At our mission clinic it gets busier every day. Today we served 130 people, with 101 being seen before lunch! People from a community about 2 hours away, named Bojague, had been notified by CEPAD that there was a clinic available this week and took full advantage! Many of the 150 communities in the Matagalpa municipality do not have health posts.

We also got to work with a new doctor and nurse from MINSA, Dr. Sosa and Reyna. These two normally work together in the MINSA clinic in Matagalpa in the only sector that takes prenatal visits. We saw many young mothers with children today, including one family that looked particularly malnourished. The mother only weighed 88 lbs and her children were about 5 and 6 years old. They grinned when seeing pictures of themselves on my cellphone. We loaded them up with stickers and vitamins, wishing there was more we could do.

At the end of the day, we got to talk to Auxiliadora, the 18-year-old community secretary who has been handling our patient waiting list and kept things orderly throughout the week. We got to ask her some questions about her life, family and hopes of an education and career. There will be a video available in the near future of our interview with her.

Joe went to visit the CEPAD farm (by motorcycle!) that the youth will be going to for their mission trip in June. He started making preliminary arrangements for that mission. The students will learn about the land and its ability to produce food as God-given gifts for all people – ones which require careful stewardship.

The construction crew continued their work on footings, rebar, and concrete. The work is particularly hard because of the angle the men have to work at. Lance, however, noted today how well-organized the local construction team is in this building project. There has been a core group of local community members working with “the mules,” (our crew’s self-assigned nickname), who are very competent and up to the task. To know that this work will be continued and completed after we leave is very encouraging.

After dinner we all sat and shared one word to summarize what the trip had been for us thus far. “Amazing,” “joyful,” “rewarding,” “blessed,” “comfortable” all made the list. We also had some other words, like “difficult” and “long days.” Luiz, one of the CEPAD leaders, then shared a saying that we felt summed our experiences up well, “the juice is worth the squeeze.”

Although difficulty is painful in the moment, it produces in us something intangible and eternal, if we let it draw us close to God. It is in hardship that we truly see ourselves for what we are. Frail, weak, and in need. When we become aware of our need for God, that is when God draws near to us, calling us into a life of faith in the only one who is never weak, who never grows tired, and who is always at work in us. What a privilege it is to be part of God’s
work in the world!

– Anne, on behalf of our Nicaraguan Mission Team

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