Friday, March 25, 2011

Just to see you smile.

I have passed my two-month mark. 

It has been yet another immensely blessed week for me. I am in such a wonderful place. All the time I am surrounded by beautiful, dirty smiles. 

Last Monday I went with my friend Cynthia to see where she is volunteering. We went around the neighbor hood in Milavf and told the children about the classes and opportunities that were given at her organization. I really enjoy my friendship with Cynthia. She is such a sweet friend. (As I write this she is watching an Elvis movie with me. Those who know me know that is TRUE friendship ☺).

Last Tuesday James, Yader, and I went on a grand adventure to the border of Honduras to pick up mi familia. My aunt Kristie, Uncle Wade, Cousin Lincoln, and friend Mrs. Kathy had been in Honduras for a medical mission and then came to visit me for 3 days. The trip to Honduras was interesting. It took around 4 hours to get there and 4 to get back. On the way back, there was not enough room for all of us in the truck so two of us sat in the back with the luggage. Good times. But they made it and we had so much fun. Wednesday I helped at school and then took my family to lunch, shop, and tour the cathedrals. In the cathedral I made a friend, she was beautiful. She was begging for food at the door of the cathedral. She was maybe 8 years old. I took her outside to buy her some food and we have been best friends ever since. 

Thursday I took my family to help at the school and then to the beach. I drove the stick, pretty big deal for me. Moving on up. We had a great time. The sunset was beautiful and we ate at a Suyapa. Suyapa reminds me of the original “Back porch”. Sorry Destin, you have nothing on Nicaragua! I have made friends with some of the little boys that sell beaded necklaces on the beach. The sunset was beautiful, the food was good, and we shared our left over’s with the little niƱos. Friday we took my family to Managua because they were flying out the next morning, and picked up JCS!

While in Managua with JCS we took a ride up to Masaya Volcano. It was so beautiful. I see Jesus’ hands more and more everywhere I go. I see God’s handprints all over this incredible country. God has big plans for what is to come. 

During class Xiomara has been giving different exams. The children who have the correct answers can choose a prize. Many prizes are laid out, clothes, dolls, books, toys, and hygienics. Most of the sweet children will come and pick up the cool stuff, take a good look at it, and then set it back down to grab some baby clothes for a relative or work clothes for their dad, or some toothpaste and soap for the family. I desire a heart like these children. Even though most of these children at 6 and 7 very well may have gone through more things already than I ever will, they are still selfless and pure children of God. 

During the week I got the pleasure of delivering some of the children’s gifts from their sponsors. Bright glowing smiles were the result. My family gave our Nicaragua family a few outfits and Rosita showed up in the greatest mix match outfit of all time: Floral pink t-shirt with floral purple leggings. I don’t think my mother got that to go together but it works ☺.

Saturday was such a great day. We had Preschool movie day at 1 and primary grade school at 3. We watched Veggietales in Spanish, gave out snacks, and then played for an hour or so after with each group. I am so glad JCS could be a part of our first family day. Everything went smoothly and it was such a fun experience. The children had a blast. Saturday night, Sergio(our new preacher) had a youth rally from 7 til midnight. There was singing, guest speakers, a Spanish accapella group, and lots of visiting and getting to know each other. Just like a youth rally at home but under the beautiful stars of Nicaragua. The song leader knew English so he would sing a song with us and then sing a song with them. What a wonderful night. Some of our students were there with their parents and by 11 I had a precious child asleep in my arms. Perfection.

Sunday after church we took the group to the beach. We got to sing on the rocks at sunset. I have really taken worship for granted. Our devos every night have been very uplifting. I can’t wait to be reunited with my church family this summer. But even more so, I can’t wait until we are ALL united in heaven singing together, each and every language. 

JCS did a great job this week. Got the concrete done in the new building and the school building repainted. We also had some fun in between there. Wednesday I got to take them to the village. I went to all the children’s houses and brought them to the soccer field, the girls did crafts and the boys played soccer. They LOVED having so much gringo attention. 

Yesterday one of our 3 years olds, Edwardo, who has a bad home life, was left at the school until 5 pm. He and his older brother had to sit at the guards hut for 6 hours because their mother was careless and did not plan well. Pray for these children, many of them have way worse situations than we will probably know. I want to rescue them all. 

Natalie and I enjoying a day of movies and fun

A successful movie day
Youth Rally
Some of the JCS group enjoying Recess

My backside after a really rough game of soccer in the village. ha 

The boys playing soccer with some of the boys at our school

JCS girls doing crafts in the village

Leonardo :)

Rosita in one of her new outfits 

Leonardo and Rosita 

Fransisco, Rosita, and their mother in their new outfits!

Edwardo, the little boy and his brother who were left at school for 5 hours after school.

