Thursday, December 23, 2010

#30 New Faces

122310 Update1
    As I sat here trying to decide what pictures to use for my update, I saw these pictures of the combines in the fields. Each combine was harvesting something different. The one is harvesting peanuts and the other is harvesting soybeans. Now you and I both know that each farmer planted that which he wanted to harvest. A farmer doesn’t plant peanuts and expect to harvest corn, neither does he plant corn and expect to harvest sorghum. The same is true for us as Christians; if we expect to have a harvest centered on the Lord, we need to sow the things of God. We cannot sow sin and expect to have a good harvest. The immediate outcome might look appealing, but sin has its consequences. I just wanted to challenge each of you as you are working in the field of God. Sow that which you want to reap!
122310 Update
In the last month, three little boys have been born into homes in La Palmerita. Typically a newborn is a blessing to the home and each is another little miracle from the Lord to remind us of our Lord’s greatness and the wonder in His creations. We all rejoice at the birth of a newborn that is healthy. Each of these little boys that were recently born, were born into homes that the parents are not married. It breaks my heart to see the homes that they are born into. Some of them have different fathers than the rest of the siblings. Just pray that their mothers might see their need of the Lord in the lives and His help to raise children for His honor & glory

I am pictured  with Yoconda. She is a 13-year old girl from 3rd Street, who desires to be loved and wants someone to pay attentions to her. Sometimes she will walk up to me and call me “fachenta” which more or less means a snob. I might not have down anything snobbish, but it is just her way of getting attention. She is a young girl that is so easily to love and she is the one that just pulls at my heart each time I see her. The dress she is wearing is a dress that Virginia gave to her for her birthday.             IMG_4273

    The ladies above are Darling & Mirrna, along with Mirrna’s brother in the center. Darling is the daughter-in-law to Paulina, the woman that just passed away. Darling & Johnny(the young man on the left with Hans), as well as Otoniel have started coming to the Wednesday night services since the death of their mother. Pray that they might see that the Lord can give them a peace and joy that this world cannot offer. Mirrna, of course, is Julio’s woman and has also been attending church quite regularly. I spent some time with Mirrna Tuesday morning. I got to learn a few new things about her and feel like I know her a little better. Mirrna’s brother came to live with her & Julio for several weeks and he will be leaving the end of this week. When he first came to class, he appeared to be very shy; but he has come out of his shell and can be just as naughty as the rest of the boys Smile 


    Monday, a week ago, Rosibel & Laura invited me to go horseback riding with them up into the mountains. I had never gone up into the mountains with the natives and I had been hearing how beautiful and peaceful it was back there.  We went up in the

 afternoon around 3:30 and it was like seeing a new world. As we rode back the lane, we came upon the herd of El Carmen’s cows. It was a large herd and there was some nice-looking ones. We were able to see where Angel’s have their beehives. (They have just started collecting honey and plan to do it every 2 months.) The trail was very nice most of the way and everything was so quiet and seemed like just a wonderful place to get away from the hustle & bustle of the world to spend a few minutes in solitude. We spent about 1-1/2 hours up there just riding around and seeing many different things that our Lord has created. That time spent riding in the mountain was a time of refreshment for me.

    On Saturday afternoon, we spent some time in Rota having a church service. We decided to try having the service in the center of town. We set up chairs under a large tree. As you sit waiting for people to come, you will see many ox carts and and horse-drawn wagons coming
into the town square to get water from the artisan well. It is not 
unusual to see carts with 3 or 4 blue barrels when you drive the road. Everyone go to town square to get their water. The town just recently received electric and it seemed a little strange to actually see Christmas lights hanging from the porches there. We had a nice turn-out on Saturday night. It was the most people that have attended the services there in Rota since I have arrived. A few morepeople arrived after I took this picture. Also while we had the 
 service, different times there were groups of men under hanging out under the tree. They may not have been sitting in the service; but I just pray that whatever they might have heard might have challenged them to take a look at their lives and evaluate their way of living. We heard a very challenging message on the love that we have for our neighbors & our enemies. I was also challenged in my Christian walk. We as Christians are not exempt from Satan’s attacks and He will try all the harder to make us as Christians to fall when it comes to having a love for our neighbors & enemies. When we start to allow little things irritate us, it will not belong till it becomes a giant mountain. We need to rid ourselves of it when it it small. A saying I heard today was “We cannot change the people or the circumstances, but we can change OUR attitude towards the people and the circumstances.” I just leave this as a challenge to each of you!

