Friday, June 18, 2010

The Purdue Team

May was the month for teams.  It was our first time to receive teams and to help lead, and boy was it hard work, but a total blast!  
First came Purdue {May 9-20}
 For those who are interested, here's what their trip looked like:

~ ~ ~ Sunday, Day 1 ~ ~ ~
Team arrives in the evening
Subway dinner
Worship & Bedtime

~ ~ ~ Monday, Day 2 ~ ~ ~
Orientation (culture, history, rules, etc)
Packed PB&J lunches and on the bus to Rio Blanco
4 hour bus ride took 6 hours because of bus issues
Arrived just in time for English class - team jumped right in!

~ ~ ~ Tuesday, Day 3 ~ ~ ~
Early AM "group time" at our house
Liquia Adventure Day: The whole team piled in a milk truck to go to Liquia (we followed behind on the motorcycle)
 We got as far as we could by truck and then hiked in to get to the church.
The brothers in Liquia came with their "beasts" (horses/donkeys/mules) to carry in the heavy stuff.
Tedd hopped on a horse as well.
Upon arrival, we did a crash course in teaching a literacy lesson and then started the literacy class...
After the literacy class, the festivities began!
 The fattened calf was slaughtered (literally) and the women got to cooking.
Meanwhile, the locals showed us how to cut grass with a machete, ride horses, and plant beans & yucca.  We had watermelon, played baseball, rode horses, took pictures, braided hair, and just had a grand ole time of fellowship!
 Flavio enjoys some refreshing watermelon

Tiffany goes for a ride

kids gather around to see Ian's photos

they loved Sally's french-braids

The team also put on a children's program and it seemed as though the entire village showed up!  The church was packed that night!
After a long afternoon of playing, the roosters were calling it a night...
But we were just getting started!  We ate dinner (beef ribs - a little tough, but delicious), and
the church took advantage of all the visitors, turned on the generator, and held a big booming service!
What a day!
After the church service, the men helped us tie up 21 hammocks inside the church building so we could crash...
Once the generator went out, there were only the faint sounds of dogs barking in the distance.  The fireflies went on display and just before settling down, we went to ooh and ahh at the stars.  They had no competition that night.  Not a single city light could be seen as far as the eye could reach; it was just us, the pitch black, and the glittery stars, and our hearts glorified their Creator.

~ ~ ~ Wednesday, Day 4 ~ ~ ~
Rise & shine!  It's 5AM in the countryside, and time to milk the cows.
Bernardo invited us to his home.  He showed the team how to milk cows, and his wife Yelba let them make fresh tortillas.  This little calf can't wait to have his turn!
Ian jumps in to try while the Pastor, Bernardo's son, Tedd, & Kelsey watch

GiJey gave it a shot, too.  It was his first time and he was a little grossed out.

Peter shows off the tortilla he made

 The parrot enjoys some tortilla as well!

After spending time with Bernardo & his family, we hiked back to the church to have breakfast.  Rice & beans, fried yucca, fresh cabbage salad, and...cow heart.
Everyone really liked it!
After breakfast, we said our goodbyes, took some group pics, and hiked back out to the dirt road to hop back on the milk truck.

When we got back to Rio Blanco, everyone was reeeeeally ready for showers and a nap (sleeping in hammocks isn't very comfortable), so the pairs headed back to their host families' homes and had the afternoon to rest.

Afternoon: group time & English class prep
Evening: English classes & Dinner with host families

~ ~ ~ Thursday, Day 5 ~ ~ ~
 First day of construction.
In the morning, after group time, we all walked together across town to "La Verbo" church to help with their new church construction.
Rainy season really hit us hard while Purdue was with us - boots were a must & we came home just about every day soaked to the bone.
 While several stayed to work, a small group of us went back to Liquia again (this time in a pickup truck) to do another literacy class.  Classes in Liquia are held every Tues & Thurs.
we had guirilas for lunch on the way there (my favorite!!)

This literacy day was a really really special one.  We taught Lesson 12, where the name of Jesus is introduced.
Stephen became an expert with the word cards

The students were very excited that they would now recognize "Jesus" whenever his name appears in the Bible.
In the afternoon, those who were in Liquia & those who were at the construction site all met together again in the village of Paiwa to do a children's program.  We all got soaked!

That evening: dinner, family time, and night night.

~ ~ ~ Friday, Day 6 ~ ~ ~
Early AM group time.
Hike to the construction site.  Still lots of rain, which means lots of mud!
After working at the construction site, we headed home for lunch and then met back together in the afternoon to visit the local bakery and eat bread, hot out of the oven!
and then there was English class prepping...
 and then English classes.
While the team led our English classes, I spent the weeknights working with these gals on their English homework from the local school.  They had to sing an English song in front of their class for the assignment.  They chose "We Are the World."  Their pronunciation needed lots of work!

~ ~ ~ Saturday, Day 7 ~ ~ ~
Early AM Group Time
Back to the construction site...
The team leaders - Ken L. & Charlotte M.

Later that afternoon, the team went to do a children's program in the park.  About 80+ kids arrived!
They taught about forgiveness.
Meanwhile, Tedd & Brad were doing a literacy class in Paiwa, and Amy & I were prepping for a surprise birthday party for 3 of the team members!

Charlotte - I love this girl!
The birthday kids
It was such a fun party!  There was a mariachi, dancing, Indian food :-), pinata, birthday crowns, balloons, streamers, and presents!

~ ~ ~ Sunday, Day 8 ~ ~ ~
Picnic Day!
Sunday we hiked to the waterfalls as one big group with the host families.  It wasn't an easy hike!  Everything was sooo muddy and we were slipping and sliding all over the trails, ducking under and through barbed wire fences (with permission), and crossing several creeks before we finally arrived, but it was worth it!  It was a wonderful day of fellowship.

After the picnic at the waterfalls and some share time, we headed home, rested, cleaned up for church, and attended the evening service at the Verbo church (where most of the host families are members).

~ ~ ~ Monday, Day 9 ~ ~ ~
Early AM Group Time
Final day of construction
Walking home in the rain


In the evening, the team led their last English classes
Group pic w/ a couple students
~ ~ ~ Tuesday, Day 10 ~ ~ ~
AM - team leaves Rio Blanc

Afternoon - arrived at Crater's Edge (lodging on a volcano's crater-lake) for "debrief"
Debrief - a scheduled time to reflect on the week & how God worked
 the crater lake

~ ~ ~ Wednesday, Day 11 ~ ~ ~
Wednesday we finished up debrief at Crater's Edge & went to Masaya for some souvenir shopping.  
That night we stayed at the Baptist House in Managua and the team left the following day...
 the end...
but not truly the end.  
We made great friends and hope to see these guys again someday! 
We were really blessed by their enthusiasm and focus.  They really reached out to people and inspired me to examine my own passion to serve the Lord and love others "recklessly."  I'm thankful for them and I know that there were seeds planted through their time here!

PS - These pictures were taken by the team members 


  1. Incredible post and update! I'm ready to hop a plane right now! :)
    It's so wonderful to see what God is doing in Nica!!! Love you guys!!! You're in our prayers!!! Give each other a BIG hug from us!!!


  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. it's so cool, to read and look at some of the pics put together! thanks for having us!

    Esta experiencia estuvo brutal y definitivamente no hay palabras que describan y le hagan juicio a como esta experiencia ha cambiado mi vida y lo mucho que aprendí.




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