This week a main focus God has given myself and our team during our prayer times is to see the people of Bluefields the way He sees them. To look at this city not only with our eyes but through spiritual eyes and to be aware of what’s happening in the spiritual world around us as well as the physical. But first…. Story Time.
There I was lying in bed Wednesday night at 10pm all tucked in and exhausted. I’m tuning out the incredibly loud music and fighting from the bar across the street and I’m drifting into sleep when all of a sudden they play….. “IM A BARBIE GIRL IN A BARBIE WORRRRRRLDDDD” Followed by “girls they wanna have fuuuun ohhh girls just wanna have fun.” Followed by “NEVERRRR will I find someone like youuuuuuuu. I wish nothing but the best for youuuu” followed by “forever young I wanna be forever young” ALL while in a separate place the incredibly loud Spanish music was still playing and people were still shouting and dogs were sill barking. Until well after 11pm. It was crazy. And if you’re wondering. Yes. Yes I did sit up in my bed at 10 PM and sing the entire Barbie Girl song line by line with the different voice inflections. My room mate, Deby laughed so hard at me.
But in all reality as funny as that story is, that bar is something that we are praying against. The songs they play are 90% in Spanish and they’re not good songs. They talk about drugs, getting drunk, and treating women badly most of the time, which are all major problems here in Bluefields. And these songs start playing every day at 2pm and continue until at least 10pm but sometimes go on until 12 – 1 in the morning. Even on weeknights. These songs are heard all over this community because they’re so loud and you can feel the spiritual tension here. It’s affecting us pretty hardcore and we’re fighting against it. In addition to praying we’ve also started playing worship music to over power the music from the bar from 2pm until we go to sleep so those songs aren’t getting stuck in our minds as well as in the mind of Esdras and Nissi (The base directors kids) who are only four years old. This is something you can be helping us pray for. Specifically the people who are going to this bar every night. Another main thing God has brought to our attention is the spiritual blindness of the people in this city. We are praying that God will begin to work in them and open their eyes so when we talk with them they will be more open to what we have to say.
Overall things are going really well here! This past week and this coming week we are having training for our new jobs here as staff. I will be in charge of all things communication and hospitality. I’m still learning what all that entails but essentially I will be running the social media pages, website, emails, making flyers, contacting/ recruiting teams who want to visit and students, welcoming people, getting things ready for speakers when they visit, ect. ect. A whole lot of things. lol! Next Saturday we are hosting a team from Costa Rica for two weeks, I am hoping to give updates while they are here but we’ll see. Our internet connection is already not very strong and adding 13 more people to our house isn’t going to help but I will try to blog!
Thank you for all of your support and prayers. Love yall!!!!
Let’s start this week off with a little story time:
Debby says to me, “We need to go grocery shopping this morning.” To which I reply, “..ok!” We get in the taxi and ride to town. So far so good. Get out, walk to a market to buy some chicken and cheese, ok. Then 2dozen eggs from another place, walk down the street buy some fresh fish, turtle, and shrimp from some guy on the street. (I tried VERY hard not to vomit at this point for many reasons.. the smell, just looking at it…) then on to buy more meat from another market. At this point I can’t hold any more so I say “Deby! Can I please purchase a big bag to put all this in???” Thankfully next to the meat market there were bags for sale. The Lord is good. So we put everything in the larger bad which probably already weighs about 15lbs. THEN we purchase a large pineapple and a very large papaya. We put that in the bag. So now I’m walking through the streets carrying this large bag and Deby is carrying eggs and then we stop at a stand to buy vegetables. Like 5lbs of veggies or more! Then we walk into this large building and Deby looks at me and these many stairs and says “I’m so sorry.” To which I reply “yeah. No. Ima sit here with all this stuff while you go!” HAHA so I did. Then we went to a “grocery store ” where we had to check all of our current things into a locker. Bought MORE things. Then Deby put me in a taxi alone and sent me home. With all. This. Stuff. Half way here the driver says “you have fish?!” “…yes..” “SON OF A! No no fish in the taxi. Is it leaking?!?” “No sir.” (Because It hadn’t been leaking) then I get out of the taxi with all this stuff and he helps me and darn it if the dang bag holding everything, including the fish wasn’t leaking. He again said “SON OF A! You said no!” “I said I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry! I’ll wipe it off with my dress!” He said “no no it’s fine” THEN I HAD TO CARRY IT ALL FROM THE ROAD TO THE HOUSE UP THE STAIRS. How’s that for an adventure? (It’s okay if you’re laughing. It WAS pretty crazy)
I’m not going to lie, I had a hard time handling that day. It was a hard day already but on top of that, so many normal tasks throughout that day seemed to go wrong as well and I was so frustrated. I wanted to just pack up and go home. But I knew that wasn’t an option. So I sat down and I talked with God. I said “God. I know you want me here. Without a doubt in my mind I know that this is where I’m supposed to be. But God I don’t want to be here. I need you to give me your heart for this city, for these people. Help me to be okay with the culture. Help me adapt. Because this. is. hard.” Later on that night we were having our devotion time together and what was shared was “doing God’s will” Dale shared about Jesus and when he was praying the night before he died. He didn’t want to die. His flesh absolutely did not want to do it. But He wanted to please His father and do His will and He put that above His own desires. Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” With that, God’s been encouraging me to really study the life of Jesus during this time of adjusting. I want this to be a season of doing God’s will and not my own. No matter the challenges I face. But even in the challenges He does bring me joy and hope and a lot of that is through you guys! As I was spending time praying yesterday I received an encouraging text message, and then later on my mom sent me the song “This is not goodbye” By Sidewalk prophets. I had never heard that song before but it was exactly what I needed at that moment. We went on a bus ride through the city yesterday and that was so good because it gave me more of an excitement for where I live. God is doing good things here and in me!
