Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I've been pondering the first chapter of John for the past couple of weeks now and have been impacted by his words. John is an eyewitness of Jesus and one of Jesus's most intimate disciples. He lived life with him for three years. He walked with him, saw him heal people, ate meals with him, and was there when he was crucified on the cross and later saw him resurrected. This is his petition to us to put our faith in Jesus, God in the flesh, so that we might know the same joy he has.

1 John 1

We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning,whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.

This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.

We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.

This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.

So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth.

But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Becoming Amish?

I've run into some problems as I've been searching online for recipes to make. I usually use allrecipes.com because people rate the recipes and I choose the item with the most raters and the highest score. It's been a hit so far everytime!

The only thing is, a lot of the recipes call for things that are hard to get here or if you do find them they are imported and pricey. So, I began to search for Amish recipes. I know the Amish live simple lives and assumed they use simple basic ingredients. I came across a neat site http://www.amishrecipes.net/ and tried a couple of the recipes this past week. They are actually very similar. We enjoyed them a lot. I decided to add some carrots, squash and onions to the casseroles to make it more nutricious.

Amish Chicken Casserole Recipe
8 ounces noodles, cooked
2 cups cooked chickens, cubed
2 cups chicken broth (canned is ok)
1 cup milk
1 can mushrooms
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup margarine
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Melt margarine, then add flour and stir until smooth.
2. Gradually add milk and broth, then seasonings and mushrooms.
3. Combine chicken, cooked noodles, and prepared sauce.
4. Place in an ungreased 9 x 13 inch baking pan and top with Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake at 350� for 35-45 minutes, or until heated thoroughly and top is browned slightly.

Amish Tuna Casserole Recipe
1-8 ounce package noodles
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 - 2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup grated cheese
1-7 ounce can tuna

Cook noodles until tender. Drain and put in baking dish. Add tuna and mix slightly. Use remainder of ingredients to make a white sauce. Melt butter, then mix in flour. Add milk and cheese (optional) and seasonings. Stir until sauce thickens. Pour over noodles and tuna. Bake in over at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

I also made the Amish baked pretzels for us to have as a snack. They came out tasty, but seemed like they were lacking something so I found another recipe that I'm going to try just to compare. The pretzels actually only took 20 minutes prep. time and 15 min. cook time. If the other recipe comes out better I'll post it so you can try it too.

Painting the good news...

Awhile back I had posted about an evangelism workshop that we held for pastors and church leaders. Here are some of the pictures from the activity. Trainings were given on how to share the gospel cleary, how to share using a gospel tract, using an evangecube, and also using illustrated evangelism which is great for large audiences like in a park or public area. A couple pastors shared with us that they realized they were teaching incorrectly and now want to return to their churches to implement what they learned. The pastors were also given materials to take back with them to their churches so they can use them to teach others. We thank God for opportunities like this to help spread the good news of Jesus to many all over Nicaragua.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Summer Camp

We are getting excited because camp is just around the corner! Here's our flyer for camp, except the one that we'll be handing out is in Spanish. We'll be hosting three weeks of summer camp in January and the youth are excited. They are inviting everyone they know and looking for ways to raise funds because it's often hard for the youth to be able to pay for the camp. Bible Club leaders have been washing cars, hosting yard sales, cooking meals and selling them after church, and looking for any possible opportunity to help their youth get to camp.

We, as missionaries, are making checklists of all the facets of camp, working on propaganda, sign-up sheets, t-shirts, training for our camp staff, camp theme, camp menu, games, and the list goes on! It's an exciting time and we trust that this camp will be bearing much fruit in the lives of the youth and that many will come to know Christ .

Please be praying for the preparations, for God's provision of funds for campers, and for many lives to be transformed as a result of camp.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I really enjoy cooking! It's a hobby of mine and I get excited when I'm able to hunt down new recipes and give them a try. Here are a few recipes that I've tried and have stuck with me. We had some friends over for dinner and afterwards they were requesting these recipes.

Milanesas de Pollo (Breaded chicken)

4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 eggs
2 pieces of garlic minced
1 tsp of orgeano
salt to taste

1) Mix the eggs, garlic, oregano and salt together. Place the chicken in the mixture and marinate if time permits. I've done it without marinating and it still tastes great.
2) Coat the chicken in the breadcrumbs
3) Cook in a skillet with a small ammount of olive oil, or you can bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes on one side and 20-30 on the other side. If you bake it you need to drizzle a little olive oil on top for extra moisture and flavor.

Roasted Garlic Zuchini and Tomatoes

2 zucchini cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch half moons
2 cups quartered ripe tomatoes
1/2 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2.Combine the zucchini, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in the prepared baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix well.
3.Place in preheated oven. Roast until vegetables are tender and slightly golden, about 18 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and basil.

Jewish Coffee Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan. Combine the flour, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.
2.In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar, butter and eggs until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Finally, stir in the sour cream and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the nuts, confectioners' sugar and cinnamon.
3.Spread half of the batter into the 9x9 inch pan. Sprinkle a layer of the nut mixture, then spread the remaining batter and top with the rest of the nut mixture. Spread the melted butter over the top.
4.Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, until cake springs back to the touch.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Headed to Sebaco!

