Monthly Archives: November 2014

Nicaragua Trip :: November 19

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Today was the epitome of fun! The team spent the entire day with 49 children from Imagine Ministry. An hour and a half bus ride with crazy fun Nica kids brought us to “Ruby Ranch.” Many of our team members referred to Ruby Ranch as a Nicaraguan Disney Land. We truly had something for everyone. We played sports like soccer, baseball, and volleyball. We took kids on horseback rides. We jumped on trampolines and wrestled until we nearly passed out from laughter. They even had a giant swing and an even bigger slip and slide that would put any waterpark to shame! What a blessing it was to see the joy on their faces as they played like any other child. The excitement and delight that they displayed was so infectious that everyone joined in!

It was evident that these children have completely captured the hearts of all of us. Kendrick Stiles stated, “it was just amazing to see kids who have next to nothing laugh and play as though they were the happiest children in the world.” God was continuously breaking the language barrier by providing opportunities to smile and laugh with these amazing kids. Although most of the group speaks little to no Spanish, the relationships that formed with these children will “hopefully continue despite the distance,” as stated by Joe Dickerson.

It’s amazing to see God working in the lives of each of our team members. By coming here and serving and seeing how our Nicaraguan friends display true joy, it is clear that there has been such a growth in each team member. After 5 days together these Lauren family members from all over the US and Canada have become a true family. The conversations, laughs, and even tears have formed life long bonds between people who would maybe have never met unless they came. In my humble opinion, there may not be a better way to connect to another person than working alongside of them to serve others for the glory of God!

Team members going on the slip and slide with the Imagine Ministry children

Team members going on the slip and slide with the Imagine Ministry children

Joe Buxkemper enjoys the giant swing at Ruby Ranch

Joe Buxkemper enjoys the giant swing at Ruby Ranch

Ruby Ranch

Ruby Ranch

 

Nicaragua Trip :: November 18

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Hola from Nicaragua! We are having an incredible time serving alongside our Nicaraguan friends. The last two days we have spent our time fixing up an old building for use as a vocational training center. Many team members have worked countless hours painting, mixing concrete, carrying block, and moving equipment. It was very inspiring seeing young Nicaraguans even join in to be helping hands.

The diversity among this group is unprecedented with Lauren family from Calgary, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Knoxville, and Abilene. Yet from afar you would think each of us old friends. Katie Speilman was right on when she stated “It is easy to feel secluded from the rest of the company when you’re so far away. But what an amazing opportunity to get to know new Lauren family from all over the world.”

We have spent time working and playing with the children that attend Imagine Ministry’s after school program. Two young Nicaraguan brothers Tito (10 years old) and Wilbur (2 years old) have clearly captured the hearts of nearly every team member. Even though both boys have an unthinkable home life and are severely malnourished, they continue to come each day solely to help us work. Barbara Dickerson said it best when she stated “I came here thinking I would be the one serving these children, but I am amazed that I am the one who is being served and being taught so much. It is very humbling”.

It is utterly amazing to see the hard working attitudes that everyone has brought with them. To anyone else it may seem a waste of time to travel all the way to Nicaragua to paint and do manual labor, but it is clear in Matthew 25:35-60 that when we serve anyone we are actually serving Christ. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me, ‘Then the righteous will him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Each member of our team attributes this same character of serving the least. We finished the day walking home each of the children in the Imagine Ministry after school program. It was visible on the young team member’s eyes that many of our Nicaraguan friends have extremely difficult circumstances. What an opportunity as a child to learn what the rest of the world goes through and even more so how God can continue to bring true joy despite one’s circumstances. Please continue to keep those we are serving in your prayers as well as each team member as God works directly in their own lives.

 

Adrien Brossier playing games with the Imagine Ministry children

Adrien Brossier playing games with the Imagine Ministry children

Luke Keller and Kendrick Stiles hanging out with some awesome Nica Ninos!

Luke Keller and Kendrick Stiles hanging out with some awesome Nica Ninos!

Part of our project is finishing a building that will be used to do vocational training for women. These women will learn a skill that will last a life time and bring themselves and family out of the circle of poverty.

Part of our project is finishing a building that will be used to do vocational training for women. These women will learn a skill that will last a life time and bring themselves and family out of the circle of poverty.

Nicaragua Trip :: November 17

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Before even leaving the country God moved in some big ways to help our team! Due to “a frozen plane” our Calgary group was very close to having their flight delayed until the following day. Praise God that they were able to fix the plane and even make their connecting flight in Houston. Although there bags came a day late they were all in great spirits. The rest of the group met in Atlanta and flew to where we will serve for a week in Managua, Nicaragua. We spent that night just adjusting and getting to know one another.

The following morning the group went out to various ministries to see all that we will be doing in partnership with imagine ministries. We were already able to see so many opportunities we can serve. Many people on our team were so humbled by the courage that the house mothers have who serve at a boys and girls rescue homes. In their own words they both stated that “we could not give up even if we wanted”. They are all in for the ministry, giving up everything to serve under-privileged boys and girls.

This morning Monday November 17th we will be serving in a community called Los Brasiles. The group will be participating in various projects including building out a vocational training center (mixing concrete, laying brick, painting, etc.), planting vegetation, helping to harvest from the community farm, and most importantly loving on those in the community. Please pray for our group of 19 that God would continue to use us in ways that would glorify His kingdom.

Kendrick Stiles monkeying around with George the pet monkey where we are staying.

The group tours the various ministries that we will serve throughout the week.

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