Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011 Nicaragua Mission Trip

Everybody woke up a little earlier today because we were leaving the hotel at 7:30am. We ate breakfast early and Roy Herrera brought our devotion for the day. We loaded our luggage in the bus and headed to the airport early because we thought it would take 25 minutes to get there. It didn't really take us that long to get to the airport and going through the TACA ticket counter check-in went very easy. We also got through Immigration without any problems, which was a blessing to us. We had about an hour and half to wait to board the plane, so we had time to walk around the airport, and some of us got shop again. I found out one thing about our group on this trip, and that is that they like to eat. They went around the airport buying food and snacks, even though we had just eaten breakfast.

We flew back home on an Airbus A321. We were scattered all over the plane and few of us got to sit together. Aaron, Michelle, Emily and I were in the back of the plane. There was a small baby in front of me, but the he slept the whole way back (Praise the Lord!). Our approach to Miami Airport was a little bumpy, but we landed safely. Going through Customs and Immigration was a breeze, even though 2 of our group were chosen to go through agricultural inspection. We got linked up with our bus, and got back in LaBelle safely even though the bus had a transmission problem.

We are already thinking about what God would have us do next year. This trip was truly a blessing for us and the people of Managua, Nicaragua. We will be giving our report on the trip this Sunday night, July 31st at 6pm. I hope you will come and hear our report.

Thursday, July 28, 2011 Nicaragua Mission Trip

Preston brought the devotion this morning.

We had a different bus driver today. This driver wasn't as smooth as our other one and the trip was bumpier than before. Today we went to a different church that has it own school attached to it. This church is the one that Rosa, our main translator for the week, attends. We did three days of VBS lessons in one day, as a whole group because we didn't have enough translators to break into smaller groups and teach the lessons by class. After teaching the ABC's of salvation to the children, they broke the group up into age-group classes and did some crafts. The children enjoyed painting and some ended up painting things other than the crafts we provided. One of the other crafts was making bracelets and they enjoyed this as well.

A small meal was served for the kids, which was fried chicken, some sort of slaw, and juice. It was very warm today and our group was looking forward to lunch, just to cool off.

After lunch at the mall, Howie and Rosa had a surprise for us. They took us to an old volcano in the heart of the city and we were able to learn some of the history of Managua, Nicaragua. The real surprise that they had set up was for the group to be able to take a zip line trip over the old volcano. Several in our group went: Preston Jr., Preston III, Paul Martin, Greg Zimmerly, Aaron Deerey, Corie Tolar, Tonie Marie Tolar, Emily Hull and Howie Hooper. They all seemed to enjoy themselves and we got some funny pictures.

Since Thursday was our final day Howie took us to a big market so we could buy gifts. It was very hot inside this market and it was easy to get lost in there. I would have to say it was a very interesting place and overall the people were nice.

Tonight we had a "typical" Nicaraguan meal. It was set up buffet-style and I was surprised that everybody seemed to enjoy it. After supper we started packing to go home. I think as a group we are sad to leave, but ready to go home and be with our families.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 Nicaragua Mission Team

Tonie Marie Tolar led us in our devotion this morning at 7am and she spoke from Hebrews 12 and 1 John 3:18.

It was a busy day at the Nursing Home. Preston was doing electrical work and Roy was doing plumbing. Some of guys were cutting down tree limbs that were on the roof of one of the buildings. When they removed the branches they realized it had rotted some of the tin. Roy and Preston patched the roof with some of the materials they bought the day before. Some of the team scraped the bars on the windows and then painted them. Paul Martin painted the small office and Emily Hull did the trim work. Some of the girls spent time with the residents, and they made bracelets for them and passed out gifts and snacks they had purchased for them.

Debbie Tolar had a special project. His name was Daniel, aka Oscar the Grouch, and he was 95 years old. He was a very hard patient. Debbie was consistent in her ministry with him and she finally was able to pray with him on the last day.

The Director of the Nursing Home spoke to us today and gave us his welcome. He shared his vision for the Nursing Home. They will be celebrating their 60th anniversary in August and the painting and cleaning work we did is helping them get ready for their anniversary. They have 12 residents and unfortunately that is all they can have because of their dilapidated buildings. The main building that used to house residents has damage to the roof, water leaks, and mold. It is being used now for storage, as it cannot have residents stay in it. They are hoping to build new rooms and a chapel in the future. They have problems with their sewer lines and they are working on getting it fixed. They must also install bug screens on all the windows, and they are in the process of putting screens in to keep the residents from being bit.

There are several live-in workers that stay 24-7 with the residents and care for them. The ladies work 15 days on (day and night) and 3 days off. Those three days are the only time they see their families at home, and the director told us most of them have husbands and children, but love the residents so much they choose to do this. They make about $125 a month for their salary. These ladies that work at the Nursing Home are doing everything from yard work to bathing, feeding, and giving medications to the residents. We hope we can go back in the future and work with these people again.

Working at the church today was wonderful. Freddie, one of the translators, got with Preston III, Emily, and Corie and they sang a song during VBS this afternoon. Preston Jr., did the ABC presentation and 25 kids raised their hand to receive Jesus Christ as Lord. The church presented each of the Mission Team a small gift for coming and helping them with these street children, which we treasure.

During VBS, Howie Hooper and I were able to visit with the Pastor of the church at his home. He has been pastor of this church for 20 years and is 78 years old. The Pastor shared his salvation testimony and then we talked about the work in Nicaragua. When Howie and I got back to the VBS the meals were being served to the children. Since Wednesday was our last day at this church, Preston Jr., and Roy Herrera made arrangements to have a Ice Cream wagon at the school and give the children ice cream. The children were really excited about the ice cream and it was a blessing to see all the smiles on their faces.

