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Break Our Hearts for What Breaks Yours

The children of God are scattered throughout the nations. It is very difficult to comprehend the differences in environments in which His children reside.  We live in a society where, if we need something we head to the nearest Wal-Mart or convenience store and get it. We live a pretty “comfortable” life. We couldn’t help but feel heartbroken as we walked around Ensayo. Ensayo is a poorer village, with stick and plastic constructed homes on the outskirts of Chinandega.  This has been by far the poorest community that we have visited this week.  As we arrived, we could see a crowd of people waiting for the “wealthy” gringos (Americans).  But who is really “wealthy” in this situation?

In one of our quiet times this week we were reminded of these verses in James:

“Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?  Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?”

James 2: 5-7


As we were reflecting about our experiences today, we discussed how in this case, we consider the people of Nicaragua wealthier than ourselves.  As we looked into the eyes of those in Ensayo, there was a sense of contentment. Ron prayed over the families before we distributed a 10 pound bag of rice and a 10 pound bag of beans to each family in the village.  As he was praying we heard the voices of the sons and daughters of our same Father; as the people of Ensayo were separately praying out loud.  They are so rich in faith and God’s promise of inheriting the Kingdom. They may be seen as poor by worldly standards, but it was obvious they were rich in faith.

What are we missing? Why are we not this passionate? Shouldn’t we be so passionate in prayer and thank God for all that He has given us? But instead we walk in to our house complaining that it’s too hot and turn the air conditioning on. Why don’t we decide to “suffer” just a tiny bit and save some money on our electricity bill and then give the extra money to the poor?

In our group reflection time we were challenged with these questions and took some time to reevaluate our lives. God broke our hearts for what breaks His. We are all broken. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We all contribute to the body of Christ. We are one.

In Him,

Ali, Cassie, Libby, and Derek

But now she radiates with JOY!— Butler Team Update

HOLA FROM NICARAGUA! Libby Powell and Audrey Gleason here. We both just finished our first year at Butler and God has blessed us with taking our friendship to Nicaragua! We have fallen in love with this beautiful country and the people.

Streets of Bethel

This morning we went to breakfast and Ron told us one Juan Carlos, a man that works on the project as the gardener, has a brother-in-law that is dying of kidney disease. For those of you who do not know, the kidney disease in Nicaragua is found in some of the men who work in the sugar cane fields. Our group was presented with the idea to go pray over him. Without any hesitation, we felt God leading us to go pray. So we went.

Right when we arrived we could feel the somber atmosphere. We walked in to a house with a dirt floor and there was Felix sitting on a cot, hunched over. We laid hands on him and prayed his wife and family. It was very emotional and hard seeing someone dying in front of our very own eyes. In James we are told to go pray faithfully for the sick and He will lift them up. This man was a stranger, in a random country we have only spent a few days in and we went to his home and prayed for him. It has been so amazing living out God’s will here. We invite you to pray for Felix and his family as he fights kidney disease.

This kidney disease also affected our “Nicaraguan Mother” Thelma. Anyone would fall in love with this beautiful woman and her contagious laugh. Her husband died in 2008 of the kidney disease and Derek tells us that she did not smile for months after his passing. But now Thelma radiates joy. We felt really challenged by how full of joy she is and the circumstances she lives with. She is a single mother of 8 and living in the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere but has so much love for her life. We are inspired by her perseverance to trust God in all circumstances.

Our teammate Derek with Thelma

Today we were surrounded by joyful people at a private orphanage and special needs school. We barely get a glimpse of their life and are astounded by how much joy they have. We have already been so blessed this week by being surrounded with such beautiful people.

In Him,

Libs and Aud

Butler Bulldogs in Nicaragua…Live Team Blog

Hey VN Fam!

Our summer trips have officially begun! We have a packed summer full of groups coming in and out of the Mission Center and we couldn’t be more excited about what God’s up to! So many times we have groups that come and go and a lot of you never get to hear their story. We’ve decided to change that! Butler University from Indianapolis,  Indiana set out Saturday morning to start their adventure in Nicaragua. Throughout their trip we’ll be updating the blog so you can join in on their experiences. You’ll get the chance to hear from various team members about their experience. First up…meet Tanner! We hope you enjoy getting to know our teams this summer and thank you Tanner for sharing your heart!!!

