Concha at the sports complex called El Solero in Managua.  We repeated the same program Sunday with college students who had been from TAV & Rey Solomon.  Activities consisted of Ice Breakers games, a game of Nuke ‘Em on the volleyball court, worship teaching, soccer, small group discussions, sports, a water balloon fight, crafts, and art.  The goals for the retreats were to build relationships with sponsored college students, encourage them to finish college well, and continue to deepen their relationship with the Lord.

The college students seemed very excited since the programs were all led by our young adults near their own ages.  They responded well when they realized that many of the issues they deal with at college are similar our team’s experience, even though they are from very different places.  We spent the whole day laughing, learning, sharing, and playing together.  It was a day of mutual encouragement.  It was so much fun for all!

 

 


Day 4 – Play Day with Sponsored Students

Our day started early again this morning, as we ate breakfast and spent time together as a team in devotion.  Our primary facilitator, Val, leads our morning group time, walking us through what God says in His Word about justice and mercy toward the vulnerable.  It prepared us for our day in La Concha, volunteering our time at the local health fair, where children and adults come to see Dr. Karla and her team for reduced cost services.  The lines were long and the need was great.  Our medical team performed and assisted with a wide range of medical tasks and procedures.  Some team members drew blood and took specimen samples, while other helped take sonograms and assisted in other women’s health procedures.  A couple members assisted the dental staff with oral health education and tooth extractions.  The rest of our team engaged with the children in song, dance and play.  We have a wonderful team of translators with us all the time who help facilitate communication and relationship with the residents of the community.  However, we’re also learning ways to love and serve without our words.  The Nicaraguans love having us here and are so willing to share their hearts and lives with us.

Tonight, we will be preparing for the weekend ahead, as we bring 60 college students over two days to a college retreat to encourage them to remain committed to their studies, despite the pressures from their families to stay home and care for their parents and siblings.  We will join them in teaching and worship, and cover them in prayer before sending them back to their universities.

We very much appreciate your continued prayer today and over the next several days.  It has been

Mel


Day 3 – The Embodiment of God’s Faithfulness & Love

Today was a great day.   We started the morning with a devotional continuing the theme of justice.  We have been looking at how our view of justice compares to God’s version of justice and how we to see it as He does.  We were looking at Zech. 7:1-10 and discussed how “ritual without obedience and justice fueled by mercy is empty” and how mercy is what forms the relationships that allow us to bring justice.  An important note is how the justice we are speaking about for the vulnerable is not all purely “fixing” and “making things right” but instead coming alongside people, encouraging them and building a relationships with them.  This really showed up at the parks where we took the kids who are sponsored by team members or other TPCC people.  The kids were so joyful, appreciative, witty, and like any other kids you would meet.  They were eager to know and build relationships with their sponsors or people from their sponsor’s church.

In the evening, we went to church and that was such an incredible experience. Something that was talked about in the team prep meetings,  was “God is their life” and that was so apparent.  When they have very little – they still have God and that light shined so bright in them.  Their band and our 4 musicians leds worship, some of the kids from the church sang solos as their expression of worship, Madison and Jeannie helped with offering and prayer, and Zach Graham read the Word and preached.  Lynette shared a praise for the high schoolers and young adults that are rising up to lead worship for this church and bring their friends and neighbors to know Jesus.  When we started coming to this church, many were just children running around.  We are thankful for God’s work within this church and the people He is bringing to His kingdom through the faithful people there.

After returning from church, we sat around and discussed the next day’s events and laughed while telling stories from experiences we have had thus far. The group dynamic of this team is so great. Today we learned and experienced many things. Some of those include; the value of spending valuable and genuine time with the needy to provide for them spiritually and emotionally, that God shines through any and all circumstances, that heavy rain on tin roofs is louder than the falling mangos, and that it is more clear than ever that God’s hand is on this team and we are so thrilled to be partnering with Him in Nicaragua.

