Thursday, October 22, 2009

Team Nicarado!

We have had another successful day in El Crucero. Liz's passion for missions coupled with her talent in sewing has truly launched the beginning of a great vocational program for the local women.

The children continue to enjoy their time with Taylor and Laney. Today they participated in a variety of activities from crafts and computers to sports and face painting! It has been a blessing to have their family join us this week.

Sara continues to work her magic in the communications department. She somehow manages to keep us all on the same page and focused on the same goal. Not an easy task! Her dedication is an inspiration for our leadership team. Both our U.S. team and our Nicaragua team, hence our nickname-Team Nicarado!

Our newest partner and friend, Jean Feist, was a welcome surprise. Her expertise, knowledge and advice have been priceless. Please continue to pray for the funding and processing of the crate. It is exciting to watch the pieces come together.

We are so blessed to have a God that is gracious and kind. He continually provides and guides us in this ministry and we thank each of you for your prayers and support. El Crucero is quickly becoming our home away from home!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

God is Good!!

It has been an amazing two days here in
Nicaragua. Although group is small (4) we have accomplished a great deal in the last 48 hrs. We have spent majority of our time in meetings with various government officials to discuss our plans to partner with Project Cure to have a 40 foot container of medical equipment and supplies delivered to the Clinic. All of our meetings have been successful and we are hopeful that we are beginning to build relationships that will insure continued medical care for those in need in El Crucero.
Jean Fiest from Project Cure has joined us on this trip to facilitate a needs assessment of the clinic in order to prepare a detailed inventory of what medical equipment and supplies will be best suited for the medical needs of the clinic. Jean has been a wealth of information through the process and is very excited about the future of the clinic and our ministry.

Our team of doctors and volunteers in El Crucero are doing an amazing job running the clinic and administering health care to those in need. It is amazing to see the clinic fully operational even with the limited amount of supplies, equipment and medicine. Nearly 30 patients are being seen each day the clinic is open. With an additional 15-20 receiving dental care.

Plans are underway for the construction of a kitchen at the clinic in order to better support the weekly feeding program that is being run out of the clinic. We are hopeful to begin the kitchen build out on our next team trip in December. A generous church in California has fully funded the kitchen build out. We are blessed by their support.

Tomorrow several from our team will begin a new arm of our ministry. A new vocational education program is underway that will teach women in El Crucero sewing as a trade. It will be an exciting opportunity to expand our ministry and help the local women towards a brighter future for themselves and their families.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday, Day Seven - Travel Day

Sunday was our travel day and we all arrived back home safely. We look back on our trip and are thankful for all the people God has put into our lives. We have strengthened existing relationships and have begun new ones that will grow to be strong. Our construction objectives inside the clinic were nearly completed with just one wall left to be dry-walled along with the remaining painting.

We all feel strongly that the clinic is continuing to proceed in God's plan and this beacon of light is growing ever brighter amongst the fog. And it is with all of you - our friends, family, and acquaintances, that are helping make this happen. Your prayers and financial support are touching so many lives in ways that we will never fully know. From medical and dental care, to the feeding of hundreds of children and adults, to the love given to the kids at the local orphanage. Your help is touching kids that may grow up to be Christian leaders - those that God will empower to make change and further provide help for the people in El Crucero and elsewhere.

In all of our endless appreciation, thank you.
El Crucero Leadership Team

Saturday, Day Six - Wedding Day

Saturday - The morning saw us return to the clinic to finish installing one door and to begin painting the exam rooms (and continue painting the exterior). We organized the storage room, separating out clothing, shoes, and sports equipment. Around 11:00am, three of our team members left to attend the wedding of our local friends. It was a beautiful wedding at Pastor Luis' church with great food and fabulous conversations. We wish them a blessed marriage.

In the afternoon, the rest of the team traveled to Jinotepe and Diriamba to visit the local markets. This was a joy for all to experience - local goods from beans, coffee, meat, rice, cheese, shoes, etc. all being sold in an open air market spanning numerous streets.

As evening rolled in, we all met back in Managua to have dinner and pack for our trip home. The relationships that have been built are now more family-like. We will miss our Nica family and can't wait to return.

God Bless,
El Crucero Leadership Team

Friday, July 10, 2009

Day Five - a Day for Kids

Our day began with an amazing food outreach and entertainment for 200 local children in the clinic. It was so much fun to see the various skits, singing, and laughter. Although the grill took some time to get started, it finally caught and quickly cooked more than enough beef to feed all 200 children. We held a sports clinic at Pastor Luis’ church in the afternoon. There were approximately 80 kids who played soccer, baseball, and basketball. Our big game against Real El Crucero ended up as a round robin tournament consisting of six teams. It was fun to see players of all ages and ability playing together. Due to time constraints we were unable to finish and our game ended up a draw.

