This year our Mission Outreach to Nicaragua and Guatemala will see 20 people head south and be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. The team to Nicaragua is heading out on Saturday June 10th at 6:00am for two weeks to work and be in relationship with our friends from Vida Joven (Young Life).
The first week will be in Esteli (18): Ron “Coco” Allison, Susan Allison, Fred Hoffmann, Mary Hoffmann, Emily Ambachtsheer, Kathy Ambachtsheer, Rebekah Anderson, Mark Chapman, R.J. Chapman, Michael Bodger, Sam Foerster, Will Foerster, Claire Schrecengost, Scott Schrecengost, Kyra Pienaar, True Pienaar, Ashton Pierce and Samantha Svare.
The second week is in La Finca (6): Ron “Coco” Allison, Susan Allison, Fred Hoffmann, Mary Hoffmann, Paul Jones and Jim West. The team to Guatemala will leave from La Finca (1): Paul Jones.
Please check daily for updates and photos
Greetings and salutations to all,
Our trip down to Nicaragua was very eventful which entailed the team being split up and half staying in Miami an extra 6 hours as the flight from Orlando was delayed. All ended well though as the complete team made it to Esteli, albeit with nine arriving at 10pm
Today after a good night sleep, we met with the YL team that we will be with for the rest of the week and visited the four projects that they have lined up for us. This is the most we have attempted during a trip and so pray that we will accomplish all that God has in store for us.
This evening we worshipped at Shalom Presbyterian Church and heard a sermon in Spanish, which we later found out was about the fact that God dwells within each of us.
Grace and Peace
Project 1 The home of Uriel and Marlyn which is not yet habitable.
Tuesday at Project 1 - Home of Uriel and Marlyn
Today we worked on the flooring at the home of Uriel and Marlyn. When I say flooring, I really mean just the dirt that is being put in as a foundation for the concrete that will follow. Scott, Ron, Samantha and Michael were at this worksite and got to use the pounding machine to compact the earth. we also cleared weeds and moved a mountain (small mound) of dirt from outside the house to inside to compact.
Women's Ministry - Tuesday
Creating bracelets representing the life of Jesus at the Women's Ministry after discussing the prophetess, Anna.
A local kindergarten which is allowing its facility to be used as a site for a Young Life Club.
Tuesday at Project 2 - Vida Joven Club at Local kindergarten
Los cocos electrical work (Mark Chapman and Fred), sanding and finishing new benches (Kyra and True).
The home of the parents of Brandon (a YL leader) who still lives there.
Tuesday at Project 3 - Home of Brandon's Parents
Rebecca, Ashton, Kathy (RJ was sick so did not join the group today - keep him in prayer for healing)
We had an awesome day working together to cut down a tree today at Brandon's house. It was wonderful to work alongside Brandon, Isaac, Carlos and Brandon's family. We would alternate using an axe to hack away at the roots of the tree and brainstorm with one another to figure out the best way to destroy a stubborn taproot that kept the tree standing. Though we were unable to speak Spanish with Brendan, his family and the other young life leaders, that was so much the required no language at all. The love of all working was evident in the graciousness of Brandon's family which was truly amazing. We are anxious to get out on the worksite again.
Tuesday at Project 4 - Vida Joven at the Stadium
Sam, Will, Claire and Amy (the Vida Joven Intern from N Carolina)
Over and over we dipped our brushes in to paint a school room that vida joven uses for a club. The second the bell rang for break, hundreds of shouting students ran over to ask what we were doing. What a joy it was to tell them and to be reminded that we are here only to serve the Lord by serving them!!
Tuesday at Project 2 - Vida Joven Club at Local kindergarten
Mark, Fred and Ashton worked on Project 4 today.
As the team finished their work at Project 4 - Vida Joven at the Local kindergarten they had a little inquisitive visitor. Mark took time out to engage him and his friend who is out of sight. The team finished the lighting, painting and also assembled four benches and two room dividers. Project ✅
Wednesday at Project 4
Today we completed the painting at the Stadium Project and as a part of it we presented a whiteboard to the principal of the school for the classroom we painted. The school has two shifts. Elementary kids in the morning and then it turns into a high school in the afternoon. The principal got a bit teary at the presentation as very little is spent on the school in what is a very poor Esteli. Michael, Kyra, True and Coco worked here today along with Claire and Samantha who came for a while.
