Friday, May 31

These Are the Buenas Hondas of Managua

Kicking up dust; walking to the nearby pulpería  to buy tortillas,

These are the buenas hondas of Managua.

Baby on hip, gripping the bar above trying to maintain balance on the fast-moving bus,

These are the buenas hondas of Managua.

Standing in the mercado, calling out to potential customers hustling by

These are the buenas hondas of Managua.

Sitting on a plastic, stack-able chair chatting with others in front of a casa,

These are the buenas hondas of Managua.

Zooming through the city with the sign "taxi"  above; listening to directions "towards where the little tree used to be"

These are the buenas hondas of Managua. 

Bible at side, standing & clapping to Praise the Lord.

These are the buenas hondas of Managua.

Watching the favorite daily telenovela; sorting through a big plastic bag of pinto beans.

These are the buenas hondas of Managua.

Celebrating with many joyful songs, queque & Rojita; batting for a piñata

These are the buenas hondas of Managua. 

Enjoying a long, hot lunch; passing time with co-workers at the office. 

These are the buenas hondas of Managua.

Riding a horse cart through the barrios with a bull horn ; announcing ¡Hay frutas!

These are the buenas hondas of Managua

Learning in the white, blue striped schools; studying in the many universities, 

These are the buenas hondas of Managua. 

Kicking, walking, gripping, trying, standing, calling, hustling, sitting, chatting, zooming, listening, standing, clapping, watching, sorting, celebrating, batting, enjoying, being, riding, announcing, learning, studying

These are the buenas hondas of Managua.

buenas hondas= cool or good people
mercado= market
barrio= neighborhood
casa= house
hay frutas= fruit available
telenovelas= soap operas


Sunday, May 26

To Be a Missionary

I spent two weekends ago and this weekend with families of different people from my office. I am not currently living with a Nicaraguan family, but with a Nicaraguan roommate instead. I have been trying to reach out more and more to others in my office and in my community due to the fact I do not live with many people. Also, people have been reaching out more and more to me, as well. They have more confianza (trust) with me- in Nicaragua, one definitely has to gain lots of trust from someone in order for them to begin to get to know you more. Don't get me wrong- people are still very friendly and helpful; however, to get past a surface level relationship you need to invest lots of time in getting to know someone.

Last week I was sharing with Violeta & Carolina, wonderful co-workers from my office, that I sometimes miss teaching and definitely miss being around kids and teenagers. They immediately invited me to stay with them in Jinotepe to participate in a children's bible class on Saturday and a special Mother's Day performance at their church on Sunday. Mother's Day in Nicaragua is on May 30. 

This weekend was such a blessing. Although it was a short time, I got to meet Carolina and Violeta's 4 other sisters (their mom has 8 children in total) and SPEND TIME WITH KIDS. I even had a moment where I got to talk to some of the teenagers who lead the church band. (haha- Sometimes I think I get a little too excited to see young people).

However, I think the most powerful moments were when I could sit, listen, pray and laugh with different family members as they told me their thoughts about Nicaraguan culture, their love for Jinotepe, all about the family, and a few stories. At the same time, I got to share a little bit about my own culture, my home, and my family. I got to partake in the sacredness of sharing a meal with different family members as well. As I headed back to Managua on a micro-bus, I couldn't help but smile.

I think to be a missionary is a lot of just what I did this weekend. To be a missionary is to sit down with others and SHARE. To share stories. To share a meal. To share about culture. To share time. To share the moment of just being. It is as simple as that. When I sit around with Nicaraguans, in the common plastic stackable chairs, and just invest in them in that moment and them in me the Holy Spirit is present. To be a missionary is to share.

Monday, May 13


The drive from Managua to San Marcos or La Conca is lined with the occasional pineapple stand where you have your pick between pineapples or pineapple juice. Whenever I take a microbus to visit friends in that area, we zip past these stands and my mind remains on the pineapples as I daydream of the day where I stop and indulge myself with one of the plump yellow fruits.

Saturday, May 4

There is a time for everything

"During our first few months in Nicaragua we were apprehensive when seeing a group of machete-wielding men walking beside us on a country road. How things have changed. Today our car was stuck and when two men came into sight our thoughts immediately jumped to "Great, the men with machetes have arrived!"
 -Ryan Schmitz, a fellow-missionary and friend here in Nicaragua who works with the Wesleyan Church

 As I read Ryan's status the other night (yes, this means I was on Facebook and now Pa is shaking is head :) ), I laughed out loud or loled. Not only was I laughing because of his heart warming account of a changed outlook, but I also laughed out of his status' relativity with a conversation I recently had with a friend. 

I remember when I was scared to walk around my old neighborhood. I lived a hop, skip and jump from my Spanish school so I didn't have much reason to have to walk to other areas in my neighborhood. However, I knew I needed to venture out more and try to meet others. Yet, it felt overwhelming, uncomfortable, and dangerous.

When I think about it now, it seems like I was living in a completely different place. It's crazy to think of how much has changed in my view, attitude, relationships, and faith. I feel at home here in Nicaragua. I feel God's presence. I feel loved. I feel a part of the community. I feel pride in my organization and in this country. I feel humbled and blessed to know the people around me. I feel safe. I feel privileged to be able to live here.  I feel overwhelmed by everything I am learning and encountering.

It's amazing to see how many barriers in my mind and heart have changed...

I know I'm going to continue to face challenges here and everyday I am reminded of the issues and hardships that face many people here in Nicaragua, yet I am witness to the miracle of how again the ministry of presence can transform lives- in this case it is my own life.

Amazing God,
Continue to send your Holy Spirit to encourage me to jump head first outside of my comfort zone.  I desire to learn, grow and see your face by surrounding myself with some of your children who I may not really understand or know... right now. Lord, I want to be challenged to cross boundaries like your Son. I trust you will transform my own heart and those around me to see this world more through your eyes. Thank you for my brothers and sisters who live next door and across the world! Thank you for your grace and guidance. I love you! AMEN.