Jader, Guillermo, and I are leaving tomorrow for a city called Sebaco that is about 2 hours from here. We'll be in Sebaco for 2 nights and 3 days in order to give a traning to pastors and church leaders. We are partnering with Loren and Karen, other missioanries who many Living Hope people know, in order to train specifically on evangelism and how to convey the message clearly and effectively to others. We are expecting around 60 to 70 people. Please pray for this time and that God would better equip all of us for His work.

The Day of the Dead

November 2nd is the Day of the Dead. It's a day where the great majority of people visit the graves of family and friends. They clean up the graves and decorate them with flowers. The cementeries were full of people and the atmosphere was rather upbeat, not solemne as you might expect. We did evangelism in the morning in one cementery and then in the afternoon in another. Here are the photos so you can see what it's like.

Teens Involved 2009

This past October 31st we held an acitivty called Teens Involved. I absolutely loved it!! It's a day long (12 hours to be exact!) competetion between the youth from the 7 Bible Clubs we work with. They youth compete in preaching, narration of Bible stories, music, presentations of the gospel and more. We had over 170 presentations and we used 9 different rooms within the church building that we sectioned off by presentation category. Each category had two judges. Towards the end of the day we gathered together in the church santuary and each Bible Club presented a group song along with Question and Answer competition based on the Bible. Finally the awards were announced.

The youth put a lot of time and energy into their presentations and many of their God given gifts and talents were discovered. For weeks, even months, preceeding Teens Involved they were practiciing, preaching, memorizing, and acting out the Bible behind the scenes.

We thank God for this activity and how He worked in the lives of the youth through it. Many are excitedly waiting next year's Teens Invovled and thinking about what they are going to present!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Busy Days

Before posting this I looked at the date of my last post and it was almost a month ago! It well reflects the full schedule that we've had over the past few weeks. Just this past week We hosted a major event called Teens Ivolved and we also had a group from Costa Rica visiting. We were able to do lots of outreaches with the groups in schools, hospitals, and cemeteries. I have tons of pictures and need to go through them and pick out the best ones. I'll be doing that over the next day or two and post pictures from each event. Thanks for keeping up with us!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I had a friend request a blog about the grocery store. I'm sure you may be curious to know what the stores are like here and what is the weekly shopping experience for us. So, we took the camera to give you an inside peak. Sadly, upon enetering they told us we weren't allowed to take pictures, but we got away with a few. Also you can click on the pictures and zoom in if you want to see things better.

The store where we buy almost all of our groceries is called Pali. You can see the sign in the above picture. We usually go once a week and right after church because it's right down the road.

Pali doesn't have a/c and they don't spend money on presentation but just put most of the products on the shelf in the boxes or bags they were shipped in. They do this in order to get the best price for the customer, and they do have great prices compared to other stores.

Here I am with a bag of rice in my arms. We eat rice with almost every meal. It's a staple here along with beans.

As I'm rounding the corner you can see that they sell whole cooked chickens and they have a meat and deli counter too. Not too bad, right?

Here is another view and if you look off to the left you can see that they even sell underwear, baby clothes, and household goods. Walmart actually has a share in the Pali stores and you can even find Great Value Walmart products here.

I wish I could have put up a few more pictures, but at least this is a little insight into our routine Sunday grocery shopping experience.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fall Fever!

My internal american calendar says "Yea, it's Fall!" I'm ready for the change in temperature, the leaves falling from the trees, the festive decore and yummy foods, the warmth that you feel in the home during the Fall season, yet Fall doesn't exist here. It's an odd feeling to be in October but experience none of the above, except that we do have warmth in the home. It gets up 95 degrees and humid. :)

I feel Fall driven. Jader likes a squash that you can get here in the grocery store. It's kinda like a butternut squash I guess. I just made creamed squash soup and I separated the seeds and am now toasting them just like pumpkin seeds. Now it beginning to be like Fall. I'm pondering the idea of making a pumpkin pie but they don't sell the pumpkin in a can and I don't know where to find a pumpkin. I think this squash would work though. If I get adventurous and test out the "squash pie" I'll definitely let you know how it goes!

I'm always learning that being a missionary involves being fully with the people. Instead of creating my own bubble of Fall, which really won't ever be the real deal, I can enjoy the Nicaraguan October. This means I can enjoy the last part of the rainly season. We haven't had much rain, but after October we won't have it for 6 months. So, the rain is great! Also, I get to enjoy the tropical fruits like papaya, calala, pineapple and the list goes on! Nothing beats the Nicaraguan cheese! They've got quesillo, fresh cheese, a dry cheese, and something amazing called cuajada! What great blessings are to be found in Nicaragua in October. :)

I'll still may make my squash pie and happily eat my roasted seeds yet I'm going to let my Fall fever calm down and enjoy this Nicaraguan October that God has given me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Santo Tomas

Santo Tomas from a distance.