-Emily Hainer_


Day 2 – (Part 2)

This morning, our 6 team medical group went to the medical clinic in Los Brasiles to assist Dr. Karla in whatever capacity she needed.  Dr. Karla is only in Los Brasiles once a week to offer free medical care for the community, so she had a long line of children and adults anxious to visit with her.  Integrated with the medical clinic was Agape, the school in Los Brasiles that provided special education services.  We were given a tour of the facilities and introduced to the staff.  We assisted Dr. Karla in providing routine medical treatments to elementary students at the school down the street.  The students were so joyful and well behaved.  We had a blast with them!  We were able to spend more time at the medical clinic and with the children with special needs.  Dr. Karla is a delight to work with!  She is very knowledgeable, joyful and has a huge heart.  She feels called so strongly by God to be here.  We had a productive morning at the clinic before meeting back up with the rest of our team at the church.

-Hannah Lee-


Day 2 – (Part 1)

Our day started with worship and a challenge to consider what it means to walk with God. Throughout our team prep, we have talked about how we should not think of this week as a mission trip, but rather the beginning or deepening of a life on mission.  Trips come to an end, but our walk with God needs to be a daily, intentional walk alongside Him. We looked Micah 6:8 and what led up to the verse:

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,[b]
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Our team broke into 2 groups for the morning – 1 part did community outreach along with Pastor Wilber & his wife, Maritza in the community of Ciudad Sandino.  6 members, made up of people in the medical field or college students in the medical field went to help Dr. Karla at the school in Los Brasiles.  In the afternoon, we  played and did active worship songs with 40 children from the church and community at the church in Ciudad Sandino.

Jake Felton summarized his experience of delivering bags of food as a way to do community outreach well…..

“Today, our team was able to witness the direct impact of God’s work.  We delivered bags of food to very needy unchurched in the community and brand new attenders of the local church.  Each time, we began by letting them know the gifts were from God and by asking how we could pray for them.  We used this as a time to invite them to the next church service and the kids’ event we were doing in the afternoon.  It has been quite the juxtaposition traveling from Indianapolis to Ciudad Sandino and seeing people living in extreme poverty. Despite this, the people we spoke with in their homes and at the church seemed to very grateful for what little they do had.  Needless to say, our efforts to bring them food, given by God, was met with tears of joy and humility.  These people truly have an understanding of how simply the pursuit of happiness can be achieved.  Happiness is found in God, of course, but happiness is not a destination.  Their happiness is found in their struggle to pursue their faith in the Lord and to see Him provide.  It is truly a blessing to be a part of God’s plan.”

During lunch, the team asked Pastor Wilber and his wife to share how they came to faith in Jesus and how God has worked to bring the church to Ciudad Sandino.  Their sharing was a true testimony to God’s great faithfulness to answer prayers and direct them through good and hard times. They shared how important it was for our team to come because, as pastor and wife, they are very busy looking out for the needs of others and their family.  It is refreshing for them to have others who come to encourage them.  The team prayed for them and praised God for all He is doing in and through this church.

After lunch, 4o children came for a special play day with games, soccer, art, bracelet making, balloon volleyball, bubbles, and a kids’ worship songs in Spanish, led by our own, Gabe Schaffer.  Ask him to sing, do actions, and play the guitar to “Father Abraham” .

 


Day 1 – Young Adult Nicaragua Team

Our arrival to Managua was quick and we couldn’t believe that we had started the day in one country and ended it in another. We were excited and eager to work, so we accomplished much in the first afternoon and evening.  We made up gift bags for our college student retreat, purchased food and put food bags together to take for outreach visits into the community surrounding the church, purchased lunch supplies for the team, & sorted supplies .  After our orientation and this flurry of activity, we were blessed with a delicious meal made by the wonderful cooks at LaQuinta Primavera where we stay.  Our evening ended with songs of worship and a devotion where we discussed what it means to “put on Christ” by opening our hearts to His Word and reflecting Him through our actions.   God is so good and we are eager to see the work He brings us in the coming days.

-Ashley-