Monday, July 11, 2011

Evangelical Musical Sampler, Vol. 2

By semi-pseudo-popular demand, I'm going to continue blogging about the music that la Misión uses in worship.  We've enjoyed learning a bunch of new songs -- hope you enjoy them too!

First up is a song that Laura Jean used in a recent sermon as a way of explaining la Misión's theology -- El Espíritu de Dios Está en Este Lugar (The Spirit of God is Here in this Place).  As a pentecostal church, la Misión Cristiana places a lot of emphasis on the Holy Spirit (el Espíritu Santo) and this song is often used as a gentle introduction to the worship service.  This version is by Jessica Landaverde, and for any musicians out there, you can find the guitar chords and lyrics here.

Our second tune is El Poderoso de Israel (The Powerful of Israel), by Juan Carlos Alvarado.  The clip below isn't very long, but don't be fooled, this one can go on for a while once people build up a head of steam.  It's a good hand-clapper.  Lyrics and chords found here.

Our next song is Eres todopoderoso (You Are All-Powerful) by the omni-popular Danilo Montero.  In contrast to the other song of his I mentioned, this one actually rocks pretty hard.  It's pretty catchy and is plastered all over the Christian radio stations down here.  There's a teenager a few doors down from us who spends many an afternoon singing the chorus at the top of his lungs.  Lyrics and chords.

Our last song (for now) is Está Cayendo su Gloria Sobre Mi (His Glory is Falling Over Me) by José Luis Reyes, which has some seriously Coldplay-like guitars.  This one is also very popular in la Misión worship services, probably because it's just a simple, classic power-ballad that you can really sink your teeth into.  Lyrics and chords.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Vacation in/around DC (Las vacaciones)

It's now been over 3 weeks since we got back from our 2-week vacation to the Washington, DC area. It was a great chance to see friends and family, take hot showers, eat lots of Thai food and enjoy other things that are in short supply here in Nicaragua. We forgot to bring the battery charger for our camera, so we couldn't take photos after about the halfway point. But here are some highlights of the trip:

Regresamos hace 3 semanas de nuestra visita a Washington, DC. Era un gran oportunidad de ver much@s amig@s y miembr@s de la familia. También disfrutamos duchas calientes, la comida Thai, y otras cosas que nos extrañan aquí en Nicaragua. Se nos olvidé el equipo para cargar la batería de la camara, entonces, no pudimos tomar fótos después de la primera semana. Pero aquí están unas memorias significativas de la visita:

Seeing one of the pandas at the National Zoo. Vemos uno de los pandas en el Zoológico Nacional.

Quinn posing with the panda statue after seeing the real deal. Quinn está posando con la estatua del panda, después de ver el panda verdadero.

Becca, Laura Jean, and Amy after brunch & panda-viewing. Becca, Laura Jean, y Amy, después de comer y ver el panda.

Quinn with cousin Caleb at my dad's birthday lunch (the big 6-5!). Quinn con su primo Caleb a la celebración del cumpleaños de mi papá. ¡Cumplió 65!

Quinn and cousin Grace eating amazing birthday cupcakes.

We spotted this baby deer in my Aunt Leslie's yard. Vemos este ciervito cerca de la casa de mi Tía Leslie.

Playing at Grace's house. Jugando en la casa de Grace.

And a new toy! A sweet half-birthday present from her Auntie Jessica was waiting for her. ¡Un nuevo juguete! Recibió un regalo para el hecho de cumplir 3 años y medio de su Tía Jessica.

And of course, fun times with Shubha! Y, por supuesto, Quinn disfrutó la oportunidad de jugar con Shubha.

... And then the battery died. No more photos, but lots of good memories. :) It was a little hard to leave -- we have so many friends in DC, and are still working on making friends here. At the same time, it was nice to come home, and Managua is starting to seem almost as familiar as DC.

...y la batería se descargó. No pudimos tomar más fótos, pero sí, tenemos muchas buenas memorías. Fue un poco difícil regresar, porque tenemos tant@s amigo@s en Washington, DC, y todavía no tenemos much@s amig@s aquí. Sin embargo, nos sentimos content@s de regresar a nuestro hogar, y Manague nos parece casi tan conocida como la ciudad de Washington.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Food Security

I wanted to blog a little bit about the projects we've been working on with the church.

La Misión Cristiana has just completed the first year of a project designed to provide greater food security for communities in the Western region of Nicaragua. The food security project was such a success that they are aiming to expand it to the Eastern region in the coming year. “Food security” is a fancy technical term for making sure everyone has enough to eat. In rural Nicaragua two out of every three people subsist on less than $2 a day, which means that hunger is still a very real problem.

The project has three components. First, La Misión has set up seed banks in seven of the small farming communities where their churches are located. The seed banks provide corn, red bean and sorghum seeds to farmers with the agreement that they will repay 125% of the seeds they receive after the harvest. This structure ensures that the project can continue and benefit more families the following year.  The bank focuses in particular on farmers who own small plots of land or who rent land to farm (sharecroppers) -- the poorest of the poor, in other words.  Many of these farmers could not have afforded to farm otherwise and may have left to find work outside the community.

Church leaders in the Western Region meet to review the re-collection of seeds after the first year's harvest.

The other components of the project involve the gift, to each family in the local churches, of five fruit tree seedlings (3 mango and 2 orange trees) and enough vegetable seeds (tomatoes, onions, peppers, cucumbers and watermelon) to plant a substantial backyard garden. This past weekend, we accompanied a group of pastors and church leaders in a training on how to properly plant and tend a vegetable garden and heard first-hand how the project is already taking root. Here are a few pictures.

In order to load the delivery truck, the fruit tree seedlings had to be brought out by ox-cart.

Delivering the seedlings to church families.

Here's Quinn playing in the type of mango tree the seedlings will one day become. We can confirm that the mangoes are delicious!

Sonia delivering the vegetable garden seeds to the church families.

Josue, Darling and Edgar sort the veggie seeds into individual bags for delivery (with a little help from Quinn).

Don Hector, an agricultural engineer who works with la Misión, gives a training on the proper care and management of vegetable gardens.