I will add a few more pictures at the bottom before I close. May God richly bless each of you! Christmas blessings and a happy New Year!
122310 Update-1
Laura milking the goat!
The little ones helping Angie bag soap bars for Christmas buckets.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

#29 Christmas Blessings & Happy New Year

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Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!
May you experience the blessings of serving our Lord
and the peace that He offers!

In His Service, Andrea

Monday, December 6, 2010

#28 Harvest, Visitors, Graduations, and many other things....

Wilt thou take just one moment to step outside and lift your eyes unto the hills? It never ceases to be a moment of refreshment for me. At times, I simply slip outside to take a moment to pause and draw strength from the source above. I was once again reminded by a loved one that there is never a waiting list at the throne of God, never a busy tone. He is there waiting for us to call on Him and He knows each of our cries and pleas before we even cry to Him. As I looked at each of those mountains, I was reminded of the power within each of them. They are volcanoes and some are still active. They have the power to destroy anything that is in the way. The Lord of all contains more power than all the volcanoes put together. Are we truly aware of the strength that He possesses? May you draw strength from the power above and also have a reverent fear of the Lord in the week to come.

On the 20th of November, my first guests arrived – Merle & Sierra Oberholtzer from Myerstown, PA. They came to spend a week with me and to learn more about Nicaragua. We did some sight-seeing while they were here. On Monday, we went to Masaya & Caterin. We did some hiking at the Masaya Volcano before going to the marketplace in Masaya. Sierra & I did some fabric shopping in Masaya for family & friends back home. On Tuesday we spent most of the day in La Palmerita. We ladies went out in the morning to help Johanna make lunch. Johanna soon had Sierra making rice. Randy, Laura, Merle & the boys arrived around 11:30 for lunch. We cleaned up after lunch and sang for a while before heading out visit some other people in La Palmerita. On Thursday, we took the bus to Leon to do some sight-seeing there as well. We started the morning out by going to Café Rosita for breakfast after which we toured a cathedral in Central. I had never been inside a cathedral before, so it was something new for me as well. We went to San Juan to do some shopping before getting lunch. After lunch, we went to Café Latino for iced coffee and wireless internet. Around 2:00, Delmar took us to the beach for the afternoon. We spent about 2 hours on the beach before heading back to Leon for the evening service. Angie (Nathan Miller’s wife) served us supper before the service. It was a fun-filled day but we were ready to go home. Friday morning Jason took us to Cerro Negro to hike the volcano. It was great to hike it once again and to get the the top just for the thrill of running down. Friday afternoon we headed to Leon for our Thanksgiving supper at Nathan & Angie’s house. We had a delicious meal. Thank you to all who helped prepare it! It was scrumptious! Merle & Sierra left on Saturday the 27th, so we headed to Managua around 9:00. The picture on the left was a truck that we followed for some time.

This week started out quite busy. We spent Tuesday in La Palmerita and had Bible studies with the ladies. Virginia & I biked out around 10:00. The first class was at Arelys’s house; however it was more than Arelys in the class. Her sisters Ester and Noelia, as well as Esmeralda from Center Street, all also were in the class. It was quite a large class, but went very fast with each of the ladies helping read and answer questions. We then had class with Johanna and while Virginia went to Enma’s house for class, I went with Laura to Lidia’s house for her class. After class, Laura & Virginia did some washing and I kept them supplied with water to wash. While we were there, we found out that an older lady from La Palmerita had passed away and that there would be a vela (viewing) that evening.

Randy’s & I headed to the the vela around 8:30. When we arrived, we were told that the casket had not yet arrived. It arrived around 9:00. One of the ladies came to me and asked if I would be willing to take pictures. We left the vela around 9:30 and one of her sons wanted to know if I would be able to come to the burial to take pictures for them. So Wednesday morning Randy & I went to La Palmerita around 11:30 to attend the burial. We arrived at the home to find the family and friends there waiting for the tractor to arrive to haul the people to the graveside. We were asked to take the casket in the back of the truck. On the right are a few pictures from the vela and burial. The bottom right picture is close friends and family. The man in the right hand corner in a black shirt is her son Johnny and the lady in black in front of him is Darling, a daughter-in-law. The picture of the 2 boys is of Paulina’s youngest 2 sons, Otoniel & Johnny. The funeral procession consisted of a horse escort, our truck with the casket, a few bikes, and a tractor & trailer. At the graveside, I took a lot of pictures for the family with a camera that one of the family members gave me. One of the saddest things was all the drunk men that were there. Some of them were so drunk that they could hardly even stay on their 2 feet. It was so sad to see they way these people deal with grief. Other than the family, there was hardly any serious people. So many of them went down to the venta and bought soda and food to eat while we were waiting at the graveside. Jason shared a devotional and had a prayer before she was buried. Please pray for the family as they deal with the passing of their mother.