The Mission Center...aka..home away from home

First and foremost, I can only express tremendous gratitude for everyone in the U.S. who has financially supported or prayed for our team thus far. We encourage everyone to keep lifting us and our week in Nicaragua up to the Lord.  Second of all, I can say that our trip thus far has been incredible for a variety of different reasons.  Third of all, we cannot wait to see what God has in store for the next five days.

View from the top of "Cerro Negro"

Thus far one word really has stuck out to me on the trip: beauty.  I was fortunate enough to get the window seat on both flights, and on the flight to Managua from Atlanta I was able to see the sunset from above the clouds.  This moment in itself for me almost made the entire trip worth it.  I think David talked about this best in Psalm 19:1 when he stated, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”  I love the moments when God’s creation simply leaves us in a state of awe at how great He is.  Nicaragua is also a very beautiful place.  Although it has rained everyday thus far, we finally saw a clear blue sky and sunshine today!!  Speaking of beauty, I am definitely looking forward to visiting the beach at Masaya and sledding down the volcano Cerro Negro after hiking it. That’s right.  What you just read is not a typo.  We are sledding down a volcano.

Where we'll be "sledding" down!

We have had numerous chances to interact with the people so far, including going to church yesterday at Bethel and Candelaria.  All I can say is it is very different over here.  The same rules and safety measures for the road we enjoy in the U.S. do not apply in Nicaragua (this applies to food and sanitation as well).  Our rides in the back of our canvas-covered truck are typically a little bumpy and let’s just say the people of Nicaragua are fairly liberal with their use of the carhorn.  Despite all of these differences, the people surprised me with how welcoming they are.  I remember learning in my Business Ethics class this past semester that smiles universally mean the same thing around the world, and this fact has proven true to my experience in Nicaragua.  Since Americans are not commonly seen in Nicaragua, we definitely receive a lot of stares when we travel to the main market areas.  However, simply giving people a smile and attempting to engage them in even a simple conversation using Spanish has really gone a long way so far.

Finally, our team has really bonded well.  Being a fairly social person, I love meeting new people and making new friendships.  Although I knew next-to-nothing about most of my team members prior to the trip and had not even met Derek, we all have quickly learned about each other’s interests and involvements.  It has been a blessing to meet each person as well as the native people, and I am really looking forward to spending the next five days allowing the Lord to open my eyes and heart to his purpose and direction in my life.

Love,

Tanner “No Shave Nicaragua” Halbig

Tanner "Fresh Shave" Halibig Circa...Before Nicaragua

Growing Pains

Sometimes the Lord calls us to difficult things. Situations that don’t quite make sense and don’t “fit “our plan.” I’m convinced that these are not without purpose, but rather opportunities that the Lord orchestrates to deepen our trust and dependence on Him. Where we’re challenged to grow and step out on faith… growing pains.

Although we may not always now the “why” behind these situations that come our way we can know the “who.” The “who”…the ONE that promises to never leave us or forsake us and whose steadfast love endures no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in. That’s really the best way I can recap my most recent trip to Nicaragua.

Our team of five set out April 2 with a few goals in mind: to scout out some new possible sites for future ministry and to visit some new outreach villages that we were praying about joining a local pastor in Nicaragua in a church plant. It wasn’t very long into our trip that we knew the Holy Spirit was moving in another direction.

There are countless places in Nicaragua that need help. The poverty that surrounds you can become overwhelming at times because everywhere you turn there’s someone that needs help and you simply can’t meet every need. As a team we were brought back to square one and began to ask ourselves “why do we come here?” Seems like an easy enough question, but it’s definitely one worth asking. With all the need that you face in any third-world country it would be very easy to make yourself busy while never making any sort of eternal impact for the Kingdom of God.

So, why do we go?

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20

That’s it! There’s no other reason! There should be no other reason. The Gospel is enough! That can be exhibited in so many different ways. There’s no limit to avenues that the Gospel can be shared. But if there’s not an intentional effort behind what we do than it becomes nothing more than events and projects. Hungry people need to eat and sick people need to have doctor’s visits, but if we don’t use these moments (lead by the Holy Spirit) to share the Gospel than we’ve missed an opportunity.

