Posted on January 6, 2010

After the first full day of work, the team looked forward to a good night of rest. Thankfully we are all resting well and continue to stay healthy. This morning after a good nights rest and a great breakfast we headed of to the work-site at the El Viejo Church. When we arrived some work had already begun. Daryl, Manny, Geoff, and Marlin continued to work on the trussing for the church. Daryl and Geoff focused primarily on making the cuts while Victor and the nicaraguans focused on welding. The cooperation between our team and the Nicaraguan workers has been a blessing all around. Today the relationships definitely grew! The remainder of the team spent the day painting. We finished up painting a first coat and started our second coat on all of the beams.

At lunchtime Antonio (the foreman & co-pastor) invited us back to his house to visit. The whole team took this opportunity to walk back to his house. Antonio was not even a part of any church just three years ago and has since become the associate pastor of the congregation. In October of this last year at a church event his 18 year old son was hit by a car and killed during a 10 minute break in the church event. This is still obviously something that is fresh in his mind. Antonio is married and has a younger son William who is also helping out on the work site with painting. Antonio’s house (which he built himself) is much larger then most houses in Nicarauga. Antonio’s home seems to be a bit nicer then most homes we can see by walking and driving and even includes a plantano (plantain) tree. The team was thankful for this experience and Antonio was honored and happy how we took time to come back to hiss house.

At 2:00 p.m. each day we hold our children’s ministry. As reported yesterday we had over 50 children in attendance. Today however we had closer to 15. We are not sure why there was such a significant drop in attendance, whether it was through mis-communication or something else. Although it was a small group, it allowed the team members an opportunity to connect on a one-on-one level. This was refreshing and was successful in a different way then numbers alone.

This afternoon we left the job site and headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up and re-energized. By 5:30 p.m. we were walking to the BIC Church in Chinandega (the town where our hotel is located) on our way to a Birthday Celebration for the Pastor. The construction at the Chinandega BIC Church was started through a team from Pequea Church. Marlin Groff was one of the team members. It was a special moment for him to see the work that has been done to the church since he left it a few years ago. We met a few church members at the Chinandega church and were led to Pastor Herman’s house for the celebration. The evening was definitely a special moment for the team. Pastor Herman opened his house for a time of worship and celebrating his birthday. For Marlin it was emotional reconnecting with the people of the church. For Marshall it was emotional because of his long standing relationship with Pastor Herman. For Manuel and Daryl it was a connection through family members who had previously helped at the church. The entire team, even through the barriers of language, could feel the overwhelming love pouring out from this body of believers. We left encouraged and excited about the impact this church is having, and will have on the community.

Tomorrow the team will head to the work site in the morning to continue painting and constructing the trusses. In the afternoon we will not have the children’s ministry at El Viejo church but we will be taking our ministry on the road to the El Viejo church plant. Pastor Marvin has told us to expect at least 50 children. Most likely some of us will leave to help with the children’s ministry while others continue the work at the job site. We will also attend a time of worship at the church right after the children’s programming. Pastor Marvin and a lot of his church members travel each Wednesday and Saturday to the church plant to have church. They are truly planting this church together. Continue to keep us in your prayers for safety and good night’s rest. Thank you again for all of your comments! We have been reading them each night, so keep them coming!

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12 Responses to “Celebration”

  1. Mike Denlinger
    Jan 06, 2010

    What an awsome team, the joy on the faces of the people speak volumes. Thank you sooo much for the courage to truly make a difference in the lives of these people and the ministry that you have continued. You so show God’s love in the work that is being done, thank you all for spreading the Great Word of Christ. I will continue to keep you in prayer for good health, safety and strength and anxiously look forward to the word and pictures every day. Jeremy the pictures are great and I miss you and Lea, the house is awfully quiet.

  2. Beth Hess
    Jan 06, 2010

    So glad to hear that things are going well for the team. Our family is praying for you!

    Miss Lea…yesterday at preschool we did a mini geography/missions lesson. We looked at the map in the prayer room and found Nicaragua, and checked out the pictures of you and your friends on the computer. The children were so interested and excited. Jenna prayed for you and your friends. We miss you!

    Blessings to all of you as you do God’s work!