Thursday morning was spent decorating cakes for the graduations at the local school. The promotion started around 4:00 and Virginia & I were kept busy taking pictures of all the many people that were there. There was quite a number of people from La Palmerita that were graduating from Preschool & 6th grade. (Clockwise from top left: Juan Adiel, Noelia, Alexi, Yader Cruz, Marvin & Marvin[2 cousins – the one on the right is the brother of Yacadelis, the young girl who passed away last month. The other is her cousin.] Juancito, Sobeyda, Luz, & Ermogenes.) After the graduation, we had a small service and supper in the church building for Noelia & Juancito that their parents had planned.

The collage below is of several of the young people in La Palmerita. Some of them are so young, but already are making so many bad decisions. I do not know all their names, however I have seen them all several times. Please join us in lifting up the young people of La Palmerita to the throne of God. There are so many young people with a lot of potential, if only they would realize their need of Jesus as their personal Saviour and would channel their potential into the work of God.

To the right is a picture of my Sunday morning class. They can be quite a handful at times, but I try to remind myself that many are not raised as I was and that many of them have only one parent with whom they are living and probably have not a clue where their other parent is. Clockwise from back left: Gerald, Deylin, Wilber, Memo, Noilyn, & Gabriel.

These 3 boys have also been attending my Sunday morning classes here of late. They are from the family known as the “ratas”(rats). They have a reputation of being thieves. Deylin (right) can at times be a handful; however since his brother, Julio (center) and cousin Alside (left) have been attending, he has been behaving quite well in class. Please pray that the Lord might get ahold of them when they reach the age of accountability.

God bless each of you wherever you are!

In His Service, Andrea

Thursday, November 18, 2010

#27 New Experience, Reminders, Birthdays

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    As I stop to reflect over the many things that have passed in the last 2 weeks and look over the pictures that were taken, I am reminded of the difference of each day and the special beauty each day holds. When we arise ach day, we do not know what lies before us; but as we trust on the Lord, he gives us the strength to climb each mountain. As I looked at the above picture, I was reminded of the power and the might that our Lord possesses, but I was also reminded of the power and the might that we as Christians can have if we call on the Lord and daily commit our lives to Him and His directing. So often it is so easy to forget that and we try to plunge on ahead on our own...trying to move mountains without the faith. Oh that we would ever remember the Lord and the might that He gives to them that choose to follow Him each and every day. We are in a warfare as Christians. We have enemies to fight against, a captain to fight for, a banner to fight under, and certain rules of war by which we are to govern ourselves (taken from Matthew Henry’s Commentary). We cannot win a battle on our own. We need the help of the Lord and our Christian brothers.
    Well since my last update. Richard & Andrea Burkholder have flown to the States for a furlough. They are planning to be gone for 2-3 months, as they will not be returning before the new bundle joins their family. Please pray for them as they spend time in the States that it may be a time of refreshment. Lloyd & Faye Zimmerman (Pleasant Valley) have arrived to house-sit and be here with us, while Richard’s are in the States. We are so grateful for their willingness to devote some of their time and spend it here with us. It has been a blessing for me to have them here so far. It is like having my grandparents here. I knew them very well before they came, and it has been great spending time with them once again. Monday evening they came to stay here with us, as Randy’s went to Granada to spend time with Barry & Colleen Zeiset (Laura’s sister & husband) before they returned to the States on Tuesday afternoon. Lloyd’s took us to La Palmerita before heading to Leon on Tuesday morning.
    Once again spending a Tuesday in La Palmerita has been a blessing to me and a reminder to be a willing giver and also the blessings of a willing receiver. SmileSometimes being a willing receiver calls for stepping out of your comfort zone and experience something that perhaps is a first-time experience and may very well be an experience that you may never again experience. Also am I willing to share that which I have with those that truly have needs? When I see some people in La Palmerita who are so willing to give even though they have very little.

