Narrow Gate Internship…Summer 2016

 

IMG_4615We had a couple of wonderful young women serve with us this summer!  Melanie came from the Westcoast in Oregon and Carley came down from the Eastcoast in Virginia.  Narrow Gate is a summer program we host for individuals who want to serve in Nicaragua for a more extended period of time.  Our focus is “Learning, Serving and Living in Community”.  Both Melanie and Carley brought great skill sets to Nicaragua with them, including impressive language skills and a love of Jesus that made for a great summer!  We really enjoyed having them in our home and working together hosting short term missions teams, at Clubs Esperanza and Los Brasiles, Ruby Ranch, Casa Havilah & Casa Robles.

The serving came in the normal onslaught of summer activity.  Often random but always something to do, working with kindergarteners at Club Esperanza, coordinating work projects and activities for teams, volunteering with Vacation Bible School, living at Casa Havilah, taking rescue homes on fun days,  ah and oh yes babysitting the missionaries kids:)  Some of the “work” is also the unnoticed type, like doing the dishes…the only dish washer down here is your two hands and a sponge!  It was a very big help for our family having two skilled individuals with servant hearts.  In simply living the daily Nicaragua life and touching the lives of people in need whom we cross paths with every day, the Lord moves and uses each of us to draw others closer into relationship with Himself and to establish works that have an eternal impact for His Heavenly Kingdom.

In the midst of the serving activity there are also times for study and devotion with the Lord.  Quinta Havilah can be a real refuge and retreat and we took advantage of that too.  We studied a couple of books together.  A classic on Spiritual Disciplines called “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster and a book by David Platt who is currently the President of the International Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  That one is called “Radical:  Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream”, that title says it all and it was a good challenging perspective to read through.  Then whether gathering with friends down here to watch the “Father of Lights” documentary in our living room, or listening to Ravi Zacharias’ lectures on a three hour car ride, or watching Graham Cooke preach about prayer on YouTube, we had some very good influences getting into our minds.  Then of course I would get distracted on YouTube and we might end up watching The Guy on a Buffalo LOL!  Oh but the times of study and discussion are never enough and time does slip by…the moments we did get together were great!

Living in Community is something that is also a part of serving the Lord overseas and we got plenty of that too.  Living in closed quarters with people you have just met.  Having visitors come and go throughout the summer.  Sitting down for meals together, but also preparing the meal and then cleaning up after.  Living in a home with four perfectly behaved children (ok fine they aren’t always perfectly behaved hahaha).  God uses these times to refine each of us individually with patience in the chaos, with grace towards others in light of their faults, with compassion during tough moments, and so on.  It is a real chance for growth in the midst of serving the Lord in ministry.

We had lots of fun together too, because Nicaragua is a beautiful country!  One of the craziest sights is Masaya Volcano which currently has flowing lava at the base of its crater!  Also beautiful Playa Gigante down south where we did a solitude retreat, or chiming the bells in Granada and getting a boat tour of the islands…and oh yes Zip Lining.

Thank you both for joining us I know we will get to see you all again down here in NicaraguaLand!  We are blessed to have you as friends be working together in the Kingdom of God.  “May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you” wherever He takes you!  I got it right this time, and we sincerely mean that😉

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Club Esperanza: Plumcreek, painting, playgrounds and playing around

 

imageClub Esperanza serves 300 children every day and we really wouldn’t be able to meet the needs of all these kiddos without the help of friends from all over the world!  Plumcreek Church from Colorado came last week and jumped right in feet first at Club Esperanza to make a Kingdom impact on the lives of fifty first and second graders!

They came ready with hands for labor and funds to get to work making Club Esperanza a more beautiful, fun and safe place for everyone.  During the mornings the group worked hard painting the veranda and main buildings to cover up the scuff and rust that the Nicaraguan sun can put on any surface, making everything a little bit prettier.  The fun came when they purchased new playgroup equipment and installed it (there is nothing quite like breaking up old concrete with a pick axe!)  As far as safety goes, we installed safety lighting for night time security at the Club.  It was lots of hard work, lots of sweat and patience needed, but very rewarding to see the finished product.

