Colegio Cristiano en Nicaragua:

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

100 days

Today marks our 100th day living in Nicaragua. Yesterday, we talked about how the 100th day of school is celebrated and brainstormed ways we could celebrate our 100th day here.  Well, the day began with no electricity or water.  After several hours, Kora said “this feels more like a punishment than a celebration”.  We encouraged her to think of ways to make it a celebration and she said “it’s like a nursing home celebration because we have nowhere to go and nothing to do”.  Thankfully minutes after she said that, the electricity came on, however we are still waiting on water.  Glad we got showers last night.  So, here are hundred things we have learned in our 100 days in Nicaragua:

100) All water is not treated equally
99) Culture shock is real
98) You CAN ride five people on a motorcycle
97) Fresh meat day is Wednesday
96) You don’t want to miss fresh meat day
95) Our favorite treat -Bosita’s are only 1 cordoba (5 cents)
94) Riding in the bed of the truck can be comfortable
93) We love air conditioning
92) We wish gas prices were only $4.00
91) Our neighbor sells bositas
90) We like our Neighbor
89) Roosters cannot tell time
88) Gas ovens are a fire hazard
87) Keep a fire extinguisher close to your oven
86) You can use your motorcycle to transport propane tanks
85) God has a plan for Nicaragua
84) A good wage in Leon is $1.50 per hour
83) Nicaragua has earthquakes… 2 so far
82) It is hot here
81) You can sled down a volcano
80) Power outages are a common occurrence
79) Having your water shutoff is never at a convenient time
78) Jesus loves you
77) Todo es posible con Dios
76) Prescriptions are not required
75) The police do not have to have a reason to pull you over
74) it is very hot here
73) We have not seen any precipitation in our first 100 days
72) A haircut is $1.50
71) For $2.50 you can have your truck cleaned inside and out
70) There is no minute rice here. Only hour rice
69) A movie ticket here is only $2.00
68) You can get a schwarme in Nicaragua
67) Milk comes in a bag
66) We receive many hugs every day from the students at NCS
65) We like living 30 minutes from the beach
64) There are many beautiful cathedrals in Leon
63)  There are 208 students at NCS
62)  It takes a REALLY long time to get internet
61)  We are thankful to have internet at our house
60) Skype is our friend
59)  God has a plan for you
58) They sell octopus at the grocery store
57) Nicaragua is beautiful
56)  There are lots of interesting insects in Nicaragua
55) There is Price Mart (Costco) in Managua
54)  There is a McDonalds in Managua
53)  We like to go to Managua
52) We love to have American visitors
51) We will be traveling to Tennessee in  66  days
50) There is a Goodwill store in Nicaragua
49) There are several geckos living with us
48) There are a lot of one way streets in Leon, and they are not all marked
47) It’s much cooler in Matagalpa, Nicaragua
46) It’s  very hot here
45) We have a vision to build Mission Team housing on the property of NCS
44) Hammocks are extremely comfortable
43) There are orthodontists in Nicaragua
42) We have been to the orthodontist here
41) Our dogs ate Kora’s retainers
40) Magic Jack is cool
39) We covet your prayers
38) Many children in Nicaragua have to work to help support their family
37) Driving in Nicaragua is dangerous
36) Grass is cut by machetes
35) Winter temperatures in Nicaragua are in the 90’s
34) It’s extrememly hot here
33) You have to stand in line for at least 30 minutes to use an ATM machine
32) Nicaragua is a special place
31) It’s an experience to worship in a different language
30)  We know more Spanish than we did 100 days ago
29) Our dogs think it’s really hot here
28) We are very blessed
27) Pizza is served with ketchup
26) It’s normal to see cattle walking on the road
25) A horse is used as a lawn mower at a nearby baseball field
24) Some of the children that attend NCS live in houses made of cardboard and trash bags
23) Some of our students at NCS will only eat once a day (the meal at school)
22)God is so good
21) Love is understood in any language
20) There are a lot of stray dogs in Nicaragua
19) Living in Nicaragua is an adventure
18) A police officer won’t give you a ticket if you can’t understand what he is saying
17)Did I mention….it’s really hot here
16) A doctor’s visit and medicine cost about $10
15)Time is overrated
14) Pinatas come in “people size”
13) We have a vision to build earthbag houses in our neighborhood
12)  They do not observe daylights savings time
11) Because Nicaragua is so close to the equator, sunrise and sunset are the same time every day
10) Prayer is powerful
9) We can fit 15 people in our truck
8) More people travel by bicycles than by cars
7)  We want hundreds of people to come and see the work God is doing in Nicaragua
6) We want you to come to Nicaragua
5) We miss our family and friends
4) We have a vision to feed the communities surrounding us
3) Sunscreen is a necessity
2) Tomorrow is an undefined amount of time
1) We are thankful God blessed us with this opportunity

What have you learned in the past 100 days?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Did you ever wonder...

Did you ever wonder what God could do with your life if you gave it all to Him? I don't mean saying "here I am Lord" and hand Him your little pinky finger and hopes He doesn't pull too hard. I mean really stepping out there and saying "here I am Lord, send me!!! All I have is yours, all that I am is yours and I will withhold nothing from you". Have you ever wondered what God could do with your life if you made that kind of statement? Are you scared wondering what will He do? It is hard to take Jesus's hand when you have both hands wrapped tightly around your posessions.

