Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Up-river Trip

Ok, I know this happened a week ago and I've written about lots since, but this trip has caused us to rethink our original plan for the medical mission project ...the places we went to seemed well serviced, and we might need to re-think the design for the right boat to make trips like this.

We got back on Sunday afternoon and the need not as great as we were led to believe? But after several days, several prayer times and several conversations with other more seasoned Nicaraguan workers, we see that what God has for us to do is going to unfold as we go on these trips, meet and talk with locals, and are just patient as we get to know this country, its people and its needs.

Another thing we've realized is that we really love this area and the people living here. And we have a strong sense that God has big plans for these people. There is much to do and we trust that if we are faithful in the small things, God will open up the work He has for us here.

Right now, those small things are: trying to learn Spanish; Donna working with the feeding program at the church (they feed 180 children lunch Monday thru Friday); Dan going around with Ed to the farm, the boatyards, and meeting all kinds of people and talking about all kinds of possibilities.

But back to the trip... let us show you what it was like through pictures...

A typical house on the bank of the river...the village is usually along the river and up into the higher land. Most families have farmland even higher up that they call "the plantations".

Mothers and children waiting for the clinic to begin.

Pastor Adrian, part of the Moravian church and who organized this trip, always begins each clinic with a devotional time.

One of the moms...really enjoying the worship time.

Dr. Sosa looking at a little girl's club feet. The surgery in Bluefields would be free, but the cost of the trip and lodging while she is in hospital is more than the family can afford.

The doctors meet with the patients in family groupings...usually several in a family will have some medical need.

Everyone wanted their picture taken...

These 4 little boys were "the band"...the first had made a bass out of a bucket, branch, and a piece of string, the second boy's drum was a turtle shell and the last two used castanets. Their rhythm was amazing!

They were hollowing out a dugout at this home.

This is how the dugouts are used...even the smallest child knows how to handle himself in one of these.

Dan and his "tres caballeros" (3 cowboys)...before this was taken they were riding around on their "horses" (long branches)...while their older brothers really were riding their horses.

Look at the care taken to make this porch railing...

Donna in front of their "radio shack"...each village has one for its ham radio...the only form of communication with anyone outside of their village.

One of the larger houses...

Going down the river, this is what you see... 

I hope this gives you a better idea of what we are doing and what life looks like for most of the Nicaraguans on the east coast. Next week I want to give you a photographic tour of Bluefields.

Thank you for your continued prayers as we seek to know and to do God's will...

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Our group heading out from the dock at 6 a.m. ... 11 pastors, representing a total of 22 pastors from different churches in Bluefields. The churches ranged from Baptist to Catholic and all in-between. We were going to be going 1 1/2 hours down the river to the small town of Orinoco. We each had such a sense of expectation...

Early morning on the river...

Donna being introduced to the president of the region. She is of African decent and proudly wears the beautiful outfits and fabrics. She is a strong believer and has done much for the region since she was elected.

The students and guests marched from the school to the field where the celebration was to take place. 

They had drums and majorettes and marching groups...

After the cultural performances ... poems, songs, dances, marches ... we marched around the entire town and many of us took it as an opportunity for prayer for them and the whole region.
We got back into the seating area and they had set up for a governmental session meeting. They called the roll of all the delegates and then shared that the purpose of this session was to declare that Jesus Christ was the Lord over their lives, their families and the whole South Atlantic Autonomous Region of Nicaragua.

After this declaration one of the pastors lead us in a song of are all the delegates singing and raising their hands in praise to God. 

Bishop Paul lead us in a closing prayer. He has been in Nicaragua and mostly on the east coast for 47 years. He started out in Orinoco but hadn't been back for 35 years. It was so sweet to see so many older people remember him and hug his neck.

Here we are with the president...what a time we think that an area of a country would make such a public declaration that Jesus is Lord has to be a least in modern history. We felt so honored to be there and to witness this historic event.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jesus is Lord!!

I know I haven't posted pix from our up-river trip yet, but I have to tell you about this first. 

Tomorrow morning...5 a.m. again...Dan and I are traveling about 1 1/2 hours up the river to a town called Orinoco with Ed, the pastor we are working with and several other pastors and government officials.

The purpose of this trip is to declare that "Jesus is Lord over the South Atlantic Autonomous Region of Nicaragua". Tomorrow is the 26th anniversary of the establishment of their Autonomous Region and this is one of the official events to celebrate the day.

Ed's wife, Ligia, said tonight that it is very interesting that they would choose this town for this ceremony because there is a lot of witchcraft in the area.

Can you believe that a government in our day and age is willing to make such a declaration? We are so excited and blessed to be able to be a part of this and are looking forward to the days to come...certainly this will make waves in the heavenlies.

