Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Mary Ezzell has been here almost as long as I've been in Nicaragua. We've been through thick and thin together. Adventures, trials, laughter, and heartache have been some of the things that have knit us together. We have worked together and side by side with Christ for the City. Last Friday we had a special "despedida" good-bye party for Mary. It was a special time of affirming Mary in the special ways she has left her mark in our lives as well as Nicaragua.
I'm going to miss Mary a lot. Life here will be different without her but hey that is the way things go around here. At least I know I'll see Mary again in April when she comes with a medical team from her church.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I have to say that it was so hard to go back to work on Monday after spending two great days outdoors. I think we should be outside every weekend!
|From Down to the Sea|
Here is one of our rest stops. La Pita. There wasn't a house around but there was this random bus stop. The people from San Lucas did an awesome job of providing bananas and oranges at every stop.
I fell asleep on Friday night and didn't see any of the turtles lay eggs. As we were getting ready to leave on Sat. morn they said that there were baby turtles heading out to the see. Aimee and I ran down to the beach to see the turtles. They were sooooo adorable.
GO little guy Go! You can do it!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Mark Vanderwees the mastermind behind the Sea to Sea ride we did in December came up with this little two-day ride. It was a great fundraiser for an organization called Fundación San Lucas. It is a small organization that works out in the small rural communities helping to establish seed and land banks. The people who run it are super friendly and did a great job organizing the support staff and logistics for the trip.
Aimee, Mary and I along with 23 other riders left from a small town about 45 minutes south of Managua and went down to the sea 52 kilometers. We stayed the night at a nature preserve. This is the time of year when the sea turtles come ashore and lay their eggs on the beaches. Chacocente is the name of the nature preserve and is one of the protected beaches for the turtles so we got to see turtles laying eggs on the beach. We also say baby turtles hatching and heading out to see.
All in all the weekend was super fun. Now to top it off we are going to play glow in the dark frisbee as a final hurrah for Mary before she heads back to the States.
pictures to come soon!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I am thankful for my family. I was able to see them twice this summer which was a wonderful treat. My family has grown with new nephews this year which is exciting and a blessing in itself.
|From Don's Wedding 09|
|From Don's Wedding 09|
I am thankful for all 16 of my students in first grade. They are full of energy, life and a simpleness that I admire and appreciate.
|From NCA 2009|
I am thankful for great friends and roommates that challenge and encourage, laugh and cry with me through life's journey.
I am thankful for my Christ for the City family that has grown stronger and deeper over the years. You guys ROCK!
I am thankful for health. I have been able to be out and enjoy God's beautiful creation here in Nicaragua more in the past year as I've biked, run and hiked all over. Our Creator is astounding.
|From Corn Island 2009|
I am thankful for all the extra families that I have here in Nicaragua too. They hold a very special place in my heart.
|From CAREY'N ON|
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thank you for continually lifting us up in prayer.
Here's a little funny first grade story that happened today.
One of my little girls asked me while we waited for her parents to pick her up after school, "Miss Franklin, do you sleep?". I replied, "Well Mariana do your mom and dad sleep?" She answered, "Yes!". I asked her, "Do you think that I need sleep just like your parents?" She said, "Yes." Then she sweetly asked "when and where?". I told her that I sleep at night just like she does and in my own bet at home. It was so cute because she genuinely wanted to know if I really did sleep and where. So I hope I was able to clear up a little first grade myth that teachers sleep in their classrooms and rarely ever leave school. ;-)
With that being said it is time for me to get some sleep. I guess I'll grab a good book and stretch out on my desk using my student's journals as my pillow and turn in for the night. Sweet Dreams!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
A few weeks ago the six members of the National Assembly approved the potential reelection of Daniel Ortega in 2010. According the the constitution he can only hold office two nonconsecutative times.
Pray for peace between the two parties as well as wisdom for the government on all levels.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
We decided that it would be great if we could make it out to see the 52 kilometer course in order to help ourselves and others train for the event. We asked our friends Dave and Joel to take us out on their motos. The graciously agreed. We spent a nice Sunday afternoon riding around on the motos. We ended up not even coming close to the course due to some miscommunication. :-) Oops we'll just have to plan another ride.
