Thursday, September 23, 2010

#23 New Places, New People, Birthdays, Visitors

    "What shall we then say to these things "If God be for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31
    As I spent the last couple days thinking and working with different people, the above verse came to my mind quite often. If we have God on our side, there is nothing that Satan can do to separate us from the God & His love. If we purpose in our heart that nothing will be able to separate us from our Lord, there is nothing Satan can do. When Satan attacks us and tries to get us to fall, we need to do just what our precious Savior did there in the wilderness - "Get thee hence Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Satan is doing all he can to win us to his life of bondage, but we all can have victory if we only turn to God and give our lives wholly to Him. I just leave this as a challenge to each of you. Give your lives wholly to the service of our Lord.
    The above picture is of the water surrounding the island that Johanna grew up on. We had the privilege of driving past and seeing from afar the farm that Johanna grew up on. The farm was situated on  a small island and it just reminded me of a place that would be perfect for a get-away retreat. You can't see in the above picture, but there were men out fishing.
 Mari Luz (Johanna's sister)    

Johanna's youngest sister(I do not know her name)
    We took Johanna and the boys to El Cua to get the birth certificate for Yeral-her middle son. We left around 6:00 on Friday the 10th and headed north towards Jinotega. The farther north we went, the cooler the climate and more then once, I wished that I had at least grabbed a sweater. We arrived in Jinotega around 8:00-8:30. Johanna wanted to stop in visit her sisters (pictured above - the one in the pink is Mari Luz and the one is the white is Johanna's younger sister; however I don’t remember her name) so we headed out of Jinotega; Johanna trying to direct us the right way. We arrived in San Rafael del Norte and we decided to stop and ask directions. Here we had missed a turn back pretty far so some police said they would show us a road that would be a shortcut. This road wound up, down, and around mountains and it seemed like we were back in the sticks. After driving for 1-1/2 hours, things started to look familiar and we soon found ourselves in the house of Johanna's sisters. We spent 1-1/2 hours with Mari Luz. She served us each a cup of coffee and a piece of bread. We left her house around 12:30 and headed for El Cua. Once again we wound up, down, and around the mountains, seeming to me like we were going farther back in and away from civilization. We stopped several times to make sure that the road we were on was the road headed to El Cua. We arrived in El Cua and were surprised to find a very nice town, almost like Malpaisillo. The roads were done in paver blocks. We found the Alcaldia (the place she needed to go for the papers) and Johanna went in while we walked up the street and found something to drink. When we arrived back at the truck, we found out that we needed to wait till 4:00 for the paper, so Randy and the boys took off exploring the town.
Laura & Hans on the bridge @ the river          

   Yeral, Wilbur, Juancito y Johanna
They came across a nice river so we all went down to the water and Johanna left her boys go swimming for a while. At 4:00 we had the paper and were headed out of El Cua. We left a different way then we came. After we made one turn, Johanna thought it might have been a wrong turn; however I had seen a sign for La Dalia on the road that we were on. We decided to continue on the road and after a while we came to an intersection and memories started flooding my head. If we would make a left-hand turn, the road would take us to Waslala, so I told Randy that we were on the right road, headed for La Dalia and Matagalpa. From then on, I lost tack of time. We stopped in Matagalpa for supper and kept heading for La Palmerita/El Terrero. I was never so glad to see my bed that night. However I had a wonderful day and enjoyed seeing others parts of Nicaragua.
Noilyn - age 8
     Featured Girl: Virginia and I had a little visitor the other Sunday afternoon. Noilyn asked if she could come home with us after church and spend the afternoon at our house. We had both decided to do some visiting that afternoon, but we told her she could come. She was all excited and could hardly wait to go, but not before her mother gave her all kinds of strict instructions and told her to obey. In the afternoon, we sat down and made some magnets using those little beads that you iron once you are done. She just loved doing them and made 3. When it was time to get ready for church, Virginia raided her stack of girls' clothing and found one of Janae's dresses that Esther had left here. It was a little short but fit pretty good. I then combed her hair in 2 pigtails. It reminded me of getting my sisters ready for church. On the way to church, she kept saying to me  "Si mi mama no viene a la iglesia, voy a su casa otra vez." (if my mother doesn't come to church, I am going to your house again) She had all kinds of reasons why her mother might not be able to come to church that night - maybe  she couldn't find anyone to guard the chickens, maybe she was too tired to carry Lester or maybe Lester was sick...the list went on and on. Much to her dismay, her mother was at church when we got there. I had a great time with her and I hope she enjoyed it as well. I think she did Smile emoticon
          Happy Birthday  Juan, Rosibel & Lucia

    The neighbors came up one Wednesday night to hang out after church. Virginia was decorating several cakes for the next day and she decided to decorate a cake for the neighbors that had birthdays in the August & September. So we had a feast of chocolate cake afterward. I spent several hours that evening typing a research report for Alicia. It was getting later and I noticed that she still had several pages to type so I offered to do it for her, so she would be done for school in the morning. It took a little but we soon had it done. It was great to hang out with Lucia again. Lucia is the one in the red shirt. She is Rosibel & Ramon's sister, however she lives in Managua and comes to visit every now then.
    Yes well, I shall close before I bore you all. Thank you for your prayers. Have a great weekend and serve God with all your heart!
Committed to Him, Andrea

Thursday, September 9, 2010

#22 Fresh Corn, Good-bye, New Animals....

