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Mission of Hope

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

By Bonnie Black
There was a hubbub of activity today as most of us moved into ‘shutdown’ mode. Why today? Well, Wednesday will be our ‘tourist’ day with a trip to the Masaya National Park and another on a City Tour focusing on historic sites and a new boat ride on Lake Managua – more about those tomorrow!

Of course, we had a diligent Kitchen Crew comprised of Chris G., Adrianne, Sarah and Chris H. switching with Brenda coming in this afternoon while she joined her daughter on another ‘road trip’ with Sister.

Our BBB was accomplished by Brenda, Sam, Chris G., and Dale.

At our morning meeting, Stephen showed us a variety of lined purses that Magaly has for sale. Sister reminded us that she not only is caring for her own family, but has also taken in her nephew and niece. Many of us made selections throughout the day!

Anne provided a personal reflection on perseverance and Sister asked us to listen to Laurie True’s, “What Have You Done.” She then asked us to consider if what we’ve done outweighs our shortcomings – that is what our Creator is expecting of us. “Did you make room in your heart, in your life…in the Inn?” She asked our Higher Spirit to restore and refocus us to what the Mission is all about.

Our first ‘to do’ was the distribution of Sponsor Gifts to the students from Nejapa and a half hour later, we gave out your gifts and cards to the student here at Nino. Thanks to Joan, Chris H., Bill C., and Brenda for coordinating it all this morning.

Immediately afterward, Bill M. led a painting group up to El Crucero for the day: Patty, Betsy, John, Izzy, Sam and Mary. While others were painting, Bill M. worked on getting the computer room electronics ready for the point of installation of internet service which should occur soon.

At the same time, people began moving in a variety of directions. Off to the last day at Parajito Azul were Sr. Stephanie, Ross and Kyle, bringing some donated sewing machines and other items designated for them.

Working on organizing suitcases for our return were Bill C. and Brenda who were joined by Chris H. and Joan partway through. By lunchtime, everyone returning on Thursday had their designated suitcase by the foot of their bed tagged and ready for grabbing at 3:30am on Thursday. Of course, if they make any purchases at the markets tomorrow, they will fit them inside (along with some dirty laundry, perhaps??!!).

Medical Outreach had one more short stint this morning with a 10am walk with Magaly taking Cathy, Liz and Colleen out to see infirm locals.

Everyone else was involved in transferring most of everything from here to there…being our new facility. Allen had Anne, Dale, Stephen, Megan transferring items while Dave had Demi working with him taking Home Depot apart and readying for the others to move.

This afternoon, Cathy was in our new clinic preparing it for Thursday’s patients along with Stephen and Ross while Joan and Sister and Brenda worked on sorting the food for storage or our Children Feeding Children program.

Another trip to La Chureca was made by Chris H., Colleen, Kyle, Megan and Anne.

Continuing the transfer of kitchen, bath and tool items to the new facility were Dave, Allen, Dale, Bill C., and Demi. The Kitchen Crew jumped in over here in our ‘old’ place to close down the smaller items and prepare them for transfer.

Once the La Chureca group got back (around 2:45pm) they jumped in and assisted others with all tasks needing to be done today. It will certainly help A Team on Thursday when we have to finalize the storage area in the new facility as our first task in the completion of the move and inventory everything.

We enjoyed a special dessert tonight at dinner: rum cake made by Nora, one of our local cooks. Many adults did enjoy it while a few of the younger travelers thought it might not be their favorite…more for A Team!

At our evening meeting Sister began with a review of the suitcase assignments that were made today. Then she reviewed the passport procedures for 3am Thursday morning and passing through Customs in Houston, etc.

Tomorrow the Masaya Volcano National Park will depart at 8am and the City Tour will leave at 9am. We’ll each have lunch out and go to different markets: City to Huembes Market and Masaya to Masaya Market.

Chris and Colleen purchased ‘Shrek’ Oreo’s for our meeting snack tonight – a little taste of home. Then we began our sharing time.

We began with Chris G. sharing “How Come” by Ray LaMontayne which is a song about the world in general, but Chris feels he finds correlation to here. “All I see is a child of God in misery” is one of the phrases that stood out to me with so many people visiting La Chureca this week and the poverty that most of us experienced – ‘everyone on a shoestring’ – while doing Rice & Beans and Medical Outreach.

Liz then shared her experience at ‘the rim’ today at La Chureca when she was walking with a little boy who asked her to bring him back with her once he found out that she was from the United States. She then proceeded to find a good location to take a video – off the path into a pile of garbage right into a nest of black ants! Swarming over feet, she freaked a bit, and needed to shake the ants out of her shoes as they were stinging her. After that, she noticed that the little girl who was around them was barefoot yet asked her if she were OK. The little boy stayed near her and helped Liz by slowly tying her shoes for her. What a powerful gesture. As Sister said, it reminded her of the washing of the feet by Mary.

Ross told us of the buying of gas on the way to Parajito Azul where they only got 200c. of gas after giving him 300c. Sister Stephanie went into the market and tried to explain that she needed either 100c. or more gas. He and Kyle joined her in the store and, after a half hour, Jairo was able to get more gas.

Sister Stephanie noted that Kyle and Ross had the people at Parajito Azul laughing while working on the concept of sharing and assessing dominant hands, etc.

Those who painted at El Crucero got into their music while painting! Mary said she could tell that when the facility was built, it was once a nice place to live, but now it leaks so much that water comes in and so much is rusted. She said it was obvious that the care nuns give is as if they were their own. Patty then said she saw a hairy spider and screamed – moved fast – and Bill M. came to her rescue.

Sister thanked Joan and her team for the good distribution of gifts this morning and the prep work at MOHTown by everyone for making this work so smoothly. A special piece of the morning was finding Diana, the sister of Alba who many of us have known for years and is now in the Oriental Market. Her other sister is catatonic, father is abusive and mother is not mentally stable. Diana told Sister that she is now going to Nicaraguan Christian Academy down the road based on her scholastic testing in the English language. Her hope is to be a doctor by attending university here and then on to the US under a scholarship. THAT is a great sense of hope.

Adrianne said that she believes Bill M. is a workhorse and Sister noted that all the adult men on this mission have really been great with sensitive issues and deal with many things in appropriate ways. They have been strong models for the young men in this group.

Stephen said that Demi was THE pounding woman today as she removed shelves from Home Depot and the Kitchen Storage Closet. Everything was removed and taken apart – she was great!

Bill M. said that from a Community Development perspective this is the first mission that everything on it got done plus more! A smaller mission than usual and a great feat.

Allen told us that all the locks are in and the new facility looks great, so Sister said that this mission deserves to be the first mission group to hold a meeting and prayer on that site. We will meet at 7am there! Great closure to a great mission.

We closed with the song, “Someday” by Celtic Woman to which she suggested we put our own ‘images’ to the song as we listened. “We all are part of one world, we all share the same dream. Reach out to me and we’ll find deep down inside I’m just like you” was the essence. Opening our hearts, reaching out, we are no longer strangers to those we didn’t know a week ago. I think it isn’t lost on anyone that we lose track of ‘real world’ time when we are here; the time here in Nica is truly short, yet so much is accomplished, so many lives changed – theirs and ours – and, hopefully, all with a better perspective on the fact we truly are part of one world.

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