  3. Lynnea Miller
    Jan 06, 2010

    Hello everyone!
    It looks like you are having a blast and are exactly where God wants you to be! Don’t get discouraged by the small things, but be completely encouraged by all of the people God is bringing you in contact with!! Enjoy every second!! <3

  4. Dawn Hess
    Jan 06, 2010

    We are loving your blog and of course the pics, It is so great to see you work along side Antonio as you build “together.”
    As I read about his son’s accident, I couldnt help but think you are all there to “lift up and encourage” Antonio as you work hand in hand. Continue to work safe and oh yeah
    I couldnt help but notice in the pics the balloons on the job sit. I was so glad to see there was no water in them :)(i also did not see Daryl any where near them so that might explain why)

  5. Jim & Sonia
    Jan 06, 2010

    Today your blog brought tears to my eyes and with it came a joyful heart that you are all experiencing so many blessings and the love of the Father is evident in the photos you have taken.

    Thank you for taking the photos with Pastor Herman and his wife Sylvia.

    May God continue to bless you with opportunities to express the heart of the Father. We serve an amazing God.

    May God keep you safe and may you find time to rest and enjoy.

    It was nice to see photos of Jeremy. I love you all and earnestly praying for you all.

    Many blessings to you all.

  6. Candi Rodriguez
    Jan 06, 2010

    Wow! It is truely incredible to see the love and strong faith among the Nicaraguen’s and you guys. The difficulty of not speaking one anothers language is certainly not noticable, and God is truely present. I love the person writing the blogs,You are truely blessed with words, and I feel as though I’m on board with you all. Manny, all work no play!HUH! Hey I don’t see you getting interacted with the small children!!!! What’s up? Manny, I miss you, but I know your in great company doing Gods work. Stay healthy and I will contiue to pray for you all. Enjoy the work, it is truely appreciated!

  7. Candi Rodriguez
    Jan 06, 2010

    OH, The Children are so Beautiful!!!

  8. Terri Miller
    Jan 06, 2010

    Greetings from your sister church, New Life Church of Hershey. Reading the updates and watching the slide shows has been a highlight of each day…you have done a great job in capturing the heart of your work there! I have been especially touched by the ministry to the children…their faces…their smiles. I pray that you will continue to be open to all that God wants to do through you and in you. I pray that the fullness of God’s love will continue to flow from your hands and hearts as you serve Him there.

    Lea…you have a contagious smile! 🙂
    Dan…I will be sharing the blog and pics with the kids tonight.

  9. Joyce Slaymaker
    Jan 06, 2010

    What beautiful and awesome pictures. They truly tell alot of the story of your strong committment to the job and loving the people, both big and small. They brought tears to my eyes and I was wanting to be there with you.
    God is doing wonderful things in all of your lives and you are making a difference in their lives.
    Those children are precious!! All of your encouragement has got to be priceless!! What smiles!!
    Praying for all of you and your connections.

  10. Linford & Judy Burkhart
    Jan 06, 2010

    Hi Dottie and Marlin and Team , Hey we sure hate to see you guys sweating like that !!! Wish you could back here where it is about 26 or so with a good breeze. Ha Ha. Looks like God is using you`all in a Great work . Those kids are beautiful with their big smiles. Keep up the good work , and be safe. We miss you guys and are praying for you . Love, Judy and Lin

  11. Don Mylin
    Jan 06, 2010

    Hi Guys
    It looks like you have made great progress so far. It seems each roof goes a little easier now that we know what to expect. The
    church looks like the only thing needed is the roof. This will be
    a great blessing for the community. Oh by the way, don’t forget to
    get some pics of the photographer

  12. Tony & Bobbi Canestra
    Jan 06, 2010

    Hi Everyone. It’s so nice to see flowers and green grass instead of snow and frozen ground. How wonderful to see the smiles on the faces of the children! Makes me happy to just to look at them.
    Looks like more fun than work (ha ha).
    If their are any Eagles fans there, Tony said to let you know the Cowboys blew the Eagles away 24-0. Maybe they will do better this coming Saturday. I pray for you many times during the day. The Lord brings you to mind when I wake up in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning. We think of the team going there to make a difference and to bless the people there, but I can definitely see you are being equally blessed. Thanks so much for what you are doing. Love, Bobbi & Tony

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