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Share the Love of Reading 2017

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Share the Love of Reading

It’s that time again! Join us for our 2nd annual “Share the Love of Reading” book drive for the Bethel School in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua.

Last year, because of YOU, we were able to raise over $500 worth of books. Needless to say, the students were thrilled!

Due to last year’s success, we are teaming up again with Scholastic Books to continue building classroom libraries in the school in Bethel. This will help put a book into the hands of the the students and teachers in the school!

This opportunity is open to each and every one of you. Whether you are a current sponsor or not, books can be  purchased online and will then be shipped to Vision Nicaragua. We will then be able to distribute them in Nicaragua mid-February.

To JOIN US there are just a few easy steps:

  •  VISIT scholastic.com/readingclub (You can also click the Scholastic Reading Club Image at the bottom of this email)
  • CREATE a personal account
  •  ENTER the one-time Class Activation Code (H8L76)
  •  SHOP from a carefully curated selection of the best books and value packs. PLEASE ONLY order from the CLUB LEO flyers since these are the only books that are either Spanish or Bilingual
  •  SUBMIT your order and earn FREE Books for our classrooms in Nicaragua!
  •  All book orders will be shipped to Vision Nicaragua and distributed to our students and teachers in February when the start the 2017 school year!

The end date to place an order is Wednesday, February 1st, 2017. Just in time for Valentine’s Day and the start of the 2017 school year for our students!
If you have any questions at all please email our Sponsorship Coordinator, Lauren Parham, at lauren@visionnicargua.org
Let’s SHARE THE LOVE OF READING!

Now We’re Family

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Once again, another adventurous day with the team! Our morning started early, as we trekked to Cerro Negro- a volcano outside of Leon.
On the way there we handed out rice and beans to people on the side of the road as well as houses we passed.
Once we arrived at Cerron Negro, up we went. It took our team about an hour and a half to hike up the volcano. Once on top we were overwhelmed with the beautiful views, tons of moths and the heat of the volcano. We then began out descent down the side of the volcano on the slides. Some slower than others.
( just a little side note, if you wanna hear a funny story that happened once we were all down the hill please ask, it has provided us with A LOT of laughs tonight!)
We got cleaned up at the base camp, then preceded to Leon to experience some history. We first enjoyed some pizza along with ice cold Coke and Fresca- who knew people could get so excited about beverages but we do!!

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Then Carlos, our translator walked us through the history or Nicaragua and Leon. We enjoyed a little shopping, a coffee shop and some delicious smoothies.
We then were able to go to the top of a cathedral in the middle of Leon and take pictures and walk around. Leon truly is a beautiful city filled with very friendly people.
Around 4 we headed back to the mission house where were we rested, told stories and laughed uncontrollably.
It’s amazing how a group of 12 people can truly feel like a family after only 6 days.
We all have fallen in love with Nicaragua and its people! The staff here has served us so well and we have always felt welcome. We are sad to leave the mission house tomorrow. But excited for the adventures we will have on our last day here.

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Celebrating Coris….1 year later!

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.                 Psalm 116:15

One year ago today, heaven welcomed home with much rejoicing one of Vision Nicaragua’s dearest friends, Coris. Coris’s life was marked by great faith, courage, and love for his family. Knowing that Coris is rejoicing alongside Jesus today we find it fitting we do the same.

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So, I’ve called on two very special ladies to me and to Vision Nicaragua who knew Coris well to share their memories with us!  It’s my hope that if you never had the privilege to meet Coris that through this post you’ll feel like you were able given the opportunity to get to know him through those sharing how much he impacted their lives.

Valerie Mydske, Vision Nicaragua’s founder had this to memory to share about Coris:

Norm & Val Mydske
Norm & Val Mydske

Coris was a very intelligent and clever man, dedicated to his wife and family, and to his Lord. I remember the gadget he made from an old stove coil he found in the rubble of hurricane Mitch. He carved out a circle in a chunk of lava cement to make a usable electric cooking burner! He was a valuable helper in everything artistic – including painting and building. We loved Coris dearly, and miss him greatly. Our hearts and prayers are with his wife and family, who have suffered much, and will always miss his cheery and helpful presence.                                      -Val

If you’ve ever stayed at the Vision Nicaragua Mission House then you have seen the craftsmanship of Coris. Coris, was one of the many men from Bethel who helped build the mission house.

