Easter week in Nicaragua is vacation for all the schools to celebrate “Semana Santa”…Holy Week. The youth group from Christ Journey Church, our home church in Miami, came down during their Spring Break to spend the week with our kids at Club Cristiana La Esperanza. We had such an awesome time together!
Since the Club was empty for vacation we got to use the entire facility to hang out with the kids for the week. You really can’t replace having a place to chill, and that was the best part of the week. We did bible studies, and games, arts and crafts and music…played lots of soccer. But when you get to spend time together, finding out about each others lives, praying for each others needs, that makes for a great week!
Every day in the afternoon we put our hands to the shovel and built a sidewalk out in front of Club Esperanza. What used to be a run down entrance that was pretty sad is now a smooth sidewalk, with a grass border, flowers and two permanent potters with trees in them! The front of the Club looks beautiful now thanks to these kids hard work!
On our last day together we went out to Ruby Ranch and had an incredibly fun finale. The hardest part was saying good bye for sure. I watched our kids break down with tears. Then later when I talked to the teachers who rode home with the kids, they said the story was the same…not a dry eye on the bus. The beautiful thing is that the Lord’s presence was in the middle of these friendships as they formed and the influence will be an impact on the future. Every day that I have gone to club since they left, the kids are always asking about their friends in Miami. Praise God for that!
God gave us a great Easter week! Amen.
There was lots of dancing around our house today…we had our first major rain storm pass over and it was awesome! Praise Jesus for rain!!!
These next few weeks are so fun, because the land has not had any water for six months and it is so dead and dry. It is incredible to watch everything turn totally green in just a matter of days. In two weeks Nicaragua will be lush and green again!
Bella and I went down to check on the “dry river bed” behind our property…well we got to take a picture by the river LOL…the chocolate river filled with who even knows what! It is pretty amazing that one rain turns a dry bed into this! Of course by the time we were walking back to the house, it was already drying up again…pretty wild!
Then there was also the race to find out how many leaks were in the roof and making sure all the gutters were unclogged! We did have a big wash at our retaining wall…all that dirt used to be on this side of that wall 🙂
We only had two new leaks in the roof…gotta get up there tomorrow and apply some Fastyl…which is basically paint on tar in a can hahaha!
Praise Jesus, we hope this means we will have a great rainy season for Nicaragua!
We sent out this photo of our old freezer from our feeding program at Club Esperanza a couple of weeks ago. This freezer is a relic but has been an incredible warrior over the years…we have had it over a decade, since our school was in the dump! We moved it over as the dump closed in 2013 and it has kept on trucking ever since.
But now its door is broken and the motor is burning out…cold air escapes all day!
It is time for a change. We mentioned the need and got some immediate response last week. Now we have a goal. Yesterday we found a replacement that would help us to continue to serve the over 7,000 meals a month at Club Esperanza.
Our Goal is $985
Lets get this new freezer out of the display room and into Club Esperanza!!! The price above includes a five year full warranty, which is a huge necessity based on the amount of use we get out of it!
You can donate with paypal by clicking the button below or by check here.
Just make a note “Club Esperanza Freezer”
Thank you mucho mucho mucho!!!
Thank you for your interest in our ministry here in Nicaragua. In our Spring newsletter we share some of our happenings the last few months…great things that brought “shouts of joy and songs of praise!” Click the link below to have a look…
If you would like to donate towards our ministry find that info here. Thank you!
“They” say that if you want people to read something you need to include something beautiful or share some great wisdom. So for this blog post to get your attention we are including wisdom and beauty personified! Gigi turned 87!!!!
Flattery aside, it is a true blessing to have Gigi (our kiddos great grandmother) in our lives. She endures the Nicaraguan heat with us, prays for all of us constantly and is always up for a visit from one of the spanky gang! She is both beautiful and wise 🙂
We love you Gigi…Happy Birthday!!!
