Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A few days ago we had a banquet where over 50 people attended. Here are some photos of the banquet. Our purpose was to review all the ministry activites that took place over the last year and give thanks for all that God has done. Also we looked at the calendar for 2009 with anticipation for all that the next year holds.

Making Christmas Cookies

I love baking cookies and especially when I have a sweet little helper. Valeria and I enjoyed creating Christmas cookies together. They are suger cookies with a little lime twist to them. Very yummy! I hope you enjoy the photos!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Some photos

Here are some photos of what we do and the people we spend time with.
Sharing the gospel at an orphange

Bible Club leaders

More youth that we work with

Much to share

Well, I looked at my last blog entry date and realized that it was over two weeks ago! It's hard to believe that two weeks have passed since I last posted. Time seems to fly by here in Nicaragua!

I've explained in earlier blogs a little of what we do here in Nicaragua. There is a team 6 missionares working with the youth in 5 different local churches. Our annual calendar is full of various kinds of activities but at this time we are focusing on three weeks of youth camp that will be hosted here in January. The youth are excited and are inviting friends. Our goal is to have 300 campers total and we have a work crew of around 40. We're working on the camp theme, programs, games, food, decorations, and so much more. It's a lot to do for 6 people but many of the youth are sacrificing time and energy to help out.

Word of Life started up here in Nicaragua just about a year ago and we will be having a banquet tomorrow to celebrate all the God has done in the past year. We will have around 50 people dining at the Aguilar household. We're excited but there is much preparation to do! I'll be baking 4 pound cakes today! :)

Also, I have great news. Jader and I had decided a few months ago to designate a certain ammount of money in order to purchase a car. We have been traveling by bus and taxi but unfortunately you waste a lot of time waiting for the bus, etc. We began to pray and ask God to lead us in this process. I will have to make this very long car story short, but we were able to buy the car and picked it up yesterday. It's wonderful! Jader actually is using it now to run errands and I think he will get them done in at least half the ammount of time it would take him by bus. God is good. Also we got the car for a much better price than we were expecting!

I wish I had more time to write but I need to go and help prepare for the banquet we're having. Thanks for reading and keeping up with stuff here in Nicaragua!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Back in Nicaragua!

Hey there! I've arrived to Nicaragua and have been here a couple of days now. It's nice to be back and to see Jader and many others here who are special to me. The weather is pretty warm and more humid than Texas. I'm happy to be eating beans and rice just about every day and I love the beautiful nature of Nicaragua. I've been attending different local church activities and reconnecting with the youth that our ministry works with. We are preparing for three weeks of camp that we will host in January so it's a very busy time for us. I hope to take some pictures soon and post a little more about what we are up to. Thanks for reading the blog!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I have a wonderful friend named Tapati. She's from India and I've known her over a year now. She's married and has a young son. We met one evening while I was taking a walk and I believe she and her family were walking back from Walmart. I learned that they had just arrived from India and we talked a bit about what a big change that must be for them. They told me where they lived and said I could stop by anytime. So, I did. :) That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. We've shared our different cultures with one another especially in the realm of food. :) I introduced her to chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, and cupcakes, and she has served me NUMEROUS and I mean NUMEROUS yummy Indian dishes that are so spicy my nose runs and she always knows to hand me a stack of napkins. Actually, I often don't need the napkins anymore. I don't know if I'm getting more used to the food or if she'll make it a little less spicy for me. I like to believe my spicy tolerance is growing.

Also, Tapati is a faithful blog reader and keeps up with my blog even after more than a month of my not posting. She'll mention to me that I haven't written on my blog and it encourages me to know that she's interested and wants to know what's going on in my life. I'm so thankful to have Tapati as a friend and wanted to post just a tad of my appreciation for her on my blog. Thanks for being amazing, Tapati! :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A free gift

I was reading in Bible this morning and came across some verses in Romans 10 that really spoke the truth of God to my heart. I'd love to share these verses with you!

In chapter 10 of the book of Romans Paul is talking about his own people, the Jews, and he is desiring that they be saved, or have right relationship with God. He says:

"For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness." Romans 10:3-4

He says they are zealous for God but it's not based on knowledge. They are not understanding an important truth. He says they did not know the righteosness that comes from God. Since they didn't know or understand this righteousness they began to try to establish their own righteousness out of their own strengths and efforts. They were zealous but zealous because they were busy earning their relationship with God. It looks like trying to be good or do good believing that it gives us some kind of credit before God.

Paul shares the key truth of the message of Jesus.

"Christ is the end of the law (He fulfills our righteousness) so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes." Romans 10:4

It's not based on our efforts, but our faith that "God made him who knew no sin (Jesus) to be sin for us, (die on the cross) so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21

"The word (Jesus) is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified(made right with God)." Romans 10:8-9

This is the glory of Jesus, a restored relationship and peace with God.

"Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith in to this grace which we now stand." Romans 5:1

We deserve spiritual death and separation from God because of our sin but because of His love He gives us relationship with Him for all of eternity!

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 6:23

I'm with a thankful heart this morning and hope this encourages you!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Much to Tell!

Hey there! It has been forever since I have posted, and I have many great things to share. Much has happened and I'm sorry for not being better at updating! Well, I'd like to share some wonderful news. Jader received the U.S. visa :) Yup, good stuff! We were feeling very stretched in our faith with this visa stuff because the stats show that around 50% of Nicaraguans that apply for the visa actually get it. God is good and has faithfully provided for our needs and grown us in the process! :)

A few days after receiving the visa Jader took me to the restaurant in the Hilton Princess in Nicaragua. I thought we were going to meet Mayra and Guillermo up there and have a going away dinner before I headed to the States. So, Jader and I were there "waiting" for them to arrive. As we were waiting Jader began to talk. He began to summarize our time together in Nicaragua and share his heart and then he popped the question! I was INCREDIBLY SUPRISED! I knew he was going to propose soon, but the way Jader, Mayra, and Guillermo made the plans for the evening I thought there was no way he was going to do it that night. Needless to say Mayra and Guillermo never showed up. :) We had a wonderful dinner together celebrating our engagement. We have set the date for February 14th and wedding plans are underway!

Also, if you have not heard yet, I am back in the U.S. I got in Saturday afternoon and have been enjoying my time visiting with family. I was staying in the Woodlands for the first few days and then I headed to Austin and have been visiting my sister, brother-in-law and beautiful nephew.

Tomorrow I plan to head to College Station for the day and I look forward to seeing my church family and catching up with them. It looks like I'll be returning to Nicaragua at the end of November and will help prepare for the upcoming youth camps and then work in the camps. Camp will end in January and then the plan is for both Jader and I to make it to the States early February and get married.

Well, I hope to see many of you soon! Thanks for keeping up with me and reading the blog. Hopefully I will start updating more frequently! I hope you have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A week of outreach

So this past week we had a team of Americans come and we had many different ministry opportunities throughout the week. We had three different outreaches to schools, a ministry time at an orphanage, another at a women's hospital working with cancer patients, street evangelism, and also a sports marathon that involved 22 youth soccer teams. Everywhere we went we saw such openess to the gospel. We shared with around 1,300 people. I have posted a few photos so that you can see visually some of the ministry that we did.

In response to our ministry we had principals ask us to do more ministry with their students. We will be having three day retreats for high school graduates. There was such a sense of God opening doors, ordering events and expanding the ministry of Word of Life Nicaragua here. There is much work to do!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A little relaxation!

My friend Gaby has been visiting me here in Nicaragua for the past few days and we went to a beach called Montelimar today. It was really nice to relax a bit after two weeks of camp in Mexico.

Leadership Retreat

Well, I'm catching up with things! I've been in Mexico for two weeks and then upon returning my friend Gaby has been visiting. Things have been busy but it's been enjoyable! I was wanting to post some pics from the leadership retreat we had about 3 weeks ago. I mainly took photos of the place that we had the retreat. It was a really neat time where around 40 youth leaders gathered together and grew in vision and in the Word.
Leadership Retreat

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dad's Visit

So my dad visited Nicaragua. Here are some pictures from the trip! I want to explain more about Jader and I's story but don't have the time because my battery is low and I don't have my cable! I will get back to you with more soon and I hope you enjoy the photots!

Yes, I am still alive!

I don't think I have posted since I was in Costa Rica. Life has been rather busy. Upon returning from Costa Rica we had a Word of Life Nicaragua Leadership Retreat and then after that my dad came to visit me in Nicaragua with the purpose of getting to know Jader. If you didn't know Jader is my boyfriend. :)

Anyways, I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do as far as blogging goes! I have some more pictures from Costa Rica, some from the leadership retreat, and also some from my dad's trip to Nicaragua. I like to share pictures because it seems to make the trip come alive to those who aren't here experiencing it firsthand.

Here are some pictures of scenery from Costa Rica:

Isn't it beautiful! Here are some more photos from Costa Rica, but these are taken from a property called Camp Brittany. It's named after a girl who died in Costa Rica and had dreams of seeing a camp built with the purpose of ministering to kids. People have donated money and now they are beginning to use this camp. They are just finishing up two weeks of camp in Costa Rica.

So, that's the rest of my Costa Rica photos. It was a wonderful trip!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Costa Rica update

I've been in Costa Rica 6 days now and it's wonderful. This is one of those important steps for me to take in order to know Word of Life better and familiarize myself with people who are partnering with the ministry that takes place in Nicaragua.

