A New Perspective

Posted on January 7, 2010

This morning we headed out to the church bright and early after our usual filling breakfast at the hotel. Many of us felt more energized-it seems like our minds and bodies are getting used to the hard work and the heat. We arrived at the church, where some of us began painting more steel beams for the roof. This felt somewhat discouraging at times because it seemed like the paint would never coat to our satisfaction, even after putting on three coats. By midmorning, the beams were finished, and we began washing and painting the tin sheets for the roof. You may notice that Kate is not in any of the day’s photos. She has been struggling with severe headaches each day, but today was unbearable, and she chose to return to the hotel to rest for the day. Please pray that these headaches would cease and she would have renewed strength for the rest of our trip.
You’ll also notice that some of the team took time for some friendly competition (arm wrestling, and other “macho man” activities) with the Nicaraguan teens and young adults. The other half of the team spent the morning finishing the welding of the trusses. The guys working on the welding commented that the main Nicaraguan welder, Victor, is incredibly skilled. The guys gave him a gift of a new lens for his welding helmet. Today they found out that he has only attended church a few times. You can remember Victor in your prayers-pray that through the loving members of the church, and perhaps our relationships with him, God would speak to him and lead him to become involved in the church.
The morning flew by, and we sat down to another wonderful meal made by a few women from the church. The meal included a scrumptious beef and vegetable soup, rice, cooked whole plantains and fresh squeezed orange juice! At lunchtime, six leaders from the national board for the BIC church of Nicaragua came to the church to meet our team and encourage us. They also enjoyed lunch with us, and after lunch, we were introduced to each other and the leaders shared their thanks and encouragement. They each continually shared their love and gratitude for the Pequea Church body who surround the Nicaraguan BIC church with prayers, funds and sending teams so faithfully. Jeremy spent time interviewing the leaders to learn about their roles in the church and their gratefulness to the team and Pequea church.
After lunch the welding men started back to work painting the trusses. They also helped remove a tree and dig a ditch for a front porch on the church. While they were digging, some of the Nicaraguan men broke a water line, which turned into a minor, brief fiasco. Marlin, Daryl, Geoff and Manny continued this laborious and exhausting work throughout the afternoon, while the rest of our team left to do some kids ministry in El Viejo’s daughter church, La Republica.
La Republica is in a very rural, poor area a few miles outside of El Viejo. The team quickly learned that the area was quite different from the church we have been serving. Some of the members from El Viejo are involved in leading this daughter church, which meets on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. The associate pastor and our foreman, Antonio, is one of the main leaders. The reason they meet at that time is because most of the members have to walk a great distance to get to the church, and it is not safe for them to walk at night. They meet on the porch of a house located on a farm. Soon after we arrived, a “tractor load” of children arrived (a trailer was attached to a small tractor which hauled about 15 children). The service began with some worship and an introduction of our team. When it was time for the sermon, which was preached by Marshall (if you are counting-this is his 3rd time preaching in 5 days!), our team took the children out of the service for some kids ministry. There were about 45 children, and our team noticed that they were a little more timid than the other children we had worked with. When we sat them down for a craft which involved coloring, none of them new what to do. We attempted to explain that they should draw and color, and eventually they caught on. Sugey explained that it is likely that most of these children were too poor to ever afford crayons in their homes, so they didn’t know how to use them. We were shocked and humbled by this kind of poverty. The children were also overjoyed when they learned that they did not have to return their crafts to us, but they could take them home-they were theirs!
After the kids ministry, the church service was over. The team was invited to take a 15 minute walk to a church member’s plantain farm. We eagerly accepted the invitation. This walk gave us a great picture of the environment many of these rural farmers live in. Most live along a large sugar cane field, which some help to farm. The homes were mere shacks made of sheets of metal or pieces of wood. There were some scrawny animals along the path. After crossing a “river”, we reached the farm (keep in mind, their are no nearby roads that lead to this farm). As you can see in the photos, their are a few simple shacks near the house and a well to draw water. There were ducks, chickens and dogs running around. Though the home and farm buildings were meager, the family had a beautiful view of the volcano. The family was so grateful that we took time to visit them, and we were humbled and blessed by the experience as our eyes were opened to a way of life in Nicaragua than what we had previously seen. When we arrived back to the La Republica church, some of the women (including our incredible chef) surrounded us with concerned comments. Apparently there is a wives tale that those who work hard should not get their feet wet afterwards because they will get terribly ill or even experience arthritis. We assured these women that we felt fine, but Marshall heard a few of them praying to God to protect us from sickness.
We packed up our things and headed back to El Viejo to pick up the other part of our team. We returned to the hotel for showers and then went to a great pizza place for dinner. Some found this to be a welcome break from the typical Nicaraguan cuisine. After dinner, we returned to the hotel for devotions and headed to bed for a restful night’s sleep.

