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.