Vision Nicaragua's Mission Center

Coris & his wife, Mercedes.

To know Coris is to know his love for his family. Above is a picture of Coris and his wife, Mercedes after her graduation from her sewing class. He adored his wife as well as his children and precious granddaughter, Keyli. A vibrant little 5 yr. old who has an infectious smile!

 Keyli
Keyli

My own personal memory of Coris is from 2009. My church took one of it’s first  trips to Nicaragua and one of the main things we were involved in was distributing beans and rice along with outreach church services in different communities. We teamed up with about 12 men from Bethel who were all suffering with chronic kidney disease.

One of places we visited was the local city dump. Coris was among the group of men that traveled with us. Afterwards we surprised them with a meal at a local restaurant (pictured below) because it was Father’s Day in Nicaragua. These men absolutely loved serving these communities.When they got together they all turned into little boys picking on one another and laughing.

Coris (far left)
Coris (far left)

But, what I’ll never forget is when we got to the dump, where thousands of people live (yes, live.) and we were going around inviting  different families to join us for a church service….I never walked anywhere alone. Coris was there. He watched over me and protected me like I was his little girl.

I had a chance to reminisce with him before he passed and I was able to share with him how much that meant to me. At this point, several years later, Coris was beginning to suffer the effects of chronic kidney disease.

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For those of you who may not be familiar, unemployment in Nicaragua is a real problem. Due to lack of education and/or opportunities the main source of employment in northwest Nicaragua is to work in the local sugar cane plantation. This job is incredibly labor intensive and doesn’t provide much income. However, it’s the conditions and herbicides  used on the cane that pose the biggest threat. Through continued exposure to these chemicals accompanied with dehydration it’s just a matter of time before these men are diagnosed with CKD (chronic kidney disease).

They are monitored regularly by the company and when their creatine levels in their kidneys are too high they are put on probation. They go home, rest, and then if by their next there’s no improvement they’re let go. Besides a kidney transplant, in-home dialysis, although risky is their only option for survival.

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Coris, had dealt with this disease on and off for a number of years but took a turn for the worst June 2012. Coris then made the courageous decision to start in-home dialysis. Treatments ever 6 hours for the rest of his life.

Culturally, this is not the easiest decision to make. Infection is the biggest risk with in-home dialysis. One infection could take their life. So, many of these men don’t even attempt it, because they’ve seen too many of their friends and family members not survive.

You can read more about Coris’ journey with in-home dialysis here : Coris’ Story (story by Lindsey Miller)

Through choosing in-home dialysis he was given 5 more months with his family.

Lindsey Miller who has served with Vision Nicaragua was there for the last several months up until he entered the presence of Jesus. Here is what she had to share:

It was such an honor to be with him and his family for the last few months and days of his life. Through Coris, God taught me so much about His love for us and our Hope as a response to that. As he drew his last breath, I knew that no breath I ever took would be the same.                                                                                          -Lindsey
You can read more from Lindsey here : Celebrating Coris
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Coris is now is the presence of the Lord. Made whole and rejoicing alongside his healer.
This is the reality for so many of the families we serve. It’s an incredible privilege to be allowed into their lives and share in moments of great joy as well as great grief.
So, today, we celebrate the incredible faith, courage and example of Christ’s love that we saw in Coris. But, more importantly, she celebrate a God who hears our prayers, heals our hurts and bring hope that doesn’t disappoint.
*To see Coris tell his own story you can see it here: Coris’ Story

A Good Word from AIM team member, Ryan Graydon!

Ryan Graydon is a member of the World Race through AIM (Adventures In Missions). Read on to hear about his time in Nicaragua!