Jader and I went to Santo Tomas this past weekend and had a wonderful time with the youth there. We were able to attend their Bible Club service on Saturday evening and their two Sunday services as well. Here are some pictures of the church and the activities we attended.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Teachers and traveling

We're excited because this Friday we will be having our first retreat for teachers. We've had many school retreats for jr. high and high school kids and have been able to form solid relationships with a few schools here in Managua. One of the schools that we have worked with a lot asked for a retreat solely for the teachers. I was a teacher for awhile and I would have loved to hear my principal say, "Don't teach class on Friday. Instead go get refreshed by God's word at a retreat. :) So, that's the plan for this upcoming Friday. We'll be at a camp property and start early morning and go until around 3:00. We'll be cooking burgers for their lunch and organizing a few games for them, along with teachings that will help them to grow spiritually. Pray that those who don't know Jesus that would come to know Him and also for them to effectively minister to their students as a result of the retreat.

On Saturday Jader and I will be making another trip to Santo Tomas. We will be visiting a Bible Club there and checking in with the leaders. It's about three hours outside of Managua. We'll be staying the night Saturday night and then returning in the evening on Sunday. Jader will be giving the two Sunday messages and the leader traning as well. Please pray that this time would be an encouragment and blessing to the youth and the church as a whole.

I'll bring my camera and post the pictures once we get back!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Medical Team

We had a very successful week with our medical team. We were able to work at two different sites. One site was a church where we have a Bible Club and we were there for three days, and then the other site is a daughter church of our home church, Calvary Baptist.

We had a dentist, a doctor of internal medicine, and another that served as our pediatrician. We also had a group of Nicaraguan youth who were sharing the gospel to all the patients one on one before they received medical services.

I translated for the internal medicine doctor and was able to learn a lot of medical information, and it was also neat to see how he would pray with the patients or share Jesus with them as he discerned their needs.

Both of the churches that hosted the clinic were incredibly encouraged through the ministry of the gospel and the way we were able to tend to peoples pysical needs as well.

Praise God for the work that He did, for the strength that He gave us, and for the generosity of the team that came and gave so much of themselves and their resources for the Nicaraguan people.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Super Match 2009

A week ago we had an activity called Super Match which was held in a big gym here in Managua and over 550 people attended. We had competitive games between our 7 Bible Clubs and the winning team brought home the trophy. As you can see in the photos the youth really got into the activity! Also, midway through the activity Guillermo shared the gospel, and then youth were able to share one on one with people they invited. I have several photos of Bible Club leaders and youth sharing Jesus with their friends. Check out these photos! :)

Also, yesterday evening we received a group of 10 people from Georgia and Pennsylvania. We'll be hosting a medical clinic with them here in Managua this week. Please be praying for this time. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another great quote!

I last posted a large portion of the book I'm reading and here's another great gem that I came across:

The author quotes a reference which is from Robert Boyd Munger's article "My Heart Christ's Home."

"I discovered what it meant to have a Mary heart toward God. Suddenly my eyes were opened to what true devotion is.

It is not a duty. It is a delight
It is not an exercise in piety. It is a privelege.
And it is not so much a visit as it is a homecoming."

(quoting Munger) "Without question one of the most remarkable Christian doctrines is that Jesus Christ Himself through the presence of the Holy Spirit will actually enter a heart, settle down and be at home there, " Munger says, "[Jesus] came into the darkness of my heart and turned on the light. He built a fire in the cold hearth and banished the chill. He started music where there had been stillness and He filled the emptiness with His own loving, wonderful fellowship."

A few paragraphs later Joanna Weaver writes, "What an amazing thought-that Christ wants to spend quality time with me. That he looks forward to our time together and misses me when I don't show up. Once that message started sinking into my heart, I started looking at my devotional time in a whole new way-not as a ritual, but as a relationship.

And a relationship doesn't just happen. It has to be nurtured, protected, and loved."

I'm personally encouraged to meditate on God's character and His heart for us. I've been enjoying the following verse a lot this week!

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.

Isaiah 43:1 (New Living Translation)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Intimacy with God

I'm reading a book called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. It's about finding intimacy with God in the busyness of life. It's a really good book and well written. I find myself not wanting to put it down. Here is a passage from the book that I really like and wanted to share:

Intimacy with God. What does it mean to you-and how do you achieve it? Does it require sitting on a pillar like Simeon or being buried up to your neck in sand? (doesn't make sense if you haven't read the previous pages in the book) Is it some mystical level of consciousness attainable only by the deeply devout?

Some religions say that it is. According to Hinduism, a religion based on the karma of good works, one lifetime isn't enough for the soul to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Hindu mathematicians calculate it takes 6.8 million rotations through reincarnation for the good and evil in us to finally balance out so that we can receive the ultimate spiritual level of nirvana.

In the Far East, during religious festivals, men often have hooks inserted under the skin of their backs. These hooks are then tied to wagonloads of rocks, which the men drag through the streets, hoping to obtain forgiveness for their sins. In certain areas of Mexico, the devout crawl miles on their knees in pilgrimage.

All over the World, people go to unimaginable lengths to find God-which is sad when you consider the unmaginable lengths God has already gone to find us.

