(Final Post for the July 2012 trip)
Friends of Chinandega Clay Symbol
Following vacation Bible school and a tropical shower, we create a circle of chairs in the Nazarene Church courtyard. A woman sweeps leaves and VBS debris from the newly laid cement that surrounds us. In an adjacent corner sound the scraping shovels of four men mixing stones and mortar to lay another section.
This humid Nicaraguan late afternoon we are meeting with leaders from the five Chinandega churches to discuss our ongoing partnership. Nicaraguan pastor Henry Cruz distributes sticks of colored clay and tells us to separate into a North American and Nicaraguan team and construct a symbol of our relationship.
Our team talks and molds, talks and molds—and what emerges has a cross, two stick figures, and a globe. The cross is three winding strands, representing our two nationalities and our Creator. Two people kneel before it, holding joining one hand at the cross and touching the globe with the other. Where their hands touch the globe, it is a verdant green—springing to life and spreading down to over the globe’s black underside.
When we join our Nicaraguan friends we are surprised by the similarities in our clay creations. Their model, too, has a cross. And it tops two touching hands. One flows from a US flag and the other from the flag of Nicaragua.
Nicaraguan churches’ clay symbol
In the conversation that follows this and our reading of the story of Ruth’s commitment to Naomi, we all talk about our learning from our cross cultural interaction, our unity in Christ, and our desire for an ongoing, long-term relationship.
We will pray for each other. We want to learn more about each other, perhaps even each other’s languages. And we want to meet again.
We do not set the date for that or make specific plans. That is still to come.
But this much we know: In the power of the cross of Christ we want to continue hand-in-hand for Him.