I know last weeks blog and this one have been more so about the challenges I’m facing but there have been so many good times too. Deby, my room mate is amazing. She is so patient with me as I’m learning the culture and how to work in the kitchen and we have so much fun laughing and joking together. I really love her. The twins, Esdras and Nissi are amazing too. They’re four and I absolutely adore them! They frequently call me “Dana” lol But they’re so sweet and we have a lot of fun sitting on the floor laughing and playing together and their favorite thing to do is snapchat! “Dana! I want to take a piiiiiicture!”
Thank you all for your constant prayers. They are felt and they are appreciated.
Some of the stuff I was carrying
Waiting for Deby
The fish man
Part of my city Nissi helping me budget
Where do I even begin? I guess we could start with the airport. I arrived in ATL last Monday afternoon 5 hours before my flight to Managua, Nicaragua was going to take off. I found out where my gate was, got some food, and made myself comfortable in preparation for my layover. It was becoming closer to boarding time and I was starting to get all of my things together and sending out my last text messages. The plane was at the gate but as boarding time came the lady came over the intercom and said “Now boarding to Guatemala city!” Myself and everyone around me quickly shot to our feet trying to figure out where we were supposed to be!! The gate for Managua had changed but no one announced it. So we all took off running across the airport to the correct gate because it was already past boarding time. Thankfully we all made it but phew, what a rush.
All of the days since arriving have run together and it’s definitely been a lot to get used to. There’s a lot of difference between moving to another country by yourself and coming on a trip with several other people for a few weeks. One is well, the whole I’m staying pretty long term and that’s sunk in several times now and I may have cried a little, and I’m sure I’ll cry some more as the time goes on but for right now, I’m alright and am adjusting well to my new life. The culture shock has been real though. From being thrust into a new culture and not knowing the language, the currency, what in the world you’re supposed to do. You can’t even tell the taxi driver how to get home and have no idea how to cook rice. I can’t just run to walmart or target!!!! Because no such thing exist here or anything remotely similar. I had a dream about Target last night and it’s only been one week. HA! We live across the street from a bar that plays their music very loudly every. single. day. from 2pm- 12am. That’s fun. I did get excited yesterday though, I was in the shower and a VERY hispanic version of “All of me” By John Legend came on. It made me happy a little because it is the only song they play in English but mostly because it was being sung by a Hispanic man with a techno beat. Overall I think the thing I’ll most have to get used to is washing clothes by hand on the “pilla” or scrub sink. I am terrible at it and I feel like my clothes smell worse after I’m done. You’d think I’d have it down after 12 weeks of doing it on my outreaches but no. I’m still bad at it.
There are many other things that I could list I’ve had culture shock over but those are the main ones. All in all I love it here and there’s no place I’d rather be for this next season because I know this is what God has for me. This week we will be unpacking all of our things and getting situated in our new home and probably going out in the evenings to pray in the city.
I’m excited to see what all God is going to do in Bluefields and can’t wait to keep yall updated! Thank you for your prayers and support. Te quiero MUCHO!
Deby and I preparing lunch Nissi is one of the directors kids
One of the birds outside our window every morning Esdras (Their other child) He frequently displays how I feel lol!
The “washing machine”