Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thank You

Thank you friends and family for all of your prayers.  Our travels went smoothly and we are all safely home.  We look forward to sharing our experiences with you.

In God's Blessings, 
Team Nica

Until Next Time

With God's blessings, your prayers, and our warriors on the ground, Randy and Sean, we were blessed with the release of our medical bags yesterday morning (Friday).  With this success, we were able to provide our ophthalmology outreach.  In four short hours, we were able to provide eyeglasses to over 70 community members - with hundreds more recipients in waiting.

Later in the afternoon, the team members were able to go out into the town and pass out 10 meal baskets to families designated by the local pastor, Pastor Luis.  This was truly a rewarding and memorable experience, providing us with special moments of interaction, prayer, laughter, and tears.

As we were leaving the clinic, there was a vibrant rainbow overhead - what a beautiful way for God to punctuate a special week for both our team, and our friends in El Crucero.  

Dios de Bendiga (God Bless You),

Team Nica 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Of course today was another great day, especially because it was Patty’s 29th birthday….AGAIN.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY PATTY! 

We spent the day at La Chureca. (The Dump)  Although visiting the dump was mentally draining it was also equally rewarding.  La Chureca is a community of approximately 750 people who live in the confines of the city dump in Managua.  These people live solely on the provisions that they find in the dump.  Health care is a major concern in La Chureca and our team spent a good portion of the day shampooing the hair of those that have been infested with lice.  We did lice treatment on approximately 15 people, both kids and adults. The team members that participated in the lice treatments had to also treat their own hair with lice shampoo to protect from potential infestation.

While some of the team did lice treatments the rest of the team repainted two swing sets and put on new swing seats.   The painting provided a great opportunity for the kids to serve and they were quite excited to be able to choose the paint design for the swing sets.

We were also given the opportunity to tour La Chureca and experience a small glimpse of how these people live.  It was an extremely hot day mixed with rain and a great deal of humidity making the smell of the dump much more exaggerated. Because of the amount of trash and bugs we were required wear long pants making it even hotter for everyone.  The entire team did a wonderful job of staying focused on the purpose of our visit and sharing God’s love with many.  Our visit to La Chureca proved to be both an eye opening experience as well spiritually rewarding journey.

After a trip to the local McDonald’s for a late lunch we spent the afternoon at the hotel resting and recuperating.  We celebrated Patty’s birthday at a Mexican food restaurant and returned to the hotel for cake.

The day spanned the entire spectrum of emotions……we celebrated, we laughed, we cried, some of us nearly lost our stomachs, we did things outside of our comfort zone and we reflected on the reality of how many people in the world live like this and how fortunate we are.

Grace and Peace,

Team Nica

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It was another fantastic day!  Today was similar to yesterday in that we provided medical and dental care to those living in and around El Crucero.  Today, the people lined up early seeking care.  By the end of the day, we provided medical care to 70+ patients and dental care to nearly 30 patients.  We wish we could work round the clock to meet the needs of the community as there is much that is needed.  

Unfortunately, we are still seeking the release of our pharmaceuticals.  After each hurdle, we have been presented with yet another but are hopeful that our medicine will be released tomorrow.  
Day 2 of the soccer camp was filled with fun.  At any one time, we had four games going.  We were blessed in that the resident horses never had the desire to play.  One of our soccer highlights today was the fact that so many children wore the t-shirts, jersey's, shorts, socks, and shoes they were presented with yesterday.  They wore them with pride and joy.


Team Nica

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

God is Great!

Our third day proved to be a wonderful success.  We spent the day at the clinic serving the needs of the villagers of El Crucero.  Part of our team arrived at the clinic at 8am to assist both the Doctor and the Dentist in seeing patients.  The remainder of the team arrived at the clinic at 10am to see a large line of villagers waiting for medical treatment.  The Doctor was able to see 72 patients and the Dentist was able to see 26 patients.  It was an amazing experience for the members of our team who were here last year to see the clinic in operation.  

