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