What a great reminder! I’m so thankful that the Lord took this trip to refocus us as a team before leading our church trip this summer and for years to come.  Truthfully it can be overwhelming to think about the task that Lord has placed in front of us. But intertwined with those feelings there’s a joy and a renewed purpose that the Lord is revealing to us! There’s restoration, healing, and freedom that the Lord wants so desperately for the hearts of the people in the community of Bethel that we’ve grown to love and it’s so close I almost taste it! We can rest in the fact that it’s Christ who does the work! We’re just called to show up, be willing and obedient.

The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

John 6:63

Myself, Massiel, & Lenin

Please continue to be praying for us as we follow the Lord’s leading in developing more refined and focused ministry and what that looks like.

A Call to Action!

Hey y’all!

Recently, Vision Nicaragua had the privilege of holding a fundraising banquet in Asheville, NC. The theme of the evening was entitled “Hand in Hand: Commissioned.”

An at-capacity crowd joined us Saturday, Feb. 25th where we shared an evening of worship, dinner, and message given by Anne Graham Lotz. The event left many attendees speechless, encouraged, and challenged only being able to utter the words, “Wow! God is so good!”

If you were not able to join us, you truly missed a blessing! The message that Anne Graham Lotz delivered was universal: the Gospel. Her message came alive as she shared the story of a young boy who was given the opportunity to go to the local town circus only to come home to give the report of the parade that was on Main Street. He never made it to the tent where the actual circus was held.

Anne challenged us to live for more than just the parade on Main Street, but that we are all invited in to the  “main event” being a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

For many of us, this message was especially applicable to our own lives! Lotz went on to declare…

“We can hold truth in knowing we are saved, be well-versed in the scriptures, and attend church every time the doors are open. Yet, as Christians, we are often simply standing idle and watching the action take place before us.”

Ultimately, as believers, we are called to be followers of Christ. But, once we “enter the tent” and experience the power of the Gospel ourselves we can’t help but share it…it becomes an overflow.  As we are entrusted with the Gospel, it’s the “love of God that compels us” (2 Corinthians 5:14) to go to places like Nicaragua to share the truth that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to be His hands and feet. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commands us,

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV)

God calls us to go into the nations; this can be your place of work, the homeless shelter down the road, the Boys and Girls Club in your own town, or an international mission trip. The point is this: Jesus has called us! So, my question for you is, “Will you stand on the sidewalk? Or, will you follow the calling of Christ our Lord and serve Him?” Following this command doesn’t mean you have to go on a mission trip with us, Vision Nicaragua. (Although, if you are interested we would love to talk to you about it!) But, maybe that means you start an outreach ministry where you are or get involved in an already existing one, serving and loving on people who need to know the teachings of Jesus Christ! …Will you go Hand in Hand to the nations?

We want you all to know that your support through donations, gift bags, sponsorships, etc….that you ARE making a difference!  The Lord is using you in more ways that you may know!

If you are interested in becoming involved with Vision Nicaragua this year and furthering the Great Commission email us at inquire@visionnicaragua.org.

Guests were able to share they prayers and visions for the future of Vision Nicaragua.

Our fearless leader Daren Pinkerton & Anne Graham Lotz

Nicaraguan Coffee and Hand Painted Ornaments from the village of Bethel.

Vision Nicaragua News-Feb 2012 and more to come!

Hello, hello, hello!

Friends. It has been too long! We here at Vision Nicaragua have a few updates to pass along to you.

First! Our hope and goal is for our blog to become a central spot where you can gain information on Vision Nicaragua.


Here’s what you can expect:

  • Trip updates! – Consistent posts from VN team members during their time on-site in Nicaragua.
  • Media updates! – Pictures and videos that will connect you to current trips, the people of Nicaragua, and other happenings from the VN team.
  • Staff
  • Spotlights! – Meet our Board and how they are contributing to VN!
  • Interviews with our Nicaragu
    an Staff! – Get to know our Staff down in Nicaragua and what they do to keep things going.
  • Sponsor Stories! – This will be our section dedicated to sharing the stories of families here in the States and their “extended family” in Nicaragua. (Email us at inquire@visionnicaragua.org if you are interested in sharing YOUR story! Include Sponsor Blog Spotlight in the Subject line.)
  • …And lots more!!!

