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FCON Missions 2011

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S: First Church of the Nazarene Missions Trip 2011

BC: Jesus es el Rey

FC: Work & Witness 2011 El Timal

1: Fundraising & Fellowship | Fundraising and fellowship, two words that defined our lives leading up to this trip. For each person, God's call was unmistakable. We listened intently to each story at Bill and Deb's during our first small group. We were each called to serve the Lord in El Timal, and we put our faith in Him that he would provide financially. We brainstormed ideas. Some didn't pan out, like the skit telling our congregation, "if it fits...it ships." Other ideas were brilliant, like My Funny Valentine, which allowed us to act, sing and serve our way to our goal. Finally, we served our fair share of biscuits and gravy and sold Community Day booklets! Organized...Christ-Centered...Life Changing. This trip shaped us forever. Gloria Dios

2: "... if God has called you to China or any other place and you are sure in your own heart, let nothing deter you... remember it is God who has called you and it is the same as when He called Moses or Samuel." -Gladys Aylward

3: Day 1: Traveling to Chicago | What a blessed day! For most families, the day started off by getting up, finishing house work, finishing packing, and anxiously awaiting the moment we could come together to weigh and load our bags. We met at the church, and there was much excitement in the air. After everyone had their bags weighed, Pastor Tim prayed for our group and we left for Chicago! On the road, the Moore's received a call from Andrea (their caseworker) with amazing news; Tony's adoption team chose their family as Tony's adoptive placement! The news was received while pulling into a rest area, and the Nicaragua team was the first to share in the excitement. We stopped for dinner at Fudruckers and had some delicious food and much-needed leg stretching. The Mason family joined us at this point. We ventured forth to the Quality Inn, checked in, and had a short meeting with the team. Our first day of travel was smooth and allowed for new friendships to form. We started to get a taste of individual personalities and quirks. It's going to be an awesome trip!

4: Chicago...Miami...Managua | { | { | Day 2: Airports

5: We started the day with breakfast at the hotel. The first shuttle arrived around 9:15. Half the group left on it while the other half waited for the second shuttle at 9:30. Getting checked in and through security was a breeze. Once we arrived at our gate, we had a devotional and everyone went to grab Starbucks. We snacked and waited for our flight...everyone except for Clayton and Patrick. Poor Patrick had problems with his Starbucks order. | They messed up his chocolate Frappicino...twice. Pat's feelings, "how can you mess up chocolate?" His third time around he ordered strawberry- success! When we arrived in Miami, we had to eat fast and board our flight. Most of us caught a nice view of the ocean before rising above the clouds. Next stop- Managua

7: Phillipians 2 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

9: Arrival | our | Arriving in Managua was a bit of a culture shock. We walked out of the airport and were bombarded with men hoping to make money by helping us with our bags. Even when told "no," their hands were still outstretched trying to grab any bag they could touch. Our night-time drive through Managua opened our eyes to the vast differences between the two countries. We arrived to our gated facilities, met by our guard at the gate (and guard dog). The accommodations were not what we were used to, but better than what most of us probably expected. We put our bags in our rooms, went to the kitchen for sandwiches, and received announcements from Steven & Ann. Everyone got unpacked and settled in for a night filled with the buzzing of fans (or air-conditioners if you were lucky).

11: We woke up early, pumped for a day of hard work! Up at 5:30, breakfast at 6:30, and gone by 7:15. Most everyone opted to not take a shower; that way, we could shower after a day of hard work. Breakfast consisted of black beans, rice, scrambled eggs (delicious), pineapple, watermelon, and orange juice. We started our devotion- which we would finish after our work day. Sara led the devotion from Matthew 6: 25-34. The scripture reflected how we should not be anxious, God will provide for our needs. We left the site with only one ill party, Clayton. This time, as we drove through the city, we were able to see the activity of the people in their daily lives. Folks tried to wash windows for $, people lined the streets, children were on their way to school. They used American school buses as public transportation. A huge difference was apparent when we reached the city limits. One second we were seeing garbage-lined, people-lined streets, then the next second we were seeing horses, cattle drives and coconut groves- right along the road! Emotions ran high as we started forming relationships with the people of El Timal. We first attended a church service with the people. Ann interpreted as the people expressed their gratitude to us for coming to help them. Deb spoke on our behalf, and our kids quickly started forming relationships with their kids! There were several work groups that formed. One group worked to paint the church; first, a base coat. Then a coat of beige on the upper 3/4, and red on the lower 1/4. The other jobs were building a parsonage and transforming the existing parsonage into a kitchen which will feed the community. The power company truck got stuck while we were working. The guys (and some kids) offered their expertise to the situation. It made for an exciting show! All eyes were closed and bodies totally relaxed on the hour ride back to camp. Everyone took showers and had diner (maybe not in that order). We had chicken, rice, fruit, salad, green beans/carrots, and bread. We went to bed early and woke to loud thunderstorms. Oh, and we had a great time of fellowship which included singing. | Day Three

