Nicaragua 7-2-09 – A Waiting Game

Posted on July 3, 2009

7/2/09  —  Thursday

Most everyone was feeling back to their “regular” self today.  Once again we were up and off to the work site by 7:30 am.  Our ride there was uneventful.  More white paint was waiting for us.  Today we were painting corrugated sheets of tin for the roof.  There was progress on putting up rafters.  In all, 75% of the rafters were put in place.  Though the job foreman, Mario, is a great guy and grateful for help, there wasn’t a lot that our guys could do today.  It is hard for the rest of us to watch our men who are talented and gifted in construction, not really being able to do a lot.  It is discouraging for them but we are trusting that God has a plan and we are praying for patience as we are here to support the church at La Montanita.  With some time on their hands, the guys have been able to get to know the workers on a more personal level and are excited about the relationships they are building.  There are 2 teenage boys who help work each day.  Their names are Milton and Luis.  They are great helpers and are very interested in learning English.  We have fun communicating with them.  We are pretty sure that both young men have big crushes on Talia and Lindsay!

As always the most fun part of our day is interacting with the children.  They start coming around soon after we arrive and just hang out watching us paint.  They love to have their picture taken and some of us were brave enough to hand over our cameras to them so that they could take pictures of us.  They were very tickled with this!  Some got very brave and picked up paint brushes to “help” us paint. Unfortunately their “help” just made more work for us so we had to tell them to put the paint brushes down.  The children are very bright!  They are remembering our names and want to learn English words.  They are so thrilled when they get a word right!  Their smiles and laughter are worth any amount of discomfort we might experience from massive amounts of mosquito bites, too many carbs, and long bumpy van rides!

The afternoon VBS consisted of the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000.  The children knew the story well.  Sonia does a great job reading the stories and translating instructions for the activities.  We love and appreciate her sooooooo much!  The children did some more coloring and we gave them each a basket filled with loaves and fishes.  We took some time and did some face painting.  At first the kids weren’t sure about it but after they got their first one, they all wanted a second one, too!  Kudos to Dawn for all her great planning and organization.  We are blessed to have her as Pastor of Children’s Ministries at Pequea and now the children of La Montanita are blessed too!  A little later in the afternoon Lindsay and Talia taught the children how to play “Duck, Duck, Goose!” (Pato, Pato, Ganso- in Espanol)  That was a big hit but it resulted in our second minor injury in our group.  You’ll have to check out the pics to see who that might be.  No worries though, this scrape was much less impressive than Wes’s.  The children once again displayed their generosity when they were very concerned with the scratch and kept asking if everything was okay.  They watched as Kelly tended to the boo-boo and then did their best to dust off the injured person!

We called it a day and headed back to the hotel by 5:15.  Dinner was at six.  Even though the food has been great some of us are really craving our favorite foods from home.  Things like Herr’s chips, Turkey Hill ice-tea, green vegetables…you get the idea.  We definitely have made it a priority to get Papa John’s pizza in the next day or two.  Yes!!!!  They have Papa John’s here!  Shortly after dinner and devotions ended, the Swansons and Pastor Dale were looking for some adventure, so they decided to have a night out on the town in search of a coffee shop.  Arrangements were made, and soon a micromachine sized taxi pulled in.  The four passenger taxi soon fit seven as Lindsay and Talia were stored away in the trunk!  But as Tyler says, “When in Nicaragua, do as the Nicaraguans do!”  The adventure began.  They arrived at a mall that would put Park City to shame and decided to look around before they got their coffee.  After window shopping for the right food, they decided on “Eskimo” ice cream.  The unofficial translator smoothly ordered her chocolate cone and left the rest of the group to fend for themselves after becoming distracted by the extravagant food court and colorful tables.  There was lots of pointing fingers, slow English and attempted Spanish speaking, and in the end Tyler received a peppermint milkshake when he thought he was ordering vanilla!  As they sat and talked, the group recalled the difference between the location of the church and the upper-class mall.  The poverty in the community at the church and the opulence of the mall seem worlds apart when in reality they are only 10 miles apart.  The coffee shop at the mall was closed, so Talia redeemed herself a little and asked the driver to stop at the local mini mart so that the group could bring home coffee for Jay.  Effective immediately, Tyler has been banned from ever say a word that involves food, because he tried to order some coffee but instead got a double shot of expresso.  It was already 10:00 pm at night!  Not to be deterred, Jay drank it anyway.

