Monday, August 23, 2010

#21 Girls' Day, Planting, Feliz cumpleaños

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.
    Each time I go to the ocean, I am reminded of the power that our Lord possesses. As the waves crash upon the sand and the water rushes back out to the sea, I often think of our powerful Lord. He has the power to take a life, to give a life...the list could go on and on. He had the power to destroy each and everyone of us because of our sins, but He was willing to send His Son to this earth to die for us and save each of us.  As I see different people here trying to understand the plan of salvation and as they count the cost, I just stop to thank Him for working in my life as well as each life here in Nicaragua. Each day I am blessed by learning something new or being challenged by someone who I spent some time with. Sometimes He takes a young mother who has very little material possession to challenge me or a young girl who lives with her parents to remind me of the power that He has. May we always stop to thank Him for His love and power.
Karen & Denise at Barco de Oro Restaurant
     The other Thursday 8/5, Karen & Denise invited me to come spend the day with them in Leon. In the morning while Karen studied and Denise went to the dentist, I wrote my last update I sent. For lunch, we went to a small restaurant that sells quesillos. Quesillos are a native Nicaraguan food. They are made with a corn tortilla, cheese, and a type of cream sauce with onions. This was the first time that I had quesillos in Leon; however while Karen & I attended language school in Estelí a couple times and I really learned to like them. From there we went to the beach for the afternoon. It was quite a warm day. We spent about 2 hours there. We then went to Barco de Oro for supper. This was the first time that I had been to this restaurant. It is a restaurant set along the bay; however the water was low and was out pretty far. The breeze coming off the water was wonderful and we had a good time together. I had Chicken wings with salad, rice, and potatoes. Thank you girls for the great time!
    From left to right (Juancito, Melvin, Wilbur, Yeral, Yorbin) 
    We spent a Sunday afternoon visiting different families in La Palmerita. We stopped in to visit with Johanna and her boys. The children of La Palmerita have come up with some of the cutest games to play. One I have seen several times is with a bike rim. They have a stick and they try to keep the rim rolling. These boys decided to paint their faces that day. They got the black stuff for their faces from the kettles setting on the stove. It was soot from the kettles sitting on the wood fire. They looked so hilarious! Some of them got sticks and were hobbling around like old men. I even ended up with some on my face, compliments of the boys. They also, of course, like to ride our bikes when we come to the house. Usually till we leave, our bikes are nice and muddy, due to the rainy season here in Nicaragua. Each of these boys come to church Sunday and Wednesday and are in our children's class. The boys in the above picture are from 2 different families. Juancito, Yeral & Wilbur are Johana's boys. Melvin & Yorbin are Lidia's boys. At the current time, we have a Bible study with Lidia and Johana.
     It is time to plant crops here in Nicaragua. All the tractor guys are kept quite busy right now. They are trying to plant as much as they possibly can before the next rain comes. Everytime it rains, they need to wait for the field to dry off and around here the mud is a very sticky mud. (I went to La Palmerita Saturday morning and had to carry/push my bike, because it had rained the night before and was very muddy.) The men in the above picture are young guys from La Palmerita and are helping to plant corn in the field in front of Johana's house. They each have a container full of corn and plant it as the tractor drives through the field. Randy is hoping to get the field planted here at the house, but so far it hasn't dried off enough. Hopefully it will soon dry so he can get it planted before it is too late.
     Angel Antonio is Ramon's brother. Just to refresh your memory, Ramon was the first & only young guy to become a member at the La Palmerita congregation. He lives with his parents just down from our house. His brother Angel Antonio & wife America have been living with Ramon & his parents for about a month now. Angel has been coming to church lately and America has also been there several times. Right now Alexa is a sick little girl. I just miss the little girl she was just last week. Whenever she saw me, she wanted me to hold her. Mariana (Ramon's mother) & Rosibel came up Sunday afternoon and Alexa wouldn't let me hold her. She just cried. She started with a cold. The doctors are saying she has bronchitis and bronchial pneumonia. Just pray for the family as they take care of her and also for her parents that they would see their need for Christ in their lives.
    The little girl with the piñata is Hector & Iris's little girl, Amy. She turned a year-old last week and they had a party for her Saturday night. Seeing Amy reminds me a lot of all that has happened in the past year. She was just this tiny baby when I got here and now she turned a year-old. Continue to pray for Hector & Iris, her parents. Hector has not been to church lately and has just got a job about 20 minutes away, but will only be coming home twice a week. Just pray that he would see his need for a deeper relationship with the Lord and the need to go to church and be in the presence of brothers & sisters in the faith. Pray for Iris that she would see her need of Christ in her life.
     FEATURE MOTHER: The young lady above is Sineida. She is 25 and has 2 children. The oldest is a boy and his name is Junior. He is 4. The baby is 10 months old and her name is Michelle. Last week I went to visit her and I found her at her sister's house doing the laundry for her sister. Sineida came faithfully to the revival meetings and has come several times since. As I was sitting there visiting, she asked me "Is it better to be poor, needing to work for the money for your food? Or is it better to be with money?" Before I was able to say, she said "Manuel (the father of her children) & I decided it is better to be poor, because then you are reminded to rely on God for your needs." She barely knew how to read and she has been teaching herself to read, using the Bible. On Thursday Sineida & her sister came to my house for the day. We had a great time together. Just pray for her & also for me as I relate to her and spend time with her from time to time. She is such an encouragement to me in so many ways. She also has been a great help to me with my Spanish. She will correct me when I say things wrong. I am glad that she is kind enough to try & help me learn Spanish better.
Thank you all for your prayers!
I would love to hear from you!
Blessings to you, Andrea