    We started out the morning with Lloyd & Faye taking us to La Palmerita and dropping us off at Johanna’s house. We spent a little bit of time at Johanna’s before going our separate ways. I had spent some time in the last 2 weeks sewing a skirt and blouse for Johanna. She fit it on this morning and it fit very good. I was glad to see that it fit well and that it didn’t need any more readjusting. I enjoy sewing and was glad to have the opportunity to sew for her. I left Johanna’s house around 10:30 and headed up the street with my pack of pictures that I had taken for several people. I headed to Center Street where most of the people live that I had pictures for. I also wanted to do a little visiting, but somehow you never get as many people visited as you wanted to. Smile My first stop was at Manuel & Seneida. (pictured above with the little girl). You all may have seen a picture of her before. She is a young lady, age 25, with 2 children and is living with her man. I have come to know her and she has always been a challenge to me. They are a family that doesn’t have much, but I have never heard her complain about her needs. She always has so many other things to talk about and they always want to hear about what I have been doing and what I had planned for the rest of the week. They invited to come in and visit a spell. I hadn’t been there long and she asked me if I like “pipian in caldillo”. I had never had it, so she told me to wait and she will bring me a plate. She soon arrived with a plate of rice, pipian in a ketchup sauce, cooked platino AND................a chicken foot in the midst. Now I have never eaten a chicken foot and had never really planned to eat a chicken foot; however I didn’t know how to politely refuse the chicken foot, but in a way I did kinda want to taste it. I knew it may be my only chance to try it. Once I had finished everything else, I told Seneida that I had never eaten a chicken foot before and don’t know how to eat it. I was instructed to just eat the meat off the bone, so I proceeded to try it. It wasn’t too bad, but it was different. I enjoyed the meal very much, but it might not have been as much as the taste of the meal, as the spirit with which the meal was given. Also in the process of the visit, I had went to move my chair in the shade. I caught my flip-flop on a stick and tore my flip-flop Sad smile What a problem because, I couldn’t get it to stay on my foot. Seneida sent for Manuel to come and sew my flip-flop together and he did just that. Before I left, they gave me a small bag of chile peppers. I left there challenged to have more of a willing spirit to share and not necessarily money, but time and and whatever other resources God has blessed me with.

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 The rest of my day was spent having classes with Johanna & Enma. We had Johanna’s class at 12:30. I arrived back at Johanna’s house to find all her boys sitting on the beds and when we started singing, instead of running off to play, they all stayed there and helped sing. They all took turns picking songs; and the songs that they knew well, they sang with all their heart. I was seated on the one bed with Johanna, Juancito, and Yeral. Yeral is in my Sunday morning class and at times is quite a handful. He can try a person’s patience and I try to remember and remind myself that he was not born into a Christian home and his mother is trying all she can to instruct her sons in the ways of the Lord. However today I was reminded of the potential he has. He sat in Johanna’s class right beside me the whole time. It was so special to me because some Sunday mornings he will leave class and refuse to speak to me, because I wouldn’t let him do what he wanted. As we were reading over the chapter that Virginia had picked for today’s study, he sat right there and I could hear him reading along with us. It was so special for me.
    Last Wednesday was Johanna’s birthday. Beings it was Wednesday, we couldn’t really do an afternoon/evening thing with her, so we invited her out to the house for lunch and to spend the afternoon before going to the afternoon service. Laura made & decorated a cake for her. She also had some games for the boys, which they enjoy very much as well as did their mother. It was wonderful to be able to celebrate this joyous time with Johanna. She continues to be an encouragement to me as she strives to serve the Lord and be a Christian witness in La Palmerita.
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Randy & Laura decided to spend a Sunday evening with Richard’s before they left, so we girls decided to take the opportunity and spend some time with the young ladies who live in Leon. Karen and Denise were into doing something together, so we planned the evening. Karen & Denise made soup & sandwiches, which were scrumptious; and Virginia & I took in the salad & dessert. We spent the evening together, which proved to be quite an interesting time. After supper we got out the Rummikub game. I personally had never played that game before till I came to Nicaragua, however I do enjoy it now. We played 9 rounds, and poor Karen didn’t win a single one. I truly felt sorry for her. Thank you ladies for the pleasant evening. We began our trip to El Terrero around 9:00; however we only made it to Malpaisillo till we had to pull of the road and change a flat tire. We ladies sat on the sidewalk and I had fun snapping pictures of the boys as we were waiting. The next morning as we were leaving for Managua, randy informed us that he was unable to get the tire fixed, so we were headed to Managua without a spare tire and with prayers. Praise the Lord! We didn’t any tire problems. 
111810 Update-2

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This past week Denise’s sister Jean was here to visit her. We had spent Friday in Leon, so they invited  us to go along out for supper in the evening. It was another enjoyable evening spent with the other girls. We went to a small, but nice quesillo restaurant in town. For those of you who aren’t familiar with quesillos, they are a native Nicaraguan food. On the bottom is a corn tortilla followed by a piece of cheese and then a creamy sauce. It is thinner than the sour cream that we have down here and has a slightly different flavor. It is then topped with chopped onions. I was first introduced to them in Estelí, when I was in language school. So far I haven’t found 2 places that they taste the same. Each place has their own unique quesillo. It was definitely an evening that I enjoyed and was glad to be able to learn to know Denise’s sister a little better.

