The installation of the organ began Monday, July 25. The first service with the completed instrument is anticipated to be Sunday, August 21. There will be an official Service of Dedication in late September and a Dedicatory Recital in October.
(L to R) Rodney Eatman, Music Associate; Jim Hutchinson, Music Director; The Rev. Craig A. Miller, WPC Pastor; and Gerald Swatsworth, benefactor.
The new console, placed into position.
Thanks to Judy N., we have our first HUGE gallery of over 400 photos! I’ve posted a mere sampling below; click here to view the entire gallery. More galleries to come!
It was a busy work day for us down here!! We went right to the construction site after breakfast and got to working! Some continued to sort the library and paint at the preschool. At the construction site, we were able to create 4 HUGE pillars of rebar ( all made by hand ) and pour concrete in eight holes which put the foundation down for the whole right side wall!! We convinced Emerson to call it the “Westmont Wall” :). Those sorting the library were also able to complete that project, so now the kids have a beautiful organized library to go in and read when they please! Those who were on painting duty also completed painting all the walls at the preschool. Now the school is full of a range of BRIGHT colors! Pretty successful few couple of work days if you ask me!
After a full day of work, we headed back to the hotel. We had and early dinner because we were having a going away/birthday part for Martina! It was so well put together and a great opportunity to say good by to the amazing friends we have made over the past week! There was even Mariachi Band and piñata!!! I never knew how good Mariachi music is! They were so talented!!
Another fun filled day for us down here in Nicaragua! We had a earlier morning than usual because we were headed to a school 1 hour and 30 minutes away. The kids at the school really enjoyed all the activities at the bible school. Some of the kids even said that they have never seen a North American before! WPC kindly donated a 100lb bag of rice and another 100lb bag of beans to the school.
The drive to and from was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! The mountains here make PA mountains look like hills.
Off to work we go! We were back at the construction site for the afternoon. Some continued to paint the walls of the preschool and organized the library. Those doing the construction were mixing cement by hand!! It was very similar to making pasta actually.😂 You mix sand, gravel, and bags of concrete. You then make a well with all of the ingredients and put water in the middle of the well. Slowly, you then add in the mixture on the side of the well into the middle. Mama mia, it’s just like pasta!🍝 That cement goes down into these 6ft deep holes as apart of the foundation!
When we came back, we went to this new Hawaiian Ice place! Turns out it just opened on Saturday. This isn’t your average snow cone, let me tell ya. It has a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle and has a drizzle of condensed milk on top!! All I can say about it is that I would consider moving to Hawaii just to get Hawaiian Ice everyday. There is actually a really good story behind the reasturant. The owner was the 25th son of an alcoholic father. His mother abandoned his when he was born in an outhouse in the mountains in Nicaragua. Some children found him and took him to he hospital. He was adopted by his aunt and they moved to LA when he was 3. He now has started a place where pregnant teenagers can come and get educated so that when they have the baby, they are able to get a job. He also wants to have a school for the children of the teen moms. So, to help finance his other ventures, he opened this Hawaiian Ice place.
After dinner, we were served jello for dinner. And it was quite the riot😂. We for some reason found the jiggling of the jello quite halarious😂. I wish I could put the video on here because it is so funny!!
Hello everyone back home! Yesterday after breakfast we headed off to a local school for bible school. It’s a public school or private school, it was a school run by an organization from another country. There were over 80 kids there! We sang, did crafts, and played games.
We had lunch back at the preschool and then started our work day! Some did construction, painted, or organized the library.
Then it was back to the hotel for dinner! Emerson, Martina, Richard, Xochil, and George joined us for dinner. They each shared their stories about how they became closer to God.
Sorry there aren’t many pictures included in this blog post! The app is very picky on what pictures it wants to load and won’t load any for me today!:(
* Gracie has had some difficulty with the Wi-Fi. I finally received this from her today (6/21/16). ~ Michelle*
We had a great time at the women’s retreat today! We sang, danced, and played games, but most importantly we built relationships with the Nicaraguan women! (We saw some horses, too! Amelia and I were really happy!)
Here is Linda, one of the speakers at the retreat with Xochil interpreting. Both Linda and Pastor Miller delivered excellent messages to us.
Here we are singing! All the words were in Spanish (we had no trouble, though 😉 ) but it was a great time of fellowship with the Nicaraguan women.
CABALLOS!!! (horses) They were kind of roaming around the field (there were 2, I couldn’t get a picture of the other). One actually came up to Amelia, Olivia, and I, but it got scared away by the soccer ball. 😦
Hello again! Day 3 was another fun filled day! We left around 10 for church at the Tony Flauto Preschool. At the service, Craige gave a sermon, we had communion, sang Spanish songs, and put together a quilt. The quilt banner was made by the quilting group and it had a fish drawn on it along with the words “Jesus Christ the son of God, our savor” in Latin. After everyone took their juice and bread for communion, they went over and took a strip of fabric and glued it to the outline of the fish. The banner will stay and hang at the preschool!
