My father-in-law always says that a good project requires at least 3 trips to the hardware store to get those parts that are always forgotten, or needed because something got broken while being fixed. Well, that is holding true for us here in Nicaragua. We started out a little late this morning because we wanted people to get a little sleep after our long day and night of travel, but we still got a lot of painting done…after the third trip to the hardware store.

We landed in Managua last night around 9 pm, and after clearing immigration, collecting our luggage and passing through customs, we found Freddy and our driver, Antonio waiting for us. It took us a while to load all the luggage on top of the minibus. Our drive to Playa Marsella took almost 3 hours, so it was close to 1 am when we finally arrived. The owner of the Villa Mar hotel was waiting for us, and we all crashed in our rooms.

This morning our task was to get to the Iglesia del Cristo in Rivas and get started on our project of painting the new school building. The church in Duncanville, Texas started the building and completed the shell before running out of money in 2008. So we were going to help finish it by painting the inside. Armando the preacher was very optimistic that we could get it all done in a week…apply a coat of primer on everything, then a coat of white on the bricks, and a coat of blue on the trim…oh, and don’t forget to paint the roof, refinish the doors, and paint the metal window guards. Whew! As we started looking at the supplies, we noticed paint roller covers, but no rollers. Also not enough brushes for the 18 of us. So in my weak Spanish, I told Freddy to go into town and buy the handles for the rollers. Poor Freddy misunderstood me and came back with the long handle extension poles for the rollers…but still no rollers! We would need the roller extension poles to paint the upper walls, so no harm done. We sent him back out to get the rollers. He came back with the rollers and a surprise…extra roller covers…smart guy Freddy is.

Everyone from NMSU painted in the high humidity and heat for six hours. We made some friends as well…the neighbor kids wanted to help, so we handed them sandpaper to help sand the doors. They took a few of the team to visit their home down the street. The home was crowded with people, and some older boys challenged our team to a soccer match…tomorrow, 2 pm. They looked serious, and the Aggies from NMSU shook a little in their boots at the challenge. We ate a delicious lunch prepared by some of the women from the church. We wanted to help in as many was as we could, so we hired them to cook us a hot lunch every day. No sandwiches for us, we wanted traditional Nicaraguan food. Today’s lunch: Delicious chicken cooked in a Jalapeno cream sauce with rice, beans, fried plantains and salad.

This is a great group of students and staff from University Church of Christ in Las Cruces, New Mexico. They have great attitudes, want to serve and love on some of our CRF kids. I can tell because they brought an entire duffel bag filled with treats for the kids here. A Church of Christ in a Roman Catholic dominated country like Nicaragua faces an uphill challenge, so any help we can provide is welcomed. Armando is excited that we want to reach out to his community, so he is planning some time for us to meet his neighbors. We are also hosting a giant fiesta after worship services on Sunday. We will invite the community to join us for worship and lunch afterwards. The kids are looking forward to breaking open some pinatas with us.

So far, this project is worth the 3 trips to the hardware store.

If you are interested in organizing a team to travel to some of our sites, go to our website and let us know!