Today was a day that was filled with laughter and joy, yet also tinged with sadness because it was our last day with the kids. We started off with devotions at 5:30 where we focused on Psalms 8:3-5. We learned about being humble in everything, being able to do the dirty work, and having a genuine heart. After breakfast we headed to the school to listen to the Nicaraguan pledge of allegiance and hear the kids sing us several songs. The students were all lined up by grade. It was so interesting to see the little three and four year olds all dressed in their miniature uniforms and cute disney and cartoon decorated mochillas (backpacks) on one side of the courtyard. On the other side, the eleventh graders stood all grown up and preparing to enter a world filled with hardship, yet inexplicable joy in the little things. One thing I have learned this past week, is that no matter the circumstances we are in, if we place our joy in Christ, we will never be disappointed in the people and circumstances around us. I was so touched this week to see the bright smiles and delight the kids took in seeing us mess up their language, goof off, and embarrass ourselves, yet share the love of Christ to them by sitting next to them at lunch, playing volleyball, or letting them braid and play with our hair. After the students were done with the pledge and songs, our mission team and fourteen tenth graders loaded into the van and truck and headed off to Mount Mombacho. What met us there was something I will probably remember for a very long time. We got into an army truck and rode up the side of the mountain and started our mile hike. All of the students we took with us had never been to the mountain before and it was very fun to see their expressions and delight in the nature surrounding us. We saw a couple monkeys high up in the trees and many beautiful flowers and trees. The forest looked like something out of an adventure movie. Everything was so green and lush with birds flitting through the trees and chirping their songs. After days of hot weather, the cool mountainside breezes were a relief to our semi-sunburned arms and hot faces. When we reached the main lookout, my eyes and spirit were in awe of what I was seeing. I could see several towns that looked like miniature toy houses and buildings. The shoreline of Lake Nicaragua stretched out in a crescent filled with lush vegetation and dotted with mini houses and squares patches of farmland. The hillside was sprinkled with yellow flowers and bright purple orchids causing us to focus on not only the large scale beauty before us, but the intricate details of even the small things. We continued our hike and made it back safe and sound down the mountain where we all sat at pick-nick benches and enjoyed pb&j and ham and cheese sandwiches with cookies. Talking with the tenth graders during lunch was probably one of my favorite parts of today. The students were so eager to show off their English and asked us questions ranging from “What’s your name,” to “Is that your sister?” After an hour or so we headed back to the school to drop off the kids and say goodbye to them. We stopped by the store on the way home and I’m sure the locals were wondering what all these white tourists were doing in their grocery store. After purchasing ice-cream and a variety of snacks and coffee, we once again loaded back into the hot van and headed home. Our exchange student from last year, Jared, was able to come along today and it was very fun seeing him again. For dinner we had hamburgers, chips, and soda, a typical American bbq meal. Our hostess made a flavorful potato salad, vegetarian lasagna for the vegetarians in the group, and beet salad to add a spin on our meal. We swam, played games in the pool, played with the pastors adorable two children, and heard a wonderful testimony from Rosemary, our hostess and one of the founders of the school. We wrapped up the evening with prayer and a very sad goodbye to Jared, we all miss him very much and it was touching to see him again. Once we we got ready for bed, we met in the living room for a recap of the day, ended in prayer, drawing our wonderful last day here in Nicaragua with the kids to a close. This past week I have learned so much about myself and the world around me. One of the things that has stuck with me this week is something Mrs Mayben said. She said that so often we are so willing to serve wholeheartedly on a mission trip and to reflect a Christ-like attitude in everything we do, but when we go home, we aren’t so willing to do so. We need to realize that we need to serve others no matter where we are and under every circumstance because that’s what Christ did. Tomorrow we are going to the beach and reflect on what we learned and did this last week, and also to have some fun. I am sure it will be a memorable last day to an awesome experience that our team has been so blessed to take part in.

(Photos coming soon)

Posted by: Rebecca White