Thank you for all your prayers and for responding to the blog.  We read them out loud as a group and it touches us deeply.  We love you all and miss you but are happy to be here in Nicaragua to partner with our brothers and sisters in Christ.


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10 Responses to “Nicaragua 7-2-09 – A Waiting Game”

  1. Jim Bridge
    Jul 03, 2009

    Hola Team,

    I’ve seen alot of unsafe construction practices in my days, but giving a Puerto Rican woman a machette has got to be the worst. If you only knew!!! So for the safety of the team, “Sonia Mi Amor, PUT THE MACHETTE DOWN POR FAVOR.” Keep up the great work gang. The blog has been excellent until that horrifying machette pic. Hope to see you all on Monday.


    Jim Bridge(Safety coordinator)

  2. Julie Enck
    Jul 03, 2009

    Glad to here most are feeling better 🙂 Seems like Talia can with stand a lot, from the stomach bug, to her scraped up leg,to even fitting into a small trunk. You are my hero.
    You all are so talented you have so much to offer to Nicaragua. They are lucky to have you . You are blessing so many lives. Keep up the good work!
    Those kids are really going to miss you, looks like they are having a blast. Thanks for all the great pics. Continued prayers,

    PS. Can’t wait to hear more on what Pastor Brody has done with the church.

  3. sandy mylin
    Jul 03, 2009

    Hey gang
    It’s great to see everyone feeling better today! Does anyone dream about white paint?? It does not surprise me at all that Talia managed to find her way to a mall – even in Nicaragua. She’ll do anything to get to a mall – even ride in a trunk!!!! I’ll be praying for all of you as you will soon be saying goodbye to everyone there who has been so special to you this week. Hopefully you’ve made some lasting relationships. The pics and stories are great!

  4. Jann Denlinger
    Jul 03, 2009

    Hola! Glad to hear everyone has recovered! Our prayers are with you. The pictures of the children are adorable. It looks like you are making a lasting impression on the children, as well as those you are working with at the site. We will pray that you will be able to impact those in the area that do not have a relationship with Christ! Talia, I am anxiously waiting to see your pictures on facebook when you get home 🙂 Sonia, go for the zip line this time! ~Jann

  5. Pastor Robert
    Jul 03, 2009

    Church Improvement Update #4

    Aloha Nicaragua team! Sorry I haven’t updated recently but the life of an Emperor can get busy at times. Sorry to hear about the sickness you are experiencing. I truly feel your pain. I had someone offer to buy me lunch yesterday so we went to the Wagon and when I looked at the menu full of all those wonderful choices I thought of you. I did indulge in a lovely Buffalo Chicken Salad but in the true spirit of personal sacrifice I skipped dessert. So know that your Emperor suffers along with you!

    In my ongoing effort to improve the church it was inevitable that I would have to tackle the issue of overcrowding during our services, especially since I will be preaching this weekend and that means high attendance is on the horizon. I know we’ve debated many solutions in the past but sometimes you simply have to look back to Biblical times to find your answer. During the time of Jesus it was traditional for the teacher to sit while everyone else stood. Therefore I have removed all of the pews and put a Lazy-Boy recliner on the platform. This will be a tough adjustment for me since I am used to standing but I will get used to it for the greater good of the congregation. In fact I knew I would need practice so I put my other responsibilities aside and spent all day in it, each day, for the majority of the week. See, I told you I was busy. The things I do… Anyway, with everyone else standing and all of the pews out of the way we should really be able to pack people in! No more of those standup, sit down, stand up again services. You just stand up the whole time! This might encourage people to pick up their children and teens quickly after service since they will be in a hurry to get to their cars and sit down! Now you might be thinking, what do we do with the yellow connection cards that are in the back of the pew? Your emperor is way ahead of you. When people come in to the auditorium we’ll give each of them a fanny-pack. Then the person giving the announcements can say “Please take a yellow card out of the fanny-pack of the person standing in front of you.” Problem solved!

