Nicaraguan Nights

James 1:27
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Hello again. We have been gone officially one week tonight. We now have less time here than we have been away for. It is crazy to think that the time has been going by so fast and that, in four days, we say goodbye to Veracruz. At this point we must decide to live with no regrets.

It was another great day on the jobsite and the house is coming along quite well. We were able to accomplish a lot today and are excited to be putting the finishing touches on soon. We poured the last bit of the cement for the floor and are now working on the cement window and door frames. The sewage hole that we are digging is also coming along so great. We have worked out a crazy system of pick axes, shovels, buckets, pulleys, and wheel barrows that assists us in getting it done was fast as possible. When we started digging today it was 5 feet deep…and when we left the work site tonight it was another 5 feet deeper. These kids worked mercilessly digging through the clay and rock to get this hole dug. Another day of digging should give us the other 5 feet we need. The carpenters have become friendly and open with us…we like it when they can call on certain members of our team to do jobs and know that they trust us to know what we are doing. It has given us a sense of ownership to our project and a feeling that we have been a part of something that will change the history of one family in Nicaragua.

In the afternoon we got our first opportunity to visit the orphanage. There were mixed feelings and anticipations before we left. For Esteban, our translator, and Wilber, they knew it would be a flood of emotions. Esteban spent his teenage years in the orphanage, entering when he was 13 and leaving when he was 20, only three years ago. Wilber spent most of his life there and left last spring. Both had friends they wanted to see there and a sense of gratitude towards the life that the orphanage had provided for them…but yet still had a sense of anticipation in re-entering the part of a significant world which has been left behind.

The orphanage is a Christian orphanage. There are dormitories attached to the left and to the right of a main dining hall. Those dorms house the 3 year olds to 13 year olds, boys on the left and girls on the right. Behind the main building are two different houses, one for older girls and ones for older boys. There is also a playground on the property and a basketball court/soccer field nearby.

Our entrance to the orphanage was a good but slow one. We were greeted by the principal who asked if we would like a tour, which has never been given to one of Corwin’s groups before. The orphanage kids were hesitant at first, as always, but slowly became more comfortable with our presence there. The boys went with the older boys to the soccer field to play a few games and the girls got to play with some of the younger kids on the playground. Slowly the kids started to trust us and get comfortable with us. We played on the swings with them, laughed a lot with them, and listened to them as they sang songs to us. We would hug them and kiss them and tell them we loved them and their faces would light up. Taylor had a cute experience with one of the really shy boys. She began playing with him but he didn’t laugh or even crack a smile. She was unsure if he liked playing with her, yet he continued, so she did too. When it was time to leave she went to say goodbye with a hug but the boy pulled away and offered his hand in a hand shake. She shook it and walked off. A few minutes later, when we reached the gate (a fair distance from the playground where they had said goodbye), the little boy came running to her and threw his arms around her with a big smile on his face. He then walked backward all the way to the playground so he could wave to Taylor and watch her walk out. Jenna made an insightful observation as we walked off the orphanage land; we get to leave and they don’t. They have no where else in the world to go and no one else who wants them. We have the job of loving them this week and we pray we will do it with all the love in the world.

While we were at the orphanage Corwin had a meeting with the director. Wilber, currently, is living with a relative in Managua but it is a dangerous situation and Corwin would like to have Will stay in the orphanage until the adoption goes through for Will’s safe keeping. Because Will was there once before, it would be an exception to a rule to allow him to come back. The meeting with the director went well and though he was not certain about whether or not the exception could be made, he was more than willing to look into this inquiry. Though small, it was get another step in bringing Wilber home.

We are continuing to be made aware of things in Nicaragua that we never realized or had never seen before. Today I had to help a little boy named Bravio and he helped me remember just how privileged of an existence we have sometimes. We often have many children, sometimes even 15, playing around the worksite in hopes to have us join in on their fun. Bravio is one of those boys. He was playing without shoes when he stepped on barbed wire and dragged his foot forward. Immediately he started screaming and the kids rushed him over to me. Almost feeling his own pain, I cleaned and dressed his wound. The slice was probably only an inch and a half long but very deep, through the top layers of skin and even fat. The wound, in Canada, would have definitely needed stitching and other medical attention. I cared for it as best as I could and tried to give his 9 year old sister instructions on how to care for him. The reality is that, here, kids who have wounds like that often go without any care and suffer from devastating infections and sometimes, if they are small and weak enough, even death. If our children at home were to cut their feet like that, we have the ability and accessibility to get them to help and heal them. In Nica, that chance is not always a reality. As I watched that little girl carry her tiny brother home I said a prayer in my heart with the gratitude I have towards the doctors and medical help both my family and I have always had and said a prayer that that boy’s foot would heal without a glitch. Sometimes, when we are in Nicaragua, it is terribly hard to live in two different realities; ours and theirs.

The team seems to be very perceptive to the new and very different things they are experiencing in Nicaragua. They constantly debrief each other’s views on everything; the food, the customs, the driving, the people, the smells, and the way people spend their time. The boys have moved their mattresses out onto the balcony of the Provadenic and have been sleeping out there each night. Mitch Dunn had several rude awakenings a few nights ago when the confused roosters just kept cock-a-doodle-dooing for no reason in the middle of the night. Regan has become slowly more and more acute to the distinct smell of burning garbage that is consistently wafting around. Colton and Marshall both really can’t believe that when you ask “where is the garbage can” the answer is “right under your feet”. The act of throwing a bottle out the window without a thought is mind boggling to us. Things that make perfect sense to Nicaragua make no sense to us and vice versa.

We were thinking and praying for home tonight as we looked up at the beautiful eclipse of the moon. We prayed that you all are well and thanked God for such a dedicated group of prayer warriors who are supporting us from so far away. We send our love.

Tomorrow we have a team day off. The kids have been working super hard for the last 4 days and its time to experience a bit more of Nicaragua. We will head to the Pacific Ocean for a day at the beach and then have supper at McDonald’s (a Project Serve Nicaragua tradition).

There are a few things that we would love it if you could continue to be in prayer for:
-our travel to and from the beach & our time there; that it would be safe and relaxed
-the work on the house; we’ve decided we would like to do a few extras like painting the front and a bit of landscaping. Pray that we have enough time to get it done.
-Regan’s hives; though he continues to get them AFTER we are done working, they do not irritate him. Pray that continues.
-the Belize team; they have been having some health issues too (even Kristin wasn’t feeling well on Monday). Pray that they get healthy and able to be working.
-for Corwin; he was feeling quite achy tonight and had a bit of a fever. He was sent to bed early. Pray tomorrow’s rest day restores him.
-the team; they will receive their letters from home after our rest day. Pray that their encouragement and inspiration gives them all the strength they need for the next few days.

Thanks for all the praying and loving you do! We’re thinking about you.

Much love…
-Chan, Cor, & The PS08ers

P.S. “I like me a bean stirfry.” –Regan Brown
Corwin Thiessen3 Comments