Day 11 - Miercoles (Wednesday)
July 15, 2015/ Nicarauga 2015/ Mission Team'
Hola from Nicaragua!
This morning we woke up to a beautiful Nicaraguan sunrise, with a warm breeze and various species of native birds welcoming the new day…including a nearby rooster who crows like clockwork in the early dawn. Several of the team enjoyed a cup of freshly brewed Nicaraguan coffee while sitting in the outdoor lounge.
After breakfast we had a devotion that was lead by Pastor Cecilio, who has joined us on this build. PAN assisted Pastor Cecilio in building his church in 2007 in El Jicaro and he has helped out on several builds since. He spoke on John 4:1-14 which recounts the story of the Samaritan Woman who Jesus met at the well. Pastor Cecilio recounted how he could identify with this story, as in the village where he grew up, in the northern region of Nicaragua, the village well was a vitalsource of water. Water for many is life. In the story of the Samaritan Woman she encounters Jesus who was sitting by the well, tired from his journey. It is Jesus, a Jewish man who asks this Samaritan woman for a drink, which was not common and in some cases against the accepted practices of the day. Yet as Pastor Cecilio noted, Jesus must have known that this woman needed something more. She needed living water.
As everyone on the team will testify it gets hot in Nicaragua. We drink lots of water! Water satisfies our physical thirst for a while, but then soon more is needed. Filling our water bottles has become routine. Pastor Cecilioreminded us that we need more than just “agua” for our bodies but like the Samaritan woman we need living water for our spiritual life. The source is Jesus. He is the well that does not run dry. He is the very source of life.
We spent the morning at the build site. The walls of the church have reached the maximum height and they needed to be capped with some re-bar and concrete. Some of the team tied and twisted the re-bar into shape. Some of the team mixed concrete and poured it into the forms constructed by the Nicaraguan workers who are helping us with the build. You can start to imagine what this church will look like when it is completed.
About mid afternoon the team left the build site and visited two small jails located in Niquinohomo. Before we visited we stopped by a local bakery and purchased 100 picos (or pineapple filled turnovers if you were ordering at Tim’s). The owner of the bakery generously gave us 30 picos and 10 loaves of bread for free, knowing that we were purchasing the picos for the prisoners. At the first prison we met Pastor Julio (left) who has a prison ministry and visits and shares the gospel of Christ on a regular basis to the prisoners. This was a powerful experience for the team. Pastor Julio shared a simple gospel message and we were able to give out the picos, Bibles and toiletry kits.
One of the last events of the day was the planting of an Aloe Vera plant in the P.A.N compound in memory of Hugh (Uriah) Thomas. Hugh’s daughter, Vernice was to have accompanied us on this trip, but sadly her father, Hugh passed away shortly before we left. Aloe Vera is a healing plant and we thought that this would be a lasting tribute to Hugh. This was also a way to include Vernice as a valued member of our team.