Second! We have our Hand in Hand: Commissioned Fundraising Banquet coming up this weekend! A capacity crowd will join us from 6pm-8pm on Saturday, February 25th, for an evening at the Doubletree by Hilton in Asheville, NC!  We will share in an evening of worship, dinner, and speaking from Anne Graham Lotz.

We look forward to sharing more  about how you can become involved in Vision Nicaragua this year and connect in our passion and calling to further the Great Commission!

July 28th to August 8th Mission Trip

Our team was a varied group from 10 to 72 years of age with 16 from Asheville. Ron met us in Managua on Thursday July 29th and Lauren, Mathison and Eric who were presently in Nicaragua meet us at the airport arriving at the mission center after midnight.
It was different having a team already there, took a little adjustments to get settled in the first night. Friday morning we started out with a wonderful breakfast from Antonia and Ron did a great tour and overview of the mission property. Enrique did an overview of the cultural difference in Nicaragua. Mario took part of the team to go buy the rice & beans we were to give out in Chonco the next day, this was a great experience for first timers to see the city and markets. Part of the team packed rice & beans and the others went for a visit in Bethel, we all had dinner and got to know the mission center.
Saturday morning after breakfast and devotions we loaded the rice and beans and headed fro Chonco. We meet at the church at Chonco and gave out the rice and beans, we then hade a piñata for the kids with only one kid having a knot on his head from moving in to fast, “ouch”. The highlight was when we divided our team up to go and visit in the homes at Chonco, this was a great experience for our team and every one including the families in Chonco enjoyed this time of fellowship. Saturday evening was spend getting gift bags ready for Mocoron. The water fro the city was cut off and the pellas were empty on Saturday and the city said it would be 3 hours before the water would be turned on (do you know how long 3 hours are in Nicaragua). We had about 40 tired dirty people with no way to shower, but with God’s gift of a great rain storm we all got to shower under the eaves of the mission center, so were the city took away God replaced. After the rain storm we enjoyed a beautiful lighting show, God is so good to supply our needs.
Sunday was breakfast and devotions and we planned to go the Dr. Michaels church, we had one team member sick, so Cathe stayed with her and the rest went to the Dr. Michaels church service, Dr. Michael gave a tour of his church and we were very impressed with the Sunday school classes there. We came back to the mission center for lunch and the team then we loaded up gifts and headed fro Mocoron. We gave out gifts and had a piñata with the kids and then stopped at the Rosti Pollo for dinner that afternoon.
Monday morning found 3 team members sick (do not order your hamburgesas rare) after breakfast and devotions we prepared for the Pastors and Pastors wife’s retreat. We had two pastors on our team and they spent the morning with the pastors encouraging and praying for them, our pastors wife and other ladies spent time with the pastors wife’s encouraging and praying with them, this was well received. Some of us went to Bethel to visit some 2 sick men and some other sick people. We visited with Veronica who is recovering very will from a stroke, we then visited with little Migal who we had seen a year early, he had a large tumor on his lower back, he was recovering great, and his dad his tumor in a quart jar. Monday night we had the girls retreat led by the young ladies Lauren & Mathison who had been working with some of the girls over the summer. It was very obvious the love and time Lauren & Mathison had been giving these young girls leading up to the retreat. The excitement and confidence was very evident. The event was attended by about 20 plus young ladies form Bethel and our girls, the guys served the meal to the girls before they took of for a guy’s night out on the town.
Tuesday breakfast and devotions then packing up for a medical clinic and VBS in a new village called Neuvo Versalis. Lauren, Mario and Dr. Michael did a great job of scoping out 2 great new villages to work in. The clinic setup was great in an abandoned house, we saw about 40 patients in this village, a lot of respiratory issues. The team members not working in the clinic did a VBS with the village kids which was interesting with all the barbwire around the VBS area. There were salvation bracelets and decorating little wooden boxes, sang songs and played games with them. Tuesday evening after the clinic we stopped by the mission center unloaded the truck changed clothes and headed for the beach. Those wanting to enjoy the water did so while the rest of us just enjoyed the views, read and fellowshipped with each other. We then enjoyed a great fish meal with a great view of the ocean.
