Friday, November 27, 2009

#5 For thy mercy is great above the heavens...

This post was an email update that was sent out during my time spent in Nicaragua from 2009 to 2011. I started posting them here when some of my friends who had not received them, wanted to see and hear about the work there. You can access an entire list here.
For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. Psalms 108:4 How true!! Laura snapped this picture one evening at church, while I was teaching class. I have seen so many gorgeous sunsets & sunrises here in Nicaragua. The night sky is just spectacular. The stars are so bright!
It seems so different to be spending Thanksgiving Day in a place, where you don’t need coats and shoes, but that doesn't stop me from being thankful. I have so much to be thankful for:
©   An AWESOME God, with great plans in focus for me
©   The plan of Salvation
©   New day with life, breath, and many opportunities for the day.
©   A Godly Heritage
©   Friends & Family, who are supporting me in many different ways
©   Each of my fellow team members
©   This is just a few – There are so many more!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Davy’s youth group left and Richard’s grandparents came-Donald & Lena Mae Burkholder. They brought a small bag along from my parents JJThat was great to get some things from home. Sunday night, November 15th, we had staff church at Krista & Karen’s house. It was a great evening- hearing a message from Dale Eby and just spending time together as staff. We had Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Fruit Salad, Honey-bun Cake and Coffee. Twas a marvelous evening!!

Since I wrote last, there has been a new addition to our family here in Nicaragua JJ Randy’s cow finally decided to have her baby. He wasn't a small calf, so Randy & Laura ended up pulling the calf. Proved for some excitement around here. He is an adorable little thing but he isn't going to stay too little, too long. He has a cute patch of brown on the top of his head.

We came out from the church service one Sunday morning to see that we had a flat tire on the truck. So we changed that before we could go home. That night we went into Leon for staff church and when we went to leave, we had another flat tire. As of now, we do not have the white truck, as it is having some repairs done

Here are some of the new babies around here. Laura is holding Estrella de Nazaret – Star of Nazareth. Enma – the center lady is holding her grandson and Yuibelka with her little girl. I have hold each of them and they are all so adorable. The first 2 live in La Palmerita and the last one lives in Leon.

Here are just some random pictures of some of the children in La Palmerita. So many of them I do not yet have names for yet, but I know with time, that will come. Each of these come to church Wednesday night and Sunday morning, but there is so many that do not come at all. 

One little girl is not allowed because her mother thinks that she is going to play and she does not believe that she is going to a class to study the Bible. Just this week, we went out to Center Street in La Palmerita to see a little boy’s hand. He was born with deformed hands, so just recently they did surgery to cut apart his fingers. He now has 3 fingers and one deformed thumb on the one hand. I washed his hand good and put Triple Antibiotic Cream on the fingers, with gauze between the fingers and wrapped it in a handkerchief to keep the dirt off. The first time I saw his hand after surgery  it looked pretty bad, but with each passing day, it looks a little better.

This is some of the children from the Wednesday night class that I teach at church. The first night I taught didn’t go so swell, but since then they have gone pretty well, except when you go to pass out scissors JJThey proceed to yell the color of scissors that they wantJJ I enjoy teaching them and with time & God, things will flow smoothly and I will be able to understand more and more of what they say.

On Monday, Virginia and I went to La Palmerita for the afternoon to due a little visiting and pass out some things that Dawn sent down for people. Jason and Randy went to Jason house to work on the pila.  They were cementing  the bottom of it when we stopped in before heading to Johanna’s to visit her.

Monday thru Wednesday, the guys spent the morning picking the field corn. We now have a nice pile of corn out behind Randy’s house and we turned the animals loose in the field to feed.

This week has been a different week for me. Virignia left Tuesday morning with Ramon and went to Waslala for Teacher’s Meetings. I never lived by myself before, so this is an experience but there is still work to do, even with only one person in the house. This morning, I weed-eated behind the house, watered the plants and cleaned the laundry and bathroom. Tomorrow I will clean the kitchen good and who knows what else I will do JJ

In HIS Service in Nicaragua

Saturday, November 14, 2009

#4 Amidst rain, birthdays and visitors...

This post was an email update that was sent out during my time spent in Nicaragua from 2009 to 2011. I started posting them here when some of my friends who had not received them, wanted to see and hear about the work there. You can access an entire list here.

