Two members of our mission team have already begun driving to Nicaragua.  Yes, I said, driving.  Here is what happened.  Cindy Irey and Nancy Lear are scheduled to fly to Nicaragua on Thursday, arriving two days before the rest of the team, so that they can get all the vitamins cleared by MINSA, the Ministry of Health in Nicaragua, enabling us to begin our clinics and classes when the full team arrives. But now a blizzard is on its way to Kansas City and its full 10 inches will likely prohibit a Thursday noon departure from KC.  So after determining that there are no empty seats on flight today, Nancy and Cindy rented a car and headed to Atlanta today so that they can make that connecting flight to Nicaragua tomorrow!  WOW, what a team.  Thank you Thank you. Or should I say Gracias!  I bet they will have fun along the way.  

The remaining 13 of us (Kevin Briggs, Bruce Erickson, Sandy Finney, James Guthrey, Rachel Guthrey, Amy Hughes, Lance Jessee, Ingrid Larson, Tim Little, Mary Linda McDonnell, Joe Meinhardt, Sue Rempel and I) will catch up with Cindy and Nancy on Saturday night in Managua where will spend the first night at the Nehemiah Center.  This is a converted car garage that is now filled with bunk beds, tropical plants and rocking chairs where we gather to get oriented for our mission.  We will also meet up there with 12 members of the Hookerton District Disciples of Christ from North Carolina.  We look forward to reconnecting with Dr. Doug, from North Carolina, and meeting other team members.  

On Sunday we will travel to Canas Blancas in Carazo and begin setting up for the clinics.  Carazo is on the Pacific Ocean.  Wonder if it’s still stingray season?  We will aid the teachers at the rural school by building some new buildings and partner with the rural farmers on agricultural work such as terracing. Our medical team will conduct clinics, teach home health classes, operate a makeshift pharmacy (thank you Stephanie for all your prep work – we couldn’t do this without you) and give fluoride treatments to the children.  

You will next hear from Kevin Briggs, who will blog for the medical team and James “Jamon” Guthrey who will blog for the construction team, “the mules.”  Thank you in advance for your prayers.  And “muchas gracias” for all the donations to the Collection Connection that make these trips possible.  On behalf of the people in rural Nicaragua, we say, from the bottom of our hearts, you are God’s living witness to goodness and light!