Thursday, August 5, 2010

#20 Falling Rock, Truck Problems, Nature Lessons...

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.
     And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Revelation 6:15-17
    As we traveled to Waslala the other week with the WATER students, we came upon the fallen rock above. There was a dirt path going around this rock as it had fallen and covered the road. As I looked at that rock, the above Scripture passage came to mind and I thought of those that the passage talks about. When Christ returns, will you rise up to meet Him or will you cry for the rocks to cover you? Each one of you know the answer to the above question. I just pray that you might think seriously about it. His coming is drawing nigh...Are you ready?
    One of the usual things that we do when the WATER students are here is to take them on a 3-day trip to Waslala. Waslala is about 6-1/2 hours northeast of Leon. Those of us from El Terrero met the Leon staff around 8:30 on Tuesday the 20th in Malpaisillo. We then began our trip headed towards Waslala. The first part of the trip went rather well and we stopped for lunch in La Dalia around 12:00. From there on we had gravel roads to Waslala. Our first stop after lunch was to check out the rattling noise from the back of the truck. The guys determined that problem to something with the brakes. We then continued on, only to be stopped a little later to tie the tarp down due to the approaching storm. As the guys got out to put the tarp down, they heard a hissing sound from under the hood. The radiator was getting hot, so now the search for water. We found water and took care of that problem as good as we could, only to realize that the rear tire was flat. As the guys were changing the tire, it started to rain. We finally got back on the road and stopped one more time to put more water in the truck before we got to Waslala. We arrived in Waslala around 4:00 instead of the prospective 2:30-3:00. But praise to the Lord, we arrived safely. Wednesday morning the guys took the truck to the mechanic shop in Waslala to get fixed. However, that was not the end of our truck problems. When we wanted to leave Thursday morning, the truck would not start! We tried pushing it several times, but to no avail, so we called the mechanic. He arrived sometime around 11:00 and quickly got the truck running. By 11:15 we were on the road headed for Leon. We stopped once to grab a bite to eat, and then kept going. Praise God! We had no major truck issues on the way home and arrived in Leon with about an hour to spare before church.
    I enjoyed our time spent in Waslala and was so glad to be able to spend some time with Pablo & Euni and their family. It was a very refreshing and renewing time for me. The girls rented a gym to play volleyball after we arrived Tuesday night. We played till 6:30 and then went to Pablo's for supper. After supper we all gathered around and sang for a while. It was so wonderful to sing with everyone and to learn a couple new songs. Wednesday we met for breakfast at 8:00. After breakfast Euni & I walked down to the store to buy some flour to make bread. Then several of us girls walked out to Janie's store to look at fabric. Around 10:30 we went for a hike. We walked through the stream up to a waterfall. We stopped along the way several times for Pablo to show us something. In the picture below he was showing us a bird's nest - I think a flycatcher, but don't remember. He gave us a little history about the nest and also how they make them. There were eggs in this nest which is rare for this time of year.
