8:45 pm Today was a most interesting day! We began with an incredible breakfast! Our hosts are very good cooks! It was quite a spread and the fresh fruit was awesome. We departed the compound shortly after 9:00 am and made our way to the open air market. We walked the market and the smells and activity were busy. You name it food wise or product wise and it was probably there. There were all kinds of culinary delights. Soups and stews cooking over open fires, meats being grilled, fresh vegetables and fruit of every kind, a meat market, a fish market, and everything else you can imagine. People were buying and selling and moving and eating. It was really exciting to be where the people were. Some of our folks bought some samples and we shared some tasty treats. After the open air market we went to the Lead Hill Monument by the lake. It was located just off one of the main highways overlooking the lake. The view was beautiful. This was where people were taken that opposed the government. They were thrown off the hill from the steep cliff to the rocks and trees below. It was a sobering monument to say the least. We then visited the museum of natural history at revolution square where the old National Cathedral was as well. It was at this square where the Sandista’s gathered to celebrate the overthrow of the government. We were led through the museum by a very nice middle aged woman tour guide. The whole idea for today was to learn about the Nicaraguan culture and history so we would have some context about the people we were there to serve. The museum was very interesting and the square was bordered by several statues and monuments to the patriots of the revolution. It was well done with manicured lawns and sidewalks and flowers and landscaping. We then drove to an El Salvadorian Restaurant and had pupusa’s. They are very similar to quesadillas. They were delicious and the place was really cool and relaxing. They has some large rockers in the front much like Cracker Barrel and we rocked and chatted after lunch. After a great lunch we drove to the old prison which was situated on a very high hill which was the lip of an extinct volcano with water in it as a lake. The prison was where they tortured all the rebel prisoners and it was a horrific place of torture and death. the story was most sobering as we realized the price of revolution and freedom from oppressive governments. We were all a little stirred by the story. Then it was on to the lake front and a park for some ice cream and some entertainment. We watched and laughed as some young roller bladers entertained about 400 of us with some really funny and skilled rollerblading. It was just what we needed after the prison story. We then drove to the neighborhood where we were going to worship and visited a middle aged artist’s home. He had painted some of the murals at the cultural center where we were to worship. He and his family invited us into the small home and he shared his story about how he became an artist from very poor and humble beginnings. He was a person of great faith and his witness and hospitality inspired us all. They had a foreign exchange student from Chicago living with them and he and I exchanged some stories. One I will tell you upon our return about his experience with a good Methodist in Indiana where he was attending school. We then left for worship at the cultural center and we all shared in communion with our brother and sister Catholics. The music was inspiring and fun. Even though we didn’t understand a word of the service it was still most meaningful to worship with them. The priest was most welcoming and gave me an opportunity to introduce who we were to the congregation. We then had Ian share with us on the ride home the notes he had taken from the service. It was a great sermon.
Well, as you can tell, it was a very busy day for us and now that we are back and have had dinner we will share in our evening devotional and get ready for bed. Tomorrow we work and that is why we are here. We will be helping raise the walls to their new clinic. The slab is poured and we will begin construction on the structure. We are having an incredible time. I now remember why the church must do this. I don’t think anyone here would disagree. It is hard to explain but just let me say that we have Christian brothers and sisters all over the world. We can’t help them all but we can sure help some of them and God opened this door for us and tomorrow we will begin!! Pray for us! It has been a day full of laughter, good food, community, communion, worship, family, and a whole host of other gifts God has given us!! There are just too many to name. Isn’t that just like God! Always giving such abundance!!!!
I will see you on the road,
I John 3:1