In June, Team Catalizador partnered with Vision
Nicaragua in Chinandega near the Pacific Coast. VN
seeks to bring the fullness of the Gospel of the
Kingdom of God in the poorest country in Central
America through preaching the Word of God and
applying practical strategies to reconcile all the Nicas’
relationships back to God: with God, with self, with
others, and with the rest of creation.
VN works closely with the people in the nearby village
of Bethel and with Pastor Antonio in Chinandega.
Pastor Antonio is the leader of the evangelical ministry
performing house visits in the surrounding villages and
organizing meetings for the youth to connect them
with each other and with God.
Early in VN’s ministry, it pursued microfinance to
provide jobs in the community through a block-making
business, a bike repair shop, and an American clothes
store. Unfortunately, various adverse situations
prevented these businesses from being successful in
the long run. However, today VN employs almost 30
Nicas, over twice the original employment goal,
providing sustainable incomes and a community for
Christian discipleship. Read more about VN’s ministry
on their website at www.visionnicaragua.org.

Thanks for joining us in ministry, Ryan!

Butler University & Young Life Team HAVE ARRIVED!!!

Hola from our team in Nicaragua! We hail from Indianapolis and are the perfect combination of college students, high school students, and wise adults. Most of us have never been to this country before, but all are having a wonderful first few days! We flew into Managua late Saturday night. After our first experience traveling in our “camion,” The Mario Kart, we arrived at our home ready for a week full of adventure. Over the last few days, we’ve partnered closely with Pastor Antonio’s Nicaraguan team, serving the local villages in whatever way they need. God has been working in big ways down here. We are learning to listen to what God is telling us about ourselves and Him. We couldn’t pick one adventure to write about, so here’s a Top 10 (or 11, one for each team member!) of our first few days in Nicaragua!
  1. Church at New Song with our impromptu choir performance & getting to pray for some of the men sick with kidney disease
  2. Building relationships with the Nicaraguan team & staff while at the Project: playing soccer, learning Spanish, making friendship bracelets, & cracking jokes
  3. Passing out rice & oil to two villages who were in need where we saw God’s creativeness in spreading His love to the people of Nicaragua
  4. Eating delicious & new food prepared by Antonia & Estella, the wonderful cooks on staff (guava jelly! Our favorite!)
  5. A medical mishap with barbed wire & a cut ear that landed us at Dr. Michael’s house for his faithful & sufficient care
  6. Welcoming a community of homeless men to the Project & seeing each of them being taken care of: showers, soup, and haircuts
  7. Experiencing the market in Chinandega full of fruits, meats, people, and iguanas
  8. Aiding Dr. Michael & Connie in bringing medical care to a local village for 45 families
  9. Experiencing the pure joy of children while playing soccer, making crafts, & singing songs

10.  Visiting the special needs school & seeing the hope that the students and teachers hold

11.  Unexpected guests & a late night of games & laughter

We would love for you to pray for the trip as we continue through the rest of the week; for our faithfulness & to keep experiencing God’s will for us. Gracias a Dios!

We asked for a room…He gave us a HOUSE!

The post was written. Everything was together. I was ready to hit publish, but I didn’t. One interruption after another kept me from finishing what I started. I was on a timeline to get this post out there, so I thought. Little did I know that God had already answered our prayers and didn’t need my help at all.

Here’s the story of:  “the little blog that never was”…

Meet Ernesto:

Ernesto & his family in front of their house.

Ernesto Najarez is 30 years old and has a five year old daughter. He is currently battling chronic kidney disease. A little over a year ago, Ernesto’s kidneys stopped functioning and he was in a coma for two days. His only option was to start dialysis or to die.

As many of you know, the main source of employment for men living in north-western Nicaragua is to work in the local sugar plantation. The chemicals that are used on the sugar cane cause chronic kidney disease leaving these men unable to work to support their families and ultimately takes their lives.

Ernesto with his dialysis supplies.

Ernesto made the courageous decision to start in-home dialysis and he is still with us over a year later! It’s incredible what the Lord has done and how he has sustained him through this grueling process. Ernesto walked to his mother’s home daily to do his dialysis treatment because his house had dirt floors and was made of tin and plastic. Conditions that only heighten the chance of infection.  During the rainy season he walked through the mud to reach his mother’s home. Sometimes he has had to miss treatments because the weather was so bad.

