Sunday, July 12, 2015

A trip to Muy Muy (Very Very)

On the bus...we were packed in like sardines and at one time
Dan held a heavy little girl on his lap!

Dan, Sindy Sinclair (a local friend) and I went to see Herman and his family in northwestern Nicaragua. It ended up being a 10-hour trip Thursday by boat, two buses, and taxi, and then an hour Friday morning by pickup truck.

We stayed overnight in a little town called Muy Muy which means "Very Very." We wondered, "very very what?" At first we thought it may be "very very beautiful", until we got there and thought, "very very small", but by the end of our stay we decided it was "very very interesting".

On Friday morning we talked to Herman by phone. He and his family were to come meet us in Muy Muy. He was bringing his ill mother to the clinic to get an injection. He first had to carry her on his back (remember he is blind) down the mountain and across a stream that was up to his knees. He then put her on a horse and held her on while one of his boys led them down to the road. They were hoping to catch the one bus to Muy Muy that day, but got there late. We we talked to him, he was very upbeat and said not to worry, they could probably catch a ride with a truck going by. This seemed very iffy to us so we began looking for someone who could take us up to meet them and and bring them all down. At breakfast we prayed and asked the Lord to provide a way for Herman and his family to get to town. We asked two different men, but one was charging too much and the other couldn't go for an hour. (I neglected to add that Herman's 70 year old mother had had a fall and was no longer able to talk; we think she probably had a stroke.) Finally, we were told about a mechanic down the road who might know someone who could help us. We headed out to find him. What an answer to prayer he was! Juan Carlos Lopez is a strong Christian and travels all over Nicaragua sharing the Gospel and ministering when he isn't a mechanic. After we told him about Herman and what we wanted to do, he said he thought he knew of someone and he would like to meet Herman himself. He called his brother, who for a good price agreed to take us to Balsamo, the area where Herman was waiting.

Finding Herman and his family on the side of the road. 

When we got up the mountain, which took about 45 minutes, we saw the little band...Herman with his arms wrapped around his mother trying to keep her warm, and his four children huddled him around like a hen with her chicks. The kids were so excited to see us, they were jumping up and down. They had to look in the bag we had to see what we had brought them. The soccer ball was the biggest hit.

Talking with Herman on the way back to town.
The two younger boys...

Then we dropped the bag off at a neighbor's, and headed back down the mountain. Our first stop was the clinic to get Herman's mom set up with the doctor. She needed an IV that would take several hours. 

Sindy and the kids eating a hearty lunch.

We left Herman with her, and took the kids to lunch. We then took them to buy warm jackets, shoes and hats. It gets pretty cold at their elevation, especially during rainy season and they had left Bluefields so quickly when they heard the grandma was sick that they didn't take much with them...not even shoes, only rubber boots.We left Herman with her, and took the kids to lunch. We then took them to buy warm jackets, shoes and hats. It gets pretty cold at their elevation, especially during rainy season and they had left Bluefields so quickly when they heard the grandma was sick that they didn't take much with them...not even shoes, only rubber boots.

Dan and I on the back of the pick up truck riding all over town...

It turns out that Herman has four brothers and a sister, but he is the only one willing to help his mother. Even her husband quickly drinks up any money he is able to make. Cousins were supposed to come and help him get his mom back up the mountain...but no one came and he ended up carrying her on his back through the stream that was then chest high. Through all of this he has the most loving, grateful heart. He never complains, nor does he speak against his father or siblings. He just takes it all in stride, working when he can find work, taking care of his mother and his children and never once even mentioning that he is blind which makes everything harder.

The IV wasn't finished when it was time for them to catch the
bus home, so they took it with them and Dan tied it
to an upper rack in the bus.

So, when we start to complain about some little "inconvenience" in our lives here, we think of our friend, Herman, and his family and what they deal with every day, and we are humbled and grateful for the example Herman is to us.

Please continue to pray for him and his family that they can get home to Bluefields as quickly as possible.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Things are happening...

First of all, we would like to apologize for not up-dating this blog for quite some time. We have been busy with boat building and teaching and just learning how to live in this amazing place!