Women's Ministry - Wednesday
Today the women's Ministry led by Mary Hoffmann, Susan Allison and Emily Ambachtsheer completed their three day study of exceptional women in the Bible by studying the Samaritan woman at the Well. The three days were filled with activities, reflections and fellowship and lots of relationship.
Wednesday at Project 1 - Home of Uriel and Marlyn
Lots of back breaking movement of earth today at Uriel's by Sam, Rebecca, Kathy and Claire and joined later by Fred, Mark and Ashton. They raised the level of the earth in preparation for the flooring, prepared the pathway. For what was laid out for us in terms of work, Project Completed.
Thursday at Project 2 - Vida Joven Club at Local kindergarten. Final Pictures after Michael and Kathy went in for clean-up and wash down.
Thursday at Project 3 - Home of Brandon's Parents
Today we finalized the work that has been taking place at Brandon's parents house. We had the bulk of our team there. Some were going for the first time and others returning due to the fact that other projects had ended. Fred, Mark, Kyra, True, RJ, Rebecca, Claire, Samantha and Ashton were all there to bid farewell to the family. Mary and Emily went to see the four Project areas today as they have been working on the Women's Ministry along with Susan.
As our week winds down and our thoughts turn towards the journey home tomorrow, we reflect upon a wonderful week here in Nicaragua. Our daily routine consisted of many folks getting up before breakfast and you could find them scattered around the hotel doing their devotions in preparation for the day. When breakfast was ready at 7am, we gathered and sang our blessing in Spanish to the tune of 'We will, We will Rock You.' Breakfast was followed by group devotional and announcements for the day. Travel to the projects began at 8am. You have seen many of the pictures during the week and it was a great time of hard work and relationship building each and every day. At lunch each day we would gather in two groups and at each we would have a testimony from one Young Life Leader and one of our team would also share. Then it was back to the work sites until 3:30pm, when everyone would head back to the hotel.
In the evening, we would gather for dinner at 6pm and then have devotions at 7. The rest of the evening was spent doing different things each night, including going to a Young Life club on Wednesday evening. Last night we had a celebration with all the Young Life leaders and a fun time was had by all.
The pictures you see today capture what it is really all about. Yes there is work, but the relationship building and sharing one anothers lives in time and work and story, getting to know each other in Christ is what it is all about. With each group, the Nicaraguans and us, many new relationships were formed, many relationships renewed and continued all with. . the common dimension of furthering the Kingdom and proclaiming the Gospel. We leave today and make our way back to Managua as changed and uplifted people, not just by what we have given, but more so by what we have received.
One final note, each morning at breakfast Rebecca and Claire would distribute the mail. It was such an uplifting part of the day as each of us read mail that the Home Team had taken the time to write. Thank you for being such an integral part of the Travelling Team here in Nicaragua and we look forwardto telling you so much more when we return.
Grace and peace to one and all.
Lunch time gathering for testimonies
The Traveling team returned yesterday to a wet and thundery Deland. Missing from the photo is Sam and Will Foerster and Ashton Pierce who also came back yesterday. Keep Fred and Mary Hoffmann, Susan and Ron Allison as well as Paul Jones and Jim West who are at La Finca this week in your prayers.
Thank you for all your letters, prayer and support - it meant so much to all of us whilst we were away.
Grace and peace to one and all.
We had the wonderful opportunity to attend a cinceneara for a young lady we have known for many years.
The last day of Esteli, Nicaragua.
A familiar face.
Coco packaging coffee in Nicaragua for those who supported this year's mission team
A foggy morning at La Finca
at La Finca with Aaron
One Bodger last week, Another this week
Coco leading morning exercises at camp in the morning
Much prettier day today. No rain yet.
David with Paul and Jim planting coffee plants.
Jim is bringing home coffee that we ground and sealed.
Jim presenting a devotional on the life of the butterfly.
Team painting the family cabin.