The Grace Blog

Managua Mission Day 2

After a much-needed night’s sleep after our marathon travel day, we enjoyed breakfast at our hotel and headed to Oasis de Esperanza at about noon. The drive there reacquainted us with the amazing pulse of life in Managua, with its variety of roadside vendors, omnipresent pedestrians, and zany traffic!

Our arrival at the school led to many hugs and greetings from friends we have known for years. It was quite exciting to be back after two years’ absence. Wayne MaGouirk gave us a tour of the new counseling and computer building, the upper story of which has a view of nearby Lake Managua. Many of the staff were in the midst of decorating for that night’s annual Christmas concert, and the cafetorium soon took on a festive atmosphere. We were able to help set up several hundred chairs, that would soon be filled by people in the neighborhood.

At about four, our team dashed out for a quick dinner at Tip Top chicken, a Nicaragua fast food standard. Sometimes it seems that Nicaragua is fueled by chicken (and gallo pinto)! Then it was back just in time to find the school grounds filled with 700 to 800 people and the concert just beginning. All of the classes had part in performances, which were some combination of song and/or dance. Many of these kids have real talent and the true Christmas message came through. It was just amazing to see the support in this very poor community for their kids. There seemed to be a vibrancy present that is often lacking in much of impersonal American culture.

We  enjoyed some great conversations today, including Lyn with Alvaro, Caron and Marcia with Flor, and Todd with former student David, and present student Gerald. We are looking forward to many more thanks to our excellent translator Jhonny.

Tomorrow is Staff Appreciation Day, as we head south to Granada for sightseeing, a great lunch and zip lining! Please pray that the staff will know our love for them.

 We will call this our official Team Photo for Managua Mission 2019. Jhonny, Todd, Wayne, Lyn, Marcia, and Caron.

 The lovely pool at our hotel. This evening we processed things together at poolside in the tropical warmth.

 Preparations for the concert: teachers Diana, Flor, and Sylvia clowning around a bit.

 Todd and Nate and friends.

 Fatima, Sadia, Carolina and Flor just outside of the kitchen.

 At Tip Top Chicken for dinner. At right is our driver, Eddie, who handles Managua traffic with ease.

 The neighborhood crowd at the concert was simply amazing!


Managua Mission Day 1

So we’re off! We left Lake City at 4:30 this morning, off on our great Managua 2019 adventure! Marcia, Caron, and Lyn picked up RC Sharma and then we met Todd Laws in Gunnison at about 5:30. With no snow on the roads and thanks to Todd’s excellent driving, we made good time to DIA and were able to send RC off to Los Angeles while we headed to Nashville via Southwest Airlines , and then to Fort Lauderdale, where we are now. Our Managua Spirit Airlines flight leaves at about midnight eastern time, and we fly for 2.5 more hours to end our very long day to Managua.

Some of you may remember that Brandon Galicia had originally planned to be a part of our team, but unfortunately he was just laid off at his job and needed to seek new employment. We will miss Brandon and his gentle spirit and good humor, but pray that he finds work for the winter in Delta or Montrose.

 Our plane at DIA, ready to take us to Nashville.

 Marcia and Todd relaxing during our brief layover in Nashville. Even the airport restaurants here have live country music!

  Lyn and Caron ready for the last leg, awaiting the plane in Fort Lauderdale. By the way, Lyn holds the record for the most security checks on this trip, with his carry on being opened twice, once for his laptop and the other for his PayDay candy bars! But all is good.

Please continue praying for us! We feel blessed and privileged to be on this trip. Tomorrow we will not have an early start as we will be recovering from our long day. Tomorrow afternoon we plan to go to Oasis de Esperanza school and help them set up for their annual Christmas concert, which we will attend tomorrow evening.

Hasta mañana, amigos!