It is a joy to be back here in the beautiful country of Nicaragua.  We have reconnected with friends from previous trips, and are meeting some new wonderful people as well.

Yesterday was a day of preparation, but today we jumped into the work we will be doing here over the next week and a half.  After breakfast at our hotel, our driver picked us up at 8:00am and we headed over to the worksite.  This is the same site that we were at last year, and it is about 30-40 minutes from the hotel.  The site is a piece of land where the national church of BIC Nicaragua will be building a facility for annual meetings, retreats, and pastoral training.  It will be very useful to them and is part of their long term vision.

The building hasn’t started yet.  They are in the process of getting permits.  Last year our team helped with clearing the land (moving a lot of dirt by hand!)  This year the first thing they want done is to build a large shed to keep the tools and supplies that will be used during this construction project.  So this morning the guys worked at digging holes for the main posts and started mixing cement to be used in them.

There is talk of taking down a tree tomorrow to create more space.  That could make for some interesting photos!

The other main ministry we are doing here is a children’s program.  We will be doing the program on 6 afternoons at 6 different churches.  On a practical level it means that we only needed to prepare one lesson plan and do it 6 times!  However, it also means that we get to encourage and interact with many more children and churches.  It was estimated that we would have about 30 children at each church, but today there were about 45 children plus additional teenagers and parents.  Most of these churches are in rural areas and we have the chance to see more of the country as we drive.

The program was to start at 4:00.  We arrived at 3:30 and many of the children were already there and ready.  Sherry has put together a really great program for the kids, and I’ll let her tell you more about it in a later post.  The kids were quite engaged and I think the message came through really clearly.

In the mornings at the worksite while the guys are doing the manual labour, we are prepping for the afternoon, cutting lots of construction paper for the craft and generally just getting ourselves ready.  In the evenings we put together school kits that we hand out to the kids at the end of the program each day.  We are expecting more than 200 kids in total so it is a lot of kits to put together!  Thankfully Sherry is a very organized person and has put together a great assembly line in her room.

This really is a beautiful country with beautiful people.  I am always struck by the love and hospitality that is shown to us.  As well, I am inspired by their faith in God and their dedication and vision to continue to plant churches and spread the truth and love of Jesus in new areas.  It is hard to accurately express how inspiring this is.

We are trusting God both for safety and that God will lead in each aspect of this trip.  Thank you for your prayers!