We don't need millions of lifetimes in order to be pure enough to see God. We don't need to stick hooks in our back or tear the flesh off our knees in order to earn God's favor.

All we really need is Jesus. For he is all the evidence we need. The Father actually wants us close and is willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure it happens.

It's hard to imagine the Creator of the universe wanting to know us. We feel so unworthy. That's why many of us persist in thinking that we must earn our way to heaven, that only the superspiritual can really know God. Burdened with the weight of our own spirituality, we struggle beneath a load of self-imposed obligations: "I have to do this..." or "I can't really know God until I do that..." We can spend so much of our lives getting ready to know God or backing away out of fear of displeasing God that we never get around to enjoying the intimacy that Jesus came to provide.

And yet intimacy with God was indeed the very point of Jesus' coming and of his dying. "You who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ," Paul writes in Ephesians 2:13. For when Jesus died, his cross bridged the great chasm of sin that separated us from God. With his last breath, Jesus blew aside the curtain that had kept sinful humans from touching a holy God. New we could come into God's very presence, clean and approved, not by our works, but by his grace. Jesus "destroyed the barier, the diving wall of hostility" (verse 14) that had separated humanity from God.

When we couldn't reach up to heaven, heaven come down to us and welcomed us into intimacy through the doorway of Jesus Christ.

That is the good news of the gospel.

The way has been made. The price has been paid. All we need to do it come.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Medical Clinic

The medical clinic was a big success! We were sad to see it end. I have some more photos to share, but these are the first bunch. I just realized that I'm not in any of them because I was taking all the pictures! There are some of me in the second bunch. I know my family likes to see me in the pictures! I'll get the statistics from Jader as to how many patients we saw and also how many responded to the gospel. Also we had an amazing week last week with another American team from Florida. I don't have much time to post but will be sharing more details soon! Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Brigada Medica

Jader and I are in San Marcoa, a little outside of Managua, with a group of 27 gringos. :) We're here with a medical team consisting of two doctors, a dentist, and eye doctor. They had over 160 appointments today and every one of the patients were able to hear the gospel presented to them in one-on-one while they were waiting. There is much need here and it's great to see God use His people to be his hands, and feet to meet those needs. Please be praying for this work. We'll be continuing the clinic up through Thursday. Okay, I'm going to get some rest because it's been a long day!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

More Pictures!

Here are some pictures from the Dynamic Youth Bible Conference

and here are some pictures from a 3 day retreat we had awhile back

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A wonderful time!

The Dynamic Youth Bible Conference went wonderfully. Thank you to those of you who were praying for the event. We had 102 youth present and 5 of them put their faith in Christ for their salvataion. Many others made decisions to committ themselves fully to God's work with their hopes set on working as missionaries, pastors, etc. The theme of the conference was Learn, Change, Act and it covered the lives of different Bible characters like Daniel, David, Nehemiah, Paul, along with others. We were encouarged to learn from them lives of faith and follow in their footsteps. It was geared towards youth but even us missionaries left feeling encouraged to apply these truths to our lives.

This past Friday we had a school retreat which I will write more about in my next post. Right now Jader and I are headed out to a place called Juigalpa. I will take pictures and also post pictures from the Conference and recent retreat. Thanks for keeping in touch and for thinking of us!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dinamica Juvenil

Today is the first day of a three day Bible Conference called Dinamica Juvenil. It means Dynamic Youth in english. We're in a place called Skylark about an hour outside of Managua. We have 109 people total including missionaries and we're excited to be together and learning more from the Word. Please be praying for all the youth here and for us missionaries as well! :) That God would speak to our hearts and enable us to live more wholly for Him. The conference will end on Saturday and I plan to post many pictures!!! :) Thanks for reading and keeping up with us here in Nicaragua!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


These pictures are from a while back. We had a soccer marathon and I put up a few pictures, but Mayra gave me hers and they really capture the whole event from start to finish!

We had a girls slumber party with our Bible Club leaders. Here's a glimpse of the fun we were having!!!

Busy Busy

I've been out of the blogosphere for quite some time now. We've had three very full weeks of ministry to local schools. I'm behind on emails, blogging, and the house is just now getting back into order! :) Sometimes in our minsitry there are weeks of mucy activity and then we have slower weeks of normal routine.

Here's what we did the past three weeks...The first of the three weeks we had a mini camp which lasted three days and two nights with Nejapa Christian Academy at a retreat center called Skylark.

The following week we had an American team come to help out and we hosted three all day youth retreats for a school called Boanerjes. We had a little over 200 youth during those three days. It was so neat to see God moving in their lives.

Lastly, this past week we had a retreat on Wednesday where over 150 youth attended and we had 25 youth volunteers working as "retreat staff." It's been wonderful to participate in these activities and get to know the youth. Also it's a great blessing to serve alongside others with like hearts as we plan and carry out these activities.

The youth learned what the Bible says about salvation through Christ, relationships between parents and children, godly frienships and sex. Many made important life decisions in response to what they learned. God is at work in the lives of Nicaraguan youth and I'm so thankful to be a part of it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Not to us

Word of Life held three weeks of summer camp here in Nicaragua this past January. (summer here is in January) Our main ministry has been here in Managua, the capital, where we partner with different local churches. Well, Jader was able to get in touch with a pastor from a place called Santo Tomas and he invited the church's youth to the summer camp. They ended up bringing a large group of people from their church. They live three hours outside of Managua where it's more rural.