Try this, in a room full of people have them close their eyes and walk around. Everyone is walking slow trying not to bump too hard into each other. This is what we are doing with our lives right now, we can't see the future so we are walking slowly with hands out, not taking too much risk because we don't want to get hurt or hurt others. Now take the hand of someone that can see and have them lead you. Suddenly your more confident. You probably still follow them at a distance with a hand on their shoulder (because you still lack confidence in them). This is the lives of some Christians, trusting in God but still waiting for Him to run them into something. As though God is just wanting to get a good laugh or two. Now take the hand of good friend or loved one. You know that if you ask them not to run you into something you can trust them. With them they can ask you to run with them and you could run with them in full confidence. That is how I want to be, I want to take the hand of God and run full speed into tomorrow. Not knowing what is coming, blind to whatever may be there, but positive that He can see. He knows, and with Him I can have confidence.

When are you going to say that statement? Can you give me a time frame so I know how long I will have to wait? Is it tomorrow, because I don't think I can handle hearing another person telling me it will be tomorrow.  When? Are you waiting for an invitation? Send me your email address and I would be happy to email you an invitation.  I will be sure to put a nice border around it to make it look official. Seriously, don't waste more of your life and years wandering about in the dark. Take the hand of God let Him lead you. Give Him everything and see what great things He has planned for you.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kim's birthday

This morning our dogs were needing to go out. As I opened the door, they burst out in a sprint barking like crazy. I noticed a large group had assembled outside of our home.  100 adorable children had marched up our path to the house to serenade Kimberly who was still sound asleep. After calming the children down from the near attack of our two vicious guard dogs, I quickly went in to awake my sleeping beauty. I don't think I have ever seen her get up and dressed so quickly. Here is a picture of the group below.

Not only did she receive a homemade gift and a song, but she received a hug and kiss from each child. If that was not enough, later that morning, the preschoolers sang to her  and she received gifts and hugs again from each child in the preschool (another 100 kids). I was told that I will never top that and not to bother to try. I guess I am off the hook for future birthdays for trying to come up with something spectacular.

She also had another birthday gift that I will have a hard time topping. It took 1 month, 5 Americans, 3 Nicaraguans, 17 Visits, 12 phonecalls, many prayers, and a few tears, but Kim received Internet at the house on her birthday. God is so good!!!

Another gift from God is how the police are so nice here. I almost always have our translator with me when I get pulled over and he is always amazed at how many times I should have gotten a ticket, but the police allow me to go without any trouble. Today, I crossed a solid white line (I know, that is sooo dangerous.)  He initially told me that a solid white line is understandable in any country and that he would have to take my license and give me a ticket. I was polite and quick to explain my reasoning and as quick as you could blink your eye, the policeman changed his mind and let me go. Our translator was shocked, he thought for sure I was going to get a ticket, and went on to explain that out of the six times I have been stopped  (they make random stops here) 3 of them they tried to ticket me and each time changed their minds.

God’s generosity continued with our electric bill.  As you may remember, our first electric bill was more than our mortgage payment in the states.  When I went into the office to discuss the bill, a man named Juan, who assisted me, happened to be one of the managers.  He has gone out of his way to help us.  After he spoke with the headquarters in Managua, he was able to cut our bill in half. Once again, our translator and friend, Yader, was shocked at the kindness shown to us.  I invited Juan to visit the school to see the work that we are involved in.  Today, he and his family attended worship services with us and he plans on coming back next week.

God has been so good in helping us every step of the way.  All praise, honor and glory go to Him.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Life after JCS

We were very sad to see the group from JCS leave.  They brought us such joy and encouragment while they were here.  I still catch myself humming the songs that we sang with them at our evening devotionals.  
One song in particular, "Someday"  reminds me of Claro. Someday we will have internet at the house, but today is not that day. Still waiting for Claro!!  We have been working with them for over a month now trying to get internet at the school, but we believe it will be worth it.
Whenever Kim goes to the grocery store, a young man named Jason always runs over to her and in his best Spanglish attempts to inform her that he will watch her vehicle for her while she is inside, which I find funny since there is a security guard already working the parking lot. This last week he earned his keep when a 15 passenger van parked behind the truck, blocking Kim in. After Jason’s failed attempt  to get the attention of the owner by honking the horn on the van, Jason and a friend put the van in neutral and pushed it out of the way, rescuing Kim from what would have been certain boredom.
 My unusual experience for the week was a little different. I had the pleasure of escorting our 5 preachers to a meeting in Masaya which is about 2 hours away. I basically played the role of taxi, because I didn’t understand anything they said at the meeting(still on a preschool level with my 2nd language).  The one thing that did strike me was at the end of the meeting, after eating our meals several of the men left to take care of their bill and a few folks were scattered about the room. A few people wandered in trying to sell various items, and one woman caught my attention. I tried to keep a careful watch, because many of the preachers’ bags were still lying about. I watched her stroll around the room and stop in front of my things and then I saw her reach in to grab something… I was ready to pounce on the would be thief... how dare she take my pen or notebook.  I was shocked to see that what she grabbed was my left over chicken bones off of my plate. She then proceeded to thoroughly clean what scraps of meat were left. I could not believe it, and she showed no signs of embarrassment or trying to hide it. She just dug in. I think that demonstrated to me that many of the people I see day in and day out here in Nicaragua are in survival mode. They are trying to do what they can to eat and provide basic needs.
We had our first Church service at the school today. Kim, Summer, Kora and Jaden enjoyed teaching their first Sunday school class in espanol. There were 21 children from the families of the school, and we hope to see many of their parents in the future as well. But for now we will rejoice that we are planting seeds in the hearts of the children.