Day 8 Thursday (Click Here To go to pics)
Today is our final day at Cana Castila. Doug is with us today to put the final touches on the addition and to bring a message to the kids, that the church is more than a building, it is Christ in us, and that there are many jobs in the church that are filled by the people of the church including the children! I had the pleasure of being read the Roberto Clemente book, in Spanish, by 10 year old Alondra.
It was a great honor for us to be the very first service, under the new roof. Musing into the future, we can see many nino’s and nina’s hearing great teaching from Silvia, Pastor and others.
After service, the rain came down, so we made a beeline to another bus ride to Granada arriving at the casa for a meal and the evening service at Torre Fuerte… It was Pam’s night to brilliantly shine with a special teaching requested by Pasto Flores. She explained the Joshua presentation in a way that was easily understood by the audience. She was teaching the Nic teachers on how to prepare lessons for children. She offered many tried and true methods that have diligently worked on and refined over the course of time.
Todd was honored by being asked again to return as the Bongo player.
Day 7 Wednesday (Click Here To go to pics)
I’ve heard Wednesday called ‘hump” day in the USA however here we have not reached the mountaintop, it’s a “glory to glory’ trek to the top. Today the 6am Bible study in Proverbs 30 and 31 was excellent going to 7:30 am. After a quick breakfast it was on to the bicycles and off to El Puente for uplifting music and an excellent Ephesians 4 Bible study by Charles. About an hour later it was back to the bikes and off to Cana Castilla via the chicken bus.
Our bus ride packed us in like sardines but after some people got off, seats became available. Anthony sat down next a stranger and introduced himself to Miguel. Using his new Italiano /Spanish saying “Es un placera de conocerti” (It’s a pleasure to meet you) a connection was made. The Roberto Clemente book came out of the backpack and the pictures and story was shared with the new amigo. After the Spanish version came out of the backpack, Miguel read the entire book out loud which made the time fly by, before we knew it the bus was coming to a stop for our departure at Cana Castilla.
Sylvia, Misiel, Nelson, Harrison and 6 year old Luis greeted us, and in no time the boys were all over Todd. Luis sat next to Anthony, and like clock work, soon out came the Roberto Clemente book, Spanish version and Anthony read the book to him as he was rapt with attention.
The baseball ministry was envisioned differently, however, it turns out that just showing the book to a new acquaintance engenders a connection which grows into a testimony and friendship. The spontaneous connections are more common here than there and give a special unexpected joy.
The church construction is about 80% finished, Alan has been very busy running the new electric wiring and Sylvia is planning a fiesta and inviting all the Children for its grand opening. Sylvia served another delicious meal giving the men energy to get back to work. She also believes that tomorrow the construction will be complete. Sylvia is a woman who walks by faith not by sight.
Tonight it was back to Torre Fuerte for “Viva la Luz”, this was a special meeting planned by Doug, Betty, Pam & Roberto. It began with worship music played by the Torre Fuerte worship team including an excellent performance by Todd on the bongo drums.
A strong message by Roberto followed, and Betty lead the women to the back room and taught the ladies separately on the topic of “Lies woman believe” by Nancy Leigh De Moss.
Meanwhile the kids were treated to Pam’s Joshua “walls fall down” program, snacks and after they were dismissed the men shared testimonies.
30 year old Danny shared how after recently becoming a father he is beginning to understand the scripture: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. I Corinthians 13:10-12
Tomorrow it’s back to Cana Castilla so time for some shuteye.
Dios te bendiga.
Day 5 Monday (Click Here To go to pics)
Another new day dawns and we start the day with a Bible study as the Viva La Luz men arrive at 6 am.
Roberto & Doug were led by the Lord to do a Proverb a day Bible study, today was Proverb 29. The book of Proverbs has mainly verses on different subjects, today we parked on fear of man, versus “Fear of God”. We agreed that every good and perfect gift was from above so we can count on Godly Wisdom for our foundation which gives us a plumb line to judge man’s wisdom for veracity.
When done, another great breakfast by Betty, these meals are especially enjoyed by the “Live the Light” men.
The girls went out visiting today and had a fun day visiting old friends. Their first stop was Fatima’s home. Fatima is a great friend of Lindsay’s. Fatima has been married only 2 years and has a one year old. It was fun to share motherly type of advice to an eager young mom. We ended our time with a sweet time of prayer, trusting God to encourage and strengthen these young married couples.
The next stop was Lester and Jessina’s home. The fellowship was with simple Spanish words and was endearing to all.