Wednesday was breakfast and devotions, then packing again for another medical clinic and a VBS. We visited the village of El Ensayo. A lady in the village had arranged for us to use her house to hold the medical clinic. The rest of the team had fun with the kids doing a VBS and a piñata and songs. We then remembered that we had gift bags for the kids here, so Lauren and a few others headed back to the mission center to get the gift bags. We treated over 60 patients here with a lot of respiratory problems; they were very sweet and very appreciative of our help. We headed back to the mission center so the guys could get ready for the boys retreat. The girls went out on the town for the evening and the boys had their retreat. Eric did a great job coordinating and leading the retreat. The boys retreat consisted of about 20 young men from Bethel along with our young men. They joined together in games and a message for Pastor Ricky and, Eric and had a great time playing pour, pour drench, drench.
Thursday breakfast and devotions with another sick team member. Today Mario was scheduled to have a root canal, so he took us to our third medical clinic at the Special Needs School in Chichipgalpa. Here we treated over 70 people including students, teachers and others. This was a place that broke our hearts; we felt so helpless and wanted to do so much for these precious children. They were all so loving and innocent, all children her had learning disabilities due to a variety of problems such as Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, and other disabilities, we had one beautiful young lady with elephantiasis affecting her face. Part of the team returned to the mission center to rest and go to Bethel as we continued to see patients here. We finished the clinic talked with the principal about some needs they had for the kids here and we returned to the mission center. One of the needs was for shoes for some of the children, and on the day before we left North Carolina a friend at our church gave me some money and said us this for shoes please, well the amount he gave us was just enough to purchase this shoes, God is good and supplies our needs. We returned to the mission center and started packed up rice and beans for the workers, and this was when Ron started feeling bad. We had dinner on our last night at the mission center and watched Ron start feeling worse. Ron was to take Lauren, Mathison and Eric in t Bethel to spend the night and did not feel like driving, Mario was recovering for a root canal, so Ray offered to drive the big truck. Ask Mario if Ray know where reverse is and how many times can you drive past the entrance to Bethel, it was an adventure.
Friday morning was breakfast and devotions, Ron did not join us he had had a rough night and we called Dr. Michael to see him. After evaluating him we set off for Chinandega to get some IV fluids and other medication he ordered for Ron, we were going to make a short visit by a women & children’s hospital while there, do you know the deliver 30 to 40 babies a week here. Some of the team went to Bethel for a final visit while we were in Chinandega. We then went by Reyna’s to get the medication and also to call Dr. Alberto a surgeon we knew in Managua who worked with Reyna. He advised us to get Ron up to Chinandega at a clinic where one of his friends worked, we had Juan Carlos bring Ron to the clinic where he was evaluated by ultrasound and lab work and was OK’ed to fly the next day but should go straight to his doctor in the USA. In the mean time we got a call from the mission center that another team member was sick and needed our attention. Ron was feeling well enough to travel on an air mattress in the back of the truck, with the other sick team member in the front of the truck, we headed for Managua after Antonia’s farewell meal at the mission center. We arrived at the Best Western and after a lot of room rearranging got everyone settled in for the night, some resting some enjoying the pool.
Saturday morning we got up early (Cathe, Enrique and I) to get Ron to the airport and on his way home to Marty, he can fill you in about the trip home, we had breakfast at the motel and were off to Masaya minus a couple of team members who were not feeling well. Under the directions of Enrique who gave us history on Masaya volcano and a guide tour to see the lagoon. There is a cross on the hill above the volcano with about 300 steps at least, great view from there. After everyone had returned and we loaded up and we stopped at the visitors center for some more history on the area of Masaya and the volcano. We then headed fro the Masaya market for some shopping and a lunch, we then went to Catarina for some more sightseeing and shopping. Catarina looks down upon a beautiful blue lagoon and has some great craft shopping also. We then returned to the motel and said goodbye to Mario, Enrique and Carlos and sent them on their way back home. This always hard as we say goodbye with tears, hugs and smiles. The team meet for dinner had a final devotion and those with the energy went for a swim in the pool, the rest of us just went to bed.
Sunday morning we were up and at the airport by 5:30am for our flight at 7:30am and just beat the crowd, we still had one not feeling very well. We arrived in Atlanta at 1:30pm and call the bus driver expecting him to be around the corner, but due to someone who will remain anonymous but his initials is RB the bus was 4 hours late, so we had lunch and waited on the bus to arrive at 5:30pm. We wearily climbed into the bus when it arrived and headed back to Asheville arriving home at about 10:30pm. We all hug and said goodnight and head to our homes.