The group left camp as transformed people and enthusiastic for more. They asked to have a Word of Life Bible Club in their church. After consideration, it was decided to go ahead with the Club even though they are three hours outside of Managua. We are really involved with our clubs and the lives our the youth so it's a little different than what we've been doing but looked like an open door.

Several months have passed by since they received their Bible Club materials and the group of leaders have driven to Managua twice for large group trainings and then also for the football marathan. Apart from that we haven't had much personal contact with these leaders at all.

We traveled to Santo Toma for the first time, Jader, myself, and the Aguilar family, this past weekend and we were sweetly suprised by our time with the leaders. During a time of sharing they began to talk about how their WOL Quiet Time book has transformed their relationship with God. They have begun doing one on one discipleship times and one youth is discipling 6 others! Also, they have been evangelizing with friends and house to house. They recently baptized 12 people in a river.

They were sharing about how much Word of Life and the Bible club program has changed their lives and Guillermo, the Director of WOL Nicarauga, laughs and says to them (paraphrased) "Do you realize that this is one of the first times we've met in a personal setting? What has happened is that you guys personally made a decision to give God everything. Now you are reading His word everyday and desiring to live it out. We, WOL missionaries, haven't done a thing but, it's God doing a work in you all."

It was so clear, the work of God in the lives of these youth. Their desire to love Him and express His love to others was strongly evident, and it was so encouraging to see God at work in such a way that we clearly had nothing to do with it.

I was telling Jader how honored I feel to be able to participate in what God is doing and in this case more than anything, just be a spectator and joyfully thank Him for how He works in the lives of humans because He loves us and want to be known and worshiped.

I'll keep you updated on the Santo Tomas happenings and post pictures of Santo Tomas youth soon! Thanks for reading and praying!

Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
but to your name goes all the glory
for your unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalm 115:1

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Path of the Wise

I really enjoy the book of Proverbs! I like how it's so practical. Jader and I read a chapter of Proverbs every night and talk about it together. It's great because there are 31 Proverbs and 30 to 31 days in every month so we read the proverb according to the day's date. Tonight we'll be reading Proverbs 27. There are two common paths that God lays out in the book of Proverbs. The path of the wise and the path of the fool. Here's "today's" proverb if you'd like to check it out!

Proverbs 27
1 Don’t brag about tomorrow,
since you don’t know what the day will bring.

2 Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth—
a stranger, not your own lips.

3 A stone is heavy and sand is weighty,
but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier.

4 Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood,
but jealousy is even more dangerous.

5 An open rebuke
is better than hidden love!

6 Wounds from a sincere friend
are better than many kisses from an enemy.

7 A person who is full refuses honey,
but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.

8 A person who strays from home
is like a bird that strays from its nest.

9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend
is as sweet as perfume and incense.

10 Never abandon a friend—
either yours or your father’s.
When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance.
It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.

11 Be wise, my child,[a] and make my heart glad.
Then I will be able to answer my critics.

12 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

13 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt.
Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.[b]

14 A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning
will be taken as a curse!

15 A quarrelsome wife is as annoying
as constant dripping on a rainy day.
16 Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind
or trying to hold something with greased hands.

17 As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.

18 As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit,
so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.

19 As a face is reflected in water,
so the heart reflects the real person.

20 Just as Death and Destruction[c] are never satisfied,
so human desire is never satisfied.

21 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
but a person is tested by being praised.[d]

22 You cannot separate fools from their foolishness,
even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.

23 Know the state of your flocks,
and put your heart into caring for your herds,
24 for riches don’t last forever,
and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.
25 After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears
and the mountain grasses are gathered in,
26 your sheep will provide wool for clothing,
and your goats will provide the price of a field.
27 And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself,
your family, and your servant girls.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

God's Table

Jader and I had been looking for a table for quite sometime. We would eat while sitting in folding chairs and were becoming experts at avoiding food spillage in our laps. We even took a day off of work (we have a work schedule with specific hours) in order to look for a table. We began to see that even though we are in a developing country things can be expensive. The cheapest table we could find was for $120 and it was small and not very good quality. We found this table at the Nicaraguan market called the Oriental where you find the best deals around. The other tables in department stores ranged from $300 to $600 and it was not in our "table budget." So, that night after looking and not feeling led in any specific direction Jader said "Julie, we just really need to pray." So, we took some time to pray together.