The Guys headed to Caña Castilla, We got on the chicken bus at 8 am, arriving around 9 am. A building project was in store. A pavilion type building is being attached to the current structure and we’re going to help.
Fortunately, the supplies of about 15 posts and 20 metal rafters were there as Nelson had the wisdom to plan ahead and gather all the needed materials and tools a few days in advance. The task of painting the steel channel was dispatched to Francisco, Arnoldo & Doug. Next Silvia’s husband Nelson with Doug’s help, started welding it all together with an arc welder. Post holes were dug by Rolando, Alan and Todd as Nelsons Uncle supervised and took careful measurements to ensure a firm foundation. Cement was mixed by the “A team” of Arnoldo and Allan, with help from Harrison, Sylvia & Nelsons 4 year old.
Then it was break time for a delicioso meal by Silvia of breaded chicken and rice, with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. Some of the chickens here are as big as turkeys, so pollo (chicken) is always a great meal. Back to work for a few hours more when Silvia surprised us with fantastic rice milk pudding with red Pineapple and Cinnamon, we let it cool down, then ate the delectable dessert before finishing for the day.
Anthony & Todd & had the hardest tasks of all, keep Herison occupied and out of the danger of the construction.
They accomplished the task with soccer and reading a great book telling the story of Roberto Clemente in both english and spanish.
Back on the bus for the ride home, a quick prep and it was off to Torre Fuerte for “Viva la Luz night”.. The church was packed with nino’s and it is a powerful sight to see them throw themselves into worship and the way they help each other, displaying to us they we are “our brother’s keeper”
….The kids gathered around Guadeloupe for a move to the kids teaching room in the back readying us for a dynamic dissertation on Love by Roberto followed by a scintillating and inspiring testimony by Allan, the fortunate husband of Pam. It was then back to the casa as Doug and Anthony both had tired eyes and needed some earlier “shuteye”.
Day 4 Sunday (Click Here To go to pics)
We got on the chicken bus at 9 am with the destination being Cana Castilla for Church service with Silvia and her Familia. Arriving around 10 am, Silvia already had things setup with little chairs for the nino’s. She started off singing with the kids then we split up into two groups, one with the adults and the other Sunday school with the kids which was taught by Lindsey with help from Todd & Francisco interpreting. Roberto and Megan helped with the food cooking, so a meal would be ready for the children after the service. It is uplifting to see these polite children line up patiently waiting with their small sand buckets and then off they go to their families, bringing the food home to share. In between the service end and the meal we had the pleasure of playing with the kids;
Todd playing soccer and Anthony softball. We headed back home to have a short rest, then prepare for the evening service at Torre Fuerte.
The evening service was highlighted by the return of a lost sheep. Our Shepherd, always leaves the 99 and goes looking for the lost one. Tomorrow the men start the day with a 6 am Bible study, then back to Casa Castilla for what could be a week long work project, building a roof for the church. Nelson, Silvia’s husband, jokingly says, it should take him three days, but with our help, probably five.
Off to bed for a solid nights rest. Dios te bendiga, Hasta Mañana!
Day 3 (Click Here To go to pics)
We got on the chicken bus spent and exhausted at 8 pm for the hour ride home. In the secular world, they would call it a “hard days night” however with the “joy of the Lord” in our heart we call it suave (smooth,easy} a labor of love.. Arriving at Chocolopa at 11 am, we took to setting up two tents, preparing for service and unloading the drinks and food so elaborately prepared by our Betty. It was certainly a labor of love by her to prepare food, hot food, for over 30 people. By 1 pm we were ready to get started, so Lester took his customary seat at the keyboard and the event begun.
Next up was Doug, who preached a long and well prepared message on unity and love. Actually it was two sermons, with a break in the middle. Another labor of love as he preached a well prepared sermon the night before at Torre Fuerte. It’s like the “Betty / Doug” team have supernatural energy, pray for them to be renewed each day. Next we did the normal things we do, speak with all our neueve and viejo friends , play with the kids, give out “cuda’s}, go house to house visiting, inviting people to the 6 pm service and just having fun and fellowship.
Next up to bat was Pam who gave an in depth presentation on the method nino’s about God through stories and skits. She demonstrated different methods of learning such as visual, hearing, acting out the story and sign language. It certainly was a labor of love for the nino, and adults who learned how to teach them. Then a dinner break with the team serving a dish of sloppy joes and a large fruit cup, it was another delicious meal. Next up was Pastor Flores bringing his message of Love and unity, preaching the fruit of the Spirit, noting the greatest of these are Love. Then the calamity of the day happened, in the middle of his message, the electricity went out, not skipping a beat, the pocket flashlights came out and he finished his message.
