Thursday, January 29, 2009

Schools Almost Here!

Ok, so I am so far behind right now. I need to tell you about our trip to Rivas and our trip to Rio Blanco and so much. The only thing I need right now is time!!! I can't believe it is already the end of the month. Where does the time go??

This past week, after returning from Rio Blanco, we have been gearing up for the Nicaraguan school year to start. This will be our 3rd year with the honor to be able to provide school supplies for 5 rural schools outside of Jinotepe. For those that keep up, these schools are in the same area where we hold the medical clinics every month and also where we have begun to have movie nights. School begins here next Tuesday. I can't believe it snuck up on me this year. We are getting all the final data so that we know exactly how many students there will be in all the schools. This year I have been told it will be around 340.

This past year we were told that it was a very good year for attendance. The teachers and principal have noticed that the children and their parents have taken more responsibility to attend classes and also to stay in school (there is a high drop out rate after 2nd grade). It has really been a blessing to help these families and give them hope. Both through the school supplies and the clinics but most importantly through the tangible love of God.

It amazes me to see how many children aren't able to attend classes because they can't afford a pencil or notebook. Their whole school supplies for a year are around $10 per student. They don't worry about the new pair of shoes, or who has the cool new clothes, or their nice new backpack. The students are supposed to wear uniforms to the public schools, but for the rural schools they wave that so that they can attend. Most kids are happy that they have flip flops to wear, some have no shoes. And from what I have seen, less than half even have backpacks. All these things are the least of their worries. I remember last year Josiah asked if the boys would get upset if they got one of the kitty cat notebooks. I just smiled and asked him to watch as they opened their packs. The boys were just as happy with the kitty notebooks as the girls were with the car ones. They didn't care, it was still paper.

So once again, we are on our quest to get supplies. It is always a tiring week or so but so worth it. Even the teachers get supplies. The govt. only gives out very little, like paper and chalk. And with only making a little over $100 a month, they can't afford to supply it themselves.

Anyway I will quit rambling on about this, I just love to see how God touches these lives with the littlest of things that mean so much. And beyond that, how God reminds me how to be grateful for the little things in my life. Our lives are truly blessed through all the lives that have crossed our path and those who remain.

Thanks to all who have helped and who continue to help....there aren't enough words to express our extreme gratitude, so I will just say Thank You!!

Much Love!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Movie Night in Dolores

Wednesday night we had another movie night. It was such a blessing to be able to go and be a support for a dear family that have become such good friends of ours. Francisco and Erika with there 2 boys live in a small community outside of Dolores, about 15 min. from us. They have recently started working with the children in their community. Many of these children have complicated family lives, clothes that are either 2 sizes too big or too small. Quite a few don't even have flip-flops to wear. But yet when they arrived to Francisco's home they were so glad to be there and slowly began to show their beautiful smiles. Francisco and Erika have such a heart for these children. They have started having meetings at their home telling Bible stories, praying with them and visiting their homes when they can't make it. And yet all is done with a Bible and a small book with some Bible stories. I am so excited for the work that the Lord is beginning!
Francisco had asked if we could come and show Bible movies or shows for the kids....and of course we wouldn't want to do anything else!! We were so excited to see all the kids that came. They slowly walked in, many carrying their own chair, waiting for the show to start. As Francisco began to speak to the kids more and more showed up. By the time the video was in full swing there were well over 60 in their front yard. Then after about 1 hour, all laughing and enjoying our time together, we all prayed together and when the time arrived for them all to return to their homes they filed out of Francisco's yard carrying chairs above their heads.
It was such a great night!!! The kids were so happy and Francisco and Erika were even happier. It was such a blessing for us to be able to be a support for them, to encourage them. Their hearts are amazing and truly filled with so much love for these kids. I am looking forward to all the God will do through them and all the lives that will be forever touched.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Much Needed Family Time

After a busy month in December and an equally busy first week in January we needed a day getaway. We decided to surprise the kids and take them to the volcano. There are several around but the closest one is in Masaya (40 min. away). And it also happens to be one that is still semi-active. Lots of smoking and at night you can see the lava in the crater.

Once we arrived the kiddos were so happy. We had no where else we had to be at a certain time. We could spend all day there or just an hour, whatever we wanted to do. It was so nice not to have anything else on the schedule for that day. When we first arrived they tell you to park facing downhil....hummmm, I was hoping the volcano would behave today. Once it threw big rock out of the volcano and it landed on a tourists car. Kind of funny but I am sure it wasn't for that guy. After we parked it was just a short stroll to see the largest and smoking crater. It was a pretty big drop. At the bottom you could see the opening where the smoke was coming out. Next we walked up a bunch of steps to the top to be able to see the other crater that is next to the smoking one. And as we turned around there was a pretty great view of Nicaragua looking onto the lake as well. This country is pretty stinkin' beautiful!!!