“Will you not tremble at my presence?” I thought of this verse, while viewing the vastness and and the greatness of the ocean. It made me think a lot of the God I serve. I serve an AWESOME God!!! Am I serving Him with total awe and respect? Or are the luxuries of this life keeping me from serving God to my fullest? We have so much, but once it starts to take place of God in our life, we need to step back and take a look. In the context of this verse, God had to strip Judah and Israel of all their benefits that were becoming more important than God. Just a question that came to mind, when I spent time at the beach.

Wow!! Time has a way of getting away from me, but each and every day has been filled with joys, frustrations, tears, and questions. Each day may be a bed of roses, but - REMEMBER – roses have thorns!

Since I wrote last, a lot has taken place. Davy's youth group came down to visit, so on Friday, we met them at the “Rancho” in La Palmerita to spend the afternoon playing with the young children. We played soccer and did several relay games. It was especially fun playing soccer, with little children!! It makes a game very interesting. Afterward, we all headed to the house for a short rest before they headed back out to pick up the youth from La Palmerita for youth night. We played some more soccer and a game similar to Prisoner's Base w/ bottles, but we used sticks instead.
Once it starting getting dark, we all gathered on the porch for a time of singing, before roasting hot dogs. It was great to once again spend time in singing. I love singing in Spanish as good as singing in English. After they all ate, the guys took them back to La Palmerita and the rest of us gathered around on the porch and had a great time.

Saturday was a day of Prayer and Fasting. The service at the church started at 11:00. The service lasts 2 hours, more or less. I was blessed by the service – especially by the little I understood. It rained a good amount that morning, so by the time we went home, the waterway had a nice amount of water in it. The waterway is a creek bed, that is dry in dry season, but every time it rains, it has a nice amount of water in it. Sorry the picture isn't clearer. I was riding in the truck behind this one.
Monday, we were invited to go with everyone from Leon to climb Cerro Negro and go to the beach. We decided to meet them in time to go along to the beach. I had a great afternoon at the beach with everyone and getting to know some of the people for Michigan better. In the evening, we ate at a restaurant on the beach. I had Singapore Shrimp; however I do not have a picture, because my picture did not get nice or clear. It was great to spend time with them – learning to know new people and seeing people I haven't seen for a while.
Tuesday was a La Palmerita day; however this time there was no mud puddle experience. I am sorry for all of you that were waiting to hear about another such experience. Our first stop of the day was with Arelis. We had our first Bible Study with her. From there we headed to Johanna's and spent the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon with her. It was her birthday and she was making bonlluelas?? We spent the morning helping her. 
It was quite an experience and they were very good. They are made from freshly-ground corn and cuajada. You form the into little balls and fry them in oil. You then can eat them with honey or any type of sweet sauce. Johanna made a sweet sauce with Cinnamon in it. We then had our girls' class at 2:00 before returning to pick up Johanna and the boys to take them out for her birthday. We went out for quesillos and ice cream. We had a great time with them.
Quite an experience here in Nicaragua. I was trying to find things to hang the doughnuts on to let them cool after they have the glaze. I couldn't find what I needed so I went to ask Laura. She said “What about the hot dogs sticks?” So that is what we used and hung them over the kitchen sink. 

Friday morning was spent getting everything back into the refrigerator, as we had been living without a refrigerator since Monday. I cleaned the kitchen, while Virginia ran out to La Palmerita. After she came back, she baked cakes for Yader's birthday and I attempted to make bread that kinda flopped!! But we are gonna use it for bread crumbs. Estebyn came up around 2:30 to help us make enchiladas for supper. 
I had a great time making them and they actually turned out very good. The young people from the neighborhood came to play baseball and to have supper with us. Virginia made a baseball bat and baseball for his cake.
He was in his glory. I had very enjoyable time with all of them.
Well, I think it is time to close. Thank you each and everyone for your encouraging emails. God bless you where ever you are.
Serving Him in Nicaragua,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

#3 Completion of Language School

This post was an email update that was sent out during my time spent in Nicaragua from 2009 to 2011. I started posting them here when some of my friends who had not received them, wanted to see and hear about the work there. You can access an entire list here.