The following day, in the evening, we were returning from a Bible Club and Karen, a Baptist missionary who many of you may know, called Jader on his cell. She said, "Hey, myself and some others are having a garage sale here at the mission house and there's a nice table here. You should come check it out." We praised the Lord for this opportunity and headed over in faith feeling like this was from Him. We arrived and we saw a beautiful solid wood table with a glass center and it was handcrafted in Masatepe, a place known for making good furniture. I've heard that these table can be up to $600. Well, a missionary decided to sell it to us for $75!!!! Yes, we were so excited! We loaded it up in Karen's big truck and brought it back to the house. Upon arriving to our home we were greeted by Jader's family. His aunt, uncle, and cousins. There were 7 of them in all. We had just enough chairs for them all to sit in with our table chairs and our folding chairs and just enough oatmeal cookie bars for each to have one. It was a blessing to see the Lord provide the table and then follow it up with an opportunity to put it to good use for hospitality. Also the following week Jader and I began our discipleships with various youth and the table came to us just in time to be able to invite our visitors to sit down, eat a bite, and feel at home.

Apartment pictures

It's taken some time, but our apartment is fixed up and here's what it looks like! :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Here are some pictures from our recent Soccer Maraton

Following the marathon Jader and I hosted a group of Americans that came from Costa Rica. Here are some pics from that time as well.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Overwhelmed by goodness

I love what Jader and I do! It's so rewarding to be right where God wants you to be and to be able to do the specific work that He has for you. It's rewarding and fulfilling, yet that doesn't always means it's going to be super easy, but the rewarding and fulfilling part outweighs all other trials or challenges. I just love it.

Apart from working with different Bible Clubs in various churches in Managua we also disciple the club leaders. This is always done one on one and usually in Jader and I's home. I have four girls that I currently meet with and it's so neat to get to know each one personally and see their talents, desires and love for God worked out in their lives. They begun to open up with me and seek help in specific areas of their lives desiring to know what God's word says concerning that issue and how to practically walk out their faith.

Bible Clubs and discipleships are part of what we do along with big outreach events. We just had a football marathon where youth invited friends and especially those who haven't heard the gospel. We had around 350 people attend and matches going on all day. There was a group of youth assigned to evangelism and they shared one on one with different people about Jesus and the director of Word of Life shared mid-day and there were at least 50 decisions for Christ. I have pictures that I will be posting probably Friday or sometime this weekend.

Today we received a group of American girls, 11 in all, who came from Costa Rica because their visas had run out and they needed to renew them by leaving the country. They have been studying Spanish in Costa Rica with a ministry called Score. We went to an orphange and spent time with the kids and then in the afternoon we were going to share with women in a women's hospital but due to the swine flu we could not enter. We decided to go to a place where there are people who are protesting pasivly due to pesticide used on bananas when they were working on a banana plantation. They are hoping for compensation from the government and are living right outside the National Assembly. They've been there for two years living in plastic huts and sleeping in hammocks. Walking among these protestors and sharing with them really makes one think about life.

Well, I must get going. Jader and I will be taking the group siteseeing tomorrow. We're going to a place called Granada, which I've been to many times and enjoy a lot. It's one of the most turistic places here in Nicaragua. I plan to take pictures and post those as well. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How life is different

Life is different here in Nicaragua in many different aspects. Here are a few:

-Fruit falls from the sky
Well not exactly, but we have a mango tree outside our house and it has a ton of mangos! They fall all the time. The first time I heard a mango fall on our roof I thought it was a gun shot. (We live next to the guard's quarters of a big house and the guards walk around with big guns proctecting the property.) I thought a gun went off and looked at Jader. He said, that's just a mango! :) We laughed! We also have a papaya tree that grows delicious papayas!
-Our clothes hang outside
Almost no one in Nicaragua has a dryer or a washer, but we were able to buy a washer through a friend. Thankgoodness! So, after washing the clothes I put them out to dry on the wire clothes line that hangs outside our apartment. There is a certain way to hang the clothes. Jader and I have had many laughs as he sees my hanging job and shows me the Nica way to hang the clothes. I think I've got it now!
-I cook on a gas stove
I guess many people in the U.S. use gas stoves, but this was something new for me. We have a little tank connected to the stove and whenever the gas runs out we go to a place nearby and they give us a new tank. I personally like the gas stove because I feel like it heats up faster and is easier to control the ammount of heat I want to use.
-Watch out for melting
It gets pretty hot here and about 1% of all people have a/c. It may even be less. I had chocolate sitting out and it melts due to the heat. It's been getting up to 99 degrees here during the middle of the day. We don't have a hot water tap here in the house, only a cold water one, but during these times of heat the water comes out hot. It's weird!!!
-Trips to the market
Every Monday Jader and I do our grocery shopping for the upcoming week. We go to an outside market where it's dusty and there are lots of people. They have baskets full of fresh produce right off their farms. We buy veggies and a variety of fruits. (often pineapple, which is very abundant here) I love interacting with the people and seeing what their lives are like. The market place it great!
-No rain to be seen
It's hasn't rained here for at least four months, maybe longer. We're in the dry season and there is lots of dust! Sweeping is a daily part of life here. Most people mop almost daily too, but I haven't gone that far yet! I think I'm becoming quite a fast sweeper with all the good practice!

This is part of our daily life here. God has placed us here with a purpose and I love the idea of living with the Nicaraguan people (I literally do live with one of them) :) and getting a feel for what they experience.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Soup Nica Style

Jader and I love soup! We eat soup all the time. We ate soup today and we'll most likely eat soup tomorrow. It's just so yummy! Even if it's 90 degrees (and we don't have a/c) we still eat soup! There are two very frequently eaten nicaraguan soups that I'd like to share with you.

