Monday and Tuesday work began at the rancho at Monte Redondo. Now officially recognized as a church by the Lutheran Church of Nicaragua, it is named Nueva Esperanza (“New Hope”). This is the rancho that St. John’s built and continues to maintain and improve. One main project of the mission this February was to paint both the interior and exterior of the building in addition to rebuilding/replacing the lecture and checking on other necessary repairs.
The painting began early Monday morning and continued into Tuesday. Many hands and much hard work transformed the original faded walls into ones of renewed beauty. The outside cross, which had weathered in the intense Nicaraguan sun, was taken down, refinished and replaced. Needed electrical repairs were scheduled and a small retaining wall was planned for one side of the building where water was seeping though during the rainy season. These projects and remaining painting will be completed next week.
Something that warms our hearts is to see people in the communities interested in our projects and want to help. We even brought plenty of extra painting supplies this year to encourage this. One such person who spent many hours helping us both days was a young man by the name of Johnny. He lived down the road and was such a hard worker. At lunch time, he accepted the food we offered him from our sack lunches, but he quietly ate only two apples. He put the other half sandwiches and offered food in a zip lock bag. Even after a long, hard morning of work he chose to take the food with him rather than eat it himself. It is just one of many times we have seen a similar act of love and sharing as one family member saves food for another. We were so happy to learn that his family has been attending Bible classes at Nueva Esperanza and will be invited to our gathering there next week where his family will receive a food pack. Johnny has some struggles and we have kept him in our prayers. We hope he will join us next week when we return to finish our projects.
Editor’s note: We are excited to share the stories of our Nicaragua mission team via St. John’s member Diane Butikofer, who is blogging from the mission trip. To see more of her blog, visit https://sharingnicaragua.wordpress.com. To learn more about St. John’s Nicaragua mission team, please visit our NICARAGUA PAGE.