After closing prayer, it was time to break down the tents and get the bus loaded. Every body acted like the body of Christ and did what was needed to get the job done, some menial tasks like holding the flashlight so no one would get cut on the barbed wire fence that kept the pigs at bay or big tasks like loading 30 + chairs on the roof of the chicken bus. We worked in darkness but we had “the LIGHT” and Viva la Luz”.
Arriving back at Casa Tranquilo around 10 pm or so, tired and weary, we decided to go to bed right away, so the manana, we can rise up on Eagles wings” and fly up to Casa Castilla to visit Pastors daughter Silvia and her ministry. Dios te bendiga, Hasta Manana
Day 2 (Click Here To go to pics)
Friday morning we were up for a bible study with the Vive La Luz men of Torre Fuerte, a breakfast afterwards, then a bike ride to El Puente church. There were about 75 people in attendance and it was not your traditional bible study. It was alive with music that got your bones to moving and your feet to dancing. Then Charles brought a great message to us. After the service more friendships were made and others renewed and snacks for the kids. Anthony was fortunate enough to engage in a Frisbee toss with a 4 year old nino. We came back to the Casa, Betty, Todd, Megan and Anthony went to the grocery market and purchased some food for our great meals and tomorrow’s trip to Chacalapa. Pam and Alan worked on their Joshua Bible story skit for the 2 pm visit to El Fortin.
Last year, at his time, El Fortin was an open field that was cleaned up using machetes, this year there are bathrooms with flush toilets and a pavilion type building for services and this day, also a birthday party for Connie.
Todd, Pam and Alan presented their Joshua and the Walls of Jericho skit. The children ran around the wall 7 times, then blew their handmade trumpets for the wall to come down. A wall was designed from a bed sheet, being held up on each side by Todd and Arnoldo , just like Aaron and Herr held Moses arms up.
The time came to an end with the children lining up for a piece of cake and a Band-Aid from the “cuda” ministry. The kids went to their tiny homes happy and blessed and we hopped on our bikes for the ½ hour ride to our casa happy and blessed.
One neat thing Rolando spoke about at mealtime was that he and Anthony saw some kids playing baseball in the street, they stopped to watch, then dug out 2 baseballs from the backpack, gave them to them, then continued the ride home. The kids were so happy, with smiling faces, saying thank you and gracias over and over.
Arriving home about 5 pm, there was just enough time to have a meal and prepare for the evening service at Torre Fuerte for the men. Megan, Todd and Pam went to the children s program at Lindsey’s. At Torre Fuerte Doug brought the message of brotherhood and accountability to one another. Angel interpreted and Doug referenced scripture passages such as Amos 3:3 and Psalm 133 to teach the men’ He told them about the need for each other, to lift one up when the other falls as in Ecclesiastes 4, two are stronger than one and a 3 fold cord is not easily broken and our mission verse “not by might nor power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord”. It was well received by the men from Viva La Luz “Hombres de Valor” (Men of Honor) and it was a night for the Angels in heaven to rejoice as Daniel returned home.
The time at Lindsay and Francisco’s study was the Joshua story again on obedience. Children saw pictures while listening to the story, sang songs, did a craft and enjoyed a competitive boys vs. girls review game of the story followed by an intense time in the streets of “dodge ball”.
Tomorrow it’s off to Chacalapa for a full day of ministry, and now it is off to sleep. Hasta Mañana.
Day 1 (Click Here To go to pics)
We all met at Alan & Pam’s house in Doylestown at 2 AM Thursday morning for a flawless flight. . We loaded up the vehicles with luggage, missionary bags and a keyboard for Lester.
We were in Newark and on the flight to Houston at 5:30 AM. With a seamless switch over to the flight to Nicaragua arriving there at 11:30, Doug was there waiting for us.
A short zip later and we arrived at our home base of Casa Tranquilo. Betty was awaiting for us with one of her gourmet delicious meals prepared for us travelers.
After lunch, a catnap was in order. Waking up at 5 pm, we prepared for the Torre Fuerte evening service. Doug had a fleet of bicycles ready, some of us rode and others walked the kilometer to church.
Naturally, it was a spirited service with Lester on the keyboard and Pastor Flores delivering a sermon on Acts with Francisco doing the interpretation. We had a great time refreshing our relationships with many friends, it was like we never left. Once back at Casa Tranquilo we had a short debriefing then it was off to bed.