Ed and Dan at the docks this morning...checking out the local boats.

Just down from the docks...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

an up-river trip planned...

After 3 days of hard rain, we are hoping for some clearer weather for the weekend... A tremendous opportunity has opened up for us to go up-river with a group of local medical people. This is a work of the Moravian Church in Bluefields...they have been here since the 1800's. They go every other month and God had us here and got us connected to them just in time for this trip...

We need to be at the dock at 5:00 a.m. Friday to board a panga... a 24' long, 5' wide open speed boat that can carry 20 people. We will be going to several villages up the Matagalpa River. It will take 5 hours to get to the first village. We were told to bring water and food for 3 days and to be prepared to sleep on the floor, hopefully in a mosquito repellant, mosquito nets, and rubber boots, and of course there will be no bathrooms. I think this will be the Nicaraguan version of primitive camping.

We have some specific prayer requests:
  • for good weather (the weather station says 60% rain through Monday)
  • Donna has a bad cold and Dan has some intestinal problems...please pray we will both be feeling great by Friday a.m. 
  • that we will be able to really be a help
I'm putting a couple of pictures in from a friend of ours to help give you an idea of what we will probably be seeing and the type of boat we will be taking. We will be gone from Friday morning through Sunday afternoon.

Thanks so much for lifting us up... Dan and donna

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

after a only a week in Bluefields...

It is hard to believe that we have only been in Bluefields a week... we feel so at home.
In case you haven't seen our facebook posts, let me fill you in on what we are doing...
Managua is directly west of Bluefields 

We are locating in Bluefields, Nicaragua , to establish a medical missions project using a sailboat to travel along the coast and up the rivers where there are no roads connecting the people. In fact, the "roads" are rivers...many small and several of good size that run into the Carribean. We will use these waterways as a means to reach many who live in isolated villages with little or no medical care.

Bluefields is the main town on the southern half of Nicaragua's east coast. We are living with a local pastor and his wife in their guesthouse. It is a great situation for us...we have an instant connection with the community and are hoping that our project will be under the covering his church, Verbo Bluefields.

  • We have been able to meet with the director of the Ministry of Health and he seems very willing to work with us.
  • Dan has met with local boatbuilders and has been given several options for procuring a boat:
  •  build one out of fiberglass
  • build one with plywood brought in from the States (the plywood here is not good for long term use)
  • and not last or seems they have a catamaran that someone left here several years ago. We just need to find it and check it out.
  • Dan is meeting today with a doctor who does go out to villages. She told a friend that her husband is going out this weekend and we can go with him if we want. This is a really important part of our find out just what is needed and where is the greatest need.
Thank you for your prayers...we really need and value them, especially in this beginning stage.

Sunset out our window...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Precious Prayer

One of the things that is an important aspect of every team's visit is a time of prayer at Ruby's. Ruby is with the Lord now, but she was 'a prophetess and an evangelist from the Lord" and a great friend of the Buzbees. Her "upper room" still has a very special anointing to it. 

I think it is especially important because most of these teams are made up of high school and college young people...on the threshold of their lives and most of them are very eager to be prayed for. 
Pricilla, our Nicaraguan friend, praying for a young man on the team

young men eager for a touch from the Lord
The other thing I want to show you is the contrast between dry and rainy season. Several weeks ago we posted a pic of the dead is the same field one week after the rains began...\
before the rain...
and after...
This week we have prayer times every's lasted 4 hours...we would appreciate your prayers for us as we pray for the others...that we would be clear vessels for the Holy Spirit to speak through.
Love you guys...

Friday, May 31, 2013


First first...Well rainy season is here with a is raining so hard that we can hardly hear each other speak. And the lightning and thunder is really amazing. Today we had lightning and thunder all afternoon as well, with no rain. It seems to build up all day and then around sundown (which is at 6:00) it dumps. 
Look at these rain clouds!
Second first...Yesterday we had our first team leave and I did either 8 or 10 loads of laundry...I lost count. :) And as I was hanging it out on the line, I contemplated the fact that this team was only 11 June 7th every bed will be full and we will have around 115 people here. What will the laundry be like when they leave? I'm grateful that I'm able to start small and build up to it.

Third first...We had our first dinner in our little house tonight...hotdogs on a Forman grill that Sue's mom loaned us, and plantain chips. It was one step up from camping...and we were very glad that we weren't camping as the rain is coming down in torrents. We don't have a stove yet or a real refrigerator...we have a loaner mini-frig from Mike and Sue... so we need to be creative with food. We actually won't be eating much down here once the teams are here in full-force.

