Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nicaragua Sports Ministry - May 15, 2012


It´s now Tuesday and we´re closing out another day here in Nicarauga.
Between yesterday afternoon and now, it feels like we´ve touchd a few
million souls, but really it´s only been hundreds.

At the devotion last night, it hit that we´re halfway through our
mission trip, and it was a shock. We *just* got here, didn´t we? But
when we thought about it, it seems kind of like we´ve been here
forever, too.

Our devotion ran late last night because we got started late.
Yesterday was go-go-go up until another wonderful Nicaraguan meal (oh!
the fabulous juices!) and then we went again.

Our last stop before devotion was a night out at Rose of Sharon, where
they have their weekly youth group meeting on Mondays. We´d seen
Reggie and Oscar wearing shirts with ¨Zumba!¨on them, but honestly, it
hadn´t occurred to us why.

We learned Monday night.

The kids at the Rose of Sharon church rocked, Central America style.
Although most of the group has no idea of what a ¨mosh pit¨is, that´s
pretty much what happened at the front of the church. All our players
joined the local kids who were dancing Zumba-style at the front of the
church, feeling the Holy Spirit in the moves. June in particular held
her own, living every minute of it.

Drenched in sweat after about an hour, both Justin and Chase gave
their testimonies before Shawn again delivered a powerful message,
this time with a ¨futbol theme.

Today, the team had ä long day out, heading from one feeding/VBS to
another, and at both the skies opened, monsoon-style, as soon as the
cauldron of food was ready to serve.

No matter. Even with impending rain the hundreds of kids enjoyed
another rendition of ¨David and Goliath¨ (with Alec in his theatrical
debut role as the protagonist), creating puppets afterward. A fairly
overwhelming number of kids came out, which was both inspiring and
depressing, since we were seeing the joy we brought to each child at
the same time as his or her only meal of the day.

Songs, bubbles and candy makes for a good pre-meal routine, and the
kids enjoyed every minute of it. Some of the team chipped in to cut up
the vegetables to be added to the usual rice, of which -- for the
first feeding, anyway -- we used 30 pounds of rice.

Just as the food was ready to serve, the skies opened, forcing us to
move ¨indoors,¨which is simply a roofed structure with a hard dirt
floor (as to how hard, ask Allen, who, in his role as Goliath, gets to
fall to the ground in the skit´s finale).

After the kids and their parents were served, our team had a more
modest meal of ham and cheese sandwiches before heading out in our
Hyundai bus through flood-soaked roads for another hour or so of
driving. The feeding stations aren´t in the suburbs. They´re in the

And the dumps. Our second stop was to feed families at the local dump,
where 200-250 families make their homes. They earn a living picking
through discarded items, scavaging plastics, metals and such for sale
to recyclers.

To the kids, the life seems normal, and they came en masse out to see
Team Gringo and their bubbles, balloons puppets and futbol players.
But this time, we had another project -- to provide them with a
toilet/shower combination. One for the whole community, as there
hadn´t been one before.

So a handful of the guys mixed cement, Nicaragua-style, which involves
mix, water, shovels and a lot of elbow grease.

And again, as they were working, the skies opened again, letting loose
a second monsoon of the day. No matter. A roof on the stall was the
first thing to go up, so the guys kept working through it.

After the feeding, we did have a few trepitatious moments, as the
flooded roads hit new highs (in our eyes, anyway) and the van slogged
through brown running water that looked knee-high in some places.

Tonight, the guys picked up another game and tomorrow we plan on
setting out again for another feeding, this time of about 200 more
kids. Then, we´re planning a well-deserved break, taking the afternoon
off to check out the waves and do some shopping for our friends back

Gracias for your continued prayers!