Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday in Nicaragua

Excerpts from my journal:

We arrived in Managua last evening at 9 p.m.  The ride from Managua to Diriamba took over an hour through crazy traffic and running red lights.  We were told it was "better not to look."  Our driver took us at top speed up winding roads into the mountains with the Pacific Ocean to our right and Lake Nicaragua to our left.  Not that we could see anything.  It was pitch black.  I could only compare the drive to the old Disney attraction, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!

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Everyone was asleep when we arrived at the mission house, so I used my flashlight to go into the bathroom and change, then get myself up to a top bunk, as all the lower ones were taken.  Between fear of falling off, fear of SNORING and waking someone up, and FREEZING (it was hot when we arrived - I only took a sheet as my covers for that night, then the wind started to blow - hard), I didn't get much sleep.

Our morning started before 5:30 with showers, then breakfast.  Today's task was to sort toys, clothing, and personal hygiene items for the children.

There was a LOT of stuff!  Many suitcases filled with items.  (BTW, we left the States with two suitcases of deflated soccer balls - 50 in one, 25 in another.  When we pumped them up, we had 150.  I like God's math!)

We started making gift bags to be given away during the week.  The team who had arrived on Friday had already bagged up thousands of pounds of beans and rice.  (Final tally:  10,300 pounds of rice and beans.)

We were also invited to participate in a graduation ceremony at the school Nicaraguan Christian Outreach helped build.  The ceremony was very sweet and included children graduating from both primary and secondary classes.  The buildings themselves would be considered extremely primitive by American standards, but the children and teachers were very proud of their facility.

After going back to the house to work for a few more hours, we went walking down the road quite a way, then off onto dirt paths.

The cinder block houses were quite small, one of the larger ones was perhaps the size of our school room in our house, and the translator told us there were 9 people living there.

The kitchen was a little lean-to attached to one side.  Outdoor toilet.  No water or plumbing in the house, but there was a refrigerator, one bare light bulb, and a tiny TV!

The children are so beautiful and are grateful for whatever we had - balls, candy, Mardi Gras beads (those were popular with the women of all ages!) and the adults were so thankful for the large bags of beans and rice.  They were so gracious and invited us into their homes.

I was so touched by what I saw, but so frustrated by my lack of ability to communicate.  Oh, to tell them how Christ loves them and that they are not forgotten by their Father in Heaven.  I will learn Spanish before I return.  That will be my #1 goal for 2010.


Paula said...

My parents lived in Nicaragua for several years, and I had the opportunity to visit them multiple times. It is a beautiful country, and the people are open and humble. I am glad you had a chance to visit and bless some lives.

Cynthia said...

I'm so glad you were able to go on this mission trip! I also wish I spoke another language.

momma24 said...

Oh what a wonderful experience. To see God's children in another country and to spend time with them. You are very special for going.

Joyce said...

It always amazed us how at night you could drive through the countryside (or in town even) and the little shack home would have a TV glare showing through the cracks.
I'm really excited you were able to go on this trip to Nicaragua.
They've come a LONG way since we used to travel there.
Now are you ready to go back? The missions bug usually bites you after one trip and I tell people that it's like stays in your blood stream.....forever.

Ginger said...

Joyce, I am SO ready for another trip! I have definitely been "bitten" by that bug! I cannot wait until I return.

De'Etta @ Choosing Joy said...

Looks like a great trip....what a wonderful experience.