Tonight we thanked God for soft mattresses, friendly customs agents, a cool breeze across the capitol city and the warm faces of our Nicaraguan friends. 

We met at the airport in Kansas city at 4:00 a.m.  A bit of coffee sustained us to Houston and we had exactly the right number of minutes-but no more-to make it onto our connecting flight to Managua.  The final moments of flight were spent pondering how to get all those bags smoothly through customs without having our supplies confiscated like last time.  As we heaved our 49 and 51 pound bags off the luggage carousel we whispered possible strategies to one another.  We shifted from plan A to plan B and finally to plan C, thoroughly confusing everyone.  And then, by some miracle that restored Stephanie’s faith in God, we sailed through customs. Carla brought up the rear, wheeling six bags on a cart through the line that says “2 bags only” with only a slight smile from the sweet customs agent. 

We were ecstatic. We were also thrilled to see our hosts, Harold, Kayon, Doug and Yelba who have worked so hard to help us comply with all the government regulations.  They work tirelessly and always with a smile and such graciousness and gentleness. There of course is always one small glitch. The ministry of health said that they would only grant us permission to bring in all of our medicines if we would bring one of those medicines, a cold and cough medicine called Dimetapp, to them. They will not allow us to dispense it from our clinic.  but they will use themselves at a pharmacy.  Yelba told us “think of it as a donation.”  There might be other words but overall we are so thrilled that we can’t be bothered by this little snag. 

Now we are ready to hit the mattresses at CEPAD’s Nehemias center so we can rest up for tomorrow (Sunday).  We will drive the half-day journey to Susuli and begin setting up our clinics to begin seeing patients on Monday.  Already we know that we will see little Raul. I can’t wait to see how improved his skin fungus is after six more months of treatment paid for by the loving people at Country Club Christian Church. 

With prayers for all of our family and friends, for our amazing communities of faith at Country Club Christian Church and South Summit Christian Church. We are here but the mission is made possible by our common dream for a better world and the god who inspires is to build partnerships of hope around the globe. 

Peace, Carla