I've gotten to know the Aguilar's extended family, which is large because these are latinos we're talking about! :) Also, I've been staying in the house of some friends of theirs who attend their home church. I can walk to the church in two minutes! I've done activities with the church and spent time getting to know people.

Also, the daughter of the family I'm staying with teaches young children who are blind. I went to work with her today and it was an amazing experience. Ana is incredibly gifted in this area of work and was sharing the Word with the children's mothers. What a beautiful ministry!

I'll be here until Monday and then it will be back to Nicaraguan life. It's been nice to visit Costa Rica but my heart is in Nicaragua and that's not just because Jader is there! :) I miss the Nicaraguans, their culture, the way they speak Spanish, and the specific youth that I've been able to know and work with. I'm thankful to be able to step back and see desires that God has formed in my heart.

I definitely have some specific prayer requests!

1) First Word of Life Bible Club Leadership Retreat in Nicaragua-July 10-12- There are over 30 leaders. Pray for provision for them to be able to pay the camp fee and that all can come. Pray for spiritual growth to take place during this retreat.

2) My dad is coming to meet Jader!!! Pray that this would go smoothly. Jader knows some English (not much) and I will serve as translator too. :)

3) Jader and I go to Mexico WOL camp-July 19-Aug.3-I'll meet the director of Mexico/Central American missions for WOL and Jader and I will be serving for two weeks of WOL camp during that time as well.

4) Pray for discipleship-I had my first discipleship with a girl named Ana last week. She was confused about salvation. She thought you can lose it by sinning and earn it by being good. She was living in fear of messing up and losing communication with God. We talked about some verses and she learned about what the Bible says about salvation and eternal life and where our righteousness rests on Jesus. She was relieved by this truth and we prayed together to receive this gift of eternal life that never can be lost. Pray for us to be teaching the Word every opportunity and waking moment we have. There is GREAT need for it.

Thanks for your prayers and for keeping in touch!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I've been in Costa Rica for a few days now and it's a beautiful country. I have a little slideshow here of random pictures I took just so you can have an idea of what it's like.

I've been staying with an amazing family and have had the opportunity to know several people who partner with Word of Life Nicaragua. The Aguilars have an amazing home church here in Costa Rica and I've been participating in events with the church and meeting lots of neat people.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

In Costa Rica!

I arrived in Costa Rica yesterday afternoon and will be here 10 days. Here are just a few photos from the windows of the house I'm staying at and also of Valeria (daughter of Mayra and Guillermo) and I at the Nicaragua/Costa Rica border crossing. I hope to get many more Costa Rica pictures and share them with you! :)




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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bible Club at Genezaret

Much of the ministry we are involved is connected to Bible Clubs that local churches host and the Word of Life missionaries train leaders and oversee the activities. It touches lives of many youth who would normally not attend church. Discipleship is also a main pillar of Word of Life's ministry in the local church. Missionaries teach youth how to teach others. Here are some pictures from one of our most recent activities. If you want to see the pictures in a bigger format just click twice on the slideshow and it will make it bigger.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Visiting an orphanage

Yesterday we went to an orphanage with the youth from a church called Encuentro con Cristo. It's a really nice orphanage and the children were so happy to have us. We played some games, sang some songs, and shared with them about the salvation and forgiveness that we have in Jesus. You can also view the album under my album links on the side. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Some pictures!

Well, I have uploaded some new photos. If you want to see them just go to "Photo Albums" on the right and click on "First Days in Nicaragua." It will take you to a picasa sight and then click on slideshow to see them as a slideshow. I'm sure there's a better way to do this but it's what I've got for now! If there's a better way please reply and let me know. I think you can embed slideshows. Actually, I'm going to try that right now and see how it goes!

First days in Nicaragua

I hope it comes out okay! Hope you enjoy!

Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm in Nicaragua!

It feels really good to be in Nicaragua! This is my 5th trip here and it feels very familiar. I don't feel like a stranger in a foreign land anymore. It's a place I love to be and I want to take in all of it and enjoy it to the fullest.

I arrived mid afternoon yesterday and I'm staying at Mayra and Guillermo's house. They are the ministry coordinators for Word of Life Nicaragua. Their family, Mayra's parents who are in town visiting from Costa Rica, Jader, and I all had traditional Nicaraguan food at a local restaurant.

Afterwards, they dropped Jader and I off to help with a Bible Club at a church called "Encuentro con Cristo." I believe Bible Clubs will be the main focus of my ministry time here. Here's how it works, from what I understand...There are missionaries (Jader, Guillermo's family, and I'm helping out too), the missionaries partner with local churches who are interested in doing Bible Clubs. The churches then pick 2-8 young adult leaders, or they volunteer and these leaders are trained/discipled by the missionaries to put on the club at their church. The young adult leaders then publicize about the Bible Club program and invite lots of friends to come to the weekly Bible Club.

