Nicaragua 7-1-09 – Only the Strong Survive!

Posted on July 2, 2009

7/1/09  —  Wednesday

Today started at 3 AM when there wasn’t a vacant bathroom to be found in the hotel.  Nine out of twelve team members decided to synchronize their upset stomachs while others were taking numbers at the door.  Order could not be restored!  Breakfast ended up being a quiet date for two for Talia and Jay, complete with French toast and fresh fruit.  Pastor Dale joined Talia and Jay later on as the three genetically stronger members of the team headed to the jobsite.  If this were Survivor, we would all be granted immunity!  Our light hearted disposition changed when we realized none of us knew enough Spanish to figure out what exactly we were going to do that day and that Talia would have to be the translator for the time being.  She explained to the workers that everyone on the team was “enfermo” (sick) to which Mario replied that it was a tough situation, but we would all just have to work harder! (Kids—pay attention in Spanish class!)  The three worked on painting more C-channels and continued working on back filling the stage.

The rest of the team conveniently arrived shortly before lunch as we were joined by the National Nicaraguan BIC Leadership team.  They honored us by taking time out to see us and spend time with us over lunch in recognition of what we were doing for the church at La Montanita.  We enjoyed the time we spent with them and shared about other ministries our church is involved in, such as Mennonite Disaster Services and SPICE.  Aula provided a delicious meal of beef or chicken, rice, and our first American food of the week, mashed potatoes! After our time of prayer, the men took a tour of the church while the one women Pastor helped out with the children’s activities.  Miguel brought along his motorcycle.  Before we knew what was happening, somehow Pastor Dale commandeered the motorcycle and Miguel was along for the ride while the Pastors zoomed out the dirt road!   In the afternoon, the women held another VBS for the children and today’s story was about Daniel and the Lion’s Den.  The kids colored pictures, made lion sock puppets and even got to dress up as lions and act out the story!  We sang songs, danced and of course they hogged all the candy down!  Initially we thought the kids were trying to get two pieces of candy, but then we realized that the older siblings were selflessly getting candy for their little brothers and sisters first, and then going back up to get candy for themselves.

On the way home, we had a unique ride as we experienced a flat tire.  By God’s grace, it was right outside of a BIC church and the Pastor was standing right alongside the road.  What a blessing to get to see another BIC church on the ride home!  Immediately you would have thought we were on pit road at Pocono Raceway because the men jumped out and got right to work while the women toured the church with the Pastor and some of the members.  While the pit crew was busy spinning lugnuts, the rest of the team also enjoyed the wildflowers along the road by the little BIC church.  After the tire was back in place, we arrived at the hotel with only 45 minutes until we had to leave to go back to the church for the evening service.  We had the option of bringing our nice church clothes to work and changing there, but that was instantly vetoed!

On our way back to the church for the service, we were passed by a group of teenage kids who casually reached out the window and flipped us off!  After much debate and discussion over the universal nature of crying and laughing, we were uncertain whether this act meant the same thing in Nicaragua as it does in the United States.  With a chuckle, Aula pointed out that yes, being flipped off is in fact universal!  With thunder clouds rolling in our way, the Pastor decided to have the service underneath a makeshift pavilion next to the church. Even though the majority of the team still was not feeling their best, we prepared for the service.  What initially seemed a bit more like a responsibility considering the way everyone had felt that day and the prospect of rain, turned into a wonderful worship experience.  Kelly touched the lives of everyone underneath that pavilion by sharing her testimony of the joys and sorrows of her life including the story of Molly.  It is amazing how Molly has been gone a year and a half, and still her life continues to touch so many people.  As Kelly shared her story, we cried once again remembering Molly.  Many of our friends were also moved to tears once Marshall translated Kelly’s words.  Wes was given the opportunity to deliver the message and shared about the beauty of Nicaragua and how even though they don’t know what the future holds, it’s all in God’s hands.  He also encouraged them to be excited about their building but not to lose sight of the fact that Christ lives in their hearts and that where they are gathered, he is there.  We broke into groups of men and women and prayed for each other at this time.  How special it was to hold the hands of our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters while praying for them as they prayed for us in return.