Sopa de Queso (cheese soup)

This soup is eaten mostly during lent because it doesn't have any meat in it. You'll find many people eating this soup especially on Wednesday and Friday because those are the days that Catholics here who practice lent don't eat meat. My photo captions explain how to make it. It's quite simple, but you can't find corn masa in the states like you can here. The closest thing to it is Maseca (you can buy at HEB)but it still can't compare to the real deal.

Soup #2
Sopa de albondigas (Meatball soup)

This soup has lots of veggies and a chicken broth. The unique thing about this soup is that is has mint in it along with sour orange juice and chicken corn balls. Que rico! (how yummy!) Here are some photos of the soup. Jader is making the chicken balls. What a great hubby!

So, I celebrated my 27th birthday on March 26th and had a wonderful time. Jader suprised me and took me to a Spanish Restaurant. He heard me mention a while back that I love Spanish food, and he treated me to a neat meal. Also, Mayra made a chocolate cake for me and another friend named Rigna made a beautiful cake with flowers. I enjoy eating cake. I think we ate cake everyday for a whole week following my birthday. :) Here are some photos...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Living Hope Spring Break

Well, I finally went through my Spring Break pictures and want to share them with you. We spent a week in a town right outside of Chinandega. It's about 3 hours outside of Managua. We partnered up with a local Nicaraguan pastor and his church and worked together to reach out to an area where his church is planning to expand. We spent the first day just walking the area and praying and the other days we went door to door handing out the book of Luke and inviting people to see the Jesus film in an open outdoor area. Several people put their faith in Christ during the week. I really enjoyed a moment where I was able to pray with a mom and her daughter to accept Christ. As I explained that Christ died for our sins and offers forgiveness and a new life, an eternal life with God forever they were wide eyed and hungry to listen. She said no one had ever told her this before. I gave her a bookmark with clear scriptures about what I was sharing and a new testament because she didn't have one. Then she and her daughter said they wanted to put their faith in Christ for their forgiveness of sin, salvation, and to have the eternal life He offers. It's beautiful to be a messenger. Many people have never heard. It's that simple. If they haven't heard, then we should tell them. God, help us to be bold witnesses of your grace and truth.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Lanzamientos are what we do once a year in all our Bible Clubs. We work with youth and college age kids so our program coincides with their school year. Their school year is just beginning and so the Clubs do a big kick-off activity to start their ministry year with a bang. It's hard to explain exactly what a lanzamiento is so I'm just going to post some pictures of lanzamientos in three different Clubs that Jader and I attended. These youth get really creative when their plan their lanzamientos!!!

Lanzamiento de Tabernaculo

Lanzamiento de Elim

Lanzamiento de Encuentro con Cristo

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nica Food

I have a great love for Nicaraguan food! I'd like to share with you what we often eat here in Nicaragua. It's one of my favorite meals. It's called gallo pinto. It's basically beans and rice but you cook the beans the old fashioned way and not straight out of the can. Also you add garlic, onion, bell pepper, and some seasoning. Jader and I eat it several times a week. Often for breakfast, but really any time of the day is great.

Also something very Nicaraguan are plantains. They are really big bananas that you fry. If they are ripe they come out really sweet and if they are really green they come out more like a potato.

I also added a picture of one of my favorite things. It's cheese that you cook in a pan. It's called queso ahumado and it's one of the best foods on the planet. We buy it on the street outside our grocery store. They have a huge block of it and they cut off chunks and sell it to you just like that. Most Nicas fry their cheese but I usually put a little Pam and it's enough. I try to be healthy if at all possible.

Jader and I will be looking around for furniture tomorrow. As you can see he's sitting in a folding chair. :) But thankgoodness we have those folding chairs and they are actually quite comfy.

Well, as time goes by I will continue to share with you some of the foods we eat over here in Nicaragua. Yum!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wedding Photos!!!!

I've been wanting to share these for a long time and now they are up and ready to view. Here's a slideshow of our wedding! It was at a place called the Kyle House in Bryan, TX and we kept the wedding pretty small. We had around 85 to 90 guests. My pastor Butch from Living Hope married us and the Director of Word of Life, Guillermo Aguilar, also had a time of sharing during the ceremony. The background music was classical guitar and my aunt sang Amazing Grace (Chris Tomlin version) and Mayra and Andrea Aguilar sang a bilingual version of Great is Thy Faithfulness. It was a bilingual wedding. We actually did our vows in Spanish! :) I hope you feel like you are there as you view the photos!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Apartment pictures

I have not disappeared off the face of the earth. Im sure you may think that! We have been busy situating ourselves into our apartment along with doing a week of outreach with my home church Living Hope. I want to share with you all some photos of our apartment before the cleaning and set-up. Some came out a bit blurry because the camera can be really sensitive and Jader is not used to it. But, you will be able to get an idea of what the place is like. I have the wedding pics to share but I will have to wait until I can use my personal laptop which I dont have access to right now. Anyways, I hope you enjoy these pictures and I will be posting wedding and Living Hope Outreach pictures soon. Enjoy!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

A new life together

Jader and I have been married for 26 days now and we are loving married life!!! I'll be posting wedding pictures soon along with apartment photos. We arrived to Nicaragua one week ago and are getting settled in to our new home. I look forward to sharing more with you shortly!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Time has passed!

