Hola, news from Nicaragua...

Thursday was a rocky start, when digging we reached solid rock, we began a 3 metre hole nearby which also hit rock at around the 1.3 metre mark. We tried digging through an inch or so, thanks mostly to Ashley and Steph, but were told to stop and settled on a shallower septic tank. The afternoon was a very challenging one with lots of concrete mixing taking place. However, our team are nothing if not determined so we powered through. Later that day Barbara and Lukas visited us to see how we were getting on and Lukas chipped in to help with the work. 

Many of us dreaded beginning work again on Friday, but our spirits were raised when we were given pancakes for breakfast. The morning was extremely slow but the afternoon required mix after mix of concrete which was very like high intensity training, leaving everyone exhausted. As Saturday was our day off we went to bed dreaming of the beach, which was apparently easily reached. After devotions, with our towels packed we were ready to leave for the beach. We got to the main road, waited around 15 minutes for a bus and when it did, this bus was busier than a tube in rush hour; we managed to squeeze on and headed towards the city centre. We got off the bus a stop earlier than intended resulting in a tuk tuk ride, costing slightly more than expected (although still cheap by UK standards), to the centre and bank. After a long wait at the bank we collapsed into an ice cream shop and decided that the beach was too much, so explored the city. After a pizza lunch and entertainment from Steph we headed towards the cathedral and climbed it to see the views from the roof. It gave a great view of both the city and the mountains.

Sunday was Sam's birthday and he was up at the crack of dawn so Zoë had to send him back to allow the girls to finish decorations ready for breakfast/devotions. For breakfast we had Sam's choice of eggy bread before heading to church. Here we split with Zoë and Damon remaining in church to preach while the rest lead Sunday school. In Sunday school we taught Noah's ark where we did a drama. The highlight this time was Maggie declaring "the pig is eating the rainbow". It was a real blessing despite the language barrier, the older children seemed surer in their promises to God. For lunch, Barbados and Jackie treated us all, many of us opted to try the steak that was recommended. This was the best steak many had tasted including Damon who has had the pleasure of sampling more than the majority of us. Sunday evening once again saw Sam surprised when we pulled out a cake carefully selected by Sarah.

Monday saw everybody raring to go, we were split into groups to clean the pool and make even more concrete. Cleaning the pool involved much scrapping of algae with little noticeable change. Due to heavy rain we had to stop work temporarily so we huddled inside to play Uno. As a result the pool hasn't dried properly ready for painting causing another day of delays.

Tuesday marked the first time we repeated the devotion leader, meaning we were halfway through our trip (can I get a big awwww?). Due to a miscommunication we made the world's largest mix of concrete as we confused “barrows” with “barrel” (easily done with too many instructions). This took all hands on deck and took a long time. The upside was that it did offer us a break afterwards due to no longer having to mix, instead we are transporting bricks. In the evening most of us went to a prayer meeting where Barbados gave Sam the opportunity to speak. All who attended said they could clearly feel the Spirit moving within the room.

Wednesday saw Jackie's turning of age. Jackie has been a great asset to the team with her great Spanish and English so we all delighted in spoiling her. Wednesday also marked the start of painting the pool. This was the first time it had been painted in 2 years, hopefully making it more inviting and enticing more children to come to the project. We painted it a brilliant blue, we got around half way round and then ran out of paint! Due to it being a national holiday (Revolution day) the shops were all closed so we focused on painting the beams (different paint so we had plenty). The day ended with the full team engaging in a group game offering much bonding and merriment.

Prayers:
  • Thank you for Jackie and all her support
  • For a cement mixer to be organised and transported (which will save us a lot of time on the project)
  • For continued good health and safety for all
  • We continue to offer as much support in the coming week as we did in the first
  • God's blessing on all our work and that of the skilled workers we are helping.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers, we do value them!

Kind regards Joshua