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.
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
    As I spent some time this past month stamping "La Antorcha de Verdad" (a Spanish tract/book that is printed in Costa Rica) and "Para Ti" ( Spanish "Just for You" printed by Christian Light Publications) many times the above verse came to my mind. We may not know the impact that one of these tracts has made in the life of a person until we reach eternity. As I read the story in the above pictured Antorcha,  I was deeply challenged. It had 3 small stories about people that were delayed and resulted in innocent people dying. It left the challenge that many people today fail simply because they do not do what is necessary in the correct time. But what is so sad is that many die without the hope of going to heaven, because they did not repent nor looked for God in time. Are we willing to put aside some time to stamp tracts, prepare tracts to mail, go with our congregation to pass out tracts in a nearby city? Or we going to delay because today my friends want to hang out? I just leave this challenge that you. Do not delay...Listen to God and obey His command.
    We have said good-bye to Davy Schlabach, our business administrator this month. He is headed back to the States to prepare for his wedding. We had a farewell supper the Sunday before he left. We wanted to take a picture of all the guys together. As we were deciding where to take the picture, a drunk fellow walked up and wanted to be on the picture(guy in the back corner with arms crossed) Nathan Miller (in the back in blue shirt and glasses) and his wife-Angie along with their daughter, Gloria have come to us from Nebraska to be the business administrator. Please pray for them as they study the language and take over their responsibilities, as well as they adjust to the climate and culture here.
    Featured Lady: Maria Ester lives just down the road from us with her husband Juan Ramon and 2 sons, Jose and Adiel. She is always so willing to show us how to make Nicaraguan foods. She came one day and showed us how to make Chicken Soup-Nicaragua Style. It is a very good soup. One day I stopped in to visit her and found her husband cutting corn off the cob, so I asked her what they were planning to do. She said that they planning to make tamales. I asked her if I may come down and learn how to make them. So I went down in the afternoon to help her make them. For those of you who do not not know what tamales are, I will try to explain. You take fresh-picked corn (and it is not sweet corn!) and cut it off the cob. You then grind it through the corn grinder. After you grind it, you can add some cuajara (Cuajara is a very well-know cheese here in Nicaragua. You take fresh milk and put part of a rennet tablet in and let it set till it separates. You then pour off the whey and squeeze it dry and add salt and it is ready to eat.) Back to tamales - You take a 2 leaves of corn husk and put the corn mixture in it. Then you can either add a sweet mixture of cinnamon & cuajara or meat mixture or just leave it plain. You then fold the leaves over so that it is all covered and put it in a pot of boiling water. You let them steam for several hours. They are best right out of the kettle! I really enjoyed my lesson and would love to try it myself sometime. After we finished the tamales, she had me cut up the cuajara she had made and mix in the salt. I enjoyed the time that I could spend with her and learn how to make Nicaraguan foods.
    We had quite an interesting Friday night. It was our scheduled night for youth night. However it started raining at 10:00 Friday morning and rained most of the day...sometimes quite heavily. Randy received a call around lunch, asking him to go to La Palmerita and pick up an older lady and take her to Malpaisillo to the clinic as she was sick. The staff arrived from Leon around 2:00. We decided to cancel the youth night as it was still raining and was getting harder to get into La Palmerita. Randy called around 6:30 and said that he is stuck and the truck won't start so the guys headed out to help him. They ended up pulling the truck back to the house and later pulled it to Leon. While the men tried to fix the truck, we women learned how to play "Get Hooked." It is a fishing game and a lot of fun.
    We have made some new additions to the animals on this farm. Randy bought a horse and her colt last month from a man in La Palmerita. Her name is Chinga and she loves to run. I have had some very interesting rides. I used her several times to get to and from La Palmerita as it is quite muddy right now due to the rain. Last Thursday I bought a horse myself. I bought her from Angel & Mariana - Ramon's parents. I have rode her several times and I am quite impressed with her. Her name is Beulah. On Tuesday I bought a saddle for her and did a little riding yesterday. I can't wait to ride her on Saturday when I go to La Palmerita. Right now it is so much easier to get to La Palmerita on horse because of the mud. I have been able to go and do a lot more visiting. I have been enjoying the ride out.
    Just pray for us as we continue to strive to share God's Word and answer many questions. Thank you all for your support and prayers. Without you, this work would not be possible. May God's name be honored and glorified.
    In Christian Love, Andrea