The End?

April-Team Spends Easter Week in Nicaragua

 

Saturday April 3rd What a glorious way to spend our Easter Holiday’s and spring break!!    Our team of 15 persons from Mountain View Church are enjoying our time.  We left early Saturday morning, traveled in style to Atlanta, then hopped the plane to Nicaragua.  We arrived in Managua Saturday evening and hit the ground running. 

April Team

Richard and Heath-guarding the bathrooms at the back of the plane!

Pat and Foster enjoying our Limo to the Mission Center beter know as the back of the truck!

Easter Sunday April 4th   We visited Bethel in the morning for worship and enjoyed hanging out for the day with our friends.  We are having a blast and enjoying loving on and being loved by our friends in Nica.  For evening worship we traveled to Trojilo where Vista de Montana (Mountain View….Jr) is found.  We had a wonderful evening and Foster (Pastor for Senior Adults at Mtn. View) provided a great message for the church.   

Kitty Lou and Pat visiting in Bethel

 

Visitng our friends

Reunited with old friends. Lori and Eveyling

Moutain View Church-Trojilo Nicaragua

Caeden enjoying himself!!

Monday April 5th- A great day to travel to a remote village and give some special children gift bags.  Thanks to the many people here in the Asheville area we were able to distribute about 150 gift bags. 

Organizing the gift bags

 

Caeden helping!

We traveled to the new village of Versailles.  Several miles up a crazy road to find this great little village at the base of the volcano.

Out to push!!

Richard and Jamie Padgett

 

A great gift!!!

 

Baloons and gift bags=feliz ninos

Arriving back at the Mission Center the team was met by the container which just arrived from Asheville!  Praise God!

Everyone helping to unload the things that were collected in and around Asheville and sent to Nica!

 

….and a great way to end a great day, packing rice and beans for some wonderful families!!! 

10 lbs of rice and 10lbs of beans for 100 families!

 

Everyone pitching in!!

 

Tuesday April 5th-A great day to start off with devotions, beutiful morning in Nica and a great day to have Baptisms.

Hanging on the back of the truck!

Pastor Porfirio giving the word.

Pastor Foster

 …. and to give out food in Chunco!

Lori giving out a bag of Rice and Beans

Food for the hungry!

Stencil, Foster and Daren helping with the food

 

Best of all....the smiling faces on the children!!!

Wednesday April 6th-Devotions at 7:30, preparing for VBS and heading to Trojilo for to enjoy the children.

VBS here we come!

The children starting with some praise!

 

Stencil doing crafts with the children!

Nick and Kiity Lou on games!

Foster and Caeden with the Resurrection Eggs

Richard and Jamie with the Easter Story

 Thursday April 7th-Team time in the morning, heading to Chichigalpa to a special needs school.  What an awesome time with the kids.

Ray and Cathe’s Adventure in Nicaragua continues Wednesday

Wednesday- our 6th day is coming to an end and we have had a lower keyed day just checking out projects, taking pictures, and meeting with everyone to make plans for the future. It is a bitter sweet day as we wind down our trip to start getting ready to head back home. We were part of a medical clinic today and got to see some of our friends from Bethel who have babies now. We were able to give out vitamins that a friend from Hendersonville bought.
and tonight we are going to visit with Dr Michael and his family along with Conny and Darwin. This is always so important to us having this personal time. stay tuned for day 7.

Ray and Cathe,s February Nicaraqua Adventure

Thursday February 18th started our trip to Nicaragua. This is Ray and my first trip alone. We had an uneventful trip arrived in Managua about 1:15pm. We moved along through customs and picked up luggage and then we got stopped because of the computer we had purchased for the clinic. They wanted to tax us but after we got Enrique to explain it was for our medical clinic they let us go. We were then welcomed by Enrique and off to rent a car. We headed to Leon and we must say it is so nice to be back here again. We decided since Ray and I were so tired we would get a room in Leon the first night. We went to Enrique’s home that evening and visited with the family little Enrique had just turned 2 years old and was a little shy at first but quickly warmed up. We picked up Idiana and went to visit Enrique’s mom and brother, enjoyed a meal out with Enrique and his family. I was so tired I almost fell asleep eating dinner, we than found a nice B & B and slept in air conditioning with warm water shower and got a good nights sleep.