Krista and I had a really incredible weekend a few weeks ago at the Tim Tebow Foundations Celebrity Golf Classic. Being that we are neither celebrities nor golfers, and we live in Nicaragua it doesn’t make much sense that we would be in Jacksonville for this, right?!? 🙂 Well, we have some long time family friends who had a spot open up on their golf group for that weekend at the last minute. They invited Krista and I to come as a “date weekend” and to enjoy the event as guests. This was only a week prior to the event, but in an almost miraculous way we ended up being able to go. Gramma and Papa gave the green light to watch our kiddos, our calendar was open for just that weekend, and all of a sudden we were booking tickets to Jacksonville.
It was such an awesome weekend in many ways! Once we decided to go, it was honestly a little intimidating. There was a formal dinner to attend, golf on a PGA tour course, and all the refined things that go along. I made sure to try to not embarrass Krista too often! We got great advice on what attire to wear and the Lord provided that for us too, in pretty wild ways. You may know this, but we do not often wear formal attire. Ok, we never do 🙂 The Lord settled my spirit by giving us the assurance that He was giving us a fun weekend together and we should just enjoy it. We also felt confident we should go and just point to whoever we ran into and pray for them and bless them in Jesus name! Both of those things happened all weekend long. We had an amazingly enjoyable time together and prayed for people all over that place! It was awesome!!!
We have so many crazy stories to tell, but the “where are we” feeling of the weekend is captured in this story. During the Friday night celebrity gala there was an amazing presentation of all the incredible things the Tim Tebow Foundation does, it was so encouraging. There was introduction of celebrities and a live auction and silent auction to raise funds for the Foundation. Praise Jesus for that! Their ministry includes “Night to Shine,” which is a Prom put on all over the US and the world for special needs children and their families. The weekend before Valentine’s Day these families are invited to a huge party. It was so incredible to hear these stories!
Back to the story I mentioned. Our table was off to the side and after the auction Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum got on stage to sing. The Emcee for the evening was Scott Hanson from NFL Redzone, and as the concert started he stepped off the stage next to us and we introduced our selves. This guy loves the Lord! He shared quickly about how long he has known the Lord and asked us what we do. He said his family does missions once a year and he gave us his contact info. Really cool. As we are finishing our conversation, Krista asks if we can pray for him. Well as we start praying, Chris Tomlin walks right by us onto the stage to sing “Good Good Father” live with Hillary Scott. We could feel the Lord’s presence in the room and here are Krista and I at the side of the stage praying for the guy from NFL Redzone while Chris Tomlin is singing live on stage with Hillary Scott. If that is not a crazy Christian dude’s wildest scenario ever, well I don’t know what is! And that is how the whole weekend went.
We spent a lot of time with friends we hadn’t seen in years as well as our friends we were just with in January. Special times. We got to meet so many different cool people and hear some amazing stories about ministries in Haiti and in Tennessee. These were ministries that do amazing work. We had a powerful time praying for that couple from Tennessee after a luncheon on Friday. Such amazing stories and very compelling about the need to reach families that have children with special needs.
We got to meet Tim Tebow and pray with him for the weekend. He is a genuinely good man of God, very impressive with all he has going on in life right now. He takes time to speak with everyone and engages in conversation. We brought him a cool man gift from Nicaragua that we were able to give to him at the end of the event. It actually had a real spiritual meaning behind it and tied into a word the Lord had given me to share with him before we left. To be faithful to share that word was another moment where I just had to let go and share. It was awesome to pray with him. There were surprising connections to Nicaragua with some others who work for his foundation, so that was very fun too!
Definitely the wildest moment for us was when we found out Chip Gaines from the show Fixer Upper was going to be the celebrity our foursome would golf with on Saturday. Krista and I love that show and their Magnolia products too. So, when I told Krista who our celebrity was going to be she really did flip out a little. She stopped for a moment and we had a God moment in our rental car in the parking lot of the hotel. Back in January the friends who invited us visited Nicaragua and we did a Bible Study together as families with another friend Kerry who is developing a really powerful series called “Becoming.” It is a powerful study and really gets you connecting to the Lord. At the end of one section we came to the “Ask” moment. We were challenged to ask God anything, anything just something crazy, something the Lord could do for you, hang it on a clothes line and let the Lord do it.
