Hello from Melanie Wigg here in the sunny south! We have had a great day today, and a very full one. We had breakfast this morning at 7:00 at our hotel and then headed out before 8. Our first stop was to a supplies store to buy tools for the men – shovels, pickaxes, etc. Their job during these two weeks is to tear down a building on the worksite, and then move the land that it sits on (several feet deep) to level the land. The men had an amazing day. They tore down the entire building, starting with the metal roof, then the wooden walls and supports, and finally the concrete walls. It was impressive to see how fast it came down. The wood and metal will be saved by the church for future use.

Brooklyn and I and our two translators (Elsy and Enielka) stayed at the worksite all morning and prepped for the children’s program that we were doing in the afternoon. It was a lovely sunny morning with a breeze, and even some shade, which we were thankful for.

A church used to meet at this site, but now meets in homes. For lunch we went to the home of a woman who is involved with this church. She lives right beside the worksite. The woman pastor of the church made a lovely lunch for us – chicken, plantain, and rice and beans of course. We all sat around the front porch and enjoyed the food and their great hospitality. The people here are very generous and welcoming.

After lunch most of the guys headed back to work, while Trevor and Karl drove us four women to the church where we would be doing the kids program. Edgar Cordoba (the president of the BIC Nicaraguan church) had told us that this was a newer church plant which met in a home, as it doesn’t have its own building yet. So we weren’t sure what to expect. After a long drive there on some very bumpy, dirt roads we arrived. All of the children were waiting for us, sitting along the front porch quietly and expectantly. We had a great time with them, doing songs and a Bible story, a little puppet show, and a craft (making lion masks) that they really got into. We will be back at that church tomorrow afternoon as well, and are excited to give them gift bags of the supplies that you at Westheights so generously donated. They will be getting bear puppets as well, Westheights Kids! And one of the soccer balls that you signed!

We headed back to the worksite to pick up the guys, a quick stop at Subway for dinner on the go, a half hour to clean up at the hotel, and then off to church! When we got there the music was going – loud and energetic and lots of clapping. We loved it. Partway through the service, the pastor introduced our team to the congregation and then asked if we had a song prepared to share. We didn’t of course, but we decided we could sing Open the Eyes of My Heart. So we all went up to the front and did that, and the musicians there played along with us. It worked out great, and we learned another lesson in “be ready for anything”! Todd preached a sermon on needing God to open our spiritual eyes in order to be led by Him, and Trevor translated. Thankfully they knew they would be doing the sermon before we went, so they were prepared. This church was another one that we had not been to before. There are many BIC churches here, and it is a great experience to visit them and see both their similarities and differences.

While yesterday felt like a day of preparation, today felt like a great start of the ministry we came here to do. It was a very full day and everyone is tired, but in great spirits. We are looking forward to lots more great experiences to come!