Day 2 of Mission Trip: Sunday
We climbed into the back of the “Rambo Truck” to sit on narrow bench seats for a one-hour-bouncy ride to Las Parcelas. A bicyclist escaped tragedy by the skin of his teeth, saved only by the quick reaction of our driver Roger. The bicyclist came from Roger’s left blind-side as he was making a left turn at an intersection. Roger slammed on the brakes as the bicyclist raced a few inches from our front bumper (never even considered yielding to our vehicle). In Nicaragua cars have right-of-way over bikes and pedestrians and the main objective is to keep the roads free of obstructions (wrecks and unattended animals). If there is a wreck, the drivers need to work it out before the police arrive. Otherwise, both could be held in jail for several days until completion of their investigation concerning the “obstruction”.
I preached at “My Redeemer UMC” which I helped construct with missioners from Tunnel Hill UMC back in 2008. I was very impressed with the worship experience of kids reciting Scripture, spontaneous testimonies, and music that was phenomenal. Jonathan did a great job of translating and conveying my body language in the sermon. A teenage drummer looked very serious and really enjoyed hitting the cymbals hard. The toddlers grabbed us by our legs signaling that they did not want us to leave. I tried to take a group photo, but we had to wait for a little boy to finish his peeing on the outer church wall before we could take one. The little girls all shook their heads and did not even want to be pictured with him. I gave Papa Manwell a big hug and a “Tractor Supply Co.” hat and his son, Pastor Marcial, a cap with the UMC logo. Both had experienced some health problems and it was wonderful to spend time with them. They are like family to me.
We had a grand afternoon with the HCN kids of El Ayudante. We took them to the park, zoo, and to the Eskimo Ice-cream parlor. Valeska and Yatzuri were two kids who remembered me from my previous mission trips and we cut up and called each other silly names like “monkey, dinosaur, and monster.” They are now young teenagers, but are still little children in maturity. They are like most kids their age—trying to navigate their way through their “awkward, in-between” stage of life. I praise God that they will have the opportunity to become all that God wants them to become. I praise God that they are learning right from wrong in a strong Christian environment and the leadership found at El Ayudante.