    We’ll all of this typing is hard with the Lazy-Boy in the fully reclined position so I’m going to have to stop now. I’ve enjoyed the pictures you are sending and I’m praying that your ministry has impact beyond your visit. See you soon. ~Emperor Robert the Reclined.

  6. Celia Swanson
    Jul 03, 2009

    Glad to hear everyone is feeling well! Even though you couldn’t do as much work yesterday, it looks as though what you were doing was important … spending time with the people and building relationships. The pictures really look fun! And what about the whole trying to order things in another language. Who gave Tyler that job? It sounds so much like him. Good try anyway T! The girls want you to know they miss you and love you!…ME TOO!!
    If there are specific prayer requests please post them so we can remember them in prayer.

  7. Pastor Robert
    Jul 03, 2009

    Well as hard as it is to believe, it appears I may have been wrong about the solution to the overcrowding problem. Even great leaders aren’t perfect. (Although I’m sure I’m the closest) We did a test run last night with the teenagers. They all stood close together while I preached from the Lazy-Boy. They certainly seemed excited about the new set up…well…at least they were yelling a lot so I assume they were excited. Unfortunately one of them fell asleep half way through my message. (due to caffeine deprivation, I’m sure it could not have been because of me) Anyways, as he slipped into dreamland he fell into the person next to him, who fell into the person next to him, until we had a nightmare of a domino effect. By the time the dust cleared, we had 35 down, 10 dazed and confused and 2 missing in action. (They may have dropped off into the baptismal, search teams are still looking)

    Since, my royal mind is in constant motion I’ve already come up with a better idea. I had Charlie knock the back wall out of the auditorium. Now we can add rows of chairs until we hit the next zip code. Granted, it will be a bit cold for everyone in the winter but that could work to our advantage. You know how we always tell everyone to sit in the front pews or move closer to the middle of the row? People will want to show up on time to fill the front rows so they can be inside and the cold will force everyone to huddle close together in the center of the row to generate heat, thereby making more room for others. It’s a win-win situation. I’m like a fountain flowing with ideas.

    On a more personal note, my sister just had a baby. I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl yet so I’m not sure if I’m an aunt or an uncle.

    By the way, it occurred to my royal genius that Pastor Dale might try to regain control of the church when he returns. I’ve reasoned that the only way to avoid being deposed is to have him deported first. So I called the Royal Mounties in Canada and told them that his visa was fake. They asked if I could prove this and I pointed out that his visa is printed in crayon. They caught on pretty quick, for Canadians, and promised to meet Pastor Dale at the airport upon his return.

    My royal fingers are tiring again so I bid you my leave. I’m counting the days until I see you again.

    Your humble servant, Robert …also know to his Spanish-speaking friends as El Guapo!

  8. steve groff
    Jul 03, 2009

    hey everyone; Great to see the pictures of everyone looking their best. Dawn you still look great even in the Nicauraguan heat. I do have a question, are the chairs the children coloring on the chairs bought with the VBS money? If so how many were purchased?
    Keep up the good work and know that you are touching lives, there and here, by the sacrifices you are making. sit back, rest, prop your feet up and drink a bottle of pop. We cant’ wait to see you on monday evening

  9. Donna Rineer
    Jul 04, 2009

    i look forward to reading your blog everyday! Just to remind you that we will be picking you’s all up at the airport on monday!-i know you’s are having a great time and might want to stay awhile longer!
    be prepared, when you leave down in nicagrua you will want to leave apart of your heart there.

    Pastor Dale, i am envious of your hat!

  10. lorettagehman
    Jul 04, 2009

    Dear Lindsay, & team, Great to see your pictures. And I even finally caught up on all the events… the narratives. My life gets hectic these days. Glad you are having a good experience, inspite of minot problems! Can relate- ask Lindsay. What a wonderful opportunity to relate, give, & grow. The kids are cute. Thinking of you, & interested in hearing your stories, when you get back. Make the most of your time left. Have a safe trip back. Love & prayers, Loretta gehman & all the family.

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