Along with the work projects we got to spend a lot of time with the first and second grade classes.  Everyday for three days the group shared Bible stories and fun arts a crafts with the children.  The rooms may have been swelteringly hot, but it was a really special time to interact with each of the children.  As we finished the week we loaded all of the kids on the bus with us and headed to the Zoo in Managua, and then as a finale to the week everyone went to Ruby Ranch for the day!  It goes without saying, but the kids totally loved the special attention paid to them, all the fun activities and the new friendships they made.

The group shared a special time at the beach on their last day.  Reflecting on their week in Nicaragua and enjoying the Lord’s beautiful creation.  The culmination of the day was a baptism in the ocean for one of the young women on the team.  It was a great week!

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At Ruby Ranch our girls hopped onto the horses with their Aunts and went for a ride.  Ruby Ranch has three horses now fit for riding with all the kiddos, and it is a really special thing to get to do.  Aliyah is asking when she can ride by herself, I think it will be soon:)

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Ruby Ranch: Campin’, ridin’, slippin’ N slidin’

Valor Christian School from Colorado was down in Nicaragua last week with a group of high school students working hard out at Ruby Ranch.  The week started off with a few days of “Summer Camp” for the kids from the neighborhoods surrounding the Double R.  It is such an unique blessing for these kids to be able to go to camp and have a week with a bunch of visitors from another country who love Jesus and love having fun!

There are so many fun things to do at Ruby Ranch like horse back riding, tree swings, a crazy zip line, bike rides, team sports etc…but by far the biggest hit is the HUGE water slide as you see above!  This year Valor decided to expand the water slide activities and put together a big game of Slip-N-Slide kickball!  As you can see below, it was also a big hit!

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Valor is a wonderful school with a huge heart for Nicaragua.  If you have ever been to Ruby Ranch you have met Henry “El Chele”.  He is Brinson’s right hand man out there and a pretty remarkable guy.  Well the team really wanted to bless Henry as he is building his new house for his family.  So Valor surprised him by furnishing the house for them!  They also put in some elbow grease working on his house as well.  A huge blessing for a great guy from a group with a huge heart!

To keep up with stories like these and all the other activity at Ruby Ranch please check out the official Ruby Ranch Facebook Page.

Plans for the Future…please keep praying for Ruby Ranch.  In the future we would love to be able to do sleep away camps instead of only day camps.  The hope, is be able to build cabins and dorms to make it a fully functioning sleep away camp!  We will have to raise funds to make that happen, but it is going to be awesome!

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Club Esperanza: Dia de Luz…

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Love Light and Melody is an organization that has partnered with us for a number of years to impact the lives of all of the young people and the families from the dump community that was called La Chureca.  This month they came down for an event called “Dia de Luz”, Day of Light in English.  The origins of this event go way back to the our days in the dump when Brad Corrigan (founder of Love, Light & Melody) wanted to use art and music to shine the Light and Love of the Lord on the families in La Chureca.  It was a wonderful weekend filled with concerts, dance class, murals being painted, and lots of fun!

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Max Frost led the art activities during the week and he had this to share…

