Thursday, November 27, 2014

Nicaragua - Day by Day - Days 1-6

   My time in Nicaragua was amazing, from the first night to the last. The best part, however, was playing with the children and worshiping with our Christian brothers and sisters there. I will forever remember my time there. Nicaragua has changed me, and I will never be the same person again. I served God every second of every day, and there is no better, more joyous place than serving Him in the center of His will. So I want to share that with you... [WARNING, THIS MAY GET A BIT LONG.]

   Day 1. We sat in the airport for hours, lazing around, listening to music, really anything to stave off the boredom. Our flight from Houston to Managua had been greatly delayed. Needless to say, I became very familiar with gate E10 and its surroundings, endlessly running from one side of the building to the other and back again on the moving sidewalks for entertainment. Our flight, which had been scheduled for 6 pm boarding and a 6:35 takeoff, didn't arrive until about 9 pm. Because of the delay, we didn't arrive in Managua until about midnight... and we were DEAD TIRED. So we got hotel rooms and went to bed. Well, most did. However, myself and my roomies, Hayley and Eden, chatted a bit, and then I showered (having heard stories of horrible showers where we were going to be staying), getting to bed around 3 am.

Our fearless youth leader, running on about 4 hours of sleep... and we haven't even arrived yet.

Moving sidewalks = EPIC! Yeah, I was excited... can you tell?

First sight of Managua.

   Day 2. I won't go into detail, (want detail? try my older posts: "Nicaragua - First Day in Santa Elena" and "'Smile' - My First Day in Santa Elena") however what I will say, was that this was our first day in the village. After breakfast at the hotel, set-up and group devotions at the CNPEN, which would be our home for the next 9 days, we headed out to the village, to meet the church and the children we would be working with. There were many happy reunions and many joyous greetings, as well as much fun playing! We went on a prayer walk around the village, and then topped the day off with a church service.

Following Jesus' example in ministry... no better example to follow.

Yup, this was a favorite tree to climb. Some of the guys spent endless hours lifting one child after another into the tree, only to take them back down again.

Pastor Louis, and Berto, one of our interpreters.

   Day 3. We spent our time in preparation for Vacation Bible School, playing with the children, and doing construction. There was lots of fun to be had!

VBS prep.

Limbo was a favorite of the children.
(Also, "Thumbs Up" back there is Hayley, another of our interpreters, who deserves MAJOR kudos for dedicating much of her sleeping hours to make sure everything was translated and ready for VBS each day.)

Construction.

   Day 4. After, months of preparation, we had our first day of VBS. Our "theme" of the day was "Dios es Redentor" (God is Redeemer). While some of us were blessed to get to work with the kids, others sacrificed that precious time and worked on construction. We also experienced our first Nicaragua rainfall, quite a cooling blessing. I'm convinced the villagers thought we had never seen rain before with the way we got so excited!

Adán y Eva (Adam and Eve).

We've got a packed house!

WATER!!!

   Day 5. For our second day of VBS (or maybe it was the third day... anyhow), we went to one morning session as well as an afternoon session, as half of the children are in school in the morning and the other half in the evening. Our theme: "Dios es el Poseedor del Pacto" (God is the Covenant Holder). We also filled the day with construction and with truck rides and pranks. In addition, God saw fit to bless us with more rain for several days, which we were so grateful for!

Our craft: salvation bracelets. I still have mine, in key chain form.

Abram y Sarai (Abraham and Sarah).

Chicas in a truck!

The church and construction site. The church building currently in use is the little building on the inside. These walls are for the bigger building that our team worked on.

   Day 6. VBS and construction... Our theme was "Dios está en control" (God is in control) The day prior I had noticed my feet looking slightly puffy, and today they were horrible! So to get out of the heat and give my feet a little break, I got to go with Carol Acosta, one of our team leaders, and her son Gabe, as well as Mitch Theis to the mall to buy groceries. Lots of fun! And I feel like Gabe is another little "brother"! My only regret was that, whilst I was off enjoying myself in the AC, the rest of the team was having a really hard time getting the kids to behave at VBS. Wish I could have been there to lend a hand, but I'm glad for the fun I got.

Look at these big, strong guys... They put in MAJOR effort to clear the church's "backyard" and make it much safer for the kids to play in.

Memory verse for the day - Josué 1:9 (Joshua 1:9) - led by Berto and Mindee

Mixing concrete.

Craft time, led by Rachel (left) and Tiana (right).

*Photo credits go to Steph Theis (except for maybe 1 or 2), my pretend "mom". For her posts on Nicaragua, click below. And for her full album of 1,948 photos, click here.
Remembering Nicaragua

AND FOR PART TWO OF THIS POST, CLICK HERE.

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