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 thought...is 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...