Karalee here. Josh composed the first blog and Braelyn scripted yesterday’s.
Quick run-down of today…After an early breakfast of rice/beans, eggs, and fresh fruit we set out on our first journey to Church of the Living Water. The 45 minute drive on the small, non-airconditioned bus (Jane has affectionately named Dante’s Inferno) was full of singing, great conversation, and yes sweating.
Once we arrived at Chema’s church the team was divided into three groups. 2 groups traveled the neighborhood to distribute food bags, pray with families in their humble homes, and encourage them with the hope and love we know comes from God. The other group was composed of solely guys. They had the not-so-glamorous job of hand-digging a trench for sewage pipes so that tomorrow we can install new sewage lines for the toilets. The quicker this project is completed the sooner we have toilets at the work site/church. You guessed it, we either have to “hold it” all day or shall I say “rough it”.
While digging the trench with the pick-axe the group experienced Nicaragua in the raw. First there was a colony of very large cockroaches that emerged. Shawn decided it would be amusing to see what would happen if he threw one in the rooster pen. By his accounts the rooster pounced on the scurrying critter and devoured him with his beak. The next surprise produced from the broken earth was an emerging tarantula. One of the guys “wacked” him with a shovel and another split him in half. Someone said the rooster would eat that as well. Indeed he did. While on this mission trip I have learned the tarantulas live underground and that roosters aren’t vegetarians. Hmm. Who knew?
After several hours of food distribution and trench digging we reconvened as a group for a simple lunch of chicken salad, pringles, trail mix and summer sausage. Then we joined together to host a children’s event for 54 children ages 5-8, although Jane is certain that she had a three year old. The theme this year is “you are special.”
There was singing (if you had been listening you might have heard “Allelu, Allelu, Allelu, Allelujia” on the wind because those sweet children sang louder than an 11 o’clock service at DCC). As Lisa read a story by Max Lucado, the children’s team presented an award worthy performance of “you are special”. Mike didn’t wear a tutu, but he was a fabulous wooden doll. April was the prettiest doll and Jane was the strongest. I am certain the skit won’t make the big screen at DCC, but the children loved it and heard more about how God created us just the way He wanted to.
The children made cards for someone in their lives to encourage them and remind them that they, too, are special. We played parachute games with the children and sent them off with hugs, high-fives, and a gift bag. I was so proud of the group and how they worked together to make sure each child experienced love today and heard just how special they are.
A long bus ride back landed us at La Quinta for an incredible meal of baked chicken and vegetables. Gavin said that while the chicken was incredible he had a difficult time eating it because he kept thinking of the experience with the rooster. We then met for early evening devotions and singing. Joshie played guitar and led us in authentic worship. I wish you could have seen them singing. It was beautiful worship! Danielle shared a devotion about encouragement as she read from II Thessalonians. She chose the topic because she said that she has witnessed so much “servitude” and encouragement among the team thus far and she didn’t want us to lose it.
I am humbled by this team. They are doing a fabulous job of serving the Nicaraguans as well as each other. They are sharing a love that continues to build each other up and breakdown walls so that we may be stretched outside of our comfort zone. This positivity is indeed making us more effective out in the village of Tipitapa. We are a true team that only God could have woven together.
Pray that we stay strong and healthy in every way. Pray for our families because we are certain it is getting really difficult for them. Pray for these sweet children that we will minister to tomorrow as well as the women’s event on Saturday. And please pray for the projects that we are trying to complete. #TGBTG (pound to god be the glory)
We know you love and miss us, as do we! By praying, caring for our families, sacrificing for us to be here…you are serving! Thank you! We appreciate you.