I can't believe that it's the 13th of February and I'm getting married tommorrow! I have left a big gap on my blog between the time we had camp in Nicaragua and today. I returned to the states a little over a week ago and have been very busy with wedding preparations and enjoying this time here with my family. I have much to tell. Many gaps to fill in regarding all the amazing things God did during our three weeks of camp, more pictures to share, and some to share about the neat blessings I've experienced over the past week or so of wedding prepration. Next time I write I'll be married!!! :) It will probably be post honeymoon and I'll have some wedding photos to share! Anyways, I've had a few people remind me that I haven't written on my blog and I'm encouraged to keep writing. I believe I have some loyal readers out there! :) Thanks for keeping in touch!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Camp Photos

Here are some more photos of our first week of camp. I hope to be able to go back and add captions and explain the activities that are going we, but I'm short on time at the moment. I won't have internet access during the week but look forward to updating next weekend! Please pray for this week of camp! We have over 93 campers! God moved beautifully in the hearts of many youth last week and we are expectant for all that He is going to do!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Camp Photos

Here are a few pictures from camp! I hope you enjoy seeing a little of what we are doing. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

God at work

The Aguilar house if full of people! :) Last night we had 21 people in all sleeping here. Camp starts tomorrow and we are super excited! Tonight is our last night here at the Aguilar house and then we'll be in cabins.

I'm super excited to share with you all some photos but I won't be able to upload them until later this evening. We've built a decorated platform and we have a camp theme. The theme has an Indiana Jones feel to it and the slogan is "Start the adventure."

The group of 9 that came from Word of Life Mexico has been a huge blessing and have contributed their much needed talents and experiences. We couldn't have prepared the platform, decorations, games, etc. with the same quality without their help. Also their love for God is contagious and their enthusiasm to work full of joy sets such an example.

We are often low on sleep, under pressure to finish things on time, and taking few breaks, but it's such a time of growth and depending on God for strength and the challenge to always love your brother no matter how tired you are or how much pressure you are under. I must say that the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control have been evident in the lives of those around me and when there are 21 people in a house that's a miraculous thing. :)

Well, I hope to post some pictures this evening and let you see some of what we are doing! Please pray for these weeks of camp and that many would put their faith in Jesus.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Fun Begins

We've been planning, praying, and preparing for camp for several months now and we have one week until the first day of camp. Actually it feels like camp begins today because we have 9 people who work with Word of Life Mexico that will be arriving today to stay in the Aguilar house with us. We have 16 people total staying in the house for the next week and for every weekend in January. We have a planned food menu for this week and made out a shopping list. It's incredible how much food it takes to feed 16 people. So, camp offically begins in a week but this week it's Camp Aguilar at the Aguilar home.

We've been spending our time lately visiting churches and promoting the three weeks of camp. Many youth have been signing up. Also we've had weekly leadership training for the counselors and camp staff. Jader is in charge of the food for camp and making all the purchases along with leading the kitchen and maintenance crew. I help him with alot of that stuff too. We've been visiting different food and vegetable markets to find the best prices. The supermarkets have extremely high prices compared to what you find in the street markets here. Managua has the biggest market in all of central america called the Oriental. We've made several trips there to find stuff for camp.

Apart from camp preparations we've been looking for an apartment. We've actually found one we like that's near the Aguilars and Loren and Karen who are missionaries with the IMB. The man who rents the apartments is on vacation until the 8th but we have his cell number and hope to get in touch with him soon. There is only one apartment available for the size and price range we are looking for. It's two bedroom and has a large living room area. We have several groups visiting and this year and would like an extra room for guests along with space to put small mattresses if we need to have a house full of guests. :) We would appreciate your prayers for God's guidance in where to live. We don't have a lot of time to look around because camp starts soon and then we leave for the states right after camp to get married!! :)

I'd like to mention a huge blessing that a had mentioned before but it gets even better. Jader and I were able to buy several large applicances and a bed for an incredible price from a young married couple that moved back to the states. Well they left us with not only what we bought but several extra sheets, towels, kitchen knives, plates, silverware, hangers (which are expensive here), waste baskets, lots of clothes that are from nice stores in the U.S. and just my size, along with much more. We are encouraged by seeing God's provision in such a tangible way.

We'll there is much to do as far as cleaning and preparing the house for the people that will arrive today. Thank you for reading and keeping in touch!

Please be praying that the camps are at full capacity and that the price of the camp would not be an obstacle for the Nicaraguan youth. Also pray for God to be working in hearts and lives in a big way and that many would understand that Jesus died on the cross for them and He offers them new and eternal life.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Camp Property

Here are some photos of the property where we will be holding camp. We will have three weeks of camp with around 100 campers per week and 30-40 camp staff. It's a beautiful new property constructed by Baptists from the U.S.