His treatment lasts for several hours and is repeated throughout the day and night. Every day. A process he’ll have to continue the rest of his life. He has a port inserted in his abdomen and he performs the dialysis on his own.  To look at him now, you would think that he is totally healthy but one infection could take his life.

Hearing a story like Ernesto’s is humbling. It’s one that propels you into wanting to take action. So, last December a small group of us from VN set out to help raise money for Ernesto to have an addition constructed on the side of his house so he could continue his treatment from home. An addition to his house would provide a cleaner environment for his treatment and lowers his chance of infection tremendously!

We prayer over this and felt that through blogs and Facebook that we could reach out to people quickly and raise the funds needed.

Before the blog could be written our prayers were answered. Through word of mouth there was $1,000+ raised toward Ernesto’s addition to his house. So much so that with the extra donations Ernesto was able to not only have a new room to his house, but a NEW HOUSE COMPLETELY!!

Ernesto’s House BEFORE….

Ernesto's House before

How many times do we come to God who promises  he will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) asking for a room when he wants to give us a HOUSE?!

Ernesto’s House AFTER…

Ernesto's NEW HOUSE!!

Our God is a maverick of a God who answers prayers in ways that continually show His faithfulness to His children. Not only did Christ answer our prayers, but He went ABOVE and BEYOND what we could have asked, thought, or imagined! (Eph. 3:20)

This past March when I was given the official tour of his new house he informed me that the sugarcane plantation came to him and offered to build him a room on his house for dialysis. Meaning, now he and his wife can sleep in the original dialysis room. Allowing him to sleep soundly and without worry of infection! Above and beyond.

He’s good! He can be trusted and He’s always faithful!

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Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Matthew 11:24

this has certainly been a week.

With everything that has happened in Boston, in Texas, and in our little community in Nicaragua, I think everyone is ready for a little bit of a reprieve.

We received news a week and a half ago that one of our friends in Bethel, Roberto, had been struck from behind by a motorcycle while he was walking home. He died shortly after on his way to hospital. Roberto’s wife and two daughters have been dealing with the shock of this tragic accident and are trying to move forward one day at a time.

Then, earlier this week, bombings occurred in Boston at such a joyful event in one of the greatest cities in our nation. The ongoing investigation has ensued throughout the week with another tragedy adding to the weight of it all from West, Texas.

I can’t help but feel tired and just plain weary.

I’m tired of these types of situations happening that have seemingly become the norm.  I’m weary and heavy-hearted for my friends in Nicaragua and in Boston that have suffered through their own types pains in such a short time frame from each other.

However, at the same time, I am utterly confident and sure of the love, the power, and the grace of our strong Lord and Savior.

He is so precise in the care he takes with his children. He never – not even for a moment – forgets us. And in moments and situations like the ones we have been faced with this past week, His character and His promises are what we can always bank on.

What are the promises that God is reminding you of this week? What aspects of His character is He drawing you back to?

Carry these promises with you into the weekend and keep them close to your heart in the week to come. Write them down. Memorize them. In fact, “bind them on your fingers” and “write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 7:3).

I think God left us that note in Proverbs on purpose. Because He knows that when those verses and promises are etched in your heart that something happens and we are changed. We are reminded of who is in control and who our Savior is. And in moments when things don’t make sense and we can’t see the resolution in it all and how it will be used in the future, we can trust that the God of the bigger picture is closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Our names are engraved in the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16) and He has collected every tear we have ever cried in a bottle (Psalm 56:8).

He does not forget His children, friends. And He is not taken by surprise. Rest in that.

Photo contribution: Isaiah 49:16

Gas Stations, Nail Polish, and Missional Living

Meet Julia…

So, confession time…I’ve been calling her Maria since last July because I honestly thought that was her name. However, I found out today that Julia is her real name. Oops.

Julia works down the street from our Mission Center at the local gas station.

Last summer, we struck up a conversation about my nail polish. I was wearing a fun Essie color name “Turquoise & Cacaos” (such a fun name  I had to share). She asked me if I had bought it in town or at home. I told her at home in the US but that when I come back I’ll bring her some.

She was super excited about it, so come December when we were here for graduation I walked in the gas station and immediately she remembered me…and my promise. Well, guess who forgot. Yup. This girl!