The young adult leaders are in charge of the program and they teach Bible lessons, organize ice breakers, play games and sing worship songs. Also, a major component is daily Bible reading and scripture memorization. Those who participate in the Bible Club have a journal with scripture to read daily and a verse to memorize each week. The leaders serve as accountability for the youth to help them grow in spiritual disciplines. Missionaries disciple leaders and club leaders disciple those who attend the Bible Club.

There is so much more to Word of Life ministry than Bible Clubs but his is what I know the most about right now. They also do outreach activities. I believe this week we will go with youth from Encuentro con Cristo and visit an orphanage. I know these outreaches are a major component to Word of Life as well. There's a lot for me to learn and that's why I'm here to get to know this ministry and discern if it's what I'm called to do full time.

I didn't take any pictures last night at the Bible Club but I'll try and take some next time I got to one so you all can see what it's like.

So, that's about all I've got for now! I'll be keeping you posted!

Beautiful verses:

"I will praise the Lord who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:7-8

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Land of Milk and Honey

I like to refer to my parents house as the land of milk and honey. It's a neat place of refuge and refreshing. As you can see, they have a beautiful pool that is surrounded by nature. We live in the Woodlands so there are trees everywhere. Also, when I come home we get take-out from restaurants like Cheesecake Factory, Carabbas, PF Changs, you name it! My previous Living Hope roomies can attest that I live on a diet of rice and beans, which I actually love! To me beans are almost as good as chocolate! Anyways, a little take-out Italian or Chinese cuisine is a great treat. :) I didn't grow up in the Woodlands. My parents moved here after I went off to college. It's really begun to grow on me. I've enjoyed having these days to relax and reflect as I transition from the busy life of a teacher to being a missionary in Nicaragua. God is good and I'm so thankful for the sweet blessings!



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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Nicaragua Videos from last summer

I found this video that Adam Williams had made from our summer trip last year. Here's the short version: (3 minutes)

And here's the long version: (7 minutes)

On my upcoming trip to Nicaragua I will be working with an organization called Word of Life so I'll be doing a different type of ministry than what I did last summer. This time I'll be working primarily in the capital city of Managua. I'm excited to share my experiences with you! I'll be leaving one week from tomorrow!

Cute Seth!

Well, I have been spending lots of time with family lately. I'm trying to make the most of the time I have here before heading out to Nicaragua. My mom and I went to Austin and stayed with my sister, her husband, and my new nephew Seth. Here are some pictures of Seth and a link to a Kodak album with more pictures.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

God embraced in the wirlwind

So life has been pretty crazy over the last week or two. I'm in the process of doing large amounts of paperwork for school, getting ready to move, and raising support for my time in Nicaragua. I'm learning a lot in the busyness of it all. I'm learning how to breathe deeply and take in God's love while I try and use every second of my day to complete it's tasks well. I believe it is possible to have a day incredibly full, morning till night, with barely any down time but a refreshing that can come from God alone. I don't always walk in this! My roomies can attest to my times of freaking out over daily tasks that need to be done, but I believe we are to pursue a life of work and rest that mesh together in perfect harmony. Just a few thoughts I wanted to share! :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A mother on Mother's Day!

So, I had one of the most amazing Sundays of my life this past week! My sister, Lisa, had a baby and it was on Mother's Day! :) This is my parent's first grandkid and my first nephew so we're super excited. I had never spent time with a newborn before! We were able to go in right after delivery and meet Seth Timothy Kunitz. I have a link that you can go to in order to see pictures of little Seth! http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=defiv9p.7tjurhh9&x=0&y=-13zurb&localeid=en_US

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Planned Beforehand

So, this blog is my form of communicating with amazing people like you when I'm in Nicaragua. I'm so thankful for the friends and family that are in my life, and I want to stay in communication with you as much as possible. I'm so glad we have technology!

I have three more weeks of school left and then two weeks with the family. Time sure flies by! I'm currently in the support raising process and I'm learning a TON through it. It's such a beautiful thing to partner with people to reach others with the hope of Jesus.

Well, as I'm preparing to leave for my upcoming three month trip, and continuing in prayer about the long-term possibility, I find myself reflecting on life and God's will. I've read some neat things about how God works and what He desires for us.

The following verse expresses some of what I've learned.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men's hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy] Ecclesiastes 3:11 (Amplified)

I love that! We've been given a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy.

So, I'm going through Experiencing God and I read something that echoed this definition. Henry Blackaby says that God places us where He can work through us His purposes that He's had since before the creation of the world.

There is a verses that comes to mind from Ephesians as well. It says "For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. Ephesians 2:10 (Amplified)

I'm encouraged by God's word and excited to see the work that is for me in Nicaragua. These are things He has planned and known before the world was even created!