Vacation Bible School In Tejarcillos, Los Guido, and La Carpio

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Back In Costa Rica

During my time serving in Costa Rica, I had the opportunity to meet up with a team in Nicaragua from Community Bible Church (my home church). We had the opportunity to partner with Pastor Santiago who I met during the summer of 2010 in Costa Rica while I was visiting. It was a great privilege to serve alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ of Nicaragua and the indigenous Misquito people, despite language barriers and cultural differences. I would encourage you to check out the GO 2011 Nicaragua link for pictures and posts as individuals from the team shared their personal experience of what God did in and through them over the course of the 10 days.

After an awesome experience in Nicaragua I have made it back to Costa Rica in one piece with just a few more days until I leave for the States. Nevertheless, when I returned to Costa Rica I hit the ground running after a days rest.

After settliing back in Friday, we did a few things around the mission house to prepare for the garage sale the New Life Church of Los Guido held yesterday (Saturday) at La Finca. There must have been 15 large trash bags full of shoes, clothes, and other miscellaneous items that visiting teams have donated or left behind over the last few months. In addition, there were also 5+ storage bins packed with various items to be sold. Starting at 9:00 a.m., people showed up at 7:30 a.m. to beet the rush and get the best deals they could. After everything was set up we let a limited amount of people in at a time to avoid those anxious shoppers from getting too excited. It reminded me of people in Wal-Mart... the day after Thanksgiving. They rushed in and gathered shoes and clothing items in two arms to disperse to a remote portion of the small building and decide what they actually wanted to purchase. It was a great success and a different garage sale experience than that which I have seen.

Scott and Teresa Wall, a couple visiting from the New Spring Church of South Carolina, also did a fantastic job helping out arounnd the Finca. Scott helped install a permanent pinata system with a pully in the new Multiuse building, while Teresa cut hair for those interested during the garage sale. They both did a great job!

As the day progressed, Bible Club also took place. This time of fellowship amongst the youth consisted of games, a giant slip n' slide, candy, God's Word, a raffle, and a scavenger hunt. All in all it was another busy day in Los Guido.

Today we celebrate the aniversary of the New Life Church of Los Guido. Check back for some pictures!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Nicaragua: Our Last Day In Puerto Cabezas

September 6, 2011

Today the GO Nicaragua team was able to continue what we started yesterday; digging trenches for what will soon be the walls of a local church here in Puerto Cabezas. This was no easy task because the ground is clay and we struck water only a foot and half down but through the strength of the Holy Spirit and mutual encouragement (and perhaps a little help from hard working locals) we were able to finish our task. We were also able to install lighting and a tarp which is used as a temporary wall.

This trip has been such a blessing to us missionaries being able to serve God and share his love with the people of Puerto Cabezas and Daukra as well as a blessing to the people who we were able to serve. I know that I, as well as everyone else on this trip, consider being able to go on this trip a great privilege. God has watched over us and kept us from sickness and injury. It is with reluctant hearts that we leave Nicaragua in two days because we all wish we could stay and continue the work here. There is still much work that needs to be done at the church here and that’s why we are planning to return here next year! Please be praying for a safe trip home for all of us and for our trip next year.

By: Benson Deluca

Nicaragua:Time to Get Dirty

September 5, 2011

Today we took a break from running around, playing games, yelling, trying to get 100+ kids to be quite for 5 minutes to listen to the story of David & Goliath, and making balloon animals to do some good old manual labor. At Santiago’s church, we began work on digging to lay a new foundation for an expanded version of the existing church which we will continue to work on tomorrow, installed new wiring and lights inside the church, patched holes in the roof, and installed a new tarp to protect the church from the constant rain. Enjoy some photos thanks to Elisenda Castro.

Nicaragua: One God

September 5, 2011

Wow… What a way to spend a Sunday here in Nicaragua. The day started off with an early morning breakfast as usual, and after breakfast the team hopped in the back of a pick-up truck and headed to our local pastor’s church (El Buen Pastor), and also the home of our work project for tomorrow. Upon arrival we were greeted by the congregation of the church. As we were worshiping, you could definitely feel the undeniable presence of the Lord in the room.

As the service continued, the children were asked to exit the church where they were met by a couple members of the team, who had prepared a simple craft for them earlier. The craft consisted of a pipe cleaner and four beads. The kids were asked to assemble a cross out of the pipe cleaner and then explain what the cross meant to them. As the service ended were asked to join or local pastor (Santiago) on a visit to his house for lunch.

When lunch ended we hurried back to the hotel, where we grabbed some toys and candy for the VBS (Vacation Bible School) we had planned at another church a couple miles up the road. To our surprise, some children were waiting patiently inside the church for our arrival so we took to the streets to gather more kids, which was a success. As in past VBS’s, we played games, passed out a ton of candy, and each child made a “salvation” bracelet.

Before the night ended we had one more stop on our agenda. While in Daukra we met a local pastor from here in Puerto Cabezas, by the name of Brandon. He had invited us to his church several times, and tonight was our opportunity to visit.

Due to several power outages, the service continued most of the time in candlelight, which was an awesome experience. Today as well as the last couple of days has definitely been an eye opening experience for the team. We have had the opportunity to partner and worship with many churches, each having their own differences, from buildings, worship, even languages. But one message has remained consistent throughout: we all serve, worship, and praise ONE GOD.

