|Ernie with Chano|
While he loves gallo pinto (rice and beans mixed) and fried plantain, that is not what makes Nicaragua so special. It is, and always has been, the people.
The picture here depicts a deep friendship. Ernie and Chano hiked into the mountain villages together to share the gospel. They have some funny stories of things they did; great memories of good times in the ministry together. To stay with this man, and hear stories of how God is working in Nicaragua, using him and his family, brought great joy.
|The Olfert's and us along with the Pastor, Roland (mountain church pastor) and his family|
|Ernie with Dona Deborah|
|Ernie with Pablo|
If a picture can say a 1000 words, this one goes beyond that. This was Ernie's partner in church planting. They hiked many a mile together, with many a story to tell. They were a duet known as "Cafe Con Leche" (Coffee with milk). You can't tell in the photo, due to the red tarp, but Pablo is very dark skinned. They sang many a duet together and enjoyed doing so again at this event.
The previous time they saw each other Pablo was in prison (traffic accident, long story) where God gave him a big ministry. Free once again, he continues to serve the Lord.
The friendship runs deep and, Lord willing, will continue to grow.
|Juanita Lara and I|
Pictured here is my deepest relationship in Nicaragua. For you see, Juanita lived with us. She was supposedly our maid. What she was, in actuality, was the person who took care of us. Sure she cooked and cleaned for us but we LIVED together. As you can see from the picture, she was a joy.
I would say that she kept me sane and helped me through some pretty rough waters. I couldn't even make rice and beans when I got there. Newly married, living in a foreign country, with all things new and strange. She was a godsend, literally. She recently got married and is living in Costa Rica with her new family.
|Aleyda and I|
These young girls became like daughters to us. We have kept in touch with Aleyda over the years (her sister Maria José married and moved to Guatemala). Not always were things going well. So it was so rich to spend time with her and catch up. She has since become a believer and one could see the joy on her face. She is the mother of 3 children and has a good job. It was such a blessing to be reunited. God has been faithful as always.
|Myself, Anita and her husband Bayardo, and Ernie|
There are so very many more pictures I could share, and so many more stories to be told. Celebrating 50 years of EMC in Nicaragua was good. For us it was seeing God's faithfulness and seeing brothers and sister in Christ walking faithfully in God's kingdom. Pray for the Nicaraguan church as it continues to grow, with all its inherent struggles and challenges.