Week Three’s Adventures

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This week I visited Nicaragua Christian Academy, the school that Lily and Chloe attend. The school was started by Christian missionaries who wanted to created a model elementary school for other public school around Nicaragua to learn from.

This is Miss. Shannon’s classroom. She teaches English as a Second Language. In the class pictured above, the second graders are practicing saying the parts of the body and reviewing other spelling words.

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One of the neighbors had kittens and gave the Chapman’s one to help get rid of the mice in the house. They named the kitten Chocolate Snowflake. An hour after Snowflake arrives, she gets stuck in a mouse trap. Fortunately, it was a glue trap and Snowflake recovered after an olive oil bath.

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A group of missionary came from New York for the week. On Wednesday night, they helped lead the worship service at our church.

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The Tingle family helps leads a nutrition ministry. Three times a week they prepare fresh meals and serve about 80 children food.

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This is the kitchen the Tingles help build so that they could prepare food.

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The wood stove used to prepare meals.

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While wondering around Matagalpa with Hemllely, we saw this guy walking his cow through the city. Hemllely thought it was funny that I wanted to take a picture of the cow, because she sees cows walking through the city all the time.

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We did something super touristy again. Debby, Megan and I took a full moon volcano hike up the side of Mount Telica. About 10:30 at night we began journeying towards the top of this active volcano.

This photo was taken on our truck ride over to the start of our hike. We loaded up into the bed of a truck with a tarp covering. Nothing like the transportation I seen around the States.

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After a long dark hike up Telica, we reached the top shortly before 4:00am. After resting awhile, we watch the sun rise before heading back.

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Debby and I at the top of Telica.

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A couple pictures of the gorgeous mountain top view God created.

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Crossed paths with a group of cows coming down the Mountain.

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This is Marden, our tour guide for moonlight volcano hike.  He was gifted in spotting creatures all along the path and taught us a lot about the different snakes, spiders, birds, etc…. One fact Marden told us was that baby termites taste like carrots. This fact was not very accurate, I thought they tasted more like dish soap.

One of the best conversations I have had in Nicaragua was with Marden. When I told him I attend a Bible college, Marden told me he did not know much about the Bible. After talking with him for awhile, I learned that he left the church when he young because of anger towards the sinful actions of the church leaders. I know Marden has an interest in knowing Jesus, but his struggles with the church in the past have made him skeptical of any religion related to the church. Please keep Marden in your Prayers.

 

Adiós

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Week 2 Exploring Nicaragua

This week started out with some unexpected excitement. Monday night the Chapmans received a call that their Nicaraguan residency had finally been approved. This meant that we got to leave the house at 5:00 am and drive to Managua (the capital). After spending all morning and some of the afternoon at the residency department, the Chapmans were approved for their five year residency.

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Since we had to leave so early in the morning, the Chapmans parked their car in the living room instead of the garage a couple blocks over. Parking vehicles in the house is a common practice around here.

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Driving down a market road in Managua.

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In Nicaragua it is common to see people riding in the back of cars or on top of vehicles. These two boys that we were driving behind kept smiling and waving at us.

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Exploring an Spanish speaking country can be difficult when you do not know much Spanish. Sometimes you end up ordering pig skin by accident; other times people teach you how to make tortillas.

This is Sonja. We met her while visiting a market down the street from the Chapman’s house. I asked Debby to help me order a tortilla from her. But instead of giving me a freshly cooked tortilla, she handed me a ball of dough and proceeded to teach me how to make a tortilla. This miscommunication resulted in a fun 20 minutes of tortilla lessons from Sonja.

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One way the Chapman’s build relationships with the people in their community is by offering English lessons. In the children’s English class this week, we discussed gender words (girl, boy, women, etc.) and whether to use the verb ‘is’ or ‘are’ with them.

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Ethan and Asher, expert teeter totters.

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1,500 young adults from the United States came to Nicaragua last week on a missions trip. At the end of their stay they organized Christian worship events across 12 cities to bring church together.

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After our Bible lesson this week in kid’s club, we made crosses out of yarn and popsicle sticks. The kids loved them. At the bottom of the cross they attached this week’s memory verse, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” -Hebrews 4:16.

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This is Esteven. He is an incredibly sweet neighbor boy who comes over to help watch the twins and play with Chloe and Lily. He also is apart of English classes and kid’s club.