I felt terrible! So, ever since then I’ve wrote it down and made sure that during this trip I wouldn’t forget.

So, after my crazy travel adventure (blog to come…get pumped)…this evening was my first chance to go by the gas station. Literally, about a 2 hours ago. I was praying she’d be working and PRAISE JESUS she was!

She was so excited to see me and I gave her a big hug…found out her name was Julia (minor setback) but, was able to recover from it quickly. The youth (Tony, Enyel and Massiel) that were with me, of course couldn’t contain themselves and had a nice laugh about it.  🙂

I wish you all could have seen her face when I told her I had a present for her and that I hadn’t forgotten! She had this huge smile on her face and said “You remembered!.”

It was one of those moments you take a little mental picture of, because, in that moment it sunk in that these moments are so important to God. This is how the gospel reaches people! It’s the love of Christ impacting our everyday relationships!

He cares about Julia! He is actually crazy about her! He cared enough to send a little white, North Carolina girl with 2 bottles of nail polish and I pray that this builds a relationship that, in his timing I can introduce her to Jesus! Ah! She’s gonna love him!

Our conversation went from the laughs of me messing up her name to the excitement of new nail polish and ended with her asking me how long I’d be here in Nicaragua. I told her only this week but that I’ve been thinking about her so much and that I would love to get to know her better. That I’ve been praying for her and hope to be able to spend more time with her. She lit up and said “that’d be great! I’d love that! I work again this Thursday, can you come back before you leave? I’ll fix my hair and have my nails painted with my new nail polish!” Of course…I’ll be there!

Please join me in praying that Julia (formerly known as Maria) and I can build a good relationship. That it will form into whatever the Lord sees fit. That if nothing else I can tell her that I care about her and want to know how I can be praying for her!

When you go to the gas station in your neighborhood ,would you remember her please and say a little prayer for her? Pray that Jesus reveals himself to her and pursues her heart! That she’d know he sees her and that he is crazy about her!

I’m glad I got to introduce you to her!

love loud.

Join us this Christmas by giving a gift with lasting value. Vision Nicaragua is launching our Christmas giving initiative entitled “love loud” and we want you to be a part of it!

One of the biggest aspects of our ministry is through our sponsorship program. From when VN started, almost 15 years ago our main focus has always been people. It’s the relationships that we build with the families that we serve that is the heartbeat of what we do! This Christmas you can honor a friend of family member by supporting our friends in Nicaragua.

We have 3 different areas of our sponsorship program:

1) Men affected by Chronic Kidney Disease: The main source of employment in Western Nicaragua is working in the local sugar cane plantation. The  harmful chemicals used in the cane fields ultimately take the lives of the workers due to chronic kidney disease. Once they become too sick to work they are let go of their jobs with little to no compensation. Your sponsorship helps provide medical care  for these men as well as helping them provide for their families.

Check out this short video and blog of Coris who was sponsored through our program:

Coris’s Story (Video)

Coris’s Story (Blog)

You can also read the story of Ernesto who lives in Bethel and is sponsored through VN. Ernesto’s Story

Ernesto and his family

Sick Men Monthly sponsorship: $25/month

2) Student Sponsorship: By sponsoring a student’s education you are providing more than you may think. Through education you are enabling these young people to break the cycle of poverty of working in the local sugar cane plantation. Education=future!

Josue with his sponsor Kevin Horrell

Student Monthly sponsorship: High School $10/month and College/Trade School sponsorship $20/month.

3) Widow Sponsorship: Once the men who are affected by chronic kidney disease pass away their wives are left with the responsibility of taking care of their families. Through your sponsorship you are helping ease that burden of providing food and basic necessities for their families.

Haydee Maldonado

Widow Monthly sponsorship: $25/month

Check out Juana’s Story, one of our widow’s who is sponsored through the widow sponsorship program.

Juana’s Story

Our prayer is that as you’re reading this post today that your heart is touched in one of these different areas that you can make a difference! It’s our joy to be able to be the voice of this community and help bring to life their lives and the ways that we can be Christ to them!

Please check out our sponsorship page and/or email us at inquire@visionnicaragua.org for more information.

love loud this Christmas!

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?

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