Did you think I had disappeared? I promise I haven't. Working full-time and taking care of 4 kids and a husband gives me very little time to do anything but that lately so please forgive me that this update is so late coming out. On March 29th myself and two others traveled back to Nicaragua for 8 days.
From the first day we all decided to go the enemy was working overtime to make things hard. That was a sure sign God has great plans for us.
Here is a description of the key assignments God had planned for us;
Murals for the Fernando Veliz Paiz Children's Hospital
Our team went prepared to paint murals at the hospital. Team member Gwen Emmett had a vision from the Lord on what we would draw so we made plans, got the paint donated and felt we were ready to bless the hospital. By the time we got to the airport we knew the enemy was not happy.
Prior to leaving I contacted TSA and got all the rules about carrying paint on the plane. Followed the instructions to the letter and I bet you can guess what happen when we got our bags checked.. Yes, if you are thinking they took our paint you are correct. We had not even made it on the first plane yet and already problems. We were suppose to start painting within hours of our arrival so immediately the pressure was on us.
I am happy to say that living in Nicaragua for 4 months paid off because I knew exactly where a paint store was and who to call to make sure I was right. Within an hour after we arrived we were at the hospital checking out the walls and then buying paint. God made it clear to us in many ways that His plan was not going to be changed by TSA confiscating our paint.
When we arrived at the hospital with our plans in hand we found that instead of painting where we were told we were being asked to paint in the triage department of the ER and when I mean IN the triage I mean IN it. Right slap in the middle of breathing treatments, high fevers, kids screaming and even throwing up inches beside us.
At first I was concerned for our health but within minutes realized God's plan. The director that wanted us to paint had plans for us to paint something specific. It was a logo that is used all across the country to represent the motto of the DSS, Department of Health and all other agencies that deal with children. The crazy part about it all was it was extremely close to what God had given Gwen already. We knew at that moment we were doing exactly what He wanted us to do so there was no concern about getting sick. We saw His hand the entire time we painted and even saw a little girl go from being completely lethargic to sitting up and drinking juice after we prayed over her. Here are pictures to show the work we did. CLICK HERE.
Blessing Operation Education Kids
There are currently 92 kids that are sponsored to go to school and this trip we were able to bless several of them with gift bags from their sponsors. My team members were also able to visit the homes of the kids and meet their families. It is always a blessing to see these kids smile when I am there and even more special when they know that the people who sponsor them care enough to send them something special. Almost all the kids received letters from their sponsors and some of you should have received yours in the mail by now. We even had a school from Michigan send over 30 letters to the kids. I am sorry that all the kids did not respond to you if you sent them one. Here are pictures of the kids receiving their gifts. CLICK HERE
Blessing our friend Darling
Each time I go to Nicaragua I try to check on my Darling family. She and her husband are truly one of the poorest families I see in Nicaragua. They only eat twice to three times a week if they are lucky. It breaks my heart to see them each time. This visit was to specifically bless them with a table and chairs. Every time I have gone there they never have anything to sit on or for Darling to place her pots on. I hope to continue taking them items until their house is full of normal things. Next trip it will be plates, bowls and pots and pans. They were smiling more this visit than I am use to seeing. It also blessed my heart to see what they had done with the house. They took the old house and used the tiles to build on a porch giving them lots of extra room. Here are some pictures of them. CLICK HERE
Ceibita Baseball Team
In January I was blessed to send money for the men in Ceibita. These men are the hardest to reach and little by little I have been working on them. I made them a promise that if they would come to church and just listen I would help them get new uniforms. I wired the money in January and when I arrived they were excited to show off their new clothes. In addition, they had won 2nd place in the championship and awarded me with the trophy. It was a pleasure to see the men so proud of themselves. Two weeks prior to our arrival the men had attended a men's meeting with Pastor Jorge and 30 men accepted the Lord. Some of them we are not sure about but we are believing that it was truly a heart change and all of them have their names in the Lambs Book of Life. They are the very reason I go to Nicaragua. They are lost and now are found. We also blessed them with new cleats, some bats and balls. Check out the photos here.
Blessing the Jevoah Jireh Church
For several years Pastor Jorge has been praying for a laptop to use in his church. He has a large youth group and needs ways to reach them through music, dance and videos. This trip I was able to bless him with a newer model laptop that was donated by a local family. It was a huge blessing to the church. That night I received the biggest blessing of all. We showed the movie Courageous to his church. Only a handful of people attended but several gang members decided to hang out. He had invited them earlier in the day not knowing the movie had anything to do with gangs. At the end of the movie 3 young men gave their lives to Christ. It was an awesome moment to see God's power through the use of a movie. Check out the smile on Pastor Jorge's face. CLICK HERE
The First Church of Ceibita
It is my dream to build a church in my community. A place they can go all year round. When it's rainy season they have to have church at odd hours to keep from getting soaked. Can you imagine not having church because it's raining? For now the community is satisfied with a shelter. The men built a stick shelter and asked God to provide the rest. The government passed out free tin and the leader just happened to be passing by when they did so he received enough tin for half the shelter and while I was there we blessed them with enough money to finish it. Now they can all sit under the tree with a covering over their heads. This was the scene we arrived to. We were blessed that the next day was Sunday so we all had church together for the first time and my team and I got to put on the service. Each of us had a different part in the service. I even got to turn dirty water (sin) into clear water (Jesus washes away the sin).It was truly a dream come true. Afterwards we blessed the community with hot dogs, chips and a drink. The next two days the families received many blessings. Mothers got new outfits along with lip gloss, fingernail polish, jewelry and more. Every year I try to bless the kids and the parents at least once. This trip it was everyone in the community except the men. The woman received new shirts and skirts along with jewelry to match, fingernail polish and lip gloss and the kids received new shoes and toys. The teenagers received different things depending on if they were girls or boys. We also had a time of teaching through a drama to teach them about being grateful. It was a lot of fun. Check out the photos HERE.
There were many other things that happen on this trip and I would have to write a book to tell all the stories so for now I'll leave you with the knowledge of knowing God did some pretty cool things this trip and I am already booked for the next on August 2nd.
If you want to send your sponsored kids a letter this trip you need to have them to me no later than July 15th. Last trip many of you missed this opportunity and sent your letters in while I was in Nicaragua. Please, please but July 15th on your calendar so your kids will have their letters. Many of them do not write back because no one in the family knows how to read and write. They get other people or our translator to read them the letters you send so please don't think that if your child doesn't write to you why bother. They really do enjoy hearing from you.
Enjoy the pictures and as always thank you for all your support and prayers.