13: El Timal | El Timal

16: Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories. ~Cathy Allen

18: day | After awaking to the loudest thunder storm most of us had ever heard, we got dressed and had breakfast: pancakes, rice/beans, yogurt, pineapple and watermelon. We arrived at the work site and immediately got busy. Everyone worked extremely hard. Painting took place-- mostly focusing on the red paint. Clayton and Patrick brought their guitars-- they played music which soothed the group. Some of the group learned how to make rebar. Some of the excitement of the day included finding snakes & tarantulas (mostly dead). Other excitement came from the treats we brought for the local children. Adam made airplanes and provided the kids with whistles and bubble gum. Evan learned to make cement. He worked VERY hard! The kids played duck, duck, goose. One local girl didn't understand, and instead of running in a circle, she ran out of the front door! Today, we stopped for ice cream. It was sooooo good, and inexpensive! | FOUR | We got back early and took showers. Dinner was also amazing: steak, potatoes, rice, salad, and bread. We ended the night with a devotion from Chris...reading from John 15: 1-4. We had an amazing time of prayer, laying in hammocks, and some of the best fellowship. You could feel the group grow closer by the minute. FANTASTIC DAY!!


20: Duck, Duck, Goose

22: Bonding on the porch...

24: Day 5 | Church day!! We were able to sleep in for a while, ate breakfast, and dressed in our Sunday best. It was nice to go praise the Lord in Spanish. We joined together in worship, and listened to the longest sermon EVER...in a language we didn't understand. The kids played games outside while the ladies of the church fixed us an amazing meal. We were told that this was a meal only served for special occasions- birthdays and holidays. It consisted of beans, rice, beef and cheese. After lunch, everyone loaded up and made the short (but very hot) drive to our soccer tournament. This was a tournament hosted by the church, and they play with a special soccer ball. Each color has a special meaning. We were asked to form a team, and we put together the best Decatur First has to offer! It was soooo hot at the soccer field-- which was concrete. There was one team that even played barefoot! | While the games were taking place, a man leading cattle allowed some people to ride his horse. When the games were over, the presentation of the trophy took place. The NYI leader for the area talked about the ball and invited those who had come to play in the tournament to accept the love of Christ! It was beautiful. Some of these people had NEVER heard about God, and there was a lot of peer pressure from the rest of the group to not give in to the sermon. Only one person stepped forward, but it was one of the bravest actions we would witness on the trip. We returned home, had dinner and fellowship... oh, and one haircut. Our devotional for today came out of Acts 4: 34-37 and we were asked to ponder the following question... How will this trip change me when I return to Decatur?

25: Soccer Ball Colors black represents sin red is the pure blood of Christ gold represents the holiness of God white is a pure heart before God green is growing in God's way

26: Day 6 Ah, day 6. Same schedule-- same jobs. The big news on the job site was the birth of a new calf. The little gal/guy, not sure which, was adorable. The morning got off to a slow start, so there was plenty of time to take pictures. A visit to the well provided new information: the well is only open twice a day, a few hours in the morning, and a few hours in the afternoon. The painting of the church was nearly completed. Unfortunately, though, the pastor's little girl was ill. They had to take her to the hospital. We spent a large portion of the day sifting sand and shoveling dirt-- this would allow us to make the mortar for the new building. Everyone was very tired very early, and after lunch, we took time to get a few minutes of rest. The evening was much longer for us because we stayed to show The Jesus Film. While we waited for things to begin, we taught the kids how to jump rope. They LOVED it! Ethan and Clayton showed off their muscles by push-up jumping. The Jesus Film was spectacular. It was different being there at night though. | Highlights of the day... -Adam spent time treating the pet bird to special treats. He had a soft-spot for that bird. -Clayton & Patrick worked hard shoveling and got to take a break in their wheel barrels. -Adam made friends with one of the cows; he gave the cow some food, but then the cow wanted to follow him back to the church. -Ethan took a break to light a pile of cow poop on fire. -Bill took a siesta in the church window. -Our young ladies kept themselves busy by painting and watching young children. -We got a chance to see some of the skinniest dogs ever. Dogs are so thin there! -Deb did a few hair cuts- allowing for some before/after photos. -The concrete mixer had a flat tire and the guys had to push it onto a truck and unload it at the work site. -Adam made a new friend. They have a lot in common; for example, they both love trash talking. They argued back and forth over who has the largest muscles. -We had pizza! -When we returned home, Scott found a friend in his bed! A very large cockroach.

30: Making Memories

33: Scott's friend...

34: D A Y 7 | Vacation Bible School | Today, we met PePe, Steven's puppet. We decided to use him for vacation bible school. While several workers began planning VBS, others got to work on the concrete. For VBS, we decided to sing songs, tell the story of David & Goliath (with a skit) and play games. We took a small trip to the school next door. The kids were at recess, and they were fascinated by the camera. They wanted to take turns having their picture taken and then show those pictures to their friends. In the school, each classroom held between 30-40 students. School is optional (if you can afford it). On a side note, Lionel (our driver) is a wonderful gentleman. He takes great care of his vehicle; he has a lot of pride in his work. The kids found their first scorpion today! Great news! A new young man came to the work site because he accepted Christ last night during The Jesus Film. He came to help work on the church. Concrete work continued, and transforming the current parsonage is well underway. | In the VBS skit, we decided upon the following cast:. Regan- David Patrick- Goliath Sydney and Bradley- Philistines Ethan and Clayton- Israelites When the kids arrived, they began making a jewelry craft. This was a smashing success! The kids and adults were intrigued. We started singing and then moved on to the skit. PePe, of course, misbehaved. Ethan and Clayton did a great job of acting scared, and the kids were amazed when Goliath fell to the ground! Afterwards, we went out to play with the kids. Jump rope was a big hit again, so were bubbles and balloon relay races. When we got back, some of our kids learned to play extreme rock, paper, scissors. And yes, there was blood shed.

