Nicaragua Day 1

Theses diary posts are always tough, because it’s so hard to cover everything we do and see, and there are so many pictures I’d love to show.  So I’m just going to pick and choose a few and tell a few stories from my perspective.  We have an incredible team of 13, and they all saw and experienced some amazing stuff today.

The day started off at the children’s cancer hospital. It’s a very, very sad place.  We were hoping to be able to visit with and pray with many of the sick kids and their parents.  However, a child there recently was admitted who had something like chicken pox, and as a result, they quarantined the place and we couldn’t go in.  Hopefully we’ll be able to make it back there later this week.  However, we still spent time in the courtyard area, praying for people who came outside to us and handing out care packages.  This created a big scene, obviously, and made it difficult to privately minister to some hurting families, but it was still a great time.  The picture below is really blurry because I’m a bad photographer, but it gives you an idea of what we did.

We then headed next door to a Ronald McDonald style house.  It’s where kids and their families stay between chemo treatments.  We sang songs and I got to do a little magic show and we prayed for everyone there.  It was really cool.  I’d rather do magic tricks in this kind of environment than anywhere else.

Jhonny, one of our interpretors, is in the blue shirt.  He’s leading music for us as well, since we can’t really sing in Spanish.  He is an amazing guy who also helped us last year, and I don’t know what we’d do without him.

After that we headed to one of my favorite places in all of Nicaragua, the Hosanna Orphanage.  They have 30 plus kids who have been abandoned and worse.  And these kids are given so much love and hope.  And they’re so full of joy.  Wayne and Elaine, (who run Savior’s Tear, the amazing organization we’re working with) have a relationship with this orphanage due to the fact that several of the kids there were once part of their school in the dumpground.  The stories of why the children ended up at the orphanage are heartbreaking, and really unfathomable to my American ears, to be honest.  But these kids are amazing.  I could spend the week with them, that’s for sure.

I was able to do another magic show and share a special word for the kids and lead them in some prayer time.  Then we were treated to an amazing little dance performance from the kids that they had prepared for us.  It was awesome.

It was amazing to watch these kids who should be broken dance with such joy.  It was beauty from ashes, that is for sure.

After that was easily the funnest part of the day – a USA vs. Nicaragua futbol match.  Obviously, we were destroyed 8-1.  Those kids are amazing, and made us look rather dumb.  According to them, they were taking it easy on us until I scored to put us up 1-0.  My after the score celebration and taunting apparently riled them up.  I thought that’s what you’re supposed to do when scoring.  My bad.   By the end, there were 10 plus highly skilled Nicaraguan boys taking on Tommy, me, Casey, Jared, and Jason with the ocassional help from Hayes.  We were outnumbered and very outskilled.  I am still tired.

Here’s what the girls did after abandoning us.  I guess it was calmer.

Here’s most of the boys after the game (we were tired and very sweaty):

On of the things I was most looking forward to on the trip this year was going to the orphanage and seeing Moises, a now 10, then 9 year old boy I connected with last year and was able to pray with and speak some real life into last year.  But when we go there, it turns out he wasn’t there – he had gone into the market with a few of the adults.  I was pretty sad.  However, during the soccer game, I heard Wayne yell my name and I looked up and saw Moises.  He had arrived in time to play with us.  He made a beeline to me and gave me a huge hug.  I was so happy he remembered me, because I certainly haven’t forgotten about him.  I asked him if he remembered what we talked about last year.  This was over 16 months ago, mind you.  And he filled me in verbatim what I had told him!  Pretty cool.  I can’t wait to see what God does through him as he grows up.  I’ll keep coming back here as often as I can just to stay in touch with him.

It was a good day.  Pray we can make a return to the cancer hospital later this week.  And pray for us tomorrow.  We’ll be going to the House of Hope, which works with women and children rescued from human trafficing.  It’s going to be a tough yet great day, I know.

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