Memories Made

It is now 24 hours until we leave Nicaragua. We are all so tired, but we know that we must savour every last second of our time here.

Thank you all so much for your comments over the last few days. Tonight, at our team meeting, Corwin gathered us all around and read us all of the family and friend responses we’ve had. It was so encouraging to hear stories of how God was calling people to pray when we needed it most and how others have felt a connection to our team. We were so infused with motivation because of your love and support. It will be amazing to get off the plane on Tuesday night and fall into all of your arms and be able to express to you all just how much that has meant to us.

Today was the day to put the finishing touches on the house. We arrived at the work site a little later than usual (we had a few stops along the way) but were SO excited to see how far along it was. They were placing the beams for the roof (something that our team can’t do because we don’t know how) and they were ready for us to paint. We had decided on painting the house baby blue with a brown trim…but sometimes specifics like that get a little lost in translation. So we settled with the sky blue that they bought and jumped on painting that house up! There was also the usual team working out at the sewage hole and, by the end of the day, it was finally completed at 14 feet deep. It was awesome to see the teamwork needed to dig that hole. I was amazed as I watched Marshall climb his way up the 14 foot whole, covered in the dark dirt from the clay that lay deeper in the earth, but with a gigantic smile on his face. When we told him it was finished he said. “Aw, really? But it was so fun to dig.” What servant hearts these kids have.

We have had a lot of kids around at the work site who help in keeping those of us who are waiting for jobs busy. There are certain people that just seem to draw little friends…especially Sarah. The kids knew it was our last working day there so today seemed to be a day where lots of letters and photos were given to us. Mitch Epp has had a little girl named Erlinda attached to his hip at the worksite and she gave him two drawings and a picture of her and her little brother today. Such small gifts, but they mean the world to those kids and to our team. Its amazing how these kids let themselves love even though they knew we are going to leave. They have poured into loving us as much as we have poured into loving them. They love without condition.

After we finished as much work on the house as we could do, we headed to the orphanage to drop off our bags of donations. When we arrived they were having a birthday celebration for some of the kids so it seemed fitting that we came bearing gifts. We divided up the things on three tables and the kids stood in line to pick one thing at a time. It was so cute to watch them mull over which stuffed animal to pick or which shirt to take. I asked one little boy to show me the clothes that he had picked out and he told me that they weren’t for him, they were for his friends who were away from the orphanage for the weekend. It struck me that even in a place where nothing is really yours, they can be so selfless. The rest of the afternoon was filled with playing on the playground and having a game of soccer. Wilber was able to connect with some of his friends who still live there and it was good to see him a little less shifty about being back there.

There is a saying our team has adopted and you can often hearing one or two of us muttering it and any given time just because its gotten stuck in our heads. That saying is “Denver remember, remember Denver”. It’s a little phrase that Will put together when he figured out that Denver’s name and the English word ‘remember’ rhyme (sorta). He never says one word without that other and often just says it for no reason…causing us to do that same. But it has been proven to be a handy reminder of what we need to pray for and how we can praise God. Denver was feeling much better today. He slept well through the night, without any fever, and was able to eat at each meal today (though his appetite is still not there). He wasn’t able to do any work with us at the work site because he is still too weak…but I think the kids enjoyed getting him to themselves. Cor and I were amazed when we watched him running around at the orphanage playing soccer in the afternoon. God is working a healing in his body and we totally recognize that. We strived to remember Denver in prayer, and we feel like Denver remembered to submit himself to God, and God is now blessing us with his health. It’s good to have him back!

We were able to get back to the Provadenic early tonight so we would have some time to talk about how we are feeling about leaving on Monday and to let the team rest up a little. Our kids have worked so hard this week…accomplishing more on a house than any other Project Serve team has done before…but they are worn out. At times like these emotions run wild and Satan takes advantage of that vulnerability. We hope and pray that tomorrow we can give all the energy that we have to that community as we say goodbye.

Tomorrow we have our last church service, get our last chance to see our special friends from the community and drop off some back packs to them, and visit the orphanage again to say goodbye. After supper we will have the house dedication service for Hector and his family. It will be a great time of celebration, but also a sad time. Saying goodbye to Veracruz is never an easy thing.

We continue to covet your prayers…look how far they have gotten us! We are well and able to keep going and that is what is most important. You have all truly accompanied us on this trip and we feel you here.
In the next day you can pray for:

-continued health and safety; we are tired and warn down, pray our bodies stay strong.
-for the Belize team; Jordan (their acting nurse) got heat stroke yesterday and has been very ill. Pray that he recovers and can join the team in their last few days there.
-saying goodbye to the orphanage; that we would recognize the blessing it has been to enter their world and that we take away the things we saw and learnt there and apply them at home
-saying goodbye to our community kids; that they would see God’s love in us and want to know it more
-our house dedication; that it would be a great time of celebration!
-our hearts; that they would be open to expressing the things that we are feeling

I would ask that you also pray for Corwin as he says goodbye to his son. He is unsure of the next time he will be able to come to Nicaragua and it is never a settling feeling to not know when you will see your son again. He is leaving with many uncertainties, especially with waiting for the knowledge of whether or not Wilber will be able to get into this new private school. Esteban, our translator, has said that he is willing to act as a big brother to Wilber. He will move him to the school and then come back to check on him once a week and help him practice his English. Esteban has been a gift from God while we have been here and will continue to bless Corwin and Wilber, no doubt. Please, we ask that you pray fervently for this situation. God says ‘ask and you will receive’, so let’s get asking!

Bless you all. We will be home to you before you know it. We love and miss you dearly. Thank you for all your words of wisdom and support, from the whole team and especially from Corwin and me. We love you!

-Chan, Cor, & the Team

P.S. Never sling shot a pigeon with a Mini Bum and then let Wilber run around with it. Havoc is always created. (check the video below)
Corwin ThiessenComment