Sunday, August 17, 2008

Day 3

Day 3 – Sunday – August 10, 2008

PROLOGUE: I don't know when this will get posted; but I hope it will be posted by Wednesday. There are so many impressions that are coming at us. We don’t have ready internet access.

Today we were able to sleep in a bit and meet for breakfast at 8am. A fare of breakfast burritos and fruit was our send off to head to Managua to attend church at Guillermo's church. We were joined by another group from South Carolina who had arrived last night. The first part of the drive was what we were becoming accustomed to: lots of busses, foot traffic, motorcycles with multiple riders and co-riders. Arriving near the church we found the roads blocked due to a parade related to a holiday called Santa Domingo. Adrian commented that the area we were in was among the toughest and roughest barrios. In fact, we encountered a police action involving one of the two gangs located in the barrio. Again there was extreme poverty and extremely dirty conditions. After a round about route, we arrived at the church and were welcomed warmly.

The worship service was actually similar to our service with one exception: it was all in Spanish . There was full worship team with worship leader and the words for the songs was displayed on the overhead projector. Many of their songs were the praise songs that we sing and along wth the words it was fun worshipping in Spanish. There was a prayer time and those desiring prayer stood up as well as visitors. The sermon was translated by Guillermo. Two offerings then followed (one was for the church and one was for a person who had lost their business). Following the church service we headed back to the mission station where we encountered much more traffic and a significant detour.

Lunch was served (chicken & rice and salad) and Tim, Dwayne, Ethan, and Pastor Scott were taken to Masaya so Tim could use the internet cafe to post our blog. It was only fifty cents for ½ hour of time, but I gave the proprietor a dollar as it was worth it to me. Several others also took the opportunity to check/send email. Dwayne and Pastor Scott also were able to go to the bakery and purchase some more bread like what we gave away yesterday as well as visit a Catholic church. Arriving back at the mission station, we formed up our group to go out and visit a new missionary opportunity among a Contra group. The next section is not intended to be any form of political statement, but a recounting of the facts as I've learned them.

It seems as if about 16 years ago as part of the settlement between the Sandanistas and the Contra rebels , the Contras were promised land in exchange for laying down their arms. They laid down their arms and 16 years later, they don't have land and are eeking out a living (no electricity, or power equipment) in a cooperative just north of compound about 30 minutes. More on that later. In other words per Adrian, a forgotten people. We headed up there with a stop at a vegetable market to purchase some fruit (very tasty and amazing items and we'll see if if there are any ill effects of eating it. We then simply stopped the bus along side of the highway and assembled under a simple tin-roofed structure where Adrian introduced us and had one of the leaders give us a history lesson on how they came to be here. Dwayne was then able to preach a short salvation message using the just-distributed Gideon Bibles. It was very interesting to look around this small group of 35 or so men and see all sorts of different baseball caps (Braves, Yankees, etc. along with other commercial company logoed caps). Later I asked Adrian where they got them and he indicated that they probably came from thrift stores. The men were definitely a hardened lot, but they were extremely attentive to Adrian and his passionate speaking style. He definitely engaged them! We then passed out fruit first to the children, then to as many adults as possible.

While all this was happening a young boy was injured with a throat injury (he ran into a barbed wire fence). So Melissa was pressed into bandaging him up. We then took a short tour of the cooperative's grounds and saw the water well that they had hand dug some 30 feet deep with a hand powered pump. There were also a number of corrogated metal homes and the people freely shared them with us along with their baby chicks.

As follow-up, Adrian will be returning to this location and people for a bible study on Wednesdays. He believes that if 2 of the men will become believers, it will enfluence the whole community. He also challenged a few of us with the possibility of taking this small group on as both a prayer item and sharing of some basic material possessions with them. I also had the opportunity to address one of the leaders with words along the line of, “Because we were here, you are not forgotten.” To him who has been given much is much expected. We have a responsibility to care for the widows, orphans, the forgotten.

Arriving back at camp, we enjoyed the fellowship of a spaghetti meal with the other group and then practiced our VBS. Adrian has warned us that this week will be physically hard and to be prepared for it. Little did we know how prophetic that he was.

No comments: