I returned last Saturday from living for 4 weeks in San Juan del Sur, a small beach town south of Managua close to the Costa Rican border. I attended one of the 3 Spanish schools in the area. Classes were held for 4 hours in the morning Monday thru Friday, with the option of an activity every afternoon. The school is held in a restaurant overlooking the beach. It was a blessing to look at the beautiful view every morning. The teachers were very kind, gracious and PATIENT. I found I do not have an affinity for language learning. My memory simply does not work like it used to. Although I did get the basics down and can communicate in a very simple and direct manner. Like a 4 year old would. In fact I think some of my best Spanish conversations have been with children.
I lived with a local family in San Juan. The father is a doctor and the mother a teacher. Senor Galan works at the local hospital and also has room in his home for a neighborhood clinic. They have 3 children, Anelka, who attends a university in Managua, Elba, 15, and Hector junior, 10 years old. Elba and Hector have recently placed 2nd and 1st, respectively, in the national ajedrez (chess) tournament. Hector, who placed first, was playing against 17 and 18 year olds. The family is extremely intelligent and education is a high priority.
Although it was a struggle to live in a city where no one speaks English , it was a blessing to see what God had there for me. My first 2 instructors were Christian and had many questions about Jesus and the Bible. We were bringing our Bibles to class everyday and would have long conversations about Jesus ( at least I think that's what we were talking about :). My third instructor is searching and is being pulled in different directions by her family. I was able to speak the word of Christ and to pray for her and could see she was really listening. I hope to visit again before my time here is up to see how the Lord has changed lives.
Since I have returned to Managua I have had the privilege of hosting 2 Pastors from Portland who have joined together and want to start a ministry in ' La Chureca'. We toured the city, went to the school in the dump for a morning and were able to be escorted around the neighborhood by a teacher from the school who has lived in the dump her whole life. We were invited into about 4 homes and were able to ask how the school has changed the community and if a new church would be welcome. A church full of Grace and not legalism. Their faces would light up when they would tell us what the school has done for their children. I can only believe a church would do the same for the adults. We had a lunch meeting with the director of the school at the dump and her husband who also teaches there. They have been involved with the school for 7 years. We would like to come along side them and continue with the work they have been doing in the dump already but in a larger scale to help reach the adults.That was followed up by meetings with the head Pastor and his assistants form Verbo Church. The church I attend here in Managua. The meetings were successful and they seem to really like the idea of beginning with a walking ministry. The next step is to pray and ask the Lord to raise up a couple who has a heart for the people of the dump.
Next up is the first team arriving June 1st. A team of youth who will help re-do the girls dorm of El Canyon orphanage, as well as visiting La Chureca and a few others places.
- Praise God for the opportunities He gave me to speak the Word of Christ in San Juan del Sur. And that He will keep the veil lifted from their eyes.
- Praise God for his Sovereignty and Perfect timing.
- Pray for Him to open that eyes of Pastor Ricardo and the Verbo Church to see the couple God has chosen for the ministry in La Chureca.
- Pray for safe travel of the teams coming to serve beginning June 1st.
- Pray for health protection for Gloria and me. ( she is having heart trouble and I just recovered from being ill for a 2 days).
- Pray for safety while I begin driving, for others as well as myself. And that I would not be pulled over by the police.
- Pray that in the midst of all the work and commotion we would see the opportunities to share the Word of Christ.
Thanks for all of your support!!!! Miss you and Love you.
Love In Christ,
P.S I have also started to publish some photos at www.smiller327.photosite.com