Well sitting in the car Krista looks up at me and says “babe you know what I asked God for in January during Kerry’s Bibles study?” I said “What?”, and Krista said “to meet Chip and Joanna Gaines.” Of course I said, “NO WAY!” She said it was so funny but she just felt if the Lord wanted to do something for her she would love to meet Chip and Joanna Gaines, so she asked. But she thought, we aren’t even going to Texas any time soon. Well here we were are a month and a half later and we are going to play golf with Chip Gaines the next day!!! We not only got to meet him but were going to spend the day playing golf together! As goofy and random as that is, the Lord showed himself real to us in that special way. Nobody knew this was Krista’s “ask”, except maybe her mom. There is no way we could have planned or arranged this, last minute trip, being able to go, both being invited, etc… There were so many celebrities there, most of whom we never even saw from a distance, but we end up golfing with Chip Gaines! It was crazy! And if you know Krista she isn’t particularly star struck so an “ask” like that was so random. But here we were on this crazy weekend. It was such a crazy and random “ask”. We are encouraged by the reality of God and his crazy love for us. Also encouraged that the other things I asked for that day are being worked out as well! Amen.
We had a great time playing golf on Saturday. The whole event was incredible! I played the TPC Sawgrass which has the famous island green on 17. I didn’t land my ball on the green, but at least I shot past it and didn’t land short in the water 🙂 Chip Gaines was equally as genuine as Tim Tebow. He signed autographs all day, shared some stories and testimony with the crowd before we had to do a crazy lip sink dance on 17. He always took pictures and always seemed full of the joy of the Lord. So great to be around and very encouraging. We had an awesome time praying with him as well on the last green, and Krista was able to give him a gift she brought for Joanna Gaines just in case we happened to see them on the weekend 🙂 Joanna wasn’t able to come at the last minute, but we sent it back with Chip. It was awesome to pray with him and his coworker who was traveling with him! A moment with God on the final hole at the TPC Sawgrass. Awesome!
We had gifts for other dear friends we got to see and even for some random people we didn’t really know. I got to hand Gary Shuffield a Nicaraguan cigar on the practice range. We prayed for many more people on the golf course, at the gala and at the dinner after golfing. We had the feeling that the Lord was just carrying us along.
The true feeling Krista and I had, all the way to the last minute getting on the plane coming home, was that we were in a dance with the Lord. He was guiding our steps without us even having to think. We didn’t have to arrange seeing our friends as they arrived, we just ran into them in the lobby. Timing was perfect. And we were faithful to just pray for whoever the Lord led us to pray for, no matter where we were or who it was.
We do feel like God had some other purposes for that weekend as well tied to things here in Nicaragua. We will see what all unfolds, but we are going to be faithful to do whatever the Lord wants for his Kingdom here in Nicaragua as it is all over the world!
Krista and I had an amazing weekend together too. It had been nine years since we last got away just the two of us. We love being with our kids so it was something we never lamented or even realized was the case. But it was surprising when we realized it had been that long LOL! This was the most amazing “date weekend” we could have planned. And we didn’t have to plan it. 🙂
So we wanted to share this crazy story with you who know us, support us, pray for us and are a part of our ministry. God gave us a huge hug with this weekend and we wrote this to testify to that! There are so many more crazy and funny stories. We hope to share if we get to see you in person.
As long time Seminoles fans and alumni we can say….Tim Tebow is an incredible guy! Even if he is a Florida Gator! 🙂
Ask God for crazy things! He will surprise you! We testify to that!
Time sneaks up on you sometimes and all of a sudden your baby girl is turning five years old! We know, we know, just wait ’til they are graduating high school! LOL! It is so true, time does keep on slippin’ into the future. But praise Jesus for every day of it that we get to LIVE!!!