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10 Responses to “A New Perspective”

  1. Mike Denlinger
    Jan 07, 2010

    Dear Team,
    Once again I must say Thank you, what a wonderful example of God’s Love you have displayed and it is obvious that the people have been blessed by you, they have blessed you as well. These updates are great and thank you for taking us along as you go, the pictures are priceless. Tell the town people thank you from us that they are in prayer for you and the care they are taking of you, God’s Will is certainly at work. Lea I am still waiting to see the Mane’s in the pictures, HA HA. I will be lifting Kate up in prayer and will pass on to the small group.
    God Bless You All,

  2. Jann Denlinger
    Jan 07, 2010

    Hey team! You guys are doing an awesome job! It was great to see pictures of Pastor Miguel from Piedra Menuda as he visited with you! The pictures of La Republica were inspiring. You are all using your hands to show God’s love to our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua! The relationships you are building there will have everlasting effects. Go Team Go!

    Kate: Praying for you! Hope you feel better soon!

  3. Chet Hughes
    Jan 07, 2010

    Daryl and Geoff,
    Great work you guys are doing down there! Hope Kate is feeling better. The photos of your trip are outstanding…I looked at every one of them! What an inspirational experience. Hope everyone keeps safe. Chet

  4. Sandy Mylin
    Jan 07, 2010

    Hey team
    I look forward every day to seeing your pictures and hearing how the day went. Hope you are enjoying the hot weather – they’re calling for some snow here tonight!! I can tell that having interaction with the people is one of the most rewarding things of your trip by the smiles on everyone’s faces. I also appreciate the scenery pictures like the poinsettia and what an awesome view of the volcano. Keep up the good work and Kate, I am praying that you will be released from your headaches so you can be back with the group and doing what God has called you to do. God bless!

  5. Lynnea Miller
    Jan 07, 2010

    Hey friends!!
    I love these pictures! I am so glad you had the experience to go to a more rural area! I think that might be one of the most memorable parts of the trip! The kids are so cute and I love looking at every single picture! Praying for health for everyone!
    ps… Jeremy: I like that we saw some more pics of you this time!

  6. Jim & Sonia
    Jan 07, 2010

    Hi Team, Jim and I are always looking forward to seeing the pictures. Jim said it captures the true spirit of the Nicaraguan people.

    Team you are all doing a great job. Keep on keeping on! Be a blessing and I know you are being blessed. Praying for safety, strenght, stamina and peace in your day to day task.

    Hi Manuel, how are you doing? Praying for you daily. Love you!

    Kate: Praying for healing of your headache and that you will have a restful sleep.

    Take care team and know that many are lifting you up in prayer. It is a privilege to partner with you in this way.

    Blessings on your day tomorrow.

  7. Candi Rodriguez
    Jan 07, 2010

    Manny…Have you done the sock puppet show yet? it would only take an hour away from your work. Miss you, and keep up the fantastic hard work. I will pray that Kate, can feel my healing hands from afar. Kate, when you get back I’ll massage you, or Manny, has learned quite a lot, so he can help while you are all there. Hang in there guys, You all are fabulous. God is loving you all right this moment. Amen!!

  8. Cindy Kauffman and Family
    Jan 07, 2010

    I just loved reading “Celebration” and “A New Perspective” and watching the slide shows (Jeremy …. fantastic job! Thank you so much!) I can just hear a beautiful song being played with all of these “memories” made into a keepsake video as I sit here and watch your service to others. I can’t help but think how you’ve taken your candles and are lighting the world! Your hearts and your smiles are just so beautiful! The people and especially the children there …. so beautiful! It just seems you are enjoying yourselves so much in your work and your play! We’re blessed (oh so very blessed) here at home by your mission and your purpose!

    (Note to Dottie and Marlin – we are thoroughly enjoying having Snickers here at “the ranch” and just LOVE her to pieces!)

    Thank you for giving to the Lord!

  9. Karen and the McGaw Gang
    Jan 07, 2010

    Greeting from FREEZING Conestoga,

    Once again you’ve captured the heart of mission via your pictures.
    I loved the poinsettias:) What a blessed week for your community, for your team and for us here at home as we all experience God love in action thru this trip

    Kelly ~ Keep up the pull ups!

    Jeremy ~ perhaps you can get some of the recipes for me to use for WNM’s. I’m always looking for new recipes… These pictures look like something from a food magazine…Keep eating you veggies!

    Praying you through…

  10. Karen and the McGaw Gang
    Jan 07, 2010

    Kelly ~ P.S…..tap,tap,tap;)


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