Archive for July, 2016

Activity Summary

We have stayed in Nicaraguan homes on this trip, resulting in limited access to Internet. And that access has not been friendly to posting photographs.
Since the last post we have helped Compassion Children with crafts, walked a neighborhood evangelizing, learned how to cook Nicaraguan food and taught how to make popcorn and rice krispie bars (with corn flakes–rice krispies are not common here).
We performed a Dutch Dance and watched a traditional Nicaraguan dance.
We have learned new Spanish words, and enjoyed the generous hospitality of Nicaraguan Christians.
Want to hear more? Ask us when we return. We will even be able to show you a few photos!

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Waterfall and Woods

Early Monday morning we again board a refurbished school bus, along with Nicaraguan pastors, church leaders, and their families.
Our destination is three hours from Chinandega–Matagalpa, the most mountainous region of Nicaragua.
Our first stop is Selva Negra (Black Forest) a high elevation rain forest, which provides all of us with relief from the heat and humidity of Chinandega. As we walk the paths and enjoy its lush foliage, rain and sunshine alternate every 15 minutes.
Our second stop is Cascada Blnaca (White Waterfall). When we walk behind its thundering water, it is as powerful as the rain forest was tranquil.
Along with our Nicaraguan friends, we relish the sights and sounds of the day. As we talk, we realize that this was the first visit to Matagalpa’s sites for many of them.
Enroute back to Chinandega, we sing “How Great Thou Art.” We sing it first in English.Then our NIcaraguan friends sing it in Spanish.
Two different languages, two different countries. One God. And we praise him together.

At a Baptismal Pool

It is a hot and humid Sunday morning in Chinandega. We crowd into an old school bus, three people per seat, with additional riders standing in the aisles. Packed overhead are satchels and bags with towels, swimwear and food.
Our destination: Campuzano, a half hour from Chinandega. Our purpose: immerson baptism for 18 new members of the Nazarene Church.
Alonside the spring-fed pool, we worship, and then church leaders join handsĀ in a large circle wiith the 18 baptismal candidates, ages 12 to 63. One by one, each of them walks to the center of the circle and is submerged by Pastor Paulino and an elder. As each emerges, dripping, the congregation responds with a verse from a hymn.
As the 18 file out of the water, in pairs we form a tunnel of blessing, holding raised hands above them in pairs, wishing them “benediciones” as they file through, lsmiling.
A picnic follows under the palm-leaf covered shelters bordering the pool.
After lunch, Kathy and I walk to the edge of the pool, remove our sandals, and cool our feet. Around us church members swim, wade, throw beach balls, and splash in the wather. Near us, three children toss water at each other from their picnic cups.
I sweat and muse. We remain alongside the water of baptism and it refreshes us. The symbolism touches me.
A child’s voice interrupts my thoughts. She lifts her cup of water, smiles sweetly, and asks permission to wash my feet.