Day 7 – Saturday, June 28

Today we traveled back to the States. All but Scott and Danielle are in the Church van heading back to Lincoln. Should be arriving a bit after midnight. Thank you, John Parsons, for driving!

I forgot to mention that throughout the week Dr. Paul Bernhardson, one of the adult leaders, has been providing well checks to the kids. He noticed some infections, dental problems and other issues. He also provided this service two years ago, so was able to track the kids’ growth. It’s amazing what a nourishing meal and vitamins will do. Thank you, Dr. Pablo! :-)

Adios, Nicaragua. God bless!

P.S. – I’ve been told that there’s a problem with last night’s post. I’ll try to get it figured out in the morning.

Day 5 – Thursday, June 26

It was our last day helping out at the school.  Sunday is Teacher Appreciation Day, so the school day started out with a presentation honoring the excellent teachers at LifeLink.  The school actually has a PTA, which is very unusual here, and they organized the celebration.  What a blessing for the school to have the parents involved, even though many of the parents have only finished second grade! The Christ kids were given the task of finding all areas yet to be painted.  The adults left them and later came back to inspect.  The point of this was to teach the kids that excellence begins with them. We came back and found that they took a lot of pride in their work and the job was complete with no other touch-ups needed!  We also made over 300 loom band bracelets in total and passed them out to the remaining kids.  As this was our last day at the school, we played with the kids.  A lot.  As Wayne has mentioned a couple of times, kids spell love: “t-i-m-e.”  I think everyone was sad today realizing that it was our last day interacting with the kids.

After dinner – pizza from Pizza Hut – Josselin, the Athletic Coordinator, taught us to salsa.  She did a great job with us Nebraskans, and Kielan definitely has some moves.  :-)  We’re now finishing out the night with more Uno and swimming.

During the debriefing, we were asked how we have changed or what lesson we’re going to take home with us.  The main responses were to be more appreciative of what we have and the blessings we’ve been given, to not complain about the things we don’t have, to be more generous to others, and to spend more quality time with our loved ones.

God’s blessings to you all.  Good night!

Day 4 – Wednesday, June 25

Another great day for us here in Nicaragua!  We started out by attending chapel at the school with the students.  It was very inspirational to watch and listen to the kids – very loudly – sing praise.  We then saw a special performance put together by the school’s athletic coordinator.  We watched a group of kids in a traditional folklore performance and others perform gymnastics. This is the ONLY gymnastics class in Managua! There are some truly talented kids at this school!  Throughout the day, we taught the third and fourth graders to make loom band bracelets, and the kids were all very excited to bring bands home to make bracelets for someone else in their family.  Zak, who did an amazing job teaching the kids, may also be coming home with his arms covered in bracelets!  :-)  The building we’ve been working on is almost painted and should be finished tomorrow.

When we finished at the school, we traveled to a local gym that practices karate, judo and boxing.  The gym, which is free to attend, was started to provide a safe activity to keep kids off the street.  Many of the members have won international competitions, and they provided some pretty impressive demonstrations for us.  Some of us also had the opportunity to get into the ring and box!

The night ended with a wonderful supper at Wayne and Megan’s house.  They and their two daughters are such gracious hosts and we are all grateful that they have been so welcoming to us!  For those of you who don’t know, Wayne and Megan are missionaries with LifeLink International (http://www.lifelinkint.org/), and they are doing God’s work here in Nicaragua.

Please check out Christ Lutheran High School Ministry’s Facebook page for pictures and videos from today.