Greetings from Puerto Cabezas! I am staying at the Hotel Monter-upstairs from a grocery store and across the street from the baseball stadium. The town is made of up English, Spanish, Miskito and Sumo speaking people. The majority of the people from the city are Spanish speaking; however, almost all people from the province speak the Miskito language.
This town is popular for its Miskito Market and seafood restaurants which serve up fresh daily catches to customers. The Miskito Market is one of the best places to go for fresh vegetables. Tim is taking us there in the morning.
Today I had the chance to walk through the village of Boom Sirpi where Friends in Action International is helping the Miskito rebuild after Hurricane Felix. Here are a few pictures from our visit. Tomorrow I will spend 4-5 hours there interviewing the people, shooting video and pictures and calling in live reports to WJTL.
One of my favorite snapshots from the day was watching a young village boy pump water from the well and then carry the water back to his family. I thought, “this boy could be someone’s sponsored child!”. I will upload the video to WJTL.COM as soon as I get a faster connection so you can experience it too!
It’s been a long day with a slow internet connection! I will talk to you in the morning.
LISA LANDIS-Here are a few pictures from Managua Market Monday:
Market girl selling peanuts
Which hat should I choose?
FIA executive director Tim Johnston & his wife Jan
This is the lady who creates the leather scrolls that Tim uses as a “Thank You” to donors
Market lady selling cacao powder
Flower at The Best Western Managua
Best Western Managua across from the airport
FRED MCNAUGHTON – Please continue to pray for Japan, it’s people and the organizations that are trying to meet the needs of the millions of people who’s lives have been turned upside down by the earthquake, tsunami, nuclear crisis, lack of food, no electricity and continued chaos.
Several organizations are working in Japan to help. Take a few moments to visit them and do what you can.
Our friend, Lancaster Native Keith Baum is serving with Send International. They have over 30 Missionaries serving in Japan.
Hershey native Mark Lewis is in Japan where he is serving with EFCA Crisis Response. Follow his blog.
I arrived in country around 12 noon (2pm Eastern time) today (Monday, March 21). I had a smooth, uneventful flight (just a bit of turbulence leaving Harrisburg) with Friends in Action Intl. Executive Director Tim Johnston and his wife Jan. Wow, am I loving this tropical climate! Not too hot here yet. We were in the mid to upper 80′s today, but the severe high temps and high humidity haven’t yet hit. Nicaragua is entering the dry season after an extra wet rainy season.
This week we are getting a closer look (& listen) at Friends In Action Intl. and the amazing work they are doing to bring the Gospel to people groups around the world that have not had the opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ.
We are staying the night at The Best Western in Managua, conveniently located across from the airport. This is where FIA brings work teams before flying out to “the field”-in this case the village of Boom Sirpi, which is located approximately 12 miles outside of Puerto Cabezas (which is where we will be flying tomorrow) and an island called Rama Cay-a half-hour boat ride from Bluefields, on the Caribbean coastline, where FIA is helping the Rama people build a village among other projects. (I will visit there later this week).
Had a wonderful time today strolling through the Managua open air market stocked with artisan crafts like hammocks, chairs, leather goods, clothing, toys, and my favorite-PINATAS! Pictures coming soon!
On a personal note, it was 12 years ago this month that my husband and I spent 3 1/2 half weeks in Guatemala finalizing the adoption of our son Alex. Now my son is several weeks away from turning 13 years old! Everywhere we went today I was reminded of that sweet time in Central American with my husband and me trying (as new parents) to figure out what to do with this new little baby Alex and to get him to settle down and go to sleep :0)
Speaking of sleep, it’s off to bed for me. I’m going on 21 hours in my day so it’s time to sign off.
Learn more about how FIA is at work in the world at FIAintl.org.
LISA LANDIS-I invite you to listen March 21-28th as I travel to Nicaragua with Friends in Action Intl.
Friends in Action (FIA) is a “Friend to Missionaries”…Equipping, Sending, Drilling, Building, Assisting, Accelerating the work of reaching the unreached around the globe.
Since 2004, FIA has worked alongside two indigenous people groups-the Rama and Miskito peoples who live on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua. Projects there include helping to rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Felix in 2007, as well as helping to move 40 of 220 families living on Rama Cay (an overcrowded island) to the nearby mainland and develop an environmentally stable and self-supporting community.
FIA takes a holistic approach by working to help the people in all areas of their life including education, training and helping to establish the church.
I travel early Monday, March 21 and return late Monday, March 28th. Listen to WJTL FM 90.3 for reports throughout the week live from Nicaragua and visit WJTL.COM for pictures, videos, and blog entries updated daily.
And please be in prayer for my trip. Pray for safety and that the people of Nicaragua will have the opportunity to tell their stories of faith including their joys and trials. I’m looking forward to helping you witness FIA at work in Nicaragua!
ASHLEA BRENEMAN – With all the traffic jams, lines, cookie baking, party attending and gift wrapping, Christmas can be downright stressful. I think it’s important for us to build things into the Christmas season that make us slow down and appreciate the incredible gift that has been given to us – Jesus Christ. He is worth all of our worship and affection.