While the Dentist was treating the last patient of the day, God provided an amazing provision.  The dentist was able to talk with the patient at length about his life and the many struggles he has had.  Through much discussion and prayer, the patient accepted Christ and committed to changing his life.  It was a true testimony to God's work and the purpose for our efforts.  The clinic has been blessed with the service of this Dentist; he is also a pastor and interested in not only treating their ailments but also witnessing to them for God.

We had team members who helped kids and adults make more crafts and spent time loving them as they waited to see the Doctor and Dentist.  We shared cookies and crackers with patients as they waited and prayed for their healing.  One of the team members scoured the countryside in an effort to find materials to repair the roof of the clinic - it was a success.

In the afternoon, a portion of the team headed to the local soccer field (actually a horse pasture) to conduct a soccer camp.  When we arrived and began to hand out the soccer cleats and equipment, there were 200+ children.  It proved to be quite a challenge to fit each one with cleats, but with the help of many local volunteers we were able to hand out all of the cleats and soccer equipment.  We spent several hours laughing, playing soccer and enjoying all of the smiling faces of all who participated. 

The Team appreciates all of your prayers and support, God Bless,
Team Nica

Monday, October 20, 2008

Team Nica Day 2

Today was another inspiring day! When we first arrived at the clinic this morning, there was already a substantial line of patients waiting to be seen.  Although we have not yet been successful getting the bags of medicine out of customs, we had a very busy day treating many patients in need of both medical and dental care.  Many on the team tried their hats assisting in dental extraction, taking blood pressure, and medical clinic administration.  Needless to say we were quite challenged but up for the task and very successful.  The need for medical care is overwhelming and treating the patients will fill a good portion of time over the next few days.  

Several members of our team also repaired the water tower behind the clinic, without the appropriate tools and a make shift ladder.  The tower on which the water tank sat was sagging and nearing collapse.  This tower serves as the main water source for the clinic and is an integral part of its operation.

The heavy rains today did not deter the children of El Crucero from having a great time playing soccer, doing arts and crafts and playing with their new American friends.  There was much laughter and joy on the faces of everyone.

Tomorrow we will continue our efforts in getting the medication out of customs and are hopeful that with the assistance of some local politicians, we will have all the meds out by noon and up to the clinic.   We will conduct medical clinic services again with the Doctor and the Dentist.  In addition tomorrow afternoon will be the first day of our soccer camp.  We will be handing out nearly 300 pairs of cleats and numerous soccer balls.  

In God's Blessings,

Team Nica

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Team Nica Day 1

Today was awesome!!!  The food outreach was a tremendous success.  We had an amazing turn out from the local village of El Crucero.  Everyone went home from the outreach having been well fed.  The children had a blast playing soccer, getting their faces painted, doing arts and crafts, and having a personal photo to take home with them. 

Tomorrow promises to be another action-packed day where we will provide much needed medical and dental services to the people of El Crucero, as well as, light construction and arts & crafts activities. 

Although this was only our first day, the experiences we shared with the people of El Crucero today certainly touched our lives and we look forward to the experiences God will bless us with throughout the week.

Thanks again for all of your prayers and support,
Team Nica

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friends & Family,

We would like to inform everyone of our safe travels to Managua, Nicaragua.  Thank you for all of your prayers.  We did have a slight snag in our travel plans in that some of our medical bags are being held by customs.  Please pray for a speedy release of those medical bags.  We are all very excited to be here and look forward to our lunch outreach tomorrow with approximately 300 residents of El Crucero.

In God's blessings,
Team Nica

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thank You

As we prepare for our trip, we wanted to say thank you to Ben. We were all touched by the special efforts he made to help collect used soccer gear for the children in and around El Crucero.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Packing Festivities

Sunday, October 12th, provided another moment to reflect on our awesome God. The grace he has bestowed on the people of El Crucero was evident in the 38, 50-pound bags that we packed for our upcoming trip. These bags include medicine, spectacles, soccer gear, tooth brushes, tooth paste, and many other needed items. The team is excited to serve and we can't wait to share our stories with all of you. Please look for our daily email and visit this blog each day for updates and occasional video.

God Bless,
Team Nica