We have the most beautiful sunrises in's a great way to start the day! For the past several weeks, it seems like everday something amazing happens. 

We have had to stop work again on Caribbean Grace because of lack of funds, but the Lord hasn't stopped working in amazing ways. We've made much progress in formulating the purpose and mission of the project. 

 Sunrise over Bluefields Bay...
Dr. Palacios, a dentist, and Dr. Tellez, a family practice M.D. 
These two doctors are interested in helping Dan build a local team of medical professionals to serve. We are also hoping to connect with the nursing and medical programs here in Bluefields to get the young people out into the communities. There is so much need even in the areas close to Bluefields.

Together with the leadership of our local church, Verbo, we have seen the importance of using local people for ministering to the communities up the rivers. We are very excited about the possibilities... getting medical personnel, young people, church workers reaching out to their own. 

Santiago and Oscar, the builders
Over the past year, these men have been invaluable. Dan has had many lively discussions with them on the specific design specifications of this boat and the ways to make the changes that will make her more useful.
Marvin, the fisherman, weaving a castnet. He is one of the first people Dan met when we came to Bluefields. He's given a lot of good advice and when it was time to work on getting a tender for "Caribbean Grace", Dan went to Marvin to see if he had something.

Marvin and the Panga he plans to re-fit for fishing on the bay
The 20' dory Dan purchased from Marvin to rebuild as a tender for "Caribbean Grace". This will used to transport people and supplies from the shore to "Caribbean Grace" at her mooring. 
Santiago with the rebuilt dory. Quite a tranformation!

Complete with a non-slip deck!

This boat will also be used for youth outings on the bay, taking the kids at Barnabas House (the Verbo Church's children's home) fishing on the bay or crossing the bay for a day at the beach. Dan also wants to learn how to sail this craft, using a local sail rig.

We would like to know if any of you want to be added to our newsletter mailing list. We try to get one out every quarter. If so, please e-mail us at and send us your mailing address.

Additional funding needed to complete construction of "Caribbean Grace":

Two 75 H.P. Yamaha outboard engines.....$13,600.
Finish the interior fit-out.................................8,000.
Sails, rigging, safety equipment......................5,000.


If you would like to help financially, you can write a check made out to Global Outreach with Letton Account #1056 written at the bottom and send it to: 

Global Outreach International 
P.O. Box 1
Tupelo, MS 38802

We would appreciate any comments or feed-back.

We greatly value your prayers and support.


Dan and Donna Letton 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Reasons to Rejoice!

God is so faithful! Herman's house is finished and they have moved in...Several people in the church have helped them by painting the inside rooms, bringing furniture, and an electric burner to cook on. One lovely woman has taken Sylvia under her wing to mentor her. Sylvia has the tasks of cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, taking care of her 3 younger brothers and last but not least going to school. We are so happy for them.

Moving-in day...

Herman and his happy to have a home of their own!
The second reason to rejoice is that shortly after Herman and his family moved into their house, the orphange was finished and dedicated. Then 6 children moved in along with the house parents, Kevin and Julisa Hooker. This has been such a long time in coming...we are all blessed and excited about how the Lord is going to use this home.

The home just before final completion. It has a capacity of 16 children.

Kevin and Julisa and their first little girl!

The six kids, Kevin and Julisa, along with leaders from the church, Pastor Ed, Umberto and a youth leader.

And last but certainly not least...the boat has gotten its first coat of paint to protect the fiberglas. Before we came home for Christmas we were able to get to this stage so that we could leave it while we were gone. We love the colors...Caribbean...and hope that just looking at it will bring joy to many people up-river.

The two master builders, Oscar and Santiago, in the main cabin. They have done such an excellent job!

The first coat of paint has been will come the interior fit-out, the windows and buying and installing the engines.
Prayer requests:

  • Funds to finish the boat by early summer
  • Funds to put the finishing touches on Herman's house...paint the outside, some furniture...
  • Grace and wisdom for Kevin and Julisa as they begin this new journey as house parents
  • Logistics and team dynamics for operation of the boat as it is put into use