Wilt thou take just one moment to step outside and lift your eyes unto the hills? It never ceases to be a moment of refreshment for me. At times, I simply slip outside to take a moment to pause and draw strength from the source above. I was once again reminded by a loved one that there is never a waiting list at the throne of God, never a busy tone. He is there waiting for us to call on Him and He knows each of our cries and pleas before we even cry to Him. As I looked at each of those mountains, I was reminded of the power within each of them. They are volcanoes and some are still active. They have the power to destroy anything that is in the way. The Lord of all contains more power than all the volcanoes put together. Are we truly aware of the strength that He possesses? May you draw strength from the power above and also have a reverent fear of the Lord in the week to come.
On the 20th of November, my first guests arrived – Merle & Sierra Oberholtzer from Myerstown, PA. They came to spend a week with me and to learn more about Nicaragua. We did some sight-seeing while they were here. On Monday, we went to Masaya & Caterin. We did some hiking at the Masaya Volcano before going to the marketplace in Masaya. Sierra & I did some fabric shopping in Masaya for family & friends back home. On Tuesday we spent most of the day in La Palmerita. We ladies went out in the morning to help Johanna make lunch. Johanna soon had Sierra making rice. Randy, Laura, Merle & the boys arrived around 11:30 for lunch. We cleaned up after lunch and sang for a while before heading out visit some other people in La Palmerita. On Thursday, we took the bus to Leon to do some sight-seeing there as well. We started the morning out by going to Café Rosita for breakfast after which we toured a cathedral in Central. I had never been inside a cathedral before, so it was something new for me as well. We went to San Juan to do some shopping before getting lunch. After lunch, we went to Café Latino for iced coffee and wireless internet. Around 2:00, Delmar took us to the beach for the afternoon. We spent about 2 hours on the beach before heading back to Leon for the evening service. Angie (Nathan Miller’s wife) served us supper before the service. It was a fun-filled day but we were ready to go home. Friday morning Jason took us to Cerro Negro to hike the volcano. It was great to hike it once again and to get the the top just for the thrill of running down. Friday afternoon we headed to Leon for our Thanksgiving supper at Nathan & Angie’s house. We had a delicious meal. Thank you to all who helped prepare it! It was scrumptious! Merle & Sierra left on Saturday the 27th, so we headed to Managua around 9:00. The picture on the left was a truck that we followed for some time.
This week started out quite busy. We spent Tuesday in La Palmerita and had Bible studies with the ladies. Virginia & I biked out around 10:00. The first class was at Arelys’s house; however it was more than Arelys in the class. Her sisters Ester and Noelia, as well as Esmeralda from Center Street, all also were in the class. It was quite a large class, but went very fast with each of the ladies helping read and answer questions. We then had class with Johanna and while Virginia went to Enma’s house for class, I went with Laura to Lidia’s house for her class. After class, Laura & Virginia did some washing and I kept them supplied with water to wash. While we were there, we found out that an older lady from La Palmerita had passed away and that there would be a vela (viewing) that evening.
Randy’s & I headed to the the vela around 8:30. When we arrived, we were told that the casket had not yet arrived. It arrived around 9:00. One of the ladies came to me and asked if I would be willing to take pictures. We left the vela around 9:30 and one of her sons wanted to know if I would be able to come to the burial to take pictures for them. So Wednesday morning Randy & I went to La Palmerita around 11:30 to attend the burial. We arrived at the home to find the family and friends there waiting for the tractor to arrive to haul the people to the graveside. We were asked to take the casket in the back of the truck. On the right are a few pictures from the vela and burial. The bottom right picture is close friends and family. The man in the right hand corner in a black shirt is her son Johnny and the lady in black in front of him is Darling, a daughter-in-law. The picture of the 2 boys is of Paulina’s youngest 2 sons, Otoniel & Johnny. The funeral procession consisted of a horse escort, our truck with the casket, a few bikes, and a tractor & trailer. At the graveside, I took a lot of pictures for the family with a camera that one of the family members gave me. One of the saddest things was all the drunk men that were there. Some of them were so drunk that they could hardly even stay on their 2 feet. It was so sad to see they way these people deal with grief. Other than the family, there was hardly any serious people. So many of them went down to the venta and bought soda and food to eat while we were waiting at the graveside. Jason shared a devotional and had a prayer before she was buried. Please pray for the family as they deal with the passing of their mother.
Thursday morning was spent decorating cakes for the graduations at the local school. The promotion started around 4:00 and Virginia & I were kept busy taking pictures of all the many people that were there. There was quite a number of people from La Palmerita that were graduating from Preschool & 6th grade. (Clockwise from top left: Juan Adiel, Noelia, Alexi, Yader Cruz, Marvin & Marvin[2 cousins – the one on the right is the brother of Yacadelis, the young girl who passed away last month. The other is her cousin.] Juancito, Sobeyda, Luz, & Ermogenes.) After the graduation, we had a small service and supper in the church building for Noelia & Juancito that their parents had planned.
The collage below is of several of the young people in La Palmerita. Some of them are so young, but already are making so many bad decisions. I do not know all their names, however I have seen them all several times. Please join us in lifting up the young people of La Palmerita to the throne of God. There are so many young people with a lot of potential, if only they would realize their need of Jesus as their personal Saviour and would channel their potential into the work of God.
To the right is a picture of my Sunday morning class. They can be quite a handful at times, but I try to remind myself that many are not raised as I was and that many of them have only one parent with whom they are living and probably have not a clue where their other parent is. Clockwise from back left: Gerald, Deylin, Wilber, Memo, Noilyn, & Gabriel.
These 3 boys have also been attending my Sunday morning classes here of late. They are from the family known as the “ratas”(rats). They have a reputation of being thieves. Deylin (right) can at times be a handful; however since his brother, Julio (center) and cousin Alside (left) have been attending, he has been behaving quite well in class. Please pray that the Lord might get ahold of them when they reach the age of accountability.
God bless each of you wherever you are!
In His Service, Andrea