Here's Doze and I as we head out on our trip
We encountered some rather muddy spots. Here we are taking a look at the map after we took a little spill on one of the bikes. The question was will the road get better or worse if we continue? We ended up turning around at this point and heading back to higher ground.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Morgan a great friend from Iowa is down in Nica visiting and traveling around. When she is in Managua she has been staying with us. On Sunday she started feeling really sick and had a high fever. By Wednesday she hadn't improved and was getting dehydrated so I took her to the hospital. She has now been there for 3 days as we wait for her platelet levels to begin to rise. She is starting to go a little stir crazy. :-) She says that this is the longest she has ever been confined within four walls in her life.
Please pray for Morgan. We pray that her platelet levels would rise today for her blood test in the morning. Also pray that no one else gets this nasty sickness. The count of people I know that have had it in the past 6 wees is over 10.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
It has been decided that NCA is not able to provide the services that my little guy needed so he is looking for a new school. Please continue to pray for the family as they seek out the best options for the little guy. Also, his twin sister is staying in my class which is a great thing. Pray for her she experiences this school day separation. I am thankful that I will continue to see the family and hopefully my little guy too. :-)
God is so faithful.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Coming Soon! Mouse Tales!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Living in Nicaragua comes with some sacrifices but many blessings. While I am far away from my own family God is so gracious in providing other families to fill in some of the needs that arise. While working with Christ for the City teams I have stayed with many, many Nicaraguan families. Some have touched my life in deeper ways. One of those families is the Espinal family. There was a very special bond that formed during the week I stayed with them this past summer. Fortunately they live in Managua and are only a drive across the city. A few weeks ago they called me and wanted to celebrate my birthday. We were finally able to connect up on Saturday. We went out for quesillos! Yum! Yum!
Afterwards we went to a beautiful lookout outside of the city. The kids are teenagers and so the afternoon was filled with jokes, songs, and lots of laughter. We transformed our visit to the lookout into a photo shoot. Here are a few fun pics.
From left to right: George, Carey, Giovanni, Evelying, Jorge and Ninfa is the photographer.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
|From Sep 19, 2009|
|From Sep 19, 2009|
Last Saturday started out like any other day. Some of the girls from the missionary community and I have joined a city volleyball league that plays downtown. We had two games that morning. We thought we were just going to be there for 2-3 hours but it turned into 5 hours. Rightly so our team name is the Sunburns. After 5 hours in the hot Nica sun we were all a little rosy. We lost both of our games but went to a third set in both of the matches. We hope to do better this coming week.
|From Sep 19, 2009|
That evening we went out to Nagarote the home of the delicious quesillos. Quesillos are a corn tortilla with a form on Nicaraguan cheese, onions soaked in vinegar, sour cream and salt. All of the ingredients are rolled up and put into a bag. You tie a knot in the bag and bite a small hole in the other end and eat the quesillo out of the little hole. They are amazing and only cost about $1 US. Afterwards some wonderful friends planned a birthday party for me. I received gifts of 30 things that I might use. Some examples were 30 coffee filters, 30 Q-tips, 30 craisins, 30 pieces of stationary, 30 piggy banks. (yeah that's right I guess that I should start saving up for my retirement, one piggy bank full for the next 30 years.) It was lots of fun and I felt so blessed to have such great friends and family.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Freedom carries different significance for so many. Freedom for a prisoner of war is different than freedom for an average person who has never been physically held captive. While I have never been held physically captive by someone or something in my life I have been held captive by a selfish attitude and sin in my life. Thankfully, through the blood of Jesus Christ shed for me on the cross at Calvary I can experience freedom from these captors. These verses have captured my attention today and I want to share them with you.Romans 8:1-4
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
In Nicaragua this week we celebrated Nicaragua’s Independence. The freedom from Spain oh so many years ago. We are free to do so many things in this beautiful country. There is freedom of religion here. Many believers gathered all over the country this week to celebrate and praise God for the freedoms He has granted us here. Believers also gathered to pray for this country that all Nicaraguans would be able to experience the freedom that comes from a life hid with Christ on high. During days, months, and years that see difficult economic hardships, lack of employment, food shortages, small harvest years and so on it can seem overwhelmingly hopeless. Join me in praying for HOPE to return to the hopeless here in Nicaragua. I look forward to the day when we can celebrate HOPE alive and freely abounding in the lives of all Nicaraguans.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
As I have returned to teaching full time here in Nicaragua I have had opportunities to see the Lord Most High visibly at work in my life. While I have spent two years outside of the classroom I have learned and experienced many things. God has shown me the importance and value in stopping and spending time in relationship with others. Sometimes the "work" is not the most important thing. Now with the weight of lesson plans, learning objectives, grading and everything else that comes along with teaching I see El Elyon placing people in my path to remind me of the importance He places on people and relationship. My prayer is that I see each encounter as God taking an active role in my learning process as well as that of my students.
