Friday, February 27, 2009

Trip to the Northeast

This past Friday we began our trip, as we do every month that we can, to do the clinic in Rio Blanco. This is a town that is about 3 1/2 to 4 hours from Managua. It is the last town on paved road as you are heading east towards one of the major ports. This month was a bit different because we couldn't stay the entire day on Saturday to help out. We had to leave by early afternoon because we had a long and unknown trek ahead of us. We enjoyed our time at the clinic so much, we love going to help!

Saturday afternoon we got a bit of a later start heading to Las Brenas. We were going to spend some time with a pastor and his family. Roger has gone up to this area to work a few times now, but had only traveled by plane. This was to be our first time driving all the way to this community. Before we even left Rio Blanco we hit the dirt road, or better yet the rock road. I can handle a dirt road just fine, but these were rocks bigger than your fist and not smooth at all. There was a constant banging around that I don't think a chiropractor can even fix. It was a bit different getting used to such a drive. We managed to hit one patch of pavement that lasted about 2 mi. and then thankfully we hit another patch of road that they are working on that lasted about 10+ mi. (it may have not been all pavement but at least it was a smooth dirt road.) It was dark before we were even halfway there, which made it a bit more challenging for Roger to drive on a road that he didn't know.

We finally arrived at Las Brenas around 1am, and exhausted! The family woke up to greet us, but we were ready to hit the sack. But not until a quick bathroom break about a block behind the house in the outhouse. (Thank God for flashlights!) We were able to gather our strengths after a good nights rest, Roger had to preach the next day at the pastor's congregation.

Las Brenas is a community right on the main 'highway' but there is no electric lines (they ended 4 hours up the road) and there is no running water. I wondered how the kids would do without all those ammenities that we take for granted. Don't get me wrong we have had a fair share of electricity going out and no water at times, but you never know how your own kids will react. I will have to say that I was truly amazed. By the time the trip was over they didn't want to leave. I guess they wanted to experience the farming life. Josiah woke up Monday morning ready to milk the cows. Rachel helped clean the beans that they had grown. We made all kinds of food from food that they had grown (they are a fairly self sustaining family). I learned how to make cheese from fresh cows milk. It was such a great experience for us all. But most of all, the time with this family was amazing. The pastor's name is Luis and his wife Glendy. They have 6 children; Amir, Kenia, Javier, Julissa, Melissa and Benny ranging from the ages of 17 to 6.

There is truly not enough space to tell of all the fun and new experiences that we had. It is definately a 'sit down with a cup of coffee on a comfy couch' type of stories. I have one last funny thing I will share with you before I leave you with some photos for our trip. Each day when it came time to take a shower you had to learn to be very vulnerable. Their shower room was off to the corner of the kitchen with a large bucket inside in order to use the bowls to bathe. It was closed in of course, but you could hear and see most of who was there at the table (they couldn't see you), but that wasn't the hard part. The other two walls of the shower room were outside walls with gaps between each board at least 1 in wide or more, perfect viewing space both from the inside and the outside. Thank goodness we were in the campo (rural)!!

By Tuesday we were heading back home. It was a wonderful drive back, bumpy road and all. Of course, somewhere along the way we lost our rear license plate. There's no telling where it is now. We made it back home in 13 hours, wasn't half bad!! It was really great to see that much of Nicaragua. What a great trip!!

Here are some pics from our trip, but to see more they are at:

Here is a video of Josiah's first time milking a cow. He was so proud!!!

typical house in the northeast

bringing water back from the well or river

Roger ministering at Luis's congregation

Kenia teaching me how to make cheese

Julissa and Rachel getting the beans out of their shell

our bathroom accomodations (a nice hike from the house)

Josiah milking a cow with Amir

Benny and Josiah enjoying a coconut

Julissa, Melissa, Rachel and Kenia playing on the hammock

Javier getting the cows ready to be milked

Amir teaching Josiah how to milk a cow

our drive back home....lovely sunset!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Arrival

Just wanted to send a quick pic of our newest addition to the communities. The mom has been coming for several months to the clinic to get vitamins and other things. This month she showed up with her 15 day old baby. What a cutie she is! It was nice that we weren't overly busy this clinic (just over 50 patients) so I could hold her a bit. Reminds me of my own at that age. These are the really wonderful things about having the clinics....hold all the new beautiful babies.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Along the Way" Moments

We woke up this morning and got ready as usual to go to service in Managua. If we have a free Sunday we like to go to Verbo to fellowship with the body of Christ. It is a spanish speaking church but we also have a few good 'gringo' friends that go there as well, and our kids so love going to children's church there.

After service was over we chatted with a few friends and was getting ready to head out the door then a lady stopped me and was asking for some $$ for a doctor's treatment she needed. She proceeded to have me feel her breast (they are very open people here and would have been offended if I didn't), so beyond all my inhibitions I did so. She had a huge mass in her right breast that was the size of a lime. I was surprised. I explained I didn't have any $$ on me and I needed to talk with Roger. He didn't feel like we were to give her $$ but he knew we needed to pray with her. Roger then prayed with her and by the time they were done the mass went down to about the size of a chick pea. God is so amazing!!! She then went on about how she had been running from God. Wow, God sure has a way to bring His children back home!

We then went to get a few things at the grocery stores in Managua, that we can't find in our little town, and headed home. We were home for a while then Lisette, the doctor we use at our clinic, called about a woman that needed some medicine. She hardly ever does this unless it is needed. So we asked what she needed and headed over to her house to meet her and the lady.

Once we arrived we were greeted by Lisette, her 2 boys and Maria. Maria is quite a woman. She lives several kilometers from Jinotepe but goes there everyday to sell tortillas. She is 80 years old. Unbelievable. Her daughters tried to tell her to stay home and they would send money, but this is a woman that has lived her 80 years working extremely hard. She needed the medicine for her heart, but mostly for some serious varicose veins that put anything I have ever seen before to shame. A couple of them looked like bouncy balls sticking out of her legs and the rest were like a mountainous road map. But they still never slowed her up much. We really had a great time talking with her and hearing her stories. She has lived a hard life. She gave birth to 14 children and only 5 lived past the age of 5. Even through all her stories, of which one would be enough to live through for a lifetime, she had a love for life and hopeful courage.

There is only so much that one can plan and schedule and God does amazing things through that, but the "along the way" moments are truly amazing. God has all things in His place and timing. We should always be aware that no matter how our day is going or what things we had planned, it could be changed at any moment....for an "along the way" moment.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day!!

The best part of any Valentine's Day (now that I am a mom) is the handmade sentiments. They just can't be beat!!
(above is from Rachel and below is from two little artists!)

Also my wonderful husband came home yesterday with a beautiful display of flowers. And we are even going out tonight for kids. Wow, I will definately be cherishing the moment. A real date (so few and far between)!!

Much love to all and hope each and every one is having a great day with the ones they love!!