Around 5:00pm, we hosted the children from the ABC orphanage back at the clinic for an evening of pizza and a movie – the Lion King in Spanish. It was such a joy to see familiar faces from the orphanage. This was a rare opportunity for these kids to enjoy a somewhat common pleasure we enjoy in the U.S.

Tomorrow we will return to the clinic to tie up a couple of projects and leave things in working order until our next visit. Three of our female team members will be attending a wedding for two of our local friends.

Dios le Bendiga (God Bless You),
El Crucero Leadership Team

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day Four - The Lords Work

What an amazing day - from fellowship, to new experiences, from beautiful scenery, and heart moving moments. Today was the clearest day we have ever seen in El Crucero. We could see from the active volcano Masaya, all the way to the coastline. Some members of the team spent the day in La Chureca. La Chureca is an active community located inside the Managua city dump. There are approximately 800 people who call the dump home. In one moment of grace, an 8-year old boy walked into the center of a prayer ring in need of spiritual healing. This was one of those moments that words cannot fully describe.

Another highlight of the day was our meeting with the local soccer team call Real El Crucero. The purpose of our meeting was to discuss a possible partnership between their team and our Real Colorado soccer club. The El Crucero team is a group of boys aged 15 to 25, many of whom are attending school. Some of our team members, along with our friends from Pastor Luis' church will be playing a friendly match with them tomorrow. We have two food outreaches planned for tomorrow - one will consist of 250 people from the surrounding community. The other will take place in the evening as we host the local orphans for pizza, friendship, and a movie.

Please keep in your prayers a successful outcome from a very important meeting with MINSA, regarding approval of our clinic license. It is imperative that we get this license to receive donated medicine and other clinical supplies.

One final, important note is that the clinic has served 774 people for medical care from January to June!

Please pray for safe travels for two of our team members as they head home tomorrow - muchos gracias.
El Crucero Leadership Team

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day Three - A Day of Outreach

Hola friends and family. We had a very busy day in El Crucero. The day started with team members applying much needed paint to the exterior of the clinic. Throughout the day, construction was being done on the exam rooms and tomorrow we will apply the first coat of paint. In the afternoon, team members used one of the exam rooms as a tienda (shop) where children and some adults received shorts, shirts, pants, and shoes. Team members also delivered food baskets to four families in great need. We prayed that God would look after each family and provide for their needs; they were very appreciative and many will be coming to the clinic in the next few days for medical and dental care. We concluded the day by attending Pastor Luis' church service - it was a great interaction between two cultures, sharing laughter, praise, and devotion. We followed with a wonderful Nicaraguan dinner at the church; a good time to further our relationships with our local friends.

As each day passes, we continue to be reunited with friends from the past and our belief in our mission here in Nicaragua is solidified.

El Crucero Leadership Team

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day Two - Open for Service

Mucho fue alcanzado hoy. Nos acaban casi con la construcci├│n de tres cuartos del examen y de una cocina. Oops - sorry about that, we are still thinking and speaking in Espa├▒ol. Much was achieved today. We are nearly finished with the construction of three exam rooms and a kitchen. We had a successful day treating 30 patients in need of medical care and 15 dental patients. Many of the team members spent the afternoon with the local kids making cross necklaces while other children played baseball. On the way back from El Crucero, one of the vans stopped at a children's orphanage in Managua to deliver blankets and spend time holding the infants. Tomorrow we will spend the day finalizing construction, providing medical care, and attending a service at Pastor Luis' church. Although we have only been here a couple of short days, we have accomplished a lot and have begun new relationships and have furthered others.

Please continue to pray for our friends in El Crucero,
El Crucero Leadership Team

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day One - Back in Action

We have arrived in Nicaragua and are pleased that EVERY one of our bags made it through customs! Our first day up at the clinic consisted of exam room construction and food outreach for 21 families. We were all very excited to see familiar faces and the kids had so much fun reuniting with their Nicaraguan friends. We have four guests with us on this trip and they quickly realized how El Crucero has become such a big part of our lives. Tomorrow we plan to finish constructing the walls for the exam rooms in time for two general practitioners and one dentist to begin seeing patients. We look forward to sharing with you tomorrow's experiences.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support,
El Crucero Leadership Team

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bags are Packed

Our bags are packed and we are ready to go. . . .

Soon our travels will begin and the entire team is eagerly awaiting the friendly and caring faces of our Nicaraguan friends. Over the course of the next two weeks, we will be providing regular updates to the many who track the work we are doing on behalf of God's kingdom. We appreciate all of your prayers and ask you to please continue praying for safe and healthy travel, productive work, and fellowship.

We appreciate your prayers of support and protection!

