Saturday, February 2, 2008

Thank you

Before this blog winds down for a season I want to say “thank you” to all of those who supported our teams to Nicaragua through donations and prayers. You may not have physically been with us but your spiritual and financial support encouraged, fed, protected, clothed and witnessed, to not only the team members, but also Gloria and Wilburt, Susie, the children and families of La Chureca and many other voiceless strangers who felt and will continue to feel and hear about the love of God through your prayers and donations.

As I continue to reflect on Nicaragua and what I learned I have come to realize that as an American I have two great blessings: freedom of religion and financial blessings. Two blessings that I take for granted. Nicaragua has opened my eyes to the privilege of being able to a part of God's work because I can pray and because I can give. I can only imagine the thrill of meeting people in Heaven I don't even know because I was able to pray and support people like Gloria, Wilburt, Janell, Dan and Susie and organizations like Forward Edge who serve God faithfully and share the Gospel with hurting and lost souls. The many blessings that have been poured out on me and my family are meant to be shared. God doesn't need me. The God who created the universe has the whole world in His hands and He can carry out His perfect plans without me. But what a privilege to be invited by God to join in His work and be a part of the soul harvest in Nicaragua and beyond!

You all, strangers and friends, have been a part of that – so thank you for sharing this experience with us and being privileged givers who have joined God's call.


Psalm 113
(The Message)

Hallelujah! You who serve God, praise God!
Just to speak his name is praise!
Just to remember God is a blessing—
now and tomorrow and always.
From east to west, from dawn to dusk,
keep lifting all your praises to God!
God is higher than anything and anyone,
outshining everything you can see in the skies.
Who can compare with God, our God,
so majestically enthroned,
Surveying his magnificent
heavens and earth?
He picks up the poor from out of the dirt,
rescues the wretched who've been thrown out with the trash,
Seats them among the honored guests,
a place of honor among the brightest and best.
He gives childless couples a family,
gives them joy as the parents of children.

Friday, February 1, 2008

25 seats...38 people

Welcome to Fernandez Transportacion! We had kids sitting on top of adults sitting on top of kids, etc. We'll get back to that in a second.....

Diana and I (Chris Kainu) are going to do our best to recap today and the week. All day we served at the orphanage, Vida Nueva (New Life), a rented house of perhaps 2200 sq. ft. that houses 28 babies/toddlers and eight older kids. Holding babies, chasing toddlers, playing with children, raking leaves, washing exterior walls and more. I must admit that I did not quite understand why people would sweep a dirt floor or sidewalk; they do it all over the place down here. I now understand really does look better! I believe that God has placed it in the hearts of people to beautify and cleanse their homes, whether they are in the US suburbs, the houses of Managua, or the tin shacks of a dump.

We met Tim & Kris Bagwell, missionaries from South Carolina who have overseen the orphanage for over two years. Very impressive, likable and down-to-earth folks. It was a great privelage to pray for them and hear of their plans to build a new center on some already purchased property. This will triple their capacity to house these kids that are all 'wards of the state', which means they've come through brutal circumstances to "qualify" for the center.

Our team was a small part of a dream fulfilled for Lina, who is the director of Vida Nueva. For the first time ever, toddlers were taken on a mini-field trip. Hence the title of this blog. We packed into Juan Carlos Fernandez's 1974 Toyota shuttle van (which is immaculate) to take the kids and toddlers to Tip Top fast food restaurant.

Tonight, Susie circled us up to reflect on the week. We have hope that our presence has one been more link in the chain of God's people who are giving these kids an option. The poverty and oppression is intense, but some will take the chance they are given, and live to tell of miracles. One such miracle is Perla. If you were at Summit View when Susie spoke of her, you know that she was in grave danger of falling into a provokative lifestyle at just 14 years old. We got to see her at the Verbo Church Sunday morning, and again playing soccer with all of us on Wednesday night. She is a miracle, who laughed, danced and worshiped right in front of our eyes.

Hope does outweigh despair.

Scrub David scrub!

Please pray for Nancy

Hi Friends. First of all, thank you all so much for all of your support and prayers over the last few months. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for all of the Love you've shown me. I'm leaving tomorrow, in about 12 hours I'm leaving for the airport and I have to admit, it's bittersweet. A lot of me doesn't want to leave (as you all know) but part of me knows I have to. I've been touched by a lot of people here and I want nothing more than to continue to help them in anyways I can.

One of these people is a little princess named Nancy. Nancy is about a year old. She was found in a gutter, under a plastic bag. Nancy has suffered severe brain damage. Whether that was from being abandoned or the reason she was abandoned, no one knows. All I know is that I fell in love with this little girl. I had several opportunities to visit her, love her and be loved by her. I experienced joy with this little girl. How can someone just throw her away?

Today, I received some bad news. I was talking about how I would love to take Nancy home with me, with Chris Bagwell, founder of Vida Nueva. During our conversation she informed me that the Ministry of Family (Family Services down here) wants to move her to another orphanage. They are under the impression that Vida Nueva is not meeting her special needs. This is devastating. Vida Nueva is the best orphanage in the area. Ultimately the best solution is for Nancy to be adopted. If I could, I would in a heart beat.

My request is that everyone will pray for Nancy. I know that God doesn't want me to have this child. But I know God let me fall in love with her for a reason. Please pray that a family will find Nancy and love her as much as I do. Yes this little girl is special needs... but the thing she needs most is love. Just pray that someone will adopt her. Someone will find joy in her as I have. Pray that someone will love her the way I wish I could.

Thank you again for your love, support, and prayers. See y'all tomorrow.