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7 Responses to “Nicaragua 7-1-09 – Only the Strong Survive!”

  1. Kathy MacMullen
    Jul 02, 2009

    Hi Everyone,

    Wow, what a day! I’m sooo sorry that so many of you were sick. I hope everyone is feeling better today and getting your strength back.

    I love the daily updates and pictures. The people, flowers, and surroundings are all so beautiful! I’m sure the people are feeling the love of Jesus through you all – what a blessing you are!

    Continuing to pray for you daily.

    God Bless,

  2. sandy mylin
    Jul 02, 2009

    Hi Gang
    I guess most of you had to break open your bottle of pills that were sent along! I’m glad it only lasted for a few hours and I hope everyone is back to normal by now. The kids look so cute in the lion outfits – I’m sure they would have really missed the VBS if noone was able to do it that day. Pastor Dale looked like he was having way too much fun on the cycle! The twelve of you must be bonding really well with everything you’ve had to go through so far. I’ll be praying for strength for the rest of the week. I love the flower pictures – I actually knew the names of some of them. Talia, I guess you know what it’s like to be an enterpreter now!!!! You’re doing a great job – all of you!

  3. Celia Swanson
    Jul 02, 2009

    We are praying that everyone is feeling better and for continued safety. It’s so neat to hear of lives being touched and relationships growing. We really appreciate the awesome photography and updates.
    Tyler, your boy Jesse is making us crazy. Any chance we could ship him down there…for keeps. He could pull a cart. Just kidding:)
    Pastor Shaw, you look like you were born to be on that bike.
    Swanson guys, your gals at home sure are missing you!

  4. Vicky Landis
    Jul 02, 2009

    So sorry to hear of the sickness!! What did you eat?! Glad to hear everyone was able to get up and around later in the day. Kelly, I’m thinking of you. What a blessing to be able to share Molly’s story. I’m sure many lives were touched in ways we can’t imagine by you sharing your story. I wish I could give you a big hug….love ya! Vicky

  5. Jim and Margaret Farkas
    Jul 02, 2009

    Hi Team,

    We are hoping that everyone is feeling much better. Kelly, it touched our hearts to hear that you shared Molly’s story.

    The pictures are amazing especially the ones of the children in costume. I’m sure they loved dressing up as lions and acting out the story.

    Dale, will you be collecting motorcycles now instead of Fords?

    We continue to pray for you safety and health (with a little bit more emphasis on the health part now).

    We hope you continue to touch and be touched by the people of Nicaragua and that you are making memories to last a lifetime.

    Jim and Margaret

  6. dawn hess
    Jul 02, 2009

    hey gang, our prayers are with those under the weather, so i will remember if Talia ever calls in sick to work i will know she just wants to sleep in. Obviously she can withstand a a bug from Nicaragua!!! 🙂
    It all sounds wonderful, the progress you are making. Kelly it was wonderful to hear you shared Molly’s life with your new friends. Oh yeah i wanted to let you know we saw Ken at BJs and he had an awesome 60″ flat screen TV in his cart. He semmed very excited, and i thought you would want to know!!! LOL ok I am starting to tell stories like Robert!! We cant wait to hear more, keep writing.

  7. John and Jo
    Jul 02, 2009

    Looks like you are sharing a lot of things…some good and then, um, not so good. The GI bug has a global perspective and is no respecter of persons. We are glad to see most of you recovered and could experience such a blessed day and evening.
    Thank you Kelly for taking Molly’s story to the people in Nicaragua. Molly continues to touch lives in amazing ways.
    Jay, I think you have a iron stomach because you have been exposed to (and survived) so many “bug episodes” in the Yoder household.
    We continue to pray for you all and can see evidence of God’s work in you and the work you are doing. God is good…
    John and Jo

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