Friday, December 10, 2010

Anonos update

Before we left for Nicarauga, the municipality had started taking out houses and bull dozing the land. When we arrived back in Los Anonos after the trip, it was as if it were a totally different place. The following pictures show the changes since this week.

The lone tree used to be right infront of Adriana, Meylin, and Jacqueline's house. Rodney, Christina, and I were in the house right in front of that tree the night of the flood.

 Other houses have been taken down from the top of the hill as well. All that is left of this house if the tile floors. 

Nicaragua, 2010

Twenty-one people representing 6 Vineyard churches, 3 countries, and multiple personalities hopped in 2 vans on December 2 headed for Managua, Nicaragua. Our mission: build relationships, construct a roof for a church plant, have a Christmas party for the children, do the work of the Father. We had a few snags getting a flat tire in the middle of no where...

 But once we got back on the road we were all fine. We got pretty comfortable with each other in the vans. Most of us got really comfortable, too.

Like any good trip, we came well prepared. We stayed well hydrated and fed.

We were a little worried about crossing the boarder, but Tito made sure the way was clear.

We did have to walk between the two countries. It was quite an adventure, but at least we had our walking shoes on.
We went right to work.
Even the children pitched in to lend a hand. We removed all the bricks from the walkway and stacked them over to the side. Several large holes were dug and metal poles were welded together. This was preparation for a roof.


We met lots of wonderful children. They even taught us how to take leaps of faith.

We bought some toys for the kids for Christmas.

We shared the light of Jesus with the poor.

We saw some knock-offs...

We shared our hearts with each other.

Life definitely moves differently in Nicaragua...take this one horse power engine, for example... 

Or what this lady uses instead of a shopping cart...

Or another way to avoid sitting next to someone who smells on the bus...

I also kept getting strange comments about my height. Like I am tall or something.

But I did finally find some one taller than me to hang out with.

There were many things to think about. For example, we parked our vans IN the church (postly because there was no street parking, or safe parking outside. Oh yeah, and almost everyone walks to church, there was only one other person with a car.) I wonder if I would have ever walked to my Vineyard in Michigan because I didn't have a car...

In one of our prayer walks we found this family. The baby has a food allergy to rice. She has huge welt-like rashes all over her body, her hair is frail and brittle, and she is sick all the time. When I asked her mother what she eats, her mother said rice and beans. They have no money to afford milk, fruits, or vegetables. It absolutely broke my heart to think that this child could be healthy, but there is a complete lack of resources.  

 These people live in plastic-bag shacks near Managua.

God did show up in awesome ways, too. For instance, a small group went on a prayer walk and met a woman who had terrible cellulitis in her legs. She told us she had dealt with significant pain in her legs for years and they were very swollen. We prayed for her and God healed her legs. All the pain left. She started yelling to her daughter, "My legs don't hurt any more! The pain is gone!" Praise the Lord!!

Overall it was an amazing trip. The friendships and relationships that we built will continue to grow.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Psalm 37:23 (NLT)
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
Do you really believe this? Do you believe in a God who DELIGHTS, ENJOYS, rejoices in, finds pleasure in
the nitty-gritty, daily,
sometimes ugly
of your life?
Zephaniah 3:17 says:
"The LORD your God is with you,
   the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
   in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
   but will rejoice over you with singing.”
"The LORD your God is in your midst,
         A victorious warrior
         He will exult over you with joy,
         He will be quiet in His love,
         He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."
Now THAT'S an AWESOME God!!!

Job 26: 7-14

7 He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
   he suspends the earth over nothing.
8 He wraps up the waters in his clouds,
   yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.
9 He covers the face of the full moon,
   spreading his clouds over it.
10 He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters
   for a boundary between light and darkness.
11 The pillars of the heavens quake,
   aghast at his rebuke.
12 By his power he churned up the sea;
   by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces.
13 By his breath the skies became fair;    his hand pierced the gliding serpent.
14 And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
   how faint the whisper we hear of him!
   Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.
 1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
   where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.
 3 He will not let your foot slip—
   he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep.
 5 The LORD watches over you—
   the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
   nor the moon by night.
 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
   he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
   both now and forevermore.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Changing the face of Anonos

The following pictures are in chronological order of the changes in Los Anonos. The first picture in the series was taken in June when I came to Costa Rica with my church on a mission trip. Then we had a fire in the beginning of October. After that came 2 floods with a landslide. The municipality came in and told people to leave. They are now tearing down the houses. The last picture I took this afternoon of how far they have come in taking down the house.