Our day started much like any other day at Casa de Shelly. Don shook, bang, and wrestled with the doors to our bunkrooms like a mad man. Needless to say, he got the job done separating us from our beds! Once we all brushed our teeth and reintroduced ourselves to the stiffness in our muscles from shoveling dirt yesterday, our morning devotional commenced in the living room. Andrew Flegge shared a message about identity and the struggle that many young people have with it. Andrew referenced Romans 6 and the need to find our identity through serving God’s kingdom, and realizing that we are His children first and foremost.
Next on the agenda was the radio telecast. Megan, Daniel, Kerri, Kyle, and Jackson all headed over to the radio station to share their testimonies, along with our dynamic duo worship team—Jordan and Andrew! The radio station reaches areas of El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Rumor has it that the station also reaches parts of Florida…so tune in North America!
While the radio station group was sharing their testimonies, the rest of us stuffed three donation bags full of clothing items and shoes. The three teams then proceeded to split into their respective work assignments and head out. Today Team A had the privilege to go to the Baptist School of Somotillo and share our testimonies with the school children. Tears were shed as each of us opened up to the children and shared the ways in which Jesus changed our lives. There were many heartwarming moments this morning. Team A then left the school and witnessed to the local community about Jesus. The majority (~88%) of Nicaraguans are Catholics. As opposed to North American Catholicism, Catholics in Latin America worship Mary, and believe that good deeds will get them into Heaven, not Jesus. The remaining 12% of Nicaraguans are mostly strong Christians.
Teams B and C continued to haul, sweat, and dig for the construction project. Sunburns are starting to make their marks–no amount of sunscreen can protect these gringos!
All three teams met up at Casa de Shelly again at noon for lunch. The smell of hot, fresh chimichangas hung in the air as we all dug into a delicious meal. We are truly blessed beyond measure with the quality of food at Casa de Shelly. The majority of the people in the villages we visited have only a palm of rice to eat every day, along with a few beans and a tortilla if they are lucky.
After lunch, we all headed to San Francisco village past El Laredo village that we visited yesterday. A hot meal was cooked for the people, and they all gathered around the missionaries to listen to our Bible stories and run and play with us. Worries melted away for a while as little girls played jump rope, young boys played with balloons, and mothers had their nails painted. A large game of baseball and soccer with a majority of the village adolescents also ensued.
Men, women, and children again lined the roads as we left the village waiting for the clothes and shoes that we threw out of the trucks at them. It was difficult to pace ourselves with the amount of donations we threw at the hundreds of people waiting for us—seeing the looks of desperation and pleading on so many faces makes it hard to slow down the pace.
As we rode back to Casa de Shelly with empty bags and full hearts, the sun began to recede once again. Jesus will always satisfy, and is always watching over the people in the Villages, even when we aren’t there. This simple fact gives us all peace in our hearts knowing that all of us are looked after by one Mighty King.