Juliette is an incredible little girl and it was so much fun to celebrate her birthday. She has a pretty awesome big sister Aliyah who made her birthday cake for her, all by herself! Check out the photos of the pink cake with multi-colored layers! The funniest thing about Aliyah and Juliette is that they could be identical twins except one is our oldest and one is our youngest. Juliette is always pointing at Aliyah’s baby pictures saying it is her. She is stubborn as her daddy, so no matter how many times you tell her it is Aliyah she will not be convinced! We are being faithful as her parents and look so forward to the great leader she is going to be in the future. We love our baby girl!
Our family is doing very well through the dry season and we are so thankful for all of your continued prayers for us! In the middle of excessive heat and dry dusty land, we have had an exciting Springtime in ministry down here and things are cranking! We will have a newsletter out soon with some of the fun stories. Krista and I took an incredible weekend trip on a last minute invite to Tim Tebow’s Golf Classic that we really need to blog about. It was a huge hug from God for us and a wild weekend of God moving us around together, praying for people all over the place in the middle of an awesome celebration of the great things the Tebow Foundation does! Our kiddos are all doing well in school with Krista as the greatest teacher ever. Not every day is easy. But, it is the best classroom they could ever hope for! Mason has been getting back into his groove after his broken leg and we are so thankful for that…soccer, football, frisbee, swinging from trees…he is back in action! Isabella is a star and and seven years old, she can read better than anyone in the family…daddy included LOL!
Again thank you for your continued prayers and support for our little family! It is an encouragement greater than you could ever imagine!
This is a great story of who our little Juliette is. Right after our friend Anna-bel took this picture of her, a big wave crashed up and splashed all over her. She turned immediately and said “Oh, the wave just gave me a big hug…because it’s my birthday!” 🙂
Happy Birthday Baby Girl!
I was just now able to talk to Pastor Victor and he had a great report. Since yesterday the “Crisi Sikni” has been gone from Walakitang! That is amazingly incredible and it is because of your alls prayers! Hundreds of people praying from all over the world makes a difference and this is not just flattery, it is God’s people joining together to fight evil!
I am convinced of this because the Evil one is trying to steal the glory. Guess who came to Walakitang the same day we all started praying? The Sukia. And so there will be many who just nod to the witchdoctor as the cure. But we know the truth and I sincerely feel because of all of your prayers, prayers that are not tainted from years and decades and centuries of influence from the evil black magic of the Rio Coco, that this evil went away. We need to help our brothers and sisters who live under such oppressive darkness…
KEEP PRAYING PLEASE!
Pastor Victor said three more communities near Walakitang have been affected heavily by this same “Crisi Sikni.” Let’s all go to battle now and call on God to show his power. Let’s pray that before any Sukia can get to these villages that the evil would leave and be gone and peace would return! Tonight let’s pray for these three communities. Here are the names, pray specifically for the evil to be gone tonight…
RAITI – WAILASKA -ARANDAK
Jesus give freedom from this evil that is striking fear all along the Rio Coco. We pray that you will get the glory and this evil will be gone tonight! In Jesus name, tonight!
Victor also asked for a personal prayer and as you pray for these three communities, please pray for him too. A coconut fell and hit him in the head a couple of months ago. He has had a lingering pain deep in his facial bones that is very painful and affects him any time he chews. While I was talking with him he brought this up and asked for prayer. So, praying people, ask Jesus to make this pain go away tonight too! Amen.
In talking with Victor he said the siknis was very hard on the community this time. So many young people, little girls the age of seven were being affected. They are all so relieved that it is gone, but they are also very weary from it. The church was nearly destroyed but the main structure is still there. Victor said that when they can get gas for the chainsaw they are going to cut more planks and rebuild the church. He was able to save the sound system and the tin on the roof as well as the solar panel were not destroyed, Praise God! We will pray that God will make a way this year to get a solid concrete structure built in Walakitang for the church. It is a big task, because Walakitang is so remote, but it is doable!
For now let us keep praying! I am so encouraged by the deep care of so many of you for Walakitang and the Rio Coco. I know Victor and all of the church members are very encouraged as well. What a great testimony. There is still more left to happen. Let’s be praying for Raiti, Wailaska and Arandak tonight and as often as we pray. Victory from evil and peace returning to these villages! Amen.