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Well before I draw to a close, I would like to introduce you to the elderly couple on 3rd Street. Their names are Sinforteano & Pastora. Pastora attends church pretty regularly at times and then it might go for a while till she comes again. He has never come to church since I have been here. They asked me to take their pictures the other day when I was there. I was kinda glad, because I did not have a good picture of them. I just ask that you might pray for them, as they are both up in age. Just pray that God would work His perfect will in their lives.
Thank you for all your prayers. May God richly bless you as you serve Him where you are. We truly serve an awesome Lord who can do more than we can think or ask.
Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

#26 Filling Silo, Perfect Attendance, Fellowship Meal

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    As I snapped the above picture one afternoon as I was riding home from La Palmerita, this song came to my mind. It was a dark,cloudy day; it looked like we might receive a heavy downpour. Amongst the dark clouds, we could see the bright gleam of a rainbow; its colors so beautiful. But this picture and song also reminds us of the ever-present spiritual darkness in the La Palmerita Community. Satan has so many holds on this community and he is always trying to discourage the faithful few. But as the song says – one bright gleam I see. Amidst the darkness, there continues to be one bright gleam from day to day. Please pray for each of us as staff and the native members as we all strive to be the bright gleam to those in darkness.
    We ask you to rejoice with us as another soul has realized their need of the Lord as their Saviour; and we also ask you to join us in lifting him to the throne of grace as he begins to make changes in his life and as he strives to serve the Lord there in La Palmerita. Julio (pictured above with his nephew) has been attending church faithfully for some time and had been thinking of the step that he needed to take. Last week he had got into a fight with another man from La Palmerita and some nasty words were exchanged. However the Lord was working in the heart of Julio and he was convicted of his actions, so he found the other man and asked for forgiveness. The other man called him a coward for not wanting to get into another fight. Julio went home, knowing that he had tried to make restitution. After the Wednesday night Bible Study, Julio came to Ramon with many questions. That evening Ramon had shared on Baptism, Last Supper, & the Feet Washing ceremonies. Ramon told us on the way home that he felt Julio was very close to making a decision. Jason went to Julio’s on Thursday for their weekly Bible Study. While he was there, the fellow who had got in the fight with Julio went past, calling him names once again. Julio said to Jason “Today is my day to be the strong man. I want to be strong in the Lord” He lives with his woman, Mirrna. They are not married, but have expressed their desire to be married as soon as possible. Mirrna attends church quite faithfully as well. He also told us that his mother told him that the day he joins a church that is not Catholic, he is no longer her son. Please pray for Julio as he strive to be a Godly example to those around him and for Mirrna that she might realize her need also to commit her life to the Lord.
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    As you can see in the above picture, Virginia is  washing some clothes. The other Saturday after my morning girls’ class, I headed to Johanna’s house to see how she was doing. After having seen her so sick on Wednesday, I was not sure what to expect. I arrived to find her sleeping and Virginia was out back washing the mountain of clothing & Yeral was taking a bath in the soapy wash water coming out of the pila from the clothing that Virginia was washing. I took my backpack into the house and found Johanna waking up from her nap. I took the opportunity to sit down and spend some time talking with her. She was feeling much better and didn’t have a headache. She received an injection once a day for 5 days to help get vitamins back into her body. When I arrived at Johanna’s house this Tuesday and found her finishing up her laundry and feeling much better. I went and visited Lidia for about an hour before returning to Johanna’s for her afternoon class. Continue to pray for Johanna as she strives to serve the Lord and be a Christian witness in La Palmerita and also as she strives to raise her children for the Lord.
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    Right now some of the corn is just right to make tamales. There is about a week in the growing time of the corn when it is perfect to use it for fresh eating and making tamales. I will tell you it is not like sweet corn, but it is really good. I have helped to make tamales in several different homes now, and each cook has her own different way of making them. When we arrived to help make them at Johanna’s house the other week, we found Maria husking the corn and Johanna was cutting it off the cob. Once it was all cut, they put me to work. I had the privilege of grinding it all. I have come to enjoy grinding corn be hand. Grinding this corn did not take near as long as grinding corn for tortillas. The day we helped make them, we also put some cuajada ( a Nicaraguan cheese that I have finally learned how to make) in each of the tamales to give it a little cheesy flavor. After the corn was ground, it was mixed and a little bit of the juice that we collected as I was grinding it, was added to mixture. You then take the inner leaves of the husk and spoon the mixture in there and wrap it up. It it then put in a kettle to cook for several hours. They are the best eaten right after they come out of the kettle.
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    The 2 little boys in the above pictures are both in my Wednesday night class. I have recently started using attendance charts to see if it will help bring up the attendance in the class. So often there is 3 or 4 children, but the last little bit, I have had at least 6. Both Nicholas & Juancito had perfect attendance. We have just finished the first chart and I am anxious to see what happens with the next several weeks in the attendance. Both of my classes have been quite poorly attended recently, so maybe the attendance charts will serve as a motivator. Right now in my Wednesday night class I have a lot of 2 & 3 year olds, so it takes a little more effort to keep them occupied till the adults are finished with their class. I enjoy spending time with each of these children and pray that my life would leave a positive influence on each of them.
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    Last Sunday, beings it was the 5th Sunday, we did something a little different for the people that came to church. We decided to take lunch to church and spend the noon meal with all the people that showed up.  Laura made Dominican Spaghetti, and we had tortillas & chocolate cake to finish off the the meal. After we finished lunch, we attempted to try and play water balloon volleyball. However we did not have much luck at all. So we gave up and everyone had fun just throwing water balloons at everyone else. It was a fun time to spend with all the children and just have fun. Some of the children are still laughing at who they hit with water balloons.

