Christine & Haley here for a visit.

We had some sweet friends come and visit. But they aren’t just any ol’ friends. Meet Christine and her daughter Haley.

Christine and Haley at the Cathedral in town

Christine and her husband Rich came on a trip with Living Water to Haiti, about two years ago.  And the connection was instant-like many of you who we have had the pleasure of meeting along our journey. And they kept in touch over the years, and have been so kind, encouraging, and loving towards us in such big and little ways. In fact, their church in New Jersey is the one I wrote about a while back too. A church that just blew us away with how much they serve others, care about missions, and especially the cause of clean water. It’s incredible really. If you have a few moments, feel free to check out their website http://www.liquidchurch.com/serve/clean-water/.
Anywhoo, Christine and Rich wanted their daughter Haley to come and visit. To see life outside of the US of A,to experience how others live, what they do, how life works in a third world context. They wanted her to see what service looks like, and missions, and all that stuff too. So the ladies braved the traveling all on their own, and came and stayed with us for a week. The really cool part was, since they wanted to see Nicaragua and the different ways people are serving and helping here, we got to do whatever we wanted with them for the week! I have to admit, at first I was a bit intimidated, not sure where to take them, or what to show them. But I got creative and came up with some new things!

We have some friends here who are doing some pretty cool things, and so we asked them if the three of us could tag along and see what they do. When you live here, and meet other people here, one of the first things you learn is what they/why there are here. Of course, things in Nicaragua are a bit different than Haiti, as we have met foreigners who live here for so many different reasons. Haiti it was only ever two kinds of folks really. Those told by God to be there, and those running from something/trying to do penance for something they had done. So, bizarrely, in Nicaragua, people are here for fun! For the sheer pleasure and beauty. Some are retiring here. Some have started business, hotels, bed & breakfast, or work for to help the poor, for for non profits, and of course missionaries.

Of course we know what our friends do. But when was the last time you went to your friends place of work? Or where they do ministry? Or helped them with something they volunteer at? So I just loved that our friends were willing to let us come and check it out.

The first thing we did was go with a friend, Summer, to visit a school they work with. Summer and her husband Ryan are here working with multiple churches and one school. They do all different things within that context.So we spent the day visiting the school. Afterwards, we went into the community and visited some of the school kids homes, and met their families.

(These are all great photos Christine took. She is so talented!! Thanks for giving me all these photos!)

In one of the classrooms.

One thing Christine and Haley did was bring a little gift for the teachers. Of course most visitors come loaded down with fun things for the kids, so they get spoiled all the time. But the teachers don’t get very much attention or thanks, and they were so surprised when at the end of our visit, they gave a little goodie bag to them. They thanked the teachers for all their hard work, and you could tell the students were thinking about that one. Like, oh, ya, they do a lot for us don’t they?”

Passing out vitamins-and yes, they have to go right into the mouth since the half of the kids will spit them out! The other half love em!

This little girl couldn’t get enough of Eliana. It was pretty cute watching them smile at each other.

The little boy that Summer knows very well. He was so excited to take us to his house! (Yes, Summer is pregnant, and due any minute now!!)

This is a house of one of the families that has children in the school. I It’s easy for me to think that there isn’t as much poverty here, but that just isn’t true. It’s just tucked away a little bit, not as in your face, out in the country.

This was one of the families we visited. They were so sweet and welcoming, and loved seeing Eliana. They can’t wait to get their hands on Summer’s little baby girl too!

Haley loved their giant pet pig. Well, pet for now, sold for food and money later. They couldn’t understand what the big deal was!

This little boy loved holding her, and she loved every minute of his attention! It was so sweet. Since kids help raise the littler ones in the families here, I knew she was in good hands. He’s from a family of seven ( I believe) so he’s had more mothering experience than me!

Out for dinner. Me and Haley

Christine was so sweet and loved helping me with Eliana. She was a little concerned about how slow that food was coming-she is used to be just shoveling it in!

We of course took them out to see what Living Water was up to that week. We went into a community that was drilling, and they got to see the whole process, help out with hygiene lessons, and visit homes in the community.

 

The finished well, and the team praying over it at the dedication ceremony.

This was at the well dedication.

Haley loved seeing how it all works, and how cool it was that they would have clean water in such a short time!

 

And old building in that community. It’s now used for taking crops from their farms and getting them ready to sell at the market. (I loved it so much I used it for our blog! Great shot Christine!)

Another cool thing we did was hang out with a friend, Bethany, and they helped teach the English class she does with a group of teenage girls. Bethany has invited these girls into her house three times a week, in order to help them learn English and in turn help give them even more opportunities in the future. She loves on them, shares God’s love with them, and you can tell the girls love the class and appreciate the time she gives to them. So Haley and Christine taught the class all week! It was of course hard for them to talk slow and use simple words (things anyone appreciates when learning a new language, myself included!!) And they even brought stuff to have a little birthday party for one of the girls who had a birthday that week!

These were the ladies that they had Spanish class with.

We of course had to show them what we do on our days off….hit the beach!! Brandon even gave them a surf lesson. Although, they didn’t last too long cause the waves were giant and crashing right on the shore. ! Sketch.

What I do….

What Brandon does…

What Eliana does!

Of course I took them with me to the market. What 3rd world trip is complete without a trip to the wild market?!

Lovely limes-and my new favorite- Pitaya! (They are for you, we eat them all time, and mostly in tasty smoothies!-thanks Grandpa for sending us that information and opening my eyes to the a weird hot pink thing at the market that kinda freaked me out but now I love it!!)

One of the vendors I go to. I have my favorites of course, and this lady always picks me the best watermelon!

The girls even offered to watch Eliana so we could have a date night! We of course took them up on the offer, and went out to a fun new place in town. It was lovely!

While we were out, they took some great photos of Eliana. Oh my gosh, they are all so cute! Christine is so talented!!

I love this one. I imagine she’s trying the sexy lip push out, and oops! A little drool…

This one is my favorite! Little surfer baby!

And, and, they even helped me get ready for a baby shower I was throwing Summer! Me and Haley dipping and decorating cookies.

Christine helped me with all the decorations and making the flowers. It was so nice to have help!

 

What a fun week we had together. Those two were such great guests, so easy to take along with us, and loved simply seeing and being a part of every day life here. I loved hearing thoughts and opinions from Haley, only twelve years old, and yet she saw and processed so many things. Things that many adults have a hard time seeing and trying to comprehend. She loved seeing and experiencing new things, and had such a great attitude about it. I was impressed for sure! And I can’t wait to see what God was doing, is doing, and will continue to do in her heart as she process what she saw, felt, and experienced that week.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Christine & Haley here for a visit.

  1. Hi Jess & Brandon & Eliana,
    It was wonderful to read your blog and to see all the things that happen there. God is so good when he sends us just what we need in friends to visit us and help us grow.
    Eliana is beautiful and we so much enjoyed getting to Facetime with you. Praying for you all as you continue to minister to the ones there.
    Love, Judy & Paul

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