As I snapped the above picture one afternoon as I was riding home from La Palmerita, this song came to my mind. It was a dark,cloudy day; it looked like we might receive a heavy downpour. Amongst the dark clouds, we could see the bright gleam of a rainbow; its colors so beautiful. But this picture and song also reminds us of the ever-present spiritual darkness in the La Palmerita Community. Satan has so many holds on this community and he is always trying to discourage the faithful few. But as the song says – one bright gleam I see. Amidst the darkness, there continues to be one bright gleam from day to day. Please pray for each of us as staff and the native members as we all strive to be the bright gleam to those in darkness.
We ask you to rejoice with us as another soul has realized their need of the Lord as their Saviour; and we also ask you to join us in lifting him to the throne of grace as he begins to make changes in his life and as he strives to serve the Lord there in La Palmerita. Julio (pictured above with his nephew) has been attending church faithfully for some time and had been thinking of the step that he needed to take. Last week he had got into a fight with another man from La Palmerita and some nasty words were exchanged. However the Lord was working in the heart of Julio and he was convicted of his actions, so he found the other man and asked for forgiveness. The other man called him a coward for not wanting to get into another fight. Julio went home, knowing that he had tried to make restitution. After the Wednesday night Bible Study, Julio came to Ramon with many questions. That evening Ramon had shared on Baptism, Last Supper, & the Feet Washing ceremonies. Ramon told us on the way home that he felt Julio was very close to making a decision. Jason went to Julio’s on Thursday for their weekly Bible Study. While he was there, the fellow who had got in the fight with Julio went past, calling him names once again. Julio said to Jason “Today is my day to be the strong man. I want to be strong in the Lord” He lives with his woman, Mirrna. They are not married, but have expressed their desire to be married as soon as possible. Mirrna attends church quite faithfully as well. He also told us that his mother told him that the day he joins a church that is not Catholic, he is no longer her son. Please pray for Julio as he strive to be a Godly example to those around him and for Mirrna that she might realize her need also to commit her life to the Lord.
As you can see in the above picture, Virginia is washing some clothes. The other Saturday after my morning girls’ class, I headed to Johanna’s house to see how she was doing. After having seen her so sick on Wednesday, I was not sure what to expect. I arrived to find her sleeping and Virginia was out back washing the mountain of clothing & Yeral was taking a bath in the soapy wash water coming out of the pila from the clothing that Virginia was washing. I took my backpack into the house and found Johanna waking up from her nap. I took the opportunity to sit down and spend some time talking with her. She was feeling much better and didn’t have a headache. She received an injection once a day for 5 days to help get vitamins back into her body. When I arrived at Johanna’s house this Tuesday and found her finishing up her laundry and feeling much better. I went and visited Lidia for about an hour before returning to Johanna’s for her afternoon class. Continue to pray for Johanna as she strives to serve the Lord and be a Christian witness in La Palmerita and also as she strives to raise her children for the Lord.
Right now some of the corn is just right to make tamales. There is about a week in the growing time of the corn when it is perfect to use it for fresh eating and making tamales. I will tell you it is not like sweet corn, but it is really good. I have helped to make tamales in several different homes now, and each cook has her own different way of making them. When we arrived to help make them at Johanna’s house the other week, we found Maria husking the corn and Johanna was cutting it off the cob. Once it was all cut, they put me to work. I had the privilege of grinding it all. I have come to enjoy grinding corn be hand. Grinding this corn did not take near as long as grinding corn for tortillas. The day we helped make them, we also put some cuajada ( a Nicaraguan cheese that I have finally learned how to make) in each of the tamales to give it a little cheesy flavor. After the corn was ground, it was mixed and a little bit of the juice that we collected as I was grinding it, was added to mixture. You then take the inner leaves of the husk and spoon the mixture in there and wrap it up. It it then put in a kettle to cook for several hours. They are the best eaten right after they come out of the kettle.
The 2 little boys in the above pictures are both in my Wednesday night class. I have recently started using attendance charts to see if it will help bring up the attendance in the class. So often there is 3 or 4 children, but the last little bit, I have had at least 6. Both Nicholas & Juancito had perfect attendance. We have just finished the first chart and I am anxious to see what happens with the next several weeks in the attendance. Both of my classes have been quite poorly attended recently, so maybe the attendance charts will serve as a motivator. Right now in my Wednesday night class I have a lot of 2 & 3 year olds, so it takes a little more effort to keep them occupied till the adults are finished with their class. I enjoy spending time with each of these children and pray that my life would leave a positive influence on each of them.
Last Sunday, beings it was the 5th Sunday, we did something a little different for the people that came to church. We decided to take lunch to church and spend the noon meal with all the people that showed up. Laura made Dominican Spaghetti, and we had tortillas & chocolate cake to finish off the the meal. After we finished lunch, we attempted to try and play water balloon volleyball. However we did not have much luck at all. So we gave up and everyone had fun just throwing water balloons at everyone else. It was a fun time to spend with all the children and just have fun. Some of the children are still laughing at who they hit with water balloons.
The family that I would like to introduce you to lives on 3rd Street. Usually the four pictured above are at church on Wednesday night and sometimes Sunday morning. The girl’s name is Yoconda and she is the only girl. She has 4 brothers, 3 of which are pictured here with her. The little one that she is holding is Juan Carlos. The little guy in the the bib overalls is Maynor and the one in the blue-striped shirt is Memor. Juan Carlos and Maynor are both in my Wednesday night class. They always come to church, so dirty and muddy. Just in looking at them, you can feel their plea to be loved. Just last night, when Yoconda arrived at church, she wouldn’t talk to me; all she would do was stick out her tongue. I could not think of a thing that I had done that would offend her. Who know what it was. This morning we rode to La Palmerita and stopped in for a little at their home.
Well, I shall bring my email to a close. We are leaving for Leon at 2:00 and we just got back from La Palmerita. I have added a personal picture for you. Right now the morning glories are so beautiful, so one morning we decided to snap a few pictures.
Have a great day in the Lord!