By: The Rays

Nicaragua: El Buen Pastor

September 3, 2011

This morning we had the opportunity to host a VBS at El Buen Pastor, Santiago’s home church, in Puerto Cabezas. On our way there we walked through the local community and gave candy to the kids as an invitation to come to VBS. From talking to some of the families and inviting kids, we felt their strong sense of community. When we arrived, they welcomed us and led worship in Spanish. It was amazing to see how thrilled these kids were just to be at church and to be a part of what we were doing. The children were even so willing to go invite their friends to come to VBS that they actually ran out back into the “barrio” and returned with many friends. During VBS, we had a craft where they learned about Salvation through Jesus Christ and acted out the Bible story of David and Goliath. Our little volunteer from the audience “David” played the roll perfectly, hitting Josh (Goliath) right in the forehead. We all thought that was hilarious; not only bringing laughter throughout the room but also a good reenactment of the story. The rest of the day was spent getting things ready for Sunday School tomorrow, and buying materials for the work project that we will be starting on Monday.

We will have the opportunity to give back a small amount for all that Santiago has done for us, by coming alongside him and helping the continual construction of El Buen Pastor. As of now, the church building is a frame with metal roofing. Despite the conditions of the actual physical church, the church body is abundant and growing in God. Our work project will include various tasks: digging trenches for the new foundation, cocking the holes in the roof, putting up a new tarp serving as a wall, and helping with the electricity.

by: Katie Maria Hade & Aubrey Greenler

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Nicaragua: Back In Puerto Cabezas...Con Fabio

It was a great experience and opportunity to serve a God that goes beyond language barriers and cultural differences as we visited the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua where the indigenous Moskito people of the Dakura community live.

This morning was an early morning as we left our most recent home in Dakura to return to Puerto Cabezas where we will continue to partner with Pastor Santiago and nearby communities.

After returning to Puerto Cabezas we showered, slept, and ate lunch ready to head back out for a VBS (Vacation Bible School) in the afternoon at a church that Pastor Santiago previously established and lead. What began as passing out a few pieces of candy to invite kids and families quickly grew to dozens upon dozens. During this time we also welcomed the newest member to our team who is a little smaller and hairier than most of us…he goes by the name of Fabio the monkey. Throughout the VBS we played games, shared the gospel through a bracelet illustration, and passed out candy. The VBS was great opportunity for our team to connect with the community, share the love of Jesus Christ, and present the gospel. For many, it is very likely that this was the very first time they may have heard the gospel and the life offered through Jesus Christ. Closing out the night we spent some time in prayer as a team giving thanks to God, ensuring that he received the glory for what took place over the last few days.

Please continue praying…
That God would be satisfied, glorified, and exemplified by ALL of the work that has already been done and will be done.
For the bibles that were passed out in Dakura that have been translated into the Moskito language…that God would be experienced and served because of those bibles being handed out.
For the Word of God to be alive, flourishing, and fruitful in the lives of those who received a bible and that they too be encouraging and challenging disciples in their community.
For the hundreds of kids we have already had the opportunity to meet that their hearts would be prepared for the Word of God despite the living conditions and daily challenges.
For Pastor Santiago and the ministry he is leading and involved in.
For our team health, safety, and unity.

by: Conway Robinson

Nicaragua: Bienvenidos A Dakura

To say the least, these past two days have been incredible! We left the town of Puerto Cabezas for the village of Dakura on Wednesday morning by boat. There were many firsts for all of us within these last few days so I’ll list them quickly and go on to focus on a couple key events of this part of our trip. We rode to Dakura in 20 foot motorboats through 4 foot waves and stinging rain (I was told not to worry if the boat flipped, because sharks didn’t come that close to shore. Google said otherwise) for about an hour and a half. After that we had a hike through a washed out trail and knee high water up to our destination of Dakura. Living here for two days gave us an eye opening first hand experience of true community and allowed us to escape many superfluous first world expectations including running water, flushing toilets, toilets in any real sense, bathing, general hiegene, wearing shoes, electricity, and wifi. Living with and in the same conditions as those in a disconnected indigenous village in a third world country is really the only way to have an understanding of the thousands of things we as wealthy (comparatively) Americans take for granted.

Dakura, Nicaragua is made up of almost 500 indigenous Miskito people, of about 80,000 Miskito spread out through Nicaragua and Honduras. There are 48 families in the village which means each family has about 8 children! We discovered that this village is so disconnected from the rest of Nicaragua and general outside contact that none of the children spoke or understand one word of Spanish, and the only adults who really speak Spanish are fishermen who sail out to sea to work on larger boats for weeks at a time to bring back a catch to feed their families. Often, when there is a storm and no way of catching fish, these people go without eating. For the vast majority, fishing is the only occupation. As we observed from the stilted houses often built out of scrap wood and aluminum sheeting, the hurricanes (like hurricane Felix 3 years ago) that come through every few years off of the carribean wipe this area of nearly everything taller than a blade of grass, leaving these people with almost no traceable physical history.

The main purpose of our coming to this area specifically was to deliver bibles written in Miskito which have previously been unavailable even to the pastors in this community. We were well aware beforehand that being able to read the Word of God in one’s native language allows for people to connect on a much greater level than they ever would reading it in a second language to which they did not relate or even just hearing the words of a preacher claiming that what he said was God’s word. We were not prepared for the response we received when the people of this village learned we were delivering Bibles that they could actually read. If we tried to hand out free Bibles in San Bernardino we would probably have to resort to bribing people to get rid of any. Here, as soon as word spread that we were bringing Bibles, there were families coming from all over the village to get their own Bible. One woman walked 5 miles to receive the last Bible we had brought. This, in addition to all the time we spent with the kids playing games, doing crafts, telling Bible stories, and having a huge spaghetti dinner with all of our neighbors made us wish we could spend more time in this beautiful area.

Thank you from the people of Dakura to all those who bought Bibles at CBC and supported us delivering them!

By: Daniel Pryde