Update from Trisha Reglin

Good Morning from Granada, Nicaragua!!

We arrived last night after a long drive from Matagalpa where we spent our last morning in San Jose. We were greeted with a palm arbor decorated with balloons followed by an entry way of more palms and balloons. Many people of the village came out to greet us, we hugged and said our hellos. We made our way up the stairs into the Community Center. After everyone was seated, Bill gave a beautiful devotion and presented our photo to the village so they can have us with them always! It was very touching and the tears began.

Afterward, we were invited to spend about an hour in one of four homes. We broke into groups and went off with our families. I went with Allison and Erin to the home of Basilio and Candida Rosa. They welcomed us in and offered us chairs. Allison was talking with one of the children and Basilio took her arm and told her to sit. It was cute! The family came out and sat with us. It was a touch awkward at first because no one was saying anything and we didn’t quite know enough to ask what was happening. After a couple of minutes Alba (staff for Agros) came by and she spoke with the family AND the family’s daughter arrived with eggs. AHH HA!! We were waiting for the eggs. Candida Rosa motioned us into her kitchen where her daughter then showed how they fry an egg. Her kitchen was mostly enclosed walls made of supports and wood planks used as shelves for this and that. When you walked in, the wood “stove” was immediately ahead and once you moved a little further in there was a counter made of another plank of wood. Between the stove and the counter was a grinder for grinding the corn for tortillas. On the counter were two bowls with water. We later discovered these were the washing and rinsing sinks. On the other side of the kitchen there were more small shelves and a little cabinet with a blue fabric curtain for a door. Candida seemed very proud of her kitchen and very touched that her family was going to show us a little of how they live. Her daughter motioned us over to the counter where she had a small brown pottery mug, the eggs and salt. She put a pinch of the salt in the mug and cracked in the egg. She then showed us how to whisk it just right. I was in my element… cooking!! She put a decent amount of oil in the frying pan that was on the fire, let it get hot, then added a hand full of chopped onions. After they browned she added the egg and just let it bubble away. After a bit she flipped the egg… using a spoon! She let it bubble again, then flipped it one more time. After she felt it was done, she took it out…. with the spoon…. and placed it on plate. Next, Allison and I got to make our own eggs. I cracked an egg like a pro and whisked it up like nobody’s business. If only I knew how to tell them just how many eggs I have whisked — in hopes that we could connect on a cooking level. I moved over to the pan and poured in my egg. We waited for it to be ready while I contemplated flipping an egg with the spoon. The time came and I flipped it in one flip!! SUCCESS!!! They all laughed and praised my excellent flipping skills!! Then it was Allison’s turn. She whisked but was told mass (more) mass (more). We had some laughs and Allison poured her egg in the pan. When it came time to flip… it took a couple of efforts but she got the job done. We said it tastes good no matter what, right??

After all the eggs were done, we were motioned back out to the enclosed “patio” where they had set a table with a cloth, cheese and steamed chayote. Chayote is a type of squash grown locally and it is delicious! We filled our plates with the eggs, cheese and squash and dug in. It was so very good and I think even better because it was served with so much love. Candida Rosa brought us three glasses with red juice. Erin said “oh, just trust Jesus”. If we drink the water we would likely get sick, but I noticed the red juice was bubbling and realized it was soda. PHEW!! And as Erin said…red soda tastes like red soda… and it did. It was a lovely lunch and time we shared with the family. Basilio pulled a chair up to the table. He asked us a question in Spanish of course. Erin was able to interpret after a couple of tries and discovered he was asking if we were sad to be leaving because they are sad that we are leaving. Again with the tears. It was a such a tender and beautiful moment. For me, it was yet another moment of audibly and visually seeing just how much of an impact we have made on their lives. A moment that validated the work we are doing… God looking in and saying “Excellent work my good and faithful servants”.

After visiting the homes we went back to the community center where they offered us their cultural exchange. Rosa and her daughter Jacqueline danced two native dances for us. Rosa had a beautiful yellow dress and Jacqueline had a lovely embroidered white skirt. The dances were full of flourish and passion. It was beautiful. Then our group was asked to stand in front of the people and we were each given the gift of a heart attached to a stick with a sparkly red flower at the top. Inside the heart was a separate scripture for each of us. Again, more tears. So many times God has shown His love and encouragement for the work we are doing. These relationships are lifelong… even when the day comes that we are not able to return. Our hearts are forever and always entwined.

We then served lunch to the village. Most of them don’t get the opportunity to eat meat more than once a month, so this was a real treat for them. We served steamed veggies, stewed beef, refried beans, rice, salty cheese and plantain chips (YUM!). It was so wonderful to see the people moving through in small groups so you could really see all their faces. So rewarding to give them something simple as a hardy meal. After everyone was served we got our plates and sat down with our friends and visited a little more. After a while it was time for us to go… again, you guessed it… more tears.

We went outside where the people of San Jose had lined up on each side to say their goodbyes. We went down each side and hugged who would take a hug and shook hands of those who wouldn’t and offered a smile to those in the background. The love overflowed from our hearts in the form of tears, from us and from the people of the village. Our hearts broke to leave them behind but God again stepped in and validated our work by showing us through the faces of the people just how much the work of the congregation of Greenwood Christian Church means to these people. It has given them hope. Something they didn’t have before Agros and the support of all those who have come along.

They sang us one last song called “The Friendship Song”. They waved goodbye and after the song we loaded onto the bus. We waved until we could not see them anymore and more tears fell. Our hearts, minds and souls are forever changed.

With Love In Christ, Trisha

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