Our team is back and we had an incredible week serving in Padre Ramos. Upon arriving in Nicaragua, we thought we may have some issue with bringing the wheelchair that was donated but they finally agreed to let us go with it without any tax or duty for bringing it into the country. We all gave thanks to God for getting us through this hurdle! We stayed in a hotel the first night since it’s not wise to travel at night. The Best Western in Managua is very nice, complete with hot water, TV, internet and a killer breakfast buffet! The next morning our vehicles arrived and we loaded up for Padre Ramos, which is about a 3.5 hr drive. The camp area looked completely different than last year. With the waves encroaching on the property most of the greenery, trees and bushes have been cleared away. It looks a little more desolate now. In fact, there is a house that has been washed away from the ocean’s waves. In all reality the camp could be washed away over the course of the year if the tides continue to rise. There was at least one day when some of the water from the ocean actually rolled into the area where the cafe is located. I would ask you all to pray for the youth ranch and church that meets there as they deal with these issues of property and safety. We took our group to Ten Tall and provided soup for close to a hundred people. We were fearful of running out of soup but The Lord blessed and we had just enough for everyone to get some. While we were waiting for the food to cook, we played kickball, and then shared some music and signing with them, which they all loved. Once everyone had eaten, we distributed much of the school supplies donated by The Summit Church. We had hoped to be able to visit the school there but one of the teachers was on a bus that had an accident and she was unable to be there so they canceled school for the day. Our time at Padre Ramos was very fruitful too this year. We sponsored 3 days of camp activities for an hour and a half each day have close to 100 kids each day. The first day we did wet games on the beach. The second day we had activities and games at the camp. On the third day we had the messy day, which was a huge success. The kids here have never experienced anything like some of the things we did; so they lived every minute of it. The kids didn’t just have a fun time but they also memorized Bible verses and many of them returned for worship in the evening. Throughout the week for evening Bible study, I shared a few thoughts about our theme this year: LEGO and Let God. With 16 gallons of LEGOS we were able to tie into the Bible lessons very easily as well as give the people ( kids and adults) their very first experience with building things out of LEGOS. It was really amazing to see their creativity come alive with those blocks. By the last night it was like a LEGO frenzy with everyone stick piling as many as they could to take home for play later. The concepts from the talks ranged from Jesus being our cornerstone and foundation to how we must let Christ build us up. I also spoke to them about some spiritual applications from the Nursery Rhyme Humpty Dumpty and how fragile we are as a “building” ourselves. As part of our serving, we also cooked for the staff at Padre Ramos. Our team did an outstanding job preparing the spaghetti and sauce to serve the staff. This is also something unique we do for the staff simply because we want to serve them and show them love and appreciation. The week ended with a visit to town for lunch and souvenir shopping. We ate at Tip Top as usual and enjoyed some great fried chicken! After our meal we went to the Dump to give away rice and perform for the people. The dump itself had really changed too as now there was garbage and rubbish all over the whole landscape. There wasn’t any greenery or vegetation there like before. It was just trash. We met a guy there who was on his way to dig. He shared with us his goal was 40 Cordova worth of metal so he could get some stuff for his family. We took up a quick collection and saved him from that daunting task for the day. As we prepared for the distribution of the rice, people lined up in excited anticipation for the food. We gave away 100 bags of rice for the families there and also shared some encouraging words in music. Several of the people have been there each time I have come and we are starting to recognize each other now, even though my visits are a year apart. The sign team at Padre Ramos is doing exceptionally well also. What an encouragement! They had put together a couple of their own songs and dramas and we were able to practice with them 4 times during the week for close to an hour each night. They picked up Lay Me Down as a new song this year and we brushed up on several others. They also helped us work on a new song called We Are The Free. As the week closed we also spent some time in the village close to us called Los Zorros. We took Spanish Bibles and handed them out to people and invited them to come and worship with us. For the two nights after we visited them, there were several families who came! One lady upon receiving the bible began crying saying that was the greatest blessing she’d ever received! It was hard to believe that so many didn’t have one copy of the Bible. We gave out about 30 bibles and bags of rice on that excursion. As I close this update, let me once again say thank you to all who prayed and supported us in this trip to Nicaragua. It was certainly a blessing to be here and we all fell that God worked in some awesome ways. Thank you all for your support, love and prayers for everyone in Padre Ramos!