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On Friday we visited Selva Negra, it is a popular tourist attraction. The have many trails through woods where you can see/hear hollower monkeys and other animals. They are also known for the coffee farm. During the year Selva Negra employs about 200 people, and an extra 600 during coffee bean picking season.

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Coffee Beans

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Selva Negra’s wedding chapel

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We had the opportunity to visit Milo and Raquel in Nagarote and have a tour of the town with them. While in Nagarote, we cross paths with Grace Bible College alumni John and his wife Brenda.

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At Milo and Raquel’s ministry property they built a playground for kids to hangout at. Our home church helped raise money for this project last summer during Vacation Bible School. It was exciting to see the finished project with kids playing on it.

The playground gate is locked when no one is there. As soon as the gate was opened Saturday night, kid began to come in to play with us.

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View from Nagarote with volcanoes.

First Week in Matagalpa

I arrived in Matagalpa, Nicaragua just over a week ago. In many ways Matagalpa feels like living in the United States, which makes me continuously forget that I am in a foreign country. Which causes me to be surprised when something different from the culture I am familiar with happens. Young children commonly leave the houses without the accompaniment of a guardian. Walls on most houses are incomplete; they stop a couple feet from the ceiling. Stray dogs are everywhere, but they rarely bark or approach people. And the concept of time often seems like an afterthought, relationships are more important than time.

I have now attended a couple church services and Bible studies. Although I understand very little of the Spanish language, I have been inspired by the people. There is a great passion for prayer. Prayers do not want to stop here. In a Bible study a few days ago during our closing prayers, people took turns giving long deep prayers thanking the Lord over and over again. On Sunday the service ended with a prayer praising the Lord for over 20 minutes. Unlike many of the churches that I have attended around the United States, people are not anxiously watching the clock and wondering when the sermon will finally come to the end. While in prayer, I see many Matagalpa Christians pushing away the distractions and completely giving their hearts to God.

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A view of Matagalpa of the overlook.

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Part of the Chapman’s neighborhood

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making flying objects at kids club

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It is common to buy soda poured into a bag. This way the sellers can return the glass bottles to make some money back. And the buyer is charged less.

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 The twins enjoying some yogurt.

H.E.A.R.T.

Over the past three weeks I was blessed with the chance to visit H.E.A.R.T. village. H.E.A.R.T. (Hunger Education And Resource Training) is an organization that places people in a simulated developing world to help equip those who are preparing to serve in developing regions of the world. The professors, staff members, and interns taught us using both hands on experiences and class room settings. They also simulated a lifestyle of living without technology (which limits communication), and relying solely on the people directly around us for support. I cannot believe how fast those three weeks went.18839370_1490238814372072_914378365863232017_n

My classmates and I

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Our first week was spent doing labs with the animals.

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Beuford the Water Buffalo. Water Buffalos are extremely loving. They cherish your hugs, enjoy playing in the hose, and cry when they get lonely.

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Welding Class

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Learning to can Tomatoes and Pineapples. Our final week we spent in the kitchen learning about different stoves and ways to prepare delicious foods.

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Cooking of a rocket stove. The staff and other students were extremely nice to me; none of them complained about the ashy eggs for breakfast that morning.

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Part of our beautiful labor in the garden. We planted Mexican Sunflower plants one morning during our week of working in the gardens.

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Crossing the islands, part of our cross cultural communications course with our Phil.

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The baby rat hunters. These triplets enjoyed following us around the village. One night they chased us back to our cabin. We woke up the next day to find a pile of wood chips in front of our door where they had tried to break in. Malicious creatures.

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Getting Started

I am excited to share with you the great opportunity I have been given. This summer God has called me to serve Him in Matagulpa, Nicaragua from July 17th to August 22nd. There I will be working with the Chapman family, who are missionaries with Grace Ministries International. Their ministries include Bible studies, English lessons, children’s club and caring God’s children in Matagulpa.

I would greatly appreciate your prayer support on my endeavors in Nicaragua this summer. Your prayers are a way for you to remain continuously involved with my ministry in Nicaragua through this journey. Please pray for:

  • Spiritual and Logistical Preparation
  • Safety and Good Health throughout the Journey
  • Patients, Understanding and Adjustments to a New Culture
  • The Chapman Family and their Ministries
  • Listening and Following God’s Will

Blessings,

Chloé