Hello all! Please forgive me for not posting in almost a year! I cannot believe time has passed so fast! It came to my attention many times this past summer, that a number of people randomly find my blog by doing searches for information about Nicaragua and La Chureca. Through meeting new people God showed me how He can work in such different ways. I guess I never thought of folks randomly running into this blog and being touched by what I share. That set aside I SHOULD be writing regularly to keep my friends and family updated, this where the forgiveness comes in...:) Thank you.
So life has been very busy, for the last few months especially. During the months of June, July and August we have a majority of our teams visit and serve here in Managua. This year was unusually busy, praise God. We had more teams visit in a shorter amount of time than ever before. We had 14 teams come in the time of 12 weeks. Many of those teams overlapped, and Villa Esperanza was a hub of action! We were honored to have many returning groups as well as welcoming new teams that have never served with us before. I would like to thank all of them for coming and putting all their hearts and souls into what they accomplished.
This year more than ever were able to share that the value of relationships is so important in the ministry that we are called to do. Many times the rain dictated what we were able to do for the day or the afternoon. That meant that we needed to start impromptu games of soccer or kickball, be prepared to share a blessing in our lives or give a testimony. Sometimes we can can get so caught up in the 'do' and we forget about the 'why'. The 'why' is so important! We are called to love. And in our culture we show love by 'doing' most of the time, which is a good thing, but sometimes that isolates us from the relationship part of things. In a culture where relationships are so important I find myself struggling to understand what that means. That sometimes my 'doing' is seen as an act of love, but most of the time it's just what is need to be done and everyone else is doing the same. But when you take the time to invest in a life the picture changes. When we take the time to create and build relationships, God gives us the opportunity to help 'change the story of someones life'. This is a saying used often by Wilbert, our director here at Villa Esperanza. Think about what that means! We cannot change what has happened in the past, but we can help someone grow and move forward in a way that can change the story of their lives. Was there ever anyone in your life that helped change your 'story'? A teacher? A Pastor? Your parents? A stranger? I have seen it with my own eyes....people come down to work and serve, leaving here having touched someones life in a way that has changed that persons 'story'. And in turn God has touched and changed the team members story forever. Powerful.
You may know I am not a wordy type of person. I like to share photos. So here we go!
We visited a new ministry this year called The Refuge run by imagine ministry. It is in a place called Los Brasiles, just outside Managua on the way to Leon. The run a preschool, feeding program and have after school tutoring to help many of the older students in this community. We covered the kitchen(below)...
We filled in the backyard and helped build a new basketball/sports court.
We went to Leon and worked with a church called Vida Y Luz. New Hope Church out of Texas is going to invest much of their time and support to this area. We had a medical clinic, working with 2 Nicaraguan doctors. They also worked with many local men in building a tower for a water storage tank. We palyed with kids...A LOT!! The most powerful part of what God did during this visit was that the men of New Hope bonded and built strong relationships with the local men. Patora Dolores (the Pastor) has been praying for the Lord to bring more men to this church for the last year. And what a privilege it is see Prayers answered right in front of you.
Mario adding written prayers requests and verses to the to the concrete of the columns.
Our time ended with feet washing... and idea of the men of the church. New Hope washed theirs and they washed ours. What a wonderful time together.
Our tent city. We were soaked....it rained a lot!
We are having our first Talapia fish fry today in a Villa. I must go and eat...More to come later. I will explain the Talapia fish fry.
Blessings to all and thank you for your love and support!