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