When we came back down from there we realized there was another crater a little ways away. We asked the kids if there were up to taking the hike and they were game. About half way up they had second thoughts, so we stopped for a bit to enjoy the view and for them to get their second wind. We finally made it to the top and it was quite pretty as well. This crater was filled with all kinds of trees and plants, much different than the other two. The others didn't have a single thing growing do to the sulfur, but the rock was beautiful.

Once we were done looking at the volcano and climbing the huge volcanic rocks we headed back down to play in the playground they had. The kids love them some playground!! We had a great time there.

After we left we were a bit on the hungry side so we zipped up to Managua to eat some lunch. Kid's choice of day! Then they, of course, just had to look around at a close by toy store to do some if they need more toys. :) It was so great just to spend the day together. Nothing planned. To do just whatever the day brought. In a strange way, it was quite a restful day. I think we are going to have to make family days a bit more frequent than once every few months. We gotta get out there and really see all of Nicaragua we can before God has us move to the next place.

God bless and enjoy your family and the days God allows us to spend with them!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Literacy Training

Well the time finally came for me to train teachers to teach literacy. I had been a bit nervous about the upcoming 2 day training. It was a bit odd, a white girl teaching spanish speaking people how to teach other hispanics to read spanish. I am fairly comfortable in my spanish, but it is just in conversation, never taught a class before.

First I will give a bit of stats for the literacy here in Nicaragua. According to various websites the illiteracy rate is anywhere from 25% to 35%. With the population of Nicaragua at 5,800,000 that leaves anywhere from 1,450,000 to 1,800,000 that can't read. Now back to the training.
Thankfully I had a small class for the first one. I had a wonderful group of 4 that have a real desire to help others to become literate. And it also helped that they were all I know pretty well, so they were a bit forgiving with my spanish if I hit a rough spot.

We started Thursday morning at one of the student's house, Lenin. It is a small one room house and it worked beautifully. We had a wonderful day filled with learning and with fellowship. His wonderful wife had made lunch for us as well. Some very delicious rice, beans, platanos and cheese. I finished Thursday feeling very satisfied and thankful that I got the first day out of the way.

Friday, we began our second, and last, day of training. We had to change location to another one of the student's house, Jhossy. Once again we had a wonderful time learning and laughing together. Her mom was gracious enough to make lunch for us as well, (repeat of the first day, very tipical lunch). Once again a wonderful day. We finished it with 4 teachers ready to teach. I finished feeling a little tired of speaking spanish for 16 hours, and extremely satisfied that the first literacy class training was completed and successful.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

8 Great Years!!!

Today is our 8 year anniversary! I am so thankful for the wonderful family we have today!! It has been filled with ups and downs and loads of adventure....and wouldn't trade a minute of it for the world!!!! I am so looking forward to the many, many years that await us.
Today Roger and Rachel went to run errands in town while I was homeschooling Josiah. When they returned they had a beautiful arrangement of flowers. ( I had made him pecan pie yesterday...what he's been asking for.) After lunch we asked some friends of ours that live close to watch the kids. We went out for the afternoon and watched a movie...not a cartoon (YEAH!), and had some really great gelato (delish!).

Thank you Roger for all the wonderful times we have shared and all that is to come!!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

First Clinic of the New Year!!

I couldn't think of a better way to start out the new year than to be out with our friends in the community and have our first clinic for 2009!! Susanna, our friend that's a nurse, was able to be in the States for the holidays, so I was able to great each patient and sign them in. I had a good time but I still have trouble sometimes with their names. It's not as simple as Bob, Jim, Sally and Sue. We had the priviledge to help 67 people this month.

After we finished we packed up and headed back to town for a late lunch...yummy pizza!! As we were on the road we noticed our faithful Emelia (80+ years old) coming for a consult. So we stopped and took care of her on the road and pulled out the meds from the back of the pickup, and of course gave her a ride back to her house. We would really appreciate any prayer for her, she is not doing too well.

As we continued on our drive home we saw this group of girls standing next to this little wagon that they were playing with. I thought it was pretty cool how they enclosed it.

I wished I had my camara but thankfully Jim and Lynne did so her and I hopped out and I asked if we could take a picture of their cart. I asked who had made it so nice and the girls pointed to the inside. I thought for sure that they were just pulling a younger sibling, which is very common here. So we looked in and to our surprise there were 2 bigger kids and one toddler. We just smiled. The kids got a kick out of us, but were proud to show off their wagon. I was very impressed by their good use of materials. They used foam insulation tied with ropes to make the encloser.

These faces of these children is only one of the reasons that we do what we do. How could we not help. What a blessing for us!!!! I thank God everyday for the priveledge He has given us. I so look forward to the things that are ahead.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Well it's here, 2009!! I can't believe how this past year flew by. I am looking forward to see the amazing things that God has in store for this new year. We desire that God does the same with each and every one of you and blesses you as we have felt blessed to know you all. Happy New Year and live it with expectation!!!!!