Dan is driving all over the place which gives us a sense of freedom and not such a burden on Mike and Sue. We decided that the Nica drivers were really very tolerant compared to the Asian countries that we have drive in. When we drive, we either take a long van or a tank-like's pretty funny.

Brinson  brought home two little fawns...he's hoping to take them out to Ruby Ranch once they get a little bigger.

Dan is helping Timo launch his boat. They are making one for him to play with and one that will be the model for the real thing.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

still waiting for the rains...

We were wrong! The rains haven't begun yet. We had two false starts and only hot, hot, hot temps so far. We do have some big thunder clouds building up, even as I write, but our hopes have been dashed so many times that we are afraid to get too excited. 

The first team comes in tonight and rain is forcast for the next several as Murphy's Law would have it, it will probably rain...even tho' it hasn't for all the previous forcasts of rain.

We've been busy getting ready for the teams coming...washing shower curtains, moving furniture around and "Handyman Dan" has found work as well. :) There is always something that needs fixing.

Our biggest news is that we've rented a house just down the road from the Buzbees...a 10 minute walk. There are a couple of weeks when they are maxed out with people so we thought we would find a place to stay and give others our apartment. It reminds us so much of our little pink house in Thailand, but not as big. So far we have beds, curtains and a coffeemaker... the important stuff. :) We have rented it for a year so that we can keep coming back and forth...and when we aren't here, others can use it.

Our front door...

As you come down the entrance...

Rosemary working on the tiny kitchen

It has been such a blessing being here...and feels so much like home, even after only 2 weeks.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

From Rosemary

We have  now been in Nicaragua for a week, sometimes it feels like a day and other times like a month. I have been teaching six teenagers for six days, and I have been both surprised and excited about how much I am enjoying it. Every day brings new challenges, but it has been stretching me to be a better teacher and learner. 

My plan for this summer is to have a discovering God summer. We began with plants and will hopefully end with the universe. Everyday we begin with the Word, and it has been such a wonderful thing to be able to see God's will in 2 Kings. God has been showing me how he rewards faithfulness, but that all men are sinful without the love of Christ. 

Today we learned about the different parts of a flower. Here are some pictures. 

Having an outdoor classroom is nice, but it does have its mishaps. I have been attacked by flying whiteboards, books and sometimes even stools. My students are always helpful, and even when I get something wrong, they are quick to correct, but we just laugh it off and move on. My classroom has two boys and four girls. Moses is 17 and Timo is 13. Hazel is 14 and Hope and the twins, Lola and Johanna, are 13. Being an elementary education major, teaching teenagers has been interesting, but also very enjoyable. We laugh a lot and we just enjoy learning together. I have been able to use my creative ideas to make learning not as monotonous, and they have been teaching me math. Here are some  pictures of our classroom. 
Getting crazy before math class. 

working hard on decimals 
  Every day they write in their journals and we read The Magicians Elephant aloud. I read this book last semester, but by reading it with older students it has really opened my eyes to the wonderful truths that it teaches. One thing that stood out to me is how people can get stuck with one thing their entire lives. If we open up to God's plan for our life and remain open to all possibilities we will can truly be free to do what the Lord has for us. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013


It's raining!! The first real one of the year. The younger girls went in swimming and we ran in the drops...they say that we'll be able to see a difference in a couple of days. Now, the second day, we are waiting for an afternoon storm to come. They say that we will see the effects of the rain in a couple of days...I have a before pic, so I'll post that and the after later.

Here's Timo and Dan's first day of boat-model making...two more happy boaters, you will not find!

This is one half of the model will be beautiful!

Mother's Day is celebrated in Nicaragua at the end of May, so we get to be special today and again on the 30th. I came at the right time.

Hope all you mother's have a great day...

Friday, May 10, 2013

We've Arrived!

The Buzbee Compound 

We arrived in Managua at the Buzbee's beautiful compound without a single hitch...although the rains haven't arrived, we are happy to beat them here. There is such celebration when they do come that it will be fun to be here then.

The first night Dan and Michael got on the topic of sailing and boat-building so it's no surprise that Timo and Dan have started to build a small version of what could be...

Rosemary spent two days sitting in on the homeschooling class that Chris Barber has been doing and on the second day took over. Six kids from 13 to 16 is a handful, but she is doing a great job. She says that it is such a great opportunity to be stretched and challenged in a whole host of areas. Each kid has there own strengths and weaknesses and Rosemary is looking forward to being able to encourage them in both areas.

Today Donna went to the preschool/after-school program with Chris Farrington and got to help out with the 4-yr. olds. What precious kids. Here are some pix of the kids she met...
Morning Song...
Lining up for the foreign lady to take our picture :)