God Bless,
Project El Crucero Leadership Team

Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Fiesta Fundraiser

We want to say thank you to everyone who helped make our Summer Fiesta Fundraiser a success. It was an entertaining evening and a chance for our team to share our passion for El Crucero with our many friends and family. We are gearing up for our next trip and look forward to providing updates in the near future.

With God's Blessings,
Team Nica

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Safe Travels

Many thanks to all of you who prayed for the team's safe travels. We were able to make our tight connection and returned home late Sunday night. We are so appreciative knowing that we have a dedicated prayer team including us in their conversations with our Savior.

Our trip was a tremendous success, highlighted by seeing the clinic lights beaming in the darkness. We can't wait to return and we look forward to sharing this most recent experience.

In God's love,
Team Nica

Sunday, March 8, 2009

...let there be light...

The clinic finally has power and lighting fixtures! The installation of 15 light fixtures and numerous outlets now provide light and power to every corner of the clinic. It was so great to see the clinic, a beacon in the night, all lit up in darkness and hurricane force winds. Yes, hurricane force winds last night. It does make you wonder how long the roof will last.

We also completed the construction of three, seven-foot benches to be used in the waiting area. The repainted Clinica Susie Syke sign was hung and the lower outside of the clinic was painted.

Many of you will remember pictures from our October trip. There was a picture of a 15-year old girl with her daughter wrapped up in car insulation. Yesterday, we returned to her home with a blanket for her daughter, a couple of shirts, and food.

It has been a quick, albeit successful trip. As we prepare to head home, we are already looking forward to returning and have a new list of projects. Thank you again for all of your support and we ask that you continue to pray for our safe travels.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Another Blustery Day in El Crucero

Much progress was made despite another windy day. There was activity in all corners of the clinic today - retrofitting existing doors, the continuation of the electrical buildout, signage repairs and painting, lock and hinge replacements, cabinetry construction, and several other renovations. See a portion of today's activity below:

Winds were again consistently 50 mph with periodic gusts even greater. This wind provided challenges, whether we were repairing the side of the roof, painting, or even during door repairs (as seen below).

Return to the blog tomorrow evening to see video footage of the clinics new lighting system.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Building the Faith

Today was a tremendous success.  We replaced several door hinges that have corroded due to the sulfuric air and built a new door inside the pharmacy.  The electrical framework has been installed and ready for the finishing touches.  A new project has been undertaken as there is an urgent need for roof repairs.  When we arrived, there was a two-foot hole in one portion of the roof with smaller holes in other parts.  Supplies have been purchased, and God willing, this project will be completed tomorrow.  Our challenge today was the 50 mph wind that was relentless and we pray that it subsides for tomorrow's task.

This afternoon, we visited the local orphanage to donate fleece blankets.  The welcome we received - open arms, playful banter, and faces full of joy were such a blessing for our eyes to see.  We got to tour the facility, speak with the staff, and watch class being conducted.  

Tomorrow, we will complete the electrical buildout, roof repairs, and other maintenance projects.  Thanks again for all of you prayers and support.

We've attached a short video of the elements we dealt with today - enjoy, we did.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Members of our team have arrived in Managua, Nicaragua with a warm welcome from our friends.  We have a busy day planned for tomorrow as we begin electrical renovation and general maintenance.  We will also be working with the local officials to finalize a needed permit.  Good night and thank you for your support.

Construction Trip

Several members of our ‘Leadership Team’ will be traveling to Nicaragua in the coming week.  The purpose of this trip is renovation and construction.  We will be rewiring the electrical framework in order to provide better and more reliable electricity throughout the facility.  We will also be building out cabinets for storage, plumbing, and other general maintenance.  Please pray for safe travels and may God bless you and your family.

January's Success

After deep thought, lengthy conversations, and many prayers, we have established the Susie Syke Leadership Team.  The purpose of this Board is to show and spread the love of Christ and to empower and serve the people of El Crucero, Nicaragua.

The trip in January was a glowing success.  There was much groundwork that was achieved and many strategic relationships established.  Soon the clinic in El Crucero will be operational on a consistent basis.  There will be a general practitioner, dentist, and ophthalmologist in the clinic regularly.  Additionally, pharmacy services will be carried out.  We are very excited that soon, the clinic will be carrying out the healthcare needs for the community.   We have great aspirations for the clinic to be a focal point in El Crucero and this success will help us serve and empower the people in the community. 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Kicking off 2009!

This upcoming week, members of our group will be traveling to El Crucero to locate and hire an administrator for the Susie Syke Clinic. Additionally, the team members will be meeting with local doctors to establish a formal schedule of health services at the clinic and will be meeting with local pastors to develop a service partnership to aid in the daily operation of the clinic. Please pray for the safe and successful journey.

God Bless,
Team Nica