Now on to some specifics of the new school year! I have 16 soon to be 17 first graders. Ten active boys and 7 talkative girls. Some things you can always count on. :0)
We are starting our fourth week of school. It has been fun. I've sure been tired at the end of every day though!! Shoooo those 6 and 7 year olds have a lot more energy than I do.
I wish I had pictures to share with you of my class and school but my camera was stolen from my desk last week. Therefore I'm in the market if anyone is upgrading and wants to get rid of their old camera. Praise the Lord I left my computer at home that day and that it didn't grow legs and walk away too. Once again I can see the Lord Most High's protection over even my stuff.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I've got plans to tell you some stories with a future update, perhaps this weekend of the first few weeks of adventure and laughter in first grade. For now I wanted to ask for your prayers for energy, patience and consistency with my class. One by one we are remembering the rules and learning new things. It is 10 o'clock on Wednesday night and I am feeling ready for the weekend already. Lord please grant me the patience I need to love my students like you do.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Tuesday is the official start of the new school year. As you all know I am transitioning out of the Short Term Team Coordinator position and back into the classroom at NCA. These past few weeks have been busy with finishing up the last teams, sorting, organizing and planning for a new group of 15 first graders.
Nicaraguan dust can do amazing tricks when left untamed for a few weeks over the summer. I have managed to wrestle it down to a minimum in my classroom. As I cleaned I made several interesting discoveries. One- geckos must be mating and reproducing in first grade based on the unknown quantity of gecko eggs I've found. Two- rain is nice when you are hot and are looking for a nice cool off but it is not nice when it leaks all over the books you've stored for the summer. Three- I have so many resources available to me in English that my colleagues can only dream of in Spanish.
Please pray for my new class as we start class tomorrow. Pray that we would mesh well, learn lots, laugh often and share our hearts with each other. My desire this year is to open up the Bible to my students in new ways as they become more proficient readers. My prayer is that they would be hungry for God's Word and would eat it up. I also pray for wisdom in meeting my students needs. There are many different backgrounds and difficulties that my students come from and I want to be able to help them in the best way I possibly can.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
While the group was at a historical place called Parque de la Paz (Peace Park) a group of youth attempted to rob the group. Upon seeing the thieves surrounding them the team split up and started yelling and screaming for help. Several girls from the team started running away as they were running Sarah tripped and fell into an empty fountain cutting her leg. With one of the thieves behind her he saw Sarah's blood and ran away. The thieves got away with only 1 camera when all was said and done. Though the group was a little tramatized God had been gracious in granting them peace and time to process through what had happened.
So today as I was playing the events of the past few days over in my head I realized that it was Sarah's blood that ultimately scared the thieves away. Often times when we think and pray for God's protection over our lives we think in terms of events like this one not happening at all and there being no accidents or harsh words etc. However we know that God's ways are not our ways. God used Sarah's blood to save her from further injury and theft. Thinking to myself today about the power of not only human blood to save a life or take a life but the blood of a mighty Savior that was shed for us and has given us new life. The very blood that makes the enemy cringe and flee is the blood that covers us as we submit our lifes and service to the Lord.
While we would have liked for this event to have never happened we know and recognize that God was always in control and His mighty blood protected, shielded and will heal Sarah's wounds. Please pray for Sarah's quick recovery. She is all stitched up and is planning to travel back with the team on Saturday. Due to the area where she had to be stitched up her leg has to be kept inmobile and that will make traveling a bit of a challenge so we pray for comfortable travel and on time flights so that she can get home safely.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Since that summer when I stayed with Amanda I have not seen or talked to her but as the Lord brought her and her son to mind I prayed for them both. When I have visited her church I have looked for her and wondered how things were going. Just a few weeks ago I saw Amanda again. She greeted me with a gigantic hug and was so excited to share wonderful news with me. Her son has not only come back home but has come back to the Lord. He is happily serving in the church by playing the keyboard with the worship team. Amanda was bubbling over with excitement to have her son home and to know that he is now serving the Lord. He has been back in the church for over a year now. He has a beautiful wife and son. There is lots of happiness, rejoicing and laughter that now fill Amanda's house.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Each day was packed with church services, children's ministry, house to house visits for the after school program, home groups and family time. This team was unique because all but two of them were fluent in Spanish. This helped tremendously because most of the team was able to communicate really well with their new Nica families. It also made the work load lighter for Fabricio and I as we were leading the team. ;-)
Rachael H. and I were blessed to be with a wonderful family. I first met this family 6 years ago when I was working in Nicaragua as a volunteer for the summer. They are a super sweet family that I have come to love dearly. They have taken me in truly as part of the family. Jorge and Nifa asked me if they could call me when they go on family trips to the beach or wherever. Of course I said YES!