Chapel! (and Rosita in her mix-match)

Kim, Amy, Britney, and myself. Loved visiting with these great friends!

This week has absolutely flown by. Let me take that back, this MONTH has flown by. It is official, no more visitors until June 5, and then I come home on June 9. Every person that has been here has made such an impact on me and helped me realize even though I miss home, I am right where I am supposed to be. I haven’t had a second to question it. I desire for God’s unconditional love to pour out through my hands and feet as I work with these beautiful little hearts. I already can’t imagine my life with out their smiles everyday. 

My cup over-floweth.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

Monday, March 14, 2011

Holding hands all the way..

So many of my favorite people surrounded me this week.

David, Tim, John, and Marie left Wednesday. I hated to see them go. It was a great couple of days. John built shelves and worked on our Internet, which was an awesome plus. Marie is such a sweet Christian young lady and really made a big impact on these children. They did not want to let go of her for a week and they loved making crafts with her. The children are already asking when she will be back. Of course, David and Tim are always awesome but so busy when they come down here. I wish I could have sat at their feet all week and just soaked in all their Nicaragua Christian school and Nicaragua (in general) knowledge.

Lindsey and Kristen were here from Friday to Friday and let me just tell you; it was incredible having two very dear friends by my side. What an adventure we have had. I am so happy they were able to experience so much. They really got to know my babies here and they are going to be missed so much.
Saturday, when everyone was in town, we went to a village about two hours away that one of our preacher’s lives and works. This village is very remote and far away from any other civilization. The village is made up of about 8 large families. The church has about 15 adult members and 40 children who come. It was such a blessing to be able to visit them. We brought ice cream. It was the first time they had had ice cream and the first time that most of them had ever seen or had an ice-cube. They came back for seconds and thirds. We stayed around to get a tour of where all their homes were and of their school. Then we played soccer with them for about an hour and a half while David met with the preacher. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. God is so good. I am so thankful that we could interact with these people and I can’t wait to return.

During the beginning of the week I got to show everyone around the school. In the afternoons we went around the village and visited with the families and played with the children. It was so wonderful to see all their smiling faces running down the street yelling out our names.. At every corner a new child from our school would pop out of their house and say hello to us. Who knew I had so many of our school children as neighbors? Couldn’t make me happier. The day I found my sweet Rosita’s (the girl my family sponsors) house was my favorite. No one makes me feel more needed in this world than she does. She wants to be around me every second. She holds me, and smiles at me constantly. Her sweet little dirty hands are always touching my face trying to get me to smile as big as I can so she can laugh. She wants to hold hands and skip, tickle me, say English words, whatever she can to make me happy. Of course she doesn’t have to do anything at all. She is my angel and has my heart. She cries her little eyes out every day when I leave and I can’t wait to get back to her side the next day.  She is also one of the poorest children in our whole school and is one of the only ones who does not beg me to buy them something every time they see me. She just wants to be with me, and feel loved, which is fine by me. J Each one of these children has already changed my life so much. I wish I could bring every one of them home with me in June for my visit. Thank you Jesus for this incredible adventure.

This week we also hired a new preacher for the church that we will have at the school. This family is so awesome and I cannot wait to start working with them. I have been taking him and his family around to the different houses of our children this week. I cannot wait to have a church close enough to get all my sweet ones to attend. It is going to be so wonderful to have them their with me, learning about Jesus.
Wednesday: Lindsey, Kristen and I hiked Cerro Negro volcano and boarded back down it. It was an awesome experience. I can’t wait to do it again. We did it through Bigfoot hostal and we got transportation to and from, a t-shirt, bumper stickers, a free meal, AND a nights stay at the hostal. It was a very fun day. I was so tired from the day on the volcano I didn’t even think twice about how clean my sheets were at the hostal. The pizza there is awesome, and everyone that stayed there spoke a different language. Unfortunately, most of them could also speak ours so we lost some cool points for that. I am so glad my girls could be with me to do this. It was such a fun day.

We bought hammocks this week. I have loved being able to read and look at the moon. We also bought $1 rope to hold up the hammock. Bad idea. I took a nice tumble in my church dress today. Note to self: when buying rope to hold your entire body above ground, don’t be cheap.

Apparently we got hit by a Tsunami on Thursday from Japan's earthquake. But as far as I know, no one got injured. Praise for that.

Thankful for the awesome people who were here with me this week, they made such a difference in the short time they were here. I can’t wait till they can all return!

We have a lot of new ideas and things going on here that we are getting really excited about. God is really working. I wish I could fast forward to when the school was done and the church was filled with all those sweet faces. But I know seeing God work in the next two years will make it worth the wait.
Please keep praying for the work down here. God is moving. I pray that I can impact these children as much as they are impacting me.

Te amo,