Stefany is a scholarship student through @lovelightandmelody, which means she can attend school, something these kids don’t take lightly and comes with great responsibility. Last week @kimdiggs and I taught Art classes for kids ranging in age from 3-13 at a trash dump resettlement community called Villa Guadalupe, Nicaragua. Stefany was my favorite student. She stayed after class tirelessly working on her drawings with great creativity and attention to detail. Her smile cautious, yet genuine. A year ago my friend Austin and I were asked to paint this same heart image for the first time by parents in  Villa Guadalupe who had recently lost their daughter unexpectedly. This trip the image took on a much different and equally amazing story for me. It’s no longer just a gift from me to their community, but now it also represents a local giving back to her community in which she lives through her favorite form of communication, painting. I’m not so sure going to places like Villa Guadalupe “to help” is always the most helpful thing we can do. Although I do think coming along side people, smiling together, recycling water bottles together at the dump (their main source of income), high fiving, dancing together, flying kites together and laughing together actually does have the potential to change the world. Or at least us. I wonder if smiling together, and laughing together is one of the most “helpful” things we can do? One smile has the power to change the entire atmosphere of a room and warm the hearts of complete strangers in a moment without even having to speak the same language. Some smiles carry hope with them while others excitement and others joy. Then there’s the kind that carry the best flavor of gentle honor and pride. That’s the one Stefany wore this evening. After wrapping everything up by phone light, her mom came up to us with tears in her eyes letting us how much this opportunity had meant to her daughter. She was also smiling. Not the thanks for doing something for me kind of smile, which is great too, but this one was much deeper and more meaningful. It was that of a proud mother. Which I’m convinced is one of the best smiles out there. — MAX FROST 

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We also wanted to say thank you for the special attention paid to our staff at Club Espernaza as well.  A day at the beach and a night at a nice restaurant was a special treat!  Here is a picture of the whole crew below…

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Walakitang: Plantains, church growth, training…

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Pastor Victor made the journey to Managua to meet with us about the church in Walakitang and happenings along the Rio Coco.  This trip he was accompanied by Pastor Earl Bouy who is the regional Pastor for Verbo Church on the East Coast.  Earl is a remarkable Man of God who does a great amount of work for the Kingdom of God in Nicaragua; the church, major orphanage and schools, micro business loans, community development and more.  He is based out of Puerto Cabezas on the North East coast of Nicaragua.  It was a special moment to all be here together at the Buzbee’s missionary compound and we had an sweet time of prayer together!

Small churches are being planted along the Rio Coco and Victor is now overseeing churches in nine communities.  Praise Jesus.  Here are the names of all of the churches, would you please pray for them?

Andristara, Tabra Tani, Siskiaris, Kantingne, Pura Mira, Lakusta, Raiti, Somopipi, and Walakitang 

Sustainability by planting:  Because of the remote location of these churches and the economic difficulties facing every family, Pastor Bouy has begun a new project to help sustain the churches as well as individual families.  “Platanos” or Plantains in English.  The church is delivering the baby Plantain trees to trusted individuals in the communities 1,500 at a time.  They are planted on the owners land.  Then, at harvest half of the harvest is given to the farmer and the other half is sold to help sustain church ministry in the community.  It is a great idea and and we look forward to see how the Lord uses and blesses this harvest!  Over 20,000 baby tress have already been producing….praise God!

Pastor Victor and Jorge (a church member from Walakitang) brought two full stocks all the way from Walakitang as a blessing to us…we used them to feed the masses here that week!

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I would also like to share some of the future news that can use your prayer as well in the coming months.  At the end of June there will be a pastoral meeting in Puerto Cabezas where all the churches will meet and organize themselves, so please pray for the Holy Spirit’s leading.  Also there have been the beginning works of feeding centers at each town, so that is also an exciting development for the future.

Thank you for you continued prayers and support for Walakitang and the rest the Miskito communities along the Rio Coco!

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Club Esperanza: Studying Abroad from the USA

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We want to say a special thank you to Rachael Paris and Kyleen Chambers who have spent the last six months living here in Nicaragua and working at Club Cristiana La Esperanza.  They elected to finish their University studies overseas and lived with one of our teachers as a host family during their time here.  They taught English class, tutored the children at Casa Havilah and Casa Robles, put together an ethnography report on the surrounding community and basically were hands on in whatever was needed during their time here.  Zero complaints and lots of hard work…pretty awesome by two impressive young women!  

