Saturday, June 27, 2009

Photos from Heartland Nicaragua Challenge

Heartland Nicaragua Challenge is another short-term missions team that wanted to serve the people of Nicaragua. They also had a blog and sent out some email updates regarding their missions experience. Below are a few pictures I received from them of their time in Nicaragua. They weren't labeled, but I'll try to explain what I think they are. Someone please leave a comment and correct me if I am wrong.

A local Christian church. Notice the lack of chairs? Heartland Nicaragua Challenge raised an additional love offering before they left and were able to purchase 50 chairs for 3 separate churches in addition to many other items the churches and pastors needed.
Upon first seeing this photo of an outhouse, I freaked out for a minute and went back to my paperwork. Turns out, we won't have to use this. But it is common in Nagarote.
A street in town. You can see a man riding a bicycle while pulling a 2-person cart. This is a common form of transportation and costs 5 cordoba (which is like $0.25)

Another picture of local transportation, but not the kind we would purchase a fare on.

The Hostal Jerusalen is where we will be staying. It is owned by a Christian couple and will be our home for 10 days. We will also take our meals here as someone has been hired to cook for us. I believe our most common meal will be beans. I like beans. I am also packing some Luna bars! :)

Once we are on the ground in Nagarote, we will have a laptop and slow internet access, so we plan to add more photos of our experience at that time.

Do you have any questions about Nagarote or our trip?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Final Preparation Meeting

Tonight our team met for the last time before coming together again for our commissioning ceremony on July 5th.

We were fortunate to be joined by Rafael who had many insights to share as he just returned from a short-term mission trip to Nagarote with another area group.

The evening started with prayer and a reminder that the buzz word for any short-term missions trip is "flexibility." And we put our flexibility muscles to good use as we adjusted to some last-week changes to our itinerary. Apparently, the orphanage and hospital we intended to visit do not want any foreigners coming due to their worries about the H1N1 virus. Instead, we will be working with Right to Learn and The Rainbow Network. (See our updated itinerary in the right sidebar.)

Each of us presented additional information about our areas of responsibility for the Children's Festival and were able to assure the rest of the team that we are indeed prepared. There was also talk of all the important things to make sure we packed, like flashlights, Immodium, and sneakers since we are going during the rainy season.

And now that all of our team was in the same place at the same time, we took a true team picture. We represent five different churches and all stages of life.
Front: Justyn, Rafael, Crystal, Joe, Shelley, Angela
Middle: Tammy, Rick, Dianna, Rebecca, Aaron
Back: Dyllyn, Bruce, Jennifer, Todd, Steve, Stephanie

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pre-trip Prayer Needs

There are several areas of need that we'd like to ask you to lift up in prayer as we finalize our preparations.
  • The hearts of the people we will meet. That God would prepare them now for our time with them.
  • The hearts of those of us going. That God would prepare them for our time with the locals.
  • Friday, June 28th, our team will have our final mandatory meeting to finalize the logistics of our time in Nagarote. We will all be doing a dry run of our Children's Festival responsibilities.
  • Team unity, good spirits and willing hearts leading up to our travel day (see itinerary in side bar).
  • On-the-ground logistics as final plans are being made in Nagarote.
  • Finances. Several team members are still raising the funds, which are due this Friday, the 28th.
  • No last minute illnesses or passport issues that might prevent someone from going.
Please let us know you will be praying for us by leaving a comment below. It would mean so much to know we will be remembered during our trip.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Preparing for Missions

God has blessed a rag-tag group of Christians from across central FL with the opportunity to go to Nicaragua on a 10-day mission trip this July. We come from different cities and backgrounds, but know God will use each of our unique talents to bless one another and the people of Nagarote, Nicaragua.

Even though this trip isn't about us, here is a picture of part of the group of 18 Christians that will be traveling together.