    The family that I would like to introduce you to lives on 3rd Street. Usually the four pictured above are at church on Wednesday night and sometimes Sunday morning. The girl’s name is Yoconda and she is the only girl. She has 4 brothers, 3 of which are pictured here with her. The little one that she is holding is Juan Carlos. The little guy in the the bib overalls is Maynor and the one in the blue-striped shirt is Memor. Juan Carlos and Maynor are both in my Wednesday night class. They always come to church, so dirty and muddy. Just in looking at them, you can feel their plea to be loved. Just last night, when Yoconda arrived at church, she wouldn’t talk to me; all she would do was stick out her tongue. I could not think of a thing that I had done that would offend her. Who know what it was. This morning we rode to La Palmerita and stopped in for a little at their home.
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Well, I shall bring my email to a close. We are leaving for Leon at 2:00 and we just got back from La Palmerita. I have added a personal picture for you. Right now the morning glories are so beautiful, so one morning we decided to snap a few pictures.
Have a great day in the Lord!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

#25 Birthdays, Ladies' Day, and a Death

    As I snapped these pictures the other Sunday morning, the above verse came to mind and it has stuck with me through the last several days. No matter where we are, God still knows where we are and He will still provide us with the strength we need. As I watched this plane come down and spray the field and soar back up in the sky for the next round, I was reminded of the day when we will all leave this earth and be caught up to meet our Lord. The thought brings tears of joy to my eyes as I think of that day. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4" This verse has also been a comfort to me as I think of our Lord's return and as I also reflect on the past 2 weeks. Are we doing all we can to share God's Word with those around us? Do they realize the need to make a decision to serve Christ with their whole heart?
    Sunday morning, the 10th, they decided to spray the field across the road from the house. Poor Nicholas - when he heard the plane, he took off running for the house, crying because he was soooo scared of the plane. I was able to crawl under the fence and get some good pictures of the plane as he was spraying.
    Well so much has happened in the last 2 weeks. The night I sent my last update, the 7th,  we needed to drive to La Paz Centro as the black truck had some issues. Joel & Karen were headed to Managua Thursday morning to pick up Delmar and had some problems with the truck. So they parked it along the road and caught a bus to Managua, Between buses and taxis, they made it to the airport and then back to the truck. We soon had all the men peering under the hood trying to decide what to do about the problem. After putting water into the truck, the Leon folks decided to try driving the truck. However we were not too far down the road till the water started pouring out of the truck. So here comes the job for the El Terrero truck - it needed to pull the black truck to Leon. We arrived in Leon around 6:15 and hurriedly did the things we needed to or wanted to before church. I ran to the Cyber to send my emails and call my mother. When I arrived at church it hadn't yet started, but all the benches were full as you see in the above picture. Virginia & I, as well as a whole string of others sat on chairs behind the last bench till the children were dismissed for classes.
    On Friday, the 8th, we took Larry Bowman (Canadian board member) and his friend Pete to see some of the sights that we country folks have close to our home. We started out be going to Lake Assosoca. It is so beautiful this time of year. Every thing was so nice and green. Randy & Laura walked up to the lookout, while the single staff and the visitors walked down the lake and hiked back up. We then took the scenic route from Assosoca to La Paz Centro where the visitors bought us lunch at the little comedor pictured above. I had a plate with chicken, rice, and beans. It was very good. La Paz Centro has a lot of pottery shops, so we stopped at several shops. There was a few new shops that had opened since the last time I did pottery shopping. A lot of the places have some of the neatest pottery. I bought a nice candle holder for the dresser in my room. It makes it really nice when there is no electricity. On Saturday, we took the Canadian men to Managua to fly home. It was great to have them here and learn another face to the OBMM board.