Mary - “Buenos Días. Cómo está?” (Hello, Good Day. How are you?)
Maria - “Bien. Y usted?” (Good. And you?)
Mary - “Bien. Gracias!” (Good. Thank you!)
Above is how you greet most any person that comes to your house or at church. When I came to Nicaragua, I knew those words, but that was about my limit of making convesation in Spanish. I knew other words, but didn't know if they were nouns, verbs, adjectives, or what. I have now finished 6 weeks of language school in Estelí and have returned to my house.I feel like I learned a lot in those 6 weeks, but there is still a road to trod ahead of me. I will continue to learn new words and be corrected from day to day, but I am looking forward to being able to talk with the dear people here. There are times when it does get frustrating but God gives us the strength we need.

Well the 6 weeks of school are complete and I am now back in my house in La Palmerita. Wow!! does it ever feel wonderful to be home and to be living a normal life from day to day. Now that I am back in the house, there is a lot of work to. The house is always dirty from dust, insects; there is always food to make; and there are flowerbeds to clean, besides I now need to start studying for Wednesday evening children's class. I am kept very busy, and I love it.

The last 2 weeks of language school went very well; however I was ready to come back to the house. The first Saturday of the last 2 weeks, we had classes in the morning at La Casita. We spent the morning talking and learning new words. We saw different interesting things and got to eat some wonderful food.
My favorite at La Casita: Brie Cheese, Whole wheat bread, tomatoes and cucumbers...

After class ended at 2:00 PM, Dora Elena and her brother Felix (also known as Bayardo) picked us up and off we headed. We didn't know where; all we knew was that it was a great place and Felix wanted to take us there. We drove some pretty bumpy roads and there was dust everywhere. We went to a place known as “Rancho de Don Luis L” We parked the faithful old Jeep and went in and got drinks before heading on a walk. It was fairly easy walking and was very relaxing.
It was gorgeous and you could see for miles upon miles. In the distance, you could see Lake Nicaragua to the right. At night you are able to see the lights of Managua to the left. It was just wonderful to see so far and to view the wonderful creation that God has made. We then walked back to the the Rancho for supper. Wow!!! we had quite the wondeful supper. It was a large plate of grilled chicken, rice, beans, salad, cheese, and fried platinos.
The ride back to the house was much more comfortable as we took the main road back. Felix had taken the other way there just to let us see the scenery. I was tired till I got back. I had a great evening and enjoyed everything. The last week we were there, Felix took us to see his wood shop and construction business. He makes a lot of different things and his shop has a lot of modern tools. He makes wooden baseball bats. He glues different pieces together before turning the bat on the lathe. He also builds house in his business. He is in the process of building a small house beside his shop for a small family to live in. It was a nice little house for a man, lady, and one child.

We came home from Esteli on the bus Friday night and I was so glad to get off the bus and see some familar faces waiting for me at Malpisillo. It felt wonderful to be almost home. We dropped off several other people before heading home. When I got home, there were people here as Laura had invited some of the young people for supper. Rosibel had come up and helped Laura make a Nicaraguan dish for supper and it was really good. After supper, we played a round of soccer. Wow!! It had been a while since I had played but it was great fun. I also had to use my Spanish!! Great experience for me!! The weekend went very fast and before I knew it, I had a new week before me. Monday morning we went over to the church and cleaned it good. While we were there, Johanna's oldest 2 boys came to help. Also while we were there, a drunk man stumbled up and sat on one of the chairs. He proceeded to ramble on – telling the boys, they
weren't doing it right. He just rambled – most of the time making no sense at all. It just makes church cleaning very interesting. Tuesday we headed to La Palmerita – one on a bike and the other on a horse.
We stopped at different homes to visit for a little. Virginia tried her hand at making corn tortillas. She was good at making them. All in all, my day was quite interesting, because I got up close and personal with a huge mud puddle – covered from waist down in mud. What a wonderful feeling!!! a feeling of dread, but so is life. Jump up and put a smile on your face, because it is about 3 hours till you can actually go home and change. It is called a stretching experience, but looking back, I could just laugh. I can only imagine what I looked like flopped in the puddle!! It had to look
humorous. So there is a glimpse of life the last several weeks!! I hope you all got some good laughs.

Thank you for your interest, prayers, & support! God bless!!

First Post of Nicaraguan Updates