35: Clayton with the young man who accepted Christ as a result of The Jesus Film.


42: Day 8

43: Up again, breakfast again, and a long drive-- this time we were slowed down by a herd of cattle! We had to slow almost to a stop while we made our way through the herd. Patty created masterful artwork on the wall at the front of the church. Painting Jesus es el Rey, which translates to Jesus is the King. This is the name of the church. Patty started by drawing the lettering on the wall, then the group taped it off, and she painted it blue. | Concrete work continued, and Clayton suffered a few scratches. The pastor's daughter went through several breathing treatments. The ladies of the church fixed us chicken, rice, beans and plantains. For the afternoon activities, we had to pass on the bible story because of a medical emergency. To fill the time, we fixed hair, did face paining, balloons, jump rope, and airplanes.

45: Before we left, we went to their "lagoon." Here we saw people swimming, washing clothes, and a herd of cattle going to the bathroom and drinking- all out of the same water! We stopped by the district office on the way home. Clayton and Patrick led devotion time tonight. They ended with a group singing of Hosanna. It was wonderful to see these young men lead our group tonight.

47: Late start this morning... Guys went to the work site; ladies, and a few of the young men, went to the children's hospital. The hospital experience was emotionally overwhelming. The sites were not comforting, the building unclean. We visited mothers who had sick children and brought them supplies. We sang and prayed with them. Moving on, we visited mothers who had either just given birth or were ready to go into labor. Again, we brought them supplies. We were encouraged to take pictures because "the mothers are proud of their babies." One woman apologized because her baby was naked; she didn't have clothes for him, and we were able to give her his first outfit. These women touched our hearts as we watched so many of them crowded into one room.

48: We stopped to purchase a new motorcycle for the pastor and his family. We are planning to give it to him tomorrow morning. After the emergency that arouse yesterday, the team felt this was a necessity. We also went shopping for baby shower gifts-- purchasing a high chair and clothes for the pastor's daughter. When we gave the items to the family, the mother cried. One highlight of this trip was providing children with new shoes. Most had never owned their own pair of shoes, and it was inspiring to see their faces light up as our team worked to find just the right pair for each child. The kids were so proud of their new shoes! We said our goodbyes. This was an emotional time for our team. For example, Clayton asked to have his picture taken with all the guys that touched his life this week. Afterwards, he had Ann translate for him as he explained to three local guys how they had specifically made an impact. God has worked in all of our lives this week.

49: After devotion time, we got together with our individual families to discuss what we had learned this week and how it will impact our lives. Sydney shared a wonderful observation. She explained that she didn't really know why she had come on this trip, and the answer occurred to her while she was sifting sand. She said they were told that sifting the sand would get all the rocks out and help make a strong and beautiful building. She finally understood this is how God uses us-- "he sifts out all the bad stuff so he can use us for something beautiful." What a great testimony to the impact this trip has had on our group. Our children have learned so much, and they've been able to teach the rest of us along the way.

51: Saying Goodbye to our friends

52: We were able to bless the pastor and his family with a new motorcycle. This gift was so important because it will save him 4-6 hours in travel time each day and allow him to use that time to focus on his ministry. He was so grateful. Tony gave all the kids an NYI t-shirt. Our first tourist attraction was a pottery store. We even got a chance to see how the pottery is made-- Patty was able to practice painting it, while Sydney and Ethan practiced making their own pottery. | Adam and Sheila led devotion time this morning- talking about the valleys and high moments in our lives. Often times we are in a hurry to get up the "mountain" and end up missing the beauty along the way. Speaking of beauty, we had a lot of beautiful moments today. And yes, we did take time to treasure each of them. | We went to Catarina for lunch. The restaurant overlooked a lagoon. It was beautiful. After lunch we spent a few hours at the market, buying souvenirs.

53: We finally made our way to the cave. First, we walked up tons of steps to see into the volcano. Then we drove up a little further and had to climb to the next look-out point. Most of us found it difficult to walk up: Adam, Bill and Chris helped the women both up and down...it was VERY tricky. We drove to the next point where we were able to see the bat cave. After breaking into two groups, we went down to an opening where bats fly in and out. Some of our guys (Adam in particular) were a bit jumpy. We finally made it to the cave, which was rather short, but also rough. We all received an intense workout! We ended the night at Papa John's, gorging on pizza. | day 10

55: mmm...pizza

57: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

60: "A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in." Robert Orben | I'm Going

61: Home

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Sheila Moore
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