     From there we continued upstream to the waterfall. I just love the outdoors and spending time surrounded by God's beauty. We spent some time in the water and also under the falls. The falls proved to be a great back massage. We then sat down and ate our lunch with the sounds of nature in our ears. Some of the people climbed to the top of the falls and took in some the beauty at the top of the falls. After lunch we hiked downstream, some of us falling into the water. Once we got back to Pablo's, some played volleyball before it was time to get ready for church that evening. They had Prayer Meeting at the Waslala church that evening. We sang for a while and Delmar had a devotional before we split up in small groups to pray. We had supper once we got to Pablo's and then we had several games going - Rook, Skip-bo, Dutch Blitz...Pablo's girls came up to Jacinto's house and spent the night with us. We sat around and talked for a while before heading off to bed. Thursday morning we met for breakfast at 7:30 and then we girls went to Naomi Lee's house before heading to the Waslala Market. We spent some time there before we headed back to Leon.
     On Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th, we staff along with the WATER students had a children's Bible school in Rota and in Leon at the guys' house. Friday afternoon found us in Rota. The class did not start till 2:45 instead of 2:00. This year our theme was "The Creation". For our first 2 stories, we used the flannel graph board and put on the cloth pieces as the story was read. However the flannel graph was forgotten on Friday so Jennifer used a whiteboard and drew for us. We then did half of the craft with the children. The craft was a book with 8 pages. It had a cover and and page for each day of the creation.  After doing some of the craft, we continued on with the next story - a question & answer type of story. The final story was done as a skit. It was the story of when Adam & Eve sinned. Everyone did their part so well. After the skit, the children could finish their craft and then they were dismissed. Saturday morning we repeated everything at the guys' house here in Leon. We also did the skit for the children of La Palmerita on Wednesday afternoon and for the Leon congregation on Thursday night.
    Monday the 26th found some of us staff, along with WATER students and the visitors, heading to Granada for the day. We left Leon around 6:30 with a full truck. The cab was full as well as the benches. We had someone also sitting on a bucket. We arrived in Granada around 9:30 and had a brunch at a restaurant there. The food was excellent. I had a BLT sandwich with some of the best bread on it. We then went on a boat ride around Granada and saw different islands. We got off at one of the islands to see and old fort. Alicia & I are sitting on the wall of the fort in the above picture. We stopped by "the monkey island" It is a small island that has a number of monkeys on it. We then went to the Masaya Tourist Market and the Masaya Volcano before stopping for supper at TGI Friday's. I had never been to Granada before but it just reminded me so much of being at the ocean with my grandparents. The boat ride reminded me of going fishing and clamming in Delaware. I had a wonderful day with everyone, but as usual after a busy day, I was ready to get home.
    On Tuesdays, Laura is now having classes with Lydia. Lydia responded to the invitation on the last night of our revival meetings in La Palmerita. She is young mother from 3rd Street. She has 3 boys - Yelder, Melvin, and Yorbin. Her oldest son Yelder has some mental issues, some due to the fact that he has the same dad as his mother. She has been living with the father of her youngest 2; however he is a drinker and has not been the nicest lately. Some nights she has been going to Johanna's to get away. During revivals she had told him that she might accept Christ and that they would need to separate. Please pray for her as she takes the steps necessary to serve Christ victoriously. She does not have an easy path ahead. Pray for us, especially for Laura, as she relates to her and answers questions that she may have.
    Thank you for all your prayers and support. They are felt each and every day. May God richly bless you for all that you do.
Serving our Risen Lord in Nicaragua, Andrea