Last Sessions and Traveling Home • April 16, 2019
The team had their last two sessions with the kids on Tuesday. They played a big game of capture the flag in the morning and then had an Easter Egg Hunt for the younger kids in the afternoon. They ended the day by participating in the Family Fun Night at the retreat where they played improv games!
The Nicaragua Team left the retreat Wednesday morning and then arrived safely back to church at 4:45am on Thursday morning (almost 24 hours of travel). The team is so thankful for all the prayers and encouragement during their trip. Together they served 29 children ranging from 1 – 18 years old. The team was also able to bless the parents and adults at the retreat with all the games, candy, and supplies that the Ivanrest community donated for the retreat.
Thank you to everyone who donated items for the trip and prayed for the team throughout the week!
First Day of Sessions! • April 15, 2019
Monday was the first full day of hanging out with the kids for the Nicaragua Team. Their morning session included large group worship and a devotional to start off their time together. The kids (all ages) were then split into teams with each team responsible for creating two miniature golf holes around the resort property. After testing out their skills on the course, the kids were split into 4 age groups for different games and activities.
The afternoon session again started with worship and a devotional as a large group. The teams were then sent off on a scavenger hunt followed by age groups playing the Saran Wrap game. If you are unfamiliar with this game, various candy and little trinkets are wrapped randomly within a large ball of saran wrap. While wearing oven mitts, participants take turns unwrapping as much of the ball as they can within a specified time to claim the candy. It was LOVED by all age groups!
After dinner the team was able to enjoy spending time with the missionary families.
Palm Sunday in Nicaragua • April 14, 2019
While those of us in Michigan experienced a mid-April snowstorm, the Nicaragua Team spent Palm Sunday in 90+ degree weather. Again their day started early…breakfast at 7:00 AM followed by time to get to know the kids that are at the retreat. At 10:00 AM, some of the team was able to participate in a Palm Sunday worship service with the missionaries and their families while others of the team provided nursery care for the littlest kids.
The afternoon was spent preparing for their sessions with the kids on Monday and Tuesday, playing with kids, talking with parents, and viewing sand castles built on the beach for the missionaries annual competition.
They wrapped up the day with dinner and a movie night (including popcorn!) with the missionary kids.
Travel, Water & Retreat • April 13, 2019
Lest you think the team is taking it easy, Saturday started with breakfast at 6 AM and loading the van by 7 AM!
Their first stop of the day was the Luke Society to learn about their work in bringing water supply to villages throughout Nicaragua. After hearing about the work that is being done, the team loaded into the van for an hour-and-a-half drive to a village where the Luke Society helped bring water. The water committee for that village showed the team where the village well and water pump are located and told them of their difficulty they experienced acquiring the land to put it on. They also showed the team two 10,000 liter tanks where the water is stored. And what is more universal that sharing a meal together? The village people prepared and shared a delicious meal with the team and the two groups prayed together thanking God for the water and health He has provided.
Then it was back in the vans for another hour-and-a-half drive to Vista Mar – the location of the retreat. After arriving and checking into their rooms, the team enjoyed dinner with the Central American missionaries and participated in some get-to-know you activities. The team quickly made friends as they shared some of the chocolate they had brought to Nicaragua with them!
Prayer Requests • April 13, 2019
The team sent some prayer requests this morning:
1. Prayers for safety as they travel to the retreat location today.
2. Pray for health and no sickness. This is usually the point in the trip when people start to not feel well.
Tourists! • April 12, 2019
Friday was tour day in Nicaragua! After an early breakfast, the team headed off to Mombacho, a volcanic crater that is now a cloud forest. They hiked the 1 mile path and enjoyed seeing God’s creation in another part of the world.
After hiking…shopping and lunch in Granada. By mid-afternoon, the team was able to see flowing lava at the Masaya Volcano…an incredible sight and sound!
Dinner at a Nicaraguan restaurant rounded out their tourist day.
A Day of Learning and Tours • April 11, 2019
Today the team spent time learning about different ministries and agencies located in Managua: the Nehemiah Center, Tesoros de Dios, NCA Nejapa and NCA International. They also learned about the history of Nicaragua and enjoyed a delicious meal at the Benthem home.
The Nehemiah Center is a community of learning and service that contributes to the formation of leaders and the continuing training of pastors using a biblical and holistic worldview, and that cultivates local, national, and international collaboration for Christ-centered cultural transformation of communities and nations. The Nehemiah Center is the team’s housing location for the first part of the trip.
Tesoros de Dios exists to promote the holistic development of children with disabilities in Nicaragua and strengthen partnerships with families, schools, churches, and communities. Last year’s Nicaragua Team saw the beginning stages of construction on an equine therapy arena. This year’s team was able to see the completed project!
NCA Nejapa is the school where Jared and Susan Benthem teach and the Benthem kids attend class. NCA Nejapa is brinigng academic excellency with Christ-centered teaching for Kindergarten – 11th grade. The staff is mostly Nicaraguan and the primary language spoken is Spanish with English classes offered daily. They follow a Nicaraguan school calendar.
NCA International is where Angie Johnson spent her time teaching while in Nicaragua. NCA INternational’s primary ministry is to provide a Christian education for the children of expatriate evangelical missionary families. The primary language spoken is English with Spanish classes offered regularly. They follow a North American school calendar and is preparing students to enter institutions of higher learning worldwide.
Pictures & Rain • April 11, 2019
The team was able to send us a few pictures this afternoon and reported that it is raining there this afternoon. Why is that so exciting? It hasn’t rained in Managua since November 2018!
Safe & Sound • April 10, 2019
The Nicaragua Team arrived in Managua safe and sound after uneventful flights and smooth transitions during customs. After settling into their accommodations for the first few nights, the team was able to do a little sightseeing around Managua and enjoyed dinner at a local fair featuring LOUD music and delicious food!
And They’re Off! • April 10, 2019
After months of preparation, planning and packing, the Nicaragua team is on their way! They left Ivanrest Church parking lot at 3:15 am on their way for Chicago to catch their first flight. Pray for safe travel today and health for the team this week. Stay tuned for more updates and pictures!
Managua, Nicaragua • April 10-17, 2019
Ivanrest Church is sending a team to Nicaragua for the 2019 Resonate Global Mission Central American Missionary Retreat. While there, the team will provide encouragement and support for the missionaries serving in Central America. The team will be providing child care for the children at the missionary retreat and using their time to bless the missionaries that serve in Central America. Throughout the retreat, the team will be focusing on Psalm 16:8-9 with the children: “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure.”
Please pray for the team as they prepare to leave for Nicaragua.
- Safe travel to and from Nicaragua: for on-time flights and ease of transition through customs
- The children the team will be serving in Nicaragua: for safety; for open hearts and minds to the lessons from Psalm 16:8-9; for joy and fun at the retreat
- The parents and adults that will be in conference each day of the retreat: for a positive growing experience during the retreat; for moments of rest and relaxation; for healthy conversations
- The country of Nicaragua: for peace in the midst of political unrest; for the national leaders; for the churches, schools and organizations serving the people of Nicaragua
- The Ivanrest team: for God to reveal himself to each team member; for health and safety; for open minds and hearts to learn during their time in Nicaragua
The team will be sending updates during their time in Nicaragua, so check back for stories, updates and additional prayer requests!