Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 2

Day 2 – Sat 8-9-09

I awakened at 5:30am and quietly left the room for a little devotional time in Galatians, John, and Psalms. I also read the first two chapters of John Eldridge's book, “Wild at Heart” which is targeted for men. Perhaps a little later I'll share some thoughts from what I'm gleaning from that book.

Coming over to the meeting hall, I met Adrian and we coordinated my teaching time which will be during the VBS time. He' pretty excited about our presence here. We'll still be working in LEON, however, we'll be commuting there. Another decision that we need to make is which church to go to (English or Spanish). It turned out that the team desires to participate in the Spanish service.

After a breakfast of rice & beans, eggs, and watermelon and pineapple, we headed on out to San Jose to work with a new church and the related children. On our way there in the town of Masaya, we stopped in a guitar store. It wasn't like any guitar store I had ever been at. They were actully MAKING the guitars by hand. The owner also permitted me to take pictures of the shop area with the most basic of power tools. According to the musicians in our group, the guitars were actually quite nice having been constructed from solid woods (no plywoods here!). Cost of the guitars? From $450 and up which isn't bad for a quality guitar. It was then quick stop at a bakery for some neat little cheese turnovers to be used with the kids later on.

Moving on toward our destination of San Jose (located about 10k off the “paved” road, Adrian drove the big Toyota van down a number of very rutted potentially slippery “roads” and picked up the local pastor and continued on down until we reached an especially slippery and rutted section. We disembarked the van and walked down the hill pas(t the severe ruts and rejjoined the bus (at least some of us did). By the way, all along this road we encountered people walking, animals, very skinny dogs, motorcyclists, trucks, 3 wheeled taxis, and the like. It was if we had stepped back in time and into another world. We had! It's under these kinds of conditions that a majority of the world lives It was also a time to pass out Gideon Bibles which Dwayne had brought. In fact we gave them out for as long as they held out.

Arriving at our destination for the little 4 month old church, we were greeted by Carla, owner of the home in which the church meets. Essentially the church “building” was a commercial Coca Cola tarp draped over a simple stick framework. Carla was most gracias and brought out chairs. The group divided itself up and went out into the local area to roust the children. Angela, Carol and I stayed behind and worked with the 15 or so kids who quickly came. Angela engaged them with questions about their names, ages, etc. They were extremely responsive and eventually the Pastor's wife showed up and began leading them in Bible songs, while all the while more kids kept coming. It was simply amazing to see children coming out of the jungle. Most were in the age 5 to 11. As the team re-assembled, Adrian let the kids in more songs and he was definitely engaging. Pastor Scott shared a few words and then called on Melissa to give her testimony which was translated by Adrian's daughter. Following this, everyone adjourned to the ball field and the kids thoroughly enjoyed kicking, hitting, and throwing an over-sized soccer ball around and playing with a bat and ball. It was fun for the team to participate with them and I know that Ethan definitely got a workout.

We then lined everyone up (girls first) and served them the turnovers, some juice, and pieces of hard candy. It was then, unfortunately, time to leave. On one hand it was gratifying to know that we brought some delight in some childrens' day, but sobering on the other hand to realize that our little time was probably the high point of their week.

It was a short drive into the town square of San Jose (not your mother's San Jose!), where we stopped for lunch that we had brought with us. There was a small garage sale going on and a bicycle vendor of ice cream (we did a lot to help his business day). Also there were what we were seeing more and more of: very skinny dogs and horses. There was even a fellow who came riding by on his cart carrying a rifle. All through lunch Adrian spoke with a young fellow about 11 or so. It turned out this fellow's father died not too long earlier and his mother ran off with another man leaving this young man to fiend for himself. Talk about a heart wrenching moment. We left him with some food and Adrian definitely shared the Good News with him,

Leaving San Jose, we were shortly back on pavement and then the calls for “Los Banos, por favor!” came ringing out. A bathroom break was in order and we stopped at a little gas station / mini-mart where we were beseeched by all kinds of vendors. I looked at a 4 pack of batteries but for over $14 I passed. Heading on, we stopped at the Masaya market where we were free to shop. Adrian alerted us to the helpful attendants who would guide us around the market for a nominal fee of $1 per person and they would carry everythingthat was purchased. Angela ended up purchasing a guitar, a hammock, a dress and some other small items. Others purchased items as' well. We'll have another shopping opportunity next Friday.

Leaving the market, it was a very short drive back to the mission station where a number took cold showers and rested for dinner.

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