Friday- had a wonderful fruit meal and enjoyed a cool breeze waiting for Enrique to come. After checking out some prices for supplies. Then off to the mission center. Met with Michael and took a look at the changes in the clinic, every trip they have rearranged it. We then started hooking up the computer and the magic jack and made our first calls back to home to let everyone know we were here. Went to Chinandega and found a desk for the computer in the clinic, and some supplies that Michael had needed for his church classes. and a water hose for Connie to water the plants at the clinic. We were able to go and visit our grandson Kevin at school and bring him home. It was wonderful to see him again. We completed the days work at the clinic logged out and headed to Leon to pick up Idiana and little Enrique to start our vacation. Stopped at “hot springs”(San Jacinto) actually are from the volcano, you can get clay and mud that is suspose to be healing. Arrived in Estelí about 7pm and found a motel and a place to eat.

Saturday morning up early and ready to see more of Nicaragua. We found nice breakfast place and then headed to the Estelí waterfalls at a natural reserve. It was a long 15 min downhill walk but so worth it. Even though the water is scarce right now due to the dry season it was beautiful. We stopped and saw a group planting potatoes and let Little Enrique had watch and hold a potato plant. Next we visited La Casita a garden with some beautiful plants and flowers. We then headed to Matagalpa to spend the rest of our time. Found a nice place to stay and restaurant where we had a wonderful buffet, trying a variety of foods. We took Little Enrique had to the park and watched the people and enjoyed the cool weather. We then went to a location we could overlook the city and watch a sunset. Wow this was great. Back to the room where we sent email to family and friends watched a movie Little Enrique had and gave Enrique and Idiana some quiet time.

Sunday we were up at 6 to sit on the balcony and enjoy the cool morning watch the fog burn off the mountains. What a great way to rest. Had our devotions and just sat and watched people. We went looking for breakfast and found a street vendor with fresh fruit; papaya, bananas, watermelon and I ate until I was full. Then found a café for breakfast. Back to the hotel and packed up and headed to Selva Negra to spend the day. This is a natural preserve built by the Germans. It has a motel, coffee plantation, plants and birds of all types and a variety of animals. We toured the grounds and played in the playground and then did a 2 hr hike up the mountain. It was a great hike and really enjoyed just being in the cool mountains. (I think we have decided where we want to retire). We looked for monkeys but only heard them. But it was truly a workout. Went back the restaurant and had a hamburger and fries, while resting from the hike. Sadly we packed up and headed back to Leon. I must recommend to anyone that would like to take a vacation and just enjoy some scenery and really rest this is the place for sure. Returned to the project and got a good nights sleep to get to work on Monday.

Monday- up and fixed breakfast and had a quiet devotion time. Then the people started coming. Continued setting up the computer. Took a young boy 10 yrs old that has been having seizures for a CT scan in Leon. It is always nice to take people out to eat and watch them enjoy a different meal than they usually have at home. Back to the clinic and worked on some projects with Michael and Enrique. Then out for an evening with Mario, Reyna and Herberto. We went to Corinto beach and played in the water and sand with Herberto. He is definitely going to be a ball player. We played until the sun set then we went and had some great fish. Ray ate shrimp that I really think were lobster they were huge and tasted like lobster. We always enjoy going out with Mario and Reyna it is interesting how we manage to communicate. Back home and another nights sleep.

Tuesday slept a little hoping to go to Connie’s for the night. Ray and I spent a lazy morning working on projects in the clinic and talking and checking up on family. At 11am we took the Gomez family to buy plate and screws so Senoria could have hip surgery for her hip she broke 9 days ago and now it is going to be Friday before they will do the surgery. Took Roberto the head of the block company to get glasses also and so we felt like we had gotten something accomplished. We were able to go and visit Senoria Gomez and pray with her and the family and all the other pts and families in the ward of about 8 or 10 pts. They are all so precious and serious when they pray it is such a wonderful feeling to be part of this.

 

 

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