I remember someone saying how ironic it is that Christmas is the birthday of Jesus, and yet it’s the only birthday where we aren’t giving gifts to the person who is actually having a birthday. Imagine I attended a birthday party for Fred and showed up with gifts for Lisa. That would be strange and even rude! So, what type of gift would Jesus want? In Matthew 25:40 we read, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
What would that look like to give a gift to the least of these? I think it would mean giving a gift to someone who desperately needs it and hopefully the gift would be useful to them too. Gospel For Asia is providing a way for us to do just that. They’ve created a Christmas gift catalog that is filled with items that are useful and beneficial to poor families in Asia. These gifts will actually help lift them out of poverty and provide hope to them! When I think of Jesus that’s what I think he brought. He is the hope of the world.
This Christmas, would you consider giving a gift to a poor family in Asia to show them the love and hope that is found in Jesus Christ?
See a whole list of gifts available in the Gospel For Asia gift catalog here: www.gfa.org/giving/christmas/?affiliate=wjtl. Gifts begin at just $11!
I pray that this Christmas season you are reminded of the hope present in Jesus Christ.
ASHLEA BRENEMAN - Almost two years ago I was apart of something I didn’t think would happen in my life. It was one of those dreams I had shoved to the back of my mind and my heart. But God is too gracious and good and faithful to allow the dreams He’s placed in His children to go unnoticed. Little by little he will bring them to the forefront until they are a bright blinking neon sign before our eyes.
In January of 2009, I traveled thousands of miles to visit a country in Eastern Africa called Uganda with Compassion. A country filled with a tragic history and desperate situations but filled with beautiful people and a hope in the midst of it all.
My job was easy. Observe and take in. Be present.
It’s hard though when the scenario is not easy. When you’re in a little shack with a family who’s father died because of AIDS and a mother struggling to provide for her children who also have AIDS.
You sit there and wonder.
How can this be?
But in the midst of desperation, there is this thing ripping through your heart.
This belief that God is real.
That He is there.
That He cares.
That He loves.
That hope does exist.
It’s true. God is real. He loves and cares more than my heart could grasp or contain.
We can demonstrate a characteristic of God.
We can be hope.
Find out how you can be hope to a child in need during WJTL’s 26 Hours of Compassion. Click on the Compassion banner at the homepage or call 1.866.392.3690.
Here is a video recapping my time in Uganda. It still brings tears to my eyes.
STACEY GAGNE – It’s 5:30 am and I’m so excited for this day to begin. WJTL’s 26 Hours of Compassion is here. This is the culmination and purpose for my trip and experiences in Ethiopia… to let others know about what Compassion is doing and give you an opportunity to get involved.
This morning I got really excited when I saw the link go up for the children needing sponsorship from the FBI (Faith Bible International) Project. These are the kids that will be filling the classrooms and playgrounds that I walked through!!!
So here is your invitation! Listen in! Check out some child profiles … and please pray! Then give us a call and sponsor a child! We’re looking forward to hearing from you.
STACEY GAGNE – I just clicked on our direct link to Compassion International from WJTL’s web page. I noticed that as I went in a couple of pages there are many pre-teens and older teens in need of sponsorship. I wanted to take a moment to highlight this group of kids. I think it’s often the case (at least it was for me) to have that excitement to start a sponsorship with a child from a very young age. I, personally, love the idea of walking with a child through their years of growing up and knowing I was along with them every step of the way. I started sponsoring both of my children from early ages.
The thing is for these teens, what has most likely happened is that for one reason or another they lost their sponsor somewhere along the way. I’m sure financial troubles have been a large factor due to the economy as of late. These students are in a crucial time in their life as they finish out school, deal with the many issues that teens deal with, etc. It’s their final push to finish out the program and possibly move on to university! They can use encouragement and support now more than ever. I just wanted to put out an encouragement for anyone who might consider sponsoring an older child… you might only have them for a couple of years, but your impact on their life will be great. If you have a heart for teens, or like the idea of being able to motivate and encourage a child as they finish out the program… there are children out there who would love to meet you.
STACEY GAGNE – One of the things that I’ll never forget about Ethiopia was the coffee. DELICIOUS!!! I brought back my own clay pot and several bags to share with friends and family and co-workers here… and it’s all going too quickly. We were served deliciously strong and perfectly sweetened coffee pretty much everywhere we went. The coffee ceremony is not only a show of hospitality, but part of their culture and tradition. Great time and care is put into preparing the beans and serving the coffee… I was served popcorn, roasted barley and coffee served in beautiful little glass tea cups in a tiny tiny little one room home that is smaller than my office. (We also were often served soda in glass bottles… which seemed to taste much better to me… but I digress…)
When we visited one of the churches, where the Yeka Meker Church Child Development Center is held; “PK” the Project Director there, shared about how they use coffee as an opportunity to share Jesus with the parents of children who are involved in the Child Sponsorship Program.
I love that the ministry of Compassion International is reaching into individual families with the Gospel. As families see their children receiving the tangible benefits of child sponsorship, they are also receiving the more lasting benefits in the seeds of truth being planted along the way.