Our team was sad today when we left the church and nursing home because we had made so many new friends and we hated to leave them. We will miss the children, the nursing home residents, and the workers we met here terribly. Please be in prayer for the continued support of Orphan's Heart, Bethel church, and Hogar Senil Bautista nursing home, so that their incredible ministries can continue to bless their community.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - Nicaragua Mission Trip

We began our day with breakfast at 7am. We left for the Nursing Home at 8am. Paul Martin, Preston III, Emily Hull, Corrie Tolar and Lori Spangler painted the inside of the main office building. They got the big room and one of the small offices painted. Some of the ladies went to the residence halls, painted the ladies nails and put lotion on their hands and feet. While they did this they talked to them and got to know them. One of the ladies had a bad sore on her leg and Debbie Tolar was able to help her and call the nurse to check her leg. Preston Jr., Roy Herrera and Howie Hooper went to get supplies so they could do some repairs tomorrow.

At the church today the kids were late getting to the church. We did the pledge to the Bible and the Christian Flag and we shared 3 of our VBS songs. The kids went to their classes. Today was very hot and I spent some of my time bringing water to our workers. At the end of class, the church passed out the school supplies we brought to the kids. They were very excited to get them. They dividied up the supplies so all the children were able to get some. The older kids got back packs that Howie Hooper brought from the Florida Baptist Children's Home. All the kids received another hot meal and they were thankful.

Tonight we had supper at 6pm and so we have more time to rest up for tomorrow. Today has been a good day. The heat continues to take a toll but the group is doing good. On Wedneday, we will be sharing the plan of salvation with the children at VBS. Please be praying for these kids as they hear the ABC of salvation.

Monday, July 25, 2011 - Nicaragua Mission Trip

Our group began the day with breakfast at 7am. We had hard boiled eggs, bacon, fruit, waffles, toast, juice and coffee. We left the hotel at 8am and went to the Nursing Home run by the Nicaragua Baptist Convention. It is located in a quiet area with a lot of shade. Howie Hooper brought Teddy Bears and our group passed them out to the residents as we met them throughout the morning. We also met with the residents in the dining area; we sang songs and Brother Roy read scripture: Psalm 23 and John 14:1-4. One of the male residents was excited to share with us from the scripture using a study he wrote himself. We were all blessed with his message. On the way out of the dining room I met another male resident, they call him Oscar the Grouch. He told me I was a fat American and that he was 95 years olds. He told me in had family in West Virginia.

For lunch we went to the mall and ate at the Food Court. We had a wide selection of places to eat. McDonalds, Burger King, Quinos, Pizza Hut, several chicken places and some more local fare. We found a great ice cream place and I had Brownies and cream. It was GOOD.

We arrived at Bethel Baptist Church around 1pm to get ready for VBS. We had major problems with their sound system but we went on without it. The opening of VBS of great. We did the pledges to the Bible and the Christian Flag; they had never done that before. The kids seemed to enjoy doing the pledges. Our girls lead them in the first VBS song and the kids loved the motions. After the opening the kids went to their classes. We had at least 200 kids on the first day if not more. The kids had been in class for about 30 minutes when the rain came. Some of the classes are open to the weather so it was a challenge to keep the children´s attention. In the class that Aaron, Paul and Corie were teaching some of the boys were hitting each other. One child went down, we are not sure if it was from the hitting. I thought he was having a seizure but in a little while he was doing better and participating in class again. I was worried for this child because I didn´t know his background. After the rain stopped we started serving meals to these children.

We served over 200 meals. It was a blessing to see these young children get this hot meal. It touch my heart to see some of these kids eat and have such a smile of their face.

We left the church around 4:30pm and went back to the hotel. That night after supper, we had a birthday party for Lori Spangler. Howie Hooper got us a birthday cake and the girls got her gifts and a card. Fun was had by all.

The group is doing very well. The heat is taking its toll on the group but we are doing a good job making sure everybody is drinking enough water. Please continue to pray for us as we continue to work at the Nursing Home and the Church. We are expecting more kids on Tuesday.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24,2011 in Nicaragua

Our Mission Team attended church in Managua, Nicaragua at Bethel Baptist Church. When we arrived they had just baptized four individuals. The music service was in full swing and it was a blessing to be apart of this exciting church. I was asked to give a word of greeting to the Pastor of the church and the congregation. The church is a very friendly church.

The Pastor brought a great message from book of Exodus. He talked about the children of Israel and the need for the church to march forth when the Lord directs us. The children of Israel were back up to the sea and God said march forth. The Pastor talked about how we should march for the Lord and his church needs to move forward. At the end of his sermon he lead the church in Onward Christian Soldiers. To hear this congregation of 250 sing this song was very moving.

After the service our group leader, Howie Hooper, took our group a sight seeing tour of the area surrounding Managua. We began with lunch and then spent about an hour in a open air market. Then we saw the Masaya Volcano which is still active, so we parked for a quick get-a-way. In fact, the first Catholic priest to see it declared the crater to be the door to hell and erected a cross.

That evening I had the privilege of preaching in this great church. My message was from Phillippians 2:14-16. I talked about how we need to be bright lights in a dark world. Jesus is the Light of the Word and we need to let him shine in our lives. It was a honor to share with these Christians in Nicagarua.

God gave us a blessed day.