    On Monday, the 11th, we ladies had a day out. We met in Malpaisillo at 7:30 and headed to Estelí for the day. When we arrived in Estelí, we first stopped at Los Pipitos to see if any of our Spanish teachers were in. Neither of them were there, so we headed for Mocha Nana; however they were not yet opened. We decided to do some walking and window shopping till 10:00. We started making our way back to Mocha Nana, when who should we meet in the street, but my Spanish teacher - Gioconda. We were across the street from Mocha Nana, so we all went in and talked with Gioconda for a little, before ordering our Frozen Mochas. FROZEN MOCHA!! Hurray!! They are so good and hit the spot. We then headed down the street, stopping at different shops along the way. We spent the most time in the fabric store, before heading to the Chinese restaurant for lunch. As usual, the food was wonderful and we had a great time together - sharing our hearts and our thankfulness for each other. After lunch, our next stop was La Casita. It was great to see all the plants there and just enjoy the beauty of the place. It added a wonderful end to the great day. Thank you ladies, for the wonderful day!
    The above pictures are pictures from a Tuesday in La Palmerita. I rode out on Beulah and Virginia was on her bike. She went up 3rd Street for some classes, while I headed for Center Street to do some visiting. My first stop that day was at Leonardo & Marta. I spent about an hour & half there, before riding to Lydia's house. I found her at home with a pile of wash to do. I offered to was some for her, not really knowing what I was getting in for. She does not have a pila like a lot of the other people use to wash their clothing. She has a concrete scrub board setting on top of a barrel. This scrub board is rougher than the pilas and is not nice to hands that are not used to washing clothing by hand. I do wash some of my clothing by hand, but it is not near as dirty as little children's clothing. I proceeded to wash some of the clothing, but it wasn't long till I had rubbed my wrists and fingers raw. I was never so glad to see Virginia and she offered to do some of the washing. The people here have told me time and time again - the reason I have so much trouble washing, frying rice over wood fire, grinding corn...the list goes on, but the reason is because I am left-handed. If I would be right-handed, it wouldn't be so hard for me. When we finished at Lydia's, we headed to Johanna's class and had time with her. Virginia was in charge of the lesson and the lesson gave me a lot to think about. I then went with Virginia to Enma's house for the last class of the day. At Enma's house, we have class with Enma, Sindy, Yesina, and sometimes Yorlenis. By the time that class was finished, it had started thundering so we decided to leave and head for home. Lydia had given us an  iyote (pumpkin) and I was the one elected to carry it home because I was on the horse. I was very glad when I saw the house, because holding a pumpkin and trying to ride horse can be a little difficult. (and the pumpkin was HEAVY!) But it was a great day!
    Last week there were 2 people that had birthday parties. Thursday was Karen's birthday. However it believe it was a birthday that she will never forget. Wednesday night her brother, sister, and nephew flew into Managua. Richard's picked them up and they stayed at Richard's place overnight. Thursday morning the Leon staff met for prayer at Nate's house. In the meantime, her family walked to her house and were sitting in the living room when she returned from prayer. After church Thursday night, some of the young girls from Karen's girls class dumped powder on her head. It wasn't sparingly either!! On Friday, Esnayder celebrated his birthday and we were all invited to the birthday party. In the picture above, his mother is Yesina (the girl in the yellow. She is only 16), his grandmother Enma is holding him, and his aunt Sindy is in the orange/white. There was so many ladies at the party that I had not seen in a a long time. It was quite the big party for such a little boy. They had a huge Spiderman piñata for the children.
    The above picture is of my girls' class. These 3 are my regular attendees. From left to right is is Katerin, Magdalena, and Noelia. We are now holding the Saturday classes in La Palmerita at the home of Katerin. We have class 3 Saturdays a month. They have been working on embroidering pillow tops. I decided however the other week to give them a break and let them paint these bags that Christine Nolt sent down. They had a lot of fun painting them and so did I. I enjoy this class very much and it is my heart's desire that this class would bring honor and glory to God. Also that it would be a way of building relationships with each of the girls and they could see their need for a life totally surrendered to God.