As they finish this week  and head home, we send them off with our prayers and blessings.  We are thankful for all their hard work and expecting the Lord to do great things in their futures.  On their departure they wanted to make the lives of the teachers they have grown to love over these months better, so we went shopping.  They wanted to use their funds to really leave a blessing, so they bought 10 “Crayola Lego” tubes, hundreds of dollars of school supplies, six new preschool tables, and more…nearly $1,500 worth of blessing.  It was a huge surprise to our staff and a huge blessing from two young adults wanting to make a difference for the lord!

Thank you for your time and dedication Kyleen and Rachel, may God richly bless you!

 

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Mason broke his leg again…**Updated**

We could use all of your prayers right now for our little Mason.  Yesterday afternoon just as he was getting back to feeling good and moving freely, he slipped and landed weird while playing outside with Bella.  His bone broke again in the same place as before.  This time it is much worse and displaced.  We are going to have to take him in for surgery tomorrow morning to place rods in his tibia, which will allow it to heal straight.  Then he will be in a cast for one month and another surgery to remove the rods in three months.

Please pray for Mason, and for our family too.  It is pretty disheartening to go through again, but Mason is quite the little guy.  He reminded us  yesterday when we were on our way home from xrays and doctors “I told you two times, God has a plan and it is going to be alright.”  I guess he could see and hear our concern.  Mason is a both loving and strong little boy, and even 8 years old it shows.  We do believe what he said to be true and are hoping and praying that in the end his bone will be straight and strong!

Thank you for praying for him tomorrow morning and as he recovers!

These are the moments that we also need to ask for help.  Previously his injury cost was $500 and we were able to handle that.  But this surgery is going to cost more than ten times that.  With both surgeries it will be in the range of $6,500.  So, if you have ever been burdened to or just wanted to help our family personally, this is a time of need for us in that regard as well.  We more than appreciate it.

We are just gonna keep walking forward and trusting the Lord.  Thank you for all of your prayers and support…we need them and we feel them.  God is good, all the time!

**UPDATE**

Thank you so much for all your prayers love and support this weekend!  It was a real trial for us but God is so good and Mason is doing well.  Gramma & Papa did double duty at home and hospital with our whole gang, friends down here stepped in to help, and everyone’s covering prayer!  We could feel it, Mason handled surgery like an Oak Tree and was definitely stronger than mom and dad!  Here is a picture of the damage and Mason reacting to it with Dr. Mario.

Certainly the hardest moment was saying bye as he was wheeled into the operating room.  It seems so strange because it was just his leg, but the unknown can get the tears flowing.  The operation went well and the Doctor is pleased with everything.  The craziest part was recovery from the anesthesia.  Mason got the worst side affects I think.  He was nauseous and vomiting which was no fun, but again he is so chill and handled that well.  Things got wild the next morning because the other side affect was an inability to urinate.  So, the doctor had to use a catheter that night to drain his bladder.  Super painful!

Then, the next morning he was supposed to urinate again on his own before we could be released from the hospital.  Well Mason was in so much pain it was wild!  Like a scene from a movie; tears, yelling, kicking his legs up crying out in pain.  That was for about an hour and a half.  Just as doctors were telling us about another catheter, another night in hospital, therapy for his bladder if he couldn’t go to the bathroom….he broke through the dam and was able to pee.  Not gonna lie, we just let him pee all over the place and told him keep going till it is all out!  Krista and I looked at each other teary eyed from relief.  Mason immediately said with a big smile, “Are you proud of me daddy?  Can I play with my legos?”  Just 5 second earlier he was writhing in pain.  It really was so crazy to see how quickly this horrible pain was relieved.

We are home now.  After the initial wave of pain, the night actually went pretty well.  Mason has settled in, covered in your prayers.  Again thank you so much for being with our family.  We meet with the doctor again on Thursday.  It is three to four months with these pins and then another surgery to remove them.  We will take it one day at a time.

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Mason’s sisters, Gramma and the Barons made for a cool homecoming!

     Thank you again for all the prayer, love, and financial help for our family.

It was a crazy weekend.

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