Arrived in Nicaragua! (L-R: Derek, Kenric, Graham, Ben, Gloria, Josh, Julie, Hilde, Gerry and Steven)
It was quite the travel day yesterday, but we have arrived safely to Matagalpa!
The day began bright and early today meeting at the airport by 6ish to get last minute things organized, checked in then moving through security and customs. Our travel itinerary then took us on a 3-hour flight from Toronto to Houston, a 2-hour layover in Houston and concluding with another 3-hour flight to Managua. After a quick pit stop to pick up some snacks, our final leg was a long, winding 2.5 hour drive to meet our hosts, Fedelina and Omar, at Puentes De Esperanza (Bridges of Hope) in Matagalpa. You could tell that the exhaustion of the long hours on the plane and car had taken a toll on the team as dinner was pretty quiet. However, thanks to a hearty and delicious spaghetti dinner, we were re-energized to chat, catch up on the day and play some cards before winding down.
Our trip has started with a few unexpected challenges though. We had a couple of delays getting through security having to explain the content of our luggage especially with some of the additional equipment we had to bring down. Fortunately, nothing got confiscated and we didn't have to pay any extra fees. A couple pieces of luggage are also missing—which includes some equipment and team Steven and Gerry’s personals—but we’re praying that they’ll be found and arrive soon.
The travel together though has given more opportunities to know each other--we're from different congregations and churches. It’s been great to learn more about our team’s diversity, background and experiences—some have been here multiple times, some are retired, a couple still in school, but we're all here to try to bless because we have been blessed ourselves. I’m excited to see how God will use each one of us in different ways to serve Him, one another and the people in Matagalpa over the next 10 days.
“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” – Romans 12:4-8