    On Sunday, the 17th, 2 young boys arrived at church and asked if we could take Yacadelis(13 years old) to Malpaisillo as she was vomiting blood. We quick went home with our truck load and Randy & I left almost immediately and headed back to La Palmerita. When we arrived, we were informed that they had already left with the tractor to take her to Malpaisillo. We returned the house, only to receive the sad news later that evening that she had died. We have heard so many different stories; however I will try to write what we heard from her mother, Albertina. Saturday evening, Albertina found Yacadelis and a young boy from La Palmerita embracing. She was upset; however Yacadelis and the young boy soon left. Albertina did not know where they had gone. Early Sunday morning she went looking for them, as someone had told her where they where. She found her and brought her home. Some said once she brought her home, she beat Yacadelis; however she says "I punished her for her disobedience." They ate breakfast and around mid-morning Yacadelis said she was dizzy. She soon started vomiting. She had drank poison and died on the way to Malpaisillo. The doctors said she drank so much, so fast there was nothing they could do. (the picture above from left to right is Yacadelis, Juan Carlos [her brother], Albertina[her mother], and Marvin[a cousin] The staff from Leon was here at our house when we received the news, so Rich's offered to stay with Hans & Nick, while we went to the vela(viewing). We spent several hours there - most of it sitting there talking with others from La Palmerita. So many of the people were so giddy and it made me wonder if that was their way of dealing with grief or if the reality had not yet sunk in. Just before we left, they brought the casket out on the porch and the family asked me to take some pictures of her in the casket. Monday morning we left her around 7:00 and headed to La Palmerita. We had been asked to transport the casket and some of the family and friends to Momotombo, where they were planning on burying the body. The funeral procession consisted of the the truck and the tractor & trailer from La Palmerita. We had a few truck problems on the way, but thanks to God, they didn't amount to anything. We were almost at Momotombo when Jason knocked on the truck. We were about to lose our back wheel. The lugs had come loose and were almost out. We tightened the lugs and once again went on our way. When we arrived in Momotombo, we did not go straight to the graveyard, but went to a home there. Some of the mother's family had not arrived and they wanted to wait for them. We sat there for several hours, but at 12:00, the mother's family had not yet arrived, so we offered our condolences and went home. As I sat there watching many of the people, you would have never guessed that you were attending a funeral. It appeared that it was just another party to some of the people. As I thought about the events that had taken place, the thought came to my mind "Did Yacadelis know that the poison would kill her? Or was she just doing to get attention?" I will miss her very much. She was always such a happy, bubbly young girl. Please pray for her family as they adjust to life without Yacadelis and that God would reveal  to them their need to surrender their lives to Him. She left behind her parents and 4 brothers: Juan Carlos-15, Marvin-12, Kevin-8, and Fernando-2.
    Please pray for Johanna. She has been fighting a severe headache for several days and Tuesday night Randy & Jason took her to Malpaisillo as she had been throwing up. She has been struggling financially as well. We spent several hours with her yesterday and she talked to Virginia for a little bit; however she did not get up at all. She stayed in her bed the whole time we were there. Please pray for the boys that they would sense God's arms around them and protecting them.
    Here are a couple common day pictures. The neighbors here visiting, giving advice...this so often reminds me of evenings at home when the neighbors and friends would stop to visit. And of course, all the children waiting in the waterway for us, so they can jump on the back of the truck and get a ride to church.
Please pray for:
  • La Palmerita - Satan has such a strong hold on the community.
  • Johanna - that she could sense God and His presence through this time of trial
  • Yacadelis' family - that they would feel God's presence amidst the grief
  • Us as staff, as we relate to the people from day to day.
Thank you so much for you prayers. Blessings to each of you as you serve the Lord in your respective places.
In His Service in Nicaragua, Andrea
PS. I would love to hear from you as well :) :)