I’m almost caught up! Yay! Travel day and a sick day delayed this posting so my apologies!
On Sunday we drove to Managua to attend church at a different La Vina church plant. This time it was Cory giving the message. Saturday was Mother’s Day so Cory had been asked to put a few things in about mothers and he did a fantastic job. The guys on this trip really have great words to speak and are great at captivating an audience. I’m proud to be on the trip with them! During service Corina, Hannah and I helped teach los ninos during their youth service. We taught the 5-Step Prayer Model for kids which teaches them how to pray for other people. Then they got to color their books! I seriously love seeing their smiling faces when they are having fun! After service there was a Mother’s Day celebration for the women of the church where the team helped serve food and drinks. And cake!
After service we hopped back on the bus to Jinotepe. When we arrived back most of the team was exhausted. Our days went from 7am – 10pm and by the time we left the Managua heat we were beat! But a 30 minute rest and/or power nap restored us and soon we were back at it. With crafts and activities in hand we trooped up to the girls house. Soon all the girls and several of the boys had joined us on the porch to make candy butterflies or paper lanterns. A guitar made its way out and a few people started singing. The guys got a soccer game going with some of the boys. It was a perfect way to spend an afternoon!
As evening neared we invited all the kids and their house parents to the casa grande to share a meal with us since it was our last chance to see all of them together. The soccer game resumed until curfew when we all had to return to our respective houses.
Monday we helped around the property. It was a planned work day but since we finished the house early the guys helped pour concrete for a new sidewalk to the girls house instead. A few of the ladies helped with English classes or making crafts with the community kids while others yet worked on the farm pulling weeds. I was part of the finca crew pulling weeds while the nearby monkeys chattered. They can really make a lot of noise! We met again for lunch but then parted ways to return to our tasks until dinner.
Devotionals followed as well as general conversation and questions from the girls. Our time came to an end too quickly and we had to say goodbye to most of the girls. They leave for school very early and we wouldn’t see them before we left the next day. We left the girls house and joined the boys at the end of their soccer practice to say goodbye to them. All in all it was a sad night because we have to leave just as we’re making incredible connections with the kids. Eventually we had to part ways and return to the casa grande where the packing was underway. All our large suitcases were now empty of supplies & donations and needed to either be combined or packed with things from carry-on luggage. The boys were finished and had their room cleaned in no time while the girls room looked for a brief period of time like a craft and clothes bomb had exploded in it. We had twice the number of females to males so naturally they would get done quicker. That’s our argument and we’re sticking to it… 😉 The girls rallied and had it sorted and organized in no time!
Tuesday was our last day and we said goodbye to the older kids again before loading the bus with all our luggage and heading to Managua. Our flight was delayed 45 minutes due to weather in Houston but other than that travel day went smoothly. In Houston we parted ways with Matt & Becky and boarded our plane to Denver. By the time we landed we were more than ready to be home. The car ride back to Fort Collins was filled with laughter and singing that progressively got quieter as exhaustion was setting in. We said our goodbyes in the church parking lot and went in our separate directions. Even though we will see each other again soon it was still bittersweet. We had spent the last 12 days never far from anyone else on the team and have experiences & stories that no one else can ever be a part of or replicate. Our team will have a bond that will last forever.
These few posts about our day to day activities can never fully emulate what God did in our lives, what we shared with each other or what we truly experienced but I hope it gives you an idea of our time in Nicaragua, This is only my cursory version of events too. As leaders Jake and I were drawn in a million different places at once and I wasn’t ably to fully give my attention to the blog. My hope is to get a few team members to briefly share their experience of the trip or an event and post it here so you can see our trip from all sides.
I hope you enjoyed following along with the Tales of Nicaragua. We have so many more stories so feel free to comment here or stop us at church. We would love to share with you!