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Ephrata Group

So, this is not a monthly update.  I thought I would do a post about my first group down here in Nicaragua.  I really did not know what to expect with a group.  I really enjoyed my time with the group.  We had some work projects that we did with them.  We painted the Sunday School room area, outside the church, and worked on the roof.

They flew into Managua on March 28.  They got here in Leon around four.  Darling and I hosted four girls in our guest room. I showed them to their room and told them about a few things about the room.  The shower has two different ways water can come out.  One perk for those staying with us….is they have air conditioning.  They came upstairs, and I introduced them to Darling.  Some of them went back to their room to have a rest.  They did not get a lot of sleep before they came.  Two of the girls and I chatted for some time until it was time to get ready for church.

We had church.  It was really full that night.  Darling and I had a hard time finding a seat that night.  After left, we had supper.  Supper that night was shawarma.  It is a Middle Eastern food.  I had a terrible headache that night.  I went to lay down.  I thought it help go away, but like of the headaches it turned into a migraine.  I decided to not eat the shawarma because I knew what that would do.  I thought if I would eat some banana it would help.  That did not work.  I went to bed and slept my headache off.

The next morning we had breakfast.  We took turns introducing ourselves and said one interesting fact about ourselves.  I know mine was really lame.   I said I was the only Canadian in the group.  After we had orientation with the group, we then started our work projects.  We stopped for lunch which was local Nicaraguan food.  Darling and I were asked to make the dessert.  We decided on an ice cream brownie dessert.  Once we finished lunch, the group went back to work while Darling, Wendy, Hannah, and I went to the hospital to get the letter for permission to get into the hospital. (I will explain later.)   We came back and got ready to help with the painting again.  We got cleaned up around sixish to get ready for supper.  We went to get tacos near Central.    After tacos, we went to get ice cream in Central.  After we were finished, the group wanted to look at the hammocks that Joel and Jody sell.

Saturday morning found us working on the projects again.  We stopped working for lunch.  After lunch, we had girls class with the girl’s that came.  The guys went to the park and played soccer with the men at the park.  We had pizza for supper that night.  After supper, we could play games.  Also, we girls prepared baby bundles to take to the hospital on Monday.  The group was asked to sing some songs Sunday morning, so they went to the church to practice.  Many of us followed to listen to them.  One of the song they sang was the Joy Melody.   Since I sang the song last year with my chorus, I asked if I could help them.  Then they asked if I knew another song, which I happened to know.  They asked how I know so many songs. I told I have sung on many choirs/choruses.  It did not help that they thought I was about twenty -two.  While we were playing/sitting outside the church, a drunk came up and started talking with Gary. (He remembered Gary from playing baseball in a park here in Leon.  We eventually went inside because he not would leave.  After a little bit, he left.

Sunday morning we had church. The group sang for us which was nice.  One of the chaperone men had devotions which Joel translated.  For breakfast that morning we served them pan pico which is a sweet bread here in Nicaragua. After church, everyone was invited over to Ken and Brenda for lunch. Soon after lunch, some of the girls wanted to return home for rest.  I decided to go home with them and rest.  I do not think I rested a whole lot because someone called me.  Around four we went to the park to play volleyball.  It was good to play volleyball.  We ate then supper at the church hosted by Joel and Jody.  I think we played games again that night.  Also, some of us girls talked.

Monday morning we had breakfast.  Around ten that morning, I drove all the ladies to the hospital to hand out baby bundles.  This was my first time to hand out baby bundles.  We handed out bundles to mothers who had their babies.  After we finished handing out the bundles, we were able to ask the mothers if we could hold the babies.  It was fun to hold the babies.  They were so little.  After we were finished at the hospital, we returned to the church for lunch.  Brenda forgot part of the dessert for lunch.  So, I quickly drove her home in the truck.  I had some problems leaving. I kept stalling the truck.  It was a little embarrassing because everyone was around.  We had Chop Suey, which it is a Nicaraguan soup.  It was delicious.  After lunch some people cleaned the school and guest room.  Also, one of the boys fell though the roof and landed on a table in the church.  Once, we were finished, we ladies went to visit an elderly lady in the community.  We sang some songs for her.  It was delightful to see her toothless smile.  We returned home.  We still had some time before we had to get ready for supper.  I asked some of the girls if they wanted to go to the park with me.  We went to the park and there were was no children at the park.  I knew where some children lived.  We went to visit them.  No one answered the door.  We then walked down to Eighth Street.  We met up with some of the children that come to class.  We visited for a little while before returning to the church to get ready for supper.  We went to Pelibuey for supper.  After supper, we went to Central to get smoothies at Jugosos.  While we were there a young man made flowers and grasshoppers from grass.  The idea was to pay for the item he made for us.  I got mine free because I did not have any money on me.

Tuesday morning we woke up earlier than normal because we were going to hike Cerro Negro.  We rode in the back of the trucks.  We hiked up the volcano.  It is a beautiful view when you reach the top.  I think my favourite part is running down the volcano.  One of the chaperones paid for two sleds.  He convinced Ken to sled down the volcano with him.  Most of us missed them sledding down the volcano. We returned home for lunch.  Lunch was plates.  Plates are rice and beans, salad, tortilla, and some type of meat.  We had popsicles for dessert. I got mine and went up to my room.  I was needing a break from people and a rest.  I slept for about twenty minutes when I got up to do something.  Someone asked me about something.  I asked what was going on.  They were going to clean the church before children’s class that night.  Also, the guys went to get haircuts.  When they returned, they looked a little different with their short hair.  Once we were finished cleaning the church, I went for a longer nap.  I got up and got ready for children’s class.  We had prayer like we normally do but with the group.  Rachel and I left with a group of girls.  We arrived on the normal streets.  We gathered the children and headed back to the church.  We sang songs and prayed.  After the prayer, the group acted out the story of the Good Samaritan for the children.  The children really enjoyed the story.  Joel explained the story for the children.  After we were dismissed to our classes, we did a craft that the group provided, with the children.  After we returned the children back to their homes, we went out for Pupusas.  We returned to our places for the night.

Wednesday morning after we had breakfast.  We had some time before we left for Central with the group.  We toured the Cathedral in Central Park.  You can see Leon and the countryside at the top of the Cathedral.  After we had toured, we divided into groups to show them around Central.  Rachel and I took some of the girls to the material stores, La Union, tourist vendors, and two different smoothie shops.  After we were done in Central, we went back and got ready to go to the beach.  We left for the beach.  I felt responsible while we were swimming because I did not want anything bad to happen to the girls.  Once we were finished swimming, we went to the cross to watch the sunset.  The sunset was beautiful that night.  We went to a restaurant by the beach.  It was sort of sad because it was the last night the group was here.  But we were entertained by some local music while we were waiting for our food.  We returned home.

Thursday morning we had leftovers for breakfast.  After breakfast we had a time of sharing with the group.  They shared their high and low points of the trip.  It was interesting to hear about what influenced them.  All too soon they packed up the vans and left for Managua to fly back to the States.  The staff that was still here cleaned up and put things back in order.

I enjoyed seeing their eyes open to different parts of country that have become normal to me.  They were refreshing.  The devotions they had in the mornings were a breath of fresh air.  It was good to see young men and women having a desire to follow Christ where God has called them to be.



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