Rachael and Ninfa had an instant connection as they are both hairdressers. Here's Rachael giving Ninfa a haircut. They had some very special times together during the week. Although I would have to say that the most wonderful part about the whole week was seeing our 19 year old "brother" Giovanni be excited about sharing his new faith with others during one of the outreaches. He had just accepted the Lord the night before we arrived at their house.
Pastor Arturo was a wonderful pastor to work with at Iglesia Bautista Hebron. He has great vision for his church and is a faithful servant of the Lord. We greatly enjoyed working with him.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Carylla, Don, Mom, Bethany and Marnie
Friday, June 19, 2009
The team was involved in lots of different ministry during the week. Soccer games in the community, VBS program, house visits, church services, youth games, soccer tournaments etc. As we went through the schedule laid out for the week I was reminded that laughter is a universal language! Infants, adults, youth and the elderly all love to laugh. We all do it in differnt ways but there is something so freeing about a good hearty laugh. Laughter is a bond that can unite people across lanugage barriers, economic differences, cultural differences and disabilities.
|From Seacoast 20 somethings 2009|
|From Seacoast 20 somethings 2009|
|From Seacoast 20 somethings 2009|
Friday, June 5, 2009
Car trouble inevitably follows me wherever I go and whatever vehicle I seem to be driving. Thankfully I seem to learn a lot about cars in the process and get to see God work in incredible ways.
On Tuesday I took my truck to Jason, a missionary mechanic to replace the clutch that was going out. There was a little bit of a time crunch because the truck is needed Friday to go out to the boonies for a medical outreach. Jason assured me that he could get the truck done no problem by Friday at noon. Wednesday night I was babysitting Jason's two kids and he told me that he was having a lot of trouble getting some bolts loose. He spent 4 hours working on them and in the process broke a few tools. He assured me that they had a plan and that he was still going to get it done in time and not to worry. I wasn't worried but did submit the need to the Lord in prayer.
I shared the situation with the staff at Christ for the City and we all prayed about it on Thursday. Jason told me today that he went in on Thursday morning and was able to get the bolts loose in about 20 minutes. God loosened the screws and allowed Jason to get the job done. It is impressive to see the details that our God attends to in each of our lives. Jason told me that he was worried that things were not going to go back together very easily. Today as I picked up the truck Jason shared that everything went back together really easily. Praise the Lord for His mighty hand over the screws, mechanics, tools and people in His service.
A little side note. The tools that broke were under warranty in Canada and will be replaced too!
Please pray for the medical outreach this weekend and for the Seacoast 20's team that is coming in on Sunday. Nathan and I will be gone with them all week. It's going to be a fun and adventurous week.
|From blog photos|
Here are some of our summer interns loading up the truck for the medical outreach
|From blog photos|
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
First of all I give thanks to God for a very productive and relatively peaceful few weeks of work in the office. It could only be the hand of God as many of you who have been here know how quickly and crazy things get. I have been able to get lots of things organized for the Short Term Missions department as well as make lots of plans for the upcoming teams that I will be working with.
On Sunday the first team arrives. Nathan and I will be working with the Seacoast 20 somethings team for a week in Villa El Carmen. It will be a week full of sports, sun and making new friends.
Please pray for the following:
- New relationships to be formed between the church members and new believers in the community
- Safety in planes, buses and cars
- Health (we'll be staying with families at the church Estrella de Belen)
- A teacher training that I will be leading right after the team leaves
- Financial support- may the Lord continue to provide all that is needed
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Ok so a lot has happened. Today I want to share about the teacher training that Julie and I did the last week she was here. We feel so privelaged to have had the opportunity to work with the terrific teachers at Colegio Hosanna Sur. Esperanza the director continues to be an encouragment and is helping us know how to better meet the needs of the teachers and students at her school.
hier classrooms. Mixed with fun games and lots of role-play teachers left with a plan to put into action in thier classrooms.
The following week when I went to visit the school many of the teachers had taken the first step and had their rules displayed on their walls.