For lunch, we went to a Cuban restraunt! Many of us got the classic Cuban sandwich. It is a sub with different types of deli meats, pickles, and mustard all on Cuban bread. It got a thumbs up from everyone!
After lunch, we went to the house of Richard, the pastor at the Saving Grace church. We went to his house to pray for and with Richards father. His father is currently under going some very serious health problems. We also prayed for Emerson and his health problems. It truly was a very spiritual experience. You could definitely feel Gods presence there.
Our next adventure was to a paper making factory! It only employs single mothers, helping them to support their families. The women showed us their process of making the paper and even let us make a few sheets! They take old pieces of paper or card board, water, and bananas or some type of “fiber” and put it in a big blender. They take the mush from the blender and put it in a big tub on water. Then you put a rectangular shaped strainer in the water and that collects the mush and water mix. You then put a cloth over it and flip it over and use a sponge to suck up the extra water. Then you set it out to dry. If it’s not in the sun then it takes 15 days to dry! If it is in the sun though, it only takes 2 days.
We then headed back to the hotel and did some exploring around the hotel. We walked through the park by our hotel, tried to recreate some statues in the park, and went to a coffe shop! Then we headed back to the hotel for dinner.
It also was a full moon!
¡Hola! ¿Como estas? Everything is going great down here! The weather is perfect all the time🌞🌞. It’s a little more humid than us Johnstownians are used too.
After our usual breakfast, we were off the the Bekah Miller Women’s retreat. This retreat is in honor of Donna and Craig’s daughter, Bekah. It was such a joyful event. All of the women there were from the Esteli area and were so happy to be there. 32 women were invited and 32 women attended. We sang together, played games, shared personal hardship stories and how God has impacted their life, and ate lunch together. All the women were so joyful no matter their situation. All in all, the retreat was such a inspiration and humbling experience.
While we were at the retreat, we found wild horses! Amelia (who rides horses and owns her own horse) was drawn to them like a moth to a flame. And so were the horses to Amelia! They kept on getting closer and closer and soon let her pet them.
Also at the retreat were mangos!!! They were EVERYWHERE! I was in mango heaven. There were probably 15+ mango trees. Boy oh boy were they AMAZING!
Turns out…. turtles like mangos too!😂 There are 5 turtles living at the hotel and one wondered off to our room. We want med to feed it something and since we have 10+ mangos, we thought we’d give it a shot. It was just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!❤️
After feeding the turtle, we went to a grocery store just up the road from our hotel. We found some really strange stuff! Like milk in a bag! They even had 3% milk! Also, they had milk that was just on shelves and didn’t need to be refrigerated. Kinda sketchy if you ask me… We also found a dragon fruit! It tasted sooo good. It tasted similar to a plum.
After dinner we had this super yummy dessert. It was like a pound cake with whipped icing on top but they poured this sweet milk on the bottom of the plate so the cake then absorbed the milk. It was so moist and delicious!
That’s all for now. ¡Adios!
Hello everyone back in the USA!!! First day was a success! Our yummy desayuno (breakfast) options consisted of eggs, rice and beans, salsa, green beans, zucchini, plantains, Apple bannanas, pineapple, bread and cereal.
Then we were off to bible school! The kids we absolutely ADORABLE❤️❤️ They sang for us, played games and made crafts.
After bible school with the kids, we were off to lunch. Our almorazo (lunch) was at a buffet reasturant. There were many typical Nicuraguan favorites inclining fried plantains!!! The plantains were very similar to a potato chip, sliced very thin and then fried.
Some food from lunch is unpictured because I started eating and realized I FORGOT A PICTURE! Also unpictured is dessert! I had a huge piece of almond cake and my oh my it was AMAZING!! Some other options were cheese cake and flan.
Time to get our hands dirty!! Today we were digging holes for the foundation, painting walls of the preschool, and doing vet checkups!
We headed back to the hotel around 4:30 and have some down time while we are awaiting dinner at 7. So a few of us went walking around the hotel and we found some amazing fruit venders! We picked out a delicious looking Papya and mango! And they tasted just as delicious as they looked! The Papya was HUUUUGE!!
That’s all for now! Will be back with info from dinner. ¡Hasta luego!
Welcome to the official blog of Westmont Presbyterian Church!
This blog was created with the upcoming mission trip to Esteli, Nicaragua in mind, however, we wish to utilize it long after.
You can also visit our website at www.westmontpc.org and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/westmontpc.
Our team of 19 embarks on their trip on June 16. Please hold them, as well as all those they encounter on their journey, in your prayers. We pray they have a safe and meaningful adventure on their 8-day stay in Nicaragua.