San Rafael del Norte and Salina.
June 12th till June 17th 2015.
Ryan Brandfort, leader of this mission trip, decided to stop at the hardware store and purchased all the construction materials that Pastor Miguel need for the construction of the Kids Sunday school classroom. The construction materials will be delivering the next day at San Rafael the Norte. The total of his donation was US$. 1,600.00.
The team decided to stop at Tip-Top, Nicaragua original fried chicken. On our way to San Rafael del Norte, we stuck in traffic; due a mud slide provoke by a heavy rain the night before.
Pastor Miguel, his family and the whole congregation are waiting for us at the church. As soonest we arrived, around 7:00pm, they all welcomed us, Ryan introduced the group, John Harris (Ryan’s father in law) came last year and he decided to come back, and this time he came with two of his grand-daughters (Ryan’s daughters), Taylor and Cameron, and Leslie Johnson with her son Logan. Taylor, Leslie and Logan, came to Nicaragua 4 years ago.
Marcia, (Miguel’s wife), welcomed us with a delicious dinner, John and Ryan were very exciting to taste and eat again her delightful meals.
Our day started at 8am, Pastor Miguel took the team and showed them the advance of the construction of his house, Ryan was impressed to see how fast Pastor Miguel is building his house, (so far all the construction of the house is done, but does not have a roof yet). About 9am, the construction materials were delivered as they promised. We start unloading and stocked it inside the church.
After unloaded the truck, we started a little construction; dig the ditches where the footages and the columns will be supporting the second store for the Sunday school classrooms.
While Ryan, John and me, were digging, Taylor and Leslie were cutting tie wires, Logan and Cameron, were playing with Jocsan (Pastor Miguel and Marcia youngest son).
At 3pm Leslie, Taylor, Cameron and Logan were ready for the first children activity at the central park of San Rafael del Norte. Kelsey my son, who volunteers to come to this trip, was their translator, while I was translating for Ryan at the men’s meeting.
About 22 girls and 8 boys showed up to this activity at the park, the girls have their hair braided and they received hairs band, and jumping rope, and the boys were playing soccer (a soccer ball was purchased with ministry money).
Last year, Ryan motived the men by talking about a study book that the men at his church are using to overcome different aspect and issues in a man lives, the book is call “Every men is a warrior”.
Thirteen men came to the meeting, each men received a book, and Ryan explained how to use the book, and how important is for men to meet in regular basic to share and help each other in situations or struggles that may face.
We were ready to church service at 9am, Leslie, Taylor, Logan and Cameron participated at the Sunday school with the children, the day before. Normally the children meet at the pastoral house behind the church, but because were so many children, the meet in front of the church on the street. We purchased some cookies and drinks for the kids, about 30 kids came to the Sunday school.
Ryan and John stayed in the main service, I translate for pastor Miguel. After church the team decided to go ziplining, the zipline park is located about 6 kms from San Rafael del Norte. The team participated at the 6pm church service as well.
Pastor Miguel took us fishing, no luck. After lunch, we continue helping with the construction, this time was a lot of cement mix.
About 2pm, the team ladies, Logan and Kelsey were ready to go back to the park and play some games with the children, this time 35 kids came.
At 5pm the women meeting started, the meeting was led by Leslie, she started with a devotional, encourage them to still firm and trust God not matter how difficult they may think their situation are. Twelve women came to the meeting.
At 7pm, Pastor Miguel prepared a special farewell church service, praying for the team and thanks them for their time, sharing their love, their knowledge and for the donations of the construction materials.
After that, the team brought to each member of the church a hygiene bag with, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, deodorant, dental floss, shampoos, the were bags for men, women and children.
There were some bags left, which the team decides to take it to El Plantel the next day.
Marcia cooked for us a traditional Nicaraguan breakfast, wow, we really enjoyed it…After we ate, we headed to El Plantel. El Plantel is a community located about 30 Kms from San Rafael del Norte, for the past two years, Pastor Miguel had open what they called it “a new field” (church), they used to meet at Maritza’s house, she is a retired teacher, and an active community leader, she is very well respect in El Plantel.
Maritza donate a pile of hardwood, to build the church and a parsonage (a room), Pastor Miguel has been training Ariel, a member of the Luz del Mundo church in San Rafael del Norte to become the Spiritual Leader in EL Plantel
“We waited 4 years to come back to Nicaragua, and this is totally worth it!” Logan (10 years old).
“This is my first time out of the country, I’m wants to come back, I met many friends here, they even gave me a name…’Maria’…yeah!!!” Cameron (12 years old).
“Last time we came to Nicaragua, we spent most of our time traveled, from one town to another, not time to interact with people, now I feel like home, people said hello to me in the park, see faces that I saw in church and I love how people welcomed us in their home” Leslie (Logan’s mom)