First Day of Work in El Viejo

Posted on January 5, 2010

Today began our first day of hard labor! We started out the morning with a hearty breakfast-some heartier than others with butter they requested for their pancakes. Our “mom” and “dad” (Marlin and Dottie reminded us of the dangers of too much butter). Our ride to the El Viejo Church was 15 minutes late, which we understood as the typical “Nicaragua time”. While we were waiting, a few of us bought some fresh fruit from a woman walking down the sidewalk.

We arrived at the El Viejo church to find many of the church members preparing for the construction. Daryl, Marlin, Geoff and Manny took their places inside the church to work on welding. Manny stepped up to the primary translator for this project (which he admitted was sometimes difficult, since he didn’t even know the English construction terms!) The guys were pleased at the way they worked so smoothly with the foreman and his workers. They found that there was a lot of “give and take” and they tried multiple techniques to find the best way to do things. The foreman, Antonio, is also the associate pastor of the church.

Jeremy, Kelly, Kate, Dottie, Dan, Sugey and Lea spent the morning painting steel beams for the trusses. It was challenging at times to try to coat the beams while conserving the watered-down paint which wanted to drip off the beams. We were assisted by Pastor Marvin and some elderly men and adolescent boys from the church. Throughout the morning, we enjoyed watching and smelling our lunch as it was being cooked in the same area we were painting. One woman from the church did most of the cooking from a two fires-a campfire and one burning out of barrel which had been cut in half. When it came time for lunch, we enjoyed an enormous amount of food that was delicious. It consisted of cabbage salad, fried chicken, platanos (fried plantains), rice and fresh squeezed fruit juice.

Soon after lunch, we were bombarded by over 50 children! Pastor Marvin had announced that the children’s ministry would begin at 2:00 pm, and they arrived promptly. Some even came by busses! They ranged in age from toddlers to adolescents. Most of the team participated by reading the Bible story (Esther), playing soccer, helping the kids make foam crowns and maintaining the crowd. You can be in prayer for us that we manage and find more supplies, and figure out better ways to communicate with the children as we continue to serve and love them.

There were many interesting events throughout our day at the church. We were able to learn some of the stories of the people we interacted with. One event that shook us up was when a young boy from the church went into an epileptic seizure, most likely triggered by the brightness from the welding. As soon as his seizure began, many adults and children from the church hurried to help him. Pastor Marvin embraced him and held him until the seizure ended. It was awesome to see the unity and care within this body of believers. Please continue to pray for this boy as he struggles in this way.

Just to confirm-it is incredibly warm here, and we love it! We hear things are slightly cold back at home! The heat did get to a few of us, so please pray that we would use wisdom in taking care of ourselves as we work in the heat.

We left the church around 4:30 pm and headed back to the hotel for showers and rest. There was no church this evening, so we headed out on the town of Chinandega. In town we found dinner. Some of us ate at a local food chain while Manny Sugey and Kelly found some food from the local food stands. We came back to the hotel to debrief and read the comments from the blog. Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement! Keep them coming. Later, some of the team walked the streets in town while others just relaxed and headed to bed early.

Thank you for your continued prayer support and words of encouragement. Everyone on the team is holding up well, even the older team members! Tomorrow the team will again be working a full day at the church in El Viejo. In the evening we will be visiting with the Chinandega Brethren In Christ Church. Pastor Herman is celebrating his birthday and we are invited to his house for a celebration. Marshall Poe has been asked to give a sermon.

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9 Responses to “First Day of Work in El Viejo”

  1. Jann Denlinger
    Jan 05, 2010

    Hey! It was great to see all the pictures from the work site! You guys look like real pros! And 50 children…WOW…think about how many little lives will be touched by your ministry! God will provide all you need and more. We are in prayer for the team as you develop relationships with the adults and children.

    Lea: Praying that you will have wisdom in leading the children’s ministry, and that you will figure out the best way to organize and communicate with the little folk!

    Jeremy: Love ya! The pictures look great!

  2. Joyce Slaymaker
    Jan 05, 2010

    Those pictures say it all…what sweet faces. So glad things are going well and we know you are making an impact into their little lives.
    Dottie….I can see you bringing a grandchild home with you!!!
    We pray for God’s very best for the whole team effort. Yes, its still very cold in Lancaster County. Enjoy the warmth and stay healthy!

  3. Delaine Peris
    Jan 05, 2010

    The pictures are wonderful! It’s so awesome you can worship with brothers & sisters in a different part of the world. Praying for lots of work to be accomplished and great relationships made. Praying you’ll be able to communicate with each other and you all stay well. Thanks for the updates.

  4. Jim & Sonia
    Jan 05, 2010

    The pictures were awesome. We will be in prayer for this little boy and for the team as well. We serve an amazing God.

    Pace yourselves guys and use wisdom when eating especially from the stands.

    Keep up the good work. Remember the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

    Manuel, you stepped up to the plate, I know you could do it. I am proud of you take care and I love you.

  5. dawn groff
    Jan 05, 2010

    Dear Team, wow – your words and pics bring back incredible heart warming remembrances to me from my summer 09 trip to La Montanita Church in Nicaragua. I am VERY glad you have adapted to the climate change and are even enjoying some of the “fun” of the country.
    Jeremy – hallway “b” is a bit quiet without you…we’re supposed to get a storm the end of the week for the Couples Retreat and I miss your “right on” forecasting…I’ve had to count on Robert instead and you know how accurate HE is!
    Lea and Children’s team – you’re doing GREAT! Don’t be afraid to let those tiny, precious smiles mold into your hearts. You will be forever blessed!

  6. Melissa Markley
    Jan 05, 2010

    God is using all of you in such amazing ways!

    Lea and Kelly-I love you girls and I am praying for you constantly! kelly, I am proud of you for trying new food =)

    Dan-Your love for children is really showing in all the pictures! It looks like your having a great time with them!

  7. Linda Eshleman
    Jan 05, 2010

    Thank you to all of you demonstrating our God’s love to everyone in Nicaragua. I wish I was there sweating with the you all! Thanks for the picture of the volcano! That is awesome! Jeremy and Lea, you know how I love volcanos.
    I pray that each of you is a special blessing to someone in El Viejo! May God’s kingdom grow abundantly!

    Have fun, laugh much, and continue to work hard.

    Marshall, Lea has been given the special task of keeping you out of trouble.

    Marlin and Dottie, are keeping up those young folk!


  8. W
    Jan 05, 2010

    This looks like fun. I’d love to be in warm, sunny, Nicaragua right now, even painting! PA winters stink. Enjoy Miercoles!

  9. Jim and Margaret Farkas
    Jan 05, 2010

    Hi Team –

    The pictures – the blog – the kids – we know what you are feeling – how incredible to be part of God’s plan for the Church in Nicaragua – and to have His people come into your lives and your hearts.

    Forevermore – The Global Church now has names, faces and memories – all because you said “Yes”.

    Be happy- be safe – and know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

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