In 2015, 13 students and adults went on our initial trip to the island of Ometepe on Lake Managua. It was a tremendous time of discovery of ministry and building relationships with local churches and schools.
Ometepe is a small island made of two volcanic mountains. Its rich soil is perfect for growing plantains and coffee and the islanders are a friendly and engaging culture. The scenery is beautiful and the resort we stay at gives us the feel of a resort on a beach, with fantastic food and awesome views. Through the generous efforts of our partners there, we were able to complete a massive painting project in a local school that had been damaged by a recent mudslide off one of the volcanoes. We spent two days playing and painting with the school children and sharing the love of Christ with them. We also spent time in ministry with two local churches on the island. Pastor Jose's church was a huge blessing to us as we reached out in their community and spent time with local children doing ministry. Pastor Cecilio was also a huge help to us in connecting us with locals. We spent an afternoon with them moving rocks for a building project and leading their congregation in worship.
In March of 2016, 14 students and adults traveled to Ometepe to continue the work from the previous year. On Sunday morning while attending services our students worked with the children of Templo De La Iglesia Nueva Jerusalem in Santa Cruz to sing to the church while doing hand motions. Even with the language barrier, everyone was blessed at the excitement of the childrens faces. Our students spent the next day in the town of Balgue playing kickball, coloring, playing catch with footballs and frisbees, spending time getting to know the local children. With the help of our interpreter, several of our students presented the Bible strory of the Prodigal Son by acting it out followed by a gospel presentation by our Student Pastor. The students spent another day painting the entrance of the local hospital in Altagracia and another day working with a small church in Los Cuchillas. The students worked very hard but played equally as hard while accomplishing what God planned for them.
We followed up on the student trip from March with an adult trip in August. With 11 adults we went back to Ometepe to work along side Pastor Dennis and the members of Templo De La Iglesia Nueva Jerusalem to help them expand their church facility. We moved a lot of rocks and dirt for 2.5 days that had to be put in place for the foundation of the building. Another team from our group worked with tying rebar on the outer walls so concrete could be poured into the forms. We accomplished in 3 days what would have taken the church 2 weeks or more to accomplish. Needless to say the entire team was exhausted but could not have been more spiritually filled! We are excited about the opportunities of working along side this church and Pastor Dennis. The Church is a wonderful place of worship and the people are warm and welcoming. Please watch the attached video.