Thursday, June 21, 2007

A month of firsts...

Gloria and I have begun to schedule the first teams of the summer and it is looking quite busy. At last count, there will be 7 teams with in 9 weeks. And the possibility for an eighth team has just come around. I hosted my first team June 1-8th. A youth team from Ackworth, Georgia. Their ages ranged from 13 to 18 with a few adults in addition. Though at first I think they were shocked at the amount of work we had for them, by the end of the week they were ready and willing to do anything we asked.

It was a blessing to see the transformation of a group of teens that probably don't do much hard labor in the States, turn into a team of willing spirits. Our projects included: painting the boys and girls dorms at El Canyon orphanage for 2 days, cleaning bathrooms and walls and helping clear and clean the property for Villa Esperanza.They were the first official FEI team to work on the new property. The team broke into groups and cleaned the house on the property inside and out, planted 4 mid-size palm trees (the women did this!!) and cut a field of grass with machetes (the way the locals do it). They were tired and worn out, but after meeting and spending time with the kids from the dump who would one day live on the property, they knew who they were helping so they became energized and willing.

On one of the days, we were blessed to take 19 kids from the dump school to the beach. Some had never been outside the dump before in their lives. It was a joy to see the kids laugh and play even though they didn't speak the same language. And I was blessed to give rides to the kids on a 4-wheeler!!! It was my first time driving one and it was so much fun!! We were also blessed to take some kids from El Canyon orphanage to play soccer at night on a lit field ( my nephew Chris would love this!). Futbol, as soccer is called here, is a very widely played sport and all the boys and girls loved it.

Exciting news also is that the team leaders of this group, a young pastor and his wife, made the decision to adopt a 3 year boy from the orphanage. They started the adoption process while here and with the Lord's Grace it will take no more than 6 months. Little Jonathan was able to spend two nights here at the house with the couple and they seemed to bond right away.

Mothers day has come and gone ( I forgot Mother's Day in the states but did call on the Nica date, sorry mom, oopsy), and we had a wonderful celebration at the school in La Chureca( the dump). It was such a blessing to see all the moms dressed in their best with hair and make-up done. We were entertained by a program planned by the teachers and students. A show of dancing, singing, poetry and devotions filled the school with joy. We also had a raffle and gave away 16 bags of groceries and household items. At the closing everyone left with a slice of pizza. It was real treat for all the kids. It was so fun to have a day to help make the mothers of these kids who live in the dump feel special and to continue to grow the relationship between the school and community.

The rainy season has begun here in Nicaragua. Rain like I have never seen before (and I am from Portland, OR). The streets turn into rivers and if you own a gasoline powered vehicle watch out for the depths of the water or you will be stranded. I have experienced driving in the torrential rain and it is a bit scary. The wipers are moving to fast you think they will break. Luckily everyone slows down and ceases to drive like they are in a video game, to a safe speed and they become very cautious. The Lord has also blessed me with a new car. A brand new 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara 4x4 (I am a little excited). It will be my first new car ever!!! And I was also to able to minister during the buying process!!!! The owner of the dealership wishes to go to the dump and see the work I am involved with. She cannot believe I would leave the comfort of the states to come here and spend my time with the people of La Chureca. I can't wait to take her for a visit! The Almighty has something planned for her, I just know it.

In my spare time I have recently begun to read a biography of Hudson Taylor entitled "Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret". Hudson Taylor is considered the grandfather, if you will, of missionary work. He was the founder of the very successful China Inland Mission. I have been absorbing the stories of his beginning works in China, the challenges and the blessings he received. He is truly and inspiration to me. And from this book I was lead to read

Psalm 73:21-26:

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

I hope this speaks to you as it did me. Please pray:
  • Praise Him for His perfect will and timing.
  • Praise Him for being everything we will ever need.
  • Pray for the health of my dear friend Gloria (she has ventricular arrhythmia) and for her husband Wilbert's health as well (he needs a hernia operation).
  • Pray that we can all work as a team and have clear communication as the rush of teams begin.
  • Pray for Gods comfort for my family and myself. I miss them so much and it sometimes is painful.
  • And continued prayer that He allows me to see the work He has for me wherever that may lead.

Sister In Christ,


P.S. Please click on the link to projects in Nicaragua above. It's a chance to help some really special students make a difference for their families and themselves for the rest of their lives.