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: Post One of Nicaraguan Updates.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
As I was looking through my pictures of the last 2 weeks, I came across these 2 pictures. As I looked at them a thought came to mind as to what each tractor represents. The top tractor is preparing the soil for planting and the bottom tractor is gathering in the harvest. As we interact with people from day to day, are we doing things that is preparing the soil of the heart to receive the Word of God and allow it to be planted and take root in their lives? I just want to leave that as challenge to each of you. Are your actions helping or hindering the preparation of the heart soil? As I then looked at the other tractor with its load of fresh hay bales it made me think of a verse on John 4 - "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." What are we doing about the harvest that is before us? Are we willing to be a worker in the kingdom of the Lord?
The first girls' class is past in the next one will be on Saturday. I am anxious to have another class and to see how many girls will show up. I want to make sure I go to each girls' house tomorrow and remind them that there is a class on Saturday. The first class I only had 2 girls - Sindy & Katerin. Both are girls that I know very well. The class went very well and they said it was easy to understand. I was hoping I hadn't picked anything to hard for them. I am using parts of Brenda Weaver's book - Daughters of Eve & Daughters of God. I translate what I am going to use and thanks to Jason, he helps me correct the way things need to be said or revise things so they sound better. I have them memorizing Psalms 139. I give them 2 verses a week as we have class every other week. For a craft, I have them embroidering a verse with a border on a piece of white fabric. Once they are done, we will sew a back on it and make it a pillow.
Please keep Hector, our neighbor man, in your prayers. Some of you may remember him from previous emails. In January, he responded to the Savior's call. However here of late he has not been attending church much at all. He has only come to one Bible study. Just join us in praying that he might realize his need for fellowship with the brothers and sisters of the church, as well as the need to learn more about God and many other blessings from the the Bible.
Johanna is planning to be baptized on the 20th of June and I am so happy for her as she has seen her need to take this step. Continue to pray for her as she continues to look for work to supply for her and her 3 boys. Just pray that God would give her strength for each and every day. They often don't have more than tortillas w/ salt to eat. At times she finds a washing job and sometimes the boys help tend cows after school. However each moment I spend with her is an encouragement to me and challenges me.
The other day is was in my bedroom studying for a lesson, when all of sudden I heard some strange noises. At first I couldn't tell where they were coming from until I looked out my bedroom window. Nick and Hans were just having a time of it, playing with stone and spare pipes. The chickens and turkeys love to scratch in the dirt right under my window and they have it all soft. It was also shaded yet as the sun had not yet reached it. It never ceases to amaze me where I might find the boys next.
Today we had an interesting time watching the calf-chasing as they tried to load the 5 calves. They had one or two loaded when one of the calves ran threw the fence into the back yard and then ran over past the banana trees and ran through the fence there. Then the one black calf took off toward the back of the field, went through several fences and ended up in the other field with the other calf. The guys then got in the truck and tried rounding them up in the big field. but didn't have too much success. They finally got them back into the feeding area and got them loaded.
These 3 young children live on 3rd Street in La Palmerita. Their parents' names are Carlos & Lydia. The children's names are Yoselyn, Yubelki, and Elbin. They might come to church for a few Sundays in a row and then they don't come for a while. Whenever we go past there house walking, biking, or in the truck, they often come running and hollering our names. Just pray that we might be able to reach out to them and that they might want to come to class.
On the 9th, we had our Sunday evening service; however this was unlike any Sunday service I was ever at. For the first time since I have been here, we had Sunday night church at 6:00 instead of 4:00. We took a small generator along and hung 2 bulbs from the ceiling. Church was very well attended by people of La Palmerita, as well as the beetles. There were big beetles, little beetles, medium beetles, micro-small beetles. Several times I almost swallowed a bug It is an experience I shall never forget.
Till you receive my next email, Lord willing, Jason's parents will have been here for a visit and Mike & Esther will be in our presence. Thank you to both couples for their willingness to come and stay here with us in El Tererro while Randy & Laura fly home to visit family. It will great to both of them once again. The last time I saw them was at my commissioning service in August. Also Krista will have left the team and Joel Heatwole will have arrived to join the single staff of Leon. I plan to fly to the States for a week on June 17th. I look forward to seeing each and every one of my family and friends.
Yes well, I think I will draw to a close. I leave you with a challenge - What are you doing in the fields of God today?? Are you sowing seed?? Are you gathering the harvest. God's blessing to each of you as you serve Him this week!
From El Tererro, Nicaragua: Andrea