Notes from Nicaragua-2

After Notes-Part 1 and a three week break for adoption, here are more journal notes from Nicaragua…

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June 29, 15

It’s almost 7:30, which is also breakfast time for our group, and the sun is already high in the sky, warm on my neck and bright on the page as I write.  The small fountain in the plaza at the center of the hotel runs behind me with the sounds of water bouncing all around the bright yellow, green and orange walls.  This is life close to the equator.

It’s gonna be a hot one.

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I watch a young Nicaraguan girl washing the floors in room after room.  As I read James 1, my focus for the week, I wonder, “Is she the ‘poor and oppressed’ that James is talking about?”

We are called to “visit” the orphan and widow in their distress.  This is true religion.  And yet as I think about and reflect on the history of God’s people, we chronically forget this.  I forget this!

June 30, 15

Today is the morning of our second day on the ground in Torrencio and I’m still reflecting on this first chapter of James.  He says this,

The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.  But the one who is high (that’s us rich, Americans) should take pride in his low position.

Speaking of pride and respect, I have been struck by the sense of respect I saw for Torrencio’s leaders when they stood up in front of the community and welcomed us.  These were people who had position and respect.  You could sense it in the community.  They extended that same respect to us.

Later, a small group from our team went to pray for one of the old men who was recovering from a pre-heart attack.  His left eye was either swollen or gone.  He was thin, grey haired and unable to walk unassisted, but he came out and sat in a chair to speak to us before we gathered around, laid hands on him and prayed.  What a sense of respect.  What a chance for us to serve.

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After teaching VBS, we helped serve the snacks by washing the kid’s hands with wash clothes.  It seemed that they were a numberless group, a horde of smiles that kept coming.  Brian and I played games with the kids and were rewarded with more smiles.  I imagined that this was my chance to empty myself and wash dirty hands in much the same way Jesus washed his disciple’s feet.  What a chance to take pride in our